For the past 5 years pop-up, pop-under, pop-over, and pop-anywhere email forms have dominated most internet marketer’s sites. In this post we will look at whether or not they still work and if you should have one on your site.
This post has become a little long for one post, so I have split it up into 2 posts.
You can thank me later for not having a pop-up opt in form on this website. Sure, I’d love to have your email address so I can keep you up to date with my latest awesome posts and cool stuff online for making money, but I’d rather have your respect and not annoy you to death.
How These Pop-up Opt-in Forms Work:
First, let’s make sure we all know what we’re talking about here. You arrive on a site to read this great article or watch a cool video, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, a great big box begins to slide down the screen. It’s blocking the view of your video but you can’t close it because you can’t find that little “X”, either because there is none, or it has been surreptitiously hidden from view. It’s an email form asking for your email address in exchange for some great, grand prize… an ebook.
This is where you make the decision: do you close the box and go back to what you are actually interested in, or do you totally forget about that current webpage and bend to the demands of the form. Most of the time it will depend on the offer being made. You might really be interested in the ebook the website owner is offering you, but nonetheless, it was a forced invitation to view it, and that may turn you off. Sometimes the ONLY thing being offered you is the opportunity to be on some guy’s mailing list! Yay! Yippee! What a great grand prize that is for parting with my once clean, spam-free inbox!
BUT Do Pop-up Forms Work?
Of course the debate for this will go on long after this post has been written, but the simple truth is YES, pop-up forms, as annoying as they are, have been proven to work and provide much higher conversion rates than just having it sit in your sidebar. I remember reading about a very high profile blogger who got hundreds of thousands of visitors a month write about making the switch to a pop-up email form and he was nervous about it annoying too many people. Now, keep in mind that this was about 1.5 years ago. But he said that after using the pop-up forms on his site he was able to get a huge rush of email subscribers and hardly any complaints at all. In fact, his opt-in rate increased dramatically just because of this one change. So yes, these pop-up forms do work, and they have been very effective in the internet marketer’s arsenal. You can read my post on why use an autoresponder if you don’t already use one.
So, What’s the Problem?
I don’t believe this way of collective emails will be as effective in the next coming years. Yes, you can get a flood of subscribers with pop-up form now, but have you noticed a trend over the last few months? It seems like 50% of every website I visit has a form popping up. Forget visiting an internet marketer’s website. It’s more like 95% for IMers. The funny thing is, I used to submit my emails to these when the offer seemed good. But after seeing them on every site I visit, I am beginning to ignore them. I don’t even read the text on the page. I just see the box sliding over the screen as if it’s in slow-motion and I try to stop it as quickly as I can as I hear “Chariots of Fire” in my mind. It’s just another intrusion trying to distract me from what I am trying to read or see. By adding another pop-up to the web, you are making it even harder for people to find what they want, and they are getting fed up with the distractions as well.
Becoming Blind to Advertising
Advertising only works when you are able to advert someone’s attention. With a opt-in form that pops up this is what you are trying to do. It’s the same way with billboards on the highway. But there are some busy stretches of road where there are billboards everywhere. Every 20 feet it seems like there is another bright neon sign with bold letters and a catchy phrase trying to steal your eyes from the road. But where there are many billboards, each billboard is less effective. The same is true with pop-up email forms. Because they are being used so liberally, people are getting used to them, or rather, becoming annoyed with them, because these “billboards” are right on the windshield and blocking them from what they actually WANT to see.
Feel free to leave a comment about how you feel about pop-up email forms. Do you use them? Do you like them popping up on other sites? Do you think they are still effective? Don’t be shy! Let us know in a comment. It’s OK, you can contradict me if you want.