Claim Your Handle: Using FOMO to Get More Signups for Your Product

Victoria Rudi
June 10, 2022
⌚ 4 min read

→ Your growth practice

Create a sense of urgency by nudging website visitors into claiming their username, new email address, or domain before someone else does. Use this call to action (CTA) as an access point through which people will signup for your platform.

→ Quick explanation

💥 Problem(s)

  • Low signup rates
  • Increased signup abandonment

💡 Solution

  • Instead of inviting your website visitors to signup or try your product, add a “Claim Your Handle” CTA to create FOMO and get them to access your platform.

Think about social media handles. In some cases, people claim their handle to ensure others won’t get the same username or nickname. They may not use the social media platform, yet they’ve claimed the ownership of their handle, knowing no one else will use it.

If these people want to start using the social media platform, they can do it under their name or nickname. So to make sure they’ll have access to it (whenever they feel like getting active on social media), they choose to claim it beforehand.

Remember Clubhouse?

Although people couldn’t get into Clubhouse without an invitation, the company would incentivize them to register by using the “Create Your Username” CTA, creating a certain level of FOMO.

Clubhouse Screenshot

The same happens when entrepreneurs or creators buy domains for possible new projects, ensuring no one else will grab them first.

Twitter Screenshot

If your platform allows it and is relevant to your offer, use the same FOMO practice to increase your signup rates.

Instead of a “Try it for Free” CTA inviting people to signup by creating an account, ask them to claim their handle as a way to access your platform.

► Quick note: Although very few SaaS companies can use this growth practice, it may inspire you to improve your product signup CTA.

→ Definitions

📓 Handle: A general term used for a name, nickname, domain, address, or URL people can claim or grab when signing up for a new platform.

📓 FOMO: When encouraging people to grab their a handle, you’re implying the possibility of someone else claiming the same username, address, or domain. This creates the fear of missing out, and, in most cases, your website visitors feel compelled to grab their handle right away, signing up for the platform.

→ Types of handles

The type of handles can vary depending on the platform type.

  • Username: Asking people to claim this handle may work for a wider variety of SaaS companies that offer a dashboard or page people can share publicly.
  • Email address: It works for a new email provider.
  • Domain: For website hosting platforms, website building tools, online publishers, and more.
  • Space: It can work if you’re providing, for example, open spaces for conversations, gatherings, streaming, live podcasts, or events.

→ Your growth opportunities

  • Increase your signup rate. In most cases, people don’t want to miss getting their handle.
  • Get people to go through the signup process. After all, when you’re claiming your handle, you’re motivated to follow through with the signup process and create an account, making sure the nickname, email address, domain, or space is yours.
  • Providing unique handles will inspire people to take ownership of their environment on your platform and be more active in using it.
  • Increase brand awareness and leverage the virality of your software. Offering users a unique handle implies you’re providing public dashboards or links the users’ contacts can access and visualize. As a result, these contacts will get to know your brand, familiarize themselves with your platform, and maybe claim their handle tool.

→ Case examples

>> Cal, an open scheduling infrastructure

To create an account on Cal, people have to claim their username.

Cal Screenshot

Website visitors can add their username and check its availability. In some cases, the handle is taken.

Cal Screenshot

But if the handle is available, people are asked to go through a regular signup process, adding their email address and password.

Each user gets a personalized Cal link with the username. Subsequently, they can share the public page with their contacts, who can access the calendar and book a meeting date/hour.

Cal Screenshot

>> HEY, email service provider

Although HEY’s primary CTA is “Try it free,” the company redirects people to a page where they can pick their email address.

HEY Screenshot

That’s the first signup step, followed by actions such as:

  • Setting up the password
  • Adding a backup email
  • Verifying the backup email

Once you’ve claimed your email address, it’s difficult not to follow through with the process and ensure you get it.  

HEY Screenshot

→ What to consider?  


  • Is my product offering the possibility of publicly sharing a dashboard, space, or page?
  • Is it relevant for people to create personalized handles to use my product?


As mentioned previously, this practice is suitable for fewer SaaS companies. Here are some of the requirements/attributes they should meet:

  • Public. Are your users able to create public dashboards, spaces, studios, and pages?
  • Shareable. Your users should be able to generate links to public dashboards containing their handle and share them with their contacts.
  • Viral. You can’t create handle-related FOMO if only a few people use your product. The more popular your product is, the more people will signup to reserve their handle.

→ Your action framework

If your product meets the requirements mentioned above, you can try the “Claim Your Handle” CTA as a main platform access point for your website visitors. Here’s how you can do it:

✅ There’s no need to change your signup process. But you have to add an initial step, encouraging people to type their handle and check its availability.

✅ If the handle is available, guide people through your regular signup process.

Generate a personalized dashboard, space, or page that includes the handle (whether it’s in the link or the name of the public dashboard) and encourage people to share it with their contacts to achieve a specific result.

✅ Don’t forget that you can always test your CTAs. For example, you can run both “Try for Free” and “Claim Your Handle” CTAs and see which version works best to increase the signup rate and lower the signup abandonment rate.