You walk into a brand new-to-you shop in your town and before you get in the door, a salesperson walks up to you and tells you that you can’t come in and take a look until you give up some personal info. Phone number, address, email, blood type, etc.
How do you feel about that?
Now translate that to what might happen on your website when a new visitor comes to check out your wares. Have you ever been to a site where you want to see what they have, but you can’t view the site because you’re being forced to sign up and log in first?
I’m looking at you, dotandbo.com, as the most recent site I’ve visited that’s alienated me before I could even take a look at the site. There’s no way to close the Ajax overlay with the little login box. I’m told I could sign up with my email or “simply” log in using my Facebook account. There’s even a little link that tells me why they’re requiring this information. I know why they’re doing it and I honestly don’t care. All I wanted was to see how much the marquee cupcake signs were. Such a disappointment. I’ll choose who I want to have my email address or who I want to follow on Twitter and Facebook, thank you…you will not make that choice for me.
Now think about your own website…are you alienating your potential customers, too? What can you do to fix that right now?