Tag Archives: personal

Creating Secure Password Resets With JSON Web Tokens

When a user of your application has forgotten their password, it can and should be reset securely. To accomplish a secure password reset, I will demonstrate how to use JSON Web Tokens (JWT) to generate a URL-safe token. The JWT contains encoded information about the user and a signature that, when decoded, is validated to ensure that the token has not been tampered with.

Illustration showing mobile, medium and wide viewports, where the layout of the header and sidebar change as the viewport widens.

Once the JWT is validated, your application can securely allow the user to generate a new password, instead of sending them their forgotten one.

The post Creating Secure Password Resets With JSON Web Tokens appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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Creating Secure Password Resets With JSON Web Tokens

Hacking Your User Onboarding Process: 10 Strategies to Try Now

There is some confusion about what the overall objective of the onboarding process should be. Many view onboarding as an opportunity to get new users up and running. However, I prefer to think of it as laying the foundation for a long-term relationship with your brand or application. Particularly for software companies, it’s crucial to focus on your retention rates if you want to be in business for the long-term. Effective user onboarding is an essential first step in achieving this. The best way to ensure that new sign-ups become active users is by delivering value. Your onboarding process should…

The post Hacking Your User Onboarding Process: 10 Strategies to Try Now appeared first on The Daily Egg.

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Hacking Your User Onboarding Process: 10 Strategies to Try Now

How Unbounce Used Overlays to Get 3,000+ Leads [Case Studies]

You’re a marketer, and a dang good one at that. You follow best practices. You always send campaign traffic to a dedicated landing page. You make data-driven decisions. You do post-mortems on all your campaigns and record your learnings.

But still, your visitors are dropping off your website without converting, leaving you with no way to nurture or convert them at a later date. And it sucks.

No, wait, don’t go! Image via Giphy.

Things are no different for us at Unbounce. Despite our best efforts, we still miss out on a ton of conversions. Whether folks aren’t ready to hand over their information, or they simply aren’t finding what they’re looking for, they just. Don’t. Convert.

We knew there had to be a solution…

Overlays allow you to show relevant offers to specific users at the perfect time, making them less likely to leave your website without converting.

It’s a win-win really. You want the sale, they want the bargain. You want the email, they want the ebook.

But just like with any marketing tool (landing pages, emails, etc.), overlays need to be relevant, timely and valuable in order for them to be effective.

As you may have heard, Unbounce recently launched Convertables, a suite of easy-to-install overlays which can be triggered on-arrival, after delay, on scroll and on-exit. But before releasing Convertables to the masses, we were diligently testing overlays on our own web pages.

Two experiments in particular stand out, in which we used overlays to collect leads for online partnership events. In total, we were able to collect 3,200 leads and signups. We also learned a thing or two about how to maximize conversions, while at the same time respecting the goals of the user. We’d like to share our results and learnings with you.

Digital Agency Day: Sign up to get the recordings

On January 28, 2016, Unbounce and HubSpot co-hosted a brand new online event just for digital agencies. We called it Digital Agency Day (and sometimes, internally, “DAD,” because we’re goofs).

Digital Agency Day consisted of a combination of in-person and virtual events, bringing together expert speakers from the world’s top agencies and agency partners to share actionable advice on analytics, reporting, growing retainers, new business strategy, conversion rate optimization and much more.

In total there were 18 online events, with 6,500+ participants across 101 countries. Yep, you read that right — 6,500 participants. Many of which were captured via a hyper-relevant lead gen overlay.

The problem

The main goal of the Digital Agency Day microsite was to get people to register for the live event. But anyone who’s hosted a webinar or similar online event knows that getting attendees can be tricky. People just don’t want to commit, for fear they’ll be too busy to attend or have scheduling conflicts. Digital Agency Day was more than a single webinar, but the same perceived friction existed.

The Digital Agency Day microsite. (Click for full image.)

We had to find a way to capture those visitors who just couldn’t commit to the live event before they left the site.

The solution

An overlay triggered on exit was the perfect solution. But rather than asking for visitors to sign up to attend the event, as was the goal of the microsite, the overlay prompted visitors to enter their contact info in exchange for the recordings.


How it performed

We weren’t all that surprised that the overlay worked, due to its high level of relevance. That said, even we were a little surprised by the whopping 19.03% conversion rate.


In the end, we chalked up its success to relevance, value and timeliness — the trifecta of effective overlays.

  • Relevance: The offer was similar yet complementary to the on-page offer.
  • Value: Rather than blocking a day off in their calendars, visitors could simply sign up for the recordings to watch at their leisure and cherry pick the ones that were relevant to them.
  • Timely: The offer was presented on exit, as visitors were about to abandon. Had it been triggered on arrival or after a delay, visitors who wanted to participate in the live event may have been confused.
Pro tip: While best practices indicate using no more than two form fields on your overlay to maximize conversions, you may opt for more should you require additional information to qualify or disqualify leads. At Unbounce, for example, we often qualify leads based on a four-field form. The trade-off here may be fewer conversions but with the benefit of qualifying or disqualifying leads right off the bat. Of course, this is something you’d want to test for yourself.

Want more overlay best practices?

Download Unbounce’s free guide: Best Practices for Creating High-Converting Overlays
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CRO Day: Click through to get the recordings

After the success of Digital Agency Day, we decided to adapt the format for CRO Day — a full day of webinars for conversion-driven digital marketers.

Featuring five webinars, two panel discussions, one AMA, one Slack workshop and one… Five-Second Landing Page Showdown, CRO Day was a smashing success — thanks to amazing participants, dedicated team members and one kick-ass overlay.

The problem

Like Digital Agency Day, the goal of the CRO Day microsite was to get people to register up for the live event. But not everyone can commit to a full day of events.

We included some fine print on the page indicating, “Can’t make it? No worries! Sign up anyway and we’ll send you the recordings.” but it would be easy to miss.

The CRO Day microsite. (Click for full image.)

Again, we needed a way to isolate the message that if you couldn’t make the online event, you could still get the recordings.

The solution

Overlays are so effective because they focus the visitor’s attention on a single offer… like getting free recordings.


Unlike the overlay for Digital Agency Day, we experimented with a traffic shaping overlay, which directed visitors to a secondary signup page focused just on getting the recordings after the event.

Typically, traffic shaping overlays are used to move visitors from low-converting pages (like your blog homepage or ecommerce category pages) to high-converting pages, but in this case we used a traffic shaping overlay to entice abandoning visitors with an alternate offer.

The flow looked like this:


How it performed

Pretty. Darn. Good.

Using the traffic shaping overlay, we directed 27.31% of abandoning visitors to a secondary sign up page.


Once on the page, 67% of visitors converted, filling out a six-field form!


Again, this overlay was relevant (a similar yet complementary offer), valuable (forget blocking off your calendar — watch the recordings you want, when you want) and timely (visitors were shown the overlay on-exit after they had seen the initial offer).

However, there’s another key principle at play here: Specificity.

When will I get the recordings? The very next day. Can’t get much more specific than that!

By specifying that the recordings would be emailed to visitors the day after the event, we were able to boost our credibility, presumably resulting in more signups.

Tips, tricks and takeaways

Using the Unbounce overlay guiding principles, you can build overlays that convert like crazy… but not at the expense of visitor experience.

When planning your own overlay campaigns, keep in mind the following:

  • Make it relevant. If your visitor is reading a blog post about waterproof watch reviews, your overlay better not be about bikes. Rather, it should be complementary, like an overlay that directs the visitor to a features page about one of the watch models.
  • But don’t present the same offer. Presenting the exact same offer on the overlay as on page is annoying and needy. Don’t be that dude.
  • Make it valuable. Asking visitors for their personal info is a big deal. Make sure what you’re offering in exchange is of equal or greater value.

Make it timely. Choosing when to trigger your overlay depends upon the goal. (Psst: With Unbounce, you can trigger your overlays on-entrance, after delay, on-scroll and on-exit.)

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How Unbounce Used Overlays to Get 3,000+ Leads [Case Studies]

The Exact Formula For Growing Your Personal Brand on Instagram (With Examples)

Social media now has over 2 billion users worldwide. That’s nearly 35% of the population of the whole planet! And if your business has a target audience who respond well to visuals (think cooking, travel, or fitness) then Instagram is a platform that you cannot overlook. Instagram is becoming somewhat of a hidden gem for businesses. Despite its wild popularity, only 30% of businesses that use social media have an Instagram account. Which, if you think about it, is absolutely crazy. Even though you cannot include links in Instagram posts, Instagram is still an incredibly effective way to grow your…

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The Exact Formula For Growing Your Personal Brand on Instagram (With Examples)

The Xanax-Free Approach to Relieving Anxiety on Your Landing Page

landing page friction
This is what happens when you cause anxiety on your landing pages. So stop it. Image credit: Lostateminor.com

We all know someone who isn’t willing to give away their personal information — that person who will never do banking online and thinks you’re an idiot for giving any website your name and email address, let alone your credit card number.

People using the internet already have a level of anxiety about just being online. They’re increasingly suspicious of every page they visit. They’re worried about privacy, they’re worried about having their banking information stolen and they’re worried that they’re not going to get what they pay for.

Consumers are educated about the internet, and they want reassurance that they’re dealing with a company that they can trust their information with. Your landing pages are no exception; they need to work extra hard towards reducing anxiety and building trust with consumers.

Without that trust there is no conversion.

Let’s take a look at five common mistakes that could be causing anxiety on your landing pages – and how you can avoid them.

1. You have weak message match

Imagine clicking an ad that advertises one thing, but winding up on a landing page that has little or nothing to do with that thing. What would you do? Probably panic and hit the back button!

That cognitive dissonance is caused by poor message match: a measure of how well your landing page copy matches the phrasing of the ad that brought people there.

Being promised one thing and then finding another causes anxiety and will most likely make visitors bounce.

What you can do about it

Make sure that your headline is neatly matched up with the message in your ad to reassure people that they’re in the right place. Keep the color palette and typography consistent from display ads to your landing page, and make sure to repeat the specifics of the offer.

Consider the example below by content marketing analytics tool Pathful. Their ad starts out with a simple, green color scheme, and asks whether or not you’re interested in finding out more about how content can affect your business:


Upon clicking, visitors are taken to this page, where they’re greeted with a nice, big headline that repeats the core message from the ad and assures them that they’re in the right place. Anyone who answered “yes” by clicking on the ad will arrive at a page that speaks directly to the expectations created by the ad.


For bonus points, Pathful should consider A/B testing an ad headline that matches their page’s headline more closely. Dead-on message match like that reassures prospects that they’ve made a “good click.”

You pay for PPC ads, so make them count. If you don’t mind your message match, you’re wasting money.
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2. Your forms are too long

How much information do you need from your visitors? Do you really need 15 form fields of info in order to convince them to convert?

This form below from one of the pages we looked at on Page Fights is asking for too much from an initial contact. It may well be that they need all of that information in order to pre-qualify someone for their program, but this step could be taken later.


Long forms cause friction – and friction leads to anxiety.

In his epic blog post, The Most Entertaining Guide to Landing Page Optimization You’ll Ever Read, Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner discusses the difference between perceived and actual friction.

Perceived friction might be the shock of seeing a long form and worrying that it’s going to take too much time to fill out. The solution to this issue is to either make the form shorter, or break it up so that you collect the information you need on more than one page.

Actual friction happens when physical barriers cause visitors to abandon your page. In this case, that could be the time it takes to fill in the form. Friction may also be unclear instructions or even inline form fields that disappear when you put your cursor in the field. These things confuse visitors and cause them to leave.

What you can do about it

Keep those forms short! Ask for only as much information as is necessary to begin a working relationship with your prospects. If you get their name and email address, you can start asking for a little more information with each new point of contact, starting with the first email you send them.

As always, the caveat here is that the number of form fields that’s right for your landing page will be decided by the visitors. How do they decide? You test a few different variations, and along the way, you’ll find out by which number of fields is most effective.

Who knows? You may even learn that a lengthy form and a bit of friction is an acceptable tradeoff for more qualified leads.

3. Your “facts” are not believable

You’re dealing with a savvy, educated audience who is willing to do further research if they smell something fishy.

Your landing page could have most of the elements of conversion centered design, but start spouting some questionable facts about your product and you’ll put your readers in full-on skeptic mode.

Not only will your prospects cease to trust you – people might even call you out on it, like in the image below. This “rapid hair growth” business made a few seemingly spurious claims, and a fellow has taken the time to build an entire website debunking those claims.

This guy really didn’t believe this testimonial about rapid hair growth. He didn’t believe it so much that he started a website to debunk the claims.

The same applies to hard-to-believe claims used in testimonials.

Testimonials aren’t the “magic bullet” that they’re sometimes made out to be. If they’re not credible, they can reduce conversions.

If you try to pull the wool over your prospect’s eyes, you get the anxiety flowing and the bounce rate rising.

What you can do about it

Stay honest. Use facts that you can verify. Use testimonials from real people who have used your product. It’s as easy to spot sincerity as it is to spot a fake, and testimonials can really help your conversion rates — so long as they’re straightforward and honest.

Oli is fond of saying, “testyourmonials.” What’s good for one page may not work on another, so be sure to test those testimonials!

4. You’re using a lot of words that mean nothing

One of our friends, copywriter extraordinaire Henneke Duistermaat, has at least 17 words that she’d like to see people stop using on landing pages.

All that marketing gibberish like “state-of-the-art” and “world-class” doesn’t actually mean anything to anyone. Is your product “innovative?” Really? How so?

And woe unto those of you who use the word “leverage” on your landing page copy. Woe, I say! You’ve used a word that doesn’t really mean anything unless you’re selling levers. You know what else you’ve done? You’ve just created a bounce-able level of anxiety.

What you can do about it

You can start explaining what you mean instead of using meaningless buzzwords.

“State-of-the-art” doesn’t mean anything real to anyone. Tell prospects what they want to know: what your product does and how it’ll take away their pain.

Talk about the features and benefits of your product using simple, explanatory words. Describe what you’ve got to your potential customers the way that you would describe them to your grandma. You don’t want your grandma to feel anxious, do you? Good. Make it that easy for everyone.

5. Nobody knows who you are

The simple fact is that, unless you’re a major brand, people may not know who you are. If folks don’t know who you are, they’re unlikely to trust you with their personal details.

Consumers are becoming a lot more savvy. One study showed that almost 75% of respondents paid attention to the URL address in browsers looking for “https” connections. From one of the respondents:

For the payment itself, I always seek some trusted logo and the URL bar logo and the URL address.

About 75% of people look for “https” in browser bars when making a purchase.
Click To Tweet

If you don’t show that you’re running a legit operation, your visitors are not likely to want to hand over their personal information.

What you can do about it

Give your visitors a reason to trust you. People expect to see a privacy statement, terms and conditions, and trust seals that they’re familiar with.

Trust seals are third-party badges that show people that your page is meeting high security standards, such as employing the use of HTTPS  or SSL data security.

Be careful, though – too many trust seals on one page can actually add further anxiety. Be sure to place those seals in a high-visibility spot so that they can be seen.

Not sure exactly where to put it? Start A/B testing until you find the right spot.

How will you reduce landing page anxiety?

Now that you know a little bit more about your potential customers, you’re probably starting to feel a little empathy with them. You know that they have real fears, but you also know that you can alleviate those fears.

Get to know your prospects, their anxieties and what they need from you to convert. Then give it to them.

Anxiety is a massive killer of conversions. By demonstrating your trustworthiness, you reduce the consumer’s perception of risk and allow them to make the purchase they want to make.

What other methods do you use to reduce anxiety on landing pages? Let us know in the comments below!

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The Xanax-Free Approach to Relieving Anxiety on Your Landing Page