RapidFireI’ve noticed a trend among sites the last couple of years, and it’s driving me nuts. I’m sure you’ve seen it: the landing page that gives you the short, “elevator pitch” about what the company does (and maybe a slightly informative video). But that’s all it provides. Want to learn more? You have to give them your name and/or email address just to find out about what they do and how much they charge.

We’ve seen all kinds of companies using this tactic, from retailers to SaaS companies, and it’s time to talk about it.

Why they do it:

Fact: it’s getting harder to get web visitors to ante up their contact details.

Consumers get it: their email addresses are the gateway for marketers to pitch, push, and sell via inboxes. And with more and more companies leveraging digital marketing methodologies, consumers know that their inboxes are going to be more and more cluttered with advertisements.

So companies engage in baiting tactics that entice their target market to give up the goods and enter an email address just to get basic information…so that they can invade your inbox daily to tell you why you should buy their services and products…all because you just wanted to know what they offered, thereby indicating an interest that they can exploit.

Why this tactic results in losing business:

Business owners, don’t be sucked in by this tactic. From the outside, it looks like an appealing strategy. One thing this tactic does is make fledgling companies look successful with slick, clean web sites and impressive language, and the restriction itself makes people think the offering may be something “special” if it’s hidden behind so many layers.

But it’s all optics. So while it looks like you might generate more opt-ins by hiding everything behind an opt-in form, this strategic also results in a higher bounce rate and people who give up before they even take the time to learn about your product or service. You’re losing business!

Don’t hide what you have to offer. Show it to the world and make it shine. But when you hide it behind a forced opt-in, you just increase the likelihood that your target market won’t even bother to learn about what you have to offer.