Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, William Schmarzo, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Open Web, Web 2.0, CRM

Open Web: 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
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps 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 opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
17th Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterprises are using some form of XaaS – software, platform, and infrastructure as a service.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo in Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal an...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
As the Internet of Things unfolds, mobile and wearable devices are blurring the line between physical and digital, integrating ever more closely with our interests, our routines, our daily lives. Contextual computing and smart, sensor-equipped spaces bring the potential to walk through a world that recognizes us and responds accordingly. We become continuous transmitters and receivers of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Bolwell, Director of Innovation for HP's Printing and Personal Systems Group, discussed how key attributes of mobile technology – touch input, sensors, social, and ...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that the "First Containers & Microservices Conference" will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. The “Second Containers & Microservices Conference” will take place November 3-5, 2015, at Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities.
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
The explosion of connected devices / sensors is creating an ever-expanding set of new and valuable data. In parallel the emerging capability of Big Data technologies to store, access, analyze, and react to this data is producing changes in business models under the umbrella of the Internet of Things (IoT). In particular within the Insurance industry, IoT appears positioned to enable deep changes by altering relationships between insurers, distributors, and the insured. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Sick, a Senior Manager and Big Data Architect within Ernst and Young's Financial Servi...
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.