Digital Publishers are always looking for effective ways to bring traffic to their sites and retain those readers.

There are countless tools that allow you to subscribe to an email, or RSS feed of your favorite sites, but, many times those subscription dialog boxes get washed out and blend into a blog’s sidebar or footer. In other words, the call to action for someone to sign up for your content, ends up getting lost in the mix of affiliate links.

What you need is something that stands out and forces you to at least acknowledge it’s presence. So you have to consciously choose to respond or not. Two tools that fit into that category are ViperBar and HelloBar

ViperBar

ViperBar adds an attractive bar to your site header, which you can use to increase blog or newsletter subscribers. It includes built-in styling, Aweber & Feedburner integration, and conversion rate tracking.

This has been developed by Glen Allsopp, who is behind many incredibly useful plugins that are also popular amongst the WordPress blogging community. Probably the most effective aspect of the ViperBar, in my opinion, is the ability to see conversion stats (we publishers are big nerds for analytics).

Along with the default ViperBar plugin, Glen and team have recently released ViperBar Plus which brings about some modest, yet relevant updates.

  • The header Bar is only shown to users which are not logged-in, excluding admins
  • Client-side validation before submitting
  • Autofill the Feedburner email field
  • Only users which are not logged-in, via the WordPress admin, will see ViperBar.

Download the plugin: ViperBar | ViperBar Plus

HelloBar

HelloBar positions itself as a simple notification bar that delivers your message and helps drive more website clicks.

Plain and simple, and quite effective. Actually, the HelloBar has gained some significant endorsement from a handful of interweb influencers with the likes of Chris Brogan, Tim Ferriss, and Gary Vaynerchuk being listed and shown as HelloBar users. Oh yeah, and you’ll notice that we at THE Tech Scoop have implemented the HelloBar as well.

HelloBar, similar to ViperBar allows for custom styling of your bar and the ability to gather high-level stats about who is seeing and clicking on the link within your HelloBar.

Another similarity between the two tools is that each has a WordPress plugin that allows you to easily install, configure and integrate the banner bar into your site.

One thing nice about the HelloBar is that the plugin is not a requirement – you can simply grab the embed code after you build your bar and integrate it in your theme and/or sidebar HTML.

So how to choose between the two? ViperBar  is ALL about adding additional subscribers to your site’s content. It does that and that alone, and does it really well. There’s also capability to integrate ViperBar with HelloBar.

I think the HelloBar is going to begin morphing into more than just a one-trick pony. I say this because earlier this month, they sent out an email to it’s users stating that some “brilliant new features…” are on the horizon. So there’s a Pro version coming sometime soon that hasn’t been fully disclosed. When I hear more on HelloBar Pro I’ll update this post.

Keep up with HelloBar by following them on Twitter.

Any of you have any experience with either of these tools? What are you opinions and what’s your user experience been like?

 



  • carlmueller

    Hi James I just came across ViperBar and found your post helpful as I was checking out Hello Bar last night too. I'm still waiting to get a code for Hello Bar but hope to have one of these on my site shortly. Thanks again. Carl

    • Hey Carl – I just emailed you an invite to The Hello Bar. Let us know your experience with both products.

  • I just found another WordPress plugin doing a very similar function. You can check out Attention Bar here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/attention-bar… which was created by @pdreissen

  • rightonwebdesign

    James, Thanks for sharing the link to the attention bar. I’ve been having trouble with the viperbar sending the email confirmation to the subscriber for my feedburner rss feed. This works really nice for grabing attention to my sidebar newsletter subscription. The attention bar plugin is awesome!