Scroll Box: For Everyone that Hates Popups

Bryan Harris —  Bryan Harris - August 20th, 2014

Growing up my mom used to tell me, “Bryan, it’s not what you say but how you say it!”

I HATED hearing that.

Such a cliche.

Turns out…she was right.

Who knew.

A few weeks ago I wrote extensively on using popups to grow your email list (here and here).

I got a lot of this in response…

“But BRYAN I don’t like using popups. They are SO annoying!”

First, get over yourself. It’s not about what YOU think is annoying. It’s about what your readers like and use.

Second, if you just can’t bring yourself to install a popup on your site BUT you really want to get more email subscribers I have an alternative for you.

It’s called a scroll box.

Take a look at how it works:

Basically, it’s like a popup only slightly more polite.

Instead of a giant box popping up in front of you as you read the page, the scroll box slides out and doesn’t interfere with your reading.

My friend Noah recently built a scroll box tool aptly named Scrollbox.

I was extremely skeptical of how well it would perform versus my popups.

He asked me to test it out, so I ran a short 5 day test on it and was very surprised at the results.

I expected a 1-2% optin rate.

Pshhh…I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Over the first 5 days I averaged a 5.10% optin rate!

That was BETTER than my popup optin rate.

Less intrusive + Higher optin rate = Winner

I’ve been running it every since.

Here are my results from last week:

If you want to install it, go here (Download).

PS: Have you used a scrollbox before? If so, how did it perform versus your popup?

  • Hey Bryan,

    I used the “Scroll Triggered Box” plugin for WordPress when I first started Be A Better Blogger, but the blog was so new (and the traffic so sparse) I couldn’t get a real read on how it performed.

    I removed it during the first design tweak of the site, which was right around the time traffic and engagement started trending upward.

    I might try it again (and use Scrollbox this time) and see how it goes. Weekend project! 🙂

    • Definitely worth testing. The CTA is super important too. I used the headline of one of my most popular posts as the CTA.

  • SumoMe is awesome, had an account but did not know they added a scrollbox. Just reinstalled in on my personal blog.

  • Hi Bryan,

    Interesting numbers indeed. Just wanted to make sure what you had installed prior to installing the Scrollbox. Are we just talking the Hello-bar at the top or did you actually have a real popup?

    Because if you didn’t use a real popup, that would be an interesting test. My guess is that it would perform even better.

    /Mikael

    • Good question. Yes, I had a traditional pop-up install before.

      Here is the info on it: https://blog.videofruit.com/spike/

      • Great article as well. Am I missing something or didn’t you get a 6.8% conversion on your “Grow your email list 358%” popup?

        If the Scrollbox is performing at 5.1% you’ve actually reduced the effectiveness på 25%.

        Yes it is less intrusive but at a high cost.

        /Mikael

        • Good observation. After a 8 week test the numbers on the popup leveled out right at 4.8%. Several factors involved with that. but the Scrollbox – at least in the short term – has beaten out a standard universal popup.

          • Okay. Would be great if you could share the numbers for the Scrollbox once it has been live as long as the popup with the average of 4.8%. Just to make sure the comparison is “fair”.

            Again I do appreciate that you share these numbers. Really gets you thinking.

  • How much does Scrollbox cost? I couldn’t see a price on their site.

  • Would be great to be able to vary the CTA to be post-specific, potentially evoking a similar effect as your method of blog-post-specific bonus content vs. generic bonus content. Awesome post!

    • TOTALLY agree! I’ve requested that feature too.

  • So why did SumoMe created List Builder and Scroll Box, isn’t it just the same thing with different animation/position?

    • They are similar but serve different people. Kind of like why Chevrolet makes Cars and Trucks. They basically do the same thing but look different.

  • Alex Foo

    Great share as always Bryan – the sumo boys are mad at work delivering awesome value with their sumo.me. If only there was a paid option to remove the link to prevent bouncing…

    While we’re talking about scrolling, what plugin do you use to have your 2 right side widgets – green and orange scroll/float down the page with user?

    Keep awesome!

  • Guest

    great stuff bryan, Going to implement this right now!

  • Hey Bryan, How to you create that animated gift of your screen? Is that hard to do and does that take a lot of time? I kind of like it for the use of tutorials.

  • Guest

    Hey Bryan, great post as usual! Do your visitors not have to confirm their subscription with the scrollbox? I’m testing it and it doesn’t ask to confirm (nor do I get a confirmation email).

  • Hey Bryan,

    Great Post again! I am also a fan of scroll box and I’ve been using it on our site since 4 months. However, the optin rate is darned bad! I am not sure why its not performing well. Would you like to check it out and share with me some feedback?

  • Sander Vee

    Thanks Brian. Because of this post I installed scrollbox. 2 weeks ago. Averaging 10 subscribers a day now 🙂 Having a bit of trouble to set it up like you did. How did you get them to redirect to a thank you page? Custom HTML?
    Cheers!

    • Good question. Looks like it might have been taken out. I’ll check with those guys and report back!

    • Chad (appsumo dev) just made a fix. You should be able to see it now. Settings > Advanced > Success URL

      • Sander Vee

        Thanks Brian. It works perfect now 🙂

  • I have to say Bryan, that I am very impressed by the way you respond to every single comment left on each and every post. Very impressive and sends a clear signal of the quality of guy that you are. Respect.

    • Thanks Mikael. I’ve found it to be a great way to interact with my most active followers and to learn what they need help with.

  • Quick thought: even if you remove the exit intent popup from your blog posts in favour of a scroll box, you might want to put it in place on your splash home page/welcome gate. I get an extra 3.26% optins on my home page (which is basically a welcome gate) vs not having it.

    – Ian

  • Joe

    So why did you remove it?

  • How many seconds do you reccommend waiting before making the scroll box appear? Also, is it okay if I use both a pop up *and* a scroll box?

    • Scrollbox should be triggered by scroll behavior. Not on a timer.

      Use both but turn on “yield tech” to make sure they both don’t show at the same time.

      • Got it. As far as scroll behavior, what percentage do you reccommend for the user to scroll down before seeing the scroll box?