Question About Site Popup & List Building

10 replies
At most things, I'm a fairly smart guy. I have two weaknesses though: getting a date and realizing that I need to take action in IM.

I don't expect I'll get help getting a date here, so I won't bother asking for help with that.

Instead, I want to know what the general consensus is on putting this on your site: Everyone says build a list, so I signed up for a Mailchimp account the other day and started adding list signups in the sidebar on my sites. Today I had a little more time and started playing with the options in Mailchimp and found out that I can make this little window "popup" in the middle of the screen after X seconds asking the user to signup. It's not a true popup that most browsers block; it's the popup that darkens the rest of the site and doesn't let you do anything until you a) sign up or b) close the popup.

It seems like a really good idea to get more subscribers, so I implemented it on one of my sites. Does anyone else have any experience using this technique, and, if so, any success?

Thanks in advance!

-- jason
#popup #question #site
  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    Personally, those pop-ups annoy the crap out of me, but they do work (even on me) so I think they are still a great idea.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      One can know the answer to this only by testing properly (which isn't quite as easy to do as many imagine).

      Some people say not to use pop-ups. And in my experience most of those are people who have tested it properly for themselves.

      Pop-up enthusiasts, on the other hand, in my experience, tend to be a mixture of (a) those promoting them, and (b) those using them who have noticed a short-term increase in opt-ins and made often-mistaken assumptions from that observation without going as far as split-testing for themselves in terms of their income over a reasonably significant time-period.

      The point which many people miss is that there's an easy assumption that "a bigger list-size will necessarily earn more in the long run".

      That assumption is often wrong. (As I found myself, to my surprise, when I split-tested it in each of four different niches, last year. In all four, I earned more - over a 6-month period - from the smaller list. At the time, I didn't quite understand why, but have now worked it out, and it's surprisingly simple: they're different people.)

      The easy mistake to make is to assume that "having a higher proportion of visitors opting in" can only be a good thing. If 20% more people opt in, the entirely mistaken assumption is that you still have all the "original" people, together with some additional people. This is typically wrong.

      What you normally have, at least to some extent and sometimes to a great extent, is different people.

      My experience, and the experience of others I know who have tested for themselves rather than repeating popular opinions which are often based on misunderstandings, is that buyers tend to be significantly among the people who'll opt in to a sidebar box, but be alienated by a pop-up and never return (which some of them would otherwise have done, so you need to monitor "returning visitors" carefully, too, and work out for yourself what proportion of them are lost by having a pop-up).

      The people I know who have split-tested properly and carefully have abandoned their pop-ups. But that doesn't necessarily make it the right decision for you.

      The one "constant factor", which anyone testing can reliably prove for themselves, is that there will always be people who, at the first sign of a pop-up, hit the "back" button and never return. Imagining that the increase in opt-ins is necessarily going to compensate for those people, in long-term financial terms, is simply an assumption. And pretty often a readily disprovable one by those willing to test, who think it through enough to appreciate that "numbers of people" and "long-term money earned" are not necessarily directly proportional, and that there are reasons for that.

      Indirectly, this issue - like many of the Urban Myths of internet marketing - relates to the difference between quantitative and qualitative approaches to marketing.

      Amateurs guess (and some propagate others' guesses as if they were factual); professionals test for themselves (and define the test-parameters adequately to take into account all the relevant variables). "Just saying" ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Mayhew
    I'm running a test now and my subs have dropped since adding a lightbox popup?
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    ^^That. Testing will be the only way to know for sure with your specific audience. On a personal level, it wouldn't work for me at all. I click out of any pop up that appears on my screen. I didn't ask for them and I don't trust them.

    That's just one man's opinion though. You are much better off testing.
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  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    I personally cannot find the X or close button fast enough
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    They Say You Can't...Show Them How
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewStark
    What type of traffic are you using and what sort of site is it, and what are you putting in the opt-in box?

    If you're using cheap traffic to a salespages with an offer to get a discount then it could work kinda well for you. If you're generating quality traffic to your blog and show it every time someone visits then it will cost you.

    These are 2 extremes, so if you're in the middle learn how to test, or if you deep down in your heart hate pop-ups then I think you already know the answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author loi77
    It's true that pop-ups can be very annoying, but they do work especially EXIT pop-ups which can increase opt-ins by as much as 10%.

    Since visitors are leaving anyway, might as well ask them to leave their name and email address.
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    • Profile picture of the author Nightengale
      Regarding the opinions here about how pop-ups are annoying and how you click out of them right away...

      While true, this information is skewed. I venture to guess that the majority of people here are in the IM niche. That is, they're IMers trying to sell to other IMers. While the opinions and experiences about pop-ups here are valid for the IM niche, they're not necessarily valid for other niches.

      Ultimately, you need to test it with your audience and niche and then go from there. Some audiences might respond well.

      I'd like to test an exit pop for my niche. I'm just not sure how to set it up on my Wordpress website. I don't want people seeing 5 different exit pops if they've browsed 5 pages. I just want them to see ONE exit pop. So where do I paste the code??? In the footer?

      (But IMers selling to other IMers sets my teeth on edge. I CAN'T STAND that!)

      Michelle
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  • Profile picture of the author ThisTimeNextYear
    I've had light box popups increase sign-ups by 500% before
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  • Profile picture of the author retsced
    Personally I only want prospects on my list who really value my offer. An exit popup is really a form of "hard selling" IMO and I don't want my list to be made up of forced entries. I want my list to be laser focused to people WANTING what i have to offer, without having to chase them to sign up. It comes off a bit desperate to try and force people to give me their details. Actually, it shows that I have little confidence in what I have to offer if I need to chase people for their details. The day I add a popup to my page will be the day I have to question whether my offer is REALLY valuable enough that I have to bloody act like a cheesey salesperson who we all hate in the first place.

    No popups
    No adswaps
    No hardsells

    I hate popups, so why would I put one on my website? Seems a wee bit contradictory and not congruent with my marketing style.
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