The holidays are just around the corner and it is time to push the promotions or events you want to drive your end of the year sales. We recently shared three ways online forms can be used for the holidays and three important holiday marketing tips for photographers. Today we’re going to focus on three more ways that you can use the promotional tools built right into your PhotoBiz control panel: Pop-Up Banners and Sticky Banners. These are great tools to get your promotions in front of your website visitors. Here is what we recommend:
1. Be specific
When designing your pop-up and sticky banners, the key thing to focus on is being specific. If there is something you want customers to do, make it clear.
When you go to big box stores online they do more of a "grab all", meaning they hit you with multiple promotions at once to see what sticks. Their audience is broad so this helps them be inclusive.
Your business is already specific: photography. So, focus your banner promotions on the main action you want visitors to take when coming to your site. If it’s a single event or promotion, use a pop-up banner to share a promocode or quickly drive people to a landing page about it so they can learn more and make a purchase. When they visit your site the banner will get their attention right away. Use pop-ups when you really want their attention.
Sticky banners can work the same way too, but they are more passive. They work more like a notification. You can use sticky banners to promote a sitewide sale or event without disrupting the customer’s experience as the sticky banner is always there and doesn’t get in the way of visitors using your site. On the flip side, this also means the visitor is responsible for taking action. Since you are not stopping them (like a pop-up does), you must rely on them to see it and do something.
Here’s what we’ve learned from our own use of pop-up and sticky banners. PhotoBiz ran several promotions this year and used both pop-ups and sticky banners on our site to advertise it. Our results showed fewer people saw our pop-up banner than our sticky banner, but those who did had a higher conversion rate, meaning those who saw it were likely to make a purchase. Three times more people saw the sticky banner than the pop-up, but fewer people clicked on the banner to take advantage of that promotion even though there was the exact same information in it.
Our takeaway: Pop-up’s strength is getting people’s attention, and sticky banners are great for notifying people but are less likely to result in action.
2. Don't overdo it
Don’t, I repeat don’t bombard people with pop-ups the moment they open your site. We recently mentioned this in our 10 Scary Mistakes to Avoid on Your Website blog post and it's worth saying again. Pop-ups that appear too quickly can feel overwhelming. Each time someone clicks through to a new page they shouldn’t be greeted with promotion after promotion. It can backfire and result in people leaving your site, and quickly, without making a purchase. Too many pop-ups will make your site start to feel like the coupon section of the newspaper. People still read those right?
Discounts are great and are effective ways to get more sales but when all a visitor sees on your site is pop-ups about promotions, it can undervalue your products and services. Set up a landing page that makes it easy to understand what the promotion or event is, and make sure it’s simple to sign up or purchase. Use a pop-up banner to drive people to the landing page, but don’t stalk them with multiple pop-ups about it. Instead, use pop-ups sparingly in partnership with a sticky banner that stays with them on each page of your site without getting in their way.
3. Plan for the future
In addition to promoting sales and events, pop-ups and sticky banners can also be used to build your email list, which will not only help you with this year’s sales, it can also help with your next year’s. You can encourage people to sign up for your emails to receive a discount now, such as early bird promotions and exclusives, and to be the first to know about more discounts in the future. Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean every deal or event is right for all your customers right now, and getting people on your email list will allow you to stay in touch with them through future email campaigns.
Using pop-ups and sticky banners to build your email list is a great way of planning ahead to engage people with your future promotions. Tell customers “hey there’s more to come!” Letting them know about future savings or events you may have can be effective in pushing sales throughout the year.
The key to effective pop-ups and sticky banners is balance. Remember to be specific in what you want customers to do, don’t overdo it and overwhelm your customers, and think about how you can plan for the future.