A Welcome Mat is an offer shown in a popup when a visitor first enters your website. It is your first chance to convert a new visitor.
The reason why a Welcome Mat is insanely effective is it ensures that you quickly communicate your most important offer to a new visitor. Something that would typically be on your home page or a landing page. And a Welcome Mat ensures that offer is shown to all visitors, regardless of where they enter your website.
There are several different ways a Welcome Mat is implemented, either as a popup or a full page cover. Either is effective.
We’ve pinned some screen shots along with comments on our Good Examples of Welcome Mat Pinterest board:
A Welcome Mat works particularly well for e-commerce websites and websites that promote newsletters. You typically have something very tangible such a product discount or some benefit that the visitor wants immediately order emailed to them. If these are the types of offers you are trying to attract visitors to, then a Welcome Mat will be a good fit for you.
These two use cases are detailed further below:
The chart below references the influence of coupons on shopping behavior in stores. It is just as effective online because everyone is looking for a deal.
This one tool can lure shoppers to a new brand or retailer
A Welcome Mat creates an opportunity for you to put a coupon directly into your customer’s hands. E-commerce businesses should use a Welcome Mat to:
The number 1 tool with the biggest positive impact on revenue remains email marketing.
Building an email subscription list organically is one of the best ways to create an audience for you to market to. For businesses that market primarily through email, a Welcome Mat is a fantastic tool for growing your email list.
No matter where a visitor enters your site you can show a Welcome Mat and create a signup conversion opportunity. Use a Welcome Mat to:
Which Welcome Mat is shown depends largely on the rules setup for the Welcome Mat. For example, you may have different Welcome Mats for different pages if you segment your audiences based on where they enter your website.
Similar to Exit Intent, using a Welcome Mat on mobile experiences should be done with caution. You have much less screen space to work with and you can quickly frustrate your customers if a popup cannot be quickly ignored.
When designing your Welcome Mat you need to be very mindful of how the interaction works in mobile experiences. The available screen size in mobile is much smaller and interaction elements need to be bigger to facilitate touch interactions.
And, an increasing amount of your traffic comes from tablet and mobile devices. Mary Meeker’s annual internet research has some great statistics on the rise of mobile:
2017 Internet Trends Report from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
DailyStory recommends our customers not use a Welcome Mat on mobile devices and instead use Push Banners that don’t interfere with the visitor’s ability to read the content. Google agrees.
Creating a Welcome Mat is simple, but you should be thoughtful about how you will use it for your website. The best practices for Welcome Mats are similar to best practices for converting visitors using Exit Intent.
Below are some of the basic features you should look for in a Welcome Mat solution.
These are features you should expect to find in any solution that offers a Welcome Mat.
One of the problems that many people run into is what happens after the popup is completed.
For example, once someone completes the popup form what happens next?
Ideally, you send an email follow-up confirming an action, like a newsletter signup. What sends those emails? Where do the replies go? What happens if an email bounces? How do you automatically add them to your bulk email newsletters like MailChimp or Salesforce? What about integration with other tools like Slack or Google Analytics.
These tend to be considered advanced features.
These are features you should expect to find in advanced Welcome Mat solutions / Customer Engagement platforms:
Google did not kill the Welcome Mat, but you should be mindful of how Google views “interstitials” (popups) that interfere with accessibility. Those pages may not rank as highly.
To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
More specifically Google says:
“Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:
By contrast, here are some examples of techniques that, used responsibly, would not be affected by the new signal:
DailyStory recommends our customers do not use a Welcome Mat on mobile devices and instead use Push Banners that don’t interfere with the visitor’s ability to read the content.
A Welcome Mat should be one of the tools you use to create customer engagement opportunities. But it certainly should not be the only one.
Combined with visitor tracking, live chat, and other customer engagement tools a Welcome Mat can be a complementary capability you use to engage with your customers.
And a Welcome Mat doesn’t have to be the only type of popup you use either.
When a visitor is about to leave your website you can use an Exit Intent popup as the last chance to convert the visitor before they leave.
A Welcome Mat is just one of the features of the DailyStory Customer Engagement platform.