Bound Blog

Are You Practicing Good Ethics With Your Website Content?

Picture of the author, Ali Nichols
By Ali Nichols
M09 5, 2019

Our customer success managers are the pros on using Bound to its fullest extent.  Today’s tip highlights best practices for using modals and fly-ins.

Today’s post was inspired by a frustration I experienced last week when searching for event rentals for my upcoming wedding.  On a seemingly harmless event rental homepage, I was greeted by a full screen pop up exclaiming a sale on chair rentals. I closed out of the window and navigated to the tent rental page…where I was instantly met with the same pop up.  As you might guess, I was greeted by this same pop up on every page I visited. I eventually crossed this event company off my list – my time and frustration were not worth dealing with this darn pop up!

We have all experienced this frustration and understandably, these experiences have heightened our awareness in ensuring our own modal and fly-in content is not intrusive.   When we follow best practices with our content, we empower our visitors to engage with our site in an experience that is informing and inspiring – and not at all intrusive. Inspired by this example of unethical content, our CSM team wanted to share our best practices for working with modal and fly-in content.

No surprises 

When creating copy for our content pieces, we’re always looking to strike a balance between creativity and practicality – our users should be intrigued enough to click, but not be surprised by where they are taken.  Ensuring that our content is clear on what we are asking is vital to ensuring our visitors are empowered with our content. Similarly, ensuring our visitors have the choice to not engage with our content is critical.  Few things make me more frustrated across the internet when I’m trying to close an online ad and find the X is fake! Our new Content Templates make it easier than ever to customize the close out X on your content and ensure it is always easily found.

Know your audience

The beauty of personalized content is that we can speak directly to those we want – and only those we want.  We recommend excluding visitors who have already engaged with a conversion point from seeing content driving to that same conversion point.  We often see success with Abandonment groups targeting repeat visitors who have seen certain content but have not yet converted, which also helps them see new content. If you ever have a question on how to correctly exclude visitors from a segment, your CSM will be happy to help!

Similarly, we recommend knowing your mobile audience and ensuring that your content is appropriate for their smaller screen experience.  A modal may be perfectly sized for a desktop visitor but may be mistaken for the actual homepage on a mobile device. As an alternative to using mobile sized images, we also recommend using a banner to promote content to mobile visitors.  If you haven’t already checked it out, our Content Templates can help you create a banner to seamlessly fit into your site’s styling. 

Know your limits

On my rental search, I had a small amount of dread in knowing that I would see the same pop up if I wanted to continue to explore the site.  We know that limits are imperative when working with content and keep our visitors curious and wanting to know more. By being selective in the frequency that we display a content item, we can prevent overexposure and keep the clicks coming. If we find that a content item isn’t receiving enough impressions, we can always consider displaying it on more pages, rather than only increasing the frequency it is seen by the same visitor. 

Limiting your content can also apply to limiting the amount of pieces that your visitors see of that content type.  We recommend ensuring that all types of overlay content (modals, fly-ins and banners) live within a single campaign to ensure that a visitor doesn’t see that same type of content throughout their site visit.  This can work well in creating a funnel type approach to keep content fresh for repeat visitors!

Know your strengths

You are the expert for your destination – you will always be able to share the experiences that make your destination unique and help visitors create meaningful memories.  Your visitors come to your site craving this information, and modals and fly-ins are a great way to share your knowledge and recommendations so they can make an informed travel decision.  By following best practices on working with modals and fly-ins you can ensure that you are serving ethical and relevant content to empower visitors. So go out there and create! And know that your Bound CSMs are always here to chat through any questions you may have on best practices.

Have questions about content best practices? Contact us to talk further!

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