Why online registrations for Classes, Activities & Camps Feels Broken

Olivier Rousseau
25 August 2023 2 min read

Remember the days when you had to call or go in person to register your child for an activity?

You’d talk to a friendly voice, answer a few questions, and someone would walk you through each step.

It felt personal, direct, with assistance at every step.

But it was also inconvenient & time consuming.


Over the last 15+ years, registrations moved online and we traded personal touch for efficiency.

Suddenly, human interaction gave way to scrolling through endless lists of classes.

And sure the convenience of registering at any time is great.

But at what cost?

In this article, we’ll discover how modern online registration softwares take a new approach.

We’ll discuss:

  1. Crafting registration path that feels like a phone call test
  2. Number of clicks to purchase: The paradox of fewer clicks
  3. Instagram Reels, Dopamine & Online registrations
  4. JackRabbit & IClassPro were pioneers. How we’re picking up the baton.

My Story (might sound a lot like yours)

A decade ago, my partner and I launched our kids’ sports business.

We logged countless hours on the phone, guiding people through registration.

The process was cumbersome, and similar issues cropped up repeatedly.


Jump to today, and you’ll notice that many organizations are still grappling with the same challenges.

We too often have to email/call our clients to assist them.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Activity Messenger is a modern class management software for swim schools, summer camps, gymnastics clubs and dance studios.


Yahoo vs google (Class Management Software edition)

Let’s use the iconic Yahoo vs. Google rivalry to compare with the online registration software market.

Think of IClassPro and Jackrabbit as the Yahoo counterparts in this scenario.

Pioneers, for sure, but just like Yahoo’s cluttered homepage that complicates the search experience, these platforms are swamped with never-ending lists of programs, camps, and schedules.

Their outdated interfaces turn navigation into a maze, confusing clients more than assisting them.

Modern Online Registration Softwares – The Google of Class Management

Modern platforms embrace the simplicity, speed, and innovation that catapulted Google to the top.

With a clean, minimalist and customer-centric registration path, Activity Messenger makes it easy to find the right class.

Much like Google’s diversification into Gmail, Maps, and News, Activity Messenger also offers tools that replace Mailchimp, SurveyMonkey, Eventbrite, and SmartWaiver.

Crafting a registration path that feels like a phone call

Think about a recent call where you assisted a client in finding a class.

You probably asked them questions such as:

  • Which program are you interested in?
  • How old is your child?
  • What day do they want to enroll?
  • What level are they in?
  • What location?

These questions quickly lead you to the right option for that family.

Yet, with current registration software, customers often navigate endless class options from their smartphone.

They’re lost amidst choices, struggling to quickly find answers.

Especially new clients.

Some figure it out. Others email you for help.
But some just leave, and you just lost a client.

We believe most registration platforms have failed to deliver on their promise.

But times are changing.


Creating an intuitive online customer journey is now possible.

It’s about translating those guiding questions into a workflow to replicates the personal touch of a phone call.

Here’s an example of one of our clients.

Next, we’ll talk about why more clicks to purchase is actually be a good thing.

Number of clicks to purchase: The paradox of fewer clicks

The belief that fewer clicks to purchase improves the customer journey is widely held.

But it too often ignores the purchase’s nature. Amazon’s 1-click checkout thrives due to unchanging variables.

Yet, when registering for an activity or a camp, it’s far from ideal. Reducing clicks to purchase actually overwhelms clients with options.

The focus should be on optimizing the time between clicks, not reducing the number of clicks.

And the rise of platforms like TikToks and Reels has influenced our behavior, reducing our willingness to spend time searching on static web pages.

Increasing the number of clicks to personalize the client experience aligns with this trend.

Instagram Reels, Dopamine & Online registrations

TikToks, Reels, and Shorts owe their addictive nature to how they tap into our brain’s reward system: Dopamine.

The combination of short personalized feeds and interactive features keeps us coming back for more.

But what does this have to do with online registration?

Whether we like it or not, this new content format influences our purchasing behaviors.

How? By reducing our willingness to spend time searching for things.

Especially on static, difficult-to-navigate pages with many options.

So not only does increasing the number of clicks helps personalize the client experience, it’s also become most people’s preferred way to find what they are looking for online.

So if searching your online store feels more like a 90’s website than scrolling reels on instagram, it might be time to start looking for an alternative.

JackRabbit and IClassPo were pioneers. We’re picking up the baton.

Both are great companies with truly groundbreaking products. Modern registration platforms like Activity Messenger wouldn’t be what they are today without them.

But you’re here for a reason.

And the fact is, older registration platforms offer generic & rigid tools designed to work the same way for everyone.

But your business is unique.

So you shouldn’t have to adapt your business rules to fit the rigidity of your class management software.

So if you are considering a modern approach to online registration that provides an enjoyable experience, increases sales and reduces support you’re in the right place. Book a demo today

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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.

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