It’s a simple answer, yes Pop-up Boxes work. As annoying as we may think Pop-ups are to us as end users, they do work — and actually, they don’t need to be annoying. With good timing, thought, and creativity, Pop-up Boxes can work and can actually not annoy the end-user, in fact quite the opposite.
Pop-up Boxes help isolate a call to action, a form, or information, and often require the user to take action, usually to opt in or out depending on your campaign and goals. User’s attention spans are short, there’s any number of things distracting them while online — Pop-up Boxes help focus their attention.
Case studies have shown a 1000% increase in email subscribers by using Pop-ups, so let’s get into the nitty gritty of what they are and how to add one (or 100) to your site.
What is a Pop-up Box?
Pop-up Boxes might be referred to by a number of names — modal, slide-in box, fade-in box, notification, overlay, scroll box, smart bar, pop-up window, etc. — but for our purposes, we will refer to them as Pop-up Boxes. Our definition of a Pop-up Box is a small window that suddenly appears (“pops up”) in the foreground of the visual interface based on a trigger isolating content or a call to action.
Popups can be triggered by a number of events:
- Immediately on-site load.
- Delay a number of seconds.
- When someone reaches a certain percentage from the top of the screen.
- On particular pages, posts, articles, etc.
- On a user action, ie a button or link click.
- Upon exit, i.e. when they attempt to leave the site or abandon their shopping cart.
Types of Popups
Below are the most common types of popups, but really with a little imagination and creativity, there are endless ideas and options.
Or as we call it, “shove it down their throats.” This is when a new user lands on a page and is presented with an offer that is a Pop-up Box, but essentially takes over the entire window. More than often, this would be an opt-in / out call to action with an offer they can’t refuse. For example, upon page load, the Pop-up Box opens and reads “Do you like puppies? Sign up for our puppy of the day mailing list.” with a cute photo of a puppy. The buttons say “No, Puppies are the Worst” and “Yes, I love Puppies! Sign Me Up.” Essentially, the user is being given an option they can’t refuse or at least, in this case, would feel terribly bad about agreeing to anything but “Yes, I Love Puppies.”
This might be the most common Pop-up Box we see these days. As you scroll down a page, hit a particular piece of content or stay on the site for “X” number of seconds, a box slides in with an offer or call to action. Again, as with any of these, there are options, options, options.
A bar either at the top or bottom of the website that has a clear call to action. This could be something that is permanent or fades in on scroll or sticks to the bottom or top. There are a lot of options here, but the idea is that it’s not quite as intrusive as a Welcome Mat, but because it sits below or above your site, it captures the user’s attention.
List Builder (2 Step Opt-in)
This is similar to the above, but instead of asking for the goods up front, you get the user to click to receive an offer then ask for the goods (email address). It’s been shown that if you can get a user to say yes to a smaller action, they’ll be more likely to say yes to a larger action—in this case, giving their email address.
This might go a little something like this:
- A Pop-up box appears after 2 seconds on the page. The popup reads, “Click here to download The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.”
- The user clicks and lands on a page that asks for their email address to download “The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread.”
Because they already clicked on the link they are already half way in and what’s entering an email if you already have one foot in the door?
We all want people to share our content more, right? Well, why not put it front and center — Share Buttons at the top or bottom of the article or page may capture some conversions. We, first off, if they haven’t read the article yet, why would they share it? And secondly, if they never finish reading the article then they’ll never see the option to share it even though they loved the first 65% of the article. So, why not present the Share Buttons to the user after they’ve started the article and think it’s now worthy of sharing? Anchor the Share Buttons along the left, right, bottom or top of the article so it’s ever present in their mind to share, share, share.
This is where the rubber hits the road. Timing, location, actions, etc. are just as critical as the content or message you create for your Pop-up. Often Pop-up Boxes are blamed for cheapening the brand or being annoying to customers, but they don’t need to be. Well timed and placed Pop-up Boxes not only convert, but they also can help the user focus in on what they are looking for.
For instance, if you are offering a download of an E-Book and it is featured in a blog post, the reader might see it in the first paragraph, but not be willing to click as they are wanting to read the rest of the article. After reading the article, as they traverse the article they may get sidetracked and forget completely about the E-Book offer. In this case, we would do two things:
- Add a call-out link to the E-Book toward the end of article.
- Add a Pop-up box that slides in from the bottom highlighting the E-Book with a call to action.
We’re not shoving it down their throat, but rather reminding them, “hey, don’t forget there’s this cool E-Book and it’s free and you should download it!”
There are a million different ways to implement Pop-ups and no two sites will be the same nor even two pages. How and where id particular to each site and the goals of the campaign.
So how do you implement Pop-ups? There are a number of sites that offer various capabilities of Pop-up integration depending on your needs. If you’re just looking to implement Pop-up Boxes and you’re using WordPress, there is a great plugin called Boxzilla that offers basics that will get you up and running and easily choose location, timing, design, content, etc. They also offer a premium option for $6 per month that will give you a few more options:
- Exit Intent
- Time on Site
- Page Views
- Google Analytics integration
Since Pop-up Boxes are as much about implementation as they are about content, we usually use the free edition as a starting point, customizing to our needs rather than the monthly premium option.
For more robust (and more costly) options there are a number of options. For the most part, the benefit of these is they offer a simpler user interface as well as more robust testing and A/B testing. Like we said there are a lot of options, but two that integrate well with WordPress are https://thrivethemes.com/ and https://sumome.com/.
We’re by no means telling you to use Pop-ups just to use Pop-ups. But Pop-up Boxes that have a clear value proposition and are implemented correctly, convert.
No matter how you slice it, pop-up boxes work. If you’re using WordPress there are options that will allow you to create, manage and edit these boxes all from within your WordPress backend. Reach out to us and we can help you set it up or if you have more questions, let us know and we can talk through how it could help your conversion rates on your site.