Many companies who now have a website because their customers have forced them into it — kicking and screaming — get this one wrong.
Traditional media companies are the worst. They assume and expect you to pay for their lovely wonderful content BEFORE you even get to evaluate and see what it is you’re paying for. Once upon a time, you could go to a store or a newsstand and page through the latest magazine, “Cat & Demon” for example. You could get a general sense of what the magazine was about, does it peak your interest or fail to entice? You bought it based on that feeling of interest, or left it there because it didn’t grab you. For some reason this does not in many case translate to the web. Magazine websites tend to show you nothing or very little before they require you to register (even if it is for free) before you even get to see any content. A dirty little trick they use is to work their search results hard with clever titles like “35 ways to blah blah blah happy lucky gorgeous whatever” and as soon as you click it, they show you the first of 13 images, in a gallery format. As soon as you click the next image, it doesn’t give you what you expect or deserve, as 100 better sites would do, and let you see the image as promised. It instead takes you to a registration page.
If you do this on your site, I don’t care what it was I wanted to see. I will leave that instant and never be back, never. I will remember. There is no reason to entice and then frustrate your users just because you think I should subscribe and let you send me emails just for the privilege of seeing your content (which most likely is crap and not worth looking at). I won’t know until I see it.
Here is a foundational business principle. Provide value, THEN ask me to subscribe to keep it coming. There is no reason I would sign-up for more email unless I know that you will provide what I want in it. I don’t trust you until you earn it. Don’t be stupid.