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Redesigning a Registration Form & Process – Case Study

Executive Summary

In early 2018, the marketing team decided that they need a new registration form and process in order to increase the number and quality of leads. I was given the task to learn why visitors are not registering and to improve the overall signup process.

Together with the VP of Marketing, I came up with three problems that are causing registration and video previewing issues. Those were:

  • Low registration page visits
  • Low registration form completion rate
  • Difficult email verification process

In order to increase registration page visits, we decided that we need to emphasis the CTA buttons on the product page. Instead of a text link in the video preview screen, we added a large orange button. We also removed the need to go to a separate page to register, instead, we added the form to a lightbox right on the product page.

To increase the registration form completion rate, we decided to remove unnecessary form fields (e.g. address, city, state, country, etc). and made it more streamlined and intuitive.

Solving the difficult email verification process was vital, in order to improve the user experience. We made sure that if visitors had to verify their email, they return directly where the started the registration process from and that the video would start playing automatically. This way, we helped solve the issue of them being taken to the homepage, where they had to search for the product page once again.

After implementing all of our solutions, we were able to increase the conversion rate from 0.80% to 2.65%

 

Project Overview

Our registration form doesn’t just enable visitors to watch our training content, it’s the main source of our sales leads, which is why I wanted to design a new preview and registration process to increase the number of qualified leads.

My role in this project was to learn why visitors are not registering more often and what we can do to improve the overall process. This involved more than just creating a new form – it meant that we needed to see where people are dropping off and how to get them to complete the entire form. Since the product pages drove most of the registration form traffic, we needed to identify what on the product page is hindering the flow of traffic to the form.

Together with the VP of Marketing, we decided that we needed to make alteration to the entire preview and registration process. I was tasked with presenting the problem, showing the current registration process and the ideal registration solution.

In order increase the join rate, the marketing team identified 3 problems that are causing registration and video preview issues.

  • Problem 1: Low registration page traffic
  • Problem 2: Low registration form completion (Form abandonment)
  • Problem 3: Difficult verification process

 

Problem 1 – Low Registration Page Traffic

In my research, I looked to see what percentage of users that visited our website went on to the registration page. We can see in the chart below that only about 3.5% of total website sessions went to the registration page.

One of the reason for such low traffic to the registration page was because the product page didn’t push visitors towards it. The registration page call-to-action (CTA) was a tiny link within a video player. The main CTA (visually) was the play button, which would play a short (2 min) preview of the video without needing to register. The emphasis was clearly on pushing visitors towards previewing the short video instead of pushing them to register and watch the entire video.

The yellow rectangle shows the link (CTA) to the registration page.

Solution

We needed to Identify ways to drive more traffic to the registration form. This meant looking at the entry point (product page) and creating an ideal placement and design to make the CTA more prominent.

Adding two buttons (Full Preview & Short Preview) was an idea that would help each stand out and wouldn’t be buried within copy. Based on some online research and reading some “button vs text link” case studies, we thought that if we were to add buttons, they would need to fulfill these requirements:

  • Be physically larger than text links
  • Use high contrast colors
  • Add a clear call to action (Free FULL Preview and Short Preview)

Based on those requirements, we created the following design

New CTAs were added to the video to encourage registration

This design would give visitors two options, either watching the full-preview (registration required) or they can watch the short preview (2 minute video without requiring registration). The size and colors were selected to increase visibility and click-through rate (CTR).

Problem 2 – Low Registration Form Completion

Once visitors landed on the registration page, not everyone completed the form, many visitors either exited the website completely or they visited another page. The registration form abandonment rate was averaging a little over 50%, which means that out of the small fraction of users that make it to that page, the majority don’t even bother to fill out the form.​​​​​​​

Looking at the existing form, we can spot numerous areas where we could potentially reduce friction. If we can remove some of these fields and make the form more streamlined, it could potentially enable a faster form completion. While reducing the number of fields isn’t guaranteed to increase conversion, it is one of many factors that we will test in this experiment.

Old Registration Form

Solution

We set out to create a form that will be easy to use, correctly formatted, and cause minimal friction.
We needed to identify the required fields, formatting and how many field we can remove before the salespeople will be up-in-arms. While talking to the marketing team, reading through articles and case studies, I created the first iteration of the form mockup.

The feedback we received from the sales team was that it needs an additional field, mainly the Job Title. The also mentioned that they have been receiving spam and fake signups, so we suggested adding a reCAPTCHA box in order to mitigate that issue.

The second version of the form incorporated the feedback from the sales and was now ready to be shown to the developers. The feedback we got from the 3rd-party developers was to remove the option to sign up via LinkedIn due to budget constraints. They had also recently adopted a strict password requirement (special characters and numbers), so they wanted to show users a small description of what the password needed to contain. My original idea was to hide the password requirement bullet points and only reveal it when the visitor selects the password field, but that required additional development time, so we decided against it for this first iteration.

Taking all their feedback and budget constraints into consideration, I created a design mockup that would eventually become the actual lead form.

While creating the mockups, we also decided that we could further improve the experience by embedding the form in a lightbox instead of a new page. This would allow us to display the form right there on the product page, saving visitors a few clicks and page loading. It also meant that if visitors didn’t want to fill out the form, they could just close it and still watch the short preview.

Problem 3 – Difficult Verification Process

Another problem that is part of the sign-up process is the email verification step. This is something that we have put in place to keep fake accounts/users from watching our full videos. We send newly created accounts an email with a verification link that needs to be clicked to verify the account and to enable them to watch our videos. This wouldn’t be an issue if it wasn’t for the fact that once users click on the verification link, they are taken to the homepage. This means that they once again have to find the video that they initiated the registration process from.

Old User Registration & Preview Flow

Solution

For us, it was vital that once visitors verifying their email, they are brought directly to the product page that the initiated the registration process from. Our assumptions were that this change would help:

  • Cut down on the number of steps it would take a visitor to register and watch the full preview
  • Avoid leaving the user stranded on the homepage when they verify their email
  • Increase the number of full-length previews
New User Registration and Preview Flow

 

Testing

We implemented all the above solutions on a micro-site that we built for one of our products. This gave us a great opportunity to test the preview and registration process with live traffic without doing it on the main website. We tested it with a few thousand visitors, giving us a good sample size and indicator on what we can expect.

We recorded the following results 30 days after implementing the changes.

Seeing an upswing in new members, even though, the traffic to that site dropped by 40% was very reassuring. The conversion rate went from 0.82% in July to 2.65% in August, an increase of over 220%. We were confident that this increase wasn’t just a anomaly and that, once added to the main site, it would have the same effect.

Results

Once we implement the changes on the main site, the results were almost instantaneous. We went from a registration rate of about 1.5%, in the months leading up to the new registration form/process, to over 2% after the implementation. Our traffic stayed relatively the same before and after the update, but the registration rate increased by over 50%

While we were able to increase registration form visits by over 330%, our abandonment rate when from 50% to over 80%. This is a very significant increase in form abandonment, one that has a significant impact on how many registrations we receive. Our initial assumption was that if we reduce the number of fields and make the overall form shorter, it would decrease the abandonment rate, not increase it.

Before the Registration Form Update
Before the Registration Form Update
Before the Registration Form Update
After the Registration Form Update
The two play buttons (Free FULL Preview and Short Preview) have helped us get 4 times as many registration form views, but visitors are now more inclined to just close the form instead of completing it. This isn’t what we expected, especially since the new form is a lot shorter than the one before. We don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but we may have a few theories as to why the form abandonment increased. The first being that the form is now much easier to abandon than before. This is due to us implementing a lightbox, instead of taking the visitors to a separate page. The other theory is that the registration form is now viewed by many more visitors, which means that even lower quality traffic is clicking on the full-preview button. Before the update, only serious prospects who were determined to preview the film would have clicked on the sign up text link.
The next steps…
We can’t increase the quality of traffic, but we can try make some changes to the actual form to encourage form completion. This includes creating a multi-step form that will seem shorter and quicker to fill out. The theory is that once visitors start filling out the basic information in step 1, they will want to complete step 2 as well, since they have already invested the time in starting the form. 
We will be testing a new form in the Fall of 2019, so I will update this case study with the results of the multi-step form.