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I have a client that wants to have a newsletter sign-up light box when the page loads. I'm not sure what the best practice on this?

I know that having a newsletter lightbox on the site in delayed mode increases the newsletter sign ups but is a good UX? i find it very disruptive when there is a newsletter lightbox in the first encounter. i'm trying to find a good source to read about best practices. Any advice or links are welcome.

  • When you first walk into a shop do you prefer to a) just walk in and browse the products, or b) get grabbed by a staff member and asked to hand over you contact details before you can even see what the shop sells? I'm sure shop 'b' gets more email addresses than shop 'a' but the shopper is more interested in shopping. – JonW Feb 2 '15 at 10:28
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    I would make an assumption here - the business requirement is just 'collect the visitors email address' but it isn't 'collect the visitors email address immediately'. Provided you're able to encourage the user to hand that over then it's up to you to figure out the best way to do that. The stakeholders aren't going to complain that the email addresses were collected as the user was leaving the site, or after they've been on the site a few minutes rather than collected right at the beginning, provided they've got their precious details somehow. – JonW Feb 2 '15 at 10:50
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This is one of those times where you have to balance what the user wants against business objectives. Not showing the newsletter lightbox is better for UX (no real question about that), but it's worse at achieving the business objectives.

What you have to weigh up is how important those business objectives are against whether you're willing to harm the UX that much. If the newsletter is critical, then it may be justified, but in general I would try to avoid it.

If it were my choice, I would hold off on the newsletter until someone visits their 3rd article in a day. That way you're really only promoting it to people that have already seen some value in your site, and in should therefore be more relevant to them than to a first time user who has no idea whether they want your newsletter or not.

  • Yeah the news letter is critical but I will suggest to the client to suspend the pop till 3 min in the site and not right away .. That might help ... – J_pech Feb 2 '15 at 10:44
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    Ah, if only UX was purely about what the user wants/needs! But yes, UX is really the bridge between the business and the user; delivering to both while doing just enough compromising so as not to p*ss off everyone! – JonW Feb 2 '15 at 10:47

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