Hello Bar – Why Neil Patel Convinced Me to Use a Nasty Pop-Up

Hello Bar Pop-Up Recommended by Neil Patel

You may have read how pop-ups can turn readers off. I’ve read figures as high as 95% of people hate pop-ups. Personally, I have have found some of the pop-ups to be quite intrusive especially on mobile.

But more and more people have been using these creative pop-ups on their blogs and websites.
Surely I was holding out back in early 2015.

But then I read Neil Patel’s post on Growing your traffic by 20,000 visitors a month and how the Hello Bar plays a crucial part of that. I had to check it out! 

Neil also recommends the Hello Bar in his 12 tools to build high converting landing pages.

hello bar

The Hello Bar Increases Your Subscriber List

The Hello Bar is so easy to install and use that I just had to test it out. The best part was that the results were immediate! I had not been getting new subscribers of late.

With the addition of the Hello Bar pop-up I began to get new subscribers daily! Now as Donna Merrill has said in comments elsewhere is that “Our Blogs are our property and social media is rented space”. She is so right!

We need to have people at our blogs/websites and our subscribers bring them back to our own properties.

Back in 2015 shows the chart I had received in 14 days. 1 new subscriber per day. Of course my blog doesn’t have as much traffic as Neil Patel but this is much better than what the blog here was doing previously generating subscribers here.

With the addition of the Hello Bar pop-up I began to get new subscribers daily! #bloggingtips Click To Tweet

Over the years I went without it and then recently added it back on as it really works!

Pop ups

I also like that you can very easily do A/B testing with different wording and offers on your pop-ups via the Hello Bar. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to do 2 A/B tests this morning. If I can easily figure it out I’m sure YOU will be able to as well.

And it is for FREE. They do offer a paid program with more bells and whistles if you want.

I’m on the growth plan now as I’ve added another bar over on my Twitter Jail story. 

Hello Bar Plans

It literally took me less than 5 minutes to do 2 A/B tests this morning. If I can easily figure it out I'm sure YOU will be able to as well. #hellobar Click To Tweet

What Others Say About Those Annoying Pop-Ups

I did a little more research on these marketing pop-ups and found a great video on his post by Derek of Social Triggers who says “You are an idiot if you do NOT use pop-ups to increase your email list.”

Derek is in agreement with Neil Patel.

Should You Use the Hello Bar?

Beth from Copyblogger had this to say about pop-ups: There is no question that po-pups “work” — but to what end? We’re not willing to risk the relationship with our audience for a spike in opt ins. I guess Copyblogger is not in agreement with Neil Patel.

Rob at the Evergage Blog on his post to the Secret to Pleasant Pop-ups says that pop-ups work but you really need to have an x on them so users can quickly close them up. Give them an easy exit and your readers will appreciate it.

An easy exit is the x where people can click to easily exit off the pop-up.

The #1 search on Google for pop-ups is for annoying pop-ups followed by how do I stop the pop-ups. It is ironic that people find them so annoying but also use them often at the same time.

As you can tell I’ve gone back and forth using the Hello Bar here on Inspire to Thrive. No one wants to  lose viewers today!

The #1 search on Google for popups is for annoying pop-ups followed by how do I stop the pop-ups. It is ironic that people find them so annoying but also use them often at the same time. Click To Tweet

Over to You on Pop-Ups and the Hello Bar

Do you subscribe to other blogs via pop-ups? Do you use them at your blog or website?

I’d love to know your thoughts on those annoying pop-ups in the comments below!

hello bar

I’ve been so happy with the Hello Bar I’ve become an affiliate 4 years later 🙂

Lisa Sicard
  • I’ve been looking and deeply consider hellobar as well after seeing his published results. Great post again Lisa

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Craige, it has made a difference for me. And I love the A/B testing – so easy to use! You can have them on different pages of your website as well. Have a great day Craige 🙂

  • Hello Bar is far and away the best one Lisa because it is so non obtrusive. I barely notice it but enough to sign up….if I ever joined an email list LOL. I was on Donna’s for a minute but so darn busy, I just read your blogs every week or 2 and take things from there. Looks A-OK to me; I dig the coloring and again, it fits seamlessly into your blog design.


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, thanks. No more emails for you? I cleaned up mine and subscribe to ones I don’t want to miss still 🙂 I like the coloring as well and am doing some a/b testing now as well. Thanks for coming by Ryan and have a wonderful day ahead!

  • Kim says:

    I considered using pop-ups for a while, I even used hello bar for a bit but I just lose too much speed it’s not worth it for me. I’m only using Milotree atm to gain new social media followers, that’s been really useful for me.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Kim,
      I had adjusted other plugins to increase the speed here 🙂 Thanks for your input. I use Hello Bar to gain email subscribers not social media followers. Have a great day Kim!

  • Chetan Gupta says:

    Hi Lisa

    It is true that many people just hate pop-ups. Even me when reading any interesting article on the web and suddenly sees any pop-up then it annoys me completely.

    When I see these pop-ups then I feel that they are just forcing me to do something which I never let them do.

    So I never prefer to place pop-ups.

    I really like the way Brian Dean is using at his Backlinko. He isn’t using any email subscribers pop-up. He is using leadpages and he first create interest in his readers and then ask them to subscribe.

    BTW Thanks for sharing this article with us. I hope It will help me.

    Happy Blogging 😉

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Chetan, I know, I felt the same way but I’ve seen them work too. I’m testing another option now – using the sign up at the top of the website instead. I will have to check out Brian Dean, haven’t heard of him, thanks for the input! Thanks for coming by and have a great new week!

  • Nikhil Ganotra says:

    Hey Lisa,

    I agree that Hello Bar is a popular product but don’t you think Neil is charging a very high price for that?

    Newbie bloggers and small businesses can’t afford that much!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Nikhil, I use the FREE version, doesn’t cost anything. And it still is producing results. Thanks for coming by and I hope you try the FREE version out. Have a great day!

  • Hi Lisa,
    I was glad you wrote on a topic that has kept many in dilemma. I personally hate popups. Have you been to the buffer blog. I mean its a mine of research but I hate to visit it via desktop because of that ugly and intrusive pop up of theirs that hampers my reading experience.

    I think there are many more options like using an exit-intent pop up (less intrusive), or a sticky header to attract leads. As copyblogger said, I would not want my list to grow a number at the cost of my reader’s satisfaction.

    However those who are using are getting good results and I am happy for them.

    Thanks and have a great weekend 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Swadhin, I had too. I have since moved mine done to the bottom of the page and it’s smaller. Less intruusive but still getting results. Some put them on the top of the page and others at entire bottom. I may do more a/b testing with that too. But I have to say the results have really been amazing. Thank you for coming by Swadhin and for your valued input. I hope you have a great weekend!

  • Haroun says:

    Yes, yes and yes. I too have popups on my site and really they’re the only forms that are converting…

  • Kimsea Sok says:

    Thanks for sharing, Lisa..

    It was a really nice tips to discuss about increase of subscribers over here, on your blog.

    Actually, I didn’t not use popup form because I think that it’ll make my blog loading speed slow down. I have tried it, and then remove.

    However, I found that popup is great to capture email to our optin list. I plan to use that after switch better hosting service.

    Anyway, I also love hello bar because it is really impressive tool for capture email list.

    thanks for sharing..

    • Lisa says:

      You are welcome Kimsea. Did you try the smaller popup? I found it was quicker and less invasive to readers. It still is working fantastic with the smaller size too 🙂 Thanks for coming by and sharing, have a great rest of the week Kimsea.

      • Kimsea Sok says:

        Lisa, thanks for responding..

        I have tried many popup plugin, but almost of those popup always make me disappointed. The loading slow down because my hosting service.

        Actually, I never heard about any smaller pupop. Did you have any recommendation..


        • Lisa says:

          The Hello Bar offers a smaller one, like I am using here now. It’s at the bottom right hand side. I hope that helps you!

  • Babanature says:

    Hello Lisa,

    Good to be here after a while… A lovely post I had to contribute.

    There is nothing wrong using pop-ups as long as it does not come out too often. If the popup comes once in every 24hrs to a user who’ve not subscribed, then awesome.

    If the popup comes out every seconds, I will consider the blog a spammy one and never return.

    Everybody likes a popup as long as it doesn’t disturb their activities on your blog.

    Thanks for such a good post. have a blessed weekend

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Babanture, this one comes up every 10th visit so it could come in 24 hours if you visit the site more than once. I believe the paid version has more options for that though. I don’t think everybody likes them but many USE them, that is for sure! So many people say they HATE popups but once again the actions show they are used. You are welcome and have a great new week ahead Babanature.

  • Carol Amato says:

    Hi, Lisa,

    Your title made me chuckle! 🙂

    I have used many different methods for list building, and currently – I do use a pop up. I hadn’t used a pop up in a very long time, and I am definitely seeing folks sign-up using the pop-up.

    So, results are positive even though I think they can be annoying, depending on the message, and sequence when they’re set to pop, and also cookies expiring. To the few that actually do enjoy it and find it relevant and helpful, I’m willing to have it. My cookies are set for 7 days.

    The more people we have on our list, the better we can engage with them, so it is a win/lose/win. LOL

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great weekend.

    ˜Carol Amato

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Carol, glad I could make you laugh. I think of it as a business decision, not a personal one. The results speak volumes, right? People FEEL like they don’t like them but yet they USE them. In business we all can’t be liked right? It would be nice but results are the bottom line. Thanks for coming by Carol and I hope you have a fantastic new week. I can’t wait for my arm to heal and try the zip lining 🙂

  • Nisha Pandey says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I also used to think that the age of pop-ups is gone. It had its time during the 90s and the last decade but then it began to be seen more as a menace than anything of any help!

    Now that I have read your post and learnt that Neil Patel recommended the Hello Bar, I think I will also test it. Let’s see how things turn out 🙂

    Thanks for sharing the info!

    Have a great day!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Nisha, oh no – not by a longshot 🙂 Yes, they always seemed to have a love-hate relationship with users online. Let me know how you like it and if you too are getting results. Thanks for coming by and have a great new week Nisha.

  • Adrienne says:

    Ah Lisa, to each his own.

    I have to actually agree with Beth here when she said, “There is no question that pop-ups “work — but to what end? We’re not willing to risk the relationship with our audience for a spike in opt-ins.”

    I know that Neil Patel definitely knows what he’s talking about and I’m happy that you’ve gotten a new subscriber each day. I don’t mind the opt-in at the very top of the page but I’m still against popups. I hate them, I find them annoying and most every single one of my readers do too. Am I willing to have them not come by because I’ve decided to grab one new person a day?

    Nope, not going to do it and if I’m the last person out there without one then so be it. Happy for everyone else but there are some blogs I quit visiting for that reason. They just aren’t setting them to stop popping up! Urgggggg

    Glad it’s working for you Lisa. 😉


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adrienne, surprised to see you back so soon. Been thinking of you….

      Yes, I understand. My opt in at top corner was NOT working, at all. The new popup one I moved to the bottom corner today – a/b testing and it’s getting great results so I may keep it there vs. the large middle one that I’m sure is annoying some. I can understand your reasoning Adrienne. I do love to test things out and between Neil Patel and the video I was convinced I had to at the very least test it out. It’s been 3 weeks since the first test. I think people have a love/hate relationship with pop ups like we do with our cable companies. Can’t live with them or without them.
      Everyone must do what they think is right for their blogs and businesses. I respect your reasoning.

      I hope you are doing okay and thank you for coming by and for your feedback.

  • Ellen M. Gregg says:

    Hi, Lisa!

    I use PopupAlly – the polite popup. It can work like a conventional popup, or like your full-screen version,. It can also be embedded at the bottom of posts and pages, on sidebars, as a Hello-Bar type, etc. It has seemingly endless options for customization and placement (I have the pro version; there’s a free one, too, via WP plugins), and it can be set so that it won’t show up for IPs that have already opted in. (!!)

    I do think they’re important; however, I don’t think they need to be annoying or obtrusive.

    Glad to know you’re recovering steadily. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ellen, nice to see you back here. I haven’t tried that one, I like the polite popup 🙂 I just change mine – testing the lower corner. I like that with Pro not going to those already signed in. Surprised some of the big retailers don’t do that – I came across one yesterday and I had signed up for email and it was still asking me to sign up after I got to their website. Thanks for your input Ellen and yes, coming along, just need nerves to heal in the arm. Have a great day!

  • Robin Strohmaier says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I will have to admit that I used to dislike popups, but I have changed my thoughts. I also read Neil Patel’s post on growing your traffic. After much thought, I decided to include a pop up to test it out.

    Now, when I come across a pop up, if I am not interested in receiving information, I simply close it. If I am interested, I will subscribe as before. I have never bought anything inspired by a popup, yet.

    Congratulations on the success of your popups so far!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Robin, so did I and I can tolerate more today knowing what I know. I am doing a/b testing now with one at the bottom instead of across the middle, I think it’s less instrusive and within hours still getting sign-ups! I like that the x is easy to see and close too. Thank you for your input and congrats. Let me know how your test goes Robin!

  • Congrats on this post Lisa! Because it’s all about clarity and I see you’re clear in using pop ups. If you feel good about it, you’ll rake in subscribers. if you feel good about another approach, with no pop ups, you’ll rake in subscribers. All depends on the individual. I dig no pop ups, because I’m clear on it, and yes, I attract a subscriber or 2 to my list lol…..good stuff Lisa!


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Ryan, thanks. I guess I really am 🙂 And to think for years I would not give in to them….I see there is some room for improvement too with them and I may do a little more A/B testing but they certainly DO work.I think many people have a love/hate relationship with the pop-ups. After all advertisers spend a fortune on them too, right? Thanks for coming by Ryan and for your input. Have a wonderful day there on the island!

  • Andrew says:

    Hey Lisa,

    Great post. I remember when I had pop-ups on my blog at first, many people didn’t like it, but I was getting signups like crazy.

    Then I got rid of it and the signups trickled off.

    Now, I use an exit pop-up and a couple others and my signups are increasing again. So I think I’m just going to stay and use pop-ups from now on. They work for me.

    As long as they’re not intrusive that’s what counts, right?

    – Andrew

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Andrew, thank you. I like the idea of the exit pop up as others mentioned here too. They may be a bit less intrusive. I have to say I am happy with the results I am getting and amazed at the same time but after reading Neil’s article and then watching the video I shared here I should not be so surprised. Thanks for coming by Andrew and for your input! Have a wonderful day.

  • Corina Ramos says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m not a fan of pop ups too but I’m seeing them a lot lately and like Bren said in her comment, if other bloggers out there are using them then it’s something I should seriously consider.

    I installed the Hello Bar but it wasn’t working for me so I added another one with the same features. I’m going to seriously consider adding a pop up.

    Thanks for putting this post together. The video made a lot of sense and it was interesting to read what others thought about this.

    Have a great week!


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Corina, I wondered why it did not work for you. One thing I may add after reading several comments here is if you can have yours pop up after they have read your post may make it even better for your readers. I may do more testing with adding mine at bottom of post vs the center of page pop up. But I am very pleased with the results I am receiving. You are welcome Corina and you too!

  • Hi Lisa, No offense, but I consider popups my enemy. I have never subscribed via a popup, just out of spite. And I won’t put anything on my site I wouldn’t want to see at another site.

    I also think popups that greet you when you arrive at a site make no sense. How do I know whether I want to subscribe? I can’t even see your site yet!

    I’ve also had popups that didn’t render well on mobile so I couldn’t close them. I never even got to read the article I was interested in.

    To me, the only popups that make sense are those that appear as you are leaving a site. The ones that say, “Hey, before you go, would you like to subscribe?” Now those make sense to me. If I’ve read an article of value, then I might be willing to subscribe.

    I know I shouldn’t argue with success, but they really are annoying. I wonder about their longterm impact on your traffic. For example, do the popups appear even if you’ve already subscribed? That would be even more annoying!

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Carolyn, no offense taken. I felt like you before too but did sign up if it was something relevant to me and the pop was not too intrusive. I like the idea of it appearing after reading a post or site like Adrian mentioned too. I may do an A/B test and have mine at the bottom of the page so it is seen afterwards. The paid version may include a timing option which I will look into as well. Thanks for your feedback on this one and have a great day Carolyn.

  • Adrian Jock says:

    Hi Lisa,

    There are more types of pop-ups that work very different. I like one type (the one I use) and I don’t like the one you use. Do I like or hate pop-ups? 😀

    I landed on this page in order to read this article. Instead of the article, a pop-up asked me I don’t know what. Of course I said, “Get out of my way!” – That’s why I don’t like this type of pop-up, both from blogger’s perspective and visitor’s perspective.

    At the same time, I find inappropriate the complaints regarding the pop-ups. The visitors don’t pay anything for reading YOUR content on YOUR site – so they shouldn’t complain.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adrian, I will have to check yours out again to compare. You have the same type on AdrianJock.com (it’s same size and in middle of site when I go there…I thought maybe you had it at the bottom which is an option with the Hello Bar) – LOL, the X let’s you get away. Excellent point about the content being FREE….You always have something really unique to the subject. I like that…..Have a good rest of the day!

      • Adrian Jock says:

        Hi Lisa,

        No, the pop-up on adrianjock.com isn’t the same like yours. I’m not referring to size and position. Here’s the difference:

        a) Yours

        I see somewhere the headline of one of your articles and the link. I decide to read it. I click. I land on your blog. Instantly the pop-up jumps, doesn’t let me read the article and suggests that I do something else. I will always close such pop-up without subscribing.

        b) Mine

        You see somewhere the headline of one of my articles and the link. You decide to read it. You click. You land on my blog. No pop-up jumps (the difference!). You can read the article without any annoying thing suggesting that you change your decision. Then you decide to read another article from that blog and click a link. Still no pop-up jumps. And so on as long as you remain on my blog. After you finish whatever you wanted to read, you move the cursor to the address bar zone in order to close the tab or type another URL. In that moment the pop-up jumps. Only after (not before) you finished your reading.

        Conclusion & Bonus

        The difference between yours and mine is the time when the pop-up jumps. Bonus conclusion: for the first time visitors, here’s what these pop-ups say:

        Yours: “You don’t know anything about me, why not subscribing to my newsletter?” Visitor: “Are you kidding?”

        Mine: “Now that you’ve read my content and you know how I write, why not subscribing to my newsletter?” Visitor: “Yes/No”

        See the difference? Yours talks to a total stranger. Mine talks to someone who knows how good or bad my content is.

        • Lisa says:

          Hi Adrian, now I understand. I checked the settings and with the FREE version there is no way to change the timing. I will look into the paid version as well. It would be better if it was after they read the post. But I could put it at the bottom of the page – something I may do an A/B test with. Thank you for your detailed response so I know exacty what you mean. There is always room for improvement.

  • Jens-Petter Berget says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I don’t hate pop ups, but I usually don’t subscribe via a pop up. I understand why they are so powerful and I have been testing them a lot on my blog. I have even tested HelloBar. Like you said, it was very easy to install and I also received many new subscribers. But, I stopped using it (and all the other tools I have tested) because I wasn’t satisfied with showing it to my readers. It was annoying to me, maybe not to my readers.

    But, I keep re-installing them again and again, they’re just too good to not be using 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Jens, So you used it a while back? It sounds like you are conflicted. I know I was installing mine since I didn’t like them but am amazed at the quick results thus far. I haven’t received any complaints but will be keeping an eye out for bounce rate too. Thank you for coming by and for your input on this one Jens. Have a wonderful day there.

  • Adeel Sami says:

    Hello Lisa,

    Wow, I was so compelled to click and to read this article because of its title! 🙂

    I liked it how it is working for yourself. I even have it setup on mine too to test out how it goes in the coming days.

    Well, I am not sure what I should do with it because of the advice/comment from Problogger guys but yeah, the audience differs from blog to blog so the best thing is to actually test ourselves to find if it fits for our audience.

    For myself, I tend to fill out the pop-ups most of the time so whenever I see a pop-up asking for subscribing or downloading some eBooks, etc., I tend to grab it and fill it. 🙂

    Thank you once again, Lisa for this write up!

    See me often!

    ~ Adeel Sami

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Adeel, thanks. I used a tool to measure headlines for this one 🙂 Let me know how you like the Hello Bar too. I’m very happy with it thus far. Yes, testing is best and every audience is different. I have filled some out myself but others I just click off especially if in a hurry. I like the big X option too. Makes it easy for people to opt out if they want. You are welcome and have a wonderful day Adeel!

  • Enstine Muki says:

    Hey Lisa,
    How are you today?
    Thank after reading what others have said, I think the best conclusion has to be drawn from ones experience.
    I think with a good split testing tool, one can know the way forward for his community. I don’t have any now but I’ll be testing these options myself.

    Now, thanks for sharing your experience! Let’s see how it goes with you hoping you will show us more data after about a year or so 😉

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Enstine, I’m doing okay. Trying to type more so I can get back to work soon. My arm is coming along though not yet straight.
      I love the split testing tool that Hello Bar has, very easy to use and watch results. You are welcome and great idea to do a follow up with more time behind it. Thanks for coming by Enstine and for commenting. Have a great day!

  • Debbie D. says:

    Hi Lisa; I’ve been noticing more and more pop ups lately and I must admit, I’m not a fan. Can’t argue with success though and I might give them a try.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Debbie, glad I wasn’t alone in noticing that. I always despised them like Brenda but didn’t mind those that offered a big x to clear it off my screen if I didn’t subscribe. I’m happy getting one new one daily – that would be 30 at end of the month. Thanks for coming by Deb and taking the time to comment. Enjoy the week ahead!

  • Brenda Lee says:

    Hi Lisa,

    I’ll be first to admit I despise popups. Some aren’t as intrusive as others, but I personally don’t like them. That said, the first time I visited your site and it popped up in my face, I thought “Lisa knows something I don’t know.” I know others who swear by the popups. And some that hate them. However, if all of my fav bloggers are saying it’s increasing their audience and subscriptions, I might be willing to try it out. I’m glad to see yours has increased as well! I like the look of the Hello bar and will check it out. I hope it’s customizable as well.

    Thanks for sharing this informative post with us gf. It will be interesting to see how many follow your lead. 🙂

    Happy Monday!


    • Lisa says:

      Hi Brenda, I did too. And still too for many of them. I like when I can X out quickly, that gets me over it very quickly. I wasn’t get anymore subscribers so when I read Neil’s post I had to give it a try. I liked how the Hello Bar works and that you can test various ones. They have the Big X to click off too. You can choose from various ones – some pop up at bottom of page or others across the top. I choose the middle one for now. You are welcome Brenda and I hope your Monday is going good for a Monday 🙂

      • Brenda Lee says:

        Unfortunately, the Hello Bar isn’t compatible with my Newsletter platform but I did experiment the past two days with a pop up and it annoyed me every time it popped up. 🙂

        To each his/her own. Some like ’em, some don’t. You have to do what works best for you and your site. Good luck with it!

      • Brenda Lee says:


        Do you know how long it remembers an ip address? I’m assuming that’s why it doesn’t pop up all the time?

        • Lisa says:

          I don’t think with FREE version, it’s supposed to work 1 in every 10 but with premium I believe you do have that option. I may convert to that for that reason. Stay tuned! I moved it to lower bottom today to do a/b testing. Thanks Brenda …

    • Brian says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Popup opt-in forms are great we use them also. However, if you don’t want to upset your users try fly-ins the conversation rate is the same and better in some cases. I do a lot of split testing on my website.

      • Lisa says:

        Hi Brian, welcome to Inspire to Thrive. Thanks for your input on popups. I’m trying out the bottom side now with the a/b conversion. Split testing is great. Have a wonderful day Brian.

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