Getting Rid of Pop Ups Boost Opt-ins Increase Sales








Getting Rid of Pop Ups

Pop ups- those small browser windows that "pop up" automatically while you're visiting a web site or when you click on a link- have been getting a bad name recently and you are told to getting rid of pop ups.

In fact, a study conducted by research group GartnerG2 found that 78% of respondents consider pop-up ads "very annoying and force people to getting rid of pop ups." (By way of comparison, only 49% of participants felt the same way about the more traditional banner ads.)

Typical complaints about pop-ups usually include: "They're not related to what I'm looking for," "They're really intrusive," and, of course, "There's just TOO MANY of them and I want to be getting rid of pop ups!"

But if pop-ups are no more than a nuisance, WHY are so many successful, credible sites still using them? Let's take a moment to separate the hype from reality:

Lost in all the fuss is the fact that the problem isn't with pop-up windows themselves, but how they're used. Just as spammers have made legitimate e-mail marketing harder for the rest of us, sloppy abuse of pop-ups has tarnished what, in reality, can still be an incredibly useful tool- both for you and your customers!

The fact is- instead of getting rid of pop ups- using pop-up windows on your own site can be a great strategy for promoting your own products, boosting your opt-in rates, and keeping your visitors informed.

Like with any advertising, though, you need to make sure your pop-ups are closely targeting your market's interests; that they contain clear, compelling benefits; and that they enhance the visitors' experience at your site rather than interrupt it.



1. Pop-up Success Stories

Regular subscribers will already be familiar with Jermaine Griggs of HearandPlay.com, who was profiled in a recent newsletter.

Like many web site owners, Jermaine was skeptical about incorporating pop-ups into his marketing strategy until he did some research of his own and discovered how to boost the opt-in rate for his free newsletters:

"In the beginning, I was averaging about 10 to 15 subscribers a day," he explained during his interview. "I needed a way to increase this number, so I did some research on how other sites increase their newsletter lists quickly.

I soon found out that all the sites I believed were making real money at the time had one thing in common: They were not busy getting rid of pop ups- they all had pop-ups. Not just basic pop-ups, but more sophisticated ones. Some popped under where you couldn't see them until you left the site. Some could pop up 10, 30, or 120 seconds after you left the site.

So I thought, why not put some pop-ups on my site? I figured it wouldn't annoy someone who actually wanted good information on playing the piano by ear. Why risk them not seeing my newsletter sign-up form when I can put it right in front of their face?

So I implemented a delayed pop-up. I've implemented two more pop-ups to appear at five minutes and at 30 minutes (a cookie prevents this from happening every time you go to my site, so only first-time visitors get this).

No matter what anyone says about and getting rid of pop ups, they have increased my subscriber rate by 10 times! I now get about 100 new members every day!"

Imagine boosting your conversion rate by 10 times!

Needless to say, that was enough to make Jermaine a believer. He continues to use targeted pop-ups on his site and gets great results with very few complaints.

And Jermaine's experience certainly isn't unique. We've interviewed MANY business owners who have reported similar positive results.

Examples include...

  • Paul Colligan of FrontPageWorld.com, who increased his opt-in rate by 10 times by adding an entry pop-up
  • Eric Aafedt of InvestmentHouse.com who converts 30-40% of his daily visitors to subscribers with the help of pop-ups
  • Jim Tarabocchia of Just-Binoculars.com who generates several hundred "extra" visitors per day using pop-unders
  • Richard Grady of TheUSTrader.com who uses an entry pop-up to help add 1,500 to 2,500 subscribers to his opt-in list each month

It was a lesson Shawn Wheeland of HomeBusinessGo.com learned late, in what he says was his biggest mistake:
"I failed to capture e-mail addresses in a pop-up window for the first year. I mentioned that my readership is around two hundred thousand people... It would be a million or more if I would have placed the pop-up offer on the site from day one."

Want more proof? One of our own entry pop-ups is responsible for generating an EXTRA 5,000 SUBSCRIBERS PER MONTH- minimum!




2. Proven Getting Rid of Pop ups- and Strategies for Your Site

Why have these netrepreneurs had so much success with pop ups? Because they have discovered what sets an effective pop-up apart from the "garbage" that so many people are sick of and want to be getting rid of pop ups.

They know that for pop-ups to work, they have to be targeted to the viewer and used strategically. Instead of getting rid of pop ups- here are some of the most successful types of pop-ups web site owners can use:




Information Pop Ups:

This kind of pop-up appears when a visitor clicks on a link or an image - the visitor has full control over if and when they see it, as well as for how long.

Information pop-ups are especially valuable in places where your customers might have questions or need more detail, but you don't have room to present the information, and you don't want them leaving the page they're on (i.e. your sales page or order form).

You can use information pop-ups to show larger pictures of products, present detailed "help" information, list special product features that only a limited portion of your audience will be interested in, and much more.

The chief benefit of information pop-ups is that they allow you to provide this "extra" information without cluttering your sales page OR distracting from your sales process.




Opt-In Offer Pop-Ups:

Perhaps "the" most powerful offer you can include in a pop- up is free information- in exchange for visitors' names and e-mail addresses.

It's a fast, easy way to immediately increase the percentage of visitors who opt in to your subscriber list.

You can include a free newsletter offer, a free series of autoresponders ("4 Lesson Series on How To..."), free articles or eBooks via e-mail, free password access to your article archive, entry to a contest, whatever!

As long as the information you're offering has high perceived value to your market, it's not unreasonable to expect to convert 10% or more of your visitors to subscribers.



Survey Pop-Ups:

If you're running a survey on your site, a pop-up can be a handy way to ask visitors to take part, and then lead them through your questions. When they're finished, the original window they started on will still be open and they won't have lost their place.

Another great idea is to design a pop-up for people who leave your site without buying anything. Imagine being able to get feedback from these people about why they didn't buy!

Immediately find out what your key obstacles are to selling even more... Is your price too high? Did they misunderstand something on your site? Was the benefit not clear enough? This can be the single most important market research any existing web site owner can do!



"Special Offer" Pop-Ups

Pop-ups are a powerful way of drawing your customers' attention to specific, targeted products.

If people decide to buy your product, you can use a pop-up to thank them for the sale and suggest some complementary products. Because the window opens with a confirmation of the original order and a nice thank-you, the customer won't consider the message intrusive.

You could even use a pop-up to suggest a complementary product once a visitor has looked at a specific item.

WARNING:
You've probably seen those annoying want to getting rid of pop-ups ads some sites serve, which are disguised to look like a warning window from your computer- "System Resources Low" for instance. There have been lawsuits launched against deceptive pop-ups like these, so this is something you want to stay away from.




3. Different Kinds of Pop-Ups

A key element of any pop-up strategy is deciding the best time and place to have them appear. There are benefits to each type, but it's important to use the right kind for the goal you're trying to accomplish.




Entry Pop-Ups:

Having a pop-up appear as soon as visitors arrive at your site will grab their attention right away, so it's a good strategy when there's something you want all of your visitors to be alerted to or do, like subscribe to your newsletter.




Exit Pop-Ups:

When people first come to your site, they may not notice your opt-in form, contest, or survey on your homepage. Or they may see it and plan to fill it out later. By the time they leave the site, though, they may have forgotten about it.

An exit pop-up can serve as a gentle "before you go" reminder to opt-in before they leave your site.




Delayed Pop-Ups:

You can design your pop-ups to appear a specific length of time after someone comes to your site.

This gives them the chance to explore on their own before you introduce the pop-up, much like a salesperson might let them browse before making a suggestion or offering them assistance.

You can also set up delayed exit pop-ups, like Jermaine does, so you can continue communicating with your customers even after they've left your site. It's important to test these carefully, though, to make sure the delay isn't so long that visitors end up wondering where the pop-up came from.




Pop-Ups vs. Pop-Unders:

You may not want pop-ups to distract people from your main site. In these cases, a "pop-under" is the perfect solution.

It can be launched the same way as a regular pop-up, but it sets itself behind the main browser window. That way, your visitors will see it only once they close their current browser window.




"Smart" Pop-Ups:

One of the things that makes many pop ups annoying and want people getting rid of pop ups is their repetitiveness. By using cookies- small files that track specific visitors- you can make sure you don't subject visitors to pop-ups they've already seen or offers they've already responded to. You can also set cookies to make sure it only pops once per visit.

For example, you can program a window to pop up whenever a new visitor leaves your site without having accomplished a specific goal- such as filling out your opt-in form. The cookie would alert you if they've already opted in, so you wouldn't bother existing subscribers.

Smart pop-ups can also appear offering a customer who's just made a purchase another, complementary product. Or you can use them to present a survey asking customers who didn't complete a purchase why they decided not to buy.

Programming these "smart" pop-ups takes a little work, but it can be very worthwhile.





4. Keep Your Pop-ups Focused

Since pop-ups appear unexpectedly and are generally small, it is crucial that your salescopy immediately communicates a strong benefit and a call to action.

Have a brief headline explaining the benefit and, at most, one image (if it serves a purpose). You don't need to take up space with any unnecessary distractions.

Also, make sure the pop-up is related to the site, or even the page the person is on when it appears. If it isn't clear, make it clear right away.

For instance, if you have a gardening site and you decide to show everyone who buys your pruning shears a pop-up featuring gardening gloves, make the relationship between the two products clear in your headline: "If you're tackling a pruning job, these heavy-duty gloves will protect your hands!"




5. Controlling Their Look, Size, and Position

Part of the power of pop-ups is the level of control you can have over them once you learn a little bit about how they work.

You can set their position on the page, control when they appear, and even determine who sees them and who doesn't. In fact, like Jermaine, you can even make them pop up long after visitors have left your site!

For example, when you use an opt-in pop-up window, you may want it to show up in a prominent place on the screen.
A "help" pop-up, on the other hand, shouldn't cover the area of the original window that it refers to. Plus, since pop-ups are smaller than a normal browser window, you can save some space and set them up so the toolbar, address window, and other elements of the browser don't appear.
All your visitors will see is a thin gray border and whatever HTML content you've included.

Most pop ups contain a limited amount of information, letting you set the size of the window so you don't need to include scroll bars. However, if it's a help function, for instance, you may want users to be able to scroll to see other help tips.
QUICK TIP:
Include a "close this window" link to make it easier for the visitors to close it when they're finished reading.




6. What About Getting Rid of Pop ups "Killers?"

With getting rid of pop ups via "pop-up killers" and ad-stopper type software becoming more popular these days, a lot of people are wondering whether or not pop-ups are (or ever were) effective marketing tools.

The invention of (and perceived demand for) these "ad killers" has only further strengthened the misconception that pop-up ads are NOT an effective marketing tool.

I believe this is because a lot of the software that currently exists tends to throw the baby out with the bath water- not only does it destroy most pop-up ads (good and bad), it also has a negative affect on the surfers' experience because it frequently interferes with other aspects and features of web sites, skewing how they appear. So acceptance of this sort of software has generally been pretty slow.

Obviously, now that getting rid of pop ups via "pop-up killer" software exists, you should never JUST use pop-ups; they should be used to supplement your existing marketing campaigns, not replace them.
For example, don't put your opt-in form in a pop-up only, or your visitors who have pop-up killers activated may never see it.

However, provided you follow the simple rules shared in this article and take advantage of the technology available to customize them for your visitors, I can personally testify, along with MANY other successful business owners I've interviewed, that pop-ups continue to be an excellent way to increase your opt-in e-mail list as well as your sales.




7. Final Thoughts on Getting Rid of Pop Ups

I strongly believe that the success businesses have with pop-ups is directly affected by:

  1. How targeted the offer is to the visitor's interests
  2. How closely the offer relates to the current action of the visitor (i.e. Does the pop-up relate to what the visitor is doing or looking for, or does it interrupt them?)
  3. The strength of the sales copy (i.e. Does the copy contain a clear headline, with a compelling benefit. Can the benefit be absorbed in a single glance?)
  4. Where and when the pop-up appears (i.e. Is it an offer they've already responded to or seen? Does it appear during entry or exit?)
  5. How well the pop-up was tested (i.e. Did you test the copy, as well as the timing of when and where it appears?)
The most effective pop-ups present offers that directly relate to the number-one benefit that visitors are hoping to gain from your web site.

Whether it's more information about a particular topic, or a product that complements something they already own, the more you customize your pop-up offers to speak directly to visitors' needs, the more likely you are to see a positive response.

And don't trample your visitors beneath a herd of speeding, repetitive pop-ups! This is why pop-ups have a bad reputation- used irresponsibly, they can be extremely annoying and drive people to getting rid of pop ups!

Use cookies and carefully timed pop-ups to limit how many pop-ups any one visitor to your web site sees, and don't ask visitors to take an action or respond to an offer they've already acted on!

Start with ONE pop-up and build from there. Test each one carefully before adding another. Watch both the conversion rate on the pop-up AND the sales page where the pop-up appears.

If your pop-up is getting no response, and the conversion rate on your sales page is plummeting, you're doing something wrong. Back up and start over!

Consider getting rid of pop ups and making your first an immediate entry pop-up that contains an opt-in offer for your newsletter or subscriber list.
We've had HUGE success with this, and we've seen plenty of other businesses (in a wide range of industries) experience similar success.

Finally, I'd just like to mention that, since I'm a big believer in the value of pop-ups, I've been working on a custom "pop-up builder" solution that's going to give my "Marketing Tips" subscribers the ability to automatically create custom pop-ups that use special cookie tracking and timing...

PLUS some very cool technology that you probably haven't seen anywhere else yet that's going to dramatically change how your pop-ups look and where they appear, without getting all caught up in the "pop-up killer" technology.






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