The Impenetrable Castle Wall That Is Your Home Page

Posted By Debbie on September 4, 2012

You want people to join your email mailing list. You want to email them stuff! When you hit Living Social and Groupon, they push to make sure you are on the email mailing list. But both have options to close the popup window demanding your email… so you CAN get away from it.

Here’s a website I hit recently. I was curious what they were about. They made it sound like they were like Stubhub but better. OK, I’d like to see that! Here is the home page (click to enlarge):

Two problems here. One, from what I CAN see on the page, I don’t see what makes this ticket website better than anything else. I’m not won over. I have no idea what goes on here that is so much more special than Stubhub or Ticketmaster. Two, I can’t make that popup window go away. I just can’t. I couldn’t find any close button or message. When I clicked outside of the window, nothing happened. This was it. Give them your email address or not go on.

I chose to not go on. What was behind the window didn’t go away. I didn’t feel like what might be here was so amazing that I had to join without knowing what was going on.

How does a company decide to do that? I think it’s arrogance. Someone imagines either one of two things: 1) Our service is SO amazing that people will sign up without yet knowing what we do or what’s in our inventory. Or 2) people have such little regard for their email addresses that they will sign up for anything (or give a fake email… or sign up and then remove themselves from mailing lists later). Both are arrogant, and seem to not care about the customer’s experience at all.

Are you doing that on your home page? Are you stopping everything the person came to see, learn, or do to try to get them on a mailing list? Well, don’t. If I love your site and find things amazing, I’ll happily add myself to a mailing list to get your deals and specials. But I’ll do that later. I’ll do that once I’ve decided you are worth that commitment.

ScoreBig scored zero. But someone must have told them that. I took that screen shot in June. It’s early September, and I just went back to the website. What wasn’t there? The popup insisting on my email address. They learned their lesson, and you can learn from them.