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This is what a home page is for

There is nothing more important than capturing an email address on your home page.

There is nothing more important than capturing an email address on your home page.

There is nothing more important than capturing an email address on your home page.

You spend a ton of effort and cash getting people to visit your web site.  You hope they buy something.  Most people don’t.

If you let them leave without some way to contact them again — you need to spend all that effort and cash a second time to get them back.  That doubles your cost and reduces your profitability.

If you get their email — and send a nice newsletter — you can bring them back to your web site again and again and again. For free. Forever.

Here’s a great example from the Obama home page. It’s the only thing first-time visitors see.

obama home

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. Sue @ TameBay February 22, 2008 at 8:17 am #

    You think? Maybe for Obama. But for an ecommerce site, I’d think “their first priority is to be able to spam me, before they’ve even let me see the merchandise”. By all means have a prominent link to an email list sign up, just like blogs should have a prominent link to the feed, but if that’s all there is, it feels like the site’s all about them the seller, not me the customer. I don’t like that.

  2. jon b February 22, 2008 at 9:11 am #

    A homepage is a first impression. You only get to do it once.
    Would you want your first communication to be – let me hound you before you know me – or would you want it to be – Hi, this is what I am all about. If you would like to learn more, sign up here!
    I would lean towards the latter.
    Obama missed the mark.

  3. Don Lafferty February 22, 2008 at 11:17 am #

    The moment I’m asked for my email addy BEFORE I have a chance to evaluate the value, I’m out for good.
    God forbid they tease me first and THEN require an email addy to go further.

  4. Douglas Karr February 22, 2008 at 11:21 am #

    I’m not sure it’s the ONLY reason. A home page should be an organized portal that leads folks into the rest of your website. However, a home page without an option to remain in touch with your visitor is inexcusable.

  5. Sharon February 22, 2008 at 11:19 pm #

    It’s funny, but I read this from the bottom up. Is there any logic to that? Hm, well I have a strange way of going about things and then I realized the email capture was triplicated. Point seen here, in thrice-mode.
    However, it can be a big annoyance to be prompted for email, which I never give as the real one anyway! Another important point is that the email capture may depend on the type of business a person is in. More in my noggin but that is all I care to share for now, thanks. Not gonna leave an email. Heh.

  6. Bob Nolin February 24, 2008 at 8:16 pm #

    My reaction to this page, when I hit it a few weeks ago, was similar to those posted here. I came here to learn about the man, and I’m not willing to put up with a barrage of emails asking for money and time in return for the “privilege” of learning about the candidate. It definitely turned me off. It’s pretty obvious the Obama team feels their website’s main function is to harvest email addresses.

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