This is a guest contribution from Abrar Mohi Shafee of Blogging Spell.
Do you build email lists in your website? If your answer is yes, the chances are high that you are using a pop-up to collect emails.
Why is that and not anything else? Because pop-up is proved to be one of the high converting methods for building list and seems pretty everywhere.
You don’t have to look further; our own Darren Rowse made a huge jump up in email opt-in rate by using a pop-up that raised from 40 new subscribers a day to straight 350 subscribers a day.
But over the years, pop-up has started to have a profound impact on user experience and turned into a very controversial topic itself.
If we ask the visitors, 95 out of 100 of them will say pop-ups are annoying. But if we ask the same to a marketer, he will confess that but must be thinking how he could miss the great conversion by pop-ups.
It looks like we are trapped between two choices. But there is a third choice that we usually miss out, and that can get us a good relief. That is simple:
Pop-up should be polite but converting enough.
So here my task is to guide you what are the mistakes that annoy people and how you can solve them to achieve that prestige for your pop-ups.
Mistake #1: Solely depending on pop-up
Is using pop-up itself a big mistake? Well, it can be literally.
To tell the truth, a pop-up can silently kill your blog if that is not well-optimized.
Matthew Woodward ran an experiment how pop-ups affect blog’s bottom line. He set up the pop-up to show up after 7 seconds. He noticed significant drops in the following three factors:
- Pages per visit decreased by 9.29%
- Average visit duration decreased by 10.20%
- Bounce rate increased by 9.02% (lower is better)
Subscribers generated via pop-up forms are not stable and have very low engagement rate that are no good for your website except just increasing the number of subscribers.
So if you decide to autopilot your list building solely on pop-ups and do not use any other method, you will not be collecting all genuine subscribers who could benefit your website.
Solution: You should not wholeheartedly depend on pop-ups and use some other methods to collect engaging and stable subscribers, and eventually reduce the annoyance.
A lot of working list building methods are available of which you can choose yours. According to Social Triggers, here are some of the high-converting placements for your opt-in form (excluding pop-up):
- Top featured box
- Top of sidebar
- Bottom of post
- Site footer
- About page
- Top sticky bar
In fact, you can grow your email list amazingly fast using the following formulas of list building:
Mistake #2: Triggering pop-ups too fast or too slow
Timing is another big factor for your pop-up. If it comes too fast, it will greatly annoy the visitors, and if it comes too slow, it will lose a number of subscribers.
So what is the perfect timing? Some will say 5 seconds converts the highest and some 10 seconds, if not some other will say 30 seconds is perfect.
But my opinion is different. To turn a visitor into a loyal subscriber, you need to give him enough time to understand your website. Five seconds, 10 seconds and sometimes even 30 seconds is not sufficient to comprehend a site correctly.
What would happen if you pop-up between this times? You will experience relatively high bounce rate and low user engagement.
Solution: Unbounce suggests that a perfect user-optimized pop-up should come at 60 seconds after a visitor enters your site.
If it comes before that, you will significantly lose conversion. If it comes after that period, you will miss a large number of audiences to show your pop-ups.
So the best time for pop-up is 60 seconds which will allow a visitor has fully understood a website and make him commit genuine interest to become a subscriber, after all, reducing the risk of annoying by more.
Mistake #3: Not using any improved pop-up technology
Although timed pop-ups could be optimized for not to make annoyance, it still retain some percent of chances to annoy visitors.
Because it appears suddenly and could behave like a barrier to reading up a content. No one would appreciate seeing a barrier in their way, especially when reading something online.
What would happen if a pop-up distracts visitors from reading a content? The chances are high that they will leave the site, if not it will hurt their attitude towards the site.
Solution: Thinking about this matter, some user-improved pop-up triggering technologies has come out. The main prospective of these technologies is adjusting with user’s behavior and triggering the pop-up in the safest time.
Here are a few pop-up technologies that can be found in the latest marketing tools, and what you can replace with your timed pop-up to potentially take the annoyance level close to zero:
- Pop-up when a user intends to exit (aka exit-intent)
- Pop-up when a user reaches the content end
- Pop-up when a user reaches a particular element
- Pop-up when a user scrolls a specific percent of a page
- Pop-up when a user scrolls down and goes back up
Mistake #3: Not controlling pop-up showing frequency
How many times do you show up your pop-up in a browsing session? Well, you are of the belief that the more we show up pop-ups, the more we get signups, right?
But this time it won’t go along your perspective because the more often you show your pop-ups (for example, show up on every page), the more you annoy your visitors.
If you trigger your pop-up in every page in a browsing session, it will feel real over promotion, and you will get significantly low subscribing rate.
So what’s the best frequency?
Solution: You don’t have to push hard to get the better conversion rate. You just need to understand your audiences and trigger pop-up at the right time.
Asking a visitor to subscribe multiple times in a browsing session might not work well and feel irritating. So first you should limit your pop-up to maximum once each browsing session.
And how often to repeat the pop-up after someone closes that? Concerning the user experience, you should not show pop-up more than once a week to the same visitor, and more preferably once in every 15 or 30 days. (Prove)
Mistake #5: Tricking visitors to get stuck on the pop-ups
You know what, you can attempt to get unbelievable email opt-in rate just doing a few tweaks. How? Here is what you need to do exactly:
- Trigger pop-up just when someone enters your site
- Remove the close button from the pop-up
- Don’t leave any option to skip the pop-up without subscribing
But the thing I forgot to tell you is that after doing these tweaks, don’t expect your visitors ever to return and the bounce rate will be apparently around 90%-100%.
Intentionally trying to stick people to a pop-up form is the worst practice and result into losing those visitors for forever.
Solution: If you are serious about building up your email list, be clear and transparent. Display the close button and make sure that can be easily seen.
You do not have to be tricky to increase email opt-in rate, but you have to optimize the following three elements of your pop-up:
- Convince people at first sight using the pop-up title. Use power words like Free, Secret, Discover, to create good impression.
- Be visually attractive because visual elements can convince someone to subscribe faster than anything else.
- Optimize your pop-up’s call to action and tease the visitors to subscribe using text and buttons.
Here is a sample of pop-up how to play with pop-up contents to hack readers mind for subscribing to your email list without doing anything tricky:
Source: Social Triggers
Do you know the hardest truth about pop-up? It converts the highest, and it irritates the highest as well.
The best approach with the pop-up is attempt to convert high but staying safe. Before doing anything with it, just ask yourself will you personally love it as a reader? If yes, just go with it and if no, configure it to be likable.
So what’s your opinion about pop-ups and how you safely use them without hurting the user experience? I am pretty much interested to know it.
Abrar Mohi Shafee is from Bangladesh, an inbound marketer, blogger and founder of BloggingSpell. His areas of interests are content marketing, social media marketing, and seo. Need his help to be more productive in blogging? Grab his personal blogging toolkit.