As they say it “The first impression is the last impression”, it’s absolutely true.
No matter how great your app is, be it a native mobile application or a web application, if the signup process is not simple & easy then your app will not get the maximum number of users it could have gotten.
Studies have proved time and time again that we decide whether or not to stay on a web page or use the app in about one second.
There is no way you can get someone to use your app in less than a second or read your content in less than a second.
So no matter how good your content is or how useful your app is if they don’t sign up, you might as well not build the app in the first place.
So here are some simple but extremely effective elements from extremely successful apps that you can apply to yours and sky rocket your signup rates.
1. Make it as simple as possible
This is obvious but what I mean is ask for as less information (at least as a first step) as possible. Do you really need 6 fields of information for them to be able to sign up?
Or can you just use their name and email so that they can sign up quickly? Heck, how about only email?
It’s been proven time and time again that the more information you ask the lower the conversion is going to be so decide wisely what fields do you want in your sign up form.
read more about : Four ways mobile apps democratize marketing
2. Create multistep form
Now, I know that not all apps are created equal and they will have different objectives and goals and to be able to achieve them you may need more information.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to create a 10 field form right on the home page of your site. What you can create is a multi-step sign up form and ask for only email on the first page.
What this does is a) makes the signup decision absolutely easy & a no brainer. And once they have enter their email they will make a commitment cause they have already taken a first step and once we humans make a commitment, we feel compelled to complete what we just committed.
Use a visual step process as well to show that they have finished 1 of 2 steps which means they are half the way through.
3. Piggy back off of Facebook, Google & Twitter
There are billions of people who use these products everyday and are almost always logged in to offer them a simple one click signup process.
It’s all about making the process as easy as possible because the easier it is the more people will do it.
I may not feel like filling out a form but if I just need to click on facebook logo and I am already signed in to facebook I might as well have a look.
So offer all three options for one click signups – Google, Facebook and Twitter
4. Don’t be a lecher
I have decided not to signup over a dozen times after clicking on signup with facebook button.Why?
Because the apps wanted to leech my entire facebook data – my name, email (fine, I understand), friends list, age, places I have been to, books I read, everything – Why?
You may not have any bad intentions but it’s too scary to give all the information about me to a company I have never heard about.
As an app developer I can understand that we can use this data to build better apps and customer experience but it’s not easy to give all the data and you need to think from your customer’s perspective too.
5. Offer manual signup
Now, before you start yelling at me because I just said make it easier. Let me tell you that one size or style never fits all.
There are billions of people using social services but there are still a lot who are not using them.
May be they don’t want to share their personal information with you (even the very basic information)
May be they are at work and they can’t access their facebook account
May be they don’t want their friends to know that they are using your app. We all use apps and read content that we won’t be comfortable sharing with anyone.
6. Make sure it’s easy to signup using the source code (.apk)
A lot of android users (including myself) like to download the apk files using some web downloader on their computer first and then transfer the apk files to their phone and install that way instead of downloading and installing it from google play.
Many countries (including India) don’t have high speed wireless connectivity so even a 2 mb app takes forever to download and someone needs to download couple of apps then it’s a very bad experience.
Therefore, make sure that its easy and simple to sign up using the apk file
Note: This only applies to mobile apps, specifically android. I am not an iOS user so I am not sure if this will work or if there is any similar process
7. Dig deeper in analytics
It’s hard to predict everything in a lab so get your mobile app out there and see how users are using it & signing up.
Things like heatmap can tell you where the users are clicking the most on your application, one of the best ones is kissmetrics
Record users which they are using your application. Clicktale will take a screencast video of your users while they are using your application and you can see how they are interacting with your app and make it better accordingly.
8. Don’t display passwords
I have seen applications where you can see the passwords instead of black dots. The problem with displaying the password is that our brains are now trained for passwords to be blocked.
So if you display the passwords it throws people off mentally and they wait and see if they are typing it in the wrong field and they may in fact feel less secured because how can you display password openly?
There are not many apps that have done it but I have seen few so I decided to put it here.
9. Understand that they don’t care about your apps
So many times we developers forget that users don’t actually care about our apps.
I use lastpass because I don’t want to remember my passwords, I don’t give a damn about lastpass. I use skype so that I can chat with my friends and co-workers.
It’s important to understand that yours care about something else, they have some problem that they want to get solved, they have a need, or are frustrated about something but there is something much more important than you application.
And you need to focus on that more than you application.
The people who are best at this are sales guys. They know that people don’t like salesmen and absolutely hate them and if they are listening to them then there is a reason for it – they need, a problem. They don’t care about how good the salesmen look or sounds or anything.