You could call me a masochist. Anyone who decides to feature something that is already popular and has been around for years to a savvy and technically-gifted audience obviously has a screw loose.
But I look at it a different way. I have known about Hello Bar for a long time, but have never used it. For whatever reason, I have never taken that step from mild interest to “I should really try this out”.
So I figure there are more people out there like me, in addition to those who actually haven’t heard of Hello Bar. So, if you want to berate me for featuring this product, feel free – I have thick skin.
Let’s get on topic. On the face of it, Hello Bar is nothing special – it allows you to place a bar at the top of your site that can be populated with a call to action of some kind. It could be a newsletter sign up form, a link to your latest blog post, a sale notification, or any other number of things.
Believe it or not, this subtle little bar at the top of your site can attract quite a few clicks. And that is where Hello Bar comes into its own, with comprehensive customization and tracking features. Put simply, you can place a Hello Bar on your site, test its effectiveness in converting your visitors, then split test that version against another, then split test the winner with another, and rinse and repeat until you have a conversion machine sitting at the top of your blog.
I am really excited about this, and have no shame in saying so – Hello Bar has been around for ages, but I have only just decided to take the plunge and I can’t wait to get started.
Integration with WordPress is a piece of cake – you just need to create your Hello Bar, then paste the embed code within the <body></body> tags on your site (if you are running a decent theme, there is usually a box you can paste such code into).
It sounds too good to be true, didn’t it? Hello Bar is free – but only up to 25 clicks per month, which a blog of any kind of size is easily going to exceed. From then on there are paid options, with stepped tiers depending upon the amount of clicks you get:
Now I know that a lot of WordPress users baulk at the idea of actually paying for something, but the pricing is very reasonable. First of all, you only pay for results (i.e. clicks). Look at it this way – if you are using Hello Bar to get newsletter subscribers, each one is going to cost you no more than 3 cents. If a subscriber isn’t worth 3 cents to you, you need to take a long hard look at your blog’s monetization method!
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There are plenty of alternatives to Hello Bar, but I don’t think any of them match it in terms of features and functionality. Of course, if you are not willing to spend much (or any) money on a solution such as this, you can pick from one of the free (or less expensive) options. Blogger Mint already did the hard work for me on that front – check it out.
And you could of course always do this yourself – it doesn’t take a great deal of coding knowledge to set something like Hello Bar up. But with it costing so little, I’d rather have it all done for me.
Click here to give Hello Bar a try (free of charge).
Now I must take my leave, as I have some serious tweaking and testing to do!
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Benson Kua