April 19, 2018

Creepy or Clever? Your Site's Visitors Unmasked

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Creepy or Clever? Your Site's Visitors Unmasked

A company called Relead boasts that it can convert anonymous web visitors into sales leads. The company says it can provide the e-mail addresses and phone numbers of those who visit your company’s web site but fail to fill out any forms or provide their contact information. 

The company says it can provide you with the information you need to follow up with the person. A recent Forbes article questions whether such new technology is “creepy or clever marketing.” The Relead site has been taken down since a Forbes article appeared on it recently, but marketing experts are debating whether the technology will spark a wave among marketers to grab data on secret visitors. 

Relead had originally told Forbes that its customers use their service to “warm call prospects” or to conduct targeted e-mail campaigns. “Relead also allows sales/marketing folk to understand precisely what their prospects are interested in – i.e. the exact product pages they have been visiting,” says James Welsh, Relead’s chief marketing officer.

Some call such technology on unsuspecting users questionable. 

“The customer has no idea that this information-sharing network even exists,” Michael Bar-Sinai, a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, told Forbes. Such technology “betrays the trust of consumers” and sacrifices customers’ “privacy for the sake of marketing. ... This practice should not be legal.  But the technology is a few steps ahead of the law.” 

Source: “Company Unmasks Anonymous Web Visitors For A Price. Then Shuts Down,” Forbes (June 21, 2013)

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