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I am working on a website project that pulls in data/post from third-party resources and we are compensated for each referral to their site.

Due to our content agreement, we are unable to require a visitor to register prior to the referral (i.e. click on content, register, then forwarded) so we are trying to think of different methods of capturing leads/registrations. One idea is to create a login wall that forces all visitors to register for an account prior to accessing the aggregated content, but we have big concerns that our bounce rate is going to be through the roof and we'll lose the referral and registration. Does anyone have experience with this sort of sales funnel?

What are some best practices for user acquisition that is not email/content motivated or does not apply to a discount or free swag? Thank you for your help!

  • JB

    Jeff Bartolini

    about 4 years ago #

    Hi Justin, The approaches depend a bit on how you are getting traffic to your reposted content AND whether the user understands that you/your product represents a benefit to them. In a way, think about ProductHunt as they have a brand, curators and a community that creates a desire for people to sign-up to get MORE content from them - yet at the end of the day they are just a massive referral source.

    Generally speaking, a hard login wall represents a commitment by the user. As such, the user needs to have a compelling reason why they would signup or create an account on your site.

    If traffic comes to your site b/c your ads/seo are better and then your forward the traffic on where the user does NOT understand your usefulness...or perhaps care about your role in this process, then a hard login would likely spell a massive abandon rate as you suspect.

    If traffic comes (or more returns organically) to your site b/c your site is a source of good content and your brand is one the user trusts and wants to depend on to get more content in the future. Then the hard login might deter some traffic but not be destructive to your total referrals.

    Here are 2 major things to consider:

    1) test this hypothesis using and AB testing platform. setup a test where some portion of users are presented a login wall or landing page and others are not. then study the conversion points of New Site Visit to Signup to Referral (as well as absolute values especially for referral redirects) vs the segment that did not get the login experiment

    2) instead of a hard login, consider a much softer approach. build your brand by adding newsletter or "join-the-community" style "signup" forms to capture just email as the user is moving through your site (conversely consider social sign in). These CTAs could be placed in a number of locations throughout the user journey prior to the final referral off your site.

    The second approach then allows your to start retargeting and developing a relationship with the audience that does signup. Further, you would need to look at analytics about sources and user behavior for the population that does NOT join vs the population that does.

    In either case you are benefiting b/c 1) you are learning about what type of traffic never signup and 2) building a database of users who you can market to in the future.