UIEtips: Gradual Engagement Boosts Twitter Sign-Ups by 29%

Jared Spool

June 29th, 2010

Here’s one way to try to get married: Go to a singles’ bar, walk up to every eligible candidate, stick out your hand, and ask, “Will you marry me?” Visit enough bars, talk to enough potential spouses, and, eventually, someone will say yes. At least that’s the theory behind the method.

Interestingly, many web-based applications use an identical method to entice users to sign up. Every user who shows up on the site gets an instant SIGN UP NOW! form, the web app version of MARRY ME! And, guess what? It doesn’t work any better.

Recently, we’ve been seeing different approaches to the sign up challenge. These introduce the user more gradually to the application’s benefits before asking them to sign up. Because the user experiences the benefits directly, they are more likely to follow through on the sign up process.

In today’s UIEtips, our good friend Luke Wroblewski shares his analysis of the gradual engagement process that Twitter’s been experimenting with. The results are amazing (29% pickup) and Luke’s analysis is fascinating.

Read the article, Gradual Engagement Boosts Twitter Sign-Up by 29%.

By the way, Doug Bowman, Twitter’s Creative Director, is sharing his perspective on these results at the Seattle UIE Web App Masters Tour, July 12 & 13. There are still seats to catch Luke and Doug, plus the other great Masters at this last stop on the tour.

Have you tried an approach of gradual engagement on your site? What’s been your experience with its success? We’d love to hear your experiences. Share them with us below.

Web App Masters TourUntil July 8, register for Seattle and get $200 off when you use the promotion code TOURBLOG. Learn more about the tour at www.UIETour.com

2 Responses to “UIEtips: Gradual Engagement Boosts Twitter Sign-Ups by 29%”

  1. Alper Says:

    I don’t really see that as a form of gradual engagement —the first page stays the same, still ‘will you marry me?’ It definitely *is* a clear improvement of the signup flow to activate and engage a higher percentage of users after signup.

    The Tripit example is already better, but better still would be to completely reconsider why somebody needs an account on your site in the first place to do stuff. You can offer a large part of your functionality —much larger than you would think— to anonymous users or users on temporary sessions. You only need to ask them for an e-mail address (let alone a confirmation) after they have gotten some value out of your site and it has become imperative for deeper engagement that you can reliably identify them in the future.

    We did this because we wanted to remove every possible obstacle in the convert-action flow. Mind though, if you try to implement this, many engineers will give you “that’s impossible” because 1. it is far outside of normal paradigms 2. most frameworks’ session systems are not suitable for this.

  2. Future of Web Design Conference | The Logo Creator's Blog Says:

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