February 29, 2012

If you’re running a business online, then sooner or later (probably sooner) you’re going to have to start registering users, and building a database of registered users. This is both a blessing and a curse. For one, having a database of registered users is an invaluable resource. It means that you have a (hopefully) long list of people who were interested enough in your product to purchase it, or to at least sit down and provide you with a lot of information about themselves.

On the other hand, studies show that up to 10% of potential purchasers will leave at the point of making a purchase because they felt that the registration process was overly burdensome.

So today we’re going to look at how you can make your website’s registration process more streamlined and efficient; in order to capture get the greatest number of users registered while scaring away as few as possible.

Add Value

Explain, in clear and simple language, why your users should provide you with their valuable information by registering for your site. Will it provide them with access to new material? Lowered prices? Secret information?

Newsweekly The Economist allows registered users access to twice as many articles per week as non-registered users, while language learning website Livemocha makes its chat and social networking features available only to registered users. Thinking along these lines, what can your website offer to users in exchange for their registration.

Simplify and Partition the Process

The next step is to simplify and break down the process. Begin by eliminating as many forms as possible. Consider how much less painful it is to fill out a raffle card than it is to complete an insurance application. Think about your website registration in the same terms. What is the least amount of information that you can take from your customers?

That is how many fields you should have in your registration form. If you’re asking for too much information, then you’re losing customers and leads. Whether for reasons of boredom or concerns about security, people do not want to fill out too many online forms.

The next step is to break things down into steps. If you have a long registration process, don’t just put it all on one form. Break it into several steps, and clearly indicate to your customers how far along they are with the entire process.

By making your registration process simpler and more attractive, you’ll have more potential customers completing it, and ultimately more sales.


(Image by David Castillo Dominici)


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