“If your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you do that too? If your friends are ignoring Popup Opt-in boxes for their business, will you ignore it too?”
I can just hear my mother now. Barking at me, frustrated with my “everyone-else-is-doing-it” bad behavior justification.
From riding my bike hands free down a steep hill to setting off fireworks in the mailbox, I tried a lot of stuff because I’d watched someone else do it.
As we age and (hopefully) mature, we soon realize that doing something just because everyone else is doing it is usually a surefire path to stupidity, or the emergency room.
In fact, in a business marketing capacity, I would even advise that if you see a lot of people zigging in one direction . . you should experiment with zagging the opposite way.
But not in this one particular business-building case. It’s time to stop resisting this extremely powerful tool: the popup opt-in box.
Popup boxes used to be the domain of spammers and pushy online marketers who wouldn’t let you leave their site without a thousand “Are you sure??” boxes popping up in your face.
Why are these potentially annoying popups now acceptable?
Because they work.
Snub your nose at popups all you want but the numbers don’t lie. Popup opt-in boxes have been proven to increase subscription rates by 200, 400 or even 600%!
It’s a bit like telemarketing used to be perceived. No one personally liked the idea of being called at home.
Yet an enormous industry grew around telemarketing because it really brought in the big numbers for the businesses that employed this “annoying” technique.
(Note: Popup optin windows are like any other marketing tool. Misused, it can really hurt your brand. But if you employ it in a subtle way, it can work extremely well for you.)
There are literally dozens of tools and plugins out there that can help you begin to experiment with popup boxes. Today we’re going to focus on just 4.
I chose these particular tools because they seem to be the most commonly discussed and most affordable. Most of them hover around the $50 mark, but you can also spend a bit more for more options.
Also note that these are WordPress plugins because that’s pretty much the industry standard among small business owners.
More often than not, WordPress is the Content Management System of choice for people like us so I’ll focus on this particular technology in this post.
Pippity is a plug in for WordPress that allows you to install “lightbox” pop ups on your site. (You know what these are, even if you never knew what to call them.
A lightbox pop-up is a pop-up that appears over the visited page while the latter is darkened and inactivated. Users are forced to either X out of the popup or interact with it, before they can get back to using the main site.)
When comparing Pippity to other options, be aware that it’s known for its features and longevity more than anything else.
Pippity offers things like analytics, custom cookies, advanced filters and split testing. Not all other options do.
OptIn Monster is another great lightbox optin plug in (and another great name). It works seamlessly with not just WordPress but also MailChimp, aWeber, Constant Contact and more.
Like Pippity, Optin Monster offers analytics and A/B testing. One important bit of feedback I read time and again on these tools reviews was that users found OptIn Monster less buggy and was overall more user-friendly than Pippity.
Next up is Popup Domination. Side by side, Popup Domination is priced roughly the same as Pippity and Optin Monster.
And it can do most of what the others can do plus a few more things like entry/exit popups and page specific popups. It too integrates with the biggies like AWeber and Constant Contact.
You can even limit how many popups your visitors will encounter by putting a maximum on how many times a popup will appear to a visitor. You can limit it per visit, per week or just once a year.
Finally, there’s Hybrid Connect, which launched in 2012. Often considered the most robust of all the opt in tools out there, some folks find it almost overwhelming.
It’s got In-Content Opt-In Forms , Sidebar Opt-In Forms, Lightbox/Popup Forms, Slide-In Opt-In Boxes , Squeeze Pages, and Comment List Building
You can also find tools such as Ultimate Form Builder, 30 Templates and more being added, Video Opt-In Forms, Split Testing, Conversion-Lift and more.
It’s also praised for being responsive on mobile devices. Even the widgets it creates for you are fully responsive on mobile.
But what really sets this plug in apart and what explains the “hybrid” part of the brand name is the integration with Facebook. Hybrid Connect has “Facebook Connect” option.
This essentially means that if your visitor is logged into Facebook when they are on your page, and you ask them if they want to opt in to your list, they don’t need to fill out any forms at all.
One click of a button and your opt-in popup will automatically gather the true user email address attached to their Facebook account.
We think that’s pretty nifty and is one step closer to making subscribing to your list a truly frictionless experience for your visitors!
I’m not playing favorites, just reporting that I have found many 5 star reviews for this relatively new plug in and I’m pretty sure the Facebook option accounts for most of them.
What’s your take on popups? Love them? Hate them and refuse to use them? Or do you land somewhere in the middle and embrace them as a necessary evil in today’s marketing landscape?
Did I neglect to mention a plug in or tool that you absolutely love? Tell me which one! Show us some examples of your favorite and least favorite pop ups in the comments below.
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