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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict
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    Getting newsletter subscribers - here's a tip:

    My site (http://www.computertim.com) has recently had very low new subscriber numbers to our newsletter. We've tried pop-ups (cookie controlled), those worked for a while, then stopped working as visitors grew immune to them.

    Then we tried running banner ads on our site, which yielded (unsurprisingly) very low new subscribers as well.

    The idea came to me the other day: run rich media ads on the site itself to promote the newsletter. Now, I don't mean running flashy Flash ads, but instead coding an HTML banner, complete with a very simple subscribe form (just the text box and a subscribe button).

    Be sure not to make this look like all of those "Your gift is waiting" Windows dialog ads, but instead make it look like it is part of your site. Use the same button colors, text-box fonts, and text fonts and font sizes as you use in the rest of your site.

    Then what I did to draw more attention to it was to make the ad's background a light gray (I think I used #CCCCCC).

    My newsletter subscribers have been more than ever, and I'm getting more and more subscribers every day; more than I had expected when I first ran the ad.

    If you want to see an example of it in action, just go to my site at: http://www.computertim.com . Ads don't run on my homepage, but if you go to any page beyond the homepage, you'll see the ad after a while (in the top part of the page, to the right of the site's logo). Refresh a page a few times (or browse to a few pages), and you'll likely see the ad (it has a pretty heavy weight right now in the ad management system).

    It seems like a simple idea, but when applied correctly, it can send your newsletter subscriber numbers way up.

    Good luck!...

  2. #2
    Serial Publisher silver trophy aspen's Avatar
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    We've tried pop-ups (cookie controlled), those worked for a while, then stopped working as visitors grew immune to them.
    How is this possible?

    You only see it once by nature of being cookie controlled. So how can someone be immune to something they've never seen before?
    Chris Beasley - I publish content and ecommerce sites.
    Featured Article: Free Comprehensive SEO Guide
    My Guide to Building a Successful Website
    My Blog|My Webmaster Forums

  3. #3
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    We ran them for a while, then stopped running the pop-ups, then we ran the pop-ups again, which used a new cookie.

  4. #4
    What's HTML?
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    That should have only been a problem with repeat visitors. And they obviously wouldn't subscribe again because they already subscribed! The pop-up should still work fine with your new visitors.

    Anyway, excellent thinking on the tip. I'll write that down in my notes.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
    Get your website started for less than $20! Click Here

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict drbones's Avatar
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    Cookies

    If you had a once per user session they would never get immuned to them. You dont need to make a new cookie just make the one you already had expire every 24 hours or something. This way they could never get 'immune' to it.
    Ryan
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  6. #6
    SitePoint Addict
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    The point I was trying to make about the visitors becoming immune to the pop-ups was with visitors who disabled cookies in their browsers. I had a few complaints regarding this, so this was one of the issues with using the pop-ups for promoting my site's newsletter.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Guru
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    Computertim, Which Banner Ad Managemet software are you using?


    -Omair
    36Host.com - $36/year web hosting [affiliates earn 30%]
    * Affordable Small Business Web Hosting since 2003! *
    "500mb space, 10gb bandwith, 50 pop/ftp accounts, php,
    mysql, pre-installed php scripts, 24/7 support & more...."



  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict
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    I'm currently using the free version of AdButler at: http://www.adbutler.com . It's an outsourced solution which runs pretty smoothly. I haven't had any problems with it yet. I'd highly recommend it.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist
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    interesting idea,

    I already have a join our newsletter box on each page (see http://www.joke-around.com) - but it isnt working too well.

    what sort of response rate are you getting from it? roughly how many signups / 1000 views?

    thanks

  10. #10
    SitePoint Addict
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    Per thousand views of the ad, we are getting about 50-100 subscribers. This is much more than we were getting from just placing banners and links on the site. (With this, we were getting about 10 new subscribers per 1000 impressions)

  11. #11
    SitePoint Addict coolbuzz's Avatar
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    Nice tip computertim.
    I would try that too.

  12. #12
    One website at a time mmj's Avatar
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    My new site has a subscribe form within the body of the text on the front page (the text wraps around the left of it). That box has a high ratio, higher even than the form on the top navigation bar.


    ---

    I'll probably remove that top form because of its poor performance, and incorporate an inline form like on the front page into my other pages.
    [mmj] My magic jigsaw
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  13. #13
    Tenacious T Tyhe's Avatar
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    Heya,

    this all sounds like a great idea!

    Anybody has a place where I can dl a script that will do the cookie-thing??

    Greetz!

    That's all folks...

  14. #14
    SitePoint Addict
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    For the cookie script, just go to: http://www.webmasterbase.com/static/popjs.php3? . According to an article on SitePoint, this script is available free to use.

    This is the script I've used when I sometimes use pop-ups on my homepage.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Addict
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    I'm still running the rich-media banner ads on my site, I've used pop-ups for a few days, and now I'm currently using a "dynamic pop-up".

    A "Subscribe to our newsletter" message appears on the screen, by displaying a <div> tag. It covers up a small portion of the screen (usually the page banner), and draws some attention, as the colors I used aren't the same basic colors of the site.

    You can see this DHTML script at: http://www.computertim.com . From there, click to any other page (except Computer Help or the Homepage) to see this script.

    I seem to be having some problems with it in Netscape. I don't know if it's just my computer, but when Netscape visits the page, it crashes. If you're using Netscape, please let me know if you encounter this problem when you go to a page that has the script in it.

    Thanks!


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