How do you get folks to log in?

bmaue Vanilla Seedling


When looking at our analytics, we have many "guests." I know that guest means they are not logged in. How do you get users to log in? Any suggestions would be super helpful!



  • gxjansen
    gxjansen Vanilla Flower

    Why do you want them to log in in the first place? Just to track who they are?

  • bmaue
    bmaue Vanilla Seedling

    @gxjansen exactly. Our Community isn't public, so I would like to know what users are logging in.

  • PiperWilson
    PiperWilson HLV Staff

    @bmaue - Are you seeing guests on logged-in pages? A closed community shouldn't see that, no matter what, to the best of my knowledge.

  • BrendanP
    BrendanP HLV Staff
    edited April 26 #5

    @bmaue There isn't really a way to know who specifically they are before they login. You can create a report in the analytics where it shows number of users by guest UUID and that could give you a sense of how many different people are hitting your /entry/signin page but not registering or logging in.

    However, I think you're bringing up really the fundamental question of community - how do we get people to engage? The easy short answer is - it's about providing content or an experience that is compelling enough to get them to participate. Actually doing that is what's really hard.

    Personally, from what I've witnessed over the past 7 years at Vanilla/HL is that private communities have a much tougher time gaining traction, even with SSO for your customers configured. You may want to experiment with some sections of your community being more public so prospective members get more of a sense of what's there before joining.

    I am wondering if some other seasoned CMs have advice on how to drive more sign-ups and engagement and if they have opinions on private communities. @norahquan @Lorena @Ines Batata @MOliveira @Kayne Schwarz @Genevieve P @Rav Singh

  • Shauna
    Shauna HLV Staff

    Hey @bmaue one thing I often see with private communities is that their homepage looks awesome to logged in users, but kinda bland for guests at first glance, which doesn't get folks super excited about logging in.

    When a community is set to private through the 'private communities' setting, the community homepage tends to look something like this, maybe with a moderation message or CTA:

    Personally, I prefer to turn off the private communities setting, and instead just control guest permissions so they can't see much in terms of content (or anything at all), but they still get a fancier homepage, something like this (super quick mockup from my demo site):

    The key here is to target specific widgets to the guest role (read more about this here)

    I'd also recommend you consider making some categories public to guests, even if it's something like a welcome category so it doesn't feel empty.

    If you've got critical mass, the counts widget might also hint at the activity in the community that guests would have access to if they do sign up.



  • Rav Singh
    Rav Singh Vanilla Ice Cream

    Our community looks to battle this by subscribing to the old adage that content is king 👑.

    As Shauna touched on above, users will be more inclined to engage if there is something they can engage with.

    Depending on the role your community plays you could look at certain things such as introducing your Community via other channels eg EDM, phone/email based teams etc, Community-exclusive events eg. AMA's, promoting it as the channel for product feedback/product ideas, Community being the exclusive channel for support on a certain product etc.

    Back in the very early days of our Community we had the situation where we promoted our Community heavily to our customer & partner base but didn't do a good enough job on the content side which resulted in slow engagement. Super basic but key learning from 2014 we still abide by. For us its particularly helpful when launching new product categories that we want to introduce to our members.

    Our Community is public but we also have the situation where we have a disproportionate volume of guest traffic vs active members but I think that comes with the territory of being public. We have certain areas of our Community that are only open to certain users controlled via roles & permissions.

  • norahquan
    norahquan Vanilla Flower

    I would echo Shauna's suggestion - our Community looks like we have lots of content public (but actually our most active categories are set to private) and we have links on our home page (e.g. to ideation) which then prompt you to log in, the aim of which is to act as a teaser and incentivise the visitor to want to register/ log in to see more.

    We also plan to use pockets to add extra 'sign in' prompts on some of our public pages.