Would you like to easily boost the number of subscriptions to your ezine or newsletters substantially? Consider using popups; hover ads or popovers
Popups? Aren't they dead?
Nope; many sites are still using them successfully, especially for boosting subscription levels.
The old style popup that spawned a new browser window, and is now often blocked by modern browsers by default, has been replaced with hover ads; also known as popovers.
I've been using hover pops on a couple of sites I work on for over a year now and I can definitely say that the results are quite amazing. For example, on one site the subscription rate is around the 10% mark; i.e. 10% of the new visitors to the site provide their first name and email address through the use of a popup subscription box. By introducing a hover pop on another site, subscriptions increased by 600%; literally overnight.
People have become very accustomed to seeing static subscription boxes on web pages and it's becoming increasingly challenging for site owners to get new subscribers or leads as site visitors are often blind to them. The popover grabs their attention.
having grabbed the visitors' attention, you better make it worth their while for the distraction :). Not everyone enjoys the unexpected box popping up.
Subscription boosting secrets
If you use a popup with just an offer of joining your newsletter, you may notice a small increase in subscriptions but the secret is to offer something more - a gift or a bonus. For example:
One one site we use hover popups on, we offer a coupon code for free services. Once subscribed, the person gets the coupon code immediately, then the details are stored in our autoresponder software. The autoresponder series follows up regularly over a month to remind the subscriber of their bonus and other special offers we are running. The initial subscription rates are excellent, and better still, the signup rate for the service is also substantial as a result of the coupon discount.
Using the popup in conjunction with our autoresponder/list manager makes it a seamless process and a relatively maintenance free form of promoting the services - so return on the investment of time in setting it up (which is quite minimal anyway) makes it a very effective marketing strategy.
Remember, the key to making the most from the subscription boosting strategy is to offer something a little more than just your newsletter.
Other subscription boosting popup tips
Be sure to set your popup to not show on every page load to the same visitor. This will just annoy the heck out of the person and also your regular site visitors. I set mine to a minimum of 5 days; which also cuts down on frustrating regular readers.
Also try to keep your popup marketing copy lean - using bandwidth heavy images will slow down your page load times substantially.
The popup presentation should clearly identify as being associated with the site, otherwise the viewer may think it's an offer from another site and totally ignore it.
I suggest making the popup appear very soon after the page has loaded - that way you aren't interrupting a visitor while they are engrossed in an article or their shopping experience.
The popup window should be relatively small so as to not obscure the majority of the page or interfere with navigation. It should also have easily visible controls for closing or minimizing. Don't try and prevent people from closing the popup if they aren't interested in what's on offer - to make it difficult for them to do will relay a negative impression of your company.
Don't rely purely on the popup subscription method for gathering subscribers. Still have a subscription box on each page of your site. Even if the person doesn't subscribe through the popup, the nudge for them to subscribe has been relayed, and they may still join your list if the form is close at hand.
For the best results, ask as little personal information as possible from potential subscribers - a first name and email address is plenty.
Bear in mind that whatever you're offering as a "bonus" should be delivered immediately once subscription is confirmed - or as soon as possible afterwards. This prevents people from feeling tricked into subscribing. Automate subscription and follow up processes wherever possible.
As mentioned earlier in the article, I offer a free popup hover ad generator, which has quite a few features including popover frequency capping, slide in direction and speed, appearance delay and some other nice customizations. My hover ad generator is a good place to start if you'd like to give the strategy a whirl without outlaying any cash.
For industrial strength hover ad creators, review Advanced DHTML Popup - it offers a far wider range of features, styles and popover behaviors and you can trial it free of charge.
Once you've captured the details of a visitor; you'll want to be able to do something with them. If you're still managing your email lists manually; you've probably come to realize how time-consuming an exercise it can be. Consider investing in a full featured mailing list management/autoresponder system - you'll be very glad you did!
In the interests of transparency and disclosure, please note that the owner of Taming the Beast.net often receives goods and services mentioned in reviews for free, or may receive payments or affiliate commissions for advertising or referring others to merchants of products and services reviewed.
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