Whiteboard Wednesday: Choosing Your Display Format

On this edition of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going through different display formats for your on site campaigns and how to choose between them. Watch the video below or keep reading for a full transcript:




We’re going over 6 different popular display types:

  • Pop Ups

  • Bars

  • Banners

  • Flyouts

  • Embedded Forms

  • Spin to Win

Pop Ups

Pop ups, also known as lightboxes, display in the center of your site. These provide offers, discounts, or email subscription boxes to people visiting your site. They also give you a ton of flexibility in your design and sizing.


Flyouts—or slide ins—appear in the bottom right or left of a screen. They are a bit more subtle than a pop up because they allow your visitor to continue what they’re doing but grab the visitors attention using movement. These are great for suggested products or content based on someone spending a lot of time on one page.


Bars provide a full-width message that typically sits at the top or bottom of your site. They’re super mobile friendly and are often used for site-wide announcements like free shipping.


Like bars, banners sit at the top or bottom of a site and work great on mobile. Like the flyout, they start in a "hidden" state until triggered and grab your visitors attention with motion. Taking up only part of the page, they are also less invasive than a pop up but harder to ignore than a  bar.

Spin to Win

Spin to Win  is probably our most fun display type, and our highest converting! It creates a competition that allows your visitors to play for awesome discounts and prizes. It’s a really engaging way to get your visitors involved right away.

Embedded Forms

Embedded forms place a static sign up form on your website to capture email addresses. These complement your other campaigns and provide a space for someone to sign up anytime. These are most often used on a contact page or in the footer of your site.

So, how do you choose? As you design your campaigns, you’ll need to think about your campaign goals. Ask yourself:

  • What do I want to achieve?

  • How aggressively do I want to push my message?

  • Are more of my visitors on mobile or desktop?

Here’s an example. Imagine I’m the owner of a shop that sells pug-themed t-shirts and accessories and I want to announce a welcome discount to people coming to my site for the first time.

I also want to gather email addresses in exchange for the discount and know that most of my visitors are on a mobile device.

In this case, I’d probably go with a scroll-based flyout. Flyouts are very mobile friendly and draw the eye of the visitor because they include movement. But they also don’t completely block the screen. Frankly, they are a pugtastic way to grow your list.

We’ll talk about more campaign combinations in upcoming Whiteboard Wednesdays. See ya next time!


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Whiteboard Wednesday: How to Choose Your Triggers

Hey everyone! For today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going over one of the most important decisions when you create an on-site campaign: How to choose the right triggers. Watch the video below or keep reading for a full transcript.



How to Choose the Right Triggers

Hey everyone! For today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going over one of the most important decisions when you create an on-site campaign: How to choose the right triggers. There’s lots of options that can suit whatever type of campaign you’re looking to create.

Depending on what you want to say, there are four primary ways you can trigger a campaign to your desired audience.  

  • Timer: The time trigger determines when to display your campaign based on how long a visitor has been on your site. It could show immediately when a visitor lands, 10 seconds later, or longer.

  • Scroll percentage: This shows your campaign once a visitor has scrolled down a certain percentage of your page.

  • Exit intent: One of the most popular triggers, exit intent tracks your visitor's mouse movement. If the visitor appears to be leaving or "exiting" your site, you can use that as a trigger for your campaign.

  • Tabs: Tabs, or other visual calls to action, can be customized to fit in with your site layout, and when clicked, trigger your campaign to display.

So, how do you choose?  

As with any marketing initiative, it’s important to put yourself in your visitors’ shoes. If you were checking out your own site, when would you be most likely to respond to receive an opt-in invitation and not be turned off by the ask?  You need to find the right balance of not being too passive, but also not coming off like the aggressive car salesman who harasses you from the second you enter the showroom.

We find that the most effective marketers tend to run at least two campaigns at the same time to help find this balance. This usually means:

  • A time-triggered welcome campaign: This lets your visitors surf your site and get a sense of what you do before hitting them with an offer.

  • An exit intent discount campaign: When your visitor goes to leave your site, create an offer that acknowledges that they won’t be buying today but allows you to capture their email address to bring them back in the future.

Stay tuned for more Whiteboard Wednesdays, where we’ll dive into different campaigns in more detail. See ya next time!

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Whiteboard Wednesday: What is a Cart Saver?

Hey everyone! On today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going over a Privy campaign type that will really drive your sales to next level: The Cart Saver. Check the video below or keep reading for a full transcript:




As an online merchant, there is nothing more frustrating than knowing that someone has added products to their cart, made it all the way to checkout...but then they decide to walk away without buying.

And that’s pretty common. On average, 75% of carts across the globe are abandoned.

Cart savers serve up a last minute message to your customer as they go to abandon their cart, while they’re still on your site,  giving them a moment to pause or an offer to sweeten the deal if they complete the purchase right now.

How this works is by combining an exit-intent trigger, which means the pop up will appear as the mouse hovers over the “x” tab in the browser, with targeting for only checkout and cart pages.

To make these even more powerful, you can add additional levels of targeting to your cart saver, such as cart value targeting. Think about different offers and messages based on the value of the sale they are leaving behind.

Cart savers are a really powerful way to drive revenue without a ton of effort. They:

  • Help you gain email addresses to slowly warm up shoppers that might not be ready to buy just yet.

  • Save 10% or more carts before they leave the site and abandon, according to our customer data

  • Work in tandem with your cart abandonment email program to make sure you make the most out of every customer

Now you know! Tune in for future episodes of Whiteboard Wednesday where we’ll talk about other types of campaigns you might want to try.

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How to Create Great Welcome Campaigns for Your YouTube Fans

If you’re building a brand and promoting your products online, chances are you’re investing in videos that entertain, inform, and engage your potential customers and posting them on YouTube. The platform is so popular that it’s even given birth to a whole generation of YouTube celebrities like Jenna Marbles, Dude Perfect, Dan TDM and Fine Bros, who as a dad over 40 I never would have heard of if not for my child and my younger, cooler co-workers.

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YouTube’s popularity makes it an amazing place to be found by new people interested in what you do or sell. Every day people of all ages seek out videos on their desktop and mobile devices that you can reach to grow your total audience. In fact, here are a few statistics that show exactly how big a deal the platform really is:

  • 1,300,000,000 people currently use YouTube
  • YouTube gets over 30 million visitors and almost 5 billion video views per day
  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute
  • In an average month, 8 out of 10 18-49 year-olds watch YouTube
  • YouTube overall—and even YouTube on mobile alone—reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • The number of hours people spend watching videos on YouTube is up 60% year-over-year

Going From YouTube Fans to Customers

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As great as your following can be, at some point, you’ll want to push your YouTube fans to your website to get them on your email list and buying from your online store. 

But what’s the best way to greet them when they get there?  After all, these are people you already have a relationship with, not some random visitor to your website!

Using highly targeted pop ups makes it easy to welcome your YouTube fans to your store and increase the likelihood that they’ll make a purchase. That way they feel the love and have a consistent experience across the different platforms. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Target Visitors from YouTube Specifically

Using audience targeting, you can make sure that your focused pop up is only seen by folks coming right from YouTube. That way in your YouTube videos and links, you can still send people to your home page instead of some complicated URL.

To do this in Privy, just go into the audience targeting section in the Design step of building your campaign. Choose “referring URL contains” and type in YouTube. You’ll also want your campaign to launch as soon as someone arrives on your site so they are instantly engaged.

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Create a Special Offer

Now that you’ve turned your fans to website visitors, you’ll want to give them a reason to buy. Creating a special discount or offer just for YouTube fans and including it in your sign up form gives people a reason to enter their information, which you can use in the future to promote new products, awesome videos, and special promotions. Go a step further by including the word YOUTUBE in your discount code so they know it’s just for them.

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Make a Special Welcome Video

Your YouTube fans obviously like your videos. So keep 'em coming! Create a simple 30-second video message that welcomes them to your website and tells them about the exclusive offer they should sign up for and embed it in your welcome pop up. Make it direct and personal and thank your fans for coming to your store or website.

Make Some Cine-Magic

There you have it. Now you’ve given people a reason to visit your store from YouTube and targeted a message just for them. And if you’re investing in other social channels, you can follow the same process to create Instagram or Facebook centric welcome campaigns!

Whiteboard Wednesday: How to Develop a Messaging Plan

For today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going to tackle one of the toughest areas of website conversion to get right: Your messaging.

Watch the video below or keep reading for a full transcript.




For today’s episode of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going to tackle one of the toughest areas of website conversion to get right: Your messaging.

The main reason it’s so tough? Despite knowing that everyone who comes to your site is different, we treat them all the same. We act like an order taker at a fast food restaurant who recites the same line to everyone who comes through:  “Do you want fries with that?”

When you think about creating a messaging plan, you need to consider three things:

  • Who you are selling to

  • What they care about

  • Why your product or service should matter to them

But how do you know who they are and what they care about?

One of the great things about being a marketer in today’s day and age is we actually can know know a lot about a site visitor without having to ask any questions.  And we can use that information to our advantage to increase our conversion rates using highly targeted messages.

For example:

  • Where did they come from?

  • Is this their first visit?

  • What page are they viewing?

  • How many pages have they looked at?

  • What language do they speak?

  • What device are they using?

Let’s put this in a real life example. Imagine that you're an ecommerce company selling women’s clothing and you want to offer a 10% discount to new customers who sign up for my email list.

While you probably wouldn’t want to hit someone with every single one of these messages below, you can see how your core message might change based on what you know about a visitor.

  • Where did they come from? If they came from Instagram after clicking on a specific item, then use that product imagery in your offer.

  • Is this their first visit? If they’ve visited before but haven’t purchased, don’t treat them like a stranger! Include welcome back messaging.

  • What page are they viewing? If they’re on the about page, then they’re not really shopping. Instead of a product offer, go for a lighter touch with a subscribe or social follow offer.

  • What language do they speak? It’s super powerful to include offers in that person’s primary language—for instance, creating offers in Spanish and English and using audience targeting to make sure they’re served to the right person.

  • What device are they using? If they’re on mobile, you’ll want to be as concise as possible. There just isn’t space!

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Now it’s your turn!

Ask yourself these questions before launching your next campaign and you’ll be able to create a much more relevant set of messages for your offers. Your visitors just won’t be able to pass them up.

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Our 10-Point Checklist to Get You Ready for the Holidays

With the holiday season in full swing, it’s the most wonderful time of year for ecommerce. We’ve made our list—and checked it twice—so you can make the most out this holiday season of sales.

Read on for our full list and stick around for a free downloadable PDF you can print out so you’ll sail through the holiday season without spilling your cocoa. No cotton headed ninny muggins here!


1. Set Goals for the Holiday Season

For every campaign, you should always set a goal. Whether that’s a certain amount of revenue, sign ups, traffic to your site, or total number of orders, your goal is your compass. It keeps you from doing too much at once, and gives you a guide to what you should gain from all the effort you put in.

If you’re not sure, that’s ok. The trick to being successful is to constantly set higher and higher goals. So if you set a goal and crush it within 24 hours, then it’s time to think bigger.

2. Figure Out What Your Holiday Sale Will Be

This time of year, consumers expect a good deal. This is the boring, but necessary part: Crunch the numbers and figure out what kind of sale you want to run. Remember, that doesn’t have to be a discount, though that’s certainly an effective offer. That can be:

  • A certain % off

  • A certain monetary value off

  • A general offer, like free shipping

  • A free gift or free sample if they spend a certain amount

It’s up to you what will work best for your business.

3. Use One of Our Holiday Templates for Instant Cheer

Once you have your messaging down, use one of our holiday templates to add instant cheer to your site.

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The best part? You can customize any of our templates so you can get your offer up on your site faster.

4. Choose Your Target Audiences

Once you have your offer, think about who should see it. Some segments to think about are:

  • First timers to your site, most likely looking for a gift

  • Returning customers

  • Customers with a cart value over a certain amount

  • Visitors coming to your site from an advertisement

  • Visitors viewing your site on a mobile device

Depending on your audience, you may need to adjust your offer or messaging based on each segment. This is really easy to do in Privy with audience targeting—for example, if you want to target your mobile users, you can set your targeting by device and then use the mobile version of the same template to ensure the best experience.

5. Create a Gift Guide

This time of year, many visitors to your site won’t be your typical buyers. They’ll be buying gifts for your typical buyers! Showcase your products and who they’re best for—the foodie, the techie, the sports fanatic, and everything in between—with a gift guide.

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These don’t have to be fancy. Post a list with product screenshots to your blog, create a special product page based on the category, or create a gift guide email.

6. Promote Your Offer

Because it’s gift-giving season, it’s a great time to try and draw in brand new visitors to your site. Consider advertising on Facebook or Google for your products—and your holiday sale. Then, create an on-site offer that matches the creative from your ads for a seamless shopping experience.

And don’t forget organic social! Let your followers know all about your sales and products throughout the season.

7. Nail Down Your Deadlines

It takes time for your product to be made and shipped, especially if you’re the one actually making it. Go through your supply chain and processes to make sure you have everything in order for the holiday rush. Determine the last possible day someone could order so that they would get the product by Christmas. Then, make sure you make that clear on the site and in your emails. You want to make sure their gifts arrive on time!

8. Clean Your Email List

The key to a successful email marketing program is a clean email list. This season comes with plenty of emails to send for holiday sales—so make sure you’re maximizing your chances for high deliverability by going through your email list and marking anyone who has been inactive for a year or more. This means anyone who hasn’t opened an email or visited your site.

Rather than deleting them, suppress them from your marketing campaigns by moving those contacts into their own “do not email” list. While it’s frustrating to have email addresses you can’t use, it’s much better to email to the people who do want to hear from you. Those inactives aren’t actually making you any money anyway if they never open your emails or visit your site.

This is important because you’ll want to...

9. Promote Your Offer and Products to Your Subscribers, New and Old

Once you’ve determined your holiday offer, it’s time to promote it to your subscribers. Think about an email cadence that works for them. If you only email once a month, for instance, then you won’t want to jump suddenly to a daily digest. And make sure to welcome your new Black Friday and Cyber Monday subscribers now that they’re on board.

Generally, we recommend:

  • An email after Cyber Monday to announce your holiday sale

  • An email letting your customers know the last day they can order for it to arrive by Christmas
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  • An email promoting your gift guides
  • An email to procrastinators promoting any last-minute deals the week before Christmas

Focus on a mix of your sale and general product information. Your email list is also a great place to share your gift guides, bundles, or other products that go together.

10. Make a Coverage Plan

The holidays aren’t just for your customers. They’re for you, too. If you plan on shutting down for a day or two, figure out a communication plan so that your customers know you won’t be available.

People totally respect this—there’s been a growing backlash to the intense consumerism of Black Friday. REI’s #OptOutside campaign is one such example. It’s completely doable to not be available—the important thing is to make sure customers know ahead of time, especially if your customer support team will be taking a much-needed break, too.

Bonus: Take a Break and Celebrate the Holidays

You deserve it! Pencil in some family time and enjoy the holiday season. You can do it!


Bring this List With You

As you load up your sleigh with goodies, it can be hard to remember all the little details. We made a downloadable version of this list you can print out and keep with you so you won’t forget.

Privy Roundup: Features Released in October and November

Since our last product update, we've been busy releasing features and fixing bugs. Here is what’s new in the Privy platform for October and November 2017.

New Drag and Drop Email Editor: We’re excited to introduce a drag and drop email editor to make it easy to create beautiful autoresponders and email series. Read all about how to use the new editor here.

To access the new editor from an existing email, click “reset template” and choose drag and drop editor. Check out a couple of examples of the emails you could create:

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New HTML Email Editor: If you’d rather build your emails directly in HTML or paste code from your email builder of choice, we now have a dedicated email editor where you can view and edit your email code, including a real-time preview.  

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BigCommerce Discount Integration: You can now create Master and Unique discount codes within Privy that automatically sync with your BigCommerce store to ensure a seamless experience for your shoppers. Read more.

Coupon Dashboard: The “Coupons” tab is now your home base for all of the discounts you have created in Privy. Create and manage discounts for your Shopify and BigCommerce stores, as well as codes created manually, that can be easily inserted into one or more Privy campaign to entice people to sign up and buy. Read more.

Coupon Codes Now Included in Contact Exports: Now when you export a file of your contacts from a given campaign, the report will include the coupon code assigned to them in their most recent sign up event if applicable.

Unique Coupon Codes Can Now Be Synced as Hidden Fields: If you’re on our Growth plan, you can now sync the unique coupon code a visitor received over to your email service provider as a detected attribute for hidden fields. This allows you to include unique coupons in reminder emails and autoresponders sent outside of Privy.

International Performance Improvements: We’ve made some behind the scenes changes to deliver a faster load time and reduced connection requirements for users outside of the continental United States.

Better Text Color Picker:  We’ve improved the text color picker in the campaign builder to make it easier to enter the right Hex or RGB color as you are building your displays.

That’s all for now. If you need help or have questions you can always check out our help docs at help.privy.com or contact support at support@privy.com.

See what’s new for yourself! Sign up for Privy to start growing your customer list, free.

[Infographic] Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2017, By the Numbers

With Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend in the books for 2017, it’s time to take a look at what happened and what you can do going forward this holiday season.

On Shopify sites alone, more than $1B in sales occurred over the weekend. Brands on BigCommerce saw an average sales increase of 21%. And according to Adobe Digital Insights, American shoppers spent a record $5 billion in the 24 hours that make up Black Friday. That marks a 16.9% increase in dollars spent online compared with Black Friday 2016.

We dove into our own data to pull out a few key takeaways from what we saw across the thousands and thousands of sites using Privy. Take a look at the infographic below and read on for our key takeaways.

  1. Privy campaigns helped drive over 4.5M orders over the course of the weekend. That’s a lot of transactions that started with a sign up or discount delivered via pop ups, banners, bars, and more. And the holiday shopping season is just beginning!

  2. The BFCM hype is real. We saw a 100% increase in web traffic to our user sites as compared to the prior weekend and a 43% increase in sign ups.

  3. Cyber Monday is still a thing. With BFCM sales starting earlier in the week for many retailers, there were questions about whether Cyber Monday was still an important part of the ecommerce landscape. We saw that yes, Cyber Monday is still alive and kicking with page views almost equal to Black Friday’s—Black Friday was 1.8% higher—and sign ups just a little bit lower at 7%.

  4. Mobile shopping rules the day. Mobile devices accounted for 63.22% of traffic and 66.23% of signups. If you’re not running mobile-specific on site displays, you’re missing out!

  5. Thanksgiving is a major player for the big weekend. While traffic and sign ups on Thanksgiving weren’t at the Black Friday and Cyber Monday levels, they were just about equal to the Saturday and Sunday of the big weekend. This means that shoppers are no longer waiting to get going and searching online for the best deals before they're done digesting that pumpkin pie.

  6. Time-based campaigns are the most used. Privy users saw the most sign ups come from on-site campaigns using time-based triggers (77.6%), followed by exit intent (17.14%), and scrolling (5.15%).

  7. Pop ups are used above all others for sign ups. Over 77% of sign ups for Privy users were delivered by pop up displays, with 13.26% coming from mobile bars, 6.29% coming from flyouts, 2.02% coming from bars, 1% from Spin to Win games, and less than 1% from banner displays.

What does this mean for you?

Even with all the hype, don’t forget that it’s still early in the holiday shopping season. Here are three actions you should take based on what we saw over the past weekend.

  1. Get your mobile house in order. Set up a mobile-specific campaign on your site to capture the mobile traffic coming your way and turn visitors into subscribers.

  2. Change up your campaign. Give people a new offer to entice them to return to your site and shop or buy again.

  3. Stand out from the crowd. Try something other than a pop up to generate sign ups and customers on your site, like a Spin to Win game.

Ready to jump into action? Log in to Privy and get started.

Whiteboard Wednesday: No, Email Is Not Dead

For this edition of Whiteboard Wednesday, we're debunking one of the most common (and absurd) myths out there: That email is dead.

For years, everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Inc has said that email is dead. “Kids these days” just don’t seem to be into email.

Well, we’re here to tell you first: It’s still alive and kicking! And actually more powerful than ever. Watch this week's episode below or keep reading for a full transcript:



Hey everyone! Kayla here from Privy. For this edition of Whiteboard Wednesday, we’re going to debunk one of the most common (and absurd) myths out there.

For years, everyone from Mark Zuckerberg to Inc has said that email is dead. “Kids these days” just don’t seem to be into email.

Well, we’re here to tell you first: It’s still alive and kicking! And actually more powerful than ever.

Let’s break it down:

It’s clear that email is still a critical channel to master if you’re going to be successful. But the why behind it is even more important. There’s 3 real reasons why consumers prefer email:

1. It’s personal. Email is considered a one to one relationship. Even though consumers know that many people might be receiving your emails, when you send it to their inbox, you’re sending something to them.

2. It’s direct. You're right in a customer's inbox or mobile device.

3. It’s permanent. Consumers have a record of what you’ve sent to them. So if you send them a discount, even if they’re not ready to act on that email right then, they know they can use it in a few hours or a few days’ time.

What ties this all together? A quality email list is essential to making this work. Quality in this case means gathering the emails of people who actually want to receive emails from you. It may take some time and patience, but you’ll be rewarded by emailing to subscribers who will actually buy from you!


We’ll dive into some great list building tactics in later episodes of Whiteboard Wednesday. In the meantime, get all the behind-the-scenes goodness by following us on social media: