How to improve online registration

Olivier Rousseau
4 February 2024 2 min read

How to improve online registration

In this article, we’ll discuss how you can improve online registration to move from outdated desktop based registration process to a customer centric registration on mobile.

5 ways to improve your online registration process.

  1. Don’t just Optimize for mobile. Be Mobile-first
  2. Design Customer-Centric Registration Forms
  3. Offer Multiple Payment Options
  4. Prevent buyer’s remorse: The perfect confirmation email
  5. Your clients should never leave your site to register
  6. Bonus trick: It has nothing to do with registrations

How you may be losing customers with your current registration process

Imagine you want to register a 5-year-old to gymnastics for the first time.

You visit the ABC Gymnastics website from your smartphone and you:

  1. Are redirected to a customer portal that looks nothing like the original site
  2. Have to create yet another account
  3. Have difficulty finding the right class through a long list of classes

You leave the website thinking you’ll register once you get home.

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But on your train ride home from work, you click on another club’s Facebook ad.

The experience is night and day. You can

✅ Find all the information you need without leaving the gym’s website.
✅ Fill out a registration form without creating an account.
✅ In just 3 clicks, the entire schedule is customized to your specific needs, showing only the best options for you.

All you have to do is choose your preferred class, sign the waiver and pay from your smartphone.

Everything is done in just a few seconds.

Now let’s see how we did this.

Don't just Optimize for mobile. Be Mobile-first

I’m not here to tell you to optimize for mobile. Everyone knows that.

But I think we need to move from mobile-optimization to rethinking of the entire registration process from a smartphone.

Here’s why:

Rising Mobile Usage:

With the increasing prevalence of smartphones, more people prefer to register on-the-go. A mobile-friendly registration process is no longer optional; it’s essential. 

Avoid lost opportunities

If your registration process isn’t optimized for mobile, you risk losing customers who don’t have immediate access to a laptop or desktop computer. This is especially important if you’re paying for ads on Facebook or Instagram to drive clients to your website.

Simplicity is Paramount:

Make sure your registration forms are simple and easy to navigate on mobile devices. A complex process can turn off potential registrants. Every piece of information, every question, every image must have its rightful place to avoid confusing registrants when registering from a mobile device.

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📌 Pro Tip: You can try out modern platforms like Activity Messenger to create fully customizable mobile first registration forms.

Designing User-Friendly Registration Forms

Enabling your desktop registration process on mobile does not necessarily make it mobile friendly.

You need to recreate the experience

Minimize number of clicks on a small screen

The steps from discovering an activity to completing registration should be as smooth as possible.

We should minimize the number of steps and eliminate unnecessary complexity.

This includes integrating intelligent features such as conditional logic, where each question guides your potential client to optimal class choices for their situation.

Conditional Logic:

Use conditional logic in your forms to only display relevant questions based on previous answers. This reduces unnecessary clutter and makes the registration process seem less daunting.

Customization is Crucial:

You registration process should be fully customizable to meet the specific needs of your organization and your clients. Yet most online registration platforms still offer a one size fits all process.

You should be able to customize every aspect of the registration either by adding, customizing or removing questions.

Streamline Class Selection:

Make selecting classes or activities as simple as possible, with clear categories, filters, and search functions to help users find what they need quickly.

———————-

📌 Pro Tip: Every dance studio, gymnastics club or swim school I’ve worked with recently has moved from a “show-all classes” registration process to a “guide the client” process. They start the registration form with questions that parents can answer, such as age, level, class type, day of the week, and within a few clicks, clients are only shown the best options for their current situation.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

Flexibility in payment is key to accommodating a wider audience.
Offering payment plans can reduce help reduce drop-offs at the payment stage.

1. Increased Enrollment and Conversion Rates

When a potential client sees that you payment flexibility, it lowers the financial barrier to entry. This can be particularly appealing for families or individuals on tight budgets who might otherwise hesitate to sign up.

2. Improved Cash Flow Management

Multiple payment options can lead to more consistent cash flow. Payment plans, in particular, provide a predictable income stream, allowing you to better manage your finances and plan for future expenses.

3. Reduced Administrative Burden

Including payment plan options with an automated system like Activity Messenger significantly reduces the time and effort required to manage payments manually.

This automation allows your and your staff to focus more on improving the quality of your classes, rather than being bogged down by administrative tasks.

Offer Multiple Payment Options

Prevent buyer's remorse: The perfect confirmation email

Automated confirmation emails and reminders are essential for keeping registrants informed.

These communications should confirm their registration details, provide necessary information about the activity or event, and offer a clear point of contact for any questions.

Prevent buyer's remorse: The perfect confirmation email

But too often a confirmation email is unfairly treated as a basic email, while surveys show that 64% of consumers believe purchase confirmations are the most valuable messages in their email inbox.

And welcome emails have a 70-80% open rate.

It’s therefore crucial to maximize their content to reduce post-purchase inquiries.

Why confirmation emails are so important

  • Essential Information: A confirmation email should at least include details like the session’s start date and time, the activity name, a PDF invoice, exception dates, and the participant’s name
  • Reducing Support Queries: Customizing your confirmation email to answer common post-purchase questions and set clear expectations can dramatically decrease the need for support. as demonstrated by Sportball Laval, which saw a 40-50% drop in such inquiries.
  • Customization and Personalization: Most online registration softwares offer limited personalization options for confirmation emails, resulting in missed opportunities to effectively engage with customers. The right tool should allow for complete customization, including images, videos, personalized details, and relevant links.

How to improve your welcome email:

  • Audit Your Current Confirmation Email: Review your current template to ensure it includes all essential information.
  • Leverage Personalization: Make the confirmation email more relevant and personalized for each customer using MailMerge and customization options.
  • Lean in to high Open Rate: Since confirmation emails have such high open rates, use this opportunity to include important and helpful information that can prepare clients for their upcoming sessions. Examples include blog articles, parent guides, checklists, etc.
  • Choose the Right Software: Ensure your online registration software allows for the level of email customization you need.

—————–

A well-crafted confirmation email plays a crucial role in mitigating buyer’s remorse, a common feeling of regret following a purchase.

Including detailed information about what they can expect next can further enriches their experience.

Some examples are:

✅ Event details
✅ Preparatory steps,
✅ Checklist
✅ Parent guide
✅ Additional resources like blog links

This helps confirm they’ve made the right decision and increases their confidence in your organization and services.

Why clients should never leave your site to register

Maintaining your brand’s identity throughout the registration process is crucial.

The last thing you want is for your customers to jump from your beautiful website to an outdated registration platform that looks like it’s from the 90’s.

With Activity Messenger you can embed the registrations process on your website. We integrate with Canva to ensure you maintain your brand identity from social media to checkout.

This not only strengthens brand recognition, but also builds trust as customers are in consistent environment throughout their journey.

How to Maintain Brand Consistency

  • Integration: Embed the registration form directly on your website to keep potential registrants within your branded ecosystem.
  • From Social to Checkout: Use our Canva integration to ensure a consistent brand experience from social media and email marketing campaigns all the way through to the registration checkout and confirmation email.

Bonus: Grow a subscriber list

Now that you’ve created a seamless registration process, you’ll want to get more people to signup to increase revenue.

One of the simplest ways to this is to grow an audience with email marketing.

Here are a few tricks to get you started or improve your current email marketing strategy.

Newsletter Opt-In Integration

  • Placement: Embed the newsletter opt-in checkbox on your website. Display a QR code leading to your newsletter opt-in at your front desk and during events.
  • Design: Use a visually appealing design for the opt-in form on your website.
  • Clarity: Set clear expectations for what users are signing up for by using concise language such as “Subscribe to receive exclusive content and updates.

Value Proposition & Engagement

  • Highlight Benefits: Next to the opt-in option, list the specific benefits subscribers will receive, such as “exclusive discounts,” “early access to new programs,” or “free resources like eBooks.”
  • Segmentation: Use segmentation strategies to tailor newsletter content to different audiences based on their interests or registration status.
  • Personalization: Create a more personalized and engaging experience by addressing subscribers by name or tailoring content based on past registrations.

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These strategies can turn your email marketing into a powerful tool for nurturing leads, and ultimately driving conversion.

📌 Pro Tip: We had over 100 new subscribers in less than 10 days during peak registration times by simply adding an email subscription form. Many parents come to our website from ads or search and their child is still too young or they might be unavailable for the current session. These are quality leads who are happy to drop you their email address and become clients in future sessions.

Written by Olivier Rousseau Olivier is a kids sports programs owner who has been operating for over a decade with locations in Montreal, Quebec city & Ottawa. He also helps Gymnastics Club, Swim Schools and Dance Studios streamline their operations. He is the co-founder of Activity Messenger an online registration platform for the sports & leisure industry.

Improve your online registration for Dance Studios, Gymnastics Clubs & Swim Schools

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