How I Grew My Email Sign Up Rate By 91% With One Simple Technique

How I Grew My Email Sign Up Rate By 91% With One Simple Technique


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How I Grew My Email Sign Up Rate By 91% With One Simple Technique

I‘m going to assume that if you're reading this, you already know two things:

  1. Building an email list is the most powerful, most certain method of getting clients and growing your business online (hey, I have to say that, I wrote the #1 book on email marketing on Amazon after all ;) 
  2. Building an email list isn't easy. The vast majority of visitors to your website will leave without signing up.

Now I already have a pretty well optimised blog when it comes to getting email signups. I have a home page focused on getting signups which gets about a 6% optin rate which is pretty nice:


And I have a series of landing pages for direct traffic from Facebook ads and other sources which get a 20-25% optin rate. Also nice:


And my “About Me” page gets a very handy 6% optin rate too as I've optimised it to talk not about me, but about the value you can get from the website – especially if you subscribe.

What's not so nice is that the optin rate from blog posts is painfully low. Typically less than 2%. And that's a lot better than most people. A lot of blogs see optin rates on blog posts of less than 1%.

I got my optin rate up to nearly 2% by implementing a number of tactics. If you look above this blog post you'll see a Leadbox offering free client winning tips:


Below each blog post there's a section to get more of my best tips:


sidebarAnd in the sidebar there's a “sticky” Leadbox that scrolls with you so it's almost always visible to encourage you to sign up.

And yet even with all those extras, I've struggled to get the signup rate on blog posts above 2%.

That's a pain because it's a lot easier to get free traffic to blog posts. People are very happy to share great blog posts on social media. Not so much when it comes to landing pages and home pages.

2% became a bit of a glass ceiling for me. Until I found a simple, new technique that I implemented a few weeks ago…

Exit Intent Popups

OK, so I know what you're thinking. “Oh no, horrible, intrusive popups that stop you doing what you want to do”.

Well, exit intent popups aren't like that.

They look pretty much the same – usually a “lightbox” where the site is greyed out and a big box appears with an offer to subscribe.

What's different is when they appear.

Normal popups interrupt. That's why they work. They appear immediately you enter a site or after a few seconds. And they block you from accessing the content on the site until you either subscribe or click to close them.

Which is rather annoying.

The most annoying thing about popups is that they work. Really well. I've tested them on my site and others and they absolutely do increase signups significantly.

But I just don't want to be “that guy”. I don't want to put my desire to get you to subscribe above your desire to read my content. For a consultant like me whose goal is to serve, I don't think it creates the right impression.

For years I've known I've been losing out on subscribers because of that decision. I've lived with it, but I've always been on the lookout for a solution that would let me get more subscribers without being annoying and self-centred.

Exit intent popups are that solution.

They're not triggered by you arriving on the site looking to read an article. they're triggered by you being about to leave the site.

They track your mouse movements and if you head for the close button or navigation, they trigger the popup.

So two things are happening (or rather not happening) here.

Firstly, they're not stopping you reading the content you came to read. You've already done that and they're triggering when you move to leave the site.

And secondly, they're not stopping you leaving either. If you click the close or navigation buttons they still work as normal (not like those annoying “are you sure?” things that some people use).

But what they do very well is they grab your attention as you're in the process of leaving. They bring your eyes back to the site and offer you something.

Here's my popup in action.


So they don't stop people doing what they want on your site, but they do attract their attention to get them to sign up. Win win.

But most importantly, do they work?

So far I've been testing a couple of different designs. The winner is getting a 4.5% optin rate. That's over double my normal optin rate from blog posts.

So absolutely, they do work.

How can you get a popup like this for your site?

Well, the original exit intent popup system is Bounce Exchange which you can get for the bargain price of $3,995 per month.

OK, so you probably won't want to take up that option :) Here are some more reasonably priced alternatives:

The List Builder app is free from Sumo. It works with Aweber, Mailchimp, Constant Contact and Campaign Monitor and has exit intent capabilities (they call it “smart mode”). You can't pick and choose which pages it works on though (I prefer to exclude landing pages, my home page, and other “destination pages”) and it doesn't have the templates that the other systems have.

PopupAlly is free from Ambitionally. It works with Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, Mad Mimi, Aweber, GetResponse and iContact. The form itself is pretty basic, but it allows you to customise which pages/blog posts it appears on.

Hold On Stranger is a new service at $97 a year and up. It has good templates and eye-grabbing animation. I haven't used it myself and it's not 100% clear which email services it supports, but it looks interesting.

OptinArchitect is a general purpose popup and optin form creator that works with most email systems and can create anything from sidebar optin boxes to “leadboxes” type optin boxes which appear when clicking a link/button to exit intent popups. It's $97 a year.

The original solution I used was OptinMonster from the team at WPBeginner. It works with pretty much every email system and has a big range of high converting templates and lots of options for slide-ups and other forms of popup too. It has a range of animation options to grab your visitors attention. And it has an option so that if you send your existing subscribers to the blog post it doesn't show for them (as they're already subscribers, of course!).

However, they increased the price from $197 one-off to $199 per year so I don't think it's the best value today.

I'm now using Thrive Leads for my popups. Thrive have a very wide range of popup types and designs, including do exit intent popups. They can do the “yes/no” type popups that previously were only available with the big, expensive systems. I found my optin rate went up another 30% by implementing Thrive's yes/no feature.

Thrive Leads also have the ability to recognise previous subscribers and show something different which is a feature I'm now using extensively. It means you can show optin forms to non subscribers, but don’t bother your current subscribers with them as they've already opted in. Instead you can show offers or other valuable information to them.

And finally, Thrive Leads is one of the cheapest options at a one-off price of $57.

>> You can check out Thrive Leads here <<

It gets my highest recommendation.

* The links to Leadboxes/Leadpages and Thrive Leads are affiliate links and I'll get a commission if you go on to buy the products. Obviously these are products I use myself and thoroughly recommend *

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie

Ian Brodie is the best-selling author of Email Persuasion and the creator of Unsnooze Your Inbox - *the* guide to crafting engaging emails and newsletters that captivate your audience, build authority and generate more sales.

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