How to use email popups: Lessons from Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Neil Patel.

Some presidential popups

As I dig into the marketing learnings from the US presidential campaigns, I wanted to write a quick post about the use of engagement questionnaires to increase email sign ups. They usually involve a popup or splash page with a short yes or no question. When done well, this can be a very effective method to start engaging visitors without the typical blunt ask, give me your email. You are essentially warming the visitor up before the ask. 

I’ve started with the democratic party since I know they’ve been very effective at generating email leads and donations and I've been staying across their marketing efforts over the course of the election. 

Hilary Clinton’s homepage engagement popup  

Immediately upon answering yes, the user is directed to the corresponding donation form. 

Feel the Bern, and sign up to his emails

Earlier in the year while Bernie Sanders was still running for the primaries, his homepage was setup with a similar system to Hilary Clinton's but he asked for the postcode and email straight away.

This is also an effective way to show a simple way to engage with the campaign and be a part of it. Bernie also incorporated his primary purpose into the form as a title. 

Bernie’s subsequent donate page. 

Neil's lessons

Finally to give a commercial perspective, I’ve included an example from Neil Patel’s site, Quick Sprout. Neil Patel is also behind Crazy Egg and KISS Metrics, two other very success software businesses.

The first pop up opens with a simple yes or no question.

Then even if the user says no, they are still offered to sign up. 

Neil suggested that he generated an additional 30% sign up using this simple pop up on the page.  

In conclusion

The game for many business websites is to generate leads and the engagement questionnaire popup is a less intrusive way to start to to get your visitors engaged without slapping them with a blunt form ask to sign up straight away. 

Annoying? Maybe. Effective? Yes.