About a year ago, I stumbled across Steve Scott’s blog. He is a successful self-published author who makes a full-time income from his Kindle books. On one summer day, I remember reading one of his articles explaining that the key to his success was his email list. As someone with 100,000 Twitter followers, 150,000 blog visitors, and no email list whatsoever at the time, this absolutely blew my mind.
I made one of the biggest mistakes any marketer could ever make. I ignored building my email list. With those numbers I mentioned before, I only got 300 subscribers which means 0.2% of my blog visitors were subscribing. Talk about a reawakening. Just as I read articles about getting more Twitter followers, I started to read more articles focused on getting email subscribers. This is when I went over to iContact and created landing pages.
Some of the articles I read discussed how pop-ups lead to a massive increase in subscribers. Initially, I was skeptical. I saw pop-ups as annoyances that block content and encourage people to go somewhere else. However, so many people recommended pop-ups that I decided to give them a try. After looking at multiple options, I ended up using Pop-Up Domination for the pop-up. My thinking was that worst case scenario, I would keep the pop-up on my blog for a few weeks, and if it didn’t get enough conversions, I could always take it down.
Sure enough, the pop-up got subscribers, and it exceeded my expectations. It accounts for more than 20% of all of the subscribers I get on my email list. There was no catastrophic drop in the amount of time people spent on my blog.
However, I didn’t just write this blog post to tell a cool story. I also want to share with you how to optimize your pop-up so it gets more subscribers.
One thing you must do in your pop-up is let people know they get a free prize for entering their name and email address. Some people call it the irresistible free prize, offer, or bribe. Regardless of what you want to call it, you must let people know that they get free value that is not available anywhere else. The exclusivity of the free prize will entice people to enter their name and email address. This free prize must be directly related to your niche. That’s why my pop-up shows my free eBook 27 Ways To Get More Retweets On Twitter. This free eBook fits my niche because I am a Twitter expert and have written hundreds of blog posts about Twitter on this blog and guest blogs.
After you introduce the free prize, let people know a little more about the free prize. For my pop-up, I include three benefits associated with the free eBook:
- Spread Your Message On Twitter
- Grow Your Audience
- Get More Blog Traffic From Twitter
Including benefits associated with your free prize will further entice your readers to subscribe to your blog. On the right side of my pop-up is a description, form, and button. It is very important to let people know that this is a free prize. I make it a point to use the word “FREE” twice in all caps. Using all caps make something EASIER TO NOTICE, and making that word easy to notice will increase the percent of conversions your pop-up gets.
Then came the button, and I experimented with that on my landing pages and through my pop-up. I use different text for the buttons as part of the A/B Split Testing I do with Pop-Up Domination, but here are some good ones that I use:
- Free Instant Access!
- Get Instant Access!
- Download Now!
- Get Your Copy Now!
The colors you use for the text and the button are also important. Use bright colors so it is easy for your visitors to see the buttons, and either use white text. You want it to be as easy as possible for your readers to see the button because few readers will subscribe if they can’t see the button clearly. I use bright green button with white text for my pop-up and orange buttons with white text for my landing pages. If you are deciding which colors to use for your button, I have compiled a list of good colors with their functions:
- Blue: trust building
- Green: works well for call-to-actions if it stands out
- Orange: inexpensive products (works well when you offer your free prize)
Of course, these are not the only three colors on the color spectrum, but these are the three colors you should choose among for the pop-up button’s color. One reason I decided against a blue button was because the free eBook I offer has a blue cover, there is blue text next to the picture of the eBook, and a blue box surrounds the form on the right. I use the a blue button for the HelloBar message that shows up on the top of my blog.
My recommendation for the description is to make it as clear as possible. Moreover, the description should only be 1-2 sentences. Remember that your readers are just getting an idea of what your free prize is all about. If you write a long description above the form, you won’t get as many conversions. Remember that pop-ups are initially annoyances that block out content. In order for your pop-up to convert, your reader should understand what your pop-up says from start to finish in 2-5 seconds. Anymore than that, and most of your readers will click on the “x” and continue reading your blog post or leave your blog.
It was a year ago when I realized that I needed to take action. Now, my email list is growing at a healthy rate, and pop-ups are one of the benefactors that brings in a massive number of subscribers. Many people are quick to judge pop-ups as ineffective annoyances, but you can’t judge something until you do it. When I finally decided to put a pop-up on my blog, I was blown away by the results.
If you are looking for an easy way to get more subscribers, then get a pop-up on your blog. Creating a pop-up with Pop-Up Domination takes as little as 10 minutes once you buy the product.
Do you have a pop-up on your blog? If not, do you plan on getting one? Do you have a success story about growing your email list? Please share your thoughts and advice below.
Thanks for this great post Marc! I’m having a hard time setting mine up… I’ve created it in MailChimp but I can’t seem to figure out how to activate it in WordPress. Can you offer an alternative or solution please?
Marc Guberti says
You set up a pop-up with the help of a plugin. I used Pop-Up Domination for a while but then it stopped working for me. I now use ThriveLeads to get the welcome mat and other options. My understanding of pop-ups is that you need to make a small investment to get a nicely designed pop-up.
val reavis says
Marc Guberti says
Marc Guberti says