What do modern developers do? Thanks to devops, more and more. In fact, your modern developer may even be an IT operations professional acting like a developer. Bottom line: your audience and your customers are BUSY. So when you make them fill out multiple fields, or give them the chance to hesitate about how their information will be used when they want to access your content, you risk losing them. The most egregious violation? Asking them for their phone number. Just don’t.

Infogating – How Much is Okay?

What the Data Shows

Based on Evans Data Corporation’s Developer Marketing 2017 and 2018 survey results, we know that some infogating is okay. Name and email is acceptable. But get beyond these two fields, and even life-changing content is unlikely to get seen. Only 1.2% of developers want to hear from you by phone, while roughly 30% will give their name and email for most types of content.

Out of the Mouths of Modern Developers

When we interviewed developers, we got some pretty impassioned responses about requiring phone numbers for content, demos, and trials.

Sacha Barber said “Blacklisted,” when asked how he felt when required to give a phone number to receive content of interest.

Mahsa Hassankashi was less passionate in her reply, but equally likely to navigate away. Why? “ Too much time to fill out the additional fields. Don’t even start with a mailing address!!!”

Sonko was equally dismayed by the time spent filling out massive infogates. He did offer that he could be bribed to do something for a marketer. But it will take more than content. Probably pizza.

Anupam Chugh, a JournalDev contributor, when asked how he feels about a brand after experiencing infogating, says, “It’s annoying, and I generally don’t return to such sites much. I wish there were a disclaimer mentioning the user details they need before even showing us the content—something like app permissions.”

What did James Mullineux say when asked for a phone number just to download content? “Extraneous information that will just be used to irritate me later is annoying. Depending on how much trust I have in the site, I might give a real number—or a fake one, or even give up entirely.”

Michael Washington isn’t about to give up a phone number. Neither is Mark Downie. Michael will look for a competitor offering something similar instead. And as for Mark Downie,“That’s a tough ask for me. Let’s say I even trust the advertiser—I still won’t do it. I may give my email or my social handle. I don’t hand out my phone number.”

Celebrity developers and influencers like Fritz and Ted Neward  are also pretty adamant: don’t make them claw their way over an infogate. According to Jeff Fritz, his feeling about a company that asks for a phone number is, “Not a fan…My phone number is precious to me. I already get non-stop spam phone calls and have stopped answering my phone altogether, unless it is a family member.

As Ted Neward so eloquently put it when asked about his feeling toward a company after excessive infogating, “…if you lie to me, or if you offer a thing and then yank it away behind a wall of some sort, you are not building a great brand reputation in my head, and there are too many alternatives out there, in any part of the market, for me to be concerned about never using you or your product ever again.”

That’s a Wrap

Modern developers have a lot on their plate. Don’t add to developer decision fatigue or workload, and, above all, don’t bust developer trust. Stop asking for phone numbers. Ask your target audience to give you two fields of data—name and email—to access your content. Then they might just consume it.