ThreeBar: A Simple Way to Promote Content and Generate Leads on Your Site

By now, most web users will have seen a promotional message on a bar at the top of some sites that you frequent — they’re a great way to draw your attention to new content, special offers, events and announcements. It doesn’t hurt that they’re easy to implement and update whenever necessary, and that’s what has made this bar a tool of choice for modern webmasters.

We’ve already looked at a very popular option for this called Hello Bar, and today we’re going to check out what the competition has to offer. ThreeBar is another app that lets you create promotion bars, analyze the impact of your messages and engage your site visitors — but is it the best option for you? Let’s create a bar of our own to find out.

Overview

ThreeBar lets you display customizable promotional messages on your site quickly and easily, whether you’re running a CMS or static HTML pages. In addition, you can view analytics that describe how many people click through or close your bar, run A/B tests to compare versions of your message, and of course run multiple bars on all the sites you manage.

A Threebar in action at the top of the screen

A Threebar in action at the top of the screen

Getting started

ThreeBar’s pricing depends on the number of events (views, clicks and closes) encountered on a bar — the free plan allows for 1,000 events, a single bar, analytics, SSL support and removable branding. Paid plans start at $5/month and score you 5,000 pageviews, up to three bars and all the features. This is similar to Hello Bar’s structure is similar, but grants you unlimited bars to use from the get-go. ThreeBar offers a free 7-day trial for its paid plans, but you’ll need to hand over your credit card details to try it out.

ThreeBar offers a free plan and three paid plans with a free trial

ThreeBar offers a free plan and three paid plans with a free trial

Creating your first ThreeBar

All you need to do to set up a ThreeBar is give it a name, enter the text you want to display in your message and the accompanying button, customize your colors, and that’s it. ThreeBar will generate an embed code that you can add to your site’s HTML pages, within the body tag. To try it out on my WordPress blog, I pasted the code into the header.php file and got it up and running in no time — though it’s a pity there’s no documentation from ThreeBar or a WordPress plugin to help other users out with this.

Creating a ThreeBar is simple but also limiting

Creating a ThreeBar is simple but also limiting

If you want to test two messages to see which one works better with your audience, you can set up A/B testing and create a variation of your bar that will be displayed in place of the original, and you can see how they stack up in terms of clicks and closes. When you’ve created a bar or two, you can visit the Dashboard to see how they’re performing at a glance, enable or disable them with a click and edit them.

Using ThreeBar

ThreeBar is ridiculously easy to configure, but that comes at the price of reduced customization and content options. The look is simple and unfussy, and should fit in with most site designs. Once you’ve got a ThreeBar running, you can track its performance by viewing the analytics for that bar within the app. Plus, you can use ThreeBar in your eCommerce store, web app, or any other kind of site that requires SSL support.

Activate and edit your bar, and view stats in your Dashboard

Activate and edit your bar, and view stats in your Dashboard

ThreeBar vs. Hello Bar

While both apps are similarly priced, ThreeBar offers fewer ways to customize your bar. In the world of web apps, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as some users are happy to go with apps that are easier to implement — but when you’re talking about something as simple as a message bar, it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra features to round out your offering. Hello Bar allows you to add your choice of buttons or links and can even pull content from RSS feeds and specially tagged tweets, which makes it far more useful when it comes to displaying new content.

I’d have loved to have seen more ways to enhance the design of my ThreeBar and better control over the bar’s behavior — Hello Bar manages to trump the competition here by allowing users to configure fonts, recall saved themes for bars, and behavior such as where in the viewport the bar will display, how it will hide itself and how links open (same window or new window). I think that if a user is comfortable embedding code in their site HTML, they won’t mind, and instead appreciate extra features such as these.

Conclusion

ThreeBar makes it a cinch to promote content and sales or generate leads via a message bar, and is perfect for those getting started managing their own sites. However, its functionality and customization options are so limited that I fear users will outgrow it all too quickly and want more out of such an app, even if they aren’t power users. Hello Bar offers a lot more for the same price, and looks better to boot.

At this point, it’s hard to recommend ThreeBar over the competition, but there is a free plan that you can try out to see if you’re getting all the bar you need. I would love to see a future iteration of ThreeBar with more features and improved documentation to help users get the most out of the app. Until then, Hello Bar remains the king of the hill, or at least, the top 45 pixels in your viewport.


Summary

ThreeBar lets you create simple promotional bars to display on your site to generate leads and draw users' attention to new content, sales and announcements.

  • ThreeBar 1.0  | 
  • Free for up to 1,000 events; paid plans start at $5/month for 5,000 events and A/B testing  | 
  • Wizardapps
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Responses

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  • Anyone that actually pays for this is an idiot. You can find free scripts that do the exact same thing.

    • Hey Tim,

      ThreeBar offers several features that other scripts do not, including the ability to perform A/B testing and collect detailed analytics about your how your visitors are interacting with the bar.

      With these metrics, hopefully you as a webmaster can make better decisions about what sort of message or color scheme to use in the bar.

      If you, or anyone else, has any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me at [email protected].

      -Andrew
      Creator of ThreeBar

      • You can do that with Google Analytics

  • Thanks for the review!

    We have some interesting new features coming up for ThreeBar which address the issue of customization. Hopefully these new features will be available in the coming weeks!

    A WordPress plugin is also something we will definitely build and publish, making it easier for non-developers to get started.

    If anyone has any feedback, questions, or concerns, please don’t hesitate to email me at my personal email address: [email protected]

    -Andrew
    Creator of ThreeBar