Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: AppNeta Blog, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Richard Hale

Related Topics: Release Management , Agile Computing, CRM

Release Management : Article

The Social Web: The Game Has Shifted

Creating an effective online member acquisition strategy

Marketers historically have paid close attention to site traffic, time on site and page view metrics. Success on today's Internet, the social web, is not guaranteed by any of these numbers. The game has shifted, and most savvy marketers are waking up to the fact that new key performance indicators are more relevant:

  • Quality of site traffic takes precedence over quantity of site traffic
  • Interactions on your site are far more important than just time on site
  • Sharing content from your site leads to effective word of mouth marketing, unlike passive page views

The critical foundation underlying these new success metrics is knowledge of your users.

Create a Compelling Reason to Register - The "Give to Get" Paradigm
This give-to-get scenario is a catalyst that prompts and ensures successful user registration because the user perceives the benefits of membership to be worth the time it takes to register. A compelling why is arguably the single most important factor in getting a visitor to become a member. Think about this as a value exchange or a "give to get" relationship. You are asking users to give you something of value - information on themselves and in return you are going to provide something of value such as premium access, promotions, free newsletters or other value-added benefits.

Once you identify the value proposition, display it everywhere: place it beside your registration form, incorporate the reasons into your online advertising rotation, ensure that a user cannot spend more than 30 seconds on your site without knowing why they should become a member.

Member Acquisition Strategies - Benefits to Offer Your Members
This list of potential benefits to offer members is by no means exhaustive, but some options to offer include:

  • Access to premium content: Allow your members to view enhanced content such as in-depth features, multimedia, podcasts, case studies and marketing briefs.
  • Access to enhanced customization: By creating an account and pulling in profile data you will be able to build personalized features on your site such as recommended reading and suggested products to purchase.
  • Access to your online community: Promote the community you have created by allowing your members to interact with each other through personalized profiles, photo sharing, forums and user-generated content.
  • Free newsletters: Keep your registered users abreast of new product releases, current articles, and organizational updates.
  • Coupons and promotions: Offer coupons and special promotions such as free shipping, daily discounts, contests and sweepstakes only to registered users of your site.
  • Insider scoop: Allow your registered users to test beta products, be the first to hear about new products, events and tour dates.

Expand Your Membership Through Online Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Once you have some momentum, take it to the next level by leveraging your members' social networks. Through the addition of social sharing functionality your members will be able to share experiences from your site directly with their friends and online communities, extending your brand reach at minimal cost. For example:

  • Commenting on an article or posting a review
  • Promotional campaigns that provide incentives for members to win a prize when they invite friends to become members
  • Loyalty programs that upgrade the membership level when friends they have invited become members
  • E-commerce related triggers encouraging sharing of a purchase on completion of the process
  • Mobile campaigns that send messages out to promote both membership and additional downloads of the mobile application

Optimizing the Registration Process
Make the registration process as simple and painless as possible. The answer to growing your members is to provide the key combination of a compelling why coupled with an incredibly simple registration process. There are best practices to simplifying the registration process:

  • Shorten the registration form. Take a hard look at your current forms and determine what user profile information you really need. Most sites see an immediate uptick in registration rates when forms are simplified and only present relevant questions.
  • Adopt a progressive disclosure model. Request a minimal set of data from the user at the initial registration point, and then at future touch points ask for more information to build a complete user profile over time. For example, if you offer coupons on your site, perhaps you initially only request a name and email address to download the coupon, but to access a second more personalized coupon requires the addition of a zip code.
  • Leverage your user's existing identities. Offer login through a Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, or other accounts to reduce friction and speed up the process. This method also enables you to instantly collect accurate and rich profile data from your users.

Offering Registration with an Existing Identity
The rapid spread of social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as the ubiquity of Internet email accounts through Google, Yahoo or Microsoft Windows Live, has increased the likelihood that the majority of your site visitors already have at least one preferred online identity. Offering registration or login through these identities has been proven to not only increase registration rates, but to increase the quality and reliability of the user data.

Conclusion
In order to increase ROI on the Internet today, marketers have to reconsider the registration entryway and value proposition. Optimizing these two factors will lead to higher member acquisition rates and increased ROI. When converting visitors to members, marketers gain more insight into their users and uncover new marketing opportunities. Providing compelling reasons to become a member, coupled with a streamlined registration process, will drive member acquisition and improved online revenue.

More Stories By Larry Drebes

Larry Drebes, CEO of Janrain, founded the company in 2005 to address the challenge of managing user identity on the Internet. In its early days, Janrain drove the development of the majority of the open source OpenID protocol libraries that continue to be used today by organizations such as Google and Yahoo, and was a founding member of the OpenID Foundation, a non-profit governance organization for the industry.

Prior to Janrain, Larry was a co-founder of Silicon Valley start-ups Desktop.com, a web-based service, and Four11 Corporation. At Four11 Corporation, Larry led the development of its RocketMail product, one of the first Internet based email systems. Four11 was acquired by Yahoo in 1997 and its RocketMail product became YahooMail.

Earlier in his career, Larry did software development for Raynet, McDonnell Douglas and A.G. Edwards.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
It’s 2016: buildings are smart, connected and the IoT is fundamentally altering how control and operating systems work and speak to each other. Platforms across the enterprise are networked via inexpensive sensors to collect massive amounts of data for analytics, information management, and insights that can be used to continuously improve operations. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Chemel, Co-Founder and CTO of Digital Lumens, will explore: The benefits sensor-networked systems bring to ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...