The (Easy) Secret To 1,375% More Subscribers

“To lightbox or not to lightbox, that is the question.”
– Shakespeare’s most over-adapted (because it’s perfect) quote

You’re browsing a site and suddenly, a form pops up in your face, blocking the page with an offer you didn’t ask for.

Obnoxious, right? But plenty of sites use lightboxes to request email subscriptions. The common explanation: “They’re annoying, but they work.”

But how is this possible? We’ve got proof from a customer who tested them for herself.

We Were Amazed When We Saw Her Results

Nikki McGonigal is a full-time crafter and blogger with an Etsy shop full of handmade accessories and a site called Nikki, In Stitches.

She sends emails notifying subscribers of fun ideas, new product announcements and the occasional freebie. We were talking with her about her emails when she mentioned her lightbox subscriptions.

She uses both a lightbox and a static sidebar form. The lightbox pops up once every 60 days per site visitor, at a delay of 2 seconds. The inline form is always visible.

Nikki’s Sidebar Form
Nikki's Inline Form

Nikki’s Lightbox
Nikki's Lightbox

Both forms went up on the site in late August of 2012. Eight months later, these are her results:

Form Type Form Displayed Form Filled Out Subscription Rate
Sidebar 178282 643 0.4%
Lightbox 135821 7473 5.5%

The lightbox drove an enormous 1,375% more sign ups than the sidebar form. (Did you see that? 1,375% more!)

Goes to show that getting results doesn’t always mean being polite. If you don’t have a lightbox on your site yet, you may want to reconsider.

It’s important to consider that the forms, though nearly identical, are not quite. The logo visible near the sidebar form is placed directly on the lightbox and the intro text is slightly tweaked.

However, these differences are so negligible that the forms’ placement is by far the most significant difference, and therefore the one responsible for the bulk, if not all, of the difference in sign-up rates.

Getting A Lightbox On Your Site

Just so you know, lightboxes like Nikki’s are super easy to put on your site in AWeber: just selecting an option in the web form generator.

Making A Lightbox

In fact, you can have an entire form built and on your site in 8 clicks and a copy-and-paste. Take a look at the process.

If You’re Not Emailing Yet…

If you haven’t started a newsletter yet because you’re not sure how to drum up an audience, we say take Nikki’s lead and get a lightbox on your site.

Our CS team will walk you through it (let them know you’d like help here), though it’s so easy you probably won’t need them to. Register here to get started.