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As a follow up to my previous post on welcome popups, some folks mentioned a few concerns and questions.

  • I don’t want to be a douchebag and slap people with a popup all the time.
  • I don’t want to be a douchebag and put popups everywhere on my blog.
  • I hate popups.
  • What popup software are you using?

Let’s address these four areas.

1. I don’t want to be a douchebag and slap people with a popup all the time.

Don’t. Most popup software lets you specify intervals. For example, with the software I use, I can specify not to show it for another 30 days as long as your browser allows me to set a cookie. No cookies permitted? You’re getting popups.

Depending on the software you choose, you can pick options like show the popup just for the first X visits. You can also set the timing so that someone doesn’t see the popup for X seconds. If you look in your Google Analytics for average time on page and set the popup to 75% of that, you’ll hit someone just before they’re ready to leave, thus ensuring they enjoy your content first:

Time on Site for all visitors - Google Analytics

2. I don’t want to be a douchebag and put popups everywhere on my blog.

Don’t. Depending on the software you choose, you can select which pages of your site you want to selectively show the popup on. For example, if you suspect that some of your traffic from social media is a little more ADHD than the average organic SEO visitor, you can identify in Google Analytics which pages that traffic hits the most, then program your popup just to show on those pages.

Top Content - Google Analytics

If you realize that Twitter traffic isn’t converting at all but Facebook traffic is on your site without the assistance of a popup, then just identify the Twitter-specific pages and grab Twitter people with an attention-getting popup while leaving Facebook people alone to convert in peace and quiet.

3. I hate popups.

So don’t use them. Just don’t ask for the results they deliver. Make sure you subscribe to my blog via RSS, too, so you never see them.

4. What popup software are you using?

I paid for and use WP Super Popup. I’m also an affiliate of it because I love its flexibility. Granted, I don’t use many of the options because I want my popups to be shown as much as possible within reason, but the software supports everything I discussed above.

Like any marketing tool, popups can be very effective if you use them well. If you use them poorly, they’ll perform like any other poorly-used marketing tool. Test out different things and see what works for you.

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7 responses to “Selective Welcome Popups”

  1. Amanda Pingel Avatar
    Amanda Pingel

    I understand the benefits of popups, and I’m happy for you. But is there any chance you could make the popup for your mobile site narrower? Every time I arrive (since I can’t control cookie settings on my iPhone), I have to scroll over in order to close the window. Doubly annoying since I’m already subscribed to your blog, but still sometimes arrive via #the5 links.

    1. That’s a good question. Let me see if I can reprogram it to not fire on mobile browsers. If not, I’ll forward the suggestion to the developer.

    2. I asked the developer. We’ll see what they say!

      1. Amanda Pingel Avatar
        Amanda Pingel

        Thank you. 🙂 I love your blog and will put up with it no matter what, but it would be nice.

  2.  Avatar

    Interesting. I posted a comment on the last blog and it didn’t show.

    I;ll say it again, statistically it may work, but I wouldn’t want to hurt my image with a pop-up. I think the more you add affiliates, pop-ups, and other nickel and dime ways to market your blog, the more you hurt the credibility of such efforts. You need great value for people to tolerate this, IMO. It’s a bank account. Trust cannot simply be taxed endlessly.

    1. Agreed. I think there’s additional value to be had in being selective in the usage of the tools – that requires some digging around in your analytics to see what areas you’d want to focus their use.

  3. Hey Chris, I found some really great info the last time I visited so I was determined to fight with the pop-up and guess what – I won!! Just kidding. I can’t tell you how much pop-ups annoy me, and I really wish they weren’t so effective. But alas, I must give in to the fact that they are so effective I haven’t heard one person say that they lost subscribers after installing one. Therefore I will share this with all my pop-up loving friends, because I think it’s an excellent strategy for configuring the settings. Cheers! (btw – I don’t subscribe to blogs which is why I find pop-up super annoying, in fact I never even read the pop-up I just close them).

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