The 'In Your Face' Approach to Signing Up Readers
By Janet Roberts
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An unbreakable rule of newsletter promotion, for those of you with companion Web sites, is "Make it easy for people to sign up for your newsletter."
One site that does this more startlingly than most is Chronwatch, which puts a newsletter promo in the top space usually reserved for banner ads. I saw it as soon as I clicked into the main page: Uncle Sam is pointing at me and saying "I Want You to Get Our Free Newsletter." You can't get much more direct than that without pop-ups.
Does this in-your-face approach work? I couldn't resist clicking, and I did subscribe, even though it looks like a basic Web-update notice, and I don't have any particular grudge against the San Francisco Chronicle, unlike the site owners, who have formed a kind of truth squad in the daily newspaper's wake.
Also, the banner remains no matter where you move beyond the main page. I saw no other references or subscriber forms anywhere else on the main page, although some of the subdirectory pages had a one-line link.
Compare this approach to the SmarterTimes.com site (which watchdogs the New York Times and is planning a competing daily paper), which takes a more conventional view.
Ezine-Tips for March 05, 2002
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