Holler Box: A Smart Notification Plugin for WordPress Websites

Scott Bolinger, co-founder of AppPresser, has launched a new sales and conversion tool for WordPress websites called Holler Box. The plugin offers a lightweight, elegant popup message for capturing email addresses, displaying a (fake) live chat, or announcing a sale or event.

Bolinger designed it to be non-intrusive – it’s not the kind of modal dialog that obscures content with an animated box in the middle of the page. Holler Box appears at the bottom right-hand of the page by default.

After finding other WordPress popup plugins to be too complex for his needs, Bolinger decided to create his own solution for displaying a quick notification on his websites.

“I’m a developer, and even adding a simple banner or popup to my site is not easy,” Bolinger said. I have to write the code, test locally, push to staging, test there, then push to production and do a final test. When I want to remove the message, I have to reverse the process. I’m busy, and that takes time.”

Bolinger made it so that creating a new Holler Box is as easy as writing a new blog post. The content editing screen includes a meta box with options for customizing the display.

The “Advanced Settings” meta box allows users to set pages where the notification should be displayed, limit to logged-in only or logged-out visitors, set the display for new or returning visitors, and customize the delay based on time or scrolling. It also gives options for when the Holler Box should disappear and how often it should be shown to each visitor.

Holler Box is capable of a wide range of uses. A few examples include the following:

  • (Fake) Live Chat with Opt-in

    Show a live chat box to collect customer questions and emails, without having to actually deal with the hassle of live chat. As soon as your visitor types a question, an email opt-in pops up so you can follow up with them at a convenient time.

  • Polls and Forms

    Embed anything into your Holler Box, including a feedback form or poll.

  • Interactivity

    Add a link, video, contact form, or simple opt-in form that integrates with major email providers like MailChimp and Convertkit.

Below is an example of how the MailChimp email opt-in form works:

Holler Box also tracks impressions and conversions (link clicks and message opens) so that users can see how well their notifications are performing and optimize them as needed.

The free version on WordPress.org has an impressive number of customization options, but Bolinger also plans to release a Pro version that will include additional features, such as an option for a header banner, more advanced display filters, automatic message deactivation, advanced email opt-in features, more conversion data, and support.

“Holler Box aims to be more stylish and easier to use than existing options,” Bolinger said. “I use it when I need to make an announcement without spending a lot of time in a complex tool.” He said he could see the plugin working well side-by-side with well-established popup plugin competitors like OptinMonster.

Bolinger said Holler Box is not affiliated with AppPresser, but he plans to use it as a sales tool on all of his sites. The plugin’s unique feature set is something he found missing in WordPress’ marketplace for sales/conversion tools.

“I think Holler Box will increase sales and conversions without being as disruptive as other popups,” Bolinger said. “The sale notification popup and faux live chat feature are really unique. It’s how I want to communicate with my audience – hopefully other people feel the same.”

16 Comments


  1. The design is very sleek. It’s tempting to be tried.

    I have Live Chat plugin at my website. The setting is too complex. I hope Holler Box have simpler setting.

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  2. This is an example of a quote I heard the other day by a developer named Jeffrey Hammerbacher who said:

    “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads.”

    I’m old. In “my day” most of us used our programming skills to make life better… developing software for heart-lung machines, medical cures, moon landings, factory automation, financial efficiency, micro computers, cell phones, the list goes on and on.

    What WP needs is a complete top to bottom re-write… not another intrusive pop-up seeking personal information used to sell us something we don’t want.

    YMMV

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    1. Yep !

      Perhaps this is an incremental improvement over current pop-ups – and any improvement over that is Welcome !
      Yet overall, that that’s where we are is not saying much.

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  3. I have tried it and it is very sleek and simple to use, but unfortunately it seems the plugin uses the built-in mail function to send out emails, and I am on a Windows platform and the mail function does not work, so I don’t get any emails from Holler Box. Hope the developer can address this.

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    1. Hi, you can use any SMTP plugin to use a different email provider, they all filter through wp_mail(). Personally I like Postman, I also use Mailgun.

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      1. OK, the email is working with WP-Mail-SMTP plugin, but there is still one issue. The message sent from Holler Box does not contain the customer’s email address, so how do I contact the customer after I got the message? I only enabled fake chat feature.

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      2. Did you try replying to that email? Normally the reply to address should be the customer’s email address.

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  4. Is there anything worse than a pop up on the website?

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  5. This design makes me realize how many other pop up plugin look

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  6. Thanks, Scott for clearly putting the time in to create a nicely made and versatile plugin – and then giving it away for free.

    I applaud your decision to let us all use your code, modify it, and leverage it as one more step toward creating new sites and technologies.

    Keep on keeping on.

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