Popover or Sidebar Opt-in?

8 replies
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Hey all,

Does anyone have any information on what's currently converting better between a time-delayed lightbox popover to give away a free e-book


A permanent sidebar opt-in with arrows etc. alerting the user to the free e-book?

Any insights would be great.

#optin #popover #sidebar
  • Profile picture of the author Ettienne
    Both. Popover converts a helluva lot better than a sidebar widget. See, if they close the popup, look at your content (and like it) and change their minds they can always use the sidebar signup form.
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    • Profile picture of the author Evan-M
      Originally Posted by Ettienne View Post

      Both. Popover converts a helluva lot better than a sidebar widget. See, if they close the popup, look at your content (and like it) and change their minds they can always use the sidebar signup form.
      I agree 100%, most times you only have a few minutes of a particular person on your site, until they are lost to the WWW......

      some say not to use popups etc as they may offend or peeve off some users, but it will capture 10 emails for every 1 it peeves off, and the ones that don't like them, were usually leaving anyway and are mad because it slows them down from leaving.


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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Originally Posted by Evan-M View Post

        some say not to use popups etc as they may offend or peeve off some users
        They do.

        And in my experience most of those are people who have tested it 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 that 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 thadbong
    I personally don't like pop-ups. Typically the "few seconds" that it takes for it to come up and peeve me off isn't enough for me to gauge the value of such a free ebook.

    Contrary to what most people might think, it's not the "free-ness" of the ebook that entices me to opt in, it's the perceived value based on how well I think the site owner knows what he/she is talking about.

    Therefore I will need to read something on the site first and use that to make my impressions. If it's good I'll consider opting in, otherwise I'll get lost.

    With that in mind, I have my opt-in form on the sidebar... and at the end of my blog posts/articles. The last thing I want to do is to annoy my visitor the moment they get on my site. I'd much rather give them the value first, and if they like that they see, they can opt-in and get more.
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  • Profile picture of the author CSS Architect
    I been working with all type of ads since early for more then 11 years and I always refused to use popup/popunder ads.

    Until 3 months ago, (for whatever reason) I decided to use popunder ads and I was shocked with the results. I was making at least 3X more then every other type of ads
    (not inducing CPA).

    Yes this does drive a bit of traffic away, but when you have to keep upgrading your servers, it's time to use popups to help with the monthly fees.
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  • Profile picture of the author OBaz
    I agree. Using pop-ups may get you some quick benefits, but on the longer run, you will be loosing visitors.

    Even if they fill the form to get the report or e-course, there is still a high chance that most of them won't even open it to read after downloading.

    On the other hand, when they opt-in on the sidebar, you will get more targeted audience, who made that choice by themselves, instead of being forced (as it looks to them anyway).
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  • Profile picture of the author CSS Architect
    I guess what you really have to base it on, is your content valuable enough for your visitors to keep coming back despite the newly added popup ads. (prepare for some hate mails if you site has been well established for a while)
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  • Profile picture of the author CSS Architect
    I guess it all really depends on your audiences. If your members/visitors are younger, then they would never opt-in to anything. The older generation whom 'might' be new to the whole internet thing, they wouldn't think of opt-in as a form of email spam.
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