Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Don't Require Users To Register, Period

Steve Outing writes: "Perhaps the most common justification for forced user-registration is that it allows managers to monetize (to use the hackneyed phrase from the dot-com boom days) visitors by better targeting advertisements -- Web and e-mail -- based on users' submitted personal data.

The rationale typically goes like this:

"Visitors to our site need to pay us for what we produce in order for us to stay in business, and we think required registration data -- rather than cash payment -- is a reasonable price for them to pay.

But notice that the benefits are mostly to the news site, not the reader. Yes, better-targeted ads can be seen as a (modest) user benefit, but the required-registration equation is mostly weighted toward the publisher. Think about it from the user perspective. Sites requiring registration in order to see their content are annoying to part of the audience.

Click on a story from a home page and your quest is interrupted by a demand to fill out a form. True, many people will comply. But you've annoyed many others, and some visitors will simply avoid your site and go elsewhere for comparable information and news (especially those referred by search engines and blogs).

Wouldn't it be better to make the situation a win-win for both site and user? But how to reconcile your site's need to make money with visitors' desires for the best online experience -- in a competitive environment where in an instant they can flit off to another site?"

By first fully sharing the good information you have, and then by providing monetization by enriching your relevant content with "advanced", "premium" content offerings that provide more in-depth and well researched complementary info.

By marrying one or multiple causes that strongly affect your readers: social, ethical, cultural, spiritual. By personally selecting and promoting product and brands you endorse and that YOU, the editor, think will best complement the specific content sections you control.

By making yourself popular (no walls), desirable (rich and relevant, on focus), and available (fast, fresh, easy to use) that you can gain audience trust, credibility and even empathy, all necessary factors when in turn you want to monetize those ads by having your audience click through them. -- As a matter of fact, try to click on any of the appealing articles/tiles appearing on the right column of Steve Outing original piece. For me is a one-second turn-off. After having seen two, I know I won't be bac to this site. Too bad Steve, I see you have some great content up there.



Steve Outing -
Reference: Editor & Publisher [ Read more ]
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posted by Robin Good on Thursday, June 24 2004, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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