May 4, 2022

Website Popups: How to Use Them for Your Marketing Success

By: Mary Hiers

Businesses have used website popups for marketing for a long time because they work. Getting the best results requires knowing your goals, the different types of website popups, and the best ways to use them. Learn how to leverage popups on your business website to reach more of your marketing objectives. 

Why Use Website Popups

You can’t simply get a website popup maker and start adding popups to your website without forethought. If you do that, you can annoy visitors to the point where they bounce off the page. 

The right type of popup, appearing at the right time for the visitor, can help you achieve key marketing objectives, such as:

  • Announcing important news about your business
  • Building up your email list
  • Preventing abandoned shopping carts
  • Bringing people back when they want to leave your site
  • Testing the appeal of different offers
  • Collecting customer feedback

Knowing the various types of popup ads and best practices is a crucial step in making them work hard for you.

Types of Popups

In-browser popups are the standard popups used today. There are several key types of in-browser popups:

  • Pop-up chat boxes for users who have questions
  • “Floating” bars that are in view regardless of where the user scrolls
  • Pop-ups that appear when the user’s mouse hovers over a “trigger” word or phrase
  • Time-based popups that appear after a user is on the site for a specified amount of time
  • Scroll-triggered popups that appear at specific points on the page
  • Cart-abandonment popups, to engage people who attempt to leave with items still in their carts
  • Exit-intent popups, to engage people who intend to leave
  • Full-page popups, when you need to present your visitor with information that directly concerns them, such as terms and conditions

Full-page popups tend to intrude on the user experience. However, they do have a role in business marketing. They should be used sparingly because they are so intrusive. Common reasons that businesses use full-page popups include presenting critical information like license agreements or as a part of payment processing. In these cases, visitors expect them.

Popup Ad Strategies: Effective Messaging at the Right Time

Although some people find them annoying, website popups can deliver excellent results. Popups result in conversion rates of up to 11.09%, which is an impressive figure.

And they needn’t annoy people if you create them with skill.

When you word your popups properly, use them in the right context, put them in the right place on your page, and time and size them correctly, they are most likely to reach your goals.

Successful website popups require a strategy. If, for example, you create a popup that appears as soon as the visitor arrives at your page, you risk Google search engine penalties as well as annoying your visitor. 

Additionally, Google’s indexing is now “mobile-first,” so you must ensure that your popups are not overly intrusive. Moreover, they must look right on mobile devices. Penalties are against “intrusive” popups, which is a subjective term. 

You can avoid your website popups being “intrusive” by making sure they are easy for users to dismiss, that they do not harm the user experience on a page, and in general that they don’t look “spammy.”

Proven Best Practices for Website Popups

  • Choose popups that do not interrupt the user experience. Small floating bars, for example, are far less likely to annoy users than a series of full-page popups that appear seemingly at random.
  • Set your popup ads to appear only after visitors have chosen to browse a page. This is not only user-friendly, but Google-friendly as well.
  • The content of your popups should be brief and conversational, not “salesy” or wordy.
  • The main components of a successful website popup are the headline, brief copy, and a call to action (CTA).
  • Key benefits (“save 10%”) should be prominent, and your CTA should make the popup feel personalized. For example, instead of using a button saying, “Submit,” have the button say something more specific, like “Get my coupon.”
  • Tap-friendly popups are essential for mobile users. Make buttons clearly defined and choose fonts that are easy to read on mobile devices.
  • Minimize the amount of information that visitors must enter to take advantage of your offer. Users are likelier to simply enter their email address than to answer a poll first and then enter their email address, for example.
  • Consider using exit-intent popups. These display when the user is about to leave your page. Exit-intent popups that ask for a visitor’s email address help you bring people back to your site
  • Test and adjust your website popups. If your website popup maker allows A/B testing, take advantage of this feature. A different image, size, headline, or CTA button test could make a measurable difference in effectiveness.

Website Popup Ads: Common Mistakes

  • One of the most common mistakes businesses make with popup makers is having their ad pop up as soon as the visitor arrives. Users don’t like this, and Google also looks unfavorably at it. Give users at least a few seconds on the site before presenting a popup.
  • Another common mistake is presenting visitors with the same popup with every visit. Nobody wants to see the same popup on their first, tenth, or hundredth visit to your site.
  • Frequency of using popups is important as well. Bombarding visitors with popups every few seconds can seriously harm their user experience. 
  • Boring, generic popups don’t engage people. Don’t put all your effort into designing a visually stunning website and then use dull, humdrum popups.
  • Using too many full-page popups. Only use full-page popups when absolutely necessary. They should be reserved for specific cases where full-page content is necessary (such as when processing a transaction or presenting terms and conditions).
  • Perhaps the biggest mistake businesses make when it comes to popups is dismissing them out of hand. We have all found popups that are intrusive or annoying. But they work. 

Popup ads do not have to be garish, intrusive, or unhelpful. Careful design, outstanding content, and easy functionality all work together to create website popups that help you reach your conversion goals.

Are Website Popup Ads Right for Your Website?

Well-timed, well-designed popup ads work hard for your business. They catch your visitors’ attention, keep them informed, and can keep them on your page for longer. The right offer, presented to the right visitor at the right time encourages conversions. Furthermore, popup ads can help your business gather critical information that helps you market better. 

Are you curious about how to put popups to work on your website? You don’t have to buy a popup maker and learn the art and science of effective popups from scratch. We know how to make popups that engage your website visitors and get results. We know how to time them properly and include content your customers will respond to. Schedule a call with us to learn more about making popups a valuable component of your website.

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