What are the best strategies a website can use to get new subscribers or email leads? Advertising, creating fascinating new content, blogging…these are a few obvious ways. Yet an alternative recently caught my attention recently.
On April 8th Forbes posted an article titled “America’s Most Miserable Sports Cities.” I know what you are thinking, “Forbes is writing sports articles?” I guess they justify it by explaining that professional sport teams are really money-making corporations. This is true; however, most of their sport articles have nothing to do with any type of financial aspect. Anyway, that’s another blog for another time.
This article created a list based on authors Tom Van Riper’s and Andrew Farrell’s criteria and opinions. Regardless of the fact that the list is opinion based, it is the worst list ever created. The 10 Commandments led to the rationalization of George W. Bush and, as Rage Against the Machine would put it, “killing in the name of”. Yet, Forbes’ list has managed to outdo the chaos that followed the Commandments. In a nutshell the list has Atlanta at the top and Philadelphia and Cleveland low on the list. Being from Cleveland, I, like many others, take pride in being the most miserable loser in the U.S. Naturally, I wanted to blast back at Forbes and its fools, so I went down to the bottom of the online article and clicked the comment button…
And that’s where they got me!
To be able to post a comment one must provide a valid email address. Steamed and ready to unload a bus of hell bound vocabulary, I signed up and typed something which soon faded into a mass of shadows cast by such an awful article. (To view my comment click here.) The article received many comments from miserable people from miserable towns. All negative.
So is it coincidence that not one person agreed with this article? Maybe. It could be that the one who agrees, may not feel as passionately as the person who feels slighted, ergo, no comment. The more likely scenario is that this article was written to anger people. The article makes people fanatical: they sign up, comment, feel used afterwards, get depressed, get fired from their job, start drinking, get a divorce, lose custody of their children, do some things they aren’t proud of for money (things they only did as experiments in college), eventually get help, start a new life, and then blog about it. More or less.
The whole signing into the website to view the entire article and comment idea is a great way to sucker people into giving an email address. Nothing is for free. We pay to comment. The fee is our email address, which can be turned into a sizable profit if properly solicited.
Thank you for the comment. Enjoy the spam.