Using pop-ups on your website
For something that has a reputation for being irritating, website pop-ups seem to be everywhere – bouncing into your face as you try to read an article and popping up the moment you make a move to leave a website. The reason for this is because, despite the irritation, they work – and are a valuable marketing tool for gaining leads and newsletter sign-ups. So, the big question is, how do you use them effectively without annoying your audience?
What’s wrong with pop-ups?
Why is it that people find pop-ups such a pain? The main reason is that they’re often a bit too ‘in your face’, covering the page you’re looking at and blatantly data mining you. These are the types of pushy messages that give pop-ups a bad name and prompt people to use pop-up blocking software. Pop-ups that try to trick visitors into staying on the webpage, signing up a subscription or placing an order should be avoided. Most people hate to be manipulated in such a way and can see through it quickly.
How to get it right
When pop-ups work without alienating visitors, they can be incredibly useful to you. They can produce high opt-in rates, drive conversions and even solicit orders. But only if you do them right.
Take these suggestions into account when you’re looking at using pop-ups – this will ensure that you reap the benefits of them, rather than adding a negative pop-up experience to your site.
- Be careful about the timing of your pop-up. Set it in action too soon after your visitor has arrived, and you’ll put them off. But don’t leave it too late either, or you might miss them completely.
- Don’t bombard visitors with the same pop-up on every page. They don’t need to see it over and over again.
- Make it quite clear how to close down the pop-up. If visitors can’t work that out quickly, they’ll simply leave the site.
- Make the content of your pop-up compelling or amusing – no one wants to be bullied or patronised by an ad.
- Keep the design of the pop-up clean and simple, with plenty of white space.
Types of pop-ups
- Click pop-ups – these appear when your visitor clicks on a particular word, image or link. This makes them less annoying, and they’re great for promoting further content on the same subject.
- Timed pop-ups – these appear once the visitor has remained on the page for a certain amount of time. Be careful how you time them and use A/B testing to see what works best. Generally, don’t set them to pop-up at less than 30 seconds.
- Scroll pop-ups – these pop-up once your visitor has scrolled past a certain point on the page. If you set them to come up lower down the page, you will know that your visitors are interested in that page before you hit them with your marketing message.
- Entry pop-ups – these appear as soon as your visitor gets to your page, acting as a gateway to the content on it. They can work, but it’s a risky strategy and best used for spectacular special offers.
- Exit pop-ups – these are the most common type of pop-up, using mouse tracking to trigger them when your visitor is about to leave the page. They can make a good CTA for the moment when visitors have read all the information they need.
If you’d like help and advice on using the pop-ups on your website, get in touch with Inside Creative Contact us here.