In this post I want to go over how to get more clicks to increase visitor opt ins, conversions, sales and the number of subscribers to your website, blog or newsletter.
Regardless of the business you are in, you always want more traffic entering your conversion funnel so that you can convert more of it into customers, clients, readers, etc. How do you do this non-invasively is often the key challenge.
Some readers have asked me in the past how I am able to convert my readers into subscribers, and while there are several conversion techniques you can employ to increase subscribership, I want to discuss one specific way that has been very effective for me.
I am not a fan of flash screens and pop up opt-in boxes that attempt to get the visitors of a website or blog to sign up to an offer in exchange for their name and email address as soon as they arrive on a website.
Although these tools are effective in acquiring new subscribers or potential customers from a statistical perspective, I personally don’t like their invasive nature, and strongly feel that while you can acquire new email addresses, you may be alienating your existing readership base by providing a less pleasant experience than what they are used to.
There is no definitive answer to whether or not you should be using these tools. The use of such tools really comes down to your objective, marketing style and personal beliefs. Are you aiming to acquire more email addresses or subscribers who are truly fans? Or are you aiming for a better user experience? Neither answer is necessarily wrong.
For example, if you own a static website and feel that your existing readership is no longer “monetizable”, you may decide to implement a pop up opt-in program to acquire “fresh” email addresses that may potentially convert into paying customers. After all, making money from your web property is one of your goals of being online – an important one.
At the same time, if you are blogging and intend to build a real community, or if you are a hobbyist blogger, you may want to consider the implications to your existing readers and new visitors.
If you want to increase your readership, how do you do this without offending a loyal, existing reader who takes objection to the invasiveness of pop ups and flash screens?
I am constantly looking for ways to grow my blog’s readership, and I’ve always secretly wondered what a pop up tool would do to my subscribership. But because I personally don’t prefer using such tools, I haven’t implemented one.
Few months ago however I came across a tool that I felt demonstrated a good balance between attracting a new reader’s attention to increase the chances of opting in to an offer and at the same time doesn’t come off as too invasive.
I am referring to the Hello Bar that you see on top of the page. Adding this bar allows you to include a short message like the one you see on mine, followed by a clickable button that takes the reader to your conversion page. Mine looks as follows:
I like several things about the Hello Bar. It allows for absolutely painless and seamless integration. It literally took me 5 minutes. I also like the fact that it is that it is not too invasive in my opinion. Readers can click a tab on the bar (this tab is movable) to shut down the bar.
The Hello Bar also has some nice analytics built into it, including an automated periodic email update informing you how your conversions are performing, and whether you are trending upward or downward over time.
But most important of all is the tool’s unprecedented effectiveness. I personally have never experienced any online tool that has resulted in such a dramatic improvement in my click through, opt in and subscriber conversion rates.
Here is a snapshot of how the Hello Bar tool compares with some of the other methods by which I attempt to increase my blog’s subscribers.
-yes, I know!
As you can see, nothing is even close to the effectiveness of the Hello Bar, including my free report which I feel is one of the most valuable contributions I can share with anyone right now from my own experience. So if you are wondering how to get more clicks to your conversion funnels, you might want to consider using a tool like this.
The Hello Bar has a free and a paid version. If you are relatively new to the space and want to give it a shot, try the free version as it gives you the full flavor of what the tool can do for you. You get a limited amount of clicks to your free version, after which the bar stops appearing on your website or blog until the next period when you get a fresh set of free clicks.
The only difference between a free and paid version is that you will not run out of clicks to your bar with the paid version. I started out by trying the free version just to observe what it does for my online business. I was pleased with what I saw and decided to purchase the full subscription plan.
It’s important to try different things to see what works best for your business. This is one of those things that I tried and has worked really well. I just implemented it on my authority website and will be measuring performance shortly.
If you’d like to try out the free version, I am an affiliate of Hello Bar and would be happy to answer any questions before you even get it, during or after.
What are your thoughts on using tools like this? What’s working well for you today in terms of conversions and opt ins? Why would you, or wouldn’t use a tool like Hello Bar?Previous: Best Ways to Leverage PLR Articles – Your Own Private Label Rights Web Content
I agree, I hate those “subscribe now” pop ups. Way too invasive for me. I have heard from others in the past that the Hello bar works just as well if not better but have not yet tried it.
My have to do that soon!
most welcome Doc
Is the increase in conversions largely due to the fact that the user has already clicked the hello bar advertisement before being presented with the opt in form?
I am right now in the process of implementing something similar on IMImpact so this is great timing for me. I have always wondered about the effectiveness of this type of ad – they seem to be very popular.
I would be really interested to know how many conversion you get per 100 visitors (on average) before you installed the hello bar and after. That seems like a fair test to see whether the hello bar is only picking up visitors that would have subscribed through one of your other opt in forms or if you are indeed getting a higher overall conversion rate.
the image represents various opt in forms located in various places on the blog. the highest conversion is the opt in that is presented after the Hello Bar is clicked. does that help? so to answer your question, yes, the user clicks the bar and then is presented with this form which shows the highest conversion. from personal experience, it certainly grabs my attention when I see it elsewhere.
I created something similar to the hello bar this morning and added it to IMImpact but as a WP plugin rather than a hosted service. Will be interesting to see how well it performs!
curious – why embed as a code when you can host it?
I’d just much rather have control over the code, also I’m not a fan of the monthly pricing model. I don’t think this type of thing should be a SAAS – I can’t see a good reason why I should pay a subscription for this.
interested in the results you experience with your plugin. if it works the same, I don’t see a reason for paying a monthly recurring either unless one is using the free version
Yes when I get around to finishing the control panel options for it we’ll give it away as a free plugin possibly as a lead gen
let us know the feedback Paul
love these updates, Sunil! You are always so forthcoming with information — that’s so refreshing!
hope it benefits someone
Valuable info (as always) Sunil!
I had noticed this bar on several sites in the IM area in particular recently. As a site visitor, I really like it (compared to the pop up box), finding it unobtrusive. Not just unobtrusive, but appealing…because the sense as a visitor is, “this must be the most important message on the whole site – if I don’t go anywhere else from the home page, at least click that one”
So my encouragement would be to use it, and to make sure that this is your best/most important action that you want your visitor to take.
PS Sunil – I always thought this bar was a part of a theme these sites were using. Nice to know it’s an add on. And I never realised you could close the bar also! Nice!
I tried installing the What Would Seth Godin Do? plugin on my PF blog, but haven’t noticed any change increase in subscriptions. Something like the Hello bar might work for my food blog to get people to my sales funnel!
I’d be interested in the results Edward. please do update on the same thread
I’ve been running it for almost three weeks now. So far no clicks. I’ve always wondered how to find someone to run optimization campaigns for me. Because I’m very bad at it.
But the other issue I’ve noticed is that the Hello Bar gets a tiny fraction of visits recorded. It’s currently showing 76 visits for the 20 days ending yesterday. Google Analytics shows 1001 unique visitors for the same time period.
that is because the free version stops serving after you’ve exhausted your monthly quota. unless you are on the paid version, you will always have less views than your analytics will show. however, not getting clicks on it is very strange. what percentage of your traffic is organic/from search engines? repeat visitors who know you exist will likely ignore it
Roughly 70% of my monthly traffic comes from organic search and about 90% of my traffic is new visitors.
very strange that you are not getting activity on the bar from new visitors. have you discussed in forums?
Hey Sunil, thanks for the post! I was wondering about the name of the plugin you used, cause it always seemed like it would perform very well.
I think one of the first things I thought when I saw that bar at the top of your blog was “wow, this guy cares enough about how easy his site is to read to not use a pop-up”. Literally, that is the thought I had, and that was before learning anything about website building or blogging – just as a pure reader coming to your site for the first time.
I’m using Optin-Skin at the moment, but right now both sites I have are low enough in traffic that it is pretty hard to judge the efficacy. It will be fun to see how it performs when more people are coming. Have you thought about using that one as well?
I have and may incorporate it in my authority site for testing as it is drawing mostly organic search traffic. I’d be interested in your long term results – do let me know. if I understand correct opt in skin is only for inclusion at the end/bottom of each post, correct?
I’ve been thinking about testing it on my blog, Sunil, but never really got to it.
Still on my list…
good opportunity for instant feedback as your blog draws a good amount of organic traffic
I ran across your site a couple of days ago and the hello bar was the first thing I notices when I arrived. What I appreciated was that instead of slamming a pop-up in my face the hello bar just sat there and appealed to my curiosity. The more I thought about it the more intrigued I became with the technique. Bottom line, it’s a respectful strategy.
Thanks for the article and further explanation.
welcome to the blog Michael. let me know if I can be of help
The Hello bar is definitely a great tool. The fact that it is very visible but unobtrusive is very important. While you want to get as many subscribers as possible to your list, you also want to ensure you don’t annoy your existing readership.
I’ll even add one more point: You don’t want to drag everyone unto your list. While it may swell your list size, it may NOT necessarily translate to more money for you. I still believe that there is the need to qualify potential subscribers (you don’t want to get a million subscribers with little conversions to show for it).
I have a question, though…
Is there a limit to the text size with Hello bar? This is for publishers who may be interested in adding a few extra qualifiers to keep the wrong people out?
good question, and yes I believe you are limited to just one sentence. caps you off after certain number of characters.
I have been testing with Viperbar, from Viperchill, it’s a similar plugin and works well.
can you share some numbers Izzy? what are the key differences and similarities from what you can tell?
Does Hellobar slow down your website? I love the script too, but I am afraid of the speed
it has not slowed down mine. it’s a hosted solution – I don’t think it impacts the way your site is coded
Hello bar is a great non invasive way to get people to visit a page you want. Could be a sales page or an optin. The best part like you said is that it is not really annoying!
My favorite feature of hello bar is that it has A/B split testing built right in!
yup, the split testing has helped me narrow in on the best message to present readers with
I think the hellobar is pretty sweet technology. Thanks for sharing Sunil.
I like how it bounces down and grabs your attention by shaking the arrow if you minimize the bar. It’s a great way to increase your conversion without being too in your face with your readers.
The one I hate the most is the splash page window before letting your visitors read your website. Especially for returning visitors. Why would a website owner do something like this to their reader. So annoying!
I am glad you are using this technique Sunil and not the in your face popups.
it’s those same features that I dislike about splash screens. they are effective however there is no doubt
cool tool, I will be implementing the hello bar on my websites. thanks
let me know about your experience. always curious how others are doing
yes of course,it is one of the most effective way to get the intentions of visitors.I just want to clear one thing that can we add some icons/pictures in hello bar.?
don’t think so. but you can place images in the link you send your Hello Bar clickers to
There is a plugin icegram which is just similar to hello bar and has many other features too!
It will be a great help to all as it is totally free!