Over the weekend, I installed Hello Bar on our little piece of internet real estate.
Look up at the top of the page and you’ll see a colored bar spanning the width of the page, practically begging you to click through to search for homes.
Which color bar you get is randomly assigned because at the moment, I am A/B testing various colors and text to see which is most effective. That’s just one of the slick features Hello Bar offers.
Real estate bloggers and those with more traditional sites know well (or should know well) the power of the “Call to Action” (CTA). I want, nay I need, visitors to this blog to do certain things ”“ primarily search for homes. That is what puts the food on the table, the shoes on the children — for myself and many of our agents. I also want people to request a short sale consultation, and read the blog. All of those calls to action help drive our business in one way or the other.
Getting people to click on those calls to action isn’t always easy. Countless studies have shown that website visitors spend precious few seconds on a web page. You’ve got to grab their attention quickly, but you can’t be obnoxious about it.
Enter Hello Bar.
It is super easy to set up and use, and they have a vey capable and hands-free way to A/B test different aspects ”“ color, text, time displayed on site ”“ of the bar. Statistics are included. Mmmmm, statistics”¦
I have no idea if a 0.26% click-through rate is good. But it is very interesting to see the differences that colors and text can make in click-through rates. This test has been running for less than two days, and over the weekend to boot (our lowest traffic period). I’ll let it run through the week before tweaking and re-testing.
Things I like about Hello Bar
It is far less intrusive than a pop-up.
A/B testing rocks.
Lots of variations available ”“ user definable colors, CTA text, link text and time displayed on-site.
Easy to interpret statistics. Know which variation works best!
Some very smart and internet marketing savvy people are already using it ”“ Chris Brogan, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Seth Godin to name a few. If it’s good enough for that crew, it’s good enough for me.
Things I don’t like about Hello Bar
. . . Hmmm”¦ Well, you have to wait for an invite code if you’re interested in testing out the free version. Mine took five days to get. But wait! I have some invite codes. More on that at the bottom of the post.
What does Hello Bar Cost?
Funny you should ask. Hello Bar just changed their pricing model. Today. There is a free version that allows unlimited Hello Bars, A/B testing, stats and customization options. The free version is limited to 25 click-throughs a month. Three levels of the Pro (pay) version include all the free version has to offer plus the Hello Bar logo is removed, you can save customizations as “themes”, and you can insert an RSS feed into the Hello Bar (a great way to highlight your most recent post. Or pull in a recent blog post into a web site). Pro levels are based on monthly click-throughs (CTs): 100 CTs for $4.95, 500 CTs for $12.95 and 2500 CTs for $29.95.
What could a real estate type do with the Hello Bar?
What do you want to do? What is the goal for your blog? (You DO have a goal, don’t you?)
The obvious use is what I’ve done here ”“ direct people to a home search page. Some less obvious uses might be: highlighting a recent, or specific, article; newsletter signups; download an eBook/whitepaper (you can open a form with Hello Bar), ask people to Like a Facebook page, follow you on Twitter, or circle you on Google+; entice people to subscribe to your blogs RSS feed, and more. If you ponder the possibilities, virtually any action you want people to take on your website/blog can be highlighted with the Hello Bar. Highlighting actions = clicks on actions = good.
I want a Hello Bar invite code! How do I get one?
The guys at Hello Bar have been nice enough to give me 50 invites to give to Phoenix Real Estate Guy readers. All you have to do is leave a comment below saying that you want one. Be sure to include a valid email address when you leave your comment as that is how you’ll get your invite code. If you use the Facebook commenting, you’ll have to put your email address in the comment itself. If you use the WordPress comments (below the Facebook comments), just put your email address where prompted for in the comment form. I’ll send you an invite as soon as I can get to it (but it’ll be much faster than asking for an invite code though the Hello Bar site). Invite codes will be sent first come/first served. No whining if you snooze and miss it!
UPDATE! Even easier, use this Beta key: phoenixreg Just go to http://Hellobar.com. Click the “Sign Up Now” button. Enter your email address and click “Get Free” button. Enter phoenixreg in the “Have a Beta Key?” box. Click Submit. You’ll get a password in your email!
Disclosure: I get nothing, zero, zilch, nada for handing out invite codes (other than helping people try out a cool new thing). No free Pro account, no form of monetary compensation. Just a little hit of good karma ”“ and I’ll take all the karma I can get”¦