Why are people not signing up?

Roman Arés Ambitious, Man with an idea

December 6th, 2018


I recently launched my website and the business model is that it needs people to fill out an application on my website. I recently started an ad campaign on ziprecruiter and got over 150 applicants who seem to be interested in signing up. However only very few have clicked the link in the ad to sign up on the website. I provided sufficient info on the ad letting people know that the application is on my website and not actually on ziprecruiter

I've sent emails and texts to everyone of those candidates and still nothing. what am i doing wrong

Any help and suggestion will be highly appreciated

Hamidreza Darabi Lead Data Scientist Ready to Bring in Artificial Intelligence Ideas to Life

Last updated on December 7th, 2018

Hi Roman,

It's cool that you are testing your system, well done! The problem you have is low click through rate (CTR) for your ad. I suggest to:

- ask your users why they didn't click on your ad and keep track of the common reasons, and

- test with variants of the same ad and see if there is any change.

A few ideas that comes to my mind:

- Not relevancy: your user pool might not be related to your ad (it seems not be the case based on your description),

- Not a good content (your email looks like spam, it's too long, too short, not easy to read, fonts and colors are not readable, etc.),

- users don't have enough motivation.

It up to you to experiment.

Eric Kaufman Managing Director, Acumen Business Advisors,llc, Startegic Advisor to startups and small businesses

December 6th, 2018

Hi Roman.

Could it be that you're looking to solve the symptom of your problem rather than the cause?

What business are you starting?

What customer problem does it solve?

How big is the potential market?

Do you have validation from real customers?

Perhaps the reluctance you're encountering is because people don't see a real future (for them) in working in your new enterprise?

As mentioned in the other responses, there are ways to entice participation versus pushing it away. But all of the marketing sophistication will not overcome an inherent weakness in your real business model, i.e., what you're proposing and how you are planning to service your (future) customers.

Although your problem may be as simple as refining your website, I suggest the real issue is probably more elemental.

Good luck in your search.

Steve Getman Executive and business consultant

December 6th, 2018

Hi Roman - Without seeing the ads/offer I can't give you a lot of detailed observations or suggestions. In my experience people are reluctant to fill out forms on a web site unless there is some perceived value to them that makes it worthwhile. So look at your offer from a critical viewpoint (it's sometimes hard to do that to your own stuff). It would also make sense to look at the copywriting and creative of both the ads and landing page.

Happy to look at it in more detail, just reach out to me through my profile here.

Janice Zhang Growth for B2B & B2C tech, looking for a developer

December 6th, 2018

Hi Roman,

Congrats on launching your website and your first campaign! I'll ask a few things before you scale up your campaign or update your website:

1. Why Ziprecruiter? Why not linkedin or Glassdoor? Sometimes picking the right media is half of the success.

2. Why do folks have to sign up on your site? What information is required for them to sign up? Normally folks evaluate your site's credibility and efforts needed before they sign up. I'd recommend evaluating BOTH alternatives to signing up on your site, AND steps needed for them to sign up. Such as, can you enable them to signup using their profiles on Linkedin, FB, or Twitter? Or alternatively, can you ONLY ask for their email or phone#, and then reach out to them via outbound emails or calls/texts?

3. This works for almost all startups—have you tapped into your family and friends circle yet? Aka, you might want to ask your friends or connections to try your service first, or at least help you spread the word.

I specialize in growth marketing for fast scaling companies. Happy to brainstorm more options with you.

Chris Roth Technical cofounder looking for cofounder

Last updated on December 7th, 2018

It's a subconscious cost-benefit analysis for your potential users and the cost of signing up, measured in units attention, is higher than the benefit that they think that they will get out of it.

You need to do one of:

(A) Find a problem that is more painful for your users than signing up

(B) Do a better job of selling your users on why they need you

(C) Make signing up easier (and then ask yourself: even if I filled the form out for them and logged them in automatically, would the cost of figuring out how to use my website be worth it to them?) If the answer is yes, consider SSO or optimize the UX better.

And watch this video: https://www.startupschool.org/videos/40

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business coach

December 6th, 2018

Curt answered in the usual snarky way I do already, so instead I'll go with the "useful" voice here. Advertising is ineffective until you understand where your audience is looking, when they're looking, and how they are persuaded. Simply existing isn't enough. And filling out a form? Death for most landing pages. This includes advertising for hiring/jobs.

There are companies that do nothing but test the way digital marketing does and doesn't work. The results show that most people get their assumptions wrong. You must test every individual element of your digital marketing separately and refine the attempt until you show the kind of response you desire. Even if you have the greatest product/service, the amount of time and exposure required to generate interest and then further to generate action, is way more than you likely are expecting.

Pretty much everything you need to know about digital marketing reality and have been getting wrong can be learned from https://meclabs.com so that's my suggestion on where to start in learning why your form is ineffective.

As for why people aren't applying to your posted job(s), well that's usually because you've described the position in a way that's confusing, unappealing, or otherwise not setting proper expectations. Frankly it's weird, because usually people who are not qualified apply in droves. But perhaps you're actually being effective in weeding out the lazy people who will apply to anything. Have the few applications that have actually been submitted turned out to be relevant and potential good candidates?

Eric Gaze

December 7th, 2018

Hey Roman,

There are some good answers here. I'd add to them, that maybe no one wants to leave ziprecruiter to go to your site to answer your questions, ya know? You're already asking for their info. Making them go to your site is another hurdle for them to cross.

Also that requirement feels questionable, like you only get candy if you step INTO the van. Why can't you conduct business in a reputable place? If you'd never met someone, would you rather go to a secluded location to conduct business or do it in a common, well-lit, very public place?

I would suggest meeting them where they are and letting them complete it on ziprecruiter. You can probably collect the data just the same.

Keep iterating. Keep asking questions. You'll get there.

Rob Hirsch Traveler, nature lover, & entrepreneur

December 16th, 2018

I agree with Hamidreza. I'm also curious what you mean by "seem to be interested". If they didn't click the link, how are you quantifying interest?

What was the value prop on the ad? If the value prop isn't compelling enough, folks won't click.

Overall, the grind of getting users via ads is this:

  1. Launch an ad.
  2. If it's not successful, tweak the ad (preferably based on feedback from someone).
  3. Keep doing this until you determine this platform isn't a good fit.
  4. Repeat this with another platform.

This trial & error is why getting users is a slog, but when you do, it's awesome.

Curt Sahakian Attorney

December 6th, 2018

No one cares. That's why.

You need to hire someone that does this for a living. You wouldn't hire yourself to do this type of marketing, would you?

Well now that you have and it isn't working, you need to fire yourself and hire someone experienced.

They will know that what you are encountering it normal and they will be able to devise ways of generating the results you are hoping for.


December 17th, 2018

You may want to take advantage of A/B testing and have multiple variants of your ads to see which copy/images work best. If you have a low click-through rate the copy on the ad could be at fault. If you have more people dropping off once they are in the funnel, then there could be an issue with the copy on your product/signup page on your website, rather than an issue with your copy.

If you are keeping track of the analytics you should be able to see which part is causing problems: the ad(s) or the page itself.

For sending emails and texts, you may want to start simple and offer something else to the potential customers; like "if you finish your application, we will send you a $10 amazon gift card (only available for the first 100 candidates to finish an application and we're down to 10). That may be more effective.