Why do we suddenly ask for user accounts, and are they required?

We've recently made some exciting changes to our website, and for users to get the full benefit from these features, we need to keep track of who does what on the site. Not in some crazy governemental-tracking way, in a 'what did you buy' sort of way. We already do this to a degree with our sales logs. You make a purchase, we log it, so that if there's a problem with the order, if you lose your coupon email, we can pull it up and replace them for you. And that's all well and good, but all that happens after the sale.

By adding in user accounts, we can keep track of some other exciting things, as well as offer new features, like discounts and coupons we were not able to offer before. For instance, we can publish discounts that are linked to your account, or have promotions such as 'buy 10 coupons, get one free' and the like (no, thats not live yet, don't ask why it didnt work! ;)

The most exciting new feature however is our referral system. It's not 100% up and running yet, but will be very soon. If someone buys coupons using your referral link, YOU get a percentage of that sale. I've had a lot of users request the feature, and the only way to track those referrals is if you have an account on my site.

So, coming extremely soon, everyone who creates an account will receive a referral link. Any coupons purchased using that link will get you a percentage of that sale in your account, which can be used towards future purchases, or (at a lower payout rate) a cash rebate. Watch your inbox for that exciting information, coming soon!


Q: Ugh! I hate you people! Everyone wants my personal information! Why?!
A: Thats not a question. But I'll answer anyway. We don't NEED your personal information. You can still continue to buy from us as you always have. You just won't be able to take advantage of the referral bonuses, or use some features such as buy X get Y free, or account-based coupons which require you to be logged in to use them. You can purchase to your heart's content, but if you try and use a feature that requires a login, you'll be asked to log in. Don't want to make an account? Hit the back button and remove the coupon you applied or feature you accessed and you won't be required to have an account.

Q: So what will you do with all my personal information, you jerk?!
A: All we ask for is a username, a secure password, your first name (just so we can be on a first name basis. You want us to call you Dweebcheese, then enter Dweebcheese, we don't care), your paypal email address, and zip code.

Q: Paypal email address?! Hacker! Thief!! You don't need that!
A: We get that anyway as soon as you pay us. You buy coupons, Paypal lets us know your payment came in, and the payment came from, drumroll please... your paypal email address! So, chill out. We only ask for THAT email so we can link the accounts. If we can tie your account here to the paypal account that we're paid from, it makes life about 100x easier. The street address and zip code is used only to verify the paypal email (so you're not using someone else's paypal email) and is not stored in our system. Oh, wait, I lied. It is stored. Because Paypal sends us your address when you pay anyway. Stop being so paranoid ;)

Q: Aargh! Grr! I hate you!
A: Mmmhmm. Go play outside some, you're too angry.