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Lightbox Effect And Subscription Popups

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Sunday February 19, 2012 )

Using subscription popups to build your list, promote a product or ebook can work very, very well – but when it comes to using a lightbox effect for the popup, I’m not so sure.

I started using popups years ago as a way to boost my newsletter subscriber count. Those of us who used them back then were often scorned by corporate types – they didn’t understand why they worked. Even visitors would complain about them – but the fact remained they worked. Depending on the site, I saw subscriptions increase up to 12-fold.

Using popups to boost subscriptions really came of age when DHTML was utilized, which allowed you to use a smooth transition to display the popup at the bottom of the screen.

As you scrolled down the page, the popup also stayed in its relative screen position. Everyone won – those who didn’t like popups weren’t subject to their reading being sometimes rather rudely interrupted and site owners were still able to show a specific message to everyone who visited their site as they couldn’t be blocked unless the person had Javascript disabled, which was and is unlikely.

In more recent times, there has been an increasing trend to use what’s known as a lightbox effect, also called a modal mask. The popups are often huge, placed in the middle of the screen and the actual page “behind” them is dimmed.

As pretty as they can be, it’s my opinion that if folks didn’t like popups before, they would like these even less as there is no way to view the content without either subscribing or clicking the close button – it’s quite an interruption and could be particularly irritating to those folks in a hurry. Even the popups of old that appeared in the center of the screen were usually movable and content around them could still be read.

While I’m certainly pro-popups, I find the lightbox effect very annoying; but that said, for all I know it could be another situation of ignorance – they may work perfectly well.

I haven’t had the time to test using a lightbox effect as yet, but if you’re using it and your subscriptions are less than what you hoped; perhaps consider going a bit “old school”.

Create a popup just a hundred pixels high that gracefully slides up from the bottom of the screen a few seconds after the visitor has landed on your page – the movement will be enough to catch a visitor’s eye. It should be configured so that as the person scrolls down the page, the popup (or hover ad as they are sometimes known) stays in the same position on the screen – this gives the visitor 3 choices of action (ignore, subscribe or close) instead of two – and it isn’t a show stopper.

If you’re looking for software to generate all sorts of popups, I can personally recommend Advanced DHTML Popup as it’s all I’ve used for 5 years now.

It offers a bunch of features, transitions and effects – including the damned lightbox effect if you’re hell-bent on using it :). It also allows you to integrate transparent web videos into a popup. Learn more about Advanced DHTML Popup here (free trial).



 

 
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