How to Use Pop-Ups

Raise your hand if you hate pop-ups.

Don’t worry, we raised our hands as well. While most people find pop-ups annoying, you would be surprised to know – pop-ups work. In fact, they work really well!

The average conversion rate for all pop-ups is 3.09%

Just to give you an idea, the average conversion rate for email opt-in forms is 1.95%. It doesn’t seem like a big difference at first but when your site has a 100,000 visitors a month, the percentage difference matters.

To be honest, it probably matters even more if you are a small business trying to build your mailing lists – every subscriber counts!

In fact, have you heard the famous story from Nikki’s stitches? They had 1,375% more email captures from pop-ups than from the opt-in form in the sidebar. That’s a big jump!

So now that we have established that pop-ups work, let’s talk about the how to make them work to your advantage.

3 types of pop-ups and their uses:

1) Entry pop-up:

You click on a link in Google, go to the site and BAM, there is a pop-up to greet you. Entry pop-ups are usually quite aggressive and can turn a user off.

However, if used for limited offers, they can work quite well. Limited time offers are important and scarce and your users would like to know of them before they start shopping.

Here are two examples we love:

entry pop up - limited time offer

Entry pop-ups are a great way to entice your first-time customers to shop from you and not your competitors.

Here is another example that can be an ongoing limited time offer pop-up:

Cheap_Monday_Official_Webshop_-_Shop_Jeans___Clothes_Online

2) Exit pop-ups

Losing site visitors? Exit pop-ups are a great way to retarget these visitors and get them back to your website at a later date or to encourage your customers to finish their purchase.

Have an e-book, whitepaper, referral deal, free quote or free samples you can offer? Here is your chance to do so!

Have a potential customer exiting from the cart page? Create a pop-up with an exclusive discount code for free shipping or ‘10% off’ to encourage them to finish their purchase. There are a ton of creative ways to keep your site visitors engaged with your brand even after they leave your site – thanks to exit popups!

Here are a few examples we like:

post planner exit popup.png

get the free guide - exit popup.png

15% off next purchase

3) Floating bar pop-ups

If you are looking for a pop-up that is the least intrusive out of all three, then floating bar pop-ups are your best friend. These can be used to offer any of the goodies we have mentioned above as they don’t interrupt the buying experience.

We would recommend to delay your floating bar pop-ups by a minimum of 30 seconds. This way you are engaging with users that have shown interest in your site and your products.

Here are our favourite examples:

free swab switch floating bar.jpg

beardbrand floating bar.png

floating bar 10% off.jpg

What NOT to do with pop-ups:

1) DON’T offer nothing

Pop-ups work because they make your website visitors take an action – whether that is singing up or closing the pop-up, it is, in all means, a call-to-action.

If you are going to ask for their information, you need to give something back in return. Without an offer, your visitors have no reason to part with their information. You would be surprised to know how many businesses implement pop-ups but provide their visitors with nothing of value in return.

DO offer something of value. When planning on what to offer, ask yourself, “Would I give my name and email address for this offer?” If the answer is no, get a better offer.

2) DON’T ask for their life story

Yes, getting relevant information is important and is good practice but don’t get carried away. We would recommend having no more than 3 fields (akin to a contact-us form) so that you are not deferring visitors from signing up. It is important to remember, this is a pop-up to help you build your lists, this is NOT a way to get qualified leads.

If you would like to get more information from your visitors, DO target your pop-ups at the right stages of the buyer’s journey. Use short, concise pop-ups at the earlier stages of the buyer’s journey and trigger more information rich pop-ups for repeat visitors or visitors that have spent at least a considerable amount of time on your site.

3) DON’T use pre-made templates

This is especially true if you are planning on using entry pop-ups. Pop-ups need to exciting in order for your visitors to engage with them, so DO make them true to your brand and don’t be afraid to be creative!

Don’t get us wrong – pre-made templates are great! However, you would be surprised as to how many companies use the same pre-made templates with zero customization. They are usually not on brand, use the same default text and are really not that enticing. Invest some time and humour into getting the best copy for your pop-ups.

Also, as we always say, test! Try to play around with the images, copy and the number of fields to see what works best for your visitors and their user experience.


In conclusion, definitely use pop-ups!

They are a great way to drastically improve your online lead generation activities and grow your lists. However, it is important to remember, that pop-ups alone don’t do the trick. They work in cohesion with your website, your offer and your overall customer experience – so make sure to pay close attention to all aspects!

If you would like to learn more about commercebuild or are looking for an eCommerce solution, let’s chat!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.