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Registration Rate Improvement Experiment

TheBigK

Well-known member
#1
Last year, I did an experiment on our forum to see if there's any change in the registration rate on our site by displaying 'introduction' message at various places on our website. The results were surprising. Here's what I did -

1. I put a 'notice' that described what the site is about in just one or two lines. The noticed looked like a typical xenforo notice; but I used the ad_above_content template to display it.

2. I displayed a 300x250 rectangle with the same introduction message and below it, the 'Join Now & Facebook Connect buttons' in the ad_above_content. The header now displayed an ad on the left, and my welcome box on the right.

3. I removed the site welcome message altogether. Kept the default XF settings.

My Observations -

Let the default registration rate is X / day (average) (case #3 above).

The results for above three experiments were as follows -

1. Registration rate improved by about 1.3x.

2. Registration rate improved by about 4x.

The test was conducted for over a period of 15 days each.

Conclusion:

An upfront introduction message with quick action buttons (below the message) improved the registration rate by 4x! Note that we continuously monitored for the spam registration throughout the experiment.

I'm surprised how a simple change affects the registration rate so much. Since then, we switched to the 'sidebar' on all pages and now display the signup / fb connect buttons at the top of sidebar and the registration rate is the same with what we'd get with default XF layout (and no introduction message).

Things To Try :

I plan to try offering a pop-up (a-la Facebook) that asks users to join the site. I'm sure that's going to shoot our registration rate beyond 4x.

Side Note: The overall activity, posting rate and conversations were all time high when more users registered on the site.

Would love to hear your thoughts / experiments with user registrations.
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#2
Things To Try :

I plan to try offering a pop-up (a-la Facebook) that asks users to join the site. I'm sure that's going to shoot our registration rate beyond 4x.
Intrusive measures such as this will make many people decide not to register. For myself, I'll disable javascript, refresh and read what I needed too, then I will never deal with the site again.
 

TheBigK

Well-known member
#3
I agree that the pop-up might be intrusive (I hate pop-ups!) ; but it just works (I guess). That might be the reason Facebook and Quora have used it to grow their registrations and get more user content.

But having a big introduction message with action buttons below looked obnoxious; but it worked. Strange!
 

Forsaken

Well-known member
#5
I agree that the pop-up might be intrusive (I hate pop-ups!) ; but it just works (I guess). That might be the reason Facebook and Quora have used it to grow their registrations and get more user content.

But having a big introduction message with action buttons below looked obnoxious; but it worked. Strange!
The reason why people register for Qoura and Facebook even with their annoying tactics is because they have something that someone direly wants, whether its the social layer that Facebook offers, or the content that Quora offers.
 

Teapot

Well-known member
#7
This is fascinating to read about - and I think it actually points to a much larger, underlying problem with modern forums. Simply: It's hard to know from a news portal/forum listing exactly what a forum is all about. For instance, I knew CrazyEngineers was a forum for engineers... who are presumably varying levels of crazy. Aside from that, I didn't know anything until the notice specifically told me. A lot of other pure forums don't really have anything inviting for front-page visitors, just a list of forums and a button that asks you to sign up. There's often no real explanation as to what the forum is all about and what it can offer the visitor beyond "this is a forum about X subject." So I think this is one way to change that, and give people a good reason to visit.

I think I'm going to try and implement something like this for my site as well - even if it's just a notice for guests saying "Welcome! We're an x fansite - have you seen features a, b, and c? If you sign up, you get..." etcetera. Better-written than that, of course, but crafted to emphasise the unique points of the website.
 

TheBigK

Well-known member
#8
Well, as I said - I agree that pop-ups and 'desperation' may offend people. However, my intention was to share the observations I made through the experiment.

Important thing - our website offers interesting content for our audiences and only the 'change' in how we display 'Join Us' button makes people register more. Of course we never made it compulsory for them to join and exposed all our content (unlike quora or facebook).

I think there's an important lesson - You've to put things into people's eyes ( doesn't sound very nice & pleasing ) - but that surely makes them take the step and perform the actions you'd like them to.

But that might just have worked with our audience. It'd be great if someone tries it out on their boards and share the results :)
 

TheBigK

Well-known member
#9
Okay, just found the graph I had shared with my members about our experiment. Check, how things changed with the 'big box' -

-----------------------------------
CE
-----------------------------------
|..........| |welcome box|
|____| | Sign-Up btn|
--------------------------------
Forum ----------Threads

-------------------------------

That was the overall layout.

Here's the graph -

User-Registrations-CrazyEngineers.jpg
 

zooki

Active member
#11
and now what does your graph look like? If i may be so bold to ask.

i had great registrations, around 70-80 a day, but its gone down. - Mostly due to people wasting time on FB. - We need a STALKability factor haha