Adding a notification bar to your site is a great way to get a message out to your visitors without them needing to dig through lots of pages to find it. It’s also well known to increase conversions, especially if you have a clear call to action and an incentive to engage. For example “click here to receive a free report” is super clear and offers a clear incentive for engagement. Believe it or not if you don’t ask your visitors to do something very specifically they probably won’t.
One of things that I think people need to think more about is exactly what they want their visitors to do – what is the ‘call to action’ on the website. Once you’ve decided on that you should start to ask and measure your conversions. It’s lovely to think that people know exactly what to do but in real life people only take a few seconds to decide and you need to be very clear about your request or they will move on. Here’s a great example I read recently about how making your request specific can really increase the conversion rate: http://blog.crazyegg.com/2014/01/01/conversion-rate-optimization-case-studies-2/
A notification bar that I highly recommend is Hello Bar from Crazy Egg which is really well designed and super easy to install. In fact if you want to know I spent quite a long time looking at several free and paid notification bars and trying them out and I just wasn’t happy with the design of any of them apart from the Hello Bar which describes itself as a free optimization tool that allows you to show the right message at the right time to your visitors. Crazy Egg provide heatmaps to understand what’s working on your website and what isn’t but more about that another time.
To us Hello Bar head over to www.hellobar.com, enter your website address and click create your first bar. You’ll then get taken through some simple configuration options to get you started with the first question being ‘What’s your goal’? You can either drive traffic to a specific page, collect email or connect and share. Driving traffic to a specific page is an easy way to direct visitors to your call to action and if you select that option you’re asked to set your goal url and then you can specify which pages the bar shows on which is handy as for example you don’t really want the hello bar on the page you’ve asked people to visit.
Once you’ve done that you can then add your bar text and change the link text for the button and you can also customise the look and feel further including background, font, button, border and link color. You can also choose from two heights, change the font, the link style and the positioning of the bar as well as whether the link opens in a new window or not. That’s more than enough options to customise your bar and it’s really simple to do. You even get a preview as you’re making the changes.
Once you’re finished you get several different ways of installing including a downloadable WordPress plugin or you can email your web developer or use the code yourself or even ask for further help. You can login at any time to create another bar or edit your existing bar. When you login you’ll get to see the number of times your Hello Bar has shown and the conversion rates. You can edit it, pause it, copy it and delete it and there are several site settings that allow you to integrate with services such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and others to synchronise your emails.
So what are you waiting for? Notification bars are a great way to have a site wide message and you can try different colours and text to see what converts best which is where the real power comes in. Good luck with your Hello Bar and getting more conversions on your website. Next step, offer people a newsletter or something they can download as everyone likes to get something for free right?