11 Popup Strategies That Will Boost Your Conversion Rate

Popup strategies that work

Conversion rate optimization is one of the hardest things in marketing. Did you know that 98% of first-time visitors leave your website without converting? Still, you can improve your odds of gaining subscribers using strong popup strategies.

Popups are one of the most efficient ways to boost conversion rates. They are your last effort to convert visitors into subscribers and potential customers. Yet, don’t create a popup that says “subscribe to my newsletter” or “buy now”. Provide something of value.

Yes, popups can be annoying but they are still converting well. That’s why websites use them all the time. But they must have a provoking headline and call-to-action (CTA), good design, and a great giveaway. Follow these proven popup strategies to leverage the power of popups.

1. Discounts

Whatever service or product your offer, people want to pay less for them. Discounts and coupons are important, especially to new visitors.

Even a 5% discount can increase your conversion rate. But make sure your popup message is attractive enough. If 5% doesn’t convert well, try giving away bigger discounts.

You can also offer a discount like 80% for a limited time only if it’s worth it for you. For example, the product/service is quite costly. Such a big discount is hard to pass up even for the most money-conscious visitors.

2. Gifts

Another way to increase your email list is to give away gifts. They can be anything that’s useful to your target market as long as they solve a problem, inform or entertain.

If you sell WordPress themes, give them a free theme or two (and they might buy from you in the future). Or if your industry is marketing, offer a free eBook about marketing.

You can offer them a gift for completing a sale as well. Offering branded things like bottle openers may help build customer relationships. Plus, it’s (almost) free marketing for your website!

3. Contests

Contests are one of the best popup strategies to generate leads. Present your visitors with an offer to win a sweet item by entering their email addresses. Most of them will get aboard your offer – after all, it’s free entry! Thus, running a contest in your popup can get you tons of new leads for cheap.

A popular contest is “enter to win a T-shirt” which has your company logo on it (but not too conspicuous). This is a great and low-cost way of getting email subscribers for a price of a T-shirt. Plus, it’s free marketing from whoever wears it!

4. Free shipping

Free shipping has a great appeal to online shoppers. Did you know that orders with free shipping are 30% higher in value? More so, about half the visitors abandon their cart when they learn that shipping isn’t free.

Thus it’s important to alert your abandoning visitors about your free shipping offer. This fulfills their needs and can lead them to shop on your website.

5. Cart abandonment discount

Here’s the reality: people abandon an average of 70% of shopping carts. What’s more, the worth of abandoned merchandise was worth $4 trillion in 2014 alone! That’s a lot of money lost for businesses. But – it’s recoverable!

Your visitors are abandoning their carts for many reasons. They may have found a better price elsewhere or they saw unexpected costs. But that doesn’t mean you should let shoppers who are leaving your website with items in the cart slip through your fingers.

You can still turn those shoppers around with a little nudge. Remind them that they’re leaving their carts and give them a special deal. Offer them a discount, a gift for completing a purchase, or free shipping in your popup.

As an alternative to offering incentives, try an exit overlay to remind them about their cart. Ask something like “Did you forget to check out?” or “Are you sure you want to abandon your cart?”.

Try adding a deadline/countdown timer to redeem an offer or sign up. This adds a sense of urgency and makes the offer feel important. It may greatly compel your visitors to redeem the offer.

A message such as “Hurry Up” or “Price will increase in: XX hours” creates the perceived problem of urgency. If visitors don’t act fast, they’ll pay full price or miss out on your deal.

7. Holiday themed promotions

Holidays provide an opportunity to engage shoppers with themed messages and offers. It’s also the time of the year when people spend more money than usual. Christmas, for example, is the peak selling season.

Use this to gain more engagement and conversions. Have your designer make a holiday-styled popup. If you sell merchandise, offer themed products too. On St. Patricks’ Day, for instance, style your popup with green and sprinkle it with shamrocks.

8. Know when to trigger the popup

Regardless of their type, knowing when to display your overlay is key. Don’t display them as soon as a visitor sees your website. This will make them feel annoyed and leave and make you seem desperate for conversions.

Yet, displaying them too late won’t generate as much engagement. Instead, time your popups well. Learn when your visitors leave your website, then adjust your popup’s timing.

If you’re using a tool like optinmonster, you can time your popup in different ways

  • on exit intent (the cursor moves away from your website)
  • based on time spent on website, after scrolling down “x” amount
  • based on where the visitor comes from (search engine, social media, etc.)

On mobile, though you must be careful. Google penalizes websites that show a popup right after users land on the website. But this doesn’t mean you should ditch popups on mobile. Instead, wait at least 10 seconds before displaying it.

Testing helps you adjust your popup timing. Are conversions rates better with a 10 or 15 seconds delay? If, on average, new users spend more time on your website, consider using a 20-second delay or more.

9. Segment your visitors

Every visitor is different and browses different parts of your website. That’s why your popups must be tailored to your visitor. If a visitor is new, show them a popup – on exit or other signals.

Don’t show popups to second-time visitors though. If they didn’t enter their email, they may not be interested in your offer. And if they redeemed your offer, showing them a popup the second time makes little sense.

Consider where your visitors are spending time the most too. Display a popup that’s in line with the content they are browsing, such as pricing. Use context to make your popups relevant and useful to your visitors.

Divide your audience in segments:

  • new vs returning visitors
  • customers who abandoned their cart
  • visitors coming from a certain website
  • visitors who arrived at your landing page.

Segmentation allows you to display popups that resonate with your audience.

10. Keep it simple

Your popup is your last-ditch effort to keep visitors interested in your website. Don’t overload your popup with heavy text and unnecessary graphics. You want to make your offer/message easy to get across.

To achieve that, write concise sentences using plain language. Your offer should be compelling but also easy to understand. Don’t make visitors guess what to do next.

As far as design goes, don’t overdo it and keep it uncluttered. For the best results, align the visuals on your popup with your brand image. Use contrasting colors between the background and copy and make sure CTA stands out. Also, a single image is okay as long as it improves the message. Avoid images that serve no purpose though.

11. Test your popup strategies

Testing applies to any content you present to your visitors. Whether it’s a landing page or popup, testing can help you fine-tune your content for more conversions.

Run A/B tests to learn which version appeals more to users. In A/B testing, two different popups appear on your website to two different segments of users.

Unlike landing pages, popups are easier to adjust. Try changing the colors, images, copy, fonts, and CTA. You can also test new services, products, and promo offers. Change a couple of things once a month and compare the results a month later.


People dislike annoying popups, but they love the ones that bring them value, such as a discount, free shipping, or another meaningful offer. That explains why popup strategies convert well, despite the fact that popups, in general, have a bad rep. Therefore, come up with a compelling offer (a discount, a giveaway, free shipping, etc.) and implement one of these 11 popup strategies.

Successful popups provide a killer offer, are well designed and well-timed. So try them out using the many tools found online. Remember, only about 2% of visitors convert, so be patient.

Test and test again to boost your popup’s conversion rate. Your popups will convert more users into leads with these popup strategies.

If your website lacks visitors in the first place, boost your search engine rankings with these actionable local SEO tips.

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By Bright Pink Agency

At Bright Pink Agency, we specialize in designing, developing, and optimizing franchise websites with no long-term contracts. Say hello to improved organic value, ongoing national and local support, and franchisee happiness!