Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers

Joanna Wiebe

Founder of Copy Hackers

Joanna is a Copywriter and Creator of Copy Hackers. She’s been writing and testing emails for the last decade – first for QuickBooks and TurboTax (at Intuit) and then for Invision, Indochino and Quick Sprout, among others.


The Email Popup Design That Grows Your List By 100+ Per Day

 If you haven’t invested in copywriting or email marketing, it’s time to reassess your life choices, methinks. Copywriting is one of the best places to invest your energy – if you want to grow your business through email marketing.

Most of the writing you see online is meant to get you to take some action or another. In other…

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Joanna’s success

 The email popup design that grows your list by 100+ per day.

Result if you follow the steps in Joanna’s session

Pop-up opt-in forms that will increase your daily list growth by providing a consequence to visitors who choose to opt-out.

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


Great at, you know, what should you use to get people to opt in and then what should be on the thing that you use.

So we’ve been working with Bounce Exchange, we have a really good relationship with the folks over at Bounce Exchange, which do you know, those pop ups that you see a lot of, that’s what they’re known for, but they do so much more behind the scenes and other tests and things that they’re doing to grow list is incredible.

But we’ve been lucky to work with them to get some insights on some of their really clever growth hacks, we’ll call them or just really cool technologies to get people to opt in. Because obviously, that’s a big part of it. I mean, if the money’s in the list, we got to get people in that list, right? And hopefully, people who are really qualified and who really want good stuff from you.

So what are we talking about then, we’re talking about that. One, so for us, we have a big focus on copy hackers on. If somebody goes to copyhackers.com, and if you haven’t been there before, you’ll see click into a post or scroll down or show some. There’s also different ways that we’re measuring what you’re doing. And then we’re providing you with a pop up, potentially, but also other things that you might see that are there to get you your email address.

So we primarily do focus on that big pop up and you hear a lot of crap about pop ups out there, right? You hear like, some people seriously hate these things, but they work really well. And if you do them, right, they can work extremely well. And I’m not talking about just any old pop up out there.

So for the longest time at copy hackers, the longest time and we’ve four and a half years old, so how long could the longest time be? But for a very long time, we would use things like we would use a pop up to capture an email address with you know, the usual opt in bait some sort of offer of some kind that Brian Clark calls them an ethical bribe, which is definitely a copywriters way of putting it. But we would give this something away in exchange for an email address.

And you know, we’d have it in the sidebar and all of that kind of stuff and it wasn’t doing that well, like you hear about people growing their lists really dramatically. And it wasn’t happening for us and our traffic was really good and getting stronger and our list growth was improving as our traffic improved.

Of course, as our brands got bigger and better known, things got better. But this we had a we had a pop up box to collect email addresses, and it was just okay. Like I just didn’t have any high expectations for what a pop up box could do.

Anyway, so we started working with Bounce Exchange, and one of the things, and this isn’t an advertisement for Bounce Exchange, I don’t work for them or anything like that. But we started working with them, and they have this interesting approach and I talked to Noah Kagan about this separately too and he thought that was very interesting and I hope that anyway, whatever. But it is interesting because this is what they do. They have a pop up box shown on exit intent, really clever exit intent technology to not just like random crap. So shorter.

Next is intent. And it invites you to think it’s usually got an animation involved in it to make sure you’re grabbing the eye and it’s very big. It’s like, this isn’t the size of my screen. And it’s got about a one inch margin. No, it’s very big. It’s not a one inch margin. It’s very big, though. And on it. This is the critical part.

And I wrote a post about this. And I firmly, firmly believe it, because of all sorts of data and not just this one test. But they’ve got two buttons, two buttons, and I’m sure everybody’s seen this. And everybody who hates pop ups is like extra mad at these ones. Because they have the “Yes, I want the thing that you’re trying to give me” and the “No, I’m an idiot” and the “No, I’m an idiot button”.

We were strongly against that kind of language and we still are and we certainly don’t use it and Bounce doesn’t necessarily promote it either. But that was where people started talking about this, this two-button layout. And that two-button layout has been critical for our list growth, you wouldn’t think it’s that much, but it’s everything.

So we went from like every day, you know, double digit signups to adding Bounce Exchange of getting triple digit signups. And that is based 90% on the fact that a person now has a consequence for not opting in. And previously with most pop ups, with most other ways that you can enter information, you don’t have a consequence for not doing it, you just don’t do it, right?

Like so if I don’t want to give you my email address, I just close out, or I just click off or I just go on with my life, whatever it is that I do. But when you put that button in there, and you make it a little tough to click out, when you put the second one in there, you’re doing something that people haven’t really had to do before and that is you’re forcing people to look at the consequences of their actions, which is a huge part of decision making.

Goes back to other was art years ago, I was reading an article by a teacher about how difficult it is to teach students if you don’t give them any consequences for failing to do X, Y, or Z. And the criticality if we’re going to use that as a word of having a consequence associated with every kind of decision that you make, you have to get what’s wrong, what bad thing might come of you just going on with your life as it is or choosing not to engage.

And so that’s been a big wrestle. That’s less about copy and more about the actual creative itself, like the design itself and the technology behind it. But then, of course, there’s the question of what goes on your opt in, your pop up opt in box and the call to action copy in there.

Hand-picked experts share their #1 tactic

One marketing tactic delivered to your inbox each morning, 5 days a week