As you know, there are a lot of things that disrupt our flow while browsing, thus interfering with user experience. Website pop-ups have collectively managed to annoy almost everyone to the point that they are unanimously voted the most annoying advertising technique ever in 2004 by Nielsen Group. Almost two decades of heavy misuse of a perfectly fine advertising channel has led many to the misconception that no good can come out of pop-ups, when, in fact, if done correctly, they can be a tremendous value to generating new leads.
Pop-ups may be associated with spam—for a valid reason—because that is how they appeared and functioned back in the day. Thankfully, as marketers started making better use of pop-ups, their designs have evolved and consequently so did consumers’ attitudes.
Today, pop-up forms and ads are considered as one of the most effective lead generation tools since they provide businesses with unique ways to attract new contacts, generate qualified leads, and increase user engagement. Multiple studies conducted over the years have shown all of this to be true.
For example, a study by Aweber revealed that pop-ups increase email subscriptions by as much as 1,375%. ThriveThemes conducted a similar case study of their own in which they found that having an opt-in pop-up form increased their conversion rate by ten times.
Having evolved from an advertising technique to a legitimate channel, implementation of pop-up forms subsequently requires decent planning and strategy in order to take full advantage of its benefits.
Below are five best practices when it comes to website pop-ups to ensure they add the most value, while not annoying your website visitors:
Timing is key. Nobody likes being bombarded with pop-ups the moment they open up a website. Visitors need to be able to get a glance at your website to get a feel of your content or what you have to offer before they receive a pop-up form that asks them to take action. Conversely, it should not take too much time before a pop-up form appears as by then it might be too late and people might have already left your website.
While there is no exact science behind the timing of pop-ups, generally it is advised to keep the delay within an 8-60 seconds timeframe. Therefore, you will need to do some experimenting to find out what works best for you and your audience. Also consider that different pop-ups will need different intervals, depending on the page of the website or the type of pop-up form. For example, you can have a slide-in pop-up form that displays on the bottom corner of the website, or an exit intent pop-up that displays when someone is about to leave your website. Each of these will have a different interval in which they should be displayed.
Another aspect that needs consideration is how frequent pop-ups or other promotional channels like mobile push notifications are going to be. Too much of anything can do more harm than good. In other words, regardless of how enticing and valuable your pop-up form ads can be for prospective clients, too many of them will act as a turn off rather than as an incentive.
Not to mention, the more pop-ups you display on your website, the more barriers you put between the customer and your products/services. The forms should not block or act as an obstacle during the checkout process. Ideally, you need to keep the limit to one pop-up form per webpage and make sure it does not repeat itself elsewhere. You can also set your pop-ups to not display for the same user for a specific amount of time. For example, if a user sees a pop-up and doesn't engage, consider not displaying it to them for another 1 - 2 weeks so it doesn't become intrusive.
Pop-up forms and ads themselves can only do so much. The content and information they provide should be relevant, concisely stated, and offer some significant value to prospects. In this day and age, holding a prospects interest is a tough task, so keep that in mind when you develop the content of your pop-up form - make sure it is enticing.
The most important aspect that you should place most of your focus on, however, is the CTA (call-to-action). It should be clear enough so that visitors know what course of action they are supposed to take. Sometimes, a poorly designed CTA can confuse website visitors either because they are not sure what it is that is expected of them, or simply because it is uninspiring. In any case, these mistakes will lead to poor conversion.
4. Target Audience
As is the case with most marketing channels, defining a target audience and subsequently personalizing your promotional messages to them is important. People like to feel special, especially when they are on the receiving end of communication with brands.
Tailor your pop-ups to feel unique and personal for different segments of your customers. For example, if you have clients visiting your website from a different country, offer them pop-ups with special discounts for people coming from that country’s IP addresses. Alternatively, make different pop-ups for return customers to incentivize them to repeat business with you.
There are a lot of ways you can approach this. The main point is to ensuring the right pop-up form appears for the right prospect at the right time.
What made pop-ups so annoying to website visitors in the first place? Poor design of pop-up forms and ads initially made them look like spam messages and computer viruses. A neat design can do wonders for your pop-ups by making them look professional and not spam-related. It is also important to design your pop-up ads in a way that resembles the general appearance and feel of your brand or website.
Fortunately for you, there are a lot of applications and online services that offer full pop-up form creation and customization.
Having been heavily misused and generally disliked by people, website pop-ups have gone a long way to transform to a true lead generation inbound marketing and advertising channel. When utilized correctly, they can benefit your business in ways unimaginable or unattainable by other channels. Conversion can improve and you can gain qualified prospects in your database simply from adding these pop-ups to your website.
Pop-ups can help increase your conversion rate and sales and increase user engagement on your website. If you follow the five steps outlined above, you will soon start to see your conversion rate improve and user engagement on your website increase.
If you're interested in discussing how you can most effectively utilize pop-ups on your website, we invite you to schedule an inbound consultation with our team. We have experts who have implemented pop-ups across a variety of channels to help improve lead generation, lead re-engagement and user engagement.
Guest Blog Contributor: Saten Aghajanyan has been working at Dexatel OU as a sales manager for over a year and is now a part of the newly-formed marketing team representing their recently-launched product SendSMS, which provides wholesale SMS services. Currently, she works as a digital marketer helping develop the brand name while simultaneously giving people full information about mobile marketing, especially SMS marketing. Before working at Dexatel, she volunteered for different organizations and large events.