Some people love a good scare. One place no one wants to be scared is your website’s home page. On-entry strategies seem like a great idea. Until they take over an entire screen upon arrival.
On-entry strategies almost always require the user to interact with them in some way. Ideally, that would mean that the user’s email is captured. But if the customer doesn’t even know whether your site sells what they are looking for, why would they bother entering their information? Instead, they’ll probably just go back to their Google search and pick the next site down.
On-entry strategies are an effective way to build your email remarketing list, but that list isn’t going to grow if you are using ineffective strategies. Make sure to avoid the following on-entry tactics.
On-Entry Strategies to Avoid
“Get Updates on New Arrivals”
This goes back to the same point as the previous issue. If the user knows nothing about your site, why would they care what your new arrivals are? That’s like being asked if you want tour updates from a musical act you’ve never heard of. It may gather you some emails, but it will cost you customers from the get-go.
“Sign in to Access”
This absurd request doesn’t even offer the customer an incentive to continue viewing your site. This is especially problematic when the customer is new. Why would they spend several minutes signing up for your site when they could just as easily find what they need elsewhere?
“Sign up for our Newsletter!”
This particularly irritating offender is common among a surprising number of popular websites. Users will often be shown this pop-up before the site has been able to provide them with any useful information. If a user is attempting to find a particular item, (which is why most people use online retailers) why would they find it helpful to sign up for a newsletter concerning all of your company’s updates?
Real World Parallels
One of the easiest ways to understand why on-entry strategies are generally ineffective is to think of real-world examples.
On the easy-going, less obtrusive side, we have tactics like those used by the Salvation Army around the holidays. Generally speaking, a fundraiser stands in front of a store with a large kettle, ringing a bell. Shoppers know that the representative is there, and often feel low pressure to contribute to the organization.
On-entry strategies would be similar to the bell-ringer, but rather standing directly in front of the entrance of the store, blocking shoppers until they either gave money or said “no.” While, the bold fundraiser would probably make some money this way, the reputation of the charity would suffer immensely.
What we in digital marketing refer to as “on-entry marketing” would be considered “harassment” in the real world.
How to Effectively Use On-Entry Strategies
It’s a great idea to gather email addresses from visitors to your website. But it makes more sense to allow them to engage with the site first.
If you use on-entry strategies, there’s no need to change your requests for information. Simply adjust the launch parameters so that customers can explore the website a bit more before being asked to enter their information.
If they leave without going beyond the homepage, it is unlikely they would have wanted to receive your marketing emails regardless. If you’re unsure of whether your strategy is effective, you can create a control group and set different launch parameters for different audience segments.
On-entry strategies are not monsters. However, they can, and often do lower engagement rates with websites. Demonstrating the value of your site before asking users to enter information not only decreases user frustration, it makes people more likely to fulfill your request.
By re-focusing efforts on already engaged customers, your site will not only collect more information; the information collected will be far more valuable.
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