You’ve probably experienced this yourself: You go to the website of a company that you’re paying for a service, and you have to hunt for a tiny plain text link (or a desaturated button) to sign in to your account. If you haven’t specifically thought about it, you’re probably doing it to your own customers.

It’s an annoying little bit of friction that we shouldn’t be putting them through. They’re going to visit the home page hundreds or thousands of times more than a sales prospect. They come back to our websites to actually receive the value that they’re paying us for. So why do so many of us have websites where we make the Sign In/Log In button less prominent than the Sign Up button? Why are we showing people a huge marquee and a red carpet before they are customers, and then leaving a side door open in the alley once they are paying us?

It’s understandable. We want potential customers to not miss the big “Start A Trial Now” button, since that’s normally the main goal of our websites. But making that button prominent at the expense of the Sign In button/link is disrespectful to your existing customers. I believe that you should respect your existing customers at least as much as your potential ones, if not more.

Technically, it’s a fairly easy thing to do. 

  • Save a cookie in your customer’s browser when they log in.
  • Change your CSS styles to de-emphasize signing up and emphasize signing in when someone with the cookie visits your home page.

    Here’s how it looks on Stunning:

When a potential customer visits

When a Stunning customer visits

I’m using Rails and Tailwind, so it looks like this in the controller where I set the cookie after they log in.

    cookies[:customer] = {value: "y", expires: 3.months.from_now}

And this is what it looks like in the view, where I check for the cookie to decide how the Sign In button should be styled.

<a class="<% if cookies[:customer].present? %>navbar-btn btn btn-sm btn-primary<% else %>nav-link<% end %>" href="/sign_in" id="sign-in-button">
Sign In</a>

<a class="try-stunning <% if !cookies[:customer].present? %>navbar-btn btn btn-sm btn-primary<% else %>nav-link<% end %>" href="#pricing" id="try-free-button">Try it FREE</a>

Consider this your invitation to take a few minutes and make life a little easier for your customers. Let me know if you do (or if you need help figuring out how to do this yourself!) I’m @rfelix on Twitter.

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