I know, I know, everyone hates website popups. They appear at the worst times and make you want to shut the site down completely rather than carry on reading. So the question “do website popups work” seems like a no-brainer right? Well it may surprise you that the answer to that question is yes, popups do work. You do however need to use them properly to make them effective.

So what is an effective website popup?

If someone’s reading a blog article you may have a popup to get them to sign up for your email newsletter. So as the person gets to the end of the article they are reading – up pops your email newsletter popup. But if someone’s on your product page, you want them to buy your product, not distract them with a popup. Having a newsletter signup popup on your product page is both annoying and detrimental to your product sales.

So both the context and placement of the popup are important. In the first example the context is that this person is reading a blog article and may be interested in having access to more of your articles via email. Then we get to placement towards the end of the article (you can use a scroll-activated popup here). Think about a shop, if the salesperson greets you at the door and immediately pushes a product in your face – you’ll be annoyed and walk out the door. The same principle applies to your popup. Wait for the person to read the blog post first. If they’ve read to the end they probably enjoyed the blog post and would likely want more. Then you ask them to sign up for your newsletter. And don’t forget to set frequency rules, so readers don’t keep seeing the same popup on every blog post they read.

What are the different kinds of website popups how do you use them?

1. Entrance Popups

Entrance popups come up immediately when you open a website and can be considered rude. They appear as soon as a webpage has loaded, blocking the webpage until the person has engaged with it. One way you could use these are if your are having a sale and want to make people aware of it immediately. Like having sales banners in the window of a shop.

2. Timed Popups

Timed popups appear after a person spends a certain amount of time on your website. Less rude as the person has had a chance to look at your website’s content and may like what they see enough to opt in to your popup’s offer. Tricky to get the timing right though, so test your pop-up timing very carefully. You don’t want it appearing too soon or too late.

3. Scroll-Activated Popups

Scroll-activated popups appear when a visitor reaches a particular section of your webpage. In the blog example mentioned above, it appears when you reach the bottom of the post. Your visitor has had time to get to know what you have to offer and they are more likely to become a subscriber.

4. Exit Intent Popups

Exit intent popups track when a visitor to your website is planning on leaving the page. So about to close the tab, open another tab or click on the “back” button on their browser. Best used to encourage them opt-in to something they may have missed or an offer they didn’t know about. Make sure you’re not spamming people with your exit intent popups, they don’t want to see the same popup on every page.