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Pop-Ups: Annoying, But Effective!

 In PPC, PPC Optimization

Don’t you just hate it when you’re on a Web site and suddenly there’s a “pop-up” in your face asking for your email address or for some other information?

Despite how annoying they can be, what you need to know is how incredibly effective they can be when done correctly. In fact, if you’re trying to grow your lists and capture the email addresses of visitors to your Web site or blog, pop-ups can boost conversions by >50% to a newsletter signup, whitepaper download, free audit, or other calls-to-action (CTAs)!

Before you rush out and slap a pop-up on your site, you need to be aware of the right way to use them:

  • Pop-up based on timing or behavior – Pop-ups shouldn’t be too intrusive, ruining your visitor’s experience. Most solutions enable you to customize when the pop-up, well, pops up. One simple solution is based on time – it appears after a visitor has spent, say, 10 seconds on a page. Or it can be based on behavior with the pop-up showing up after the visitor has read several pages – or at the end of an article. In some cases, you may want to have it appear only after an indication of engagement, such as after a visitor clicked somewhere on the page. Or, conversely, when the visitor is about to exit the page. If you really want to be sophisticated, you can even vary the pop-up content based on the origin page. In other words, one content block if the reader came from a Google Ad and another content block if they came from your blog.level up pop up
  • Make sure the pop-up’s content is relevant to the page the visitor is on. Typical pages that might use pop-ups are those for newsletter signups, downloading a white paper, signing up for 10% off your next order, and for “liking or sharing the blog post on your social media. Use different pop-ups for different sections of your site. And remember not all pages need a pop-up.The pop-up’s header should be succinct and shouldn’t take more than 1-2 seconds to read before the reader needs to decide whether to “X out” or fill out the form. Remember that your goal is to collect email addresses so don’t ask for more than that (you can always get the rest of the information you require later on).cup cake pop up
  • Pick the right pop-up solution. There are many pop-up solutions available for a nominal fee and some can be tailored to your specific Web site platform (such as WordPress or e-commerce sites like Magento). Typically the process calls for creating the pop-up and then pasting some tracking code on the pages where you want the pop-up to appear. Depending on the software’s sophistication,  you may have more levers and filters for timing, content, A-B tests, reporting, and so on. If you are an OpenMoves OM3 user our Surveys and Registration Forms functionality provide you with a basic pop-up functionality to grow your lists.pop up Mooo
  • Know how to check your pop-up’s effectiveness. You’ll need to have baseline information on conversion rates for the relevant CTA before you launch the pop-up. For example, if you’re trying to grow your email list, monitor your current subscription results and then compare the results after you’ve implemented the pop-up. You’ll typically see a significant increase. Then go ahead and run a variation of the pop-up – for example, changing its timing or behavior – to optimize results.pop up
  • Don’t be Annoying – Once a visitor has completed the pop-up form, be sure the software cookies them and doesn’t present them with another pop-up requesting the same information the next time they visit your site. Also, you don’t want to pester more than three times those visitors who have not yet signed up.pop up ads

Watch out for pitfalls:

  • Are you getting complaints? You don’t want to annoy your loyal visitors. Watch out for and keep track of any email or phone complaints.
  • Check Web site functionality. Make certain the pop-ups render correctly on all browsers and that visitors can easily exit out (by clicking on a big X in the form’s corner if they choose).
  • Are you reaching out to the right subscribers? Be sure the pop-ups appear for the correct visitors and monitor your unsubscribes as a result of the pop-up versus regular signups.
  • Check your abandonment rate. Use your Google Analytics (or other monitoring software) to determine whether the abandonment rate on those pages with pop-ups has increased significantly as a result of the pop-up.

After reviewing results, decide whether pop-ups are right for your site. If you’re not sure, test variations and perhaps place them sparingly, only on key pages rather than blanketing your site. Remember, done incorrectly, pop-ups can annoy.  Done correctly, pop-ups can be a great tool you can use to maximize your Web site’s effectiveness in generating new prospects and readers. If you need help implementing a pop-up solution for your site gives us a holler.


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