Bye-Bye Email Subscribe Button
When I asked for you to vote on your favorite blog header graphic, I got a number of insightful comments and questions. If you voted or replied, thank you.
I also got a couple comments from readers who questioned why I was removing the red subscribe button from the header graphic. For example:
why are you taking out the email updates portion
And another one:
I wouldn’t be on your list if it weren’t for that red subscribe button ;-)
These are valid questions and concerns. Why remove something that’s working?
Why I’m Ditching the Email Subscribe Button
I’m getting rid of the button for a few reasons:
1. It competes with the Hello Bar I use on the site. I split-test various calls to action in the Hello Bar, one of which is to subscribe to email updates.
2. The entire header graphic — not just the red button — was linked to the opt-in page. I found this a little confusing. Header graphics, if they are linked, usually link to the home page. So removal of the button and the link eliminates confusion.
3. I’m planning to implement other avenues for new site visitors to opt-in to my email list. I’ll be rolling out these design tweaks over the next few weeks.
Keep Your Blog Fresh
It’s important to keep your blog fresh.
Obviously, publishing new content is part of that. But making changes to your site’s design is another important aspect that most bloggers overlook.
Over time, regular blog readers develop “ad blindness.” They fail to see the ads, links, and calls-to-action that surround your content.
Small design changes can make them reexamine your site and see things they may not have seen before.
Technology Is Changing Fast
What’s more, technology is always marching forward. I find this is especially true in the field of social media plugins. I think I’ve gone through at least 8 different plugins designed to enhance social media sharing.
- Sexy Bookmarks
- Sociable (Pro Version)
- Topsy ReTweet Button
- Active Share by OrangeSoda
- SERPd button by Chris Burns
- Google Plus Widget by WebpageFX
- Google +1 Button by Jacob Gillespie
And I’m currently using Slick Social Share Buttons by Lee Chestnutt.
Some of the plugins didn’t quite work like I wanted them to. Some worked great, but failed to generate the response I was hoping for. And so forth.
The point is, you should always be testing to see what design elements work the best.
And to do that, you’ve got to try a number of different things, measure response/reaction, and keep making those gradual improvements every single week, month, and year.
-Ryan M. Healy
P.S. The winner of the blog header contest was Design #2, which is now at the top of this blog. It got 67% more votes than Design #1.