How do you get folks to log in?

bmaue Vanilla Seedling
edited June 2023 in Talk Community #1


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 Ice Cream

    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

    @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 2023 #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

  • Rav Singh
    Rav Singh Vanilla Sundae

    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 Ice Cream

    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.

  • MOliveira
    MOliveira Vanilla Sprout

    Hi, regarding private communities, I'd say they better have a good reason and value proposition related to these communities being private, like exclusive access or benefits targeted to a select audience.

    While we also struggle with the same issue regarding getting guests to sign in and engage, I try to think of this question as I come up with initiatives "if I were a guest visitor, why should I sign up? What’s in it for me?"

  • Shauna
    Shauna HLV Staff
    edited June 2023 #10

    Yes @MOliveira !!!! I am always trying to think about the WIIFM factor when working on community strategy.

  • Heather Wendt

    Great comments and suggestions here! I have worked on both private and public communities. For private, my goals was to make it less like "Let's Make a Deal" where folks have to commit before knowing what they are commiting to and let themet a taste of what they would get after joining. I was working on building 'lite' content offerings that shared value and gave a glimpse into what we did without giving away the content and resources that our paying members (association) were receiving. Definitely a careful balance between sharing value that leads to the even more valuable membership options.

    Right now I am running Gain Grow Retain which is a free community. We allow our content to be visible and accessible to all regardless of whether they login, but in order to engage (comment, ask a question, download a pdf, etc), you have to log in. For us, we offer resources and connection with no strings attached as a community of practice, so this means removing as many barriers to information as possible. The good news is that we still grew from 6,700 members last year to 10,700 members today all based on word of mouth and SEO. There is value for joining, but they get to explore and learn without any requirements.

    The main point (as so well illustrated by others) is that you have to make it worthwhile to log in, and what you allow to be seen/accomplished before the log in and what they can see/accomplish after logging in has to be enough value to take that extra step. Gamification can support this where behaviors that require a login are rewarded and opportunities are given based on ranks and points. But that is a whole different conversation 😁.