How to Add Pop-Ups to Your Site the Right Way
There's a right — and a wrong — way to add pop-ups to your website. Do it right and you'll provide a useful user experience. Miss the mark, though, and you'll annoy and frustrate quite a few people.
So how do you do it? This guide explains everything you need to know before adding pop-ups to your website.
What Are Pop-Ups?
A pop-up is a window that opens over the main content of a web page, offering users the opportunity to do something.
Pop-ups can take over the whole screen or just a little corner of the page. In most cases, a pop-up goes away with a user interaction, such as entering an email address, clicking an option for a coupon code, or closing the window manually.
Why Should You Use Pop-Ups?
The primary benefit of using pop-ups is increased conversion rates for simple actions like signing up for a newsletter or taking advantage of coupon codes and discounts.
A study by Sumo showed that, on average, pop-ups result in conversion rates between 3% and 9%. While that's not a huge number, the most relevant pop-ups in its study resulted in conversion rates as high as 50%.
If you are on the fence about using pop-ups to promote elements within your website, you may want to give it a try, watch your analytics, and see if pop-ups are working for you.
Pop-Up Best Practices
The best thing you can do to ensure that your pop-up is useful is to provide plenty of context for website visitors.
Keep these best practices in mind:
- Offer something of obvious value to spur interaction.
- Include a clear call to action (e.g., "Sign up for our newsletter").
- Target specific users at the appropriate times in the appropriate locations. This might mean offering a coupon code for users who come from an ad on social media, or creating a pop-up with an email signup for users who have spent a lot of time on your website.
- Don't push a pop-up the instant a user arrives on your website. Slow down the timing so that they can find what they came for before the pop-up offers something else to consider. Give visitors 15 seconds before showing them a pop-up.
- Make sure the pop-up matches the personality, tone, and design style of your brand and website so that it looks more like content and less like an ad.
- Design pop-ups so that they are easy to close if the user isn't interested. Otherwise, they might leave your website altogether.
Consider the Downsides
Before you add a pop-up to your website, it's important to understand that not all users will find them delightful.
- Pop-ups interrupt users as they search for information or shop on your website.
- Many people don't like elements that look like ads getting in the way of content , and think of them as rude and annoying — pop-ups may prompt them to leave the website.
- Users can block pop-ups in their browser setting, which means they won't ever see the content.
With that in mind, you may want to register a separate domain (e.g., yourwebsitename.info) where you test landing pages with pop-ups and some without, so that you can determine if the pages with the pop-up perform better or not, and if it's worth the risk to deploy them on your main website.
Using pop-ups on your website can be an effective strategy for boosting conversions. Test regularly and pay attention to analytics to ensure that this website element works as intended.