do you hate email opt-ins?

I really don’t like email opt-in popups they’re really annoying. But if they work, what then?

There’s a lot of advice out there these days about what you do to increase visitors to your website. The pundits are having a field day with it all, each one giving out different advice. Social media, blogging, guest blogging, et c. There is so much to do and perhaps so much of it does nothing in the end to do what you want it to do, which is grow your brand awareness.

One of my rules (for the time being anyway – always subject to change) is that if I find something annoying, it doesn’t go on my website.

One of the things I find really annoying is popup boxes asking you to subscribe to an email list. My thinking is that if I want to subscribe, I will find a subscription box in a sidebar or at the bottom of the page and will subscribe there.

Truth is, I don’t often do that, unless there is a compelling reason why, such as a free pdf document. I feel it is a fair trade off. Get some information I want in return for being added to one more email list that goes to an email address I never look at. My rationale is that I can always unsubscribe later. For the most part it’s like junk mail in the actual physical mailbox.. straight to the bin without even being looked at.

Now apparently my dinosaur thinking needs to change. Email opt-ins are the go. People hate them but they get results. One anecdote I have read told of how a blogger found that an email opt-in at the right of the screen. converted at 0.4% whereas a popup converted at 5.5%. Those kind of numbers are hard to ignore.

It’s kind of obvious really when you think about it. You put something to one side where people may look at it if they get round to it, which they won’t, or put it in their face, where they have to make a decision then and there.

I’m a web strategist, so I can’t ignore such things. I need to know. Do these things work? That’s my excuse for putting something annoying on my website. I need to be able to give advice to others on the effectiveness of such things.

So I may break my rule of not including something I find annoying on my own web site.

However, one thing I am never going to do is have one of those pop-ups that come up as you are about to leave, saying “Before you go..” That is just desperation.

And I am never in my life sharing one of David “Avocado” Wolfe’s facebook posts


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A computer specialist who has had a long and varied career in IT, starting with the days of Novell, progressing through Microsoft on the way to Cisco and network security. Now running Revolution Web Design, to provide customers with great Web Design, SEO and digital strategy advice.

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