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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.

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Social Media

Instagram announces 3 home feed options, including chronological order

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is allowing users to choose how their home feed appears so they can tailor their own experience… and chronological is back!

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Instagram home feed options

Break out the bottle of champagne, because they are bringing back the chronological order in Instagram!

About time, right? Well, that’s not all. Per Protocol, Instagram has announced that they are rolling out three feed options in the first half of 2022. What?! Yes, you read that right.

3 New Feed View Options

  1. Home: This feed view should feel familiar because it’s the algorithm you already use. No changes to this view.
  1. Favorites: This feed view option presents a nice and tidy way to view creators, friends, and family of your choosing.
  1. Following: Last, but not least, is my favorite re-boot, the chronological view of every account that you follow.

Per Protocol, recent legal allegations have been made that Instagram and Facebook have been prioritizing content viewed as harmful in the algorithm and specifically in Instagram. Instagram is widely believed to be harmful to teens. Per the American Psychological Association, “Studies have linked Instagram to depression, body image concerns, self-esteem issues, social anxiety, and other problems”.  They have been under scrutiny by lawmakers and in response are posing the chronological feed as a solution.

However, this won’t fix everything. Even if the algorithm isn’t prioritizing harmful posts, those posts will still exist and if that account is followed it can still be seen. The other issue with this solution is the knowledge that unless Instagram lets you choose your default feed view, they could still cause the algorithm view to be the automatic view. Facebook doesn’t allow you to make the chronological feed your default view. This means you would need to choose that view every time. This bit of friction means there will be times it is overlooked and some may not even know the functionality exists. Knowing this information about Facebook, prepares us for what’s to come with Instagram. After all, Facebook, or Meta, owns both.

While as an entrepreneur, the chronological view excites me, I know the reality of it being used is questionable. I would love to know others can see the products and services I offer instead of hoping that Instagram finds my content worthy to share in the algorithm.

As a human being with a moral conscience, I have to scream, “C’mon Instagram, you CAN do better!” We all deserve better than having a computer pick what’s shown to us. Hopefully, lawmakers will recognize this band-aid quick fix for what it truly is and continue with making real changes to benefit us all.

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Social Media

Facebook’s targeting options for advertising are changing this month

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Do you market your business on Facebook? You need to know that their targeting options for ads are changing and what to do about it.

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Laptop on lap open to Facebook page representing ad targeting.

Meta is transforming Facebook’s ad campaigns beginning January 19th. Facebook, which has been infamously battling criticism regarding election ads on their platform, is revising its limited targeting ad campaigns. Per this Facebook blog post, these changes eliminate the ability to target users based on interactions with content related to health (e.g., “Lung cancer awareness”, “World Diabetes Day”), race and ethnicity, political affiliation, religious practices (e.g., “Catholic Church” and “Jewish holidays”) and sexual orientation (e.g., “same-sex marriage” and “LGBT culture”).

These changes go into effect on January 19, 2022. Facebook will no longer allow new ads to use these targeting tools after that date. By March 17, 2022, any existing ads using those targeting tools will no longer be allowed.

The VP of Ads and Business Product Marketing at Facebook, Graham Mudd, expressed the belief that personalized ad experiences are the best, but followed up by stating:

“[W]e want to better match people’s evolving expectations of how advertisers may reach them on our platform and address feedback from civil rights experts, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the importance of preventing advertisers from abusing the targeting options we make available.”

To help soften the blow, Facebook is offering tips and examples for small businesses, non-profits, and advocacy groups to continue to reach their audiences that go beyond the broad targeting of gender and age.

These tips include creating different types of targeting such as Engagement Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences, Website Custom Audiences, Location Targeting, and Customer Lists from a Custom Audience.

Here’s the lowdown on how it will happen.

Per the Search Engine Journal, changes can be made to budget amounts or campaign names without impacting the targeting until March 17th. However, if you go to change the ad set level that will then cause changes at the audience level.

If you need to keep that particular ad to reuse, it may be best to edit the detailed targeting settings before March 17th in order to ensure you can make changes to it in the future.

I believe it was Heraclitus that declared change is constant. Knowing this, we can conclude other social platforms may follow suit and possibly adjust their targeting in the future as well.

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Social Media

Hate speech seemingly spewing on your Facebook? You’re not wrong

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook (now Meta) employees estimate its AI tools only clean up 3%-5% of hate speech on the platform. Surprise, Surprise *eye roll*

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Facebook being crossed out by a stylus on a mobile device for hate speech.

As Facebook moves further toward Zuckerberg’s Metaverse, concerns about the efficiency with which the company addresses hate speech still remain, with employees recently estimating that only around 2% of offending materials are removed by Facebook’s AI screening tools.

According to Wall Street Journal, internal documents from Facebook show an alarming inability to detect hate speech, violent threats, depictions of graphic content, and other “sensitive” issues via their AI screening. This directly contradicts predictions made by the company in the past.

A “senior engineer” also admitted that, in addition to removing only around 2% of inappropriate material, the odds of that number reaching even a numerical majority is extremely unlikely: “Recent estimates suggest that unless there is a major change in strategy, it will be very difficult to improve this beyond 10-20% in the short-medium term.”

The reported efficacy of the AI in question would be laughable were the situation less dire. Reports ranging from AI confusing cockfights and car crashes to inaccurately identifying a car wash video as a first-person shooting are referenced in the internal documents, while far more sobering imagery–live-streamed shootings, viscerally graphic car wrecks, and open threats of violence against transgender children–went entirely unflagged.

Even the system in which the AI works is a source of doubt for employees. “When Facebook’s algorithms aren’t certain enough that content violates the rules to delete it, the platform shows that material to users less often—but the accounts that posted the material go unpunished,” reports Wall Street Journal.

AI has repeatedly been shown to struggle with bias as well. Large Language Models (LLMs)–machine-learning algorithms that inform things like search engine results and predictive text–have defaulted to racist or xenophobic rhetoric when subjected to search terms like “Muslim”, leading to ethical concerns about whether or not these tools are actually capable of resolving things like hate speech.

As a whole, Facebook employees’ doubts about the actual usefulness of AI in removing inappropriate material (and keeping underage users off of the platform) paint a grim portrait of the future of social media, especially as the Metaverse marches steadily forward in mainstream consumption.

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