I’ve had a welcome popup running on my blog since the end of November last year. For a long time, I debated the wisdom of installing it on my web site. After all, I personally don’t like them much on other sites I visit, but I had to remind myself of the cardinal rule of marketing: I am not my customer.
Reactions to it were and are mixed. Some people like it. A few people hate it. Most people ignore it.
The bigger question is, does it work?
The short answer is: yes.
The longer answer involves looking at some data, which I pulled from my Blue Sky Factory Publicaster account. Prior to installing the welcome popup on this site, I was averaging about 30 signups to my personal newsletter per month, give or take. Once I installed it, that average went up to 133, and is currently trending at 250 per month. That’s a 733% increase in subscribers. What’s more, you can see immediate changes in the data the day the popup was installed:
Now I know what you’re saying in your head: yes, that’s nice, but how do you account for an increase in the blog’s popularity? After all, number of signups should increase as more traffic comes to a blog, so this doesn’t prove anything, right?
If this data was all I had, you’d be correct. I cross-referenced my monthly absolute unique visitors to subscribers and created a ratio of subscriber signups to absolute unique visitors. If I were a commercial web site, this would be my lead conversion ratio.
It’s quite apparent that once the popup was installed, it started to convert a much greater percentage of traffic to my web site into subscribers for my newsletter.
Does this mean that you should immediately run out and install a popup on your web site or blog? Not necessarily. If it conflicts with your personal or professional brand, then by all means, pass on it so that you can remain consistent with your brand.
Is it worth testing? Absolutely, especially if one of your goals is to build up your database or drive some actual sales. Remember to avoid the same mistake I make from time to time: there’s a very good chance that you are not your customer. Not everyone’s audience will react the same. Test it and see how it performs. In my case, the numbers are incredibly compelling, despite my slight personal dislike for the marketing method; for this blog, the method works incredibly well.
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