The Whats and Whys of Pop-up Marketing: Part 1

The nature and use of pop-up windows for marketing has evolved as we continue to understand user behavior. When used strategically, a pop-up window is an effective tool that can actually enhance the user experience – and generate leads.  Let’s…

The nature and use of pop-up windows for marketing has evolved as we continue to understand user behavior. When used strategically, a pop-up window is an effective tool that can actually enhance the user experience – and generate leads. 

Let’s take a look at why pop-ups work.

Pop-ups offer the user something “good.” 
An informative e-book, a free email subscription, a PDF filled with good counsel…if a user is on your site, they’re already interested in what you have to offer; even if just on the fringes. A free, tangible item is a simple gesture – a valuable trade, if you will, for capturing their email and potential conversion.

Pop-ups are visible.
There’s no banner blindness when it comes to pop-ups – your message is placed before the user and seen. Pop-up marketing offers a simple opportunity for your users to engage or to quickly opt out.

Pop-ups deliver a message when a user is already engaged.
A well-implemented pop-up delivers its content when the user is already interacting with your site – perhaps a few paragraphs into an article of interest. Knowing when to launch is a key factor in keeping pop-ups less intrusive and maintaining the flow of the user experience.

Pop-ups offer a large return on investment.
With little cost to design and implement, and the potential for a 3% conversion rate, pop-up marketing has great potential for profitability.

Pop-up Marketing Best Practices

A key component of the user experience is subjective satisfaction, so we’ve pulled together a few best practices for pop-up design and implementation.

Keep your message simple and relevant.
Be clear on what you’re offering and be sure it’s relevant to overall page content. Make it simple for the user to engage – a simple name and email collection will often do the trick.

Keep an eye toward aesthetic and brand loyalty.
Keep your branding at the forefront of a solid design. Make key messages and calls-to-action visible and easy to access. 

Don’t forget mobile.
Make sure the mobile experience is equally as user-friendly and visually appealing – over half your users are viewing your pop-up there.

Select popup placement, targets, and timing.
Keep your pop-ups as unobtrusive as possible – some may be best as a subtle slide-in; others in a softly animated lightbox that overlays page content. Select appropriate pages for pop-up implementation, and consider timing of the pop-up display. An engaged user is often more likely to convert than one whose initial page experience is hijacked.

Opt Out
Make it easy for the user to close the pop-up and return to the page content. Also, set cookies so that the pop-up won’t appear again for those who have converted, and will return after a specified period of time for those who have not.

Pop-up Tool Review – Convert Pro: Part 2

In my next post, I’ll take a look at a powerful tool that we use to create engaging, effective pop-up campaigns. Convert Pro offers a designer-friendly interface for building visually appealing pop-ups, numerous options for customization and implementation, and the horsepower you need to connect new leads to your growing email list.

Christa Blackman

Christa Blackman is a Creative Director who has designed print and interactive communications for Fortune 500 companies for over twenty years. She studied Graphic Design and English at the undergraduate level, and completed a Master’s degree with a thesis focused on usability. She has a passion for visual storytelling built upon a strong design foundation.