Increase Engagement with Our New Welcome Bar

Here’s a problem you might like to have:

One day, your blog is linked on the front page of the New York Times. You’re suddenly getting thousands of hits an hour, way more than you normally get in a week. Most of those visitors read your post and leave; a few might be motivated to poke around your archives, or subscribe to your feed. Although the spike looks awesome in Google Analytics, it doesn’t earn you anything commensurate with the traffic volume. If there was a way to easily detect these new visitors and encourage them to do something useful, you could turn a lucky break into lasting value.

We had this problem. That’s why we’ve created the Welcome bar.

Disclaimer: Only an image. Were this a real Welcome bar, you’d probably click on it.

It welcomes your users by appearing at the top of your site and asking them to perform a single action—to share this content on their favorite site, to follow you on your social network of choice, or to visit another page. In our testing thus far, we’ve found that conversion rates for personalized, targeted calls to action like this are orders of magnitude more effective than normal on-page sharing tools, by pageview.

What makes our Welcome bar different from other social bars is that it’s built on our awesome data APIs. You can leverage what we know about our 1.3 billion users across our network of millions of sites to customize your calls to action to achieve specific goals–like getting your content shared, increasing your follow count, increasing sales, and more.

Let’s take that New York Times example. The Welcome bar makes it easy to set up different rules for different scenarios. You might want to thank everyone from the Times and also invite them to retweet the article if they’re into Twitter. If they’re not a Twitter user, you can direct them to your newsletter subscription form.

The Twitter users could see this:
Retweet this post

…while everyone else sees this:
Subscribe to our newsletter

On the backend, you get a simple module in your analytics console showing how many times we’ve shown the bar to a matched user, and of those sessions, how many times the user’s taken the suggested action:

Welcome bar analytics module
As you can see, the New York Times has not linked to my blog. Yet!

That way you can justify the ROI of taking over 35 prime pixels. (And you can always style the bar using your own CSS.)

To help make this more clear, here’s a live example. When you click that link, it’ll invite you to Tweet this blog post if you’re a Twitter user; if you’re not a Twitter user, you’ll be invited to return to the blog. If you reload the page, you’ll get a generic message inviting you to learn more about the bar. And if you happen to live in my neighborhood, I’ll invite you to a concert.

The Welcome bar API allows you to target hundreds of different user states. Want to show a promotion to users from a specific ZIP code? There’s an API for that. Want to show different messages to new versus returning users? There’s an API for that, too. We support targeting by time of day, preferred services, referring service, browser type, and more.

But you don’t need to be a JavaScript wizard to use the Welcome bar. Our simple configuration tool lets you define the visitors you want to target, configure the bar’s appearance and choose the action you want the visitor to take.

If there’re interesting conditions we haven’t added to the API yet, we’d love to hear about them! Our goal is to provide all the intelligence you need to target your users for simple calls to action. We’d also love know what other capabilities you’d like the bar to have, beyond sharing, following, and linking.

Just grab the Welcome bar code and see how easy it is to get started.

Questions? Comments? Send ’em our way!