3 Alternatives to Pop Up Ads

Hate pop ups, pop overs, lightboxes, and anything related?  Okay, I hear you.  You weren’t a fan of my post last week about using a pop up ad.

That’s okay.  There are other options to boost your newsletter subscriptions.

1. Improve what you’ve already got.

You’ve got an opt-in box on your blog or website, right?  Of course you do.  Here are some ways to optimize it to get more attention and more opt-ins:

  • Put it on every page of your website.
  • Make sure it’s “above the fold” which means when you first load your website it should be visible on the page without scrolling down.
  • Add an image to represent what people are getting when they opt-in.  Could be a virtual image of your ezine, the gift you give subscribers, etc.
  • Include a privacy statement close to the offer box promising not to share subscriber info.
  • Keep your text by your offer easy to read.  Don’t make it too long.
  • Try adding a testimonial near the box, or link to a page of testimonials from readers.
  • Change the text on the button from “Submit” to something customized like “Give Me My Freebie!”
  • Try different layouts like borders, headlines (test colors), etc and split text the opt-in boxes against each other.  This is simple to do with a service like Aweber.  Check with your mailing list provider to see what options they offer.

2. Turn your front page into a subscription offer.

This is what I was considering against the pop up ad.  By turning your front page into an offer, everyone who comes to your site through your front page sees the offer and chooses either to opt in or continue to your blog.  But it only hits people who come in through the front page and they have to click through it every time.

Some examples of sites using this strategy well:

To do this with a WordPress site you’d need to create a new page with your subscription/opt-in offer, then set it to the initial page that loads on your website (under Settings > Reading).

3.  Use a slide-in footer ad.

I’ve tested this and got about 2x as many opt-ins as with the regular opt-in box on my page.  So it did increase subscribers for me.  And it’s less intrusive than a pop up ad.

An example site using this technique (watch the bottom of your screen to spot it):

You can do this using the free WordPress plugin here: for Aweber, for GetResponse, for Feedburner.

So if you truly hate pop ups, there are alternatives!  :)

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sophie Zollmann, Michelle Shaeffer. Michelle Shaeffer said: Blog: 3 Alternatives to Pop Up Ads http://bit.ly/hUGTyZ #tlcclub #blogboost […]

  2. These are all good alternatives to the pop up Michelle. And I think it is important for each online business to test each technique to see how it results in traffic or sign ups or whatever you ultimate goal is.
    Lynn Brown recently posted… Marketing Points For a Successful Business OnlineMy Profile

    1. Exactly! It completely depends on the goal — and we’ve got to test to see what works best for each of us.

  3. Thank you so much for the wonderful advice, Michelle. Or, to paraphrase Paul… Michelle, ma belle, sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble….

    1. I believe you’ve just won the awards for first French comment, first lyrics comment, and first Beatles comment. Thanks Roy!

  4. Thanks for the tips Michelle, I always look forward to your emails. I’m finding WordPress and blogging a huge learning curve but I will get there. I’m not a fan of the pop up, to be honest, I find it intrusive as it interrupts the reading flow and fuzzes up concentration! I prefer an opt in box but I have now have to figure out how to get one up on my site! (Really hope that my pic shows up on this post, I have got an avatar but it has been quite elusive recently, another technological hitch no doubt).

    1. Hi Sabi,

      Thanks for commenting! For the avatar, I’ve found usually the problem if it doesn’t show up is the email address. You want to be sure you have the same email address registered at http://gravatar.com as you’re using to comment on blogs. :)

      To add an opt-in box to your website, the easiest way is:
      – login to your mail list provider (like Aweber or MailChimp)
      – create a form with their form builder
      – at the last step they’ll give you some code that you’ll copy
      – login to your WordPress admin
      – under “Appearance” go to “Widgets”
      – drag a “Text Widget” to your side bar
      – paste your code into that widget and click the blue save button

      That will add your opt-in box. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Celebrating Genius–in YouMy Profile

  5. The most succinct as well as up-to-date tips I discovered about this subject matter. I am sure lucky that I discovered that web page by chance. I will be opting-in to your own rss feed in order that I will receive the latest updates. Truly appreciate the information here.

  6. […] 3 Alternatives to Pop Up Ads […]

  7. […] (it only shows once every thirty days and not on every page load or every visit).  Then I shared some alternatives to pop ups.  I hadn’t discovered Hello Bar yet.  This would now top my list of suggestions of […]

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