credit: Circle of Docs

A Startup’s First Impression

When new people decide to try your product, one of the first ways they interact with your product is during the signing up process. Everyone knows first impressions are important, yet many companies have a signup process full of hassle and friction. There have been many times that I started signing up for a product and quit because of how much information I had to give when I started. As entrepreneurs, it is imperative that we make it as easy as possible for potential users to try our products. Here are a few strategies to make the signup process easier and better:

1. Ask for less information

Do you really need to ask for two-factor authentication and a backup email address to get started? More often than not, this is unnecessary. Start with something quick — name, email address, password — and then ask for other information later. The time saved with a quick sign up process means more time for users to interact with your product which is the ultimate goal.

2. Break Signup Process Into Chunks:

Due to the nature of many products, you will have to ask for a good deal of information from your customers such as a credit card number, address, etc. Instead of having one page with all of the information to fill out, ask for little bits of info in several parts to make it less overwhelming. For example, start with asking for just a name. Then you can personalize the next page by saying “Hey (name)! Just a few more things from you:” This personalization might seem small, but it makes something usually burdensome more pleasant. Breaking things up will also increase the commitment of a user when they are signing up. Each small bit of information that a user fills out means they are less likely to bail on the sign up process. If you have one long page of information for users to fill out, they can leave at any time without feeling very committed. When users have already filled out little chunks of information, it makes it harder to leave.

3. Demo Product Before Signup

One of the most powerful ways to increase sign up conversions is to let users try a demo of your product without filling out a single piece of information. This demo should have limited features but enough functionality to make your potential customer want to sign up for the full version.

For example, if you were making a website analytics tool, you could let users see a few statistics for a website and then display a button that says “show more.” When the user clicks the “show more” button, you could redirect them to a sign up page. At this point, the user already has some “skin in the game,” and they will most likely finish the signup process willingly.

When you are focused on building a product, do not make the mistake of overlooking the signing up process. It is the first way people experience your product, and a good first impression will be influential in the rest of your user’s experience.

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