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Having an adversarial relationship with your subscribers is obviously something you want to avoid. Let’s use this as a starting point when discussing how to use popups as part of your marketing strategy. Popups are a powerful tool that can bring great benefits when used properly but also do great damage when used carelessly.
Make it less annoying, it will work better
You will probably agree that the term “popup” does not have positive associations for most people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It sometimes seems as though popups are a kind of battleground where marketers try to get attention and email users do everything possible to end the conversation before it even starts.
It’s easy for marketers to open a window, but just as easy for users to close it. But having your window closed is sometimes just a part of the sender’s loss. Recipients can enable even more popup blocking software as another line of defense against you and other senders. But what about popups inviting us to subscribe to a newsletter that they have asked for? Should we look at all popups as the same kind of irritating interruption or should we try to take advantage of what they do?
Let’s take a look at few rules of engagement when deploying popups as part of your online marketing strategy. Staying within these boundaries can significantly reduce the risk of your customers running away at the sight of a popup window and instead stick around long enough to make it worth your effort.
The devil’s in the details
First, another obvious point - nobody comes to your website in the hope that they will see a popup. But on the other hand, few people are surprised to see a popup. This means that you can create small time window in the user’s mind when he is forced to concentrate on your small graphic window on the screen.
You have literally have about one second to get your point across so keep it simple! Get to your point quickly in plain language or with simple graphics in a fairly small window. Keep your offer limited to things that are relevant to the page that the user was looking at before the window popped up. He’s obviously there because he likes the X that’s on the webpage so make your popup offer about X too - don’t waste time promoting Y or Z. The more creative you get in implementing these elements, combined with well written text, the greater the chances are that your customers will make that extra click.
Appeal to their interests
Probably the best motivational techniques you can use are discounts and access to exclusive options available only to those who click on the popup. Offer a coupon, a free e-book, or a piece of music for getting interested in what your newsletter has to offer. Or maybe the lure of exlusive deals, rebates or other promotions will work. Whatever you use, it has to be different and interesting enough to make the user want to know more.
We can all think of things that belong to the “more is better” category - weekends, ice cream, vacations, etc. But you need to be very clear about the fact that popups most definitely do not belong to this group. Arranging for popups to appear every time a given subscriber enters your website will more than likely have the exact opposite effect of the one you would like. This idea extends to other, more long-term variables such as the overall frequency of a user’s traffic to your website and to those who have already subscribed to your newsletter. Be considerate of your users and both sides will win.
Know your customers
One very important aspect email campaigns that you should always have in mind is personalization. Equip the popup with basic tools that will allow you to distinguish between substantial variation among your customers. This could include their gender or other data such as where they live or their personal interests. It’s a huge mistake to treat all of your subscribers as though they all have the exact same interests and situation. Don’t send them all the exact same email.
Newsletter popups are likely to instantly support both your business and your customers, if applied with some consideration and planning. Use them wisely and closely monitor the results so you can refine your future campaigns!