Email Capture Popups Tested

How To Glean More Addresses Without Annoying Your Site Visitors | Section 1 (Research)

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Test Number: #020102-SD

Word Count: 3700+

Focus: 7 Questions

  1. Why is it so important for the web marketer to capture the email address of his site visitors?
  2. How much impact can a well worded popup have on your email signup ratio?
  3. What impact does the appeal of your incentive offer have on your email signup ratio?
  4. How can I select the right incentive for my email capture program?
  5. How can I use an email capture popup even if I don’t publish an ezine?
  6. How can I reduce the annoyance factor of my email capture popup?
  7. How can I write effective copy for the email capture popup?

Credits:

  1. Editor – Flint McGlaughlin
  2. HTML Designer – Cliff Rainer
  3. Contributors – Jimmy Ellis
    Jalali Hartman
    Jennifer James-long
    Brian Alt

Test Summary

We analyzed two different offerings to determine the effectiveness of an email capture popup window.

Test Product

SITE A – Publisher (Biweekly Ezine)
SITE B – Retailer (Computer Products)

Test Costs

> Data Analysis (Labor) = $4400

If Shakespeare had been a Noble Internet Marketer rather than an Humble Elizabethan Playwright, he would likely have posed Hamlet’s famous question in different terms.

“To Popup or not to Popup: that is the question…”

It is indeed the question for many a marketer struggling to capture more email addresses.

Will a popup window simply annoy your prospects, and reduce your repeat visits? How much of a difference will a popup subscription window really make on your email signup ratio? Are there any ways to reduce this approach’s “obnoxious factor”?

These questions are critical, but to the new or uninitiated marketer, they may be premature. Perhaps we should address the premise, first…

Why is it so important for the web marketer to capture the email address of his site visitors?

Attention Retailers… the capture of email addresses is not a trivial pursuit best left to the devices of publishers. Here is a general rule to live by:

MEC MAXIM: “The best retailers are good publishers; the best publishers are good retailers.”

A good publisher must be a good retailer because:

> A publisher cannot eke out even a modest profit, if he does not sell something… and in this Internet environment, he had better sell more than advertising.

A good retailer must be a good publisher because:

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> Repeated contact with your prospects can increase your site traffic and your conversion ratio.

> Repeated contact with your customers can increase their annual value and reduce their acquisition cost.

Notice the difference that an email capture element can make for a $5000 advertising expenditure:

PAY SEARCH ENGINE CAMPAIGN
ITEM CAMPAIGN A CAMPAIGN B
Click Throughs 10,000 10,000
Cost Per Click $ .50 .50
Conversion Rate 1.5% 1.5%
Customers 150 150
Average Sale $ 39 39
Immediate Sales $ 5850 5850
Email Capture Ratio 10%
Email Addresses Captured 1000
Additional Customers
(8 Mailings over 120 days)
30
Additional Sales $ 0 1170
Total Cost (*) $ 5000 5000
Total Sales $ 5850 7020
Gross Profit $ 850 2020

***> What you need to UNDERSTAND: If you add up the intangible costs of time, and landing page preparation, CAMPAIGN A was unprofitable. But CAMPAIGN B netted 238% more than CAMPAIGN A. The difference was the email capture.

Capturing email addresses is a fiscal imperative. But before you rush off to implement your email capture program, a few clarifications are in order.

  1. An email capture program does not necessarily mean that you have to publish an article-based ezine. There are a number of ways to incentivize a visitor to leave their email address (We explain the mechanics in PART 2 of this report). You can offer any one of these:

    > Sweepstakes.
    > Low Price/Clearance Alerts
    > How To Articles
    > Industry Data
  2. An email capture program does not EVER mean that you can just send out periodic sales offers.
  3. An email capture program ALWAYS means that you are requesting addresses from quality voluntary signups. It has very little in common with bulk email, or list purchases.

How much impact can a well worded popup have on your email signup ratio?

We conducted a 6-week test on the impact of an email capture popup window for a dance ezine. Here is what we discovered.

Impact of Popup Window

New Subscribers Captured Without Use Of Popup Window
PERIOD NUMBER
WEEK 1 37
WEEK 2 42
WEEK 3 44
TOTAL 123
New Subscribers Captured WITH Use Of Popup Window
PERIOD NUMBER
WEEK 1 71
WEEK 2 84
WEEK 3 77
TOTAL 232

***> What you need to UNDERSTAND: The use of the popup window increased the number of new subscribers by 190%

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Using the popup made a dramatic difference, and (despite) initial concerns, there has been no measurable negative feedback.

Why?

Here is one reason: A regular popup ad is obtrusive, and annoying, but this popup was not a traditional advertisement. It offered a real value.

So how was the ad worded? Can it be improved? Yes. You can see the actual copy here.

Test your marketing knowledge: Can you find at least three ways to improve the performance of this popup?

We will explain more in PART 2 of this report.

What impact does the appeal of your incentive offer have on your email signup ratio?

We conducted a 22 day test to determine the difference between the perceived value of two quality incentive offers:

The email capture popup offered a sweepstakes entry form. The “prize” was either a TDK Mojo MP3 Player or a Cordless Keyboard and Mouse.

Here is what we discovered.

TDK Mojo MP3 Incentive Offer
DATE ITEM PRESENTATIONS SIGNUPS
Day 1 mojo 6140 147
Day 2 mojo 4672 97
Day 3 mojo 4386 124
Day 4 mojo 5444 125
Day 5 mojo 5640 152
Day 6 mojo 5976 136
Day 7 mojo 6189 156
Day 8 mojo 6789 174
Day 9 mojo 4775 120
Day 10 mojo 4780 109
Day 11 mojo 1559 52
TOTAL 77837 1392
CONVERSION RATIO……………………………………….1.79%
Cordless Keyboard and Mouse Incentive Offer
DATE ITEM PRESENTATIONS SIGNUPS
Day 1 keybdmouse 4
Day 2 keybdmouse 23 4
Day 3 keybdmouse 24 2
Day 4 keybdmouse 2891 138
Day 5 keybdmouse 5545 273
Day 6 keybdmouse 4989 248
Day 7 keybdmouse 6150 327
Day 8 keybdmouse 6685 351
Day 9 keybdmouse 5844 317
Day 10 keybdmouse 6236 327
Day 11 keybdmouse 3269 393
TOTAL 41660 2380
CONVERSION RATIO……………………………………….5.71%

***> What you need to UNDERSTAND: Though both products were new and valuable. The second product “outpulled” the first by 319%. (*1)

The perceived value of the incentive offer truly matters. To develop a truly effective email capture program, you must “buy” your visitor’s cooperation with an appealing offering. The currency for this transaction can take the form of:

> The chance to win
> Truly helpful advice
> Important data
> Opportunities to save money etc.

But whatever form it takes, it must have intrinsic appeal.

Section 2 (Continue…)

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