splash page ad

Have you ever reached a website, and before you knew it got a splash page ad asking you to subscribe/ join/ signup (pick your favorite)? Did you then get the same request (or similar) through a scroll popup or top bar promotion? Did you get an exit page promotion?

Unfortunately, this super pushy experience or ‘hysterical marketing’ is becoming more and more of a norm these days. With this kind of marketing, the user is asked over and over again to give something before getting any of value from the site.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be using these marketing tools. The tools are (almost) never the problem – it’s how we’re using them. Whether you’re using marketing acquisition tools or not here are a few actionable suggestions for marketing with dignity (and less hysterically):

Give value first – Ask later

So much had been written about that. Basically, this means that in order for the user to be proactive and engage with your website or product, you have to give them value first, be user-driven, not leads-driven and always strive to give value. If you’d like to read more on this, I recommend Nir Eyal’s ‘Hooked Book and Hacking UI’s ‘Giver vs Taker approach.

Use smart triggers

And test the exact point when it makes sense to ask for the emails. I bet you’ll realize that asking for emails upfront – don’t perform as well as after the user got some value from your website or product.

Test the entire funnel

Not just the acquisition part. What is the value of the users you’re acquiring from each channel and tool? This is super important. The foundation of growth isn’t merely acquisition. Growth has to include retention.

You might find out different acquisition channels have different retention rates. For example, you can test the engagement level of users who convert through specific ads, blog posts, scroll pop up or any other promotional channel you’re using. You can also test which features these users are using and build a marketing campaign to get them familiar with more features or content based on their interest.

By understanding which promotional channels brings you the most valuable users – you can optimize and focus your efforts on the best performing channel.

Don’t stop your marketing at the acquisition stage

Why do you ask?

  1. You want your users to be engaged not just sign up. Right after you acquire your users, you’re in the best position to get them engaged – they’re still excited about your product or website.
  2. They still remember who you are. Unless you’re a highly known brand, most chances they won’t remember you until you start marketing to them, if you wait for too long.
  3. You also know the type of content and messaging that appealed to them and can use that to start a drip marketing campaign that it targeted to what got them to join in the first place.

If you can, give users contextual value – related to the topic/ content that drove them to signup. If you want to learn more check out Neil Patel’s ‘Beginner’s guide to Drip Marketing

Help your new users spread the word

The moment of signup is usually also the moment where your users are most excited about you. Help them share their excitement. Note that this does not mean asking users to promote you before giving value back. Focus on the users who converted after getting some value from your website or product. For example, for users who subscribed to a newsletter after reading one of your posts, you can recommend sharing the post with their friends after they subscribed. If they found the content valuable, there’s a good chance their friends or colleagues will feel the same way. Sharing your post (which they enjoyed) might also increase their social cred, which is all more of a reason for them to be interested in sharing your content. If you’re interested in learning more about this I recommend reading Jonah Berger’s ‘Contagious’ and Noah Kagan’s ‘How to do funnel marketing .


Using various marketing tools to boost the leads on your site can make or break your user experience and your ability to effectively get high conversion rates. Give value first, test the most appropriate places to trigger user action, continue to provide the user with a contextual value after they joined and help them spread the word about your product (when the time is right).

Don’t let marketing tools take over the way users are experiencing your site. Use them so that will enrich the way users are learning about your product/website.