I got an email today from StackExchange telling me that Law.SE is now in private beta:

Good news everyone!

The proposal to create a Law Stack Exchange site has moved on to private beta!

This is a site for legal professionals, students and others with experience or interest in law.

As one of 218 people who committed to the site, we need your help!

We've granted you special access to a private beta preview, which you can visit at:


The first questions set the tone for the site. If you ask high quality, expert-level questions, you'll build a site that attracts the experts and pros who will make it really successful. But if you ask beginner questions, survey questions, or social-conversation questions, experts and pros will not be interested.

The private beta gives you the opportunity to get the site off to a great start with expert questions and answers. When we open to the public, new users will look at your questions to get an idea of what they should ask. So come help us get this site off to a great start!


Q: Why am I getting this email? A: Because you committed to support this new site on Area 51.

Q: Who can access the site during the private beta? A: Only the 218 people who committed to it.

Q: How do I log in? A: Use the same Open ID you use for other Stack Exchange sites. You will be creating a new account on https://law.stackexchange.com/grant-beta-access?key=[removed], but it will be automatically associated with your accounts on other sites from the network.

Q: How long will the private beta last? A: Private betas generally last 1-2 weeks while you prepare the site for opening day. Once the site is populated with questions, and its initial scope established, we'll open it up for public beta.

Q: How can I help the site succeed? A: During the private beta, ask questions, answer questions, tag questions, edit questions, and vote.

Q: What else? A: The minute the public beta opens, invite your friends. Spread the word via Twitter, blogs, and email far and wide. Hang out on the site answering incoming questions during the first few hours so that newcomers understand what a great experience a working, popular Stack Exchange site can be.

Q: Where do we talk about the site? A: We don't want to talk about the site on the site itself, so we set up a Meta site as a place to talk about things like what questions are appropriate, what tags we should use, etc. After logging in, click "meta" to join the discussion.

Q: How long is the beta? A: After a few months, when it becomes abundantly clear that it's Making The Internet A Better Place, we'll slap a proper logo and design on it, and make it a full-fledged citizen of the Stack Exchange network.

Q: What else? A: Remember, you get the site you build! Ask difficult, specific questions — the kind of questions pros and experts ask each other, not the kind of questions novices ask pros, because a site full of pros and experts will attract everybody, but a site full of novices rapidly becomes boring. No easy questions, no survey questions, no polls, no intro-level/basic questions, no unanswerable hypothetical questions.

OK, that's it! Here's the URL again:



The Stack Exchange Team

It seemed a bit odd that they included the link three times. For one thing, the links are all colored blue so I can easily notice it in-between the black text. Including extra links won't help with someone who didn't notice the links the first times. Also, during the FAQ, it says:

You will be creating a new account on https://law.stackexchange.com/grant-beta-access?key=[removed], but...

It seems like it'd make more sense to just put:

You will be creating a new account on the new Law StackExchange website, but...

The last time it's mentioned doesn't make any sense either. The email is long enough that I had to scroll to see that link, meaning I read the earlier parts. It'd be odd if I didn't notice the links the first two times after reading the email completely and had to resort to the third link.

3 Answers 3


Plenty of ecomm studies have been done on this question. Research away and I'm sure the interwebs will indulge you at length.

In my experience and in all the public studies I have read,
including a link or call to action at least twice (top and bottom) will convert better than it's singular counterpart.

The reason behind this is simple: Most users (not you) are lazy, or more kindly said, busy. They'll get to the bottom of the message and make their decision. If at that point the CTA is no longer in view, enough users will abandon to negatively impact click through.


I believe this is one of those 'cast the net' strategies, but links are used instead of call-to-action buttons. The story I like to tell people is that there are many doors where you need to press a button to exit, and if you tell people where the button is before they reach the door, more often than not they will forget this information and still look for the button when they are at the door.

The point of the story is that sometimes information only gets absorbed at the point of need, and when you provide a whole block of text in an email it is hard to know when people feel the need to go and look at the website. Therefore you provide a link everywhere you think is relevant so that:

  • The user doesn't have to go look for it
  • The user can get to it at their point of need easily
  • The user is reminded what they need to do constantly

This feels like a strategy that errs on the side of caution, presumably because the audience is new, and the message is new so there is no other information to help guide or drive the decision making process?


in my opinion, lazy users read the first and last 2-3 sentences of a long email. Placing two link, one at the beginning and one at the bottom will most likely convert a click. This is why I think placing two links in a long email is a good practice.

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