user management platform for the social web
Creating an Effective Online Member Acquisition Strategy
user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF
JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG2Co...
user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF
JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG3Co...
user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF
JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG4Co...
user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF
JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG5Co...
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Janrain member-acquisition-strategy

  1. 1. user management platform for the social web Creating an Effective Online Member Acquisition Strategy MARKETING BRIEF JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG1Copyright © 2010 Janrain Inc. All rights reserved. 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. Unlike in an off-line setting where you can pick up verbal and non-verbal cues when you interact with someone, it is much trickier in an online interaction. The information received from a user during the registration process helps bridge this gap. The challenge of course is not only getting a user to register, but to do so with accurate information. This marketing brief outlines some easy steps you can take to accelerate both the registration process for your site and effective ways to encourage visitors to become engaged members on your site. Topics discussed include: The “give to get” paradigm of providing incentives for visitors to register• Member acquisition strategies – benefits to offer your members• Expanding your membership through word-of-mouth marketing• Optimizing the registration process• Offering registration with an existing social network or email identity• 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 benefit of membership to be worth the time it takes to register. And herein lies the dilemma that many organizations experience when trying to convert site visitors to members: the site does not provide a clear value proposition for registering. Even if you have done everything else to optimize the registration process, it can still fail if the user is not given a good reason 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. provides a clear list of benefits users receive when they register on their website.
  2. 2. user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG2Copyright © 2010 Janrain Inc. All rights reserved. A great exercise for online marketers is to develop a list of reasons why users would want to become a member of the site. 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 can not spend more than 30 seconds on your site without knowing why they should become a member. Just as a site manager develops strategic SEO and SEM strategies, it is time for equal attention to be paid to member acquisition strategies. An online member acquisition strategy is not unlike super-market rewards programs which have been designed to better understand the buying habits of individual shoppers by offering product discounts to members. When shoppers walk through the store they are presented reminders on every aisle of how they would save money as a member. The rewards program does two things with respect to shoppers: it motivates them to sign up for the program to receive benefits and it encourages return visits because the shoppers now have a vested interest in coming back. You can employ a similar strategy on your website. Start by deciding what member benefits to offer. Next, heavily promote membership throughout the site by giving visitors an incentive to sign up to receive these benefits. Finally, be sure to follow through with your promises. The more your members feel like they are receiving value by being a registered user, the more they will be inclined to return to purchase products, engage in your community and tell their friends about their experience. Member Acquisition Strategies – Benefits to Offer Your Members Depending on the type of website and market served, some of these proven ideas may be more or less relevant to your site. This list of potential benefits to offer members is by no means exhaustive: 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. displays their value proposition throughout their website with house ads such as this one. makes it clear to users what they will receive by becoming a member.
  3. 3. user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG3Copyright © 2010 Janrain Inc. All rights reserved. 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 started building an effective membership acquisition program, 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. By giving the member an easy tool to use, you can extend your brand reach at minimal cost. Social sharing can be triggered from a number of events/activities: 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.• The non-profit organization,, describes what users will receive once they register.
  4. 4. user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG4Copyright © 2010 Janrain Inc. All rights reserved. Optimizing the Registration Process Once you have motivated a visitor to register, the next step is to 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.• Sounds easy enough. Take a hard look at your current forms and determine what user profile information you really need. Eliminate any nonessential questions. 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 account 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. Specific best practices to keep in mind when implementing this type of solution: Use the profile data passed at the point of authentication to pre-• populate the registration form. This will save the user time and increase the probability of collecting reliable data. Know what you want to do with the user data before you design the• registration form, and then keep the form short by only requesting essential information. Provide simple login via a user’s preferred social network or online identity. Example of profile data passed at the point of authentication.
  5. 5. user management platform for the social web MARKETING BRIEF JANRAIN MARKETING BRIEF | | 888.563.3082 PG5Copyright © 2010 Janrain Inc. All rights reserved. Allow users to map their social network account on• Facebook, Twitter or another provider to an existing account they already have on your website. In some instances, even if members have an account with you, they will prefer to login with their social network account. Rather than creating a separate account for users, allow them to login with their social network ID and then map that account to their existing account at your site. By doing this you receive a more comprehensive set of user profile and social graph data. Provide a streamlined return experience for future logins.• If a user has a choice of multiple providers, present the last provider used for login to speed up entry into the site. The marketing adage that it is cheaper to keep a customer than acquire a new one holds up here as well. If you have been able to successfully register a user once, then make it as easy as possible for the user to login on return visits to your site. 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. ABOUT JANRAIN Example of how users account mapping. Janrain helps organizations succeed on the social web with its user management platform. A key component of the platform is Janrain Engage, an enterprise- class, software as a service (SaaS) solution to enable a website to expedite the registration and login processes with a user’s third party account, import user profile information and address books, and make it easy for a user to publish website activity back to multiple social networks. Companies enjoy higher registration rates, increased brand awareness and qualified referral traffic. The end-user benefits from a faster login and a more customized online experience. Janrain Engage is the only solution to support 16 identity providers and social networks including, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Yahoo! Janrain customers include industry leaders such as Universal Music Group, Kodak, Fox News, National Geographic Channel, and PayPal. Founded in 2005, Janrain is based in Portland, Oregon. For more information, please call 1-888-563-3082, or visit You can also follow us on Facebook ( facebook), Twitter ( and LinkedIn ( Improve loyalty by providing a personalized return experience.