Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

Do Popups Work for Increasing List Sign-ups? (and an OptinMonster Review)


  1. Meg Geddes says:

    Last month I recommended this technology to one of my ecommerce clients, for implementation on their Magento store. Increasing their list is a huge priority for them, and I look forward to being able to play with the various options and A/B testing.

    One of the the things that I’m particularly excited about is having separate pop-ups for different parts of the site – for example, we have a BOGO sale twice a year on certain products, so we can tailor a message to show for anyone in those categories to the effect that newsletter subscribers get first crack at the yearly BOGOs. Looking forward to getting creative with it.

    • “separate pop-ups for different parts of the site”

      Yeah, OptinMonster has that feature and I’m definitely looking forward to playing with it further. :)

  2. Rae,

    1) What are your thoughts on employing popups on a site doing really well in Google organic search results?

    2) You use Aweber. Have you experimented with their popups?

    THANK YOU! A timely Post and VERY helpful!

    • From what I can tell, bounce rate seems unaffected and that would really be my only concern from that perspective. Additionally, I saw no issue with any of the sites I’m using them on and almost all rank well.

      Re aweber, no, I’ve never used their popups.

  3. Syed Balkhi says:

    Hey Rae,

    Syed here, I’m the co-founder of OptinMonster and have enjoyed several of your talks at Affiliate Summit.

    Thanks for sharing your review of OptinMonster, and I’m glad that you like the product.


  4. Optinmonster is working out of the box and working like a charm.

    Popup Domination gave problems on my website. Even after several promises made by chat and mail, nothing was done to fix the problems. So I strongly discourage to use Popup Domination.

  5. Sean Supplee says:

    I used to use popup domination myself it was good a few years ago but it does not seem to be keeping up to par with what Optin Monster now provides.

    I currently have this on my blog with great effect but I am curious about adding it to some of my core websites as well. This post most likely will get my butt into gear this weekend and do just that!

  6. I notice that you seem to be now publishing a lot of information via email instead of via your blog. Is this deliberate? Are conversions better when pushing info out via newsletters, instead of encouraging people to return here?

    • Hey Glenn! Thanks for reading all these years. :)

      So, the evolution of Sound Bites was both purposeful and accidental.

      It was purposeful in that when I did the last redesign, I decided it was time to finally start actually sending emails to all the subscribers I had been gathering. Prior to the first Sound Bites, I rarely sent the list emails. In addition to deciding the send the newsletter, I’d decided on the current format purposely as well. There were often times I’d seen articles I had short opinions on, or had tips that were short in nature. These were things that didn’t make sense to give their own post, but that were still valuable in nature. The Sound Bites format seemed like a great way to share them.

      It was accidental in that, somewhere along the way, I started writing longer “bites.” Many of which could probably stand as their own posts. In the New Year, I plan to switch that up a bit and make those that can stand as their own posts into them and then reference them from Sound Bites. This will take more planning that I currently put in. I typically write Sound Bites on Friday or Saturday right before I send them out. In order to implement the above, it means I’ll need to plan Sound Bites at least a week in advance to push the posts out before Sound Bites goes out on the weekend.

      I’ve also struggled with the composition of my readership. Two kinds of readers / subscribers make up the bulk of my community. Those who are advanced with affiliate and SEO (like you) and those who are complete beginners. It’s been a tough road in making one newsletter to serve both of those audiences. There is definitely a lot of trial and error surrounding my list. I’ve had a lot of sites over the years, but oddly enough, Sugarrae has never been a “flagship” site for me (as evidenced by the amount I post). It’s been a flagship promotional vehicle for my brand, but that’s different than being a flagship site from an income standpoint. In 2016, that will change a bit. :)

  7. Roger Montti says:

    Great article Rae! Good kick in the pants! I’ve been meaning to do this on a number of sites including the blog everyone knows about.

  8. One thing that I would like popup newsletter signup forms is to NOT be displayed if…

    The visitor came to your site from a link in a newsletter.

    It’s not super annoying, but slightly confusing, when I click on a link in a newsletter and am taken to a page that has a popup asking me if I want to sign up for the newsletter…

  9. Joe Masters says:

    Great test on pop ups :) In fact, they were what prompted me to join your list earlier today! As a side note, I’ve looked into optin monster and other plugins, but I really think “ThriveLeads” is hands down the most comprehensive, kickass plugin of them all. It’s got built in a/b split testing options, options to switch it on/off for desktop or mobile, great premade themes and easy integration. I’m clearly not an affiliate or anything but as a marketer I would definitely check it out.

    Great site :)

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