If I owned a real, live, brick and mortar business, I would not be demanding my customers handed over their details before they had a chance to look around … I’d at least let them get in the door first, maybe see what was on the shelves.
Selling your stuff is all about providing value. And you’re not providing value by shoving a great big opt-in form in someone’s face the minute they land on your site. Yeah, they convert. Yeah, they build your list. But they don’t say … “Hey! I value your time, and I appreciate your presence on my site, and your interest in my work, let me show you around and see how I can help you.”
Not that a big old opt-in form doesn’t have its place – sometimes, its the most appropriate thing. Like if I click on a link that says “Sign up for my cool ebook” … That’s the perfect time for a bloody great opt-in form to fill my screen. But when I click through to read an article … your demand that I give you my email address really just doesn’t appeal.
I have been doing some binge reading on Customer experience/Customer service over the last few months … and increasingly online businesses piss me off with the focus on achieving their own goals (especially list building) at the expense of the Customer’s experience on their website. I hate obnoxious pop-ups and ‘welcome-mats’ that get between me and what I’m actually on the website to see. I’m pretty sure its not just me!
I really feel that if you treat clients/potential clients/website visitors like they are your favourite people, focus on building a tribe (and not a list), and work on giving amazing value (in both your paid and free content/services/products) – you can’t help but grow your business … and you will grow a list of people who love you and what you do and who buy your stuff.