Updated Site Feature: Easier User Login / Price Alert System

Our previous, unacceptable registration system

I was not the only one to find this series of steps to be unacceptable

Last week, I wrote about our new price alert notifications for hot deals. Our system can now automatically email you whenever we find a crazy good deal, as well as email you on product, brand, and category price drops.

As I was writing that post and explaining the process, I realized how unacceptable the login system was. It was just too many steps and too many redirects for you to sign up for alerts.

The new user login system

The new PricePlow user login system

The new user login system

So today, we’re proud to show you our new system for users who are not logged in:

  1. Click on any “Get Price Alerts” (or equivalent) button, such as the one on the hot deals page.
  2. A popup asks for your email
  3. Submit and you are in!

A nice, green alert will show up below that.

Note that price alerts do not begin until you activate your account via the link in your email. This prevents us from spamming people who never requested it.

Successful Price Alert... great success!

The success confirmation you should see. There’s some wild stuff on this site…….

Why we did this: the historical data

Perhaps this belongs on a personal blog, but I’ll throw it here for now:

Looking at the data over the past month, only 47% of the users who we plopped at the old registration page actually tried registering. This is despite the fact that the only thing we asked for was an email address.

In my opinion, that’s quite awful, and represents a few things:

  1. Confusion

    You request to sign up for price updates / notifications, and are thrown over to a new page that doesn’t really mention what we’re about to do with your information.*

  2. Lack of trust

    We know we’re not a major brand, so there’s only so much BS someone is going to take from a “no-namer”

  3. Time to reconsider

    Every extra step you have is extra time you have to be like “Meh, I don’t want to do this”.

    My goal is to decrease the speed so that we look legit, you trust us, and don’t have time to say “meh”.

Going further: less restrictions on activation

As mentioned above, we can’t legally/ethically send you emails until you actually activate your account. I’d love to just start blindly sending price update emails to users, but it’s just too risky for a multitude of reasons.

But before this update, we actually required you to provide your full name upon activation. That’s yet another point of attrition in the “funnel”.

The User Funnel, Courtesy Tony Wright

This is the “funnel” that marketers talk about. With each step, you lose eyeballs. The goal is to make it as easy and painless as possible for users. Image courtesy Tony Wright

The data supports this: of the 47% who provided an email from the registration page, a low 41% clicked the confirmation email**, and 36% of that 47% actually activated!

That’s a terrible final 17% of users who actually trusted us enough to follow through with the entire process.

These numbers will never be 100%, for several reasons:

  • Some people simply will think twice and not activate their accounts,
  • Some of them may be bots,
  • Some of you will not see the activation email, which we’ll have to investigate,
  • Some may have given a fake email, negating the entire purpose of the price updates in the first place, and

Forget the full name!

My guess is that we lost the extra 5% of users due to the full name requirement, and perhaps a lack of privacy policy linkage, which I’ll need to take care of.

Why did we need a name from you? The simple fact is that we don’t.

Y'all got any more of them cheap protein deals?

Y’all got any more of them cheap protein deals?

Whether your name is John Doe or Xglorb Q. DerBeagle, I really don’t care. We all need protein and omega-3’s the same. Sure, it’s nice to know your name, but it’s not worth losing another 5% of you over it.

So that restriction is lifted. Put in your full name, any name you want, or none at all, I don’t care. Just use the system and send feedback as we continue to improve and we’re happy!

Known Issues

Still a few things to clean up:

  • Logins don’t work from the big red buttons on the homepage
  • After activation, you get brashly redirected to the homepage. We’ll make a better screen/page/confirmation instead.
  • Logout isn’t working
  • Lack of privacy policy linkage, as discussed in the footnote below

Again, most of this probably belongs on a personal blog about business, but it’s here. Let me know if you have any feedback!

In good health, Mike

* Writing this makes me realize that it’s time for us to revisit our privacy policy and link to it from the new user login popup.

** This seems extremely low, I must investigate this

About the Author: Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto

Mike Roberto is a research scientist and water sports athlete who founded PricePlow. He is an n=1 diet experimenter with extensive experience in supplementation and dietary modification, whose personal expertise stems from several experiments done on himself while sharing lab tests.

Mike's goal is to bridge the gap between nutritional research scientists and non-academics who seek to better their health in a system that has catastrophically failed the public.

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