The hello bar is a little widget you can add to your blog, or on to a static html web page. Typically a hello bar sits right at the top of the page, above your logo and the top navigation. If you add a hello bar to your site, the odds are good you’ll see at least 10% more subscribers.
What do Hello Bars do?
Hello Bars can be used to hold an email opt-in form, or to give a little ad space to a product promotion (keep it to one line or a phrase), or to promote a webinar or anything else.
The key part of hello bars is that they’re at the very top of the page, and they’re all in one very skinny horizontal box, like the hello bar you see at the opening of this list building tactic.
Hello bars are so successful that they’ve been incorporated into several opt-in plugins (like Optin Monster or Subscriber’s Magnet). But the original Hello Bar plugin is still around, and it’s even become free. You can get it here.
How to add a Hello Bar to your site
Once you’re on the Hello Bar site, you just enter your site’s url to get started.
Next you’ll be asked what you want to do with your Hello Bar.
Choose “collect email”.
Then you’ll be walked through a few steps to customize your hello bar. This is the first step:
This is the second step:
Next you’ll fill out your Hello Bar account information:
You’ll be brought to a page that asks if you will install the code yourself or have a designer do it, and if you use WordPress.
If you pick the WordPress option, the next page will give you a customized plugin to download and install on your site, like this:
Once the Hello Bar is installed, you’ll be able to see a view like this in your Hello Bar account. You’ll also be able to run and A/B split test for your bar’s color, and see how many new subscribers you have.
We’re not done yet, though. We’ve got to hook up your email service provider account and mailing list to your hello bar. So click the blue “Embed on your site” link near the top of the page. You’ll then see something like this:
Choose your email provider (don’t forget to click the “see more” link if your provider isn’t on the short list).
Depending on your email provider, you’ll either be asked to log into your email provider account from within the Hello Bar interface (this is what you’ll do if you have MailChimp) or you’ll be asked to paste in code for an opt-in form from your email provider account (You’ll do this if you have GetResponse, for example).
Here’s what the GetResponse setup looks like:
Once that’s done, click save and go back to the main view. For some email providers, you’ll be all done at this point. For others (like MailChimp), you’ll need to select the list you want your new subscribers added to from a pull down menu.
Hello Bar Alternatives
If the Hello Bar plugin doesn’t quite fit your fancy, there are several other options. Some are paid, but these two are free:
– Attention Grabber creates a hello bar that lets visitors opt-in to your list.
– Notification Bar can also be used to get more signups.