Eight Steps to Improve Website Marketing Using Pop-Up Ads

Pop-up ads are becoming a very popular marketing tool on a broad variety of respectable websites. A decade ago – eons in Internet years – popups were one of the most-hated online advertising technique, and a residual hatred of the marketing tool lingers today.

Reasons Today’s Pop-ups Are Very Different From the Pop-up Ads Ten Years Ago

1. Internet browsers are much more sophisticated and prevent pop-ups from opening new windows. Instead the new pop-ups open in the same window and are very easy to close.

2. Marketing pop-up ads can now be controlled entirely by site owners who can take their on-site user experience, audience loyalty, and long-term brand into consideration to determine when and where to use pop-up ads.

3. Website technology now lets site owners to be very selective about who is shown marketing pop-up ads and who isn’t.

4. Personalized messages can be served on a dynamic basis.

5. The timing and activation of the pop-up ad is very sophisticated so the pop-up can be displayed after a user has been on a particular page for a certain period of time, for example.

For these reasons – as well as the fact that implementing these pop-ups is cost-effective (contact us at Connect4 Consulting if you’re interested) – marketing pop-ups have returned and are becoming more popular. But they aren’t suitable for every site or brand or audience. A site owner needs to think long and hard about their particular audience and ask whether a pop-up will annoy visitors.

When done right, marketing pop-up ads are a great way to engage visitors, drive sales, increase email subscriber lists, and generate tons of new leads.

When done wrong, however, pop-up ads annoy visitors, degrade user experience, and fail to convert prospects into paying customers.

superoffice-pop-up example

Eight Steps to Improve Website Marketing Using Pop-up Ads

Step 1:  Figure out what your audience values

Before writing your ad, you need to understand what your audience wants. Google Analytics is an excellent resource for determining what your users want to read, buy, or subscribe to. Next, your messaging should meet these three standards: It must be clear to the user. It must be concise. And, it must convey maximum value.

Step 2: Be flexible with your offer and provide different offers to different customer segments

A first-time visitor is better suited to an email signup. Once you have their email address, you can use that to provide valuable information as you build the customer relationship.

Step 3: Don’t over think the design

Remember the Keep It Simple Stupid mantra? Same concept here. Effective pop-up ads grab attention by conveying value without distractions.

Step 4: Think Win-Win

If your “$10 Off” offer isn’t converting, think about changing the campaign to an email sign up in exchange for something of value to your users. The trick is finding out what type of offer works best for your traffic. Sometimes, quick sales are just not feasible.

Step 5: Put your pop-up ad on high profile pages and make sure you promote high value items

Since your end goal is to generate leads, signups, and new sales, make sure that the pop-up ad is on the right page and promotes purchase of the right item. To find out which pages get the most traffic, open up your Google Analytics and run a traffic report for the last 12 months.

Step 6: Make sure your goals are in sync with your visitors’ goals

The marketing pop-up ad will generate the best results when users want to do the same thing you want them to do. Once again, Google Analytics is the best way to find out what they want to do. Once you know what your users want, you need to ask yourself whether your goals line up. Is this a product you want to promote? Is it an email list that’s valuable for you to build?

Step 7: Optimize and refresh your offer over time

All offers eventually go stale, so periodically refreshing and updating your offer is critical to maintaining effectiveness.

Step 8: Get in front of visitors before they leave and do so without disrupting user experience

When you launch your pop-up ad is just as important as your message.

If you launch the pop-up too early, you might interrupt users naturally on the path toward your desired action. Launch too late, and a good chunk of users will leave before they see it.

There are 5 ways I know of to activate your marketing pop-up ad:

  1. Upon entry
  2. Upon exit
  3. After “x” number of page views
  4. Scroll-activated
  5. Time-activated

Which one will work best for you? Only your tests will tell.


If you’re interested in learning more about the feasibility of marketing pop-up ads on your website, we are here to help you. Contact Connect4 Consulting at 202-236-2968 or send us an email. Remember that the details are what separate successful campaigns from those that fail to generate results. When done wrong, this marketing tool won’t help you at all. But when done right, it can engage visitors, drive sales, and help you build your email list.

Content Marketing: How To Promote Your Blog Post

Blogging can bring you thousands of social shares, new email subscribers, and tons of comments, but only if your blog posts are masterpieces and you know how to promote your blog post.

But content marketing has so many elements to it that it’s really easy to forget them, right?

To help you succeed, I have created a checklist. If you can do the majority of the items on the list below, your content marketing efforts will pay off.

How To Promote Your Blog Post

1. Should I publish my blog on my own site or someone else’s?

The best place to publish your content is typically on someone else’s site. However, it does depend on who that someone is. If someone else’s site is an industry leader and germane to your niche, then you will gain a lot of new eyeballs by leveraging this connection. Hopefully that new traffic will trickle back to your own site.

2. Am I collecting emails?

You shouldn’t publish content unless you are collecting emails. Emails are the best way to get people to come back to your site. One way of doing this is to set up a pop-up on your blog posts that pops after twenty seconds or so and gives the reader the chance to enter an email to download a white paper (essentially an old blog post converted to a PDF file) or view archived content. We can help you set this up on your site. Just send an email to gabe@connect4consulting.com or call us at 202-236-2968.

3. Do I have social sharing buttons throughout my post?

Encourage social sharing any way you can.

4. Am I publishing my blog post during the ideal time and day?

Believe it or not, but there is a science to content marketing. KISSmetrics has a post that will help tell you when to publish your content. Essentially there are pros and cons to publishing your blog posts during the daytime. The pros are that you get more visitors, comments, and engagement. The cons are that people are busy and your message is competing with other posts, not to mention people trying to focus on work. The highest percentage of readers, read blogs in the morning. The average blog gets the most traffic on Mondays. The average blog gets the most traffic at 11 a.m.

5. Have I re-purposed my content?

By turning your blog post into a PDF or a slide deck and sharing it on the web, you can get more traffic. Just submit these different versions of your content to sites like Slideshare, and you’ll see more traffic. Make sure you adjust the content, however, as you don’t want to be hit by a duplicate content penalty.

6. Am I using social media meta tags?

If you aren’t using social media meta tags, then your content won’t do as well as it could when shared on the major social networks.

7. Did I create a list of social profiles?

Every time you publish a post, you should do outreach, asking people to share your content.

8. Have I shared my content more than once?

You should be sharing your post at least 2, if not 3 times, on social channels like Twitter. Not all of your users will see your content the first time you tweet.

9. Did I mention my expert sources when sharing?

If you include your expert sources in your tweets, this will increase the likelihood of them re-tweeting your content.

10. Have I direct-messaged influencers on LinkedIn?

This is a simple tactic that can help generate more shares. This KISSmetrics blog post explains how to do this.

11. Do I have something to attract leads?

You need something that entices people to give you their email addresses. You can offer a free ebook or a PDF in exchange for an email.


Don’t worry if you aren’t doing everything on this list. The more you do, the better you will be able to promote your blog.

Content Marketing: Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Next Blog Post

Blogs are one important component of content marketing. The beautiful part about content marketing is that it can bring you hundreds, if not thousands, of social shares, new email subscribers, and tons of comments. But you have to do your content marketing right.

What is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is a strategy of producing and publishing information that builds trust and authority among your ideal customers. It’s a way to build community and relationships so that people feel loyal to you and your brand. It’s also a strategy for becoming recognized as a thought leader in your industry. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s a way to “sell your goods” without cold calls or traditional sales tactics.

Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before Publishing Your Next Blog Post

Headline – Ask yourself these questions when composing your headline.

1. Would someone type my headline into Google? – If they would, then you are more likely to get search traffic.

2. Does my headline contain any popular keywords or phrases? – If it doesn’t, don’t expect to rank for any terms on Google.

Introduction – Every blog post should have an introduction. Here are some questions your should ask yourself when working on your introduction.

3. Am I hooking my readers with a question?  – This is easy. Just remember to ask a question.

4. Did I include a picture? – You should always start your blog post with some type of media. Whether it’s a picture or a video, make sure it entices people to click through or continue reading and make sure it relates to your blog post.


5. Did I use subheadings? – Subheadings make it easier for readers to skim your content.

6. Did I link out to anyone? – When appropriate, link out to other websites. Then once you publish your post, you can email those sites and ask them to share it on their social profiles.

7. Are my paragraphs fewer than 5 or 6 lines? – Anything longer than this will seem overwhelming to readers.


8. Did I end my post with a question? – This is a great way to generate more comments. Remember to italicize this question.

9. Does my conclusion encourage people to read the content? – Sometimes people will scroll down and read the conclusion first. Make sure your conclusion entices people to read the entire post.

Promotion – I’m going to create a follow-up post solely on promotion and blog posts, because there is clearly more than 1 thing you should do in terms of promotion.

10. Have I repurposed my content? By turning your blog post into a PDF or a slide deck and sharing it on the Internet, you can get more traffic. Just submit different versions to sites like Slideshare, and your traffic will increase. Make sure you adjust and edit your content however. You don’t want to be hit by a duplicate content penalty from Google.


If you ask yourself the ten questions I posed above, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of work to be done to get successful results with your content marketing.

Don’t worry if you don’t have time to do everything. Just know that the more you do, the better off you’ll be.

So, did I miss anything? What other questions should you ask yourself before publishing another blog post?


How to build website traffic through forum marketing

Forum marketing may be the most underutilized website traffic generation strategy. Industry forums are brimming with potential leads and customers. However, to build build traffic to your website and have success, you have to do more than simply creating a signature and leaving generic posts.

Strategies & Techniques for Forum Marketing

1. Find Active Forums in Your Niche

The first step is to find active forums in your niche. This is the best search string you can probably use. You want to go to Google and use your keyword in quotes plus forum. As an example, “website design” + “forum”.

Depending on your specific niche, this search string may or may not work really well. If it doesn’t work and you don’t get a ton of forum results, you can use another search string on Google – your keyword plus Powered by vBulletin. vBulletin is forum software that is used for creating and managing forums.

If that doesn’t get you the forum results you’re looking for, you can also try this search string on Google – your keyword plus “hot thread with new post”.

These are three really reliable search strings and you can usually find plenty of forums in your niche, but if these aren’t yielding enough results or you just want more, there’s yet another trick to find more forums. What you want to do is use a niche specific keyword.

Once you’ve found a forum, you want to see if it’s even worth your time. The first thing you want to do is look at the latest post info and look at when the last post was posted. Basically, what you’re doing is seeing how often people are posting on this site and how active it is, because there is no way to see how many active users there are, so this is a proxy way to do that. Under posted you want to look at the date and in that case that is yesterday, so that’s pretty recent. This is also from yesterday, which is pretty recent. As long as you see that, it’s probably worth making an account.

2. Register For A Particular Forum

Your next step is to register. Find wherever it says register, click that button. Then, you want to fill out the user name or screen name. You want to make it your brand name or your personal name. You want to use something very memorable and branded. Ideally, you would put your brand name or your site name as your username. That’s important because people are going to be seeing that and associating your content on the forum with your brand. If this is something that’s not your brand, it’s going to be harder for them to associate the content with the name of your business or the name of your website.

Once you have an account and it’s all set up, your next step is to create a signature. A forum signature is important because that’s actually how you’re going to drive traffic to your site. In your signature, you just want to create some call to action, a benefit driven call to action.

You don’t want to make the mistake that a lot of people make with forum marketing, which is to try to get some SEO value from this link and they put exact match anchor text. That is not smart because really Google doesn’t consider these links particularly valuable and that over-optimized anchor text can hurt you down the road. Just make sure to use some sort of call to action in your anchor text that isn’t just your keyword because this is actually how you’re going to drive traffic to your site from the forum.

3. Participating In The Forum

Once you have your account set up and your signature ready to go, your next step is to actually participate in the forum. To do that, you want to visit the main area of the forum and see where most people hang out.

The next thing you’ll want to do is click on one of the areas that either has a lot of people viewing or is an area of expertise or both and click on it. You want to click at the thread titles and see where you can add value.  That’s really important because a lot of people, when they do forum marketing, they make the mistake of just responding to as many as possible. In my experience, it’s definitely quality over quantity. If you can maybe add one to two quality posts to a thread per day, you can get quite a bit of traffic from that.

You definitely want to be early on and that’s why when you look at the forum section, you want to stick to the top as much as possible and not scroll down too much because then when you participate you’re going to be towards the bottom of the thread and not as many people are going to see you. You should include the keyword in the forum post and also in the title.

4. Creating Your Own Thread

If you want to get the most traffic possible from forum marketing, you have to create your own thread. Participating in threads is great, but you also want to create your own threads. You can actually just copy and paste content from your site. It doesn’t have to be original for a forum. Make sure it’s indexed on your site and once Google indexes it, you can head over to your forum of choice and then give them, maybe, a different version that’s a little shorter or more brief or maybe add something to it that’s exclusive for the forum, so it’s not really just copying and pasting.

That’s really all there is to building website traffic through forum marketing. You want to create an account that has your brand name as the user name. You want to participate as often as possible, but make sure you’re providing value every single time you participate in a thread. Then, when you publish something great on your site, wait for it to get indexed and then head to the form and then paste it there and maybe make some modifications and that’s going to get you some really, really great traffic.