Should you use a popup on your WordPress site?

The short answer: NO.

Everyone else will tell you optins WORK so you should use one; and they do work, if you have a clean and organized site with a strong optin offer.

But most authors don’t – they have disorganized, ugly websites and before you can figure out where to go and what to do, you get a popup that says “Join for updates” and you’re thinking,

Join who? For what? Why should I?

If people aren’t joining your list, it’s not because you don’t have a popup. It’s because you don’t make it super easy to do with a bold call to action, or your offer isn’t good enough, or you aren’t providing social proof or value.

If you’ve done all of that and people are signing up – then you may be able to increase conversions with a popup, however I recommend you pay for one of the premium popup plugins and get something that has “exit intent.”

The means it only shows up when readers drag the mouse up to the top left to go back, or close your site, or go somewhere else. At that point, you’ve got nothing to lose, so a well-time popup could work, if you give them what they want and it solves their problem or they can’t resist.

Don’t have popups “pop” too early – give them 30 seconds or a minute or so to look around. (There are studies for the perfect timing of this but I think it depends on your site).

Check out the popup on Jason Werbeloff’s site, it’s well done: it shows the book cover, some reviews and a sign up button (I would add a screen shot but since I already saw it, it probably won’t display again for me for 10 days or a month or something).

How to build your optin form for your blog and sidebar

How to build your optin form for your blog and sidebar

Some websites or themes come with built in optin forms, but most don’t. However there are some plugins we can use, and you can usually get the code from your email service.

I use Mailchimp. A lot of people like Aweber. Both are free to start but get increasingly

expensive. Mailchimp lets me get the code to add to my page or sidebar.



The style won’t always look right though, it depends on your blog’s CSS.

And you shouldn’t use “Subscribe to my list.”
You need to give them a reason. What are they going to get? Why should they? Otherwise they’ll be ignored. At the very least,
Sign up and join 83,289 other successful writers; and get insider publishing tips that will help you rise against the competition.

On my blog, I had “sign up to get four free books” – but that wasn’t focused enough, so I changed it to this:
On my book covers site, I have an optin form that looks like this:coversoptin
The books on top is an image, the dark form is a WordPress Optin Plugin made by Codeleon.
There are other optin box WordPress plugins so you may need to test a few; or it is often worth paying extra for a premium one that looks better and has more functions.
I’m going to talk more about popups later, but for most author websites you should avoid them (I’ll explain why in another post).
However, a lot of people will say that you shouldn’t even put an optin form on your site, because you’ll get higher conversion if you use an image promising the benefits and “click here” button – people are more likely to sign up if they see the optin form after they’ve take action. For that reason, I made some sidebar optin offer templates you can use and put them here

I could also add a direct link to my signup form like this.