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Managing successful online communities


4.4: Increase visitor registrations with Post Before Registering

It's very easy to focus on a single metric to gauge the success of your community.

It's very common for community owners to look at page hits and determine if their SEO and marketing efforts have paid off.

Getting traffic to your site is only half the equation though. The most valuable metric is how many casual visitors you're converting to engaged members.

Invision Community already makes it easy for guests to sign up using external services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google.

However, there has to be a conscious decision to click that sign-up button. For some, this may be a barrier too many.

Invision Community 4.4 reduces this barrier by allowing guests to create a post to a topic they want to engage with.

Once they have posted, they are asked to simply complete their registration. They are more likely to do this now they have invested in your community.

This will be incredibly valuable when you consider how much traffic a forum receives from inbound Google searches. With Post Before Registering, you'll increase your chances of turning that inbound lead into a registered member contributing to your site.

Let me take you through the feature and show you how it works.

When browsing the community guests will see the ability to submit a post, with an explanation that they can post now and complete registration later. The only thing they have to provide in addition to their post is an email address.

Posting Form.png

Posting as a guest

This works in any application for new content (topics, Gallery images, etc.) as well as comments and reviews. It will only show when a newly registered member would be able to post in that area - for example, it will not show in a forum that only administrators can post in. 

After submitting the post, the post will not be visible to any user, but the user will immediately be redirected to the registration form with an explanation to complete the registration. The email address they provided will already be filled in.

Registration Form.png

Registration form after posting as a guest

At this point, the user can either fill in the registration form, or use a social sign in method like Facebook or Twitter to create an account. After the account has been created, and validation has been completed if necessary, their post will automatically be made visible just as if they had registered and then posted.

If the user abandons the registration after they've submitted their post, an email will be sent to them to remind them to complete the registration.

Registration Reminder.png

Email reminding user to finish registering

 

Some Notes

  • Invision Community already has a feature that allows guests to post as guests without registration if granted permission. That feature has not been removed and so if you already allow guests to post, the behaviour will not change. This new feature is only available when a guest can't post in a given area, but a member would be able to. The entire feature can also be turned off if undesired.
  • If the area the guest is posting in requires moderator approval, or newly registered members require approval of new posts, the post will enter the moderation queue as normal once their account has been created.
  • Third party applications will require minor updates to support this feature.

Once your casual visitor has invested time in your community by crafting a post, they are much more likely to finish the registration to get it posted. If you have set up external log in methods, then registration only takes a few more clicks.

This blog is part of our series introducing new features for Invision Community 4.4.


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Nice one! 

What about a case someone enters email and then click social sign-in connected to different email address? 

Keep up good work

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1 hour ago, Iwooo said:

Nice one! 

What about a case someone enters email and then click social sign-in connected to different email address? 

Keep up good work

@Mark will clarify but I would image that the system will account for this.

1 hour ago, GlenP said:

Will this bypass the original anti-spam settings when creating a regular account e.g. Q&A?

Nope, all the usual anti-spam settings apply.

40 minutes ago, media said:

Great news... 🙂

Thanks!

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Some thoughts:

- the abandon email is a really smart re-engagement reminder.  I give you +1 for this

- not a fan of the full page refresh to the registration form, I think the modal registration window is psychologically smoother and less of a hindrance

- why don't you offer social sign-ins next to email input for streamlined sign in? 

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A long awaited feature and finally it will make its way into the Invision Community. Very nice!

I also like the fact that we have the option to continue using what is already there:

Quote

Invision Community already has a feature that allows guests to post as guests without registration if granted permission. That feature has not been removed and so if you already allow guests to post, the behaviour will not change.

I wonder though if there is a way to combine these features? For example, you have a forum specifically for guests (there they should be able to post without a prompt to register afterwards) and all the other areas on your website (there the new post before register should apply).

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How does this work with COPPA?

It's such a shame not being able to have members use fast-registration because we prohibit minors from registering, so I hope this is not also affected.

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We can take this big step to have a form before the list of forums for the user already insert content, something similar to the attached figure?

This is the type of UI most commonly used in the social networks. Users are already familiar with this, it would help a lot. 

 

Instead of the "Select Forum" popup it could be a "next step" form/page for the user to choose the best place to post the topic he just wrote. This would help in addition to other things to reduce the sending of topics in the wrong forums.

 

DESIGN_NOVO_IPB.thumb.png.dba2536f42b9b52c425156991316278e.png

Edited by Silnei L Andrade

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Would this work with spam services like Akismet?

If so, and Akismet kicks back a big fat no.....

 

...... can we make them fill out the most complex from ever devised?   

Or one that on submit perpetually erases a field, bounces them back to start over.....

 

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Great to see this feature coming!

3 hours ago, Silnei L Andrade said:

 

We can take this big step to have a form before the list of forums for the user already insert content, something similar to the attached figure?

This is the type of UI most commonly used in the social networks. Users are already familiar with this, it would help a lot. 

 

Instead of the "Select Forum" popup it could be a "next step" form/page for the user to choose the best place to post the topic he just wrote. This would help in addition to other things to reduce the sending of topics in the wrong forums.

 

DESIGN_NOVO_IPB.thumb.png.dba2536f42b9b52c425156991316278e.png

I like this idea.

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Nice improvement. You could increase registrations even further if the username was prepopulated with a suggested username (perhaps based on part of their email)

This would allow the user to register if they can’t think of a username and they could always change it later. 

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On 10/26/2018 at 9:41 PM, Iwooo said:

Nice one! 

What about a case someone enters email and then click social sign-in connected to different email address? 

Keep up good work

It will use the one from the social service (assuming it's set to import emails)

On 10/26/2018 at 11:45 PM, Joel R said:

Some thoughts:

- the abandon email is a really smart re-engagement reminder.  I give you +1 for this

- not a fan of the full page refresh to the registration form, I think the modal registration window is psychologically smoother and less of a hindrance

- why don't you offer social sign-ins next to email input for streamlined sign in? 

I did experiment with a modal but it felt weird... Like, do you leave the editor with their post still open underneath? That makes it feel like the post hasn't been submitted, and that you could close the modal to cancel, but that wouldn't be the case.

On 10/26/2018 at 11:46 PM, Markus Jung said:

For GDPR compliance the user has to actively confirm that the mail address can be saved and confirm that he read the privacy policy. 

Yes that checkbox is part of the normal registration form.

If they don't complete registration (i.e. they never confirm agreeing to the privacy policy) the email address is automatically deleted. The only thing it is used for before that is to send one follow up email to remind them to finish submitting the very content they submitted alongside giving their email, which is a legitimate interest.

On 10/27/2018 at 1:52 AM, MMXII said:

A long awaited feature and finally it will make its way into the Invision Community. Very nice!

I also like the fact that we have the option to continue using what is already there:

I wonder though if there is a way to combine these features? For example, you have a forum specifically for guests (there they should be able to post without a prompt to register afterwards) and all the other areas on your website (there the new post before register should apply).

Yes, that's exactly how it works 🙂 

On 10/27/2018 at 2:38 AM, Aaron M said:

How does this work with COPPA?

It's such a shame not being able to have members use fast-registration because we prohibit minors from registering, so I hope this is not also affected.

Yes, they will see the COPPA form after submitting the post, and then on the next step it will be as shown in the blog entry.

On 10/27/2018 at 6:18 AM, socceronly said:

Would this work with spam services like Akismet?

If so, and Akismet kicks back a big fat no.....

 

...... can we make them fill out the most complex from ever devised?   

Or one that on submit perpetually erases a field, bounces them back to start over.....

 

Invision Community doesn't natively integrate with Akismet, but the registration process is unchanged so our native Spam Defence service, and any other anti=spam measures you have in place are still honoured.

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10 hours ago, Mark said:

 The only thing it is used for before that is to send one follow up email to remind them to finish submitting the very content they submitted alongside giving their email, which is a legitimate interest.

Yes, it is legitimate interest - else you wouldn't be allowed to use the email at all. But also for legitimate interest the user has to be informed about the privacy policy and that you only save it to send him/her one single reminder.

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18 hours ago, Mark said:

I did experiment with a modal but it felt weird... Like, do you leave the editor with their post still open underneath? That makes it feel like the post hasn't been submitted, and that you could close the modal to cancel, but that wouldn't be the case.

But has the post been submitted yet?  I don't think so, right?  

You can maybe show an animation that the post closes, but I still feel like either an on-screen or modal pop-up is psychologically more welcoming and less of an obstacle than a full page refresh.  Because mind games.  Or something.  

 

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i run a technical forum and I implore new members to provide their experience level, what platform and version they are using and what version of the software. so that it shows up in the sidebar with their post - as typically this information is missing from their post - in order to provide the user the best answer these questions are somewhat of a pre-requisite. 

how can we guide them thru a few required questions, in addition to the subject and post body. 

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23 minutes ago, Ocean West said:

i run a technical forum and I implore new members to provide their experience level, what platform and version they are using and what version of the software. so that it shows up in the sidebar with their post - as typically this information is missing from their post - in order to provide the user the best answer these questions are somewhat of a pre-requisite. 

how can we guide them thru a few required questions, in addition to the subject and post body. 

This doesn't change how users sign-up.  Users still see the same registration form as normal.  

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How does this work when using external login handlers or is it optional? We don't allow registration through IPS and instead redirect to our LDAP registration system.

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3 hours ago, Durango said:

I saw that you plan to set a redirection to a form next to a guest post, there might be an easier way to do this, the best way to do it is like this :

https://www.commentcamarche.net/forum/linux-unix-13/new

right below the post form,  ask a login / email / password

much easier, and the visitor stays on the same page :)

The two step process is very deliberate. The whole idea behind this feature is a casual user is browsing the forum and wants to reply to the a topic - but they're not invested enough to go through what they perceive as a complicated process of creating an account. Generally speaking, the longer a form is, the less likely the user is to fill it out, so if we put everything on the form, that probably won't achieve the goal.

What we want to happen is the user to reply without being put off by the idea of creating an account. After posting though, they get presented with the registration form, and hopefully by now (having actually written the post) they're invested enough in it to think "oh okay, fine, I'll register". And even if they don't at that moment, their email has now been submitted, so they can get a followup email.

3 hours ago, Joel R said:

But has the post been submitted yet?  I don't think so, right?  

You can maybe show an animation that the post closes, but I still feel like either an on-screen or modal pop-up is psychologically more welcoming and less of an obstacle than a full page refresh.  Because mind games.  Or something.  

 

Similar to the above, I actually think the new page enforces the idea that you have began (and nearly finished) a process, and so the mental barrier to registering is now less because there's a sort of "sunk cost".

Hence the wording that refers to the post as having been submitted (even though it's not visible anywhere): "Thanks for your submission! Before your content can be seen by other members...".

2 hours ago, Ocean West said:

i run a technical forum and I implore new members to provide their experience level, what platform and version they are using and what version of the software. so that it shows up in the sidebar with their post - as typically this information is missing from their post - in order to provide the user the best answer these questions are somewhat of a pre-requisite. 

how can we guide them thru a few required questions, in addition to the subject and post body. 

The registration process is the same. If those questions are currently on your registration form, they still will be. Or you could also use the Profile Completion feature.

17 minutes ago, hjf288 said:

How does this work when using external login handlers or is it optional? We don't allow registration through IPS and instead redirect to our LDAP registration system.

They'll be redirected to your custom registration page.

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