[thelist] web site registration

Susan Wallace susanhw at webcastle.com
Wed Oct 31 12:13:59 CST 2001

Hi Bruce,

 >>At 11:26 AM 10/31/01, you wrote:
 >>my boss is talking about making people register to read the content on our
 >>web site.

I work with an organization who went through this recently. We have two 
distinct sections of the site - "public" and "Members Only". It was 
suggested that everyone sign up to access the public content on the site, 
but what helped change their minds were our logs - a high number of people 
would get to the main page and leave (we won't go into what was on that 
main page), a smaller number would get to the login screen and leave, but 
looking at path information (as reported by Summary) a lot of people who 
got to the login screen would then go on to register or renew. There 
weren't "high" numbers to use, but enough to show potential.

In that same round of discussion, we decided to test the "Here is something 
free, if you want more, you need to be a member" theory, and in our case, 
it has worked out well.

For example:
One section of the site has Bios of Hall of Fame members. In a few cases, 
there are some articles written by that HoF member that are available in 
the Members section. The Bio is free to anyone who wants to read it, and at 
the end of the article, there are links containing the titles of the 
articles written by that HOF member, with a note indicating that membership 
is required. We have seen a few people actually sign up (again, according 
to path information) from those article pages, and intend to continue to 
provide that type of information. At first, they wanted to put just basic 
information about the organization on the site (Press Releases, junk like 
that) and then put all of the "good stuff" behind a login. By considering 
this alternate method, we have been able to show that it is enticing to 
some people, because it's a good way to let them know that what is in the 
Members area is actually something they could use. Our plans include more 
of this type of "content referencing", for lack of a better term.:)

Anyway, in this case, I don't think it would have been a good thing to 
require people (a large percentage of whom were leaving at the main screen) 
to provide any personal information just to read content that was not of 
interest to them anyway...

Susan Wallace

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