Just Don't (2 of ?)
Just don’t expect to get new customers when your registration process makes US immegration look open and friendly.
I was recently looking for a piece of software to handle WSDL generation from Java source code, I had no current long term need for the software, I just needed to see how well the technology worked these days and have a look at a real world example. Now put your business hat on, I’m not currently a sales prospect but if the product does what I want then there is a pretty good chance I’ll come back to you if I ever need it. Well I would if the eval / trial downloads were a hell of a lot easier to get.
In order to download a 15 day evaluation copy I had to sign up on the site, enter a number of details about my employer and then let them send me a license key via email. Firstly I’ll ignore the fact that a key generator for the product exists and is reachable with a quick google. Assuming that a cracker isn.t going to pirate your software because it requires a .registered user. is too ridiculous to consider. It was pretty amusing to look back upon the steps I had to take and realise it would have been faster to pirate the software than request an eval license.
My quick registration, with the value foo in most fields, took about twenty seconds; then all I had to do was wait for an email. And wait I did, ten minutes for the eval key to come in to my shiny Mailinator inbox. I’d like to reiterate that point, I had to wait ten minutes to receive a key that I could generate myself in under two minutes.
Once I received the key and tried the software I was quite impressed, if I need to actually work on the project then it would have made a nice solution, the problem is I vote with my wallet (and my employers purchasing budget) and I won.t give money to stupid people that try and discourage new business.
As a closing argument i’d like to point to a semi-related article, When Search Engines Become Answer Engines, this whole article covers the fact that people dip into websites, you have maybe half a page to hook a potential lead and pull them in, when you require personal details to even look at the merchandise don’t count on a record quarter.