Client: Confidential. The company requesting a signup form optimization works with high-end measuring devices for industrial use in R&D and manufacturing of mechanical and microelectronics products.
Project objective: Improve the signup process so that more visitors complete the entire process
Project limits: The signup process must be a multi-step one, so that if nothing else, at least the email and names can be added to the prospects database. In order to lift the quality of leads, the multiple-steps signup will ask for more info, such as address, industry, purchase plans etc.
Project data: The multi-stage process barely got 1% complete signups, with about 30% drop-out with each consecutive signup step. The redesign achieved a boost of 60% in email signups, and the drop-out was reduced by 30%. The test period was limited to one month.
How We Achieved A 60% Increase In Email Signups
After the initial skype conference with the marketing team of the client, we agreed to first improve the signup process as a whole, to increase signups by improving usability:
- We added a progress meter, so people would know how far they’re from the reward (free sample of their product of choice)
- In Step 1 we focused on capturing only the email and first name, rather than getting the company name and industry
- In step 2 we decreased the required fields from 10 to 6 to capture only the necessary mailing address
- In Step 3 we changed the 20+ fields, two-column product selector with a more interactive fields-based selector
The theory behind these changes is mostly Best Practices. This was a gamble, since best practices don’t always work without a solid goal in mind. Our objective to start with, was to improve the overall usability of the three linked pages of the signup process, hoping this will increase signups.
To achieve it, we asked some Usability questions, and answered them with the changes. Of course, we were happy to see an increase in signups thanks to these changes.
How We Decreased Drip-Out By 30%
The successful changes encouraged us to continue on the same path, and decided to further improve each individual step.
In order to improve the effectiveness of every individual step we focused on each page and:
- We added some incentive in every step of the way so visitors know why should they go through the process in the first place
- We changed the generic button with a stylish button with slightly rounded corners, to match the overall feel of the site
- We changed the generic “Submit” button with goal-oriented CTA, different for each step, to match the corresponding hurdle
- We added some graphic pointers that at the end of the process there’s a free gift (the free sample product of choice)
This did bring some improvement, but nothing dramatic. This meant that we’re still facing friction in the signup process that couldn’t be overcome with fancy buttons and flashy CTA.
So we decided to reconstruct the thought flow. With the original signup process the pages were oriented on capturing as many personal data as soon as possible, before offering the incentive:
- Step 1: capturing of email, first and last name, company name and a drop-down selector of Industry
- Step 2: capturing of mailing address
- Step 3: two-column project selector with over 20 fields to choose from
The dialogue between the signup process and the visitor was: I’m John Smith, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My mailing address is 123 Hillside St. LA. I’m a Research assistant. I want the Product ABC as free sample.
This seemed a bit odd, unnatural if you will. So we decided to construct a conversation that would go
Hi, I’m John, email@example.com. I’d like the Product ABC as free sample. Please send it to 123 Hillside St. LA. I’m a research assistant.
Here’s how this new dialogue looks, with signup steps:
- Step 1: capturing the email and name
- Step 2: product selector that divides the 20+ products into family groups and created a cascading way of presenting them
- Step 3: Mailing address of the recipient, the company they work for and the role they play there
This change of dialogue plugged the holes if the signup funnel, and we effectively got a lift of 30% in completed signups.
With 60% more emails in the Prospects database, and 30% lift in Free Sample requests, the company saw a significant increase in clients volume each month, which is quite desirable especially in times where each cent counts.
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