August 20, 2012
User growth requires a solid analytical approach and a creative mindset to mold and build captivating and stimulating messaging. The following four steps are core to growing a user base for companies with an online presence:
1. Optimize the landing page. Since the landing page is the entry point for all new users, it is vital to focus on it. Every site has unique challenges. You will need to define how much information to collect from the user. Capture the bare essentials (remember, every step is just one more barrier to user engagement). Include the value propositions to the user clearly and concisely, including a button with a clear call to action. Bright images of your product or individuals using your service can add to the likelihood of a higher conversion rate.
2. Give users a reason to share. The power of sharing is obvious. However, most companies make the mistake of simply adding in the functionality. It’s imperative to have calls to action in the right context and to make it clear and easy to share. You should come up with a referral program that makes financial sense (refer a friend, get money towards the site). After an individual makes a purchase, give them a unique link to share and invite them to pass it along to their friends.
3. Send emails intelligently. Start with a welcome package introducing the user to your product or service. Make sure to avoid sending superfluous emails. The emails should be intended to activate the users and drive specific actions (complete profile, comment, download the app, donate/purchase, etc.).
4. Most importantly, track everything. The only way to optimize your landing page, marketing efforts, and product is to track everything. You should track internally and make sure to hire a business intelligence expert to analyze your data. There are many companies specializing in analytics that will help track user flows and analyze bounce rates across the funnel. Run A/B tests to determine the most effective messaging, buttons, and images. Test, test, and re-test.
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