People use newsletter sign-up popups because they work…That is, until they don't. That's been the case with every annoying, intrusive web marketing technique. We need to stop getting all Whoop Dee Do about any particular marketing technique's immediate testing results. Yes, by all means try different techniques and test their effectiveness, but at the end of the day please please do what's right for the reader and respect your audience!
I agree with the article, and I generally do close the websites if I get the dreaded Newsletter pop-up. Hopefully more of the community does the same.
Its about uniqueness, timing, and value. I saw Viget did an interesting approach the other day. They triggered their popup at the end of their article. I usually ignore these damn things. However, I actually read it because it was different. Instead of saying the standard lack of imagination and value "JOIN MY NEWSLETTER." They provided an interesting fact with a project they did. A nice way to showcase their clientele to future prospects and if didn't care, at least I learned about sheep.
Thanks for your example Scott. The only issue I see with that approach is the one described in this article by Jakob Nielsen: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/needy-design-patterns/
The “Split Testing Guru” or the “Analytics Guru” is the new “Social Media Marketing Expert” and they can send organizations into a tailspin looking for smoke signals, reading tea leaves and interpreting statistically inconclusive data like horoscopes.
There’s nothing wrong with list building or email marketing.
There is something that just seems dumb about jamming a pop up in a user’s face given today’s multi-screen environment. Most of the time the pop ups fail on mobile, are impossible to cancel - and may perhaps send a negative search ranking signal on top of that.
Then there is the issue of list quality.
Why not invest time in content that makes users want to give up their email?
Because good content takes time, talent and money. User-hostile advertising / popups are cheap and lazy.
The ones that pop up after I've just started reading the article are the ones that really kill me. If I'm not interested enough to make it to the end of the text, I'm probably not interested enough to sign up for your newsletter.
Would love to see some less intrusive examples of list building. I think having a solution that is just as effective, but less annoying would be interesting.
I remember reading a great article on intercom about cards. They've also come out with a couple of great articles since.
I had been reading for a decent amount of time (2-3 minutes) when a subscribe popup appeared. That's one of the few times the pattern felt appropriate. It somehow wasn't insistent at that point and given that I was enjoying the article, I actually considered subscribing.
Not sure if the same timing algorithm is still in place but click around here a bit: http://blog.intercom.io. I'm on mobile right now, not sure if it's still the same.
This UI pattern reminds me of these classic Google Analytics vids: https://youtu.be/3Sk7cOqB9Dk
Very noble and all, but if you are a designer in most industries, your designs and patterns should make money. Newsletter pop ups make money.
Honest question, is there any research to back up that statement?
Quoting Jakob Nielsen: "As a thought experiment, ask your brand manager whether “we’re desperate for attention” is one of the company’s stated brand values. If not, why signal such desperation to customers? These kinds of tactics are often embraced and accepted based on better conversion performance in A/B tests. However, there’s a big tradeoff that comes with being needy and annoying — the degradation of your relationship with your users." And besides that, I am sure you'd get some results if you started to advertise products to people while they walk on the street, but that's not a good reason to justify an unethical practice.