The site that we built for my wife’s bestselling book, God in the Wilderness is a great example of this (my wife gets all of the best stuff). For this site, we wanted to give people a way to sample the book before they purchased it by downloading a free chapter. But we didn’t want the sample chapter to be a PDF that someone downloads and prints (we’re from Boulder… that would be wasteful). And due to copyright restrictions, the publisher wanted to track how many people were downloading the free sample chapter. Plus, most of the time when you get a free download, you get halfway through reading the whitepaper and then the phone rings or someone walks in and starts a conversation. You close the browser window, never to return. So, we created a signup form, where someone can enter in their email address and get the sample chapter sent to their email inbox. As I’ve often said, email is an elastic mechanism that reaches out to people (on a permission basis), and snaps them back to your organization with relevant content. Plus, we added links allowing the person to purchase the book online. On the signup form, we tell people what we’re going to do in clear and concise language: “We won’t sell your email address or use it for evil purposes.”
And we interjected a little disarming humor for the few people that might read it, too: “And if you can’t trust a rabbi with your email address, who can you trust these days?” The result? A lot of people downloaded the chapter. We increased the size of the mailing list. People read it and could forward it easily to their friends.