Pop up windows are the bane of existence for most of us who spend anytime online. I’ve been to some sites and had as many as 20 pop-ups annoy me while I was there until I activated the pop-up blocker on my browser. Why did I find them annoying? Because they contained advertisements of things I didn’t want and were of absolutely no interest to me. I know I’m not alone here — some statistics say that as many as 86% of pop-up ads are blocked on a consistent basis.
However, as irritating as they are, using pop-ups is an Internet marketing strategy that is incredibly effective. Some people report as much as a 50% increase of signups to their mailing list, for example, when they use a pop-up ad.
With the advent of pop-up blockers in browsers, however, this strategy has become more difficult to use. There are now software programs and services that create unblockable pop-ups for websites, sometimes referred to as popovers, hover ads, or floating windows. The two with which I’m most familiar are the Hover Ad Creator by MarketingTips.com and a monthly service called AdImpact.com. Hover ads are those pop-ups that appear in front of you and bounce several times before becoming still. The AdImpact.com pop-ups are a graphic pop-up and may appear in the form of a sticky note, a memo note, a coupon, a certificate, or any number of images.
So, how can you use this pop-over strategy without annoying, or worse yet, scaring away your website visitors? Here are 7 strategies for using pop-ups effectively:
1. Delay the entrance of the pop-up. Most pop-up programs have a timing delay feature that enables the website designer to program a 5 or 10 second (or longer) delay before a pop-up will appear on the website. Give your visitor a short window of opportunity to read what’s on your site before asking him to take action.
2. Don’t create a monster pop-up. Today’s software permits a highly configurable pop-up that permits you to specify the size, location on the page, and type of image for the pop-up. A smaller static pop-up that’s on the right side of your page is quite effective, or a smaller ad that floats in and out again subtly conveys your message.
3. Determine the purpose of the pop-up. I think the primary purpose of a pop-up on a service business owner’s website should be to help that business owner grow his list. Subscribing to some type of service with pop-up banner ads is a big no-no, as is anything else that is unrelated to this website’s business. Make sure that the purpose of your pop-up ad directly relates to the purpose of your business.
4. Give you visitor what he wants in the pop-up. Assuming that you’ve given your visitor a short amount of time to peruse your site, your pop-up should contain a compelling offer that makes the visitor want to take action. The offer could be an invitation to subscribe to your free email newsletter that’s chock-full of the kind of information he is seeking, or the opportunity to receive a free ebook, audio file, or ecourse also containing additional information about the topic that caused him to land on your site.
5. Make the pop-up easy to close. Give your visitor an easily identifiable way of closing the pop-up. Sometimes that’s a link that says "close" or it’s an "X" within the pop-up window. Don’t force your visitor into a situation that he’s unable to exit; otherwise, he’ll just simply leave your site.
6. Limit the exposure of the pop-up. You don’t want to completely distract your visitor from the rest of your website. Limit the amount of time that a pop-up appears as well as the number of times that a pop-up appears. A time of 30 seconds is usually more than adequate to inform you visitor of your pop-up offer, and make sure that the offer appears only once, not on every single page of your website.
7. Gather information upon exit. Instead of creating an entrance pop-up, ask your visitor a question upon exiting, or remind him about subscribing to or requesting your "compelling offer". In this way, there’s nothing that impedes your visitor’s viewing of site until he chooses to exit.
This combination of new pop-up technology, along with a bit of Internet marketing savvy, can help you harness the power of your website to create a sure-fire strategy that will convert visitors into customers.
Best-selling author Donna Gunter works with successful business owners who are experts in their fields and established in their industry and are seeking a way to stand out from their competitors. Using her Ideal Clients on Autopilot System©, she helps them determine the exact strategies to generate more qualified leads and better-paying clients with automated systems. This proven system makes all their marketing easier and more effective and they find themselves positioned as the only choice for their clients.