If you can’t close the deal, at least get an email Matt 29 Sep 2005

21 comments Latest by Samsung

The other week, Jason Kottke posted about the 100-Minute Bible calling it “sort of a Cliff Notes version of the Good Book.” Intrigued, I went to the site to check it out. Turns out that to order the book, you need to print out an order form, complete all the required information, and send it in with a check for 3 pounds plus postage. Um, that’s not happening.

Can’t I order with a credit card? The page says, “In a few days it will be possible to purchase The 100-Minute Bible from this website using your Debit or Credit card.” OK, but how will I know when this happens? It’s a clear-cut case where the site should collect email addresses and let potential customers know when this clearly desirable option is available. Yet there’s no text field anywhere. To buy the book with a credit card, I’m going to have to keep checking back on a regular basis. Boo.

Even if your book, product, or whatever isn’t available yet, COLLECT E-MAILS! Don’t rely on people to continually revisit your site for updates. Smart sites know that this call to action is crucial in the early stages. Colib does it (“Enter your email to be notified”). Flock does it (“Sign up to find out when invites are available.”). We’re doing it for our book (“Enter your email address below to subscribe to our periodic newsletter. We’ll let you know when the book is out.”). If you don’t have anything to offer yet, make sure you let people offer you something: an email address.

21 comments so far (Jump to latest)

Cameron Moll 29 Sep 05

…and offer an RSS feed too/instead.

Chris 29 Sep 05

And what’s more, collecting e-mail addresses is so easy. A lot of web hosts provide such mechanisms as part of their standard scripts.

Furthermore, exactly how long does it take to set up PayPal? Minutes.

Jan 29 Sep 05

“Enter your email address below to subscribe to our periodic newsletter. We�ll let you know when the book is out”

There is a significant difference between a simple notification, and a periodic newsletter. I almost entered my e-mail adress to get a notification about your book, but when I saw I would get a periodic newsletter.. Well, lets just say I didn’t bother. I get enough bulk mail as it is.

Peter Cooper 29 Sep 05

It’s a small, British group.. not some Web 2.0, Internet savvy organization. These people probably never heard of PayPal. Britain is not the US. Even amongst my Internet savvy UK folks I only know a handful with PayPal accounts.

GoClick 29 Sep 05

The 10 point Bible
1. God made the earth
2. Man sinned (went against God’s will)
3. Man reproduced sinful men (and woman)
4. Man became wholly wicked except for Noah
5. God had no build a boat, God put multiples of animals on the boat along with Noah and some of his children and their wives
6. God wiped out the world with a flood
7. Noah’s offspring filled the earth
8. God chose the Israelites to represent himself to the world
9. God sent Jesus to be an atoning sacrifice for the sins of those who would accept his sacrifice
10. Jesus is coming back to save those who accepted his forgiveness sacrifice and punish remaining sin

That pretty much sums it up

Mark 29 Sep 05

Peter’s got a great point. They’re book publishers, not web specialists. Granted, it’s really easy in most cases to set-up an email notification system with most web hosting companies, that’s not what they do — they publish “cliff notes” type Bibles.

If you’ve got a great product, but not so great web progamming skills, should you wait until you can find someone capable, or wait until you have the money to pay someone? Or should you just put it out there and hope it gets linked to by two of the most visited weblogs (arguably) on the net?

Maybe one of you hotshot web 2.0 types can set these folks up with a RSS feed - pushing a chapter out bi-weekly, or set them up with 100 minutes of podcasts sectioned off in 10 second chapters?

Wouldn’t be such a bad pro-bono gig, considering the link love it’s getting at the moment.

God 29 Sep 05

Maybe I’ll send you a sign when their payment gateway is up and running.

noProBo 29 Sep 05

Why in God’s name would this have to be a pro-bono gig exactly?

It should take all of about five minutes to close the deal with this company if a) they need your services, and b) you can provide them with said needed services. However, doing it for free seems absolutely pointless. If they don’t have the money now, take a piece of every transaction for your effort.

If you want to do some pro-bono work, go develop something for the Red Cross, or Habitat, or the charity of your choice. Suggesting companies deserve pro-bono work is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of.

Anonymous Coward 29 Sep 05

Suggesting companies deserve pro-bono work is the dumbest thing I�ve ever heard of.


Bob 29 Sep 05

Looks like they decided to “release something today”…like Mark said, it’s better than nothing…

Mark 29 Sep 05

Sorry to get you all wadded up there, noProBo. I was just taking the assumption that a) this org. was running on little to no money, or putting all their money into the publishing of the book and b) that some developers might see this effort as being along the lines of something they’d support in the way of a community service

I was in no way suggesting that companies “deserve” anything or that this would “have to be” a pro-bono project.

Besides, pro-bono was really a side, non issue to the point of my comment.

kmilden 29 Sep 05

Be nice. I am sure he is doing the best he can. How do you even know if he can add the functionally on his own to collect and store email addresses?

BryanW 29 Sep 05

http://www.lendmonkey.com has competition before it even got started. Definitely still beta. Might still see application errors here and there. Who’s making www.colib.com?

Paul Watson 29 Sep 05

Crikey, this explains the influx of email notifications we got today.

BryanW, I am part of the team that is working on Colib. Thanks for the LendMonkey link too, not seen that one.

Jason Cale 29 Sep 05

Hey us UK folk aren’t that behind the times! :P

Wesley Walser 29 Sep 05

Little bits of advice that always serve as great reminders. Thanks for the tip, duely noted.

Don Wilson 29 Sep 05

And I quote…

Ask yourself �What can we do and release in 4 hours?� And then do it.

citation: https://37signals.com/svn/archives2/getting_real_release_something_today.php

cj 30 Sep 05

Just to play devils advocate and to borrow from David’s post “take it slow…” In the time it took to write a thoughtful post you could have printed and filled out the form and been that much closer to reading 100 minute bible. As David mentioned, “don’t have time right now.” Fill out the form right now and mail it in. Sometimes the analog system still works fine. cheers and a big :)

Marco Raaphorst 03 Oct 05

Why not offer the book as free pdf? I mean, the book is public domain, right?

Brendan 03 Oct 05

Matt & the rest of the 37 crew,

I was disappointed to see that of the three sites you reference here that collect emails, Colib, Flock and 37Signals, your email address collection box was the most obstrusive.

When I click on yours, the text inside the box doesn’t disappear in order for me to properly enter my email address. What else would I be doing if I clicked inside that text box? From most people I wouldn’t think twice about this, but you guys should know better.

However, there may be hidden guru sage knowledge that you guys can impart that will make this functionality somehow make sense. If so, please do tell.

Samsung 13 Nov 05

I think that Samsung are really not holding back with the phones they have released lately. I would not be surprised if they took over from Nokia as being the most wanted handsets. They deserve it with their lineup of the D500, D600 and Samsung i300 to name a few. The i300 has the new 3GB hardrive which has no competitiors in the industry at the moment.