One of the simplest and yet, most effective methods we have found to grow our mailing list at Creative Agency Secrets, has been with the integration of a ‘Lightbox’ or a ‘pop-up’ plugin.
For any business operating with an online presence (let’s face it, if you’re not, you should be!), one of your primary objectives should be to acquire email addresses of potential customers to sell your glorious products and services.
However, relying on customers to navigate your site and opt themselves in is like telling your dog to fetch a ball that it doesn’t know exists. You need to show them the ball and especially why they want to chase it!
Okay, what is a lightbox?
To put it simply, a lightbox is an extension programme on your website that jumps up at your visitors displaying a customised message, usually requesting visitors to supply their email address in exchange for some kind of benefit. These benefits are typically newsletter subscriptions, prize giveaways, eBooks, online courses and other free rewards.
Key factors to building an effective lightbox
- Firstly, your lightbox needs to stand out. Web users are exposed to multiple lightboxes on a daily basis. You need to ensure yours captures their attention. Most lightbox software allows customisation of colour schemes and text which aid in making it visually appealing when it appears on your website. Aside from being eye catching, you need a powerful and enticing message that will draw them in as well as outline clearly what they get.
- The lightbox should serve a single purpose – sign up here to receive benefit ___. If you make it too complicated, visitors will lose patience and simply close it without completing the signup.
- Offer your visitors something that they want. No visitor is going to sign up for your offer if they have no interest in it or cannot see any real value from it.
- Set frequency and page display settings to something reasonable that will not drive people away. Your lightbox should be a passive reminder, not an aggressive punch in the face to get visitors to sign up.
- Associate it with your email client management software and it will directly import the email addresses it collects into that programme, saving you time and effort.
Once you have your lightbox setup, you simply launch it and leave it to acquire all those precious email addresses on its own. Easy!
Some lightboxes work better than others however. Our previous (paid) lightbox on one client’s website appeared cluttered and ‘busy’ on the webpage. After some deliberation we decided we should see what else was available.
We assessed a number of alternatives across a range of features such as mail client integration, level of customisation, price and so forth. Although paid and free versions existed for most options, we discovered the benefits of many of the premium lightbox providers were not substantial enough to justify the purchase.
Our clear favourite at the end of the process was a product called ‘List Builder’ developed by Sumo*. Their simple user interface meant it was pleasant for our visitors to engage with and the customisable colour and text allowed us to align the lightbox with our clients’ brands.
In the first few months, we saw the number of subscribers jump from roughly 20 – 30 per month to over 300! Our mailing lists continue to grow steadily and our lightbox is undoubtedly a key driver in facilitating this.
So what are you waiting for? Convert your web traffic into willing customers immediately, or get in touch if you would like us to help you get there.
*For a full breakdown of the lightboxes we compared, click here.