Jul 20, 2016

Do pop-Up email newsletter sign ups really work?

A Downtown Naperville Case Study

When we launched the new website for Downtown Naperville in November of 2015, a part of the new site included a pop up for e-mail newsletter signups. The goal was to increase the mailing list so that more people can be made aware of all the events, specials and news related to the Downtown Naperville. The old site had a standard signup in the footer of the site which is very typical of a lot of sites. We were interested in seeing if the pop up caused a surge in signups.

With any type of pop up message, there is a trade-off between creating awareness and compromising the user experience. On one hand, you want to let the user know about the great content that can be delivered weekly via an e-mail in their inbox. On the other hand, you run the risk of annoying the user which can lead to a spike in bounces and unsubscribes.

With the pop up for Downtown Naperville, we set it up to be active only for new visitors and it would start fresh every month. With this approach, we believed it avoids annoying regular visitors, yet would be persistent enough to encourage signups. Whether our strategy was right or not would be determined by the numbers. So how did this approach work out? Surprisingly even better than we imagined.

Screenshot 2016-07-20 11.14.47

If you take a look at the graph above, you’ll see the monthly signups for the Downtown Naperville email newsletter for the past year. Prior to November, list growth was averaging about 45 new signups. Once the new pop up became effective in November, we immediately saw a spike in signups. In fact, November signups were more than 5 times the 45 average with 269 new signups. With a new site, we expected this. However, what we didn’t expect was a consistent month to month bump.

Looking at 2016, we have maintained a strong signup rate at an average of 197 per month. That’s well above the monthly average of 45 from the old site. In fact, the list has grown by 15% in the past 8 months, the strongest growth we’ve seen in years. At the same time, unsubscribes have remained consistently low with 1 or 2 per e-mail sent.

In summary, our case study with Downtown Naperville clearly confirmed that pop up signups can be a great tool for growing your mailing list. The success Downtown Naperville has enjoyed illustrates this conclusion. The key in our eyes is building the pop up responsibly so that it doesn’t become a nuisance for regular site visitors. By using cookies to evaluate whether a site visit is a new visitor or a return visitor allowed us to maximize the effectiveness of the pop-up.

For questions regarding this case study or for more information on e-mail marketing or web development, please don’t hesitate to send us a note.

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Do pop-Up email newsletter sign ups really work?