Who is your program for?
When designing something, one of the things which have to be done first is to consider what the purpose of the thing is. Many design decisions are based upon a consideration of whom the program is intended to benefit.
Some decisions will seem to benefit both parties. “If people will give us their email addresses, then we can send them product updates and coupons” is an excellent example. The mailer receives valid contact information which helps to grow their pipeline and build excitement for their releases.
Other decisions, though, only benefit one party or the other. A good example of this kind of decision would be: “We want to know everything that there is to know about our website visitors.” The result of this decision is usually something like: “We’ll require someone to register with us before we even allow them to view a web page.” The problem here is that there is no real exchange. It is like requiring someone to play “three-card monte” with their contact information. They will have no idea if they have “won” until after they have surrendered the only thing of any real value here: their data. Thus, only the owner of the website receives any real benefit.
The same thing is true of messaging programs. A decision has to be made regarding who the program is intended to benefit. Again, there are two choices to be made here: (1) build a program that will benefit both parties or (2) build a program in which only one party receives a benefit. The selection will make many decisions about how the program will look.
If you choose the first, then you will be careful to make certain that the recipient receives an actual benefit from their association with your brand and you will be upfront and clear about the benefits that both sides gain. If you choose the second, then you will fail to tell relevant details which would allow the other person to know if they have been asked to find the Queen of Hearts and know what they are getting themselves into.