Make them want to jump through hoops, but don’t force them
If you have been one of increasing number of people that now relies on the internet to get your news, you will have probably been in a situation where you have clicked on an article link only to find that there’s no way to read it until you first supply your email, name, mother’s maiden name, your bank account number etc. Surprisingly it seems that there are still websites relying on such “bait-and-switch” tactics, and it’s not exclusive to smaller sites that don’t know any better.
The thing is that technology is not static and evolves with the zeitgeist, such is the rise in various types of ad-blocking software and plugins. This is to say that when people click on a link with a picture, title, and article preview they expect the next page to be said article and if it’s not, they’ll find another option. As mentioned before, ad blockers can sometimes be used to circumvent this; but it’s more than likely that what is being restricted, in one form or another, can be found elsewhere (probably on your competitor’s website). Even if competition doesn’t exist right now, it can exist tomorrow.
Build trust with your visitors
If you start your relationship with a potential customer by misleading them, why should they not afford you the same pleasantries? Even if the ONLY way to access content is through supplying an email, who is to say that email is real? You may be able to filter obviously fake addresses, but can you realistically plan for the multiples of disposable mail domains popping up?
It is then the question of what one takes to be more beneficial for business strategy: forcing a visitor to give you details or leave; or giving them the option to click a “No thanks” option, and then providing content and a service so valuable that they are induced to give details at another point in time. My argument is that it’s infinitely more beneficial to carve out and nurture a relationship so that something will come of it…eventually. This is backed up by a Prestashop study that suggested that “41% of visitors do not complete their purchase because they are not ready now, but will be later”. That “later” is the key, because when it comes around you want the visitor to be returning to your website and not the competition’s.
When researching for another blog article, I came across a short and sweet example of a great way to implement this while still giving users a choice on The Innovation Enterprise.
Don’t worry, you can still ask for details
Ensure that happens by actually providing content that is free, unique, and valuable to your visitors. Of course, it’s okay to ask for an email address and name for some non-webpage based content (e.g. white books, audio guides, software etc.), but otherwise it’s best to give them a “No thanks” option and work on creative landing pages and web forms. You want to create a relationship, nourish it, and harness it – do this on a foundation of trust and by understanding your visitor.
At Webmecanik we can help you understand your visitors better, how to get the most from CTAs, and develop meaningful, personalised, multi-channel relationships with your visitors. Contact us!