The End of Web Site Registration Pages?

Let me first say I love Web Site registration pages. They serve as a check point to make sure you are clearing good information from your prospects. They also help us capture new names for our marketing and selling activity. For a B2B services firm such as ourselves, they are the lifeblood of campaign activity.

Let me also say that I hate Web Site registration pages.

They really are just another barrier. In today’s “content comes from wherever, we value open and transparent communication” I am beginning to think that its better to get the “thoughtware” into our prospects hands, than force them to register for something and hope they give us real information we can actually use later.  And since virtually all of our campaigns we are running today drive off of our house list where we already know who we are sending to, what is the point of throwing up more barriers?

Well, we decided to test it.

Simply at first. In our last campaign we split-test a podcast that you had to register for and paired it with a whitepaper that you received upon clicking on the link. Not surprisingly, we doubled up the “success” rate from 2.1% to 4.1%. This doesn’t give us any indication on level of engagement so it will take some time to assess if one group performs better ultimately in pipeline creation, but we are able to do this because we know exactly who they are based on PURL usage,

It wasn’t a perfect test of course. We didn’t control all the variables, a podcast requires a different level of commitment than a whitepaper, we also didn’t isolate language like “click to register” vs ”no registration required” to see if that impacted results, and admittedly our registration forms could use some work. So, it’s a work in progress. Key questions we will examine going forward include:

  1. Does adding “no registration required” in the subject line impact open rates, and ultimately click-throughs?
  2. Is the group that registered for the content ultimately more engaged with the material/brand than someone who got the asset “by accident?”
  3. Can feedback forms displayed after download enhance the engagement with the material/brand, and what impact would using social media for those feedback mechanisms have on engagement?

Now of course we can’t do away with registration pages entirely. But we will continue to explore different approaches using Social Media, our web presence, and third party sites. Feel free to share your experiences with registration pages here as well.

@ajdun

For more on the registration form discussion read the following articles:

Marketing Profs: “Gotta Have It: Web Registration Forms”

The Point: “Tempted to Do Away With Registration Forms? Think Again”

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One Response

  1. Hi Aaron – I highly recommend that you read Open Leadership by Charlene Li – see http://bit.ly/b8cHNh. My bet is that when you finish the book, you’ll be convinced that you should take down your registration page and promote your content more freely!

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