Why You Should Avoid Popup Subscription Boxes

Avoiding popup subscription boxesHaving a good call to action is important for any sales-driven website, but timing is everything. Websites that engage a popup prompting the reader to subscribe to a newsletter after an article loads are annoying.

Ask yourself: would this sales tactic work anywhere else?

Imagine a face-to-face sales meeting where after saying hello and shaking your prospect’s hand you immediately slide the signature page across the table, asking for the sale. You haven’t even explained what you’re selling yet or how it helps them, so how can you expect them to put ink to paper?

Worse yet, since the popup is annoying they’ll probably click the ‘X’ and close it.

Once it’s closed, you’ve missed your opportunity to ask them for the sale (or in this case, subscription).

2 Responses to Why You Should Avoid Popup Subscription Boxes

  1. Matthew Parent May 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm #

    I think the right approach here is what you currently do. Have the subscription box in the sidebar and maybe put a call to action somewhere in the body of your text. I know that I personally close popups without even looking at them. Make the popup annoying enough and you’ve probably guaranteed that I won’t even stick around to read the content I originally came for, much less sign up for a mailing list.

    The high pressure salesman largely died out a long time ago for good reason. Popups are the equivalent to that and should take a similar path.

    • Brian Watkins May 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

      Good point about leaving entirely. I’ve done that myself to a few sites. Maybe the content was great and I missed out, but popups thrown in your face create a terrible first impression.

      This area is another one of those where one might think only low quality sites do this, but there are a lot of fairly well-respected ones included.

      If annoying popups cause viewers to hit the back button, you’ve increased your bounce rate and lost more than a chance to sell; you’ve lost the chance to be heard at all.

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