April 2017: Advisor Site Login and Registration

All firms share a common agenda for advisor sites, regardless of their business goals: convince target viewers to register and log in on a habitual basis. Providing a functional and intuitive log in process positively influences perceptions of usability. Similarly, registration is often the first place where advisors formulate impressions about a website, so ensuring that this process goes smoothly is critical. Confusing findability or a lack of reset options creates roadblocks for returning users and reduces motivations to log in. This Mutual Fund Monitor – Advisor Report gives step-by-step walk-throughs of login and registration procedures on each coverage group site, drawing comparisons and highlighting best practices and themes. This report serves as an industry snapshot and does not assign grades.

Firms generally make the bulk of advisor site content viewable without the need to log in, and registration primarily grants access to select white papers, webinar and conference call replays, calculators and tools. Putnam and Fidelity employ the most restrictive pre-login sites, barring more content than their peers. Eighty percent of firms denote blocked content through padlock icons. Best practices for a user-friendly login process include clear, static registration/login link positioning, password reset options and third-party login through services such as LinkedIn or DST Vision. Firms can bolster registration with progress meters and confirmation messages to keep users situated and informed.