Website Testing Wins: Light the Way for Email Acquisition

By ​Peter Borden

February 13, 2012

Enticing website visitors to join your email list is usually not not so much about deftness or luck, but about having the patience of a boulder. Sure, on a long enough timeline—while following best practices related to permission and relevancy—you will eventually develop a healthy file, but is length of time really a measurement we want to be considering when it should simply come down to more is better?

One of our clients recently came to the conclusion that the "wait and see" method of email acquisition was not working and decided to become more proactive in their efforts. We suggested they try out a lightbox—a pop-up that appears to first-time visitors with a prompt asking them to enter their email address.

Prior to the lightbox test, our client pulled in an average enrollment of about 868 new email sign-ups daily using a text entry field in the footer of their website, below the fold. This is a fairly common design choice, as it presents visitors the option for email sign-up, without being intrusive. It was a safe, conservative choice, but was it the most optimized choice for this marketer?

email lightbox test

To see how their audience would respond to a more urgent request for email sign-up, the marketer ran a 50/50 split test of the lightbox against their control. Of course, visitors could opt to close the lightbox and continue on with their session, but the hope was that they already would be inclined to sign up for email contact.

The result? The lightbox-enhanced version generated an average daily enrollment of 1,675 email sign-ups, which is nearly a 100% lift on this measure.

Additionally, the test findings showed that visitors who filled out the lightbox prompt went on during their session to register a 2% higher average order value and were more likely to add items to their cart. This led to an overall 3.4% lift in revenue per session during the test.

And the icing on the cake? The marketer now has the ability to stay in touch with this customer group to see if they can build off the strong performance recorded at acquisition.


For more ideas on how to improve email acquisition efforts, download the free white paper, 7 Best Practices for Email Acquisition.

Peter Borden is a former marketing strategist at Monetate and was responsible for PPC and email marketing strategy. Peter's also an expert on the psychology of persuasion, influence, and conversion as well as an active iOS developer.

Experience the future of ecommerce personalization

Book your personalized demo today.