We've all been there…
We're surfing around the net looking for something – or perhaps just checking up on some of our favorite sites. You click onto a website which looks promising and – BAM! You're greeted with a big-ass popup asking for your email address.
And odds are that I can guess your next move. 🙂
Close it, right?
You probably don't even bother to read what's on the pop-up. You just close it because it gets in the way. You probably even find it mildly annoying.
So, the question is… if there's a good chance that you're doing this, is everybody else doing it, too? And, do popups even work anymore?
The Dirty Little Truth (with proof)
The truth is… popups do work. If they didn't work, people wouldn't use them.
Plus, one has to take into account the target audience. When you're dealing with a group like bloggers or online marketers, the effectiveness of such tactics are likely to be different. That's because that demographic is likely hit with pop-ups all the time. To them, your popup is just… another damn popup. But, to an audience who isn't subjected to “internet marketing” every day, the story is entirely different.
But, let's look at even the audience here at Blog Marketing Academy.
I recently re-instituted a pop-up invitation to join the 30 Day Blog Transformation Challenge. It is cookied to only display on a person's first visit – this way I don't piss people off with repeated distractions.
My primary requirement was that I did NOT want to use Popup Domination. 🙂 It isn't that I think Popup Domination is a bad plug-in. But, in my view, too many people in my niche use it now and use the same basic selection of templates. For that reason, I believe my audience is going to be more likely to dismiss a Popup Domination ad because a good portion of them probably recognize it (or even use it themselves). So, I ended up going with something customized.
So, does it work? I haven't done any split-testing or anything yet, and as of now the opt-in rate is about 2%. Is that awesome? Well, no, but its higher than most other opt-in forms on blogs perform. But, look at the screenshot of the raw subscriber list to the right? I use the “ad tracking” feature of Aweber to track where subscribers are coming from. Overwhelmingly, they are coming in from the popup.
So, is it working? Without a doubt, yes. And, I bet I can pretty easily get that opt-in rate even higher with some solid testing.
About Running Pop-Ups On Your Site
There is absolutely no getting around the fact that pop-up opt-in forms work.
But, I know a lot of folks will still refrain from using one because it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. You don't want to annoy people. That's understandable – and noble.
But, let me make two points here…
First off, it is YOUR website. Not theirs. You can do what you want with it. And, if you're not seeing any return for your effort in providing information on your blog, how is that doing you any favors? If people are coming to your site every day and you're not using EVERY opportunity you have to get them to join your email list, get real value from you, and solidify a relationship… then you're dropping the ball big-time. And you can't run a business with an apologetic attitude of not wanting to bother anybody.
Secondly… just because you're using a popup doesn't mean you have to eye rape people. Be respectful. ALWAYS use a cookie to ensure that people will only see the opt-in once. I think that's more than fair. At the same time, test the content of the opt-in form. The closer you can make the pop-up align with what they were looking for when they came to your site, the higher the likelihood they'll opt-in. Plus, they'll be getting what they want.
You can also play around with timing of the opt-in form. Maybe you want it to delay a bit and not pop up right when they arrive. Perhaps you want to trigger it only as they scroll. There are a number of ways to do it.
It is about balance. Find it. And practice it.
What are your thoughts about pop-up forms? Do you use them? And if you do, what kind of results have you seen?
I expect, with my audience, most of you probably close them. But, the numbers don't lie. Some don't. 🙂