Community: Improve your registration & posting rates in 4 simple steps - 3.0x & 3.5x

Ted S

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Ted S submitted a new Article:

Community: Improve your registration & posting rates in 4 simple steps - 3.0x & 3.5x

This article and its associated code was last updated on May 28th, 2006. This modification now works as a vb product plugin.

The out of the box vBulletin style does not have a robust method of informing users about their current activity status or user level. As a result, guests entering on a page other than the homepage (which is most often the case) have no idea what a forum is about. Additionally, there is no visible status indicator for users making it hard for users to know their account status. Unactivated users may be uncertain why they can’t post, and new members may not be certain where to start.

To help solve these problems I have created a 4-part set of conditionals to better introduce members to your community while pushing them to register, activate or post. The default templates are just that, default – I highly encourage you to tweak the language and functions to meet the needs of your actual community environment.

Modifications/ Instructions:
Template edits: 2
Plugins: 1 (adds 4 phrases and 1 template)

This template hack should take under 15 minutes to implement and customize.

About the versions:
- The default version of this plugin adds messages near the top of the page in the most visible place possible.
- The vbSEO version of this plugin incorporates a minor change to the welcome headers and pushes them down into the navbar area.

Both versions have the same options and configuration settings.

Details on how it all works:
Step One: Turning lurkers into Members
After looking at my own referral statistics it was evident that almost all of my traffic was coming in through subpages from Google or other search engines. This raised an immediate concern as I realized that vBulletin 3.5 only contains a welcome message on the forum homepage. While it may be evident to any forum admin what a forum is about and why you should register I would imagine that a lot of users in a non-technical area might have no clue what my site was about or how they could join. Therefore it seemed important to move the welcome message to every page and to customize it to speak out about the exact community the user was visiting.

Step Two: Making Users Confirm their Account
Just because a user isn't confirmed doesn't mean they don't want to use your site; often time a user signs up with the wrong email address, forgets to confirm or their spam filter blocks...

Read more about this article here...
 
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Ted S

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
6,127
For anyone using the older version of this article (3 steps) I highly recommend you remove the template changes and switch to this version as it's both easier to maintain and has more features.
 

KeithMcL

Freelance Web Designer
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
5,728
Thanks for the update Ted. I plan on implementing these changes over the coming days. Hopefully they'll help as much on my forums as they did on yours :)
 

Ted S

Tazmanian Master
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Feb 19, 2004
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Scribbller,
If you find a way to do it please let us know for the rest of the IPB community!
 

Sniper

Look behind you!
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
220
You've missed out the welcome_ads phrase! which should include the advert code...
 

DaveMo

Aspirant
Joined
Jun 8, 2004
Messages
22
Great article, and lots to think about and/or implement! Thanks.
 
Joined
May 12, 2004
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Hey there. Thank you so much for this!

It works like a charm! I just need to tweak a couple things, but I really think this is going to help, as less than 5% of my guests enter in through the main page.

Thank you so much!
 

Sniper

Look behind you!
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
220
this had strange effect on my forums, as new users tend to post a thread in the Introduction forums with their computer problems!
 

dcallan

Aspirant
Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
18
Nice article, but how could I implement something like this but keep the first_visit message in the same place as it is.
 

Ted S

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
6,127
Dcallan,
Do you simply want to place the ads differently or do you want to leave the first_visit message so it is completely unchanged and only appears on forumhome?
 

biggazillakilla

Adherent
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
278
Can't say for sure, but after implementing this code, my registrations and posts are way up. I've done a few extra promotions (such as emailing my 50,000 subscribers and giving away free prizes), but I've also gotten 1,000 new registrants in less than three weeks (since I've added this code). Coincidence? Probably not. I think the friendly, customized prompts really help.
 

biggazillakilla

Adherent
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
278
KeithMcL said:
Were the 50,000 subscribers already forum members?
Whew, no. I've been building that list for years, since I started my site. My forum's only two years old, and I've got only 11,000 forum members.
 

KeithMcL

Freelance Web Designer
Joined
Jan 12, 2004
Messages
5,728
So emailing the 50,000 people on your list might have created the 1,000 new registrations and not the changes?
 

biggazillakilla

Adherent
Joined
Mar 9, 2004
Messages
278
It's possible, of course. But in the past when I've sent out newsletters to my subscribers, I haven't gotten such a spike in new registrations. Furthermore, now one month later, I'm still getting new subscribers at a pretty good clip.

Again, I'm really just speculating. :)
 
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