Growing a List: Popup vs. Standard Embed Signup Forms

Reading Time: 5 Minutes Clueless Email Marketer?!

In this episode, we talk about the times you’ll want to use a popup signup form or a standard embeddable one. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each. Learn when to employ each of them to grow your list.

00:22 Andy Shore: Welcome back, everybody. Today, we’ve got a battle of epic proportions for you in this minisode. In one corner, we’ve got pop-up sign-up forms. The other one, we’ve got the standard embeddable forms, and there’s advantages and disadvantages of each, so we’ll talk about what those are so that you can help understand when to use each one.

00:45 Daniel Miller: Yeah, so this is something that I wanna say what I believe, really, for the very end, but when it comes down to it, some of the advantages of a pop-up form is that you really can’t miss it. When you’re on that website, the pop-up shows up, boom, it’s right in your face, you can’t miss it. If there’s a really good advantage for the subscriber there, it’s a win-win all the way around, as well as if the timing was right. So, if all of those things fall into place, it’s a win-win all around. Now, there’s some of the disadvantages.

01:17 AS: Sure. The disadvantages, like Daniel has mentioned in our earlier episodes, it could annoy someone. I know if I’m in the middle of reading an article on a blog, and I’m getting really into the story, and all of a sudden, the pop-up comes up, I’m just like, takes me out of the narrative, maybe my ADD takes me out of the site entirely at that point, and it’s just, it could… You don’t wanna impede the flow of what you’ve got, but as we were mentioning, you gotta think about the entire process of how someone got to your site, how long they’ve been there, in terms of whether it is an advantage or disadvantage.

01:52 AS: As I mentioned in an earlier episode, one instance where they’re really effective for is when it’s a landing page from an ad because you already have the micro-win before that. They clicked through from that ad ’cause they were already interested in learning more about whatever you’re selling, so that when that pop-up comes right when they get there and you’re like, “Hey, your first purchase, 10% off,” you’re just pushing them down that funnel further and further and getting closer to that conversion because you’re using the pop-up form right away. But when it comes up when you’re trying to go to another important section of the website to learn more, you don’t wanna add in that distraction of a pop-up form to stop them from the goal of what they were doing, so you really gotta understand your goals with those things to know if it’s gonna be an advantage or disadvantage for you.

02:37 DM: And you just mentioned something, I think, that’s very important to really focus on real quick, giving the example of coming from an ad, and then being on that page and being indecisive, and then getting a pop-up that says, “Hey, your first purchase, 10% off,” you are aiming in the same direction, and that makes a lot of sense. Sometimes though, I’ve seen some pop-ups that are totally selling something different than what I came there from, and that’s kind of thrown me off, but there’s also something that you may call something like a splinter deal, right? Something that, yeah, I’m not ready to buy right now, but now there’s a pop-up, “Hey, check out this manual that explains the 10 reasons why our service is the best for you,” something like that. So again, it’s still pointing in the right direction. So what I wanted to say about that is, make sure that your pop-up is adding value. If you’re just showing the pop-up to get their email, most likely, people aren’t gonna sign up, but if you’re adding value to that, people are definitely gonna sign up.

03:31 AS: Exactly, and there’s really two different kinds of pop-up forms, or they work on your site in two different ways. The first one is a time-based pop-up, so it comes up immediately when you go to a page three seconds after, 10 seconds, 20, because sometimes, if someone’s spending a lot of time on your page, then you know you’ve got their interest, or they’re distracted and forgot about it, but… [chuckle] they either are more engaged, maybe then they’re more likely to sign up, or if they forgot and then come back and they’re like, “Oh, good, I’ll get more of this information,” after they come back, but that’s more the time-based.

04:02 AS: And then the other one is the scroll-based, so it’s like, as they’re getting towards the end of your blog post, you’re like, “Oh, they thought this was good. Let’s send them more by getting them to subscribe,” or “Oh, they were interested in this page’s content, let’s keep in touch with them.” So those are the two different ways they interact. Let’s talk a little bit about when you definitely don’t wanna use a pop-up form.

04:22 DM: I will. Before we jump into that, I wanna add a third one, exit intent, which we have a whole episode prepared for that upcoming.

04:30 AS: Multiples of them.

04:31 DM: Yeah, but the exit intent is, I’m sure you’ve done this. You’re on a page for a couple minutes, you scroll all the way to the bottom, but then you’re about to leave, meaning your mouse goes up to the left-hand corner, or right, depending if you’re using a Mac or Windows, and you get the pop-up right then and there. Those are called exit intent pop-ups, and that’s exactly what they’re for. Before you leave, why don’t you take a look at this?

04:53 DM: So when is it not okay to use a pop-up form? If you ask me, this is gonna be more personal. It’s right in the middle of me actually trying to perform the action that you wanted me to do in the first place, whether it’s reading a blog or about to buy something, do not distract me when I’m about to buy. I’ve seen some pop-ups that have been in the cart abandonment process, and unless you’re trying to help, meaning, “Hey, do you have any questions on your cart?” Something like that, then go for it. Now, to be honest, though, your cart should not have any questions. If you have to have a pop-up for your cart process, yeah, I think you have a different kind of problem. That’s an episode for another day. I honestly believe that no matter what page you’re on, having an embed and a pop-up form has value to it. I wouldn’t choose one or the other, I would have both. So that’s my piece of advice.

05:41 AS: Yeah, it’s a good point. Even sometimes, when you have pop-up forms, someone could click out of it, either on purpose or accidentally, but then still decide at a later point, while still on that page, that they do wanna sign up.

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