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Academy Level 1-Section 2

Creating Your First On-Site Campaign

The most effective methods to convert traffic and collect emails from your ecommerce site or blog are through popups, bars, and banners, which give your visitors quick and easy opportunities to opt-in to your list. Now that you have thought about your audience and what they need, we can start building an on-site campaign with three critical components: Display format, trigger timing, and your offer.

Browse through Section 2:

Choosing Your Display Format

Choosing the Right Triggers

Creating a Compelling (and Manageable) Offer

How to Make Your Messages Stand Out and Drive Action

Or, dive right in with our Section 2, Part 1, where you'll learn about the different formats for on-site conversion so you can choose the best type for your next campaign.


Academy Level 1-Section 2

Choosing Your Display Format

Before you choose your display format, it's important to understand what each is and how they work. Watch the video or keep reading for a full overview of every display type: 

Pop Ups

The Succulent Source_Cart Saver Pop Up

What are they?

Pop ups, also known as lightboxes, typically display in the center of the website. We're not talking about annoying third-party ads that take up the whole page here. We're talking about native pop ups that provide offers, discounts, or email subscription boxes to website visitors.

Why use them?

Adding pop ups to your own website give you a more interactive way of engaging your visitors at key points in the browse-and-buy process.  A pop up may be a surprising pause for someone navigating your website, but they make it easy for subscribers to join your list without having to look around for a subscription form.

Plus, you’ll capture interested shoppers who wouldn’t otherwise have considered joining your email list. Pairing a pop up with clever verbiage or a specific campaign, like a discount or a unique piece of content, might be more than enough to gather that email address.

For example, The Clever Travel Companion, a clothing company that makes theft-proof clothing for world travelers,  uses a delayed pop up on their site that offers visitors a $10 gift card to sign up for their “infrequent newsletter.” The pop up does not block the whole screen and is designed to provide something of value without making it impossible to see what the brand is all about. Even better, this simple sign up form delivered hundreds and hundreds of sign ups for the company with minimal effort.


Hooks and Albert_Bar Example

What are they?

Bars provide a full-width message that typically sits either at the top of your site or at the bottom.

Why use them?

If you want a more subtle email collection form, a bar sitting at the top or bottom of the page may do the trick. Plus, these stick around longer than a pop up, which can be quickly closed down. Bars are great for capturing emails but also for subtly promoting offers like free shipping, customer satisfaction guarantees, or new products.


Meowijuana_Banner Example

What are they?

Like bars, banners provide a more subtle interaction that sits at the top or bottom of a site, but starts in a "hidden" state until triggered, rolling into sight at the desired time.

Why use them?

With attention-grabbing movement, a banner offers a different approach to a traditional pop up. Taking up only part of the page, it’s also less invasive than a pop up but harder to ignore than its smaller counterpart, the bar.


Caffin8_Flyout Example

What are they?

Flyouts appear in the bottom right or left of a screen and are a bit more subtle than a pop up, but more likely to draw the attention than a banner or embed form because they include movement.

Why use them?

Flyouts work well for visitors in the middle of executing a task or reading a something long-form like a blog post because they draw attention but still allow your visitor to continue whatever they're doing.  For example, if they like the blog post they're reading, a well-timed flyout letting them know they can subscribe for more blog posts or recommending related topics is a perfect opportunity to capture their email address.

Embedded Forms

What are they?

Embedded forms let you place a static sign up form on your website to capture email addresses and other relevant information.

Why use them?

Embedded forms can complement your other campaigns and make for an excellent permanent installation in your footer or sidebar. This is a great backup for viewers who clicked out of a pop up or if you want the most subtle option for on-site conversion. A simple solution would be to add an embedded sign-up form in the footer of your site; if viewers are looking around your site and investigating other footer links, it’s likely they are interested in learning more about your business.

Make sure to let potential subscribers know how frequently they will receive communications from you to set clear expectations and to increase the chance you will acquire only the most engaged subscribers.

Spin to Win

Fashion_Spin to Win

What are they?

Spin to Win lets visitors to your site enter their email for a chance to win awesome discounts and prizes once they reach your site.

Why use them?

Site visitors love it because it’s a highly engaging way to get a discount—and every spin is a winner.  You’ll love it because it converts at a really high rate, is completely customizable, and the discounts and likelihood of winning are 100% in your control.

Now that you've got a rundown of the different formats your campaign can take, it's time to learn about what kinds of triggers you can use to deliver your message at the right time.

Academy Level 1-Section 2

Choosing the Right Triggers

The second consideration when creating a campaign is deciding when to trigger each of your messages.

Depending on what you want to say, there are four primary ways you can trigger a campaign to your desired audience.  

  • Timer: The time trigger determines when to display your campaign based on how long a visitor has been on your site. It could show immediately when a visitor lands, 10 seconds later, or longer.

  • Scroll percentage: This shows your campaign once a visitor has scrolled down a certain percentage of your page.

  • Exit intent: One of the most popular triggers, exit intent tracks your visitor's mouse movement. If the visitor appears to be leaving or "exiting" your site, you can use that as a trigger for your campaign.

  • Tabs: Tabs, or other visual calls to action, can be customized to fit in with your site layout, and when clicked, trigger your campaign to display. 

 So, how do you choose?  

As with any marketing initiative, it’s important to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. If you were checking out your own site, when would you be most likely to respond to receive an opt-in invitation and not be turned off by the ask?  You need to find the right balance of not being too passive, but also not coming off like the aggressive car salesman who harasses you from the second you enter the showroom.

We find that the most effective marketers tend to run at least two campaigns at the same time to help find this balance. This usually means:

  • A general welcome or a sign up campaign
  • A similar message but for an exit intent campaign

This allows you to tailor your message to the scenario your visitor is in.

Once you invest in more advanced audience targeting techniques, you can take that tailored message to a whole new level. Here are a few basic scenarios to think about, but again, you know your audience best and should try a few things to see what is most effective.

Next, we'll talk about the different types of offers we've seen our customers use to help grow their business, and how to choose between them.

Academy Level 1-Section 2

Creating a Compelling (and Manageable) Offer

One of the most basic sales principles (and like it or not, we’re all in sales) is giving value to get value. What are your goals? Someone to sign up for your email list and/or buy a product? How do you achieve them? By giving value to a visitor to your site with a great offer. In fact, Microsoft recently conducted research among consumers that showed that 89% of consumers are willing to share their personal information in exchange for clearly defined benefits.

Coming up with a great offer can be tricky, so consider these three things when trying to decide what will work best for your business:

What do your visitors care about?

Think about the visitors to your site and why they have come there in the first place. Are they driven by your mission? Your products? Word of mouth? Your offer should reflect what you know about their intentions.

What is the behavior you are trying to drive?

With any on-site message or web copy, this is always a key question to answer up front. Is it simply to grow your list and engage them with a welcome series? Is it short-term sales? Is it pushing a specific product? Knowing what you are trying to achieve will help you craft the right offer.

What can you afford to give?

You need to find the balance between giving something great to your customers and not bankrupting yourself in the process. The intersection of those two things make a great offer and reduce the amount of risk involved. If your offer isn’t obviously going to bring in more than it costs you to deliver, it’s probably not the best one for your business.

Once you've answered those three questions, think about your specific offer:

The Emotional Appeal

If people love your brand or cause, they may sign up for your emails just to stay informed. A great example of this is 4Ocean, which sells bracelets that help fund their ocean cleanup initiatives. With a simple “Join the Movement” message, they have generated thousands and thousands of sign ups. 

The Discount

One of the most common offers is a site-wide discount in exchange for signing up for your email list. This gives visitors something of value if they choose not to buy today, but it also gives them a reason to come back in the future. Just be sure to send the offer immediately after the subscriber opts-in. It’s what they'll expect.

The Sweepstakes

One of the most impactful offers is an enter-to-win or sweepstakes offer. This allows you to give away something of higher value without breaking the bank because you are only fulfilling it for one customer. The higher the incentive, the more likely a subscriber will opt-in.

The only downside is that this offer may draw less engaged leads who want to win but won’t ultimately be good customers. Be sure to let entrants know they will receive emails from you as a result of entering. Otherwise, those subscribers could turn around and unsubscribe if they don’t recall opting-in in the first place. 

The Exclusive Content Offer

For organizations who prefer not to offer discounts or aren’t selling a tangible product, exclusive content can be a great draw for an email sign up. Things like special behind-the-scenes videos, ebooks, and case studies tend to work really well and can start building up the number of leads for your organization.  

Pro tip: Once someone has filled out the form, you should automatically redirect them to the piece of content and send a permanent like via an email autoresponder.

Regardless of the display type and offer type you're thinking about, you need to put together a compelling message that will encourage your visitors to pay attention to what you have to say. We'll talk more about that in the next section.


Academy Level 1-Section 2

How to Make Your Messages Stand Out and Drive Action

Whatever display type you choose, you'll want to create clear and compelling headlines that encourage people to take action. Think back to the messaging strategy we mapped out in Section 1-Part 3. Now, let's narrow it down to four basic questions:

  • What do you want the visitor to do?
  • Why should they do it?
  • How do they do it?
  • What is your relationship with them?

Let’s say you want readers of your blog to sign up for your email list. Here's how you might answer those four questions: 

Now, take that information and apply some sense of urgency to encourage people to take action now.

  • What will happen if they don’t sign up?
  • Why should they do it now?  


Lastly, keep it short and sweet. You want to make sure that your headline and sub-headline is easily understood.  Show your copy to someone else to double check that it's easy to understand, and make sure to preview it on multiple devices to make sure it is short enough to be consumed on a mobile device or table.

Now that you have a framework in place, it's time to get inspired. Section 3 is all about inspiration for your next great campaign.


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