A Hello bar is an important marketing and PR component that can help you better engage with your audience.
Hello bars, or notification bars as some prefer to call it, are bars that sit at the top of a website, spanning its entire width. They are used to convey messages, promote an offer, or just prompt site visitors to take certain actions.
Here’s an illustration of a hello bar.
You can see a white background floating bar (or hello bar) that runs across the entire width of the website. It contains a noticeable call to action button, Get Started.
If you are looking to turn your visitors to paying customers, Hello bars will be of great help.
Of course, there are still a lot more Hello bars can do, as you will find out later in this article. You will also get to learn the best practices for hello bars so as to get the best out of them. Then we will show you WordPress plugins for creating hello bars.
In this article:
- What is hello bar?
- Why add a hello bar to your website?
- Best practices for hello bars
- Is hello bar free?
- Hello bar plugins
What is Hello Bar?
In the intro part of this article, we gave a brief overview of a hello bar. But what really is a hello bar, and why the name?
Hello bar, in actual sense, is the name of an online software which you can get here. A company that goes by the name Crazy Egg, owns and manages it. It is used for a myriad of purposes, among which include a lead magnet, site announcement, or just to draw the attention of visitors to an offer.
The software is actually a “notification bar”, but due to its popularity Hello bar became the standard name on the web.
So when you hear hello bar, just know it’s any notification bar which often sits at the top of a website. But on some websites the bar displays at the bottom.
There are quite a number of alternatives to Hello bar, as you will find out in the latter part of this article.
Why Add A Hello Bar to Your Website?
So, why take the trouble of adding a notification bar to your website? Wouldn’t your visitors find it irritating due to its mildly obtrusive nature?
The thing is, you stand to gain a lot by enabling the notification bar on your website. The major benefit is increasing conversion rates.
Wouldn’t you like visitors coming to your WordPress site to convert to paying customers, or at least engage with the content of your website? Sure you will, and that’s why you need to take the trouble.
Even big names in the digital marketing industry like Neil Patel depend on it to convert their visitors.
Other benefits are discussed below.
Ideal for Announcing a Vacancy
Let’s say a vacant position came up in your company/organization, and you would like your readers to know about it. Rather than putting up a blog post – which might never be read – a notification bar will be ideal for announcing the role.
Here’s an example.
To Drive Traffic to Your Offer
A visitor that comes to your website through Google search will most likely do so via your blog post. That is to say, he made a search on Google, saw your post, clicked on it and then landed on your website.
What if you wanted to direct such visitors to your homepage where you made a sales offer? A notification bar will be of great help.
Just have it placed on your post page in such a way that it doesn’t irritate, but yet draws attention. You will have visitors to your site coming straight to your landing page irrespective of their entry point.
For Driving Traffic to Your Social Media
In place of a message or CTA button, you can have a social media button added to your notification bar. When a user clicks on it, s/he will be directed to your Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter etc. pages.
And since they are responsive, hello bars display well on mobile devices. As such, your visitors who use mobile devices won’t be left out.
Best Practices for Hello Bars
Hello bar comes with lots of benefits, as you have seen, but you have to get it right to see any meaningful ROI.
That said, here are some tips you should bear in mind before and after placing a hello bar on your website.
Make it Catchy
The true essence of hello bars is to draw attention without irritating the viewer. But for that to happen, you need to put on your thinking cap.
Firstly, think of colors. You will want to use bright colors that compliment your site’s entire design.
Second, use bold fonts that pop. You want your message to hit them in the eyes the instant they land on your page.
Equally important is the design of your call to action button. It needs to make a bold statement, too, if it is to get attention.
Make it Concise
It can be tempting to add so many words into your notification bar all in a bid to get your message across. Don’t do that.
You only have a fraction of a second to get your visitor’s attention, so keep it short and straight to the point.
Keep Split Testing
One vital key to optimizing hello bar is split testing – varying the placement, color, and content of the smart bar.
Try bottom placement, a different font, different background color, etc. Keep track of your results, compare them to see which is more effective.
Is Hello Bar Free?
For most notification bar plugins, you can get a free version that gives you the options you need to create hello bars in your website.
For the free plans though, the plugins logo may appear on your site. Features may also be restricted. For example, you may not have access to A/B testing.
To benefit from these extra features, you need to upgrade to premium notification bars.
Hello Bar Plugins
So far, we have looked at the benefits of integrating hello bars to your website, and how best to go about it. In this section, we shall be discussing the different plugins that can get the job done.
Top on the list is – Hello Bar itself. Here’s how it works
First, you will have to sign up for free with your email address and the URL to your website. The next step is to select your goal – what you desire to achieve with the bar.
After that, choose your preferred ad type: slider, pop-up modal, page takeover, or just a hello bar.
Next, the software will scan your website, and a notification bar will be designed and created based on your website’s color scheme.
To activate the newly created hello bar, copy the API key, install Hello Bar plugin, then paste the copied code into the installed plugin.
And with that, you will have Hello bar up and running on your website.
The plugin comes in free and paid plans. The free plan works pretty well, but then there’s a catch: the bar you create will have Hello bar’s logo. This logo will sit right on the top of your website.
Also, the functionalities in the free plan are limited. For instance, you can’t perform A/B testing in the free version.
But in the premium version, you can take out the logo. Additionally, Hello bar premium comes loaded with lots of functionalities like unlimited A/B testing, precise targeting, etc.
Sumo, from SumoMe, is a great hello bar alternative. It’s an excellent tool for businesses looking to grow their subscriber base without breaking the bank.
Their smart bar is highly customizable, allowing you to change colors, fonts and design your CTA buttons just the way you want it.
Sumo comes with a countdown timer element that you can add to your smart bar. Excellent tool if you have a time-sensitive offer you would like your audience to know about.
You can get up and running with Sumo for free.
The premium version starts at $39/month. Similar to hello bar, in the pro version, you enjoy unlimited A/B testing. Also, the pro version is free of Sumo’s logo.
So, if conversion rate optimization is your major concern, Sumo is your best bet.
WP Notification Bars was created for one singular purpose: to help you increase the click-through-rate of your website.
The plugin is light and fast, thus ensuring that the loading speed of your website isn’t compromised. It is packed with unlimited colors and fonts, giving you the user unlimited customization options.
Like its predecessors, it has both paid and free plans. In the free plan, you can segregate your audience. That is, you can choose whom you want your hello bar to appear to, and who won’t see it.
To cap it all, WP Notification bars is responsive. So you can be sure your hello bar won’t break on mobile devices.
And it’s free to start! However, the free plan has quite a number of limitations. The premium version, best suited for businesses, sells for $29.
HubSpot is an all in one marketing solution plugin for WordPress that comes loaded with lots of advanced features. It also doubles as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. As such, everything you will need to succeed with content marketing is provided for you on one platform.
HubSpot comes loaded with marketing tools, including the famous notification bar. Other tools include live chat, analytics, email automation, forms and popups, contact management, and lots more.
As for customization, HubSpot puts you entirely in charge. You can tweak literally any element in your notification bar just the way you want it. You can change the background color, CTA button design, general layout, etc.
If you intend to collect emails with HubSpot, you are in luck. This is because HubSpot’s in-built CRM makes it easy for you to store the information you capture from your audience.
And the best part is, HubSpot is free to start. So you can start right away without spending a dime.
Top bar, due to its remarkable simplicity, is the go-to plugin if all you need is something basic and simple for lead generation.
Basically, the hello bar you create with it will only have a message and a CTA button. That way, your hello bar is kept clean and simple. As such, readers won’t have a problem deciding to click on your CTA.
Just like the others, Top bar is free, but you can always upgrade to the pro version at any time. In the pro version, you have room to do more stuff. For instance, you can give your readers the option of closing the hello bar if they find it distracting.
In the pro version, you can set the hello bar to appear at a certain time. Maybe you want it to appear 10 seconds after a reader opens your page. Additionally, you can set borders to your smart bar, choose a custom font, and lots more.
The premium version of the plugin goes for $16.
Unlike other plugins that come in free and paid versions, Foobar has no free version. It’s a premium plugin that goes for $20. Not so bad considering what it is capable of.
With this plugin, you can create a functional hello bar where you can display a message, a CTA button or just some of your Twitter feeds.
You can also have the plugin display snippets of your recent posts.
OptinMonster is a popular marketing and automation tool that has been around for quite a while now. Its capabilities are near limitless.
With the plugin, you can create lightbox popup and floating bars (notification bars), lock your content, run A/B testing, segment your subscriber list and much more.
What’s more, OptinMonster lets you target a specific audience demographics. For instance, if you are looking to target Millenials that mostly browse with their mobile devices, OptinMonster lets you do that.
OptinMonster isn’t free. The basic plan goes for $9/month. And there isn’t much you can do in this plan. You can’t remove OptinMonster’s logo while on the basic plan.
To get the best of the plugin, you will have to either go for the Pro or Growth plan. Their pricing plans are $29/month and $49/month respectively.
Last on our list for today is Justuno. Justuno is a lead generation solution best suited for entrepreneurs who run online stores or sell online courses and looking to grow their subscriber base.
Or maybe you are looking for a solution to help minimize cart abandonment? Justuno will also suffice.
With this plugin, you can create notification bars that not only draw attention but also converts. And you can design your notifications bars just the way you want them, thanks to Justuno’s design canvas feature.
Justuno has in-built analytics, similar to that of Google Analytics. It gives you an insight into the behavior of your audience. With the data it provides, you can make informed decisions so as to make your marketing campaigns successful.
WordPress Hello Bar – Conclusion
Hello bar goes by different names: Notification bar, Smart bar, or Float bar. They all imply the same thing.
In this article, we showed you why having a Hello bar on your website will help you achieve your marketing goals.
Like earlier said, if you desire to see meaningful results with Hello bar, you ought to test, test some more, and re-test.
If you have any inquiries or need additional help, feel free to reach us.