Or how to drive your best customers crazy!
I just clicked on a link in an email to which I subscribe daily. I still like the content and I click most days on at least one article. However, I am perilously close to removing my subscription and writing off the publisher forever.
Extreme? Perhaps, but here’s the sequence of events which any publisher should know better than to do. And fundamentally, why do I want to be a reader of any publication in any medium that disrespects my custom?
1. I’ve just clicked through from your email newsletter, so why serve me a popup (full stop possible here, but it gets better) that asks me to subscribe to your email newsletter. The technology to manage this is not new nor expensive and is widely available.
2. Yesterday, I clicked through from the same newsletter, but was on my mobile phone. The popup’s close button was so small that I never actually got to read the article. Too bad for me or too bad for the publisher?
3. Decided I’d add a comment to an article. Clicked the signin link in the comment section, entered my details and was taken to a completely new page. When I use my back button to get to the article, I’m logged out again. Remember publisher, I came from your email newsletter so
(a) you know who I am and I should therefore be auto logged in unless I’ve requested not to and
(b) don’t have an easy way to get back unless I start all over.
That’s a big ask for a quick comment. Of the 1% of readers who would bother to comment, you’ve now lost all except the most diligent and committed commenters.
This is more than an isolated rant. I’ve had this experience several websites, some about digital media. If you’re going to write about who’s successful in the digital space and best practices, I’m afraid you lose your credibility by making these fundamental mistakes. Of course, I’ve spent far more time writing this post than it would have taken me to search for the article and post a comment, but alas, that is not the point.
Media is about the consumer. New Media (which is no longer new) allows dialog and engagement between consumer and publisher. The business of media is simple, understand your consumers whether readers, viewers, or listeners. Create content that will attract and delight them in order to expose them to products, services or new messages from businesses. Charge businesses for the privilege of speaking directly to engaged customers who are likely to have a propensity for your product. More audience, more ad revenue, tipping point for profitability.
So today I have what people in the south when I was growing up would refer to as a bee in my bonnet about this issue. Please, please, put your customer first. Even your advertiser will thank you for it.