An alert bar is a thin banner that spans the width of a web page, which attract visitor’s attention without getting in the way of the content they came for in the first place. Typically alert bars contain a combination of written text, form fields, and a call to action button and also allow a user to close the bar and have it disappear from view.
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On desktop screens, alert bars sit at the very top of your page, right beneath a static browser bar and just above a fixed menu or navigation panel. On mobile screens, the alert bar will automatically appear at the bottom of a page—right within the ‘thum-clickable zone,’ allowing for a better overall user experience on smaller screen sizes.
In either case, this thin banner is often one of the first things visitors see when they land on the page, which is why this tool is sometimes referred to as a hello bar or greeter bar.
1. Offer a discount code
Boost awareness of a coupon or limited-time promotion.
The alert bar is a great place to showcase a sale. What we love about the alert bar is that it feels more personal and customized for the visitor as opposed to showing the sale on the website copy itself. This can make the sale feel more urgent and exclusive, which encourages visitors to engage and convert.
For example, your alert bar could read:
Here, you offer a coupon code that feels unique and exclusive to that visitor. You also include a countdown timer, so they know this discount isn’t going to last forever. Exclusivity and urgency are a great way to promote your sale, and they work well in the banner-style alert bar. Get more info on these scarcity marketing tactics with Sumo.
Another bonus of the discount code alert bar? It’s easy to track the effectiveness of the hello bar based on the number of discount codes being used and the sales increase during that time period. This kind of data tracking is useful to determine how successful your marketing campaigns are and where you’re seeing the greatest traction.
Announce (or remind your audience of) free shipping.
One of the best uses of the discount hello bar is for free shipping. Customers love free shipping—so much so that it quickly became one of the top competitive advantages for marketers and is now widely considered a requirement.
If the first thing the customer sees when they come to your page is a free shipping offer, they’re significantly more likely to make a purchase. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is their top incentive to make a purchase. So put your free shipping codes it front and center in the alert bar!
2. Leverage a popular lead magnet or content upgrade
Have a lead magnet (or several) that you use to collect email addresses on your landing page and throughout your website? Use it in your alert bar too! This gives a great impression on your visitor by immediately offering them some sort of value.
On our alert bars, you can place a CTA button or form field directly on the alert bar. This makes the CTA more visible without intruding on the user’s experience on your page. This streamlines the conversion process by giving you their email address right then and there.
Or you can include a link out to a landing page or splash page that further describes and “sells” your lead magnet, if it requires a little more info in order to convert.
An example hello bar for a lead magnet download might look like:
Or you might want to be more descriptive about how the lead magnet will solve their pain point:
Offer the lead magnet and tell them how it will solve their pain point. The alert bar is direct and straightforward, which encourages more downloads.
Want to collect even more prospect info? Learn about how to use Leadpages, Leadboxes, and Leadlinks to fatten up your lead list.
3. Promote an upcoming event
If you’re hosting an event, virtual webinar, or live workshop an alert bar is a great place to grab more signups and entice registrants. Visitors to your site will see that you’re pushing an upcoming event, and they’ll instantly be eager to learn more.
Example event signup hello bar copy:
Then, include a form field where the user can quickly, easily sign up.
If you feel your event needs more explanation to encourage visitors to sign up, your alert bar might offer them an email with more information:
Don’t forget to tell them when the event is or when registration closes to light a fire under their butts and push them to sign up! You really want to push urgency with event signups with phrases like, “There’s still time!” or “It’s happening now–join us!”
4. Make an announcement
The alert bar doesn’t necessarily have to be a call to action for conversion. Your current marketing goals might be to foster better relationships with your customers or to establish and deepen your brand voice.
A hello bar is a great place to communicate directly with your audience in a quick, effective way. Make an announcement related to your brand, so visitors feel “updated” on what’s been going on with you.
For example, if you’re launching a new product line:
It’s simple and straightforward, emphasizing engagement through the brand voice. But, if you wanted to add a conversion piece, you could change it to:
Another use of the announcement alert bar is to apologize. Technical difficulties happen. Flub ups occur. You don’t want to leave your customers on a limb wondering what happened or if your website is functional again.
For example, you were hosting a flash sale and the site went down, you could announce:
Customers will appreciate hearing from your brand, especially if they felt they were “wronged” by you in the past. The alert bar is a great opportunity to insert your brand voice and “wow” the customer with your service.
Other awesome announcements to use in the alert bar:
- Product/service launch
- Updates on social media platform
- Invitation to a Facebook or LinkedIn group
- New podcast episode, video upload, or blog article
- Exciting staff/operations changes (that customers want to know)
Any news can be alert-bar news!
5. Email subscription
If you want to collect more leads with your email newsletter, an alert bar is a great way to amass subscriptions. New site visitors may not subscribe to your email right away. But keeping an email subscription visible and available in the alert bar gives them access when they’re ready to subscribe–but it doesn’t get in the way of content consumption.
This is a great way to include the email subscription call to action even if the main goal of your website or page is a different CTA! Is your call to action the right call to action? See the 7 characteristics of effective CTAs on Forbes.
Some sample ways to ask for a visitor to signup for your emails:
Don’t forget to keep focus on the benefit to the visitor. They want to know what subscribing will give them before they hand over their information.
A few alert bar takeaway tips
Want a few tips to get you started using alert bars?
- Design your alert bar like you would a call to action button. it should use contrasting colors to attract attention away from the body of the page and encourage conversion.
- Use a complementary CTA button. The alert bar itself isn’t enough to grab attention. Within the bar, include a specific button that brings the visitor to the next action. This button should be a contrasting color with the alert bar itself to really pique interest and engagement.
- Keep it concise. The copy should be able to fit on a single line across the page. Direct language is more likely to urge action in an alert bar. “Minimalism” is one of the top web design trends for 2019–and it’s even more important in the alert bar that visitors are quickly scanning.
- Keep the copy in your brand voice and direct it at your specific target audience. Not sure how to write an alert bar in your “brand voice”? Check out these 7 steps to building a standout brand identity here.
Which alert bar example will inspire your next campaign?
Alert bars are an effective way to swiftly connect with and engage your audience from the moment they land on your page. Put them to good use for your business by offering an exclusive discount code, promoting a special offer, highlight an opt-in opportunity, or making an announcement.