How I Increased My Opt-In Rate by 269% in 5 Minutes

Your best prospects are the customers you already have.

Whether you’re selling product or leveraging traffic to move advertisements, this simple principle holds true — the people with whom you have done business in the past have a significantly greater likelihood of doing business with you in the future.  People who had a positive experience on your blog in the past are the ones more likely to find value in the future, to become loyal readers.

It’s the reason I advocate making your site sticky before implementing any large traffic campaigns for a website.  Do all that you can to ensure that you have continued access to these new visitors in the future.  Here are some ways to do that.

RSS is an option for this, but the best possible alternative is to have the user opt in to your email list.  There’s a reason you hear so many people say that “the money is in the list.”

The Power of a Targeted List

A good email list is a beautiful thing.  It allows you to:

  • Cultivate a relationship with your reader
  • Provide on-demand traffic to your site
  • Get feedback from people interested in your niche
  • Pitch special offers and generate sales

My email list enables me to bring a steady stream of repeat traffic to this site.  It also allows me to help my readers sell their websites (by sharing those deals in my newsletter), and to enhance my reputation with people who care about my field of expertise.  I consider it to be a very valuable resource.

A good, responsive list can also help your site fetch top-dollar when it’s time to sell.

That’s why I was thrilled to learn about Popup Domination, a plugin for WordPress that rapidly improved the number of people joining my list.

Stumbling into Opportunity

Before I listened to a single word of the video on the sales page for Popup Domination, I knew I was going to buy it.  In fact, I knew I was going to buy it before I even knew what it was called or where to get it.

You see, I stumbled across Popup Domination while visiting a site I read frequently.  On this visit, instead of seeing the home page, I was greeted by a lightbox promoting a free e-book.  Normally, when a lightbox comes on the screen, I’m on its ‘close’ button faster than you can blink.  This time, I paused… for a long time.  Here’s an example of what the popup looks like (on Flip Websites, not the site I ran across):

The design was really professional — impressive.  I knew it had to be converting like crazy if even I stopped to admire it.  I have Firebug installed, so I right clicked, selected ‘Inspect Element,’ and started looking at the source code, trying to decipher what plugin was being used to display the lightbox, and my detective work revealed that it was Popup Domination.

I immediately bought the plugin and installed it shortly thereafter, and the results have been very impressive.  To say the least, it’s been money well spent.

The Results

I’m going to cover my favorite features of the plugin, but first, I want to share my results with you (because that’s what really matters). Here’s a chart straight from my Aweber account showing weekly subscribers:

And here’s a chart showing my daily new subscribers improvement (plugin installed on 9/30):

You need to upgrade your Flash Player to view this chart

In the 2 weeks before using Popup Domination, I was averaging 2.88 new subscribers per day (which is actually higher than the historical average for this site — see the weekly graph from Aweber for more context) . Now, I’m averaging 7.75 new subscribers per day — that’s a 269% improvement!  How big of a difference is that?

At 2.88 new subscribers per day, my list would grow by 1,051 people per year.  Not a bad little number to add to the more than 1,000 people already subscribed to my updates.

At 7.75 new subscribers per day, in a year’s time my list will have grown by 2,829 people!

What about Bounce Rate?

Admittedly, I was concerned about scaring people off with a popup — some folks might be inclined to hit the back button, rather than close out the lightbox.  Fortunately for me, that hasn’t proven to be the case.  Since implementing the popup, my bounce rate is actually down a little over 7%.

Unfortunately, I implemented the popup right around the same time I changed the site design, so I can’t say for sure that the bounce rate isn’t higher than it would be without Popup Domination installed.  I suspect the decreased bounce rate has much more to do with the theme change than with the popup.

Ease of Use

I could have easily designed a similar lightbox and implemented it on my site, but the time spent wouldn’t have been worth the relatively low cost of the plugin.  You know I’m a fan of outsourcing work.  I simply couldn’t design and code a plugin that would be as easy to use in the amount of time necessary to justify not buying it.

Here’s a quick highlight of the major benefits (as I see them):

  • Works with all major mailing list companies (including Aweber – which I use, and MailChimp)
  • Super easy to set up (took me under 5 minutes)
  • Comes with both plug-in (WordPress) and stand-alone (for static websites) versions
  • Includes 7 themes with 15 color options (easy to find a design that works with your site)
  • Highly configurable — you can choose how often to show it (only show to a user once per x days), you can choose which pages to show it on, etc.

Why I Recommend It

Bottom line: it works, it’s affordable, and it keeps your site looking professional.  It increases the value you can pull from your websites while you operate them (increasing traffic and increasing sales), and it increases the value you’ll get when you sell (larger list is worth more, plus the value of the premium plugin).

The only way I’d put a popup on my site is if I felt it didn’t negatively impact my branding — I’m still running it, so you know I believe in it.  I suspect you’ll have the same positive experience I did with it.

Save Some Money on It

If you decide to buy Popup Domination, after you get to their site, make sure you hit the back button (or close your browser tab) — they’ll bring up an alert asking you to stay on the page, offering a $10 discount.

  • Michael

    Thanks Eppie for the great review 🙂

    Glad you liked it.

  • That’s an impressive jump. Eppie. Well done!

    BTW, how does one become a “Friends of Flip Websites” in your right column? 😉

    • Thanks Clinton — I wish I could take a lot of credit for it, but Popup Domination really did the hard work on this. I just bought it and installed it. 🙂 The jump is actually a lot more the 269% over the lifetime of the list, but I tried to grab an equal amount of days before and after install for the analysis. It’s a great tool.

      As for “Friends of Flip Websites,” ask and ye shall receive. Your forum (http://experienced-people.net) is an amazing place for people interested in buying, selling, and holding web-based businesses. You do an awesome job running that community and certainly deserve the link!

  • I use popup domination on my other websites and it’s value for money you get the results instantly. I use mailchimp based on their free 1,000 email limit which is golden when starting out building a mailing list. However I find it rather limiting compared to google feedburner…which automates the SUBJECT LINE.

    I rather prefer the RSS to EMAIL option, however their SUBJECT LINE is static and it doen’t offer options to adjust it to reflect the new blog post title…it would be super if they could improve on that.

    Feedburner has massive users based on it’s automation and if both aweber and mailchimp could equally offer that facility…I’m sure that more users would sign-up.

    • Aweber offers a lot of the functionality you note (plus Aweber plays nice with Feedburner, so your subscriber count on any Feedburner chicklets goes up based on your mailing list size).

      I do agree that Mailchimp is an insane value, offering up to 1,000 subscribers for free — I just love that Aweber has a lot of these important features ironed out a little better.