Small Changes Work Too
There are 2 things we know for sure about online browsers:
1: They’re in a mad rush.
2: 98% of the time they are driven by System 1 (irrational/emotional/quick mode of the brain). More details about System 1.
If you want them to notice something we need to slow them down. And you don’t have to have a big bold design choice to slow them. A small subtle tweak can work just as well. For example, for the close button on traveloregon.com the only change is that they’ve tweaked the design of their email signup close button (notice the X looks like its hand-drawn):
It was unexpected, so it slowed me down, which got me out of my default System 1 mode (where I’m navigating the world, making decisions, with very little thought), which made me reconsider WIN A PENDLETON CRATER LAKE BLANKET prize.
And all it took were a few pixels of design work.
These small changes will work on your site too.