New to email lists? Before reading my email subscribe pop-up box experiment, check out How to Build an Email List and Use it for Profit.
A while back, I revealed that I was going to conduct a test on whether or not a pop-up box worked (for me at least) for a blog.
Let me state this up front – I think it’s extremely important to limit the frequency of the pop-up. With Aweber (and some other services) you can set the box to show up only once per visitor. This means, if you go to my site today for the first time, you’ll see the pop-up, but if you come here tomorrow on the same device, you shouldn’t see it. I can’t stress this enough – don’t make the pop-up box appear on every single page, every single time. There is not much that will get me to leave a site faster than a pop-up box that shows up every time I click something. That does NOT make me want to read more content, it makes me want to leave.
What I Did
Ok, back to the test. I did a major redesign of my blog and saw email signups completely drop off of the table.
I attribute this to the new design. Generally speaking, people know where to look for an email subscribe box. People’s eyes are tuned to the right side of the page and are focused on finding a text box and submit button. My new design is anything but standard and my email subscribe call-to-action on my homepage just wasn’t cutting it. People needed more coaxing.
Additionally, since I wanted to keep the homepage very simple and clean, I lost the ability to be wordy about what subscribing to my email list includes.
I went to Aweber in search of an email box that would pop up on my site. Low and behold, they not only have the software to quickly and easily create nice-looking email opt-in forms, they also have the ability to make them pop up! Furthermore, you can set the pop-up box to show up once, every time, or every X days. You can also set it to pop up right away, or after a certain number of seconds (set by you). Within Aweber, the type of box that pops up within your site is actually called a Pop-Over.
The great thing about Aweber is that you can split-test subscriber boxes very easily. I can go in and change my box to show up every 7 days instead of only once, and see how that goes. Or I can experiment with a 5-second delay for the pop-over.
I compared February (the first full month with the new design) and March, (the first full month with the pop-up) for this experiment.
If you can’t tell from the pic above, growth was excellent. To be exact, the month of March ended with exactly 3 TIMES the amount of new subscribers as February.
Also, I received exactly zero complaints about the email box via email, social media or blog comments. I truly feel that is because I made sure it wasn’t annoying. I have it set to only show up once per person. As long as you are using the same device and browser, you won’t see the box. There’s also a very easy to find “X” in the upper right corner so it can be easily closed.
Additionally, I noticed that I received more responses to my follow-up series than usual, which tells me that engaged readers are subscribing.
My bounce rate also stayed consistent, at around 10%, which tells me groves of people were not seeing the pop-up box and running away.
If they had been, I would have removed the pop up and re-evaluated. It is very important that you listen to the visitors of your site. Even if they’re not talking to you, their data can tell you all you need to know.
This is easy. Overall, after one month, I declare this email pop-up box a success. No complaints, 3X subscribers? Should I get more aggressive? Maybe. Will I? Probably not. It’s not my style. Given that this (internet marketing/helping bloggers) is a very spammy niche, I take great care to remain very un-spammy. It’s gotten me this far, so I’m not changing now.
That being said, more subscribers would be great! So head over here, check out what being a subscriber means and then subscribe! You can also get on the email list by using the signup box over there to the right. —–>