The Welcome Gate™: My #1 Favorite Landing Page Right Now (And Some Stats To Back My Favoritism)

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Hello everyone, my name is Clay Collins, and in this episode of The Marketing Show, I’m going to be telling you about my number one favorite type of landing page right now for capturing e-mail addresses, and I’m going to be showing you some cold heart stats showing you why it is great. That’s what you have to look forward to in this episode of The Marketing Show.

So my favorite type of landing page right now is what I’m calling a Welcome Gate, and here’s how a Welcome Gate works. So I’m going to go to Mixergy.com, one of my favorite sites on the internet. Thank you, Andrew Warner, for doing this. By the way guys, if you’re not watching Mixergy, you should be. So let’s go to Mixergy.com and instead of being taken to the homepage, I am redirected to Mixergy.com/hi, and I can either opt in here or I can click ‘Skip this step.’ Now, of course, let’s say I don’t click ‘Skip this step,’ which that will just take me to the homepage – It’s not forcing me to do anything I don’t want to do – but let’s just say I just go back to the homepage again, it takes me to the homepage.

So basically, a Welcome Gate works as it only appears when someone goes to your homepage. If someone goes to an individual article page or someone follows like a Twitter link or a Google Plus link or a Facebook link that is deep linking to a specific page on your site then a welcome gate does not appear. It only appears once when someone goes to your homepage, right. If they go to your homepage again, it doesn’t appear so it isn’t constantly pestering people.

Anyway, we actually internally, we like this so much and we were using this on our web properties and having such amazing success with this kind of landing page that we created a free WordPress plug in allowing you to create this kind of page. I’ll link to it below. You’re welcome to grab a copy if you want. It’s totally GPL. It’s free. It’s open source. It’s totally just something we wanted to do for the marketing community, but let me just share with you some stats behind how the Welcome Gate is performing. So I got cued into the performance of the Welcome Gate through the [0:02:37] [Indiscernible] early adopter forms. So I have some forms that some of my customers hang out in, and Andy Forgarty was saying that his Welcome Gate has been killing it since the day he made it live, so let’s go see his welcome gate, and I’ll show you some stats in a second.

So I’m going to show you Andy’s, and he made this with our free WordPress plug in it. He’s linked up below. So if you go to TheAtHomeWelder.com, it forwards you to Forward/welcome, and again, you know, you can skip this step, and it only appears once, and if someone links to a specific page on this blog, this doesn’t appear here. It only appears at the homepage, but Andy’s saying this is killing it for him. I’m going to get some stats from him. Hopefully, he’ll give me some stats in a second. By the way Andy, if you give me some stats, I’ll send you the Marketing Show mug, which on one side says, “David Ogilvy has my back,” and on the other side says, “Eugene Schwartz is my homeboy.”

So I was poking in a little bit to this. We know our own stats internally in our company, but I was poking around, and on our forums, someone else posted some stats, Johnny V. So here’s what Johnny Vasquez said, and Johnny V. actually named the Welcome Gate. We were talking about this plug-in and this concept, and he said, “Oh, this is a Welcome Gate. You’re kind of doing what Andrew Warner did at Mixergy,” and I said, “We’re doing exactly what Andrew Warner did at Mixergy. This is, as far as I can tell, this idea originated with Andrew, so I want to give credit where credit is due.” So here’s what Johnny said, “Since 3 PM PST on May 24th, we’ve had 96 new e-mail subscribers. I should note that all of my traffic is organic. I don’t advertise anywhere, and the last post I did was on Friday, 25th.” Anyway, he said, “Here’s how the different forms did. Welcome gate got 59 subscribers.” So 61.5% of all the opt ins came through the Welcome Gate. Generate box gave 3 subscribers, Sidebar gave 12, and the opt-in box, after the post gave 8.

So you’ve got over half of the subscribers that he’s gotten over a short period of time have come through Welcome Gate. So this absolutely conforms the numbers that we’re getting, that folks are getting across the board. And it’s really just a testament to this idea, and again, if you’d like more information, sort of analyzing how this compares to a pop-up, which this is not and other things, again, click on the link below. Here, by the way, is Johnny Vasquez’s Welcome Gate, and this is actually something that you can create with our plug in, in about 15 minutes or so. As you can see, it’s very simple. New stitch a day, take your knitting, and crochet to the next level the easy ways, so it’s very simple. You know, it works out of the box. It integrates with AWeber and InfusionSoft and iContact and MailChimp, and you know, some others. So we’re really proud of this WordPress plug and we’ve made it incredibly easy to use, and it’s just a gift to the marketing community, but let’s delve deeper into this Welcome Gate, and you know, we can discuss how it behaves and how it works.

So how does the Welcome Gate behave? Well, it does not appear when someone clicks on a direct link to your website. So folks, you know, if an influencer links to a specific article on your blog, it’s not going to appear. It only appears when someone goes to your homepage. Links from blogs to specific articles again won’t trigger Welcome Gate. Links from Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus won’t trigger your Welcome Gate, again, if they’re going to specific deep linking pages. It doesn’t appear more than once per year. So someone who visits your site and sees it isn’t going to see that again. They’re only going to see that the first time they go to your homepage. However, if someone goes to your homepage on a different browser, of course, they’ll see it again because, you know, we were using cookies. Also, if someone clears their cookies, they’ll see it again, and if someone goes to your website from another computer obviously and they go to your homepage, they’ll see it again.

What are the benefits of a Welcome Gate? Well, it doesn’t annoy people like pop-ups do. Pop-ups keep people from the content they want to see so whenever someone goes to your website and they’re going to a specific page, behind that pop-up that appears is the content they want to see so a pop-up is actively keeping folks from the content that they came to see. That isn’t true with the Welcome Gate. Also, a welcome gate gives you more room to state your case for why folks should opt in than a pop up, and Welcome Gates have higher conversion rates than pop ups, almost entirely across the board. Now if you write a crappy Welcome Gate and you have an amazing pop-up, then a pop-up obviously is going to outperform, but generally speaking, a Welcome Gate is going to outperform a pop-up.

So anyway, usually when I talk about Welcome Gates, there are lots of questions. How does this affect SCO? It goes not negatively affect SCO and we’ve confirmed that across a number of sources and in our own internal testing. So just click the link below if you’d like more information on Welcome Gates, or we can have a discussion in the comments below. Andy Fogarty, if you want a copy of this mug, send me some stats on your Welcome Gate. Also, I’m going to give away a mug to the person who leaves the most insightful comment below or the comment that furthers the discussion and adds the most value.

Anyway, my name is Clay Collins. Thank you so much for watching the Marketing Show, and I’ll talk to you next time.

Play
  • Armandortega

    Every time I see the wor “plugin”, I freeze. I understand only expert programmers can use them. Tell me about that.

    • Plugins for WordPress are EASY for anyone to use.  They can be installed onto your website in just a few clicks.

    • Johnny Vasquez

      Plugins are incredibly easy to install and use on WordPress. If you can upload an image to WordPress you can install a plugin.

      And the admin interface for the Welcome Gate makes it easy to customize within the options that are available.

  • Luis Font

    The Welcome Gate is very interesting.  I like it.  Thanks for the Mixergy tip.  I had not heard of them. 

    • Thanks Luis.  Glad you like this.  Also, Mixergy is awesome.

  • I have seen some sites where the home page is structured this way … so the visitor has to either opt in or click the semi-hidden “continue to the site” button each time they visit. I have heard that structure gets pretty high opt ins too.

    I like the fact that this is a one time “pop over” and it is the full page … you can’t see the content sitting behind it.

    However it IS blocking them from the content they came to see.

    I am going to try this on the MD’s that are my clients … there is a test audience for you !!

    • Hi Mike. . . they don’t have to click on the “continue to site” button each time they visit.  They only see the Welcome Gate once when (a) they go to the home page, AND (b) they visit for the first time.  After that they don’t see it.

      Also, generally speaking (there are exceptions), because folks don’t see the Welcome Gate when they go to specific pages on the site (i.e. it only shows when they go to the home page), it doesn’t keep them from specific content they want to see.

      •  Hey Clay … yes, that’s why I like the gate. It’s one shot and gone and only on a home page visit.

  • Just turned Welcome Gate on for my golf website – http://trainingforoptimalperformance.com – and will keep you posted. This is a fairly new site and I don’t do a ton to drive traffic so it will be a nice test of how Welcome Gate works organically. 

    • Cool. BTW . . . I don’t see your welcome gate there.  Have you activated it yet?

  • After your video on the trend of decreasing optin rates and what to do about it, I immediately changed how I was collecting email sign ups for my blog. I am now leading with my free offer, having visitors click a button, and THEN be directed to the email optin form. I’ve landed quite a few new sign ups since make that change.

    What sold me is that you suggested that leading with the optin looks like an info grab, very “taking” focused. I want to be giving focused, just like you suggested.

    However, this Welcome Gate page (while I can immediately see the efficacy of it), seems like a return to the “taking” focus of leading with the optin form. Any idea on how to combine the two ideas? Seems like there could be GOLD there!

    • Excellent question, Tara.  Here’s my response (I originally recorded this for Becky, above . . . but it also applies to you as well): http://screencast.com/t/KAxrhAkDzR6v

  • Becky DeGrossa

    Clay – I’m with Tara.  The Welcome Gate, to me, seems to contradict what you shared last week re the importance of having your site appear to be “giving” rather than “taking”.  Can you address that issue?  

    I know that it will only appear the first time someone comes to the home page and won’t show for other landing pages.  However, since the first time is the most important time, and perhaps the only chance you’ll get to begin a relationship with many folks, how do you reconcile possibly turning your first time visitor off by temporarily “blocking” them from the home page and asking for their email?  

    Note that I wouldn’t even have this question and would simply just trust your stats if it weren’t for what you shared last week!

    I guess you can tell that we’re paying attention, huh?

    Thanks,

    Becky 

    • Great question.  Here’s my response: http://screencast.com/t/KAxrhAkDzR6v

  • I can see one potential problem with this. As of yesterday, in the European Union at least, you have to get your viewers consent to install/use cookies. So, for those people who don’t consent to cookies, they’ll see the Welcome Gate every time they visit a homepage. Is there any way to bypass this, or a way to selectively consent to cookies (for example, consent to the welcome-gate cookie, so it won’t appear, but not every cookie from the site)?

    Have a great day:)Patrick.

    • I’m not sure how that’s going to work out practically.  Most large EU businesses are hosting their servers in the US, so maybe that’s a way around this, but practically speaking, Amazon.com, Google.com, and almost the entire internet runs on cookies.  I see the EU decision is a huge win for US based hosting companies.

  • Just passed this on to the owner of the largest network marketing blog in the world. Thanks Clay (and actually, I think Andrew got this tactic from Appsumo).

    • David! Thank YOU! And of course I appreciate you passing this along.

  • Can this App be installed within a non-wordpress home page and if so how?

    • Jeremy

      Exactly!  I would like to see the same application used on my non-wordpress site…But I’m told there are no plans at this time to create it for non-wordpress…Guess I should go back to using wordpress…Or create the non-wordpress version 🙂

    • Unfortunately, right now it’s only a WordPress Plugin.  We might make a non-wordpress version at some point.

  • Haha! Gotta get that mug! I’ll send those stats your way, my friend. Thanks for the shout out. 

    • Nice! Thanks a ton, Andy.  P.S. Hope you saw a nice traffic surge from the show (not targeted traffic, but hopefully the link will help you out.

  • Nick Rogue

    Any chance you’ll be getting this integrated with GetResponse? I have this and lead player installed but can’t really use either of them at the moment and they both look awesome 🙁

    • Yes! For sure.  I can’t say when, but we’ll eventually do this for sure.

      • Hopefully sooner than later…my niche is super-competitive 

      • Lenax10

         I also use GetResponse. I wish I could use it with Welcome Gate….

  • Chris

    While I can understand how and why Welcome Gate can/does get such a high percentage of opt-ins, etc… The fact that it hits your audience smack in the face the first time, and immediately, once they come to your home page bothers me because if it’s someone who’s never been to your site before and has no idea what your site is about, the quality of information there, whether it’s relevant to them at all, etc., etc.. it would seem like a huge turn off to see the Welcome Gate as the very first thing (even with the freebie offer included for opting in).

    What are your thoughts on a totally new person coming to your site and seeing the Welcome Gate first vs reading an article first to find out what you/your site is about? Personally, I won’t sign up for anything until I know something about the site/author first and to see opt-ins first thing actually drives me away.

    Thanks in advance.
    Chris

    • Hi Chris . . . usually when someone visits a site for the first time, they’re going to a specific page (i.e. they found you on google after searching for something, or someone linked to a page of yours on facebook or twitter . . . those pages don’t redirect to a Welcome Gate).  When people go to your home page, it’s usually because (a) someone told them about your site, or (b) they already know about it.  In both cases where someone is going to your home page, the chances of them opting in area fairly high compared to the norm.

  • asdf

    Thank you very much for this informative video; I dowloaded Welcome Gate. How do I put it on WordPress?

    • asdf

      Sorry. It only works with wordpress.org but I use wordpress.com