Member Sites Show the Power of Pop-ups, Video and Using Red

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Listening to Matt Bailey on yesterday's webinar got me looking for some prime examples of what he was preaching. And what better places to look than SIPA member websites!

1. Use red powerfully but sparingly. "Red is the most visually aggravating color to use," said Bailey. "You can't control it. Red is going to grab our attention. But if you use too much red," you can confuse the eye. Carroll Publishing does a splendid job of using red on their homepage. Their use is restricted to an above-the-fold starburst announcing "NEW 2016." Click and it brings you to their special State Governments Series web-based product.

2. Come up with a contest. Hudson Valley Parent asks readers to nominate their Favorite Docs and Healthcare Professionals. It gets readers involved and brings in ads for a special section. NJ Family does a similar thing with New Jersey's Favorite Kids' Docs. Even though these are B2C members, this type of gamification can work anywhere. It's good lead generation because readers have to provide their contact information in order to nominate.

3. Use video—doesn't have to be fancy. OPIS markets a comprehensive eLearning course with a simple but effective video (left) from an expert. (They use red for the sign-up button.) After you view the video it turns into a big yellow button with the words, Click Here to Get Started. Cabot Heritage Corporation's Weekly Review video also uses a no-frills approach. Links to their video "routinely get 1500-1800 clicks," Linda Vassily, VP of marketing, said last year. "[The videos] are action and decision-oriented. Our audience is large and growing, and this is exceptional content." They are free—for now—but the half-a-million or so views over the last three-plus years has them thinking about monetizing the videos, which are 10-minutes long.

4. Use pop-ups. This was also strongly recommended by Bailey yesterday. "Pop-ups give you an offer—I love these," he said. "Sites that implement these double and triple their number of subscriptions. [People feel] safe in giving email addresses, especially when they get something of equal or greater value in return." Cabot, like many others, shows a pop-up even before you get to the homepage: "Get Your Free Research Report." Kiplinger greets visitors with a pop-up for Kiplinger Today, also a free publication. Reorg Research begins with a clear button to request a trial subscription. The Dark Report's pre-homepage pop-up offers a free 14-day trial: Get Answers to Your Company-Critical Questions. Nutrition Action Healthletter, Center for Science in the Public Interest offers a free download on heart and disease in its initial pop-up. And it's all red!

5. Use photos of your own folks rather than stock photos. Website expert Amy Africa told us this a few years ago, and Bailey called it one of his "pet peeves." On their Events page, ChinaDebate (left) includes a photo from all the previous meetings. I agree that these are far more interesting than any stock photos would be. But sometimes a balance can work. insideArm starts off with a large and quite attractive, people-conversing stock photo for its iA Institute, and then balances that with very warm individual photos of its staff.

6. Be creative with some names and keep up blogs. PharmSource Information Services' business development newsletter is called Periscope. They also have a good slogan—"We turn knowing into growing"—and a well-designed blog. Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School keeps an amazing blog with multiple posts in a day. Here's one recent post: What is Negotiation in Business? The Star Wars Negotiations and Trust at the Negotiation Table. I still like the blog of Atlantic Information Services. In a post today—oops, a pop-up just appeared while I was taking information; good work!—Lauren Flynn Kelly reports on this week's 12th Annual Government Health Care Congress.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…