Jul 272007

A Viral Marketing Program That Needs to See a Doctor

A Viral Marketing Program That Needs to See a Doctor

I hate sites that make you register in order to read things sent by friends.  What a crappy consumer experience.  If you’re going to make people register to use the site, fine.  But at least allow a small crack in the walled garden for friends to read articles and try your site out.

Today, my friend Len Ellis sent me what looked like a really interesting article in Ad Age via the “send to a friend function.”  When I clicked through the link in the email, it first made me complete a lengthy registration process, including various special offer checkboxes and subscription offers for the magazine and its newsletters.

I went ahead and did this because I was interested in the article.  Then I had to wait for a confirmation email, click on it, and then finally got to see the article.  Except it turns out that what I got to see was the headline and first sentence.  Then Ad Age tole me that in order to read the whole article, I either have to subscribe to the print edition and fill out more forms or pay.  Forget it.  I’ll ask Len to copy the text of the article and send it to me directly.

Why even bother having a “send to a friend” function?

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