Come Back Later… If You Remember

So in this morning’s Hacker News newsletter, there was a link to Intel’s Compute Stick (a stick-sized computer). And on that site I found one of the greatest sins/mistakes in Internet marketing: “Come back later.”

They didn’t use those actual words. Here’s a screencap of their actual text:

screen cap from Intel's site

For the visually impaired, it says: “Coming 2015. Bookmark this page, and then set a reminder to check in soon. Intel® Compute Stick launches later this year; look for new details, product specs, and availability information.”

Let’s translate that… “Hi, you’re getting news about a couple of cool new products every week, if not every day. We could have a simple form right here where you could enter your email address to subscribe to a reminder service. Or we can just hope you’ll add this to a huge list of bookmarks and then actually open your calendar and set yourself a reminder to keep checking back on a periodic basis until we decide to update this page.”

It’s not hard to build the mechanisms for a quick address gathering form, even with double opt-in. I could code a secure, fairly foolproof one in less than a day. Or I could sign up with a company that handled it for me as a whitelabeled service and simply embed their form.

When you calculate the cost of the developer day or service fees, how much more do you believe that highly-targeted mailing list would be worth, even just for a one-time mailing?

And isn’t this a subtle message from Intel that their time is more important than yours? Rather than go to that minimal effort to collect your email address and drop you a line when there’s something to see, they’re implying you’ve got nothing better to do than keep coming back to see if they’ve generously graced the world with new marketing materials.

Maybe this is the new marketing wisdom. They’re trying to weed out casual interest and ensure that only the most enthusiastic consumers are coming back (without any reminders from Intel) when they add more details or put the product up for sale. Or maybe they’re throwing away a huge opportunity to connect with customers and showing what might be perceived as an arrogant disregard for the value of our time.

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