PLEASE NOTE: 9.12.17 – Well, I’m doing it. Taking one for the team and adding a popup to prettydarncute.com to analyze the before and after bounce rate/subscription stats. I’ve long loathed Pop-Ups, but marketing folks love to encourage the use of them, so I’m going to test all kinds of before and after stats and report back to you on the blog. I must really love y’all… 🙂 xo Lindsey
Why popups are the absolute worst
Let me tell you a little story.
The other day I’m walking through the mall, I see a kiosk outside of the Gap. I keep walking because I do not have any interest in their product.
I see their product, I just don’t necessarily need it at this point in time.
Their sign was on top of the cart, products visible for me to see, but I don’t stop because I do not have a current interest in what they have to offer.
Do you know what happened next?
The person working at said kiosk stepped out in front of me and began telling me how I need this, that, and everything else they sell.
I smiled politely and said, no thank you.
They kept on.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I had encountered a real life pop up.
All I could do was look at this person in disbelief.
It felt rude.
Get out of my way, dude.
I know they’re just doing their job, but it definitely didn’t make me want to buy their product.
In fact, I could not get out of there quickly enough and will avoid that area of the mall from here on out.
I’m certain you see the parallels.
The same could be said about a cashier pushing you to apply for a credit card, perfume spritzer popping out and spraying you without your consent, and so on…
Popups have become more of a trend lately than ever before. I think maybe people see a pretty one on Kate Spade or another trendy site and think, “if they’re using it, I should also”.
Bust out your pen and paper to weigh the pros and cons on this one.
I’ve grown my email list to 14k+ without the use of a popup, it can be done.
The harsh truth (I hate being harsh, it’s uncomfortable!) is, if you offer something to your readers that they want, they’ll find your subscription box and fill that puppy out asap. A popup won’t be necessary. You don’t want a bunch of people subscribing just because the option was thrown in their face, anyhow. That will lead to a bad email rating from your service provider in the event they promptly unsubscribe, or report your list as spam.
That said, I have some very dear friends who use popups and have seen good results. I’m not saying they cannot be done tastefully, I’m just saying maybe try prominently placing your subscription box and do away with the popup.
My disdain for popups is merely a convenience issue, one easily remedied by use of a widget as seen on our Pretty Creative WordPress Theme.
I absolutely think building your email list is super important, and one of the top 10 important tips for bloggers I posted about recently, so here are a few options for you that I suggest in lieu of the dreaded popup.
- Place your subscription widget at the top of your sidebar.
- Place your subscription widget in your after entry widget area (now standard and included in all of our themes).
- Talk about your newsletter, similar to how I included mine in this post, and link to your signup form if it’s relevant. Tell people why they should sign up.
- Promote your list because it’s beneficial for your readers. If it’s not, work on that, and then promote your list.
- Do not build your list without a goal, and/or something to offer your readers in return.
- Whenever possible, place your signup form widget above the fold, meaning high enough on your website there’s no need to scroll to find it.
So there you have it, why popups are the absolute worst. If you decide to keep your beloved popup, we can still be great friends. I just go all Mama Bear every now and then when I think something might be hurting your traffic, and felt the need to offer up some suggestions.
Have you had success with your popup? I would love for you to share the details of your experience in the comments below.
Are you curious what you can offer your readers for subscribing to your newsletter? Comment below with what you blog about, or sell, I would love to provide suggestions.