Technologies to Increase Online Engagement


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Improving online customer engagement is a key objective for most organizations today, but how to do this effectively on the increasingly noisy web remains a challenge. How can technologies such as OpenID and OAuth can be utilized to increase registration rates and collect accurate user profile data - two building blocks to increasing engagement? What’s the role of social networks and how do you use providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo!, PayPal, and LinkedIn in expanding brand reach, increasing qualified referral traffic, and improving SEO? What are the best practices and how do you adopt them?

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  • In this era of social networking, social media, and the social web, it all comes down to this one question – if we don’t know anything about the users on our site, how can we build a relationship with them?If you think about that for a second, it is a pretty powerful statement.The new success metrics we just talked about:Quality of traffic on your siteInteractions on your siteSharing content from your siteAll of these metrics revolve around knowing your users and then using this knowledge to create experiences and offers that are engaging and relevant. But, how do you get there? We all recognize that this is quite different from an off-line setting where you can pick up verbal and non-verbal cues, ask questions and build a profile over the course of an interaction. It is much trickier in an online setting. One solution is to use the information received from a user during the registration process to help bridge this gap.
  • A registered user opens up a new world of possibilities including multiple opportunities for deeper, more targeted marketing activities that can impact the bottom line.
  • Discuss the transformation in OpenID from something that was going to be adopted by consumers to a piece of the back end plumbingBBC round table and issues raised: DeployabilityUsability# of live openidsLed to founding of OpenID Foundation
  • Higher Registrations: Increase conversion of visitor to registered user by 25% to 50%*Better Login: Reduce forgotten password costs and frustration by up to 50%*Increased Referral Traffic, SEO, and Brand Projection: Allow users to share activities (purchases, product reviews, blogs, surveys, video views) with friends on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google, MySpace, LinkedIn, Microsoft, etc.) with links back to your websitesCustomers as advocates, project your brand beyond your website, links back improve SEOWebsites seeing anywhere from 5 to 25* referral visits for each social publishing linkReferral visitors are highly qualified and come with active identity accounts for easy registration & loginCollecting Rich Customer Data: Build richer customer profiles by using customers’ existing online accounts - name, verified email address, shipping address**, phone**, payment info**, nickname, language, zip code, age, friends lists, address books, personal interests & hobbies, photos, etc.Improved Mobile Experience: Provide a much quicker and simpler user experience via mobile applicationsWebsite Federation: Single sign-on (SSO) for your customers across multiple web properties and component solutions (commenting, rating and reviews, customer feedback, community, etc.).
  • By providing the option to register with multiple networks, you cast a wide net and potentially reach more users. Based on the demographics of your users and the content of your site, certain networks might carry more weight. For example, Janrain customer Business Journals is seeing over 25% of their logins come through LinkedIn which makes sense considering it is a business newspaper. Contrast that with a media site which probably sees more Facebook or Yahoo logins.This data is based on over 250,000 websites across industries such as retail, media, entertainment, online guides, technology and non-profits.
  • In addition to an expedited registration process, you also receive profile data on the users without making them fill out a lengthy form.Not only do you receive standard demographic data but you can also capture their interests, hobbies, activities and other information to give you a more in depth understanding of the user.
  • Another advantage of leveraging your user’s existing credentials for registration is pre-populating the form.Even with the varied and rich profile data that you receive when a user signs in with a Facebook login for example, there may be a few pieces of additional data that you deem critical. Pre-populate the form with as much data as you can and then only require the user to fill in a few additional pieces or to sign up for a newsletter.By storing this rich data in your user management system, you will be able to offer more personalized experiences to the user.
  • Another advantage of offering registration with an existing identity is you can make it easy for users to invite their friends to join them on the site and you gain access to the social graphs of your users. It is important to keep in mind that social graphs differ by network. Close friends are on Facebook, Colleagues and Professional connections on LinkedIn, etc.This connects back to the earlier point of the importance of offering a wide variety of social networks for registration.
  • In addition to enabling the sharing of user activities via social network feeds, you can allow users to invite friends.Mahalo, a popular knowledge sharing community, lets users login with a preferred social network or email account. Janrain Engage pulls in a list of friends, helping you connect the user with friends from other networks that are already members of your site.In addition, you can import contacts from Google (Gmail), Yahoo! or Windows Live (Hotmail/MSN), allowing users to send email invitations asking friends to join the site. This provides another effective channel to promote your brand to the social graphs of your users and increase time on site and engagement.
  • In addition to faster registration processes, increased conversion rates, and access to user data that you get from leveraging existing login credentials, equally important are the hard cost savings.As we all know, password recovery is an expensive proposition.According to the Gartner Group, between 20-50% of all help desk calls are for password resets.And Forrester Research estimates the average help desk labor cost for each of those resets to be about $70.When you offer login with existing credentials, by contrast, you avoid these costs.For example, Janrain customer recently noted that prior to leveraging existing credentials for registration, they had over 30 support requests per day related to password and account recovery issues. This number has dramatically decreased.
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  • This is becoming a competitive advantage
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