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Should You Grow Your Online Store’s Email List with Pop-ups?

Pop-ups. You love them or you hate them.

But more times than not, they work, no matter how you feel about them personally. It’s all about timing and strategy.

Pop-ups are a different animal when it comes to your online store, though.  To illustrate this, I like to flip the pop-up concept on its side and think about its version in a brick-and-mortar store. You walk in the doors as a customer and within 5 seconds to browse the products, a clerk jumps in front of you and pushes a sales sign in your face. Or you are walking by the make-up counter and suddenly a banner pops out from under the counter where the makeup sales person is hiding.

If we would never treat a customer that way in real life, is it realistic and appropriate to use this strategy online?

Or is it entirely possible to use pop-ups in ways that are there ways that do not turn off our customers and make them run for the hills?

In one of our recent podcast episodes, I asked Becs Rivett-Kemm from Conversio.com precisely these questions. on the online store. Becs is an expert in email marketing and eCommerce, so I especially wanted to share her thoughts with you.

Do you have guidelines or thoughts on how you can use pop ups, especially for an online store?

Specifically, I asked her:

What consideration should online stores think about before adding pop-ups to their site for growing their list? I know, somebody wanted me to look at their E-Commerce site, and before I could even see what their products were, I got this pop-up to sign up for their newsletter. It was like, “Whoa. I don’t even know who you are yet.” Any guidelines or any thoughts on how you can use those pop-ups, specially for an online store?

Becs Rivett-Kemm: Absolutely. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. For me, there’s nothing worse than arriving on a website and being instantly greeted with a pop-up asking for my email address, before I’ve even looked at it properly. Timing is really pertinent. With a lot of the pop-up plugins, you can set a delay. I’d strongly recommend that you use it. If you can prevent that pop-up from showing when somebody’s already subscribed, or if they clicked through from an email as well, that’s when you sometimes see them. Then you’re really going to make a much more positive experience and show that you’re professional if you can suppress those pop-ups at those stages. Also for persons who already said no, not reappearing the next day or something. I recommend at least two weeks, and up to 30 days, before you pop up again. That’s an acceptable range of time.

You’ve also got consider the messaging and what is going to persuade the user to hand the details over at that very moment that you popped up when they are browsing on a particular page on your site. You need to consider what is going to be in it for them because they know they are handing over their email address so that you’re going to start emailing them. That’s good value and so the trade needs to be mutually beneficial. There’s got to be something in it for them. Say you’ve got a store and it’s selling jewelry and accessories, and, to add a few more subscribers to your list, you want to use a pop-up. Of course, the most obvious thing is going to be offer a discount. There are other things that you can do.

Say you’ve got a luxury handbag category and you just have a pop-up that says, “Discover the top five must-have bags for this season” or, “Get a sneak peek at our new top-secret, next-season handbag collection” and they’ve got to put in their email address. Both of those messages I’ve suggested are specific to handbags, and so they’ll appear only on the handbag pages. You’ve got persuasive messaging to suggest exclusivity. Oh, and that content should only be available to email subscribers, so it’s not available anywhere else and they can’t get it by any other method. If they hand over their email address, they’ll get that information.

Another thing to consider is there’s more than one type of pop-up. There’s not just a time-delayed one. There’s things like exit intent, which appear when your mouse leaves the main browsing window. There’s things like scroll-activated as well, so  you could say, “I want it to appear once the person has scrolled 50 percent down the page, or 80 percent down the page.” I mean, obviously,  you wouldn’t be using all of them all of the time, but it’s about creating and building combinations and using different messages on different parts of the site, and maximizing the chance of achieving a sign up.

It’s All About Control

The strategic-minded shop owner will have the right tool if they are going to build their lists by way of pop-ups on their WordPress online store.

And if you would like to listen to the full interview with Becs, you can access it here: How to Effectively Use Email Marketing with Your WooCommerce Online Shop

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