Are you getting in the way of potential subscribers?


I was reading a blog this morning, saw a linked article title that seemed interesting, and clicked through to the site.

The site, as you can see below, was the Financial Times.

I suppose one should anticipate the likelihood of being confronted with a registration page…instead of the page one was hoping for. But it’s still a disappointed expectation. I was expecting to see the article.

In common with others who encounter registration pages, the chances of my completing them will depend on how badly I want to read the content in question.

In this case, I was either not interested enough to register, or simply didn’t have time.

In any event, I don’t think their headline helps much. Instead of telling of the incredible value of signing up…they take great pains to tell me about the areas of their site I WON’T be able to access.

Nice sales pitch!

One final thing that made me smile. If you can read it, take a look at the url of the FT page. I love the part that reads, “barrier?” (Take a look at the page title too.)

The answer to that question is, “Yes”.

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1 Comment
  1. Ajay Jain says

    We just went live with our subscription site that offers resources for Career Professionals to achieve total financial freedom in under 10 years. The software tool we are using allowed us to put a teaser for members’ only content in public areas. However, the same articles when clicked by users in SE results took them to the login page (similar to what Nick described). Based on web analytics data, it was clear that this approach was not helping with user engagement and we were losing most of our visitors on the login page.

    We spent the past month or so redesigning the site so that we now have abstracts (which are more detailed then the teasers) for all of our protected content in the public area. So when a user clicks comes through a SE listing, they are taken to the abstract page where we have tried to further arouse their interest in the article. In addition, we also add a footer that tells them upfront what level of membership is needed to access the full article.

    Our thought process behind this has been that this would be a softer and better user experience than the user going to the login page. The flip side is that search engines will have shorter articles to index that don’t have the same kind of keyword richness as the full articles. Well, it will be interesting to see if this strategy pays off!

    – Ajay

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