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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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23 hours ago, Mark said:
On 10/26/2018 at 4:52 PM, 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 🙂 

If I have understand, a setting allow registrations only with this feature/method? (post before register)

On 10/26/2018 at 11:08 PM, AlexWebsites said:

DESIGN_NOVO_IPB.png.1963818af03d5038bc7b

I like this idea. 

also +1

Edited by BomAle
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3 hours ago, Mark said:

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".

I'm gonna challenge you on this idea, because I think the real process begins and ends with making the post.  That's the ultimate aim, and users want to get through the intermediate steps as seamlessly as possible.  Registration is a barrier here, and reminding users of that barrier is not the best thing to do.  

When you redirect users to a whole new page, there are two problems:

  • Visual interruption -- It's a major interruption, visually and behaviorally, to be taken to a whole new screen.  It breaks the ease of trying to post.  You're dragging on the registration form as a process on its own, when it's really an intermediary step to accomplish something far more worthwhile.  
  • Time delay -- Every new page load is multiple seconds of delay.  And in a world where we're trying to make interaction as seamless and fluid as possible, we need to shave off seconds anywhere we can.  
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I'm really surprised nobody's mentioned the potential for abuse with this - what would prevent spammers (or more specifically, trolls/banned members) from using this to post diatribes?

I like the idea that it goes to a moderator queue, but that's only after they have registered.

Also, what about "orphan" posts from members who use that to post, then abandon the registration process? Can there be a setting that removes those posts unless they register in [x] days?

Is there anything tracking-wise that would prevent a user to abuse this to post occasionally, and never actually register (like in the case of a forum that is subscription-only) to get around having to pay to join the community?

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6 hours ago, Joy Rex said:

I'm really surprised nobody's mentioned the potential for abuse with this - what would prevent spammers (or more specifically, trolls/banned members) from using this to post diatribes?

I like the idea that it goes to a moderator queue, but that's only after they have registered.

Also, what about "orphan" posts from members who use that to post, then abandon the registration process? Can there be a setting that removes those posts unless they register in [x] days?

Is there anything tracking-wise that would prevent a user to abuse this to post occasionally, and never actually register (like in the case of a forum that is subscription-only) to get around having to pay to join the community?

Well, I am already using this in a different setup. I allow guest post without registering with Captcha also I add those post to approval que... Also I only allow post NOT topics...

I get some spam posts but who cares they are not public unless I approve them...

I am not sure about this new setup but just wanted to mention how I use this kind of technique to get more posts....

🙂

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6 hours ago, Joy Rex said:

I'm really surprised nobody's mentioned the potential for abuse with this - what would prevent spammers (or more specifically, trolls/banned members) from using this to post diatribes?

I like the idea that it goes to a moderator queue, but that's only after they have registered.

Also, what about "orphan" posts from members who use that to post, then abandon the registration process? Can there be a setting that removes those posts unless they register in [x] days?

Is there anything tracking-wise that would prevent a user to abuse this to post occasionally, and never actually register (like in the case of a forum that is subscription-only) to get around having to pay to join the community?

The post isn't shown until they have completed registration.

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32 minutes ago, Mark said:

The post isn't shown until they have completed registration.

Yes, I think he understood that. The request is to add a setting to auto delete these posts after X days, just in case they don’t create the account. Otherwise you will have tins of unapproved posts in topics. 

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2 hours ago, Adriano Faria said:

Yes, I think he understood that. The request is to add a setting to auto delete these posts after X days, just in case they don’t create the account. Otherwise you will have tins of unapproved posts in topics. 

Yes the data is deleted automatically. But they're not properly submitted, (i.e. shown to anyone) until the registration is complete - so the question about what would prevent someone from using this feature but never registering is well... their posts are never shown 

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14 hours ago, Adriano Faria said:

Yes, I think he understood that. The request is to add a setting to auto delete these posts after X days, just in case they don’t create the account. Otherwise you will have tins of unapproved posts in topics. 

Actually, I didn't - hence my asking about potential abuse (but thanks for thinking I was that smart) 😊

That being said - won't this be confusing to (potential) users if they post, and then wonder why the post isn't showing (or does it tell them)? I guess it might encourage them to complete registration and sign up so their post shows...

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56 minutes ago, Joy Rex said:

That being said - won't this be confusing to (potential) users if they post, and then wonder why the post isn't showing (or does it tell them)? I guess it might encourage them to complete registration and sign up so their post shows...

If they abandon the registration process, it'll remind them:

Quote

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.

1668736805_RegistrationReminder.png.7ae8

Email reminding user to finish registering

 

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On 10/29/2018 at 4:42 PM, Ocean West said:

what about users who are already registered but not logged in - they've already navigated to a forum and wrote a novel on a new topic or a reply will that content be preserved and added once they 'log in'

 

 

@Mark  I'm also curious about how you handled this scenario.  We actually wrote our own mod that does almost exactly what you've announced in this topic (create a temp account as soon as they submit the post, and leave it un-approved until they confirm/complete registration).  It worked as intended (increase registration and engagement - but we ran into issue with existing members posting while logged out, and ended up shutting off the mod until we could get back in and address a way to merge the "temp" account created with the new post to the pre-existing account the member already had (but wasn't logged into at the time they made the post).  Once we started running it live, we ran into the issue of members existing accounts, and ended up turning it back off until we could address the issue.  After that, life happens and we never got a chance to go back in and work out a solution for that situation. 

I'm crossing my fingers that you accounted for this in your system already?  

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35 minutes ago, h2ojunkie said:

@Mark  I'm also curious about how you handled this scenario.  We actually wrote our own mod that does almost exactly what you've announced in this topic (create a temp account as soon as they submit the post, and leave it un-approved until they confirm/complete registration).  It worked as intended (increase registration and engagement - but we ran into issue with existing members posting while logged out, and ended up shutting off the mod until we could get back in and address a way to merge the "temp" account created with the new post to the pre-existing account the member already had (but wasn't logged into at the time they made the post).  Once we started running it live, we ran into the issue of members existing accounts, and ended up turning it back off until we could address the issue.  After that, life happens and we never got a chance to go back in and work out a solution for that situation. 

I'm crossing my fingers that you accounted for this in your system already?  

Partly this is why there is the message advising users to sign in - but beyond that, if the email address entered already belongs to an account, it won't let them continue.

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I love the idea of grabbing their email address early.

Once you have their email address you have many opportunities to get them to activate their account. The alternative is not having anything. Who wants that?

Let's see ... there is...

  1. Username
  2. Password
  3. Password Confirmation
  4. 'Send me news updates'
  5. Agree to TOS
  6. ... then verify email address.

Why not jump straight to verify email address?

What if we auto-fill username with local-part. eg. if joeshmoe@domain.com then joeshmoe is username. (Run some checks ... if not unique ... randomly, add characters to it.) All in the background of course... (Username is used to publicly post message after confirming email address.)

Then the 2nd page could be a message telling end-user to confirm email address (activate account). 

They activate their account and become a SUBSCRIBER. (Activation redirects to page where they can update username and password. Once password has been updated, they can now be considered a MEMBER.)

We now have many opportunities (not just 1) to convert.

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