Here’s a question one of our customers asked: how can you use OptinMonster for customer engagement rather than “just” email optins to help reduce your bounce rate?
That’s a great question, and we’ve definitely got some answers! This won’t be your usual bounce rate reduction advice – you can check out our earlier guide for that. By the end of this article you will know some interesting ways to use OptinMonster to reduce your bounce rate.
What Is a High Bounce Rate?
A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after visiting just one page.
Most website bounce rates will be between 26% and 70%, according to RocketFuel.
To calculate your bounce rate, you can divide the number of visitors who only visit a single page for a short time by the overall number of website visitors.
According to Google, the people who count as bounces stick around for less than a second. At least, that’s how they show up in Analytics reports.
Bounce rates vary widely according to your website and niche, making it difficult to establish what a high bounce rate is across-the-board.
One specific type of bounce is called “Pogo-sticking.” This is when people visit your site from a search results page and then immediately leave again and choose another result.
Pogo-sticking is always bad, because it means your visitors haven’t found what they expect. Google keeps track of pogo-sticking, and it can contribute to a high bounce rate.
Why Visitors Leave
There are other reasons why people leave your site besides not finding what they were searching for. If people come to a page, find the information they want quickly, and then go away again, then that might be an acceptable bounce rate even though it looks high.
And if there’s only one thing you can do on a page like a landing page, people will leave once they’ve done it. This will send those numbers up, even though the page is doing exactly what it’s supposed to.
So, what is a high bounce rate?
RocketFuel believes that your website’s bounce rate is more about interactions than page views and shares some useful averages.
They say that the average bounce rate is between 40% and 55%. But they add that you have to think about the type of site and the device people use to access it, as both factors affect the bounce rate.
Kissmetrics also gives some useful averages related to this, shown in the infographic below. They say the average bounce rate is 40.5%, but that average masks a wide variation.
Kissmetrics agrees with us that the bounce rate for a single-purpose landing page could be high, falling between 70% and 90%.
In contrast, the bounce rate for a portal site or self-service help site may range from a very low, 10% to around 30%.
The bottom line is that only you can know whether what seems a high bounce rate is acceptable for your site.
But there is one important truth about bounce rates we should all know: unless you’re talking about a single-purpose page, people don’t bounce when they are engaged, and that’s where OptinMonster comes in.
Increase engagement and you reduce your bounce rate.
Here are some customer engagement strategies OptinMonster can help with.
1. Engage Visitors with a Welcome Gate
One easy way to use OptinMonster is to create a welcome gate, also called a “splash page.”
What’s a welcome gate? According to WPBeginner:
A welcome gate is a full screen call to action that appears before a user can see any content.
As we’ve seen, lots of people bounce away when they reach a site. Welcome gates can help by:
- Grabbing their attention. Let’s face it; a full-screen welcome gate can be pretty hard to ignore.
- Providing an incentive to stick around. If the on-page content is appealing, there’s no reason to leave.
- Showing a video. Did you know that, according to Hubspot, showing video on a landing page increases conversions by 80%? That’s a good enough reason to think about using one, as Social Media Examiner does below:
A welcome gate can also be used in the same way you use a blog welcome page, to introduce people to your site and guide them around it. To do this, you’ll want to include:
- an introduction
- a statement of what’s unique about your site
- a list of popular content
- and, of course, an email list optin form.
Many agree that a welcome gate or start page is a great way to create a bond with your readers. Writing on Problogger, Kelly Exeter suggests that a welcome gate should:
- Say who your site is intended for.
- Tell visitors something about you. (This can include links to your blog posts.)
- Give away a freebie.
Worried about having lots of links on the splash page?
You don’t have to be. The research shows that a whopping 96% of landing pages have at least one link.
So, use that space to link to your top content and direct visitors to specific resources. Remember, the point of this is to keep them on your site, so they don’t add to the bounce rate statistics.
GiftRocket’s start page has clickable images of different gift categories:
Ready to create your own start page? Follow the steps in this tutorial to make a welcome gate with OptinMonster, then customize it so it works as a splash page. You can also use OptinMonster’s welcome mat option so your page slides out of the way after a while to leave your content visible.
There’s one last thing to say about creating a welcome gate: Set rules for how and when it appears, so repeat visitors don’t see it every time. That’s just annoying, and annoyed visitors bounce, creating more of the problem you’re trying to solve.
2. Create a Personal Relationship
These days, it’s important to create a personal relationship with visitors and customers. According to Marketo, 87% of companies that use personalization saw improvements in the key metrics they tracked.
Welcome gates and splash pages aren’t just useful to new visitors; they also play a part in your relationship with returning ones. You’ve got to do a little behind-the-scenes work to make this happen, but it’s worth it, because welcome pages are high converting pages so it will definitely pay off.
When people visit your site, their browser registers that visit with a small file called a cookie. When they come back, that cookie will let you know they’ve been there before.
Mention uses this technique to welcome visitors even before they login:
At the same time, web analytics software can help you figure out how people move through your site. And your CRM software can track their previous interactions with you.
That means you’ve got a lot of information to help you create a personal experience for them.
Here are some ways you can use that information effectively:
- Show a welcome back message, which is something you often see on retail sites.
- Create a discount related to the item they were looking at before.
- Craft a message specially for people who have visited multiple times.
Since people pay more attention when they see or hear their own name (that’s what this scientific study says in a nutshell), make them stick around by making it personal.
If you have the information, you can add the visitor’s name to your optin with OptinMonster’s dynamic text replacement feature. And you can use our Rules Engine to create special messages for new or returning visitors.
3. Reduce Your Bounce Rate with a Contest
Who doesn’t love the chance to get something for free?
Marketing with contests can make people more aware of your brand, encourage social sharing and boost SEO. And it turns out to be a great way to use popups.
Remember, engaged visitors are less likely to bounce, and shopping cart provider Ecwid believes that you can boost engagement by using popups to promote offers, contests and sweepstakes. This will help to reduce your bounce rate.
Consider offering a free gift or showcasing something related to what people are already looking at. Most people will take the time to check it out, which will reduce your bounce rate numbers.
Shopify suggests a few more ideas, like:
- Showcasing a coupon for people who are still undecided about sticking around.
- Creating a page-specific popup for a content upgrade like a PDF of an in-depth resource the visitor is already reading.
- Using a popup to highlight a resource without attempting to collect an email immediately, like MissionPocket does below:
Again, this keeps people engaged and reduces your bounce rate.
4. Grab Their Attention Before They Leave
Finally, and this is our favorite method, you can reduce your bounce rate by using exit-intent popups to get people’s attention just as they’re about to leave your site.
Exit Intent is built into OptinMonster and our data shows they really work.
Ryan Robinson used them and got a 500% increase in subscribers.
Just like you did with the welcome gate, you could use an exit-intent popup to reduce your bounce rate by:
- Pointing visitors towards another useful resource on your site. List25 does this by highlighting the most popular articles on their site. This gives people a reason to stay and keep reading.
- Carrying out a single-question survey which keeps them interested and helps you learn more about them. You can follow this up by asking for their email so you can send the survey results.
- Crafting an exit message that gets attention, giving visitors another chance to connect with you. In the screenshot below, US Tactical combines an attention-getting image with a discount.
Remember, an exit-intent popup is your last chance to get visitors’ attention before they bounce; don’t miss it!
We’ve shared some good examples of customer engagement, where using OptinMonster will reduce your bounce rate. Make your strategy even more successful with these exit popup hacks.