I got an email newsletter the other day with a link to what looked like a useful tool (an ROI calculator).
Since I’m always on the lookout for additions to my “cool tools for creatives” feature, I filed it for future use. Then yesterday, someone on Linkedin was asking how what a good response rate was and how to figure ROI for direct marketing. I thought, oh, I know, I’ll post the link to the tool.
I clicked back to the email, clicked on the link, and started to post it.
Then I stopped.
The link went to a sign up page, which seemed to be for the newsletter I was already receiving. Since I didn’t want to sign up twice. I left. I didn’t post the link either, since posting a link to a sign up page (even if it wasn’t mine) seemed rather rude (and not helpful).
The person who created the tool lost a link. I lost the opportunity to help. Did anyone benefit? Creating new tools or ebooks (hey look, there are three of them in the right sidebar) or videos helps spread your ideas, get more links to your site, and introduce yourself to new potential new customers. But not if you hide them.
Sure, there are times when putting something behind a sign up page makes sense. But why try to build your list with people who are already on it? And if you make a useful free tool, why not spread it? Even birds know it’s good to share.
What do you think?