Last year Google announced a crackdown on “intrusive interstitials” that can affect the browsing experience: this is part of a larger program run by Google to promote user experience, especially for mobile users. The effects of this measure were meant to take place on January 10: this means that if you recently noticed a drop in the rankings and you have a pop up message set up on your website, you should consider less invasive options to promote your newsletter.

Since pop-ups are often used in order to increase mailing list subscriptions, I decided to put together 5 pop-up-free options that allow you to do so —without hassling your visitors and damaging your brand.

1. Opt-in form in your sidebar

Quite simply, remind your visitors that they can sign up to your newsletter with a tiny widget in your sidebar and your footer. Sure, that’s not very in-your-face but do you really want to shout at your potential followers? Let them make their move when (and if) they want to join your mailing list instead.

2. Opt in form in your blog post

If you want to draw attention to your newsletter subscription in your latest blog, simply include an opt-in form in the middle of your column. Have a look at the example below!

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3. A landing page with a limited offer

Create a landing page with a simple sign up form and an offer an exclusive discount to those willing to join. You can organise a whole marketing campaign around it, with a Prize Giveaway or a limited release of coupons… there’s plenty of opportunities to explore and we’d love to discuss them with you as part of our Marketing Strategy services.

4. Use the ‘Content upgrade’ formula

According to SEO guru Brian Dean, you can make your Newsletter Subscription more attractive by offering exclusive content that is relevant to the reader of a specific blog post.

For example, you can write an article about vanilla cupcakes and include a link to a printable cupcake recipe, which your readers will be able to download in return for their sign-up. Just make sure you give them something valuable and unique!

5. Keep the pop-up, but be more considerate

In their announcement from August last year Google made it clear that tiny pop ups covering a small part of the screen are not going to affect your ranking, my recommendation though is to use them with moderation! Design with mobile devices in mind, keep the opt-in forms simple to complete and use them sparingly.

Paolo Tami

Paolo studied Graphic Design in a small historic town in Italy called Urbino. After moving to Australia he completed his Masters in Animation and Interactive Media in Melbourne. His skills include Animation, Video Editing and Web Design.