No, I Wont Enter My Email Address to Read a Blog Post

A computer keyboard with red keys spelling out the word "spam"123RF

I recently saw what looked like an interesting article on blogging. When I went to read it, a popup required me to enter my email address.

I was browsing through my Google Alerts the other day when I saw an artice on blogging. The headline (which I no longer remember) intrigued me for some reason. So I clicked the link. It took me to the site, but within about one second, a popup appeared that covered the entire screen. It gave me a simple, clear message: to read, I would have to enter my email address.

If I did so, I would be able to browse to my heart’s content, apparently.

I did not enter my email address.

Perhaps I missed the greatest article about blogging anyone ever wrote. But I think I’ll live just fine without it, thank you very much.

Requiring an email isn’t user-friendly

I shouldn’t have to say it. It definitely falls into the category of notions that should be common sense.

When you have to extort someone’s email address before they can read even a sentence of an article on your site, you send me a message. You tell me that your content is suspect right off the bat. No, I know that’s not what they intend to communicate. But it’s what that kind of tactic screams to me.

Let me at least read the post I landed on before requiring any kind of “registration.” After all, if your content isn’t protected by a paywall, I shouldn’t have to enter anything.

I may love your article. I may hang on every word. When I get to the end, I may happily enter my email address so that I can be subscribed to yet another newsletter. But if I have to hand that information over before I know if your content is useful to me, there’s zero change I’ll do so.

It tells me this blogger is a little too desperate to build an email list. It makes me wonder not only what they’re going to do with my email, but how many hoops I’ll have to jump through to undo whatever they do.

We’ve all found ourselves subscribed to email lists we never actually joined. Some, to their credit, are fairly easy to unsubscribe from. But others feature an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom that either takes you to a broken page or doesn’t actually remove you from anything. The emails keep coming. You have to then block the sender.

Worse, you have to wonder how many others that site is selling your email to…and how many more emails you’ll suddenly start receiving from additional companies you’ve never heard of.

If you make me enter my email address to read your site, I just won’t do it

If it’s a valid source of information that I already recognize, I might be willing. Chances are, even then, I won’t.

But if yours is a site I’ve never heard of, I’m not just handing over my email.

Sure, there are fake email addresses out there. I could even create a dummy email address that I never once look at. But then that’s still making me jump through hoops to get to content that I don’t even know goes anywhere.

Like the evil Captcha, email registration can cost you readers. No one likes to look at those squiggly little characters and hope your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you when you enter what you think you see. Likewise, I can’t imagine hoards of people are just handing over their emails and inviting spam without another thought.

I hope these folks check out their analytics and see how many visitors land on one page and then leave without entering anything. That’d be a failed conversion. I bet those sites have a lot of them.

I’m not against email newsletters. I even offer one here that goes out once a week.

But you don’t have to enter any information to be able to read what I have to say. You don’t have to subscribe at all. You’re welcome to, but it’s not a requirement.

I don’t see the benefit of doing it any other way.

How much of an annoyance is a required email entry for you? Are you likely to enter even a dummy address?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.

1 Comment

  • I also will not enter my email address nor will I take out subscription when I just want to read one article. I can usually for another website with the same article that is not behind a wall.

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