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Should You Give Users Access Before They Register

The business case for lazy registration

October 21, 2021

Gating your content can be something of a gamble. On the one hand, allowing users to prematurely access your product means that you might wind up serving a lot of users who you never truly monetize. On the other hand, putting a login wall between potential users and content could lead to slower growth and a smaller user base.

According to Blue Research, 54% of users will abandon a website if the registration process is too cumbersome. Good product designers know all too well that interrupting a user in their intended path can be a great way to lose them.

Over and over again, the data shows that the more cumbersome a signup process is, the less likely a user is to bother with it at all. Eighty-six percent of users say lengthy forms make them quit registrations, and 88% will simply enter incomplete or false information if the signup process is too exhaustive or intrusive.

But how do you solve for registration drop off when your signup process does follow best practices? Lazy registration could be the solution.

What is Lazy Registration?

Lazy registration allows users to access content before they register as a user. This allows users to experience the product without inputting any of their information and can increase the loyalty and lifetime value (LTV) of a registered user base by building a relationship with the user ahead of account creation.

Where you put the login wall is a conversation similar to deciding where to put a paywall within an app. Ultimately, you’ll have to look at what’s within your user experience that users are going to want to see and use for themselves before deciding the app has value.

Lazy registration has the potential to mitigate some install-to-signup dropoff by giving users time to explore the app, and then prompting them to set up an account when they want to save the information or personalize their experience.

How progressive profiling fits in

Lazy registration doesn’t just benefit the users of an application. By collecting data from your users as they interact with the application, you’ll be able to tailor their experience to their needs, without bombarding them with questions.

This process is known as progressive profiling, and it means that your users get the content that’s most relevant to them, without being inundated with requests for more information. Examples of progressive profiling include incentivizing certain behaviors with points or rewards, collecting data from pop-ups as the user progresses through the application, or even prompting users to add more data via email or push notification.

Progressive profiling used in tandem with lazy registration allows you to collect a rich store of data on your users, without putting the burden on them. You’re able to build a relationship with them and establish trust ahead of asking for their personal information and use their behavioral data to serve them with more relevant information and experiences.

Using Social Logins to Avoid Long Signup Forms

If your motivation for implementing lazy registration is for the purposes of progressively profiling your users, it might make sense to also look at incorporating some form of single sign on, or SSO, into your user signup experience.

SSO allows you to build a richer user profile, without asking your users manually for a lot of information. Implementing SSO can also have a dramatic impact on your install-to-signup conversion rate. Slowly learning about your consumers also aids in serving more targeted information to them. In the case of Moogsoft, their team found after implementing SSO with Auth0, that 60% of their users were signing up using Google.

Lazy Registration Doesn’t Have to Mean Zero Data Collection

In the age-old tug of war between user experience and data collection, it’s the product designer’s job to ensure that the former isn’t being compromised too much for the latter. Often it’s inevitable that there will be some form of the tradeoff between an easy user experience and a richer user profile, but technology is rapidly accelerating to close in on this gap.

Apps can use lazy registration to encourage brand engagement ahead of the acquisition, much like an eCommerce store allows users to browse products without an account, right up until they want to favorite an item or complete a checkout. Lazy registration coupled with SSO and progressive profiling can reduce the burden of effort on the user to register for use while allowing for richer data collection, and an all around more customizable user experience. If you’d like to learn how lazy registration can benefit your business and your customers, please reach out to the team at Auth0.

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