Promoting your mailing list and grabbing new members using the Pop Over plugin

Sometimes all you want is to give your visitors your most important information as soon as they arrive on your site. It’s easy for your mailing list, special offer or advertising to get lost in all of the rest of your content.

A pop over that appears on your site’s initial load can get all of the good stuff out there without being intrusive. What makes it different from a pop-up? Well, for one thing it’s not so annoying, it doesn’t jump up out of nowhere, shouting “Look at me!” Seriously, no one likes a pop up, right? The pop over is a much calmer creature. It’s just there, hanging out, telling people the stuff that they need to know.

What can I use the pop over for?

  • encouraging people to sign up for a mailing list (with the right code you can even have the mailing list signup form in the pop over)
  • advertising a special offer
  • showing a new video that you think your visitors will get particularly excited about
  • showing off your latest product
  • Maybe you’re just feeling very mushy one day and you want to thank people for dropping by.

Sites that use the pop over have reported that visitors browse more of their pages and spend more time on their site. That’s pretty nifty.

All good stuff, but what distinguishes the pop over?

The pop over plugin allows you to target specific visitors to your site. You may not want to display it to everyone who visits your site. It has the following rules that you can choose from:

  • Visitor is logged in;
  • Visitor is not logged in;
  • Visitor has never commented;
  • Visit via a search engine;
  • Visit not via an internal link;
  • Visit via a specific referrer;
  • Popover shown less than.

Examples

Mr D is trying to encourage a bit more community spirit on his site. He wants to get people who feel a bit shy to get involved. So he has a pop over for everyone who has never commented.

Ms S is running a campaign with another site. She wants to give everyone who has visited from that site a special message when they land on her homepage.

Let’s see it in action

So, my mailing list is pretty thin and I’m dying to keep people up-to-date with the goings on in my life. I mean, really, who wouldn’t want to know all about it?

I know that everyone who is logged in will already be signed up so I just want the people who aren’t logged in to get my message. My plan is to have my mailing list sign-up form embedded in the pop over to make it easy for them. I’m using Mail Chimp which kindly generates the code for me. Other mailing list services will often do the same.

After designing and grabbing the code from Mail Chimp I drop it into the pop over content box and select “Visitor is not logged in.”

screenshot of pop over code and settings
Here it is in action:

screenshot of popover in action

You’ll notice that in the top left hand corner is an obvious “X” for closing the window. In the bottom right hand corner is this message:

screenshot turn off popover message
If your visitor clicks on it then “bye-bye” pop over window – for good. Although, if you’re just giving your visitor good stuff they’ll probably never need to press it.

You can download the pop over plugin and learn more about in on the WPMU DEV site.