If you’re a blogger, one of your major concerns is probably increasing traffic to your blog – not just one-time visitors, but regular readers. Email subscription lists are ideal for developing a loyal reader base, and pop ups have been proven to be an effective means of harvesting email addresses. The problem is that many readers hate them. You can resolve this dilemma by using pop ups properly – and knowing when you should not use pop ups at all.
1. Make Pop Ups Useful
Include useful features with your pop ups. For instance, along with harvesting email addresses, consider offering a free report for subscribers. Or include questions within the pop up to allow readers to determine how often they wish to receive newsletters or whether they want to receive the full body of the newsletter or just a link. Including this type of information in your pop up allows you to acknowledge your readers’ preferences, which can only help in building an audience for your blog or newsletter. The fact that you collect this information also sends a signal to readers that their preferences matter.
2. Avoid Pop Up Overkill
If your website has several pages, placing a pop up on more than one page can make sense. However, placing pop ups on every single page of your website only serves to annoy your readers and potentially drive them away. Don’t program pop ups so that readers can’t make them go away without filling out the requested information. The pop up should either fade away after a few seconds, or there should be a prominent “X”, “cancel” or “close” button attached to the pop up. If your readers don’t want to fill in subscription information, pop ups that obscure the text of the copy they came to your website to read won’t change their minds. Instead, they will probably click away from your website – likely never to return.
3. Don’t Use Misleading Pop Ups
Pop ups to collect email addresses and newsletter delivery preferences are fine. Pop ups that lead readers to other pages where they are faced with promotional copy for merchandise or services you’re selling – not so much. Rather than generating increased revenue, your efforts may backfire. Word of such unethical conduct gets around, and potential readers may use browser preference features to block your website altogether.
It’s also not advisable to spam readers’ mailboxes with ads after they’ve provided their email addresses for newsletter or blog subscriptions. It’s one thing to provide notice of upcoming blog entries. But you may find readers dropping their subscriptions in a hurry if you’re clogging their email inboxes every single day with a different item you’re pushing.
4. Avoid Pop Ups on New Websites
Until you’ve established an audience, keep pop ups to a minimum. While it’s true that pop ups are effective in harvesting email addresses, until your blog is established, you don’t want to do anything that might alienate potential readers. Many readers will assume a pop up is an ad and close it without even reading the contents.
A better strategy may be to include a subscription link at the end of each blog entry, or include a subscription link as a menu item on your blog’s home page. The advantage of this technique is that readers have already made it to the end of at least one blog entry, which is a positive indication that they like what they’ve just read, and are more likely to give a subscription to your blog a try.
This article is written by David Kendall. He contributed this guest post on behalf of WhoIsHostingThis.com for more information on their hosting reviews. David is a freelance technology writer and his articles appear on various marketing blogs.