How to Gain 1,180 Additional Email Subscribers in 30 Days Using the Hello Bar

by Derek Halpern · 114 comments

Hello Bar Logo

Ever wonder why everyone—Ramit Sethi, Tammy Camp, Andrew Warner, and DIYthemes—began using the Hello Bar?

It’s a remarkable way to grow your email list, and it’s FREE. Heck, in the past 30 days alone, the Hello Bar helped DIYthemes gain an additional 1,180 email subscribers.

So, keep reading and I’ll show you how we did it.

Why Hello Bar Works

When people visit your website, they’re laser-focused on finding what they need. In most cases, they’re looking for something specific, but they’re willing to check out something else that grabs their attention too.

And that’s where Hello Bar comes in…It’s a nicely designed, full-width bar that spans across the top of your website—like on DIYthemes—that helps you grab attention without being obnoxious.

If you use the Hello Bar, or start using the Hello bar, the following 3-step process will help you maximize you results.

Step 1: Offer a Tangible Bribe

The Hello Bar is a great way to grab your reader’s attention. However, once you grab it, the text you put in the Hello Bar should encourage your visitors to click the link.

Easy enough. The question is, how can you maximize the amount of clicks you get?

In my testing, a Hello Bar with a tangible promise (ebook, webinar, etc.) got 28% more clicks than a Hello Bar with an intangible promise (free updates, more news, etc.).

For example, on the DIYthemes marketing blog, we specifically say “Download Your Free 33-Page Ebook Nonverbal Website Intelligence” and that converted 28% higher than “Don’t Forget to Sign Up for Free Email Updates!”

Note: Some people, like Tim Ferriss, use the Hello Bar to promote products. I think this works for people with powerful brands. However, if you’re working with an emerging brand, you’re better off using it for lead generation.

So, now that you’re generating more clicks, where’s the best place to send those clicks?

Step 2: Send Hello Bar Traffic to a Landing Page

A few years back, a simple opt-in form with a promise was good enough for gaining new email subscribers. However, since everyone does that these days, you have to step up your game and “sell” free.

As you no doubt guessed, the best way to do that is with a landing page.

What do I mean by landing page?

Quite simply, a landing page is a page on your site that has one main goal, and in this case, that goal is to get an email in exchange for the tangible product you promised.

For example, at DIYthemes, we promise an ebook to get clicks. When people click that link, they arrive at a page that primes the ebook further, and then offers it in exchange for an email.

Overall, this is a good tactic, and the last I checked, it converts around 70% of the people who hit the page. Not great, but this leads me to the final section…

Step 3: Maximize the Conversion Rate Of Your Landing Page

I’m a big fan of split-testing because it’s the only way you can be certain that what you’re doing works. Unfortunately, constructing the perfect landing page takes work, lots of testing, and time (oh, and good split testing software).

However, there are four simple tips that almost always increase your landing page conversion rates. They are:

1. Eliminate Distractions - Your landing page should have no distractions (no sidebar, navigation, etc). When you want people to give you their email, don’t give them any other option and conversions will go up.

2. Include a Prominent Call-to-Action - The truth is, most people look for visual cues that grab their attention, and a call-to-action button above the fold does just that.

3. Create Active Text – If you want people to click your call-to-action button, use active text like “Download Your Ebook,” “Watch the Video,” or as we do on the DIYthemes pricing page, “Register and Download.” In our experiences, this converts best.

4. Minimize Content Width - When most people create landing pages, they tend to use the no-sidebars option in WordPress. Unfortunately, that makes your content too wide, uninviting, and daunting (read more here). So, make sure you limit your width to no more than 600 pixels.

The Bottom Line

Will everyone who uses the Hello Bar get 1,180 emails in 30 days?

Probably not, unless they have traffic similar to the DIYthemes marketing blog. However, adding the Hello Bar will help you attract people to your list that you may not have gotten otherwise, and that’s a win.

Do you use the Hello Bar? If you do, what were your experiences so far?

Update: All of the free beta exclusive beta invites have been given out. We went through 500 of them, and I’m sorry if you missed one!

About the Author: Derek Halpern ran marketing at DIYthemes, and is the founder of Social Triggers. To get more tips on how to be confident, sign up to his list here.

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{ 114 comments }

Roseli A. Bakar

Thanks for the tip Derek, I should start using the Hello Bar at my sites.

Derek Halpern

Yes, for sure. It’s great. Works great here, and has worked on my other sites too.

Rob @ Atlanta Real Estate

Hello, bar, hello!

I can see how this would work. Not sure you need to pay anyone or get if from anyone even for free.

Just hook it up there, this is Thesis after all.

Derek Halpern

You can hook it up. However, Hello Bar provides extra tracking and functionality on the backend.

But yes, you can add similar functionality into any software.

Dave Evans

Looks gorgeous
private beta key for a javascript?
no pricing

Problem: Why even bother using something that is going to end up being the 23rd “”Just $10/month service” I have on my blogs and sites? Not being cheap, just wary of running tons of little services like this.

Derek Halpern

If they plan on charging for it, it would be worth it if they add in additional functionality like split testing, and different Hello Bars for different pages. I mean, can’t really beat 1200 extra emails heh.

Dave Evans

And to get rid of the giant H, thats worth $10 right there.

Scott Jenkins

I just wanted to say thank you. I’ve noticed that bar on a couple websites and
figured it was more of that php wizardry that I didn’t understand. Now I get to try out my own.

Derek Halpern

Awesome. Make sure you use the invite code “diythemes”

Paranoid Pete

What about privacy? Are the Hello Bar people getting the email addresses that I’m collecting? What about other data?

Derek Halpern

All HelloBar does is create a link to any page on your website. So, no, they wouldn’t get the emails you’re collecting.

Cyndi

Derek,
You need a special number to get the bar. Where do you get the number?
Cyndi

Derek Halpern

We just added one at the bottom of our post. We have 100 exclusive invites. Just use “diythemes” as your beta key.

Jeff Kanarish

My two cents worth: the bar appearing at the top of the browser screen pushes a website’s main content 1/2 inch down below the fold. If content is king, then the king is getting his feet chopped off by this feature.

Derek Halpern

Content isn’t King. Getting your content noticed is King, and this helps you do that.

Donna Galinsky

How/where do I paste the text for the Hello Bar into the Thesis Theme so it shows up on all my pages?

Thanks

Derek Halpern

Under Site Options, you can place it in the Stats Software / Scripts section.

Donna Galinsky

Perfect. Thanks

Jacques

If anyone would like an invite, I’ve got 5 available.

Brandon Cordoba

I would like 1 Jacques

Jacques

Hi brandon, you’ll have to give me your email address for me to send you an invite, so your best bet is to dm me on Twitter if you don’t want to post your address here.

I’m @iamacyborg

Brandon Cordoba
Jacques

Invite sent.

Brandon Cordoba

Wow thank you so much Jacques I really appreciate it! :)

Jacques

No problem, I managed to get one of the hundred, so I figured I might as well share the 5 keys they gave me to people here.

Nicole

hi Jacques,
I would love one if you have any left!

Brandon Cordoba

I couldn’t get the key to work?

tracey

So grateful! Thank you!!!!

Mike B.

couldn’t get the key to work. Jacques, do you have another?

Jacques

Let me know your email address and I can send you one.

Bob

Hmmm, there isn’t a beta keybox to enter “diythemes” into. Am I missing something?

Derek Halpern

The beta key box pops up after you enter your name, email, and company name. We currently ran out of beta keys, they went fast!

Heather Allard

Hey Jacques!
I’d looove a Hello Box invite! :)

My email address is heather [at] TheMogulMom [dot] com.

Thanks so much!
Heather

Heather Allard

Sorry, meant Bar, not Box. ;)

Jacques

Sent.

Heather Allard

Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D

Mike

Thanks for this good info. Couldn’t get the diythemes code to work. Has the 100 invites been issued?

Derek Halpern

Yes. They went fast. Keep checking back here though. We’ll see if it’s possible to get more or not!

Ashley Drake Gephart

I have seen this on a few sites and would love to check it out. If anyone has a key to spare I would love one. I’m on twitter @ashdhart

Tracy Lykins Scherrer

any possibility of more codes out there? would love to give it a try!

thanks a bunch

tracy
digitalfreebies.com

retrodiva.designs (at) gmail

Jacques

Sent

Tracy Lykins Scherrer

That was super fast! Thanks a bunch!

Mrs.Mayhem

Hello. I tried to sign up, but the code is no longer valid.

Steve

Would love an invite!

Kathy

Interesting… I signed up for one about 6weeks ago and still have yet to implement it.
I think its a great way to use it like you have…. I’m thinking also ,could it be used as a shortcut in an industry such as ours to take straight a potential client straight through to contact page for those who don’t want to browse and are ready to book an appointment. What are your thoughts on this Derek?

Derek Halpern

Booking an appointment could work. However, most of the people who visit your website are “new visitors” right? Why would they book an appointment without first getting to know you?

Kathy

Ive just put one up to try out it’ll be interesting … my site is a long ways from being ready yet and not still the main URL yet but it gives me chance to play a bit right? http://www.tricitypsychology.com/blog

Noel Tock

Would love a key! Thanks for the great article too…

Derek Halpern

Diythemes key should be working again. We got 400 more.

Pat

Would like to try it if any additional keys become avaialble.

Thanks

Derek Halpern

Diythemes key should be working again.

Vaibhav Kanwal

Wonderful! Just signed up.
Thanks a ton

Donna Galinsky

I have the Hello bar – but disabled it until I figure out how to use constant contact or a plug in to get an e-mail and then the ability to DL a file.

Lee Hughes

Sweet,

Got mine and added it on site. http://www.ephemeralproject.com/about/

Although I don’t have anything free to give away as of yet i’m trying out the old emails users got the free e-books first tactic. Going to see how that goes and have a play. Great product :D

Pamela

Okay – so it’s beta and I need an invite – anyone have an extra?

Thanks in advance.

Patrick Hitches

Hey Pamela! I actually have 5 invites… Send hit me up with your email and I’ll send one to ya!

Judy Baker

I’d love to try out Hello Bar. Let me know when you have more keys available.

Patrick Hitches

Hey Judy! Hit me up @phitches and I’ve got 5 invites left as well!! :)

Sunith Babu

Hi,

I’ve got 5 invites, feel free to tweet me back – @cadprofessor

Avadhut

Thanks for this wonderful article

Mohd Isa

This awesome, I has register it. But I cant access to get my Hello Bar cause I don’t have Beta Key. May I get one please. :(

Wes M

Sound interesting enough =) A lot more clean and subtle than the evil pop-up interrupting the reader.

Can’t wait to test it out!

amm… keys anyone? :D

Andreas Hobi

I would love to check this out on my blog. If anyone has a Beta key to spare, I would love one! Find me on twitter @andreashobi

Kimberly

I would love to use this bar. If anyone has an invite it would be very much appreciated.

Kimberly

Eddie

You’re absolutely right Derek! I did a review of the app on my blog and use it to announce giveaways and contests that I run every month. It’s an invaluable tool to draw readers attention to something valuable that you have to offer and even if you don’t get a “certain number” of subscribers, you certainly get the satisfaction of drawing attention to areas that may otherwise go unnoticed.

ATUL

looking great
I think I need to have one for my blog
I saw above u written all 500 free invites are given out
So Is hello bar now paid?

ATUL

Chad

I feel like I’ve been duped :) Only after I sign up to use it, thinking that is what I’m getting, do I find out I’ve been tricked and it isn’t even available. Instead they want me to spam my twitter followers with information that is irrelevant to my brand in order to get an invite. It would have been nice to know this upfront before they stole my information.

Christina- Allied Home Mortgage RI

Would love a key, please!

Thank you,

Christina Abatecola
Marketing Director
Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corporation
Rhode Island

Follow us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AlliedMrtgageRI
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AlliedHomeMortgage

TaosJohn

I got in on this and set it up right away. I like the way Hello Bar can be set to show and hide after a specific interval, but then it never shows up again! Is this a feature or a bug?

Also, what’s the BEST place to put that script?

Tiffany

So I’m new to Thesis and I just do not understand how to plug in the code for the Hello Bar. I would assume it has to go into the custom.css file, but what type of code needs to surround it to make it work?

Thanks,
Tiffany

Derek Halpern

Hey Tiffany, if you go to the site options section, you’ll see the spot “Stats Software / Scripts.” If you drop that down, you can paste the Hello Bar script there.

Tiffany

It worked! Thanks, I love it!

Derek Halpern

Awesome!

Ka Damar@Blog Tips Daily

Awasome. I like DIYThemes :D

TaosJohn

Yo, I’ve got it just the way I like it now. AWESOME doo-dad. Thanks!

Steve

Sorry guys, but it looks like something written by geeks, there is no instruction anywhere obvious for how to install it. If you can find where to get it.

Derek Halpern

if you go to the site options section, you’ll see the spot “Stats Software / Scripts.” If you drop that down, you can paste the Hello Bar script there.

David Bennett

Very easy to implement and tailor to suit the overall site design.

And it is just the right balance between noticeable and obtrusive.

It would be good to have the option to be able to increase the font size a notch…

John Sullivan

Derek, thanks. These are great tips! I’m going to give Hello Bar a shot.

Mohd Isa

I has put Hello Bar in my blog, but Hello Bar not come out. Why ya? Anyone, please help me. :)

TaosJohn

Well, now it’s no so good…

The only problem with Hello Bar is that it’s buggy as hell. Couldn’t access Hellobar.com for hours yesterday. The “show & hide” feature still only works ONCE and never more. I have to revisit Hellobar.com, resave my settings, and then “show & hide” works… but just one time. Booted up this a.m., went to my site, and HelloBar doesn’t show & hide.

TaosJohn

Never mind me. I really like Hellobar, no use complaining about functionality not built into it. Looks cool!

David Stringer

I’ve just signed up but now need a key.

Can anyany help, please?

djstringer @ gmail dot com

Can’t wait to try it out!

Brian

I just started using it and got 4,941 email signups this morning and also someone bought me a new tv.

David Bennett

How big was the tv?

:-)

Ruth Caron

I have the Hello Bar at the top of the home page and I want it to link to my email…..I have a poultry site. Do you have a better suggestion for me???NEWBIE

MuJE

this is awesome! waiting for my beta key… :)

Melissa

are there any invites left? @ConsumerQueen on Twitter

Mark

Hi. Sorry, as I cannot see a contact form I am posting this message to the webmaster here.

I just wanted to say that on this page http://diythemes.com/plans/ I read a sentence as “Access to the Developer’s Option Upgrade for only $774″ without realising that price was not $774 but $77 and the 4 at the end was not part of the price but a superscripted footnote reference number.

It’s probably obvious when you know, but if you aren’t really paying too much attention it could be an easy mistake to make. I just thought you’d like to be aware of my mistake in case others are making the same mistake (though I don’t think it would hurt your business as it makes the Developer Option look much more attractive as a first buy rather than an upgrade, LOL).

Perhaps you could adjust the formatting somehow to make the price more clearly separated from the footnote reference.

Patrick Hitches

Hey Hey!! I started using the hello bar as soon as they launched it and so far I’ve used it to give away Free Chapters of my e-book and most recently to promote a body transformation contest I’m hosting… In both scenarios, I’ve had tremendous conversion compared to the typical sign up opt in sidebar. With the contest I ultimately give away the e-book through registration, which in turn is the “free” content… The ease of use with the new plug-in the offer truly makes it an awesome tool! I’m all about it!!

Jay Tanna

Have you made your millions yet using your own techniques? Let us know to prove this actually works.

Derek Halpern

Did I promise that you’d make millions? Or did I promise that you’d get more email subscribers?

TaosJohn

Well. After all that, I just QUIT HelloBar. People actually complained. Had me going there for a while, but gadgets get in the way of the real prize. In my case, the writing. The content. The real deal.

When people see that bar, they know you’re trying to *sell* them something, not do them any favors, and a lot of them don’t like it. Maybe it’s good advice for pimping dog food and accumulating wealth through deception, but I’m off this train. There has to be a better way, and I will find it.

Thesis ROCKS, of course. You guys keep up the good work!

Derek Halpern

Hi TaosJohn,

If you use Hello Bar to sell something, then you’re selling something. But Hello Bar isn’t inherently used as a selling tool. You could also promote your writing. Have you tried that?

daus

really helpful, thanks bro

Elena

Hi. If there is an extra key to hello bar laying around, can you shoot it out my way? my Twitter id is @fitvegantrainer or email at elena[dot]wilkins[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thx!

Rohan

There is a point in what TaosJohn says . People do get a feel “ahhh not this popunder”again ! Its just a smart alternative to a popup but it is still a popup . But it is not necessary that all sites would get that perception , because if its used properly , with proper color integration to promote an informative link bait article or a good post or landing page within your own blog (not necessarily selling or affiliate) then you can really benefit from this plugin . Give it a try :)

Mohd Isa

how to make this bar floating? or follow when i scroll…

Tia

Derek!! Thanks a bunch for the invite code.

#Gratitude!

Tia

Vincent Polisi

This is another great tip and sure to be a winner. Anybody got any extra keys?
I would love to get one. You can email me direct at Vincent [@] Vincent Polisi (dot) com.

Many thanks in advance.

Jamillah Warner

Hello Derek! Love this little bar and checking out the slider now.

That’s what I appreciate about the The Thesis Statement–concentrated yet easy to swallow advice. Thanks guys.

Ms. J – Jamillah Warner

Jamillah Warner

How long before beta ends?

Ms. J – Jamillah Warner

Stephen Cobb

Love the Hello bar. Love Thesis. Can’t get them to play together.

Pasted HB snippet into Stat and Tracking Scripts section of Thesis Site Options (already had Google Analytics tag in there, working fine).

But Hello Bar is a no-show on site. Even took out GA tag. Still no show. You can “see” it not appearing here: http://celticcurse.org

(This is a non-profit site that I admin pro bono, and use as a test bed for code that I may then implement in my day job.)

Any suggestions much appreciated…Stephen

Stephen Cobb

Fixed! Re-saved bar. Re-copied code. Now working. Thanks.

Kavita

I have just started using hellobar but my blog right now does not have that much traffic. But can I get at least 1/10th of that number is I would like to see

TravisVS

I wish the guys behind this Hello Bar provided a “best practices” guide. For example, what colors to use for the bar, what type of font to use, call to actions that generally work well, etc. etc.

I think it can be a powerful tool but for a newbie like me (who doesn’t want to do a ton of A/B testing out of the gate), a simple best practices guide would go a long way.

The other question I have is this…what would prevent someone from just creating their own Hello Bar instead of paying for the Pro version of this tool? What makes it so unique? It is, after all, just code, correct?

TravisVS

Chris Pearson

Travis, one of the problems with A/B testing is that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” result.

The primary reason why Hello Bar doesn’t publish “best practices” on color, etc, is because the color that works on one site might be the worst possible color to use on another site.

For example, let’s say you have a primarily blue website. If you used a blue Hello Bar, the visual differentiation would be minimal, and the bar probably wouldn’t convert nearly as well as it would if it were a disruptive color like orange.

When placed in a sea of blue, orange is extremely effective; however, when placed among reds and yellows, orange is much less differentiable.

Now, with color out of the way, the Hello Bar boils down to a single, simple A/B testing environment that you control: the copy you use to engage people.

Finally, yes—it’s not too hard to create your own version of the Hello Bar, as it’s just a little bit of code. However, the big draw of Hello Bar is all the additional stats; it would be much harder to get information like this if you rolled your own Hello Bar.

Jean-Luc

I’ve just tried it and it’s awesome!
much better and less intrusive than the hoover form
you HAVE to have it
I got rid of the hoover form which is efficient but so annoying

Steve C

I just set this up today, linking to the aweber signup I set up yesterday. Got a signup already in less than an hour. Had three yesterday on the aweber sidebar.

Using the old Feedburner subscribe in the sidebar at top I onlu acquired 39 email subscribes in 2+ years, so 4 in less than 24 hours is looking promising.

Thanks for the motivation to get serious about getting email signups.

Steve

Praveen Gowda I V

Email subscription form we find at the end of this post also looks quite effective to get readers

mark

I have been given the option of using this through my shopify store which all seems good but i am worried about making the site look spammy with a pop up

but i am going to try it

wilson

Hi Derek,

Great information.

I have also come across another such bar by viper chill and it is called viper bar.

Although i haven’t used any of them yet, i would soon.

Any one who would like to look up viper bar as well can do so by following the link below.

www. viperchill.com/viperbar/

It is quite fascinating how such a tiny bar could make so much difference!

Abiola

Just installed it — thanks for the great advice.

Harsh Agrawal

The best part is it’s simple to use…And works with almost all the theme..Very effective and worth your investment…