I’ve been using Aweber for the newsletters on a few of my websites for quite a while and like it for a number of reasons. I don’t pay for any traffic to those sites, and my lists are building slowly. I happened across a post on Facebook recently (and can’t even remember how!) where they were talking about using Lightboxes. I started investigating and discovered that the Lightbox option is where you get a pop up of sorts that isn’t really a pop up asking if you want to sign up for a newsletter. I had mixed feelings about implementing it but have been pleasantly surprised so far.
Here’s a chart that shows daily signups over the course of a month. It’s easy to see when I implemented the Lightbox:
The blue show people who unsubscribed (luckily not many!). Green are people who subscribed and verified their subscriptions. Yellow are those who subscribed but did not verify. I can understand why the yellow increased so much. Some people just entered an email address in the box to get it to close rather than hitting the “close” button. However, you can see that my verified subscriptions have tripled. Interestingly, this is from a site that actually has much less traffic now than it did in December, and the December subscription numbers were consistent with those first eight days shown in the chart.
Clearly I am getting more newsletter signups. However, there are two potential downsides. First, are people hitting the back button on the site after the Lightbox pops up? I have it set to a delay so that they will find the content and start reading before the Lightbox pops up. Conversions on merchandise are definitely down a little bit, but it is also not a month in which I would expect to see high conversions. The second issue is the number of people “complaining” about the newsletters. My “complaints” (which can be defined as many different things in Aweber) have gone up from about .08% to .24% this month. Could it be that people are signing up just to close the box but then also verifying and not really wanting the newsletter? That seems odd, but possible.
I’ll be continuing to watch the trends over the next month or so regarding newsletter signups, site visits, and merchandise conversion rates. The one thing that I want to stress is how easy it was to create the Lightbox in Aweber, including modifying the template as well as the appearance itself. Next up I will be doing some A/B testing on Lightbox differences (graphic v. text).