Tools of the devil - the pop-up CTA!
Last Update: May 11, 2016
Who invented the intensely irritating pop-up CTA?
There you are, reading something you find interesting, you reach a certain point on the page and, BAM, a shouty pop-up appears wanting you do something.
Well, I was already doing something. I was engaging with your content, and I was getting quite interested in reading more of your stuff, but you have intruded on my train of thought and, frankly, p....d me off.
There's really no need to slap me in the face with your CTA. If your content is good enough, I may very well sign up to your list if asked nicely.
OTOH, maybe the slap in the face is the old hard sell method of drawing attention away from inadequate content.
I can't see myself ever using one of these pop-ups, but perhaps I'm being too hard and there are good reasons in favour of them. Share your thoughts below!
Happy Wednesday folks,
This post created itself after I'd visited three websites in succession, all of which shouted something at me! Mind you, the slow page updating due to excessive fetching of advertising material had already got on my nerves, but that's another story.
Mike, although your post is about pop-ups if you want to use a capture form on your websites and you make use of a sidebar there is another solution that will help keep this in front of your visitors.
On a couple of my websites I have a signup form in my sidebar which I fix in position. In other words when someone scrolls down the page the capture form in the sidebar does not go off the screen so stays in the line of sight of the visitor. This then does not obscure any of the pages content. I personally achieve this with manually coding it but I am aware that there are plugins that will do this, though I have not tested them myself. If interested search for fixed widget or sticky widget which should bring up some options.
Thanks for the tip Dave. I'm currently not using sidebars but that's only because the themes I'm using are a bit on the mean side when it comes to white space. However, I'm researching some new ideas which will demand a theme change, so I will keep your insights in mind.
I agree with you, I dislike pop-ups personally but we are perhaps over sensitive to such things being in this business.
Don't forget you are not creating the site for yourself, so you do not have to like them. You create everything for the benefit of your visitors and ultimately your business. People use pop-ups/overs etc. because they work. There is no hard and fast rule about when and where to use them, if life were only that simple ; ).
The professional approach is to try different styles, in different locations and at different stages of the visitors journey and indeed having the same option on your site without a pop up/over. Then analyse the results of each approach to see which solution offers the most successful outcome.
Every site, niche and audience is different, this approach should be adopted for any changes to the design and usability of your site.
Fair comment, but my reaction above was as a user/visitor of other sites. We can hardly say we're writing for the benefit of our visitors but risking annoying them with an in-your-face pop-up. I think my opt in invitations will be somewhat softer, perhaps within the text.
I did appreciate that Mike. All I was trying to get across is that to be successful we can't make blind assumptions based on our own thoughts and experiences, one has to carry out tests (Market Research) to ascertain what is right for our audience.The members opinions here within WA, mine included, are not relevant unless we are your site visitors.
I accept in many cases pop-ups that present themselves as soon as a visitor lands on a page obscuring all content "might" be a bit self defeating but their are others that move in from the side and not over the main content area and then disappear after so many seconds without any user interaction.Not all visitors may know that they can sign up to your email list or your sites RSS feed and if they are so engrossed in your content may not notice that sign up form. So a "little" note might benefit them so that they can keep in touch with your site and sign up for email list content not published elsewhere.
Food for thought anyway !
My earlier comment was written in a hurry and has come over as a bit abrupt - apologies, it was not intended!
Your suggestions about the 'slide-in' or the discreet note really chime with me, and I'll certainly be considering those options. I'm on the point of starting an email list, so this is all very much to the point right now.
The invitation to subscribe in the sidebar on your own site would really suit me, except I don't use a sidebar, so I've been thinking about one at the end of posts, along with the invitation to comment. I've also thought of placing it within the body of posts, but I'm not sure if I'm crazy about that. In the end, as you say, the answer is to suck it and see what works!
Mike there are several options for you.
1. Place the sign up in your footer ( I have one on my very basic
resources site I list on my profile, No I am not trying to promote it ; )
2. Place a similar single line signup at the end of your posts ( Though
this might slow your sight down)
3. Create a separate sign up page and place a link at the bottom of
your posts inviting people to join your list to keep up to date with
what is happening within your niche/site etc.
No apologies necessary Mike and I am sorry if I came over as a bit strong too I was just trying to get across that the only thoughts and opinions that matter in business are those of your audience. Also that testing is important which is why the confectioners are always coming up with limited editions, though I am not sure why my favourite flavours never make the grade ; ).
Sorry Dave, I've been absent for a couple of days. Those are really great suggestions which I'll be looking at on my test site later today, if domestic chores allow!
Ha! I know what you mean the Lawn is beckoning me, I know I have some chairs in there somewhere ; )
All the best mike and good luck with your site.
I think the best type of popup is an exit popup. They only appear when you are just leaving the site. They leave you to get on with reading.
know what you mean and agree! I find them very irritating!
I guess the darn things must work, otherwise why would site owners deliberately annoy their visitors?
Jury's still out for me... I put a big delay on mine so it comes up after 90 seconds. I just don't like them but they are highly recommended for list building.
I'll try to keep a slightly more open mind until you report back!
I imagine that, to some extent, it might depend on what your offer is. However, I recognise that I'm somewhat conservative in my approach, so the hard sell is never going to float my boat.
You are not alone sir, We are also facing same problem. The people trying to sell Set of Combs and Saving Instruments to Bald persons. They are thinking of their requirement. That's Why I prefer Inbound Marketing Only.
Ha ha, great example Mohammad! I'm not against attracting people to an opt-in subscriber list, but not by this method.
Attraction Marketing & Opt in based marketing is some thing else sir. These OTO, Pop Ups, forced Dialogue Boxes are type of Hard Marketing or One Time Marketing.
You and I are on the same wavelength in this.
I remember you blogged that customers don't like the hard sell (Outbound Marketing) and I totally agree. You only have to think of your own reaction when approached by a sales person in a store or wherever.
Some love them, others don't. Every major newspaper website uses them. They can be a nuisance but they can be ignored if we really want to read content on that site.
Sadly, they have the effect (on me) of making me not want to read their content. Yes, I know I'm getting grumpier as I get older, lol.
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My pet hate is when, after signing up to the list, you are diverted to a new page (either a thankyou of buy-my-stuff page). I was trying to read the page I arrived on...
I think my biggest pet hate is not actually promotional at all as I kind of expect them. It is when you land on a website and then you immediately get a pop up which is a survey asking you about your experiences of using the site. Well, They could at least give you a chance to see it first. I do sometimes fill them in but probably not with the answers they were hoping for ; ).