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61 percent more forum registrations

Studies have shown, that a single word added to your forum can mean huge increases in your visitor to user conversion ratios. This word is because.

Behavioral scientist Ellen Langer (also the author of the wonderfully informative book "Mindfulness") and her colleagues conducted a study on how people reacted when waiting in line at a copy machine and a stranger wanted to cut in line. In the first study, the stranger would ask someone waiting in line "Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?". Within this scenario roughly 60% of the people waiting in line would allow the stranger to cut. However, when the stranger gave a reason for their request by using the word because ("May I use the Xerox machine, because I'm in a rush?"), the compliance rate was nearly 94%. Even more interesting, the study was conducted a third time, this time the stranger replaced "because I'm in a rush?" with "because I have to make copies?". The results? Remarkably, 93% of those in line allowed the stranger to cut in line. Why would such an obvious request be so effective? It should be obvious that anyone wanting to use the Xerox machine would be looking to make a copy, but stating so, giving a reason, was all they needed to allow the stranger to cut.

How does Ellen Langer's study apply to your forum? Are you giving your users a reason to join your forum? You should be outlining the key benefits for registering on your forum on each page for guests to see. Give your guests a reason to become members. Do you prevent guest searching, guest posting, or reading an entire thread? In a study by http://www.sparkBB.com, fourteen forums that had never prominently displayed reasons to join their forum were asked to add the following tagline to the top fold of each page viewable by guests:

Welcome to the {Forum's Name} forum community. You are welcome to browse around our forum as a guest; however, if you register as a member, you will gain the following benefits:

 

The results? After a six-week trial of the above message (some with minor changes/additions) the fourteen participating forums noticed an average 61% increase in their forum registrations.

Try this on your own forum. Give your guests reasons to join your forums and display them prominently on your forum so your guests know exactly what they are missing out on if they don't register.

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Author: Chris Davis

Article Usage: Copyright © 2009 sparkBB, LLC. Copying and/or redistributing this article, in whole or in part, is not permitted. Direct linking is permitted.

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