Behind closed doors

13May08

While trying to learn more about a certain type of product, I came to a website that looked promising. I easily located the right category and product name, and ended up with a brief, one page intro to the product. But when I tried to click any of the links, e.g. for the demo, brochure, or case studies, the site asked me to provide a bunch of information. This got old real quick, so I left the site.

I understand why some websites use registration barriers to qualify visitors and collect customer data. But this only works when you provide enough basic info on the product for customers to become comfortable with you first. Otherwise, they’ll view the registration form as an obnoxious roadblock. In my case, I was expecting to see some screenshots or detailed product specs before I traded in my name and email address for the more in-depth information.

I don’t pretend to know exactly what the right amount of give-and-take should be in this scenario. But I’m pretty sure that one measly page of product info isn’t enough. If you play the game that way, few people will be motivated to take the next steps.



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