Pop-ups seem to be everywhere these days. You can’t go onto a website without a little box bouncing up in your face asking you to sign up for something.
It used to be mostly blogs that used them but I’ve seen a worrying trend among wedding business websites to welcome you with a pop-up and an invitation to sign up to a newsletter.
I know that the web is awash with articles saying that you need to grow your email list. And for many kinds of businesses (bloggers, consultants, coaches) it’s a very valid option.
The idea of getting people onto your email list and developing a relationship with them before they buy from you is known as “lead nurturing”. It’s very successful for businesses where there is no fixed deadline for purchase.
But for most wedding businesses it’s not.
Because there is a fixed deadline (the wedding) there is limited time for nurturing leads.
Brides who arrive at your website are going to be either “browsers” or “buyers”.
The browsers are looking for inspiration and ideas. Probably at the early stage of their wedding planning and not ready to start booking suppliers.
Now it may well be good to get the browsers onto an email list – you can keep in touch with them over the next 12 months or so and build a relationship with them until they are ready to book (at least, that’s the theory).
- only a small percentage will actually sign up – maybe 5% of visitors at most
- only a small percentage of them will actually buy something
- you will need to put lots of time into creating interesting email newsletters to keep them engaged and get them to buy eventually
Buyers are the brides or grooms who are ready to book their suppliers and are actively searching for vendors who meet their needs.
They want to look at your cakes/stationery/portfolio/prices.
They don’t want to subscribe emails from all the different suppliers they look at.
You want them to pick up the phone and ask about your services there and then.
Don’t put anything in their way.
You’re putting off buyers for the sake of browsers
Do you like pop-ups?
Thought not. I find them so annoying and sometimes I will simply quit the site rather than try to find the tiny button that lets you close it down. Especially if I’m using my mobile.
Do you really want to design your website for the browsers rather than the buyers?
Google doesn’t like pop-ups either
Finally, Google announced recently that mobile sites which use pop-ups that block the main screen may be penalized in search results.
So you could be risking your search rankings too.
Email is still a good tool
Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t use email and newsletters in your business. Email is still a very useful tool.
But don’t prioritise growing your email list at the expense of gaining live enquiries.