Boomtrain University
BME Guide

Lightbox Campaigns for Publishers

Over the past few years, lightboxes and pop-overs have become the digital marketer’s go-to tool for email acquisition, and yet most such acquisition campaigns convert at a pitifully low rate and can annoy your overall audience. Fortunately, there is hope for the humble lightbox after all – a combination of a better strategy and smart targeting rules can increase conversions while making your users happier.

Lightboxes and pop-overs are all about details – the smallest things can make a huge difference in your conversion rate. Boomtrain’s lightbox and pop-over feature gives you all the tools you need to grow your email list faster than ever


This tool allows you to ask your browsers to opt-in at just the right moment, and with the optimal value proposition.  There are an infinite number of creative ways to do this, but here are our top four for Publishers:.

Site-Entry Lightbox

Lightboxes are intrusive – this is the very thing that makes them useful – but with power comes responsibility, so be intrusive at the right moments.  The moment that a user first comes to your site may be just such an occasion, so try asking for an email address while their interest is still piqued. We see the highest conversions when you target right when they enter your website and the offer is aligned with what they came to your site to read.

The beauty of our smart rules engine is you can target 1st time visitors, so returning visitors (or visitors who have previously subscribed) will not see the lightbox. You can also create multiple lightboxes so they are different based on what page they are currently visiting. For example, if they are on a page that talks about camera – offer a “Free Camera Guide”, if they are on a page that talks about televisions – offer a “Free TV Guide”.  Obviously the risk with this type of lightbox is an increase in your bounce rate, so be sure to test this approach to make sure the effect is minimal, and that your conversion rate is significant.

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Free Download Pop-over

Pop-overs that just ask for an email address typically convert at the very lowest rates, so pump up your value proposition by offering something in return.  This could be something traditional like a “chance to win…” give-away, or they could be something a bit more branded, like taking some of your older (but still relevant) content and packaging it up into an e-book.  The key here is to make the offer relevant to the content a user is currently engaging with – if you offer a politics related download to a lifestyle news browser, your conversion rates will suffer.

A few pro-tips for this type of pop-over:

  1. Pop up based on engagement  – once the user scrolls past 30% down the page show your offer.
  2. Use the pop-over to trigger a confirmation email with a link back to where your give-away is hosted on your site.  This can function as your double opt-in (since you’re likely to get a fair number of fake email addresses with this method), AND will drive traffic back to your site – a win win!
  3. Make sure you implement a process to filter out disengaged subscribers after a few months, since you will get a fair number of subscribers who really only wanted the offer.

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Quiz Pop-over

Another way to offer a more engaging experience is to pop over a simple but relevant quiz, then ask for the email address only from users that engage with you.  For the best possible customer experience, combine this strategy with an offer – use the quiz to get your users attention, then the offer to seal the deal.  This type of pop-over has a few key similarities to the Free Download Pop-over, so again, be sure to keep your content relevant, pop up quickly, use a confirmation email, and be sure to filter out unengaged subscribers down the line.

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Exit Intent Lightbox

This is the only other time it’s ok to be intrusive – your last chance to capture your new subscriber.  Pop up an eye catching lightbox when you detect that your readers are about to leave, and if possible offer something compelling.  If you don’t have a take-away to offer prospective subscribers, test different messaging to see what converts at the highest rate.

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