Aleph Zero Blog

How I converted 82% of my traffic to registered users

Fri Oct 17 17:13:51 UTC 2014

Last week I launched my side project that I've been thinking about for a long time. It was an exciting few days, in which I received overwhelmingly positive feedback.

But in all this good news there was one number that was the most astonishing: about 82% of all users who came to the front page, actually clicked through and became registered users.

How did I manage to reach this conversion rate?

Just one day before the launch, the registration flow was the usual flow you might expect. After a user answers a question, a nice little registration form blocks his way to the next page. His answer is not counted and he can't see the questions before creating an account.

The day before the launch I realized this is not going to work. Nobody knows my site yet, so why would they join? Even if the registration is only a username and password, people are so sick of registering that they need to actually KNOW what this site is.

So I came up with the current registration flow.

The novelty is creating the user accounts for them, by randomly generating a username and password. Right when they click to go to the next page, I create the account and present them with their username and password:

There, they can either enter their email for getting the account info or they can later change their details (the cookie that's used to identify them expires in several months).

In the end result I got a very bustling site right at the launch thanks to this idea. Also, a nice percentage of users already took the necessary steps to ensure that they will have access to their account in the future.

I believe this automatic account creation is successful for the following reasons:

  • Users really don't have the patience to fill forms, even though they would like to participate.
  • Users don't mind at all having a random username and password assigned to them. Thinking of a username and password is hard work!
  • Users are generally more inclined to give their real email address when nobody is making them, and they have a good reason to (save their account info).
  • In my implementation, the generated username consisted of an adjective and the name of an animal. It actually turned out to be fun and creative.
  • Even if people lose their password, it's really easy to create another account...
  • Once users can easily change their account details, there really isn't any disadvantage to this flow.

After seeing the result in the last few days, I'm actually quite surprised that more sites don't use this tactic to increase user engagement and lower bounce rates.


See it for yourselves at http://alephz.com