The all-too-often phone call from a telemarketer, or someone “just looking to borrow a few minutes,” always seems to be an unwelcome and irritating interruption. You probably feel the same way when you visit a website and immediately get a pop-up asking for feedback. It’s not hard to annoy website visitors with a bad first impression.

So why are we still living in a world where we often feel bombarded with pop-ups? It happens even on websites of some of the best brands and most reputable companies. Requesting feedback in this way comes at a high cost.

At Qualtrics, we believe there is a better way to gather hard-to-reach insights and drive better conversion.

Let’s explore five ways to intercept website visitors without being annoying:

1. Know Your Audience  

To be a persuasive and powerful speaker, knowing your audience is essential in creating a relevant message. The same principle applies on your website. Using web analytics, you can learn more about your website visitors by tracking their digital body language. The best indicators to use are the behavioral data such as total pages visited, time spent on current page and page referrer. By knowing your audience, you can send messages and intercepts to targeted visitors, rather than the masses.

2. Personalize the Experience

Websites are no longer one size fits all. The best websites deliver the most relevant information to a particular visitor at the right time. Perhaps you want to survey visitors in a key market about how they found your site. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could target them with just a few clicks? Or if you were to launch a survey to anyone who abandoned a shopping cart? Imagine how nice it would be to know why they didn’t purchase. If you are going to grab the attention of your website visitors, use relevant content to personalize your outreach.  

3. Promote the Flow

Out of the millions of websites a visitor could have visited, yours was the winner. Lucky! Now it’s your job to make sure it’s a good experience and easy to find the right content to maximize the visit. Site intercepts can help. Content-rich sites often use intercepts in the lower right-hand corner to recommend relevant content. If you plan to ask for feedback or offer a promotion, tuck the intercept in a corner, or on the side where it will get noticed without being overbearing. For critically important messages, consider using an infobar across the top of the page. When using site intercepts, the main goal is to offer value, but stay out of the way.

4. Timing is Everything

The most frustrating part about pop-ups and telemarketers is their horrible timing. They always appear at the worst times. When using site intercepts, time them to appear in the proper context. For example, instead of asking immediately for feedback when a visitor lands on your site, try waiting until the visitor has spent some more time or follows a particular traffic path. Or invite website visitors to complete a survey if they spend time on a certain page. By waiting to gather more insight about your website visitors, you can design timely intercepts and avoid obnoxious interruptions.

5. Ask the Right Questions

You’ve got their attention, now what? Don’t waste time by asking the same questions everyone else is asking. Use this opportunity to ask the question that will give you that breakthrough insight. Before you press go, put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and walk through the experience. The only questions worth asking are those that will provide value to the visitors, and your visitors must sense this. You also want to ask a few open-ended questions. Sometimes the juiciest insights can come from the shortest surveys if you encourage your visitors to talk.

Now that you know how to engage customers effectively without being annoying, it’s time to give it a try. Qualtrics Site Intercept makes it easy to target visitors based on more than 20 variables. You can customize messages and site intercepts with your own branding and you’re in control with an easy, point-and-click interface. The best part? No need for help from IT—you can make all the changes on your own.

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