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We've created a platform where users can subscribe to their favorite organizations' newsletters (similar to Mailchimp). But we also want to allow subscribers to post content on their organizations' page (similar to Yelp or Meetup).

We're afraid that if we were to force everyone to create accounts, it might deter those that are new or just want to receive the weekly newsletter to sign up.

We're in the early stages, and our focus is to expand our user base as much as possible.

Are there any past lessons or existing examples that we can learn from?

  • Hi. Why can't both cases exist side by side i.e. subscribe without creating an account. But if you want to post on organization's page, then enforce account creation? – Z Z Sep 5 at 11:42
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I think it will depend on your goals, you mention that growth is your focus. Any growth strategy will produce a large proportion of inactive users, if you focus your metrics on those, it might end up being misleading, and you could end up developing features for an average user that just doesn't care about your product.

To avoid this, you do need some sort of progress metric that helps you separate the inactive from the potential loyal users. I wouldn't let much time pass since first interaction until they commit to something, as you are a startup, relying on metrics that require a long time to be measured (like the users returning during the first 30 days) could be dangerous, so try to filter out users on what they do in the first day or so, even if that means asking them to create an account once they subscribe to their first newsletter.

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We have had a similar but not exactly the same kind of situation for Book store.

Quick answer:

We did not request or seek attention towards user registration but towards the free book/pdf that the user will get if they give us their email address. Basically this was the workflow

  • Show free book with graphic design and reviews of the book.
  • User gets a text field to enter email address to receive free book.
  • Modal window shows excitement and confirms that free book has been sent to the users email.
  • Modal window also has ( Sign up while you're at it message, with password text field)
  • Email has a link that has the PDF but comes with a create account pop up.

The user is happy to give their password because they have already received the free book. It does not look like a task anymore.

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