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Insight/ Online Media

Social Login Solves A Critical Marketing Challenge


by Bill Piwonka
Vice President Of Marketing

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Article Highlights:

  • Consumers are willing to share detailed personal information in exchange for a more customized and relevant user experience.
  • Social login allows both the marketer and user to reap the benefits of engagement.
  • A snapshot of Samsung’s success showed that social login users were 63 percent were more likely to click on a link in an email.

It’s no secret that marketers are under increasing pressure to solve a critical marketing challenge–creating authentic, personalized, and meaningful engagement with online customers to help fill the lead-gen funnel and close sales.

The good news: Consumers are willing to share detailed personal information in exchange for a more customized and relevant user experience. The bad news: Many marketers continue to rely on outdated methods to identify, learn about, and engage with customers, resulting in incomplete profile data and a poor user experience.

But new technologies are emerging that can streamline identity capture and empower marketing to better understand and engage with users.

Historically, marketers have relied on two primary methods for identifying consumers online: cookies and registration forms. Cookies suffer from all sorts of limitations and are becoming even less effective as browsers implement Do Not Track functionality.  What’s more, the traditional method of online registration forms could actually be costing organizations business, according to a recent study commissioned by Janrain, “2013 Consumer Research: The Value of Social Login.”

First, people don’t like them. Almost nine in 10 people admit having left a site when asked to fill out a registration form. And when people do fill out the forms, a significant number report having provided false or incomplete information, leaving marketers with inaccurate information on which to base personalization efforts.

Finally, even when users complete a registration form, it’s likely they’ll forget their usernames and passwords and abandon the site when that occurs. So the marketer is faced with a conundrum: how to easily identify online visitors and collect as much data as possible in order to deliver a personally relevant experience.

The solution is social login. As you probably already know, social login has erupted onto the scene as an alternative to the traditional registration and sign-in process. It reduces the friction associated with online registration, allows marketers to capture more accurate user information, and allows both the marketer and user to reap the benefits of engagement (i.e., targeted information, deals, and promotions).

Social login lets users securely and easily sign up on a site often in two clicks or less, using an existing ID from a social network, such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, and, most recently, Amazon. During this process, consumers can choose to share demographic and psychographic information from their social profile datas with the site. Characteristics such as verified email address, marital status, birthday, location, interests, work history, and more is available. Furthermore, this data is highly accurate, as it is declared, first-person data–meaning marketers don’t have to infer anything about the user. They simply need to ask their permission to collect it.

The data can then be used to prepopulate sign-up forms if additional data fields are needed, which eliminates the need by the user to enter redundant data, improving data quality and increasing registration conversion rates. And once the data has been collected, it can be used to help drive engagement, through personalization and recommendation engines, loyalty and rewards (game mechanics), and other applications. As a matter of fact, social login improves registration conversion rates by 10 to 50 percent. For consumers, social login is often five times faster than traditional registration, and it eliminates the need to create or remember passwords on each site where an account is created.

Samsung is a great example of social login success. The company has deployed social login to simplify its “Create An Account” process that customers use to register products. Product registration helps them identify customers and learn more about them. Almost immediately, Samsung noticed the value of social login because customers preferred using their social or email identities, versus having to create another username and password.

The company was also able to use the social profile data to maximize its email marketing campaigns, which was a key element to Samsung’s digital plan. After five months, it became apparent that customers who chose social login to create or access an account were high-value customers. A snapshot of Samsung’s success showed that social login users were approximately 34 percent more likely to open email, 63 percent were more likely to click on a link in email, and, perhaps most interesting, 506 percent were more likely to leave a product review. That’s the power of social login.

The value is clear. That’s why now is the time to consider social login for your site. Our 2013 study revealed that 87 percent of online users are familiar with social login and more than half use social login. CMOs can leverage the increased awareness and use of social login to help solve a critical marketing challenge: how to personalize the Web site experience for users. The demand for social login continues to grow as marketers seek to improve the online marketing experience. Isn’t that the opportunity CMOs need to seize the day?

About Bill Piwonka

Bill Piwonka is vice president of marketing at Janrain. During the past 20 years, he has lead marketing teams and initiatives for companies such as EthicsPoint, WebTrends, Intel, and Oracle. Piwonka can be reached at