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I have a question for all you webmasters and business owners out there.
If you were to submit your site to a directory, which of the two submission methods would you prefer?
1.) No registration. Similar to DMOZ. You add all the necessary information pertaining to your site, click submit, and when your website is reviewed and accepted, you recieve an email.
2.) One must register a username and password to submit (although everything IS free). Once registered, you log into the user control panel where you can submit a new site, edit an existing site, and view which sites are listed, pending, suspended, etc.
Which would you prefer?
I've alread built method 2 into my directory, but I'm thinking about scrapping it. From what I've been reading lateley, most webmasters want a quick submit method. The problem I'm forseeing with method one is actually updating info about the listing, which may need to happen quite often when considering whom my directory is really targeting.
But, I aim to please the masses. So, what are your thoughts?
We had option 1 when we started JoeAnt.com, but we got too many submissions that way. It wouldn't have been a problem if these submissions were all okay, but 90% of them were spam or not according our guidelines. Almost all submitters don't care about guidelines that way, they just want to list their sites. We had to decline them or correct them. When you are all day busy correcting bad descriptions, you finally start declining bad submissions. When we implemented option 2 the submissions were a lot less but now only a few of them are spam. In my opinion you have to choose do you want a easy to submit directory (1) or a good quality directory (2). Just my 2 cents. BTW GoGuides did the same.
I think I'll start with the qwik-submit method, then move to a registration model once I have a decent amount of listings.
It's some what of a niche directory that offers much more than a normal directory, which means it takes more work on the webmasters end to get submitted. Hence I'll be doing a lot of cold calling to get the proper companies listed.
I would say that it depends on the interaction and customer relations you want to provide / develop.
For example, if you are planning to send an email to acknowledge the receipt of the submission, to indicate that it has being considered for inclusion, to say that it was accepted / rejected etc. You can hardly do it without having at least an email to write to, can you?
The experience from Gimpsy (gimpsy.com) is that users do not mind providing basic information (like name and email) if they are convinced that it will provide them with real benefits to do so.
Having said that, it is still perfectly acceptable to suggest a URL to Gimpsy and not provide ANY details. Although some of such submissions were spammy, we had many spamming attempts with a perfectly legit email!
In summary, I think that if there is option to 'opt-out' from any subsequent emailing, I see no harm in asking for an email address (again - with some real benefits to the submitter).
Best of luck with your new directory!