The Community Club

Joanne Griffin
Joanne Griffin

Posted on

Q: re Sign Up Process

Hey folks - a question for community managers with regard to the registration process for new users. I manage a non-profit community of +1500 members. Our website attracts a lot of traffic but that traffic doesn't convert to new users. I'm wondering what prevents people joining a FREE community after they have gone through the trouble of finding us (we don't advertise). Allowing for some curiosity cats who are just poking around, I can see two potential detractors:

  1. Our registration form is a single page gravity form that captures the basic information we need to know who we have in the community (name, email, company, website, industry, location, job level and company size) - we report over most of these demographics. I know this is a LOT to commit and we do allow people to sign up with LinkedIn (one click), but it's important that we know who's in the community so we can count them (ie build for their needs) and to promote trust and protect the integrity of the community.
  2. Not everyone wants to become a member, but they may want to keep in touch. I need to provide other opportunities for non-members - perhaps sign up to a non-members newsletter? Our existing newsletter is quite member-centric in that it promotes member events/news, forums, opportunities to get involved in beta groups/focus groups etc

Question is - do I amend the registration form to a 2-stage process? Capturing name/email on the way in and them nudging to complete the rest at a later stage (this will compromise my member database 😣), and/or do I set up some other options other than joining as a member?

Thanks for any chatter you can add - even if it's just to say Hello! 😊

Discussion (2)

jocelynhsu profile image

Hi @joanneg ! A couple of things that came to my mind:

  1. It's possible that people found what they're looking for and don't care to become a member. They searched for something on Google, were led to your website, found their answer, and left. Or maybe they searched for something, found your site, and realized it wasn't quite what they're looking for. Google Analytics could help you figure out which option it is (based on bounce right, time on page, etc.)

  2. That's a lot of information to ask a new member to provide! If I was on a new website and they asked for all of that information, I wouldn't be comfortable sharing. I need to trust the community / brand / non-profit before I'm willing to share things like where I work and where I'm located.

  3. What's the benefit to becoming a member? Just because something is free doesn't mean everyone will want it or sign up for it. What do people get by signing up to become a member and sharing their information? Is it clear to folks when they stop by your site by the first time? What's the value add?

It sounds like y'all have members-only events and beta programs. You could use those exclusive events and programs as ways to entice people to sign up.

I also wanted to note that not everyone who finds your website may be a good fit for your community. Build for the folks who are dedicated to your community. It's okay if you don't have thousands of members or new people joining every day. Sometimes the best communities are the tight knit ones with real connections :)

Hope that's helpful!

joanneg profile image
Joanne Griffin Author

Thanks @jocelynhsu - that makes a lot of sense, and the core groups of +100 members are super tight-knit!
Great insight re: building the trust upfront - I'll put some thought into that aspect and look into a better process that promotes trust at every stage!