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Prevent Signup Loss Part I: How to Get Visiting Brides on Your List

by: Kathy DalPra

grow your list of visiting brides(Click here to read Part II of this series.)

I’ll be the first to admit that, when it comes to ‘playing’ with your wedding business website, the design and widgets are the most fun, which is why most of us completely neglect the more critical functions that can actually make or break our online success. It might not be sexy, but it’s the nuts and bolts of a well performing website that keeps sales from falling through the cracks.

Top of the list is growing your list of brides with a signup process. Of course, motivating brides to want to register in the first place is essential and we’ll cover this in Part II. Yet, equally important, though often overlooked, is what happens during and after the actual sign up. Let’s face it, no matter how excited they are to register, if the sign up process is a pain or doesn’t work correctly, they are bound to get frustrated and leave.

That’s why I want to teach you how to conduct a simple self-audit on your own opt-in areas throughout your website. By following these steps you can make sure that you never lose another new lead again due to faulty functionality. It doesn’t take a degree in web development to be a great tester, so put your hardhat on and let’s start inspecting!

Remove All Hesitation & Confusion

Once a bride makes the decision to sign up, you don’t want anything to stand in her way of taking the next step and filling in your form. Ask yourself these questions and make sure your webform passes the test.

Ease of Use

Are your webforms and opt-in boxes easy to find and use? Your input fields should be clear and distinct so that visitors know where to enter their information. This is definitely not the place for fancy disappearing flash and scripts.

Is it clear which information is needed and where it should be entered? Make sure that each input field has a label inside it, to the side of it or directly above it that clearly marks which data gets entered there, such as “first name” and “email address”.

Visibility

Is your webform button bold and clearly visible? Does it stands out? The colors should contrast highly with the background so that it doesn’t get lost among the other elements. Be sure to title your submit button with appropriate words, such as “submit”, “register now” or “get your report.”

Test Everything

To make certain that no potential wedding leads are falling through the cracks, you’ll want to test all of your subscription and inquiry opportunities, including:

  • Your blog RSS Feed signup
  • Your free offer opt-in form
  • Your newsletter subscription form
  • Your service inquiry webforms

Prevent Abandonment With A Registration Audit

The last thing you want is to lose potential leads because the registration process was too difficult or glitchy. You don’t need to be a web developer to test your own opt-in forms. Follow these tips to ensure every step of your sign up process is smooth, easy and fully functional.

  • Confirm that the webform processes successfully once the visitor’s information is entered and they click the submit button. Test all your webforms yourself using an alternate email address. Do you receive any errors when you submit the form? Does the form process completely and correctly, adding new leads to your database and marketing lists?
  • After submitting the form, are you redirected to a confirmation page with a message that tells you what will happen next or what action you need to complete next? Does the confirmation page provide a summary of the webform you just filled in, so that you can print a record of it, if you so choose? Does the confirmation page appear nicely in the site design without any design or alignment issues?
  • Within 24 hours of submitting the webform, do you receive an auto-responder email message that confirms your subscription and provides next steps? Does this email message appear correctly in your email program? Does the message confirm what will happen next and any actions you need to take as a new subscriber?
  • Once the confirmation and email verification steps are fulfilled, do you successfully receive the information you’re expecting, whether an rss blog notification, a free offer or an ongoing newsletter? If the information is an ongoing newsletter or blog feed, are you receiving the information in the appropriate frequencies? If the information is a sequenced e-course or multi-step report, do you receive the information on the days that you are supposed to? Does each part in the course arrive, up to the last one? You need to make sure that the information does get delivered to the recipient on time and as expected. This is particularly important when you’re relying on third party systems to do the work for you, such as an rss feed. You want to be clear what your followers are receiving and when they’re getting it.

I recommend going through this audit process several times using multiple email accounts from different providers. Your prospects will have a variety of email addresses, including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL and personal domains. Make sure your confirmation messages and delivered goodies actually reach them no matter which email platform they use.

Get a Second Opinion

Once you’ve tested everything on your website, it’s a good idea to have a friend or two conduct the same exact audit on their own. Not only will this help you catch any minor grammar issues, it will also help you learn whether any part of the process is confusing or a turn-off. Ask for candid feedback from your helpers and let them know you won’t take offense to their honesty. You want to know how they felt about the process, the level of difficulty they thought it was and whether anything was confusing along the way.