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Why people do not complete your online sign up form

Although each website in each industry is different, there are common truths as to why people do not fill out sign up forms online, and knowing these pain points can go a long way toward maximizing your sign ups.

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The top 8 reasons users aren’t filling out your form

Web interface designer, Anthony T of the UXMovement.com recently published a list of 8 reasons users do not fill out sign up forms1, primarily focusing on the fears and insecurity of web users, which is no surprise given the frequent headlines about security breaches and identity theft. He lists the top 8 reasons as:

  1. Fear of getting spammed
  2. Fear that a Facebook/Twitter sign up will spam followers and friends
  3. No option to delete account
  4. Feeling insecure with personal information handling
  5. Too much work to fill out compared to value gained
  6. Asking for information users don’t think you need
  7. Asking for their credit card number for a free trial
  8. Product/service is not clear or appealing

Another reason: the what happens next question

Marc Davison, Founding Partner at 1000watt Consulting tells AGBeat, “Users will hesitate to fill out a form when there isn’t a clear sense of what happens next and or that their personal info is protected. While the writer of this article [Anthony] mentions this, he left out how to provide assurance typically offered by a simple line of copy assuring the user that their privacy is respected. That they will never be spammed or have their data sold to a third party.”

Davison added, “In the case of a request for info form, users will be more apt to fill it out if there are clear instructions as to what happens next once the site receives their information. Offering that to a user is basic common sense often omitted by site developers.”

There must be trust

Constant Contact Senior Regional Development Director, Julie Neihoff said, “Joining the list – the act of signing up – is really an interruption, a break from the flow of seeing something you want and getting it. It can be a smooth process with few hurdles or it can be the reason that someone chooses not to join.”

“It must be quick,” Niehoff added, “don’t ask more than a couple of questions. It must be easy – don’t make me look for the button or click twelve times to get in. And above all else, there must be trust. I have to know that I can get off the list on my own, at any time. Groups using a respected, recognized third-party – like a Constant Contact – are more likely to grow their list because it will be quick, easy and trusted.”

What to start with?

Marc Lefton, Founder of the Half Fiction agency expounded on #6 above, adding that “If gathering a lot of information is still important to the functionality of your website, try starting with just the email and password. Once signed up, create opportunities to add the information little by little, even putting a question somewhere in a sidebar that’s easy to answer, like ‘how old are you.’ Using a profile completedness percentage can also encourage users to enter more information over time.”

Niehoff said, “The sign-up moment is almost invisible when it is managed correctly. A small speed bump, rather than a stop sign. It is a big factor in successful list growth. Not to mention, much easier for the business owner to manage – why bother with online forms and spreadsheets and manual data management when there are extremely low cost options that will do it for you without getting in the way?”

Experimenting with forms

SEO expert Larry Chase notes that common wisdom is that you lose 30 percent of your respondents for each registration field. He suggests that there are different “schools of thought” on what to do in this situation, in Chase’s words:

  1. Just get an email address so you can start as many new relationships as possible and get more registration info down the road.
  2. Get a few fields of data so you can more easily qualify your A leads from your B leads and C leads, etc.
  3. A good rule of thumb I find is ask for only the data the user thinks you’ll need to go about your business. If someone downloads a PDF white paper on industry trends, the visitor typically is sophisticated enough to know you’re considering her as a prospect. So a phone number, title, company, and maybe time frame of purchase seems reasonable. But income level is not.

While there is a science to converting on websites, each site and each industry differs, so experimentation (at least A/B testing) is advisable, but some common truths remain about why people refuse to complete a sign up form and the most common reasons revolve around fear, so you must do everything possible to establish trust in that split second that they see the sign up form.

1 8 reasons user don’t fill out forms
2 Landing page tips

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.

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Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.

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Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.

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Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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