Do you want to increase email signups from your website? Lightbox popups (or “modal” popups) are one of the most effective ways to convert your website visitors into email subscribers and customers. In this post, we’ll share 6 reasons why lightbox popups capture more emails.
Briefly before we dive in to the reasons, you may be wondering, what is a lightbox popup? Let’s clear that up right now…
What is a Lightbox Popup?
A lightbox popup is a web form that appears on top of the webpage that you are viewing. When it appears, the webpage is darkened in the background, so that the form stands out.
Lightbox popups are most commonly used for capturing email addresses. However, they can be used to display any call to action (such as, “Like us on Facebook” or “Use this coupon code at checkout”).
6 Reasons Why Lightbox Popups Capture More Emails
There are several reasons why lightbox popups capture more emails than a traditional email optin form, such as the type that you’ll often see in the sidebar of a blog.
We do recommend having a sidebar optin form like the one above, because this is where your biggest fans will look for it.
However, if you don’t also have a lightbox popup installed on your site, then you are potentially missing out on thousands of email subscribers.
Here are the top 6 reasons why lightbox popups capture more emails…
1. They Feature One, Clear Call to Action
Lightbox popups remove all other distractions, so there is only one, clear call to action in view on the page.
With a lightbox popup, the rest of the screen becomes darker and the user’s eye automatically goes to read your message and view the email signup form. This makes it perfectly clear what the user should do next.
Removing other distractions is important because having more choices is proven to have a negative effect on your conversions.
It sounds counter-intuitive, but more choices is not better for your users. In fact, the more choices you give people, the less likely they are to take action. And even if they do ultimately make a decision to take action, they will be less happy with that decision than if you had only given them one choice.
There is a famous study with jars of jam which illustrates how the psychology of choice works. If you want to learn more about it, you can read about it here.
2. They’re Eye-Catching
When lightbox popups appear on the page (particularly when they use animations), you can’t help but notice them. In fact, they are impossible to ignore.
This is why they work so well.
Visitors are required to focus on your call to action for at least the brief moment that it takes to either opt in to your email list, or press the “X” button and exit the lightbox.
Whenever people complain about popups, this is the usually the reason they cite. However, this is also the reason that popups work incredibly well to increase your email subscribers, and why the top brands all use popups on their sites.
That being said, there are ways to make popups less “annoying” or intrusive. In fact, they don’t need to disturb your visitors at all, because you can use them to actually enhance the user experience.
The key is to personalize your popups and trigger them at the right moment, to the right visitors, with the right offer (see #3, #4 and #5 below)…
3. They Trigger at Just the Right Moment
If you use OptinMonster, you can control precisely when your lightbox popup will appear, to make sure that it triggers at just the right moment.
For example, you could set your popup to appear on the 2nd page view. That way, you won’t disturb visitors who just landed on your site and are just trying to get the information that they were looking for.
On the other hand, if you are an eCommerce store, you may want to trigger your popup after 5 seconds on the first page view, and offer them a discount on their order. This works because most people who visit your site are already there with the intent to buy, and they are really happy to get a discount.
Here’s an example of a lightbox popup on page load that offers an exclusive discount to visitors who opt in with their email address.
The key to deciding when to trigger your lightbox is to think about your user, and their intent at any given moment as they are browsing your site.
On first pageview, are they looking to purchase, or are they simply looking to read your blog? Are they ready to opt-in to your email list by the 2nd, 3rd or 4th pageview?
Visitors who have viewed 4 or more pages on your site are very interested in your content/offerings, so maybe you’d like to reward those engaged visitors by displaying a special offer just for them.
No matter who your audience is or what type of website you have, you absolutely can’t go wrong by using a 2-step optin form with a lightbox popup.
These popups are only displayed to visitors who specifically request them by pressing a button first.
Here’s an example of a lightbox popup on click.
These are one of the highest converting types of optins, particularly when you use them in combination with content upgrades.
4. They Display an Interest-Based Offer
The other opportunity you have with OptinMonster is to increase your conversions by displaying a lightbox popup based on interest.
What would be the best offer for any given user browsing your site?
If they are browsing recipes, you could show them a cooking-related offer.
If, on the other hand, they are browsing home improvement posts, you would do better to show them an offer related to home decor.
Here’s an example from CountryLiving’s website. This popup appears to visitors who have viewed home improvement posts:
But if the visitor has viewed recipe posts, they’ll see this popup instead:
With OptinMonster, lightbox popups can be set to be displayed on specific pages, posts, or even entire categories of posts on your site. Make the most of this opportunity by personalizing your offers based on what you know that your visitors are interested in.
5. They’re Personalized for Specific Visitors
OptinMonster also allows you to display lightbox popups only to specific visitors. This way, you can personalize your offers even further.
For instance, you could show your popup to visitors coming from a specific ad campaign. You know a lot about the people you target your ads to, so use that information when writing your popup copy.
Or, you could display popups to people visiting from a specific referrer, such as a popular publication that you’ve just been featured in. This way, you can address those visitors by name (e.g. “Welcome, HuffPo Readers!”) and further increase your conversions.
6. They Capture Abandoning Visitors
Did you know that 70% of visitors who abandon your site will never come back again?
In most cases, this means that 95% – 98% of your marketing efforts are going to waste, and you are losing more money in customer acquisition cost than you need to.
However, lightbox popups triggered on exit-intent give those abandoning visitors one last chance to opt in. This means you can convert an additional 2-4% of your visitors into email subscribers (and customers soon after).
OptinMonster’s exit-intent technology works by tracking the mouse movement of your visitor. When they gesture quickly to the top of the page — getting ready to close the window — the smart lightbox popup appears.
Here’s an example of a lightbox popup on exit intent.
Note: The popup doesn’t prevent the user from leaving your website. He or she can close the window without interacting with the popup, which prevents the “annoyance” factor.
Lightbox popups with exit-intent provide you one last interaction before a visitor leaves your site. In fact, it acts a lot like an additional page view. It’s important to remember you’re not bothering a user by offering something they may be interested in. You’re providing them the opportunity to receive emails from you and regularly receive content they enjoy.
To learn more about exit-intent lightboxes, check out 40 Exit Popup Hacks That Will Grow Your Subscribers and Revenue.
If you’re still skeptical of popups, you want to see proof that smart lightbox popups really work. Take a look at these results…
Social Media Examiner Added 250,000 Email Subscribers
Social Media Examiner chose OptinMonster because it met all of the criteria they were looking for:
- Easy Design Builder
- Mobile-friendly Optins
- Powerful A/B split-testing
- Behavior automation features like Exit-Intent, Page Level Targeting, etc.
- Integration with his email marketing service, AWeber.
They started by adding an exit-intent popup and immediately saw a huge boost in conversions.
Today, Social Media Examiner uses four OptinMonster optins:
- A lightbox optin which displays shortly after visiting the site.
- An exit-intent optin which displays when a user motions to exit the site.
- A slide-in optin which appears after the user has viewed a page more than five seconds, and scrolled 60% of the page.
- A mobile-specific optin which appears soon after visiting the site on a mobile device.
Before using OptinMonster, Social Media Examiner gained about 600 subscribers per day. Since switching to OptinMonster, they’re gaining about 1000 subscribers a day. That’s a 66% increase!
In the first year Social Media Examiner used OptinMonster, they added 62,000 subscribers to their list. Last year, they added nearly 118,000. As of July 2016, they’ve added almost 70,000!
WebMechanix Recovered 1,281 Abandoning Visitors in One Month
WebMechanix, a web design agency, installed a lightbox popup on their client’s site using exit-intent. They also used a 2-step optin, so that users need to click on the call to action button before the optin form appears.
As a result, they saw a 13.076% increase in conversions in just the first month!
Do you like seeing what others have accomplished with OptinMonster? Check out our ever-growing collection of case studies to read more about the amazing results possible when using smart lightbox optin forms.
Capture More Emails Today
No need to lose customers because of outdated practices. Lightbox popups are proven to work, especially with the use of smart triggers and visitor personalization.
Get started with OptinMonster today and convert more website visitors into email subscribers and customers!