How to Increase Your Followistic Subscription Rate by up to 50%

EXHIBITION (1)

The one and only thing that makes visitors subscribe to email alerts on your site is, well, the Followistic widget. So it’s of utmost importance to integrate the widget efficiently. Where to put it? What colors work best? What copy to choose for introducing it to your visitors? We got the answers for you!

 

Yep, you read correctly. You can get up to 50% more visitors to subscribe via the Followistic widget by following a few simple rules. To that effect we have analysed many different kind of widget implementations and here are our top recommendations which can increase your subscription rate up to 50%.

Let’s start with a simple rule: To get as many visitors as possible to subscribe to your Followistic email alerts, you should integrate the widget blending into your site as well as possible while still highlighting it enough for visitors to notice.

That sounds good enough, but what does that mean in practise? We got three examples for you. One where the widget is not highlighted enough and blends in too well, one where the widget is highlighted too much and does not blend in well enough. And finally one where everything was done just right.

 

1. Blending in too well

Okay, what happens if the widget blends in too well? Visitors simply don’t notice the widget. Example: Example4

As you can see above, the colors of the tags are as dark as the rest of the page. The widget blends in well with the rest of the site, yes, but it does not stand out in the least. It’s easy to overlook for any visitor. That’s why the results were poor when we tested that layout.

2. Highlighted too much

And what happens if the widget is too highlighted? Visitors will assume the widget is advertising and don’t check the value it provides. Example: Example3

In order to make the widget stand out more and capture the readers’ attention we decided to frame it. Well, it did stand out more, but in a way that made visitors think the widget is a banner ad. And you know what visitors usually do with banner ads? Ignore them as much as they can. Therefore, the results for this layout were poor as well.

3. The ideal implementation

Now the solution: the right balance between highlighting and blending in well. Example: Example5

Finally, we deleted the border again and used a color that highlights the tags while still matching the rest of the website’s layout. This approach works really well as it captures the visitor’s attention without giving the impression that the widget is an ad.

By the way, the examples shown above come from our friends at ScreenRant. They joined us early on in the Beta and have been a great partner since. So, if you’d like to see best practise in action (or want to get some awesome movie news) head over to ScreeRant!

 

Summing up our testing experience, we have some detailed recommendations for each element of the widget:

Colors

When configuring the layout of your widget, choosing colors wisely plays an important role. At best, stick to the following:

  • Tags: Highlighted colors to catch the readers attention when finished with reading your content (e.g. light yellow or orange)
  • Send button: A bit more subtle in order to keep the attention on the tags (e.g. grey). You want the visitor’s attention on the tags because they are what’s really valuable to the reader, the send button is just a tool in order to get email alerts on the tags.
  • No background color: If you select “transparent” (default in widget configurator), the widget will be displayed on the background color of your site. That works best.

Border

In our experience, a border around the widget does not perform well. It tends to create the look of an advertising banner of sorts which immediately turns on peoples’ “banner blindness”. In other words: Assuming the area with the widget is only an ad, visitors don’t give it a chance to look at and therefore don’t subscribe

Copy

By default, the configurator suggests “Get our free email alerts on the topics of this article”. We recommend the words “free” and “email alerts” as it signals to visitors for once that it does not cost anything (free) and also what they will receive (email alerts). Using the word “subscribe” is something to avoid as it has negative connotations (“Oh, subscribing sounds like I’m gonna be locked in and gotta pay!”).

Placement

The widget works way better than any newsletter signup form because visitors know upfront what they’ll get when they subscribe (“If I subscribe to “Batman” I’ll get new articles on Batman only!”). In our experience, visitors are most likely to signup right after they finished reading your content. That means the widget works best right below your article. The further away you place it from the end of your article (e.g. by including some ads first), the weaker the signup rate gets.

Some words on “testing”

Seemingly small changes can have a massive impact on the signup rate. We tried many, many different versions of the widget on various websites and it turned out there is no 100% one size fits all. The guidelines and examples above are valuable, yet finding the perfect layout, placement and copy for the widget requires a rinse and repeat approach: make a small change, try it out for a couple of days and monitor the results. Then do another change.   If you have any questions or would like to add your own experience let us know in the comments!

 



Eric

Eric co-founded Followistic and is usually busy with talking to customers and our developer team alike, trying to get everything running smoothly. Besides that he is crafting content for the blog of course.