Making pop-ups work for you… and your customers

by | Jan 3, 2022

Pop-ups are an effective marketing tool and can generate a lot of email signups for businesses. However, when used incorrectly they can have the alternate effect of scaring away a potential customer. You don’t want to run the risk of losing out on a potential sale with a badly placed pop-up.

Here are a few tips on how to make pop-ups work for your website.


A timed pop-up will only appear after a predetermined number of seconds. For example 10 seconds. It’s based on user activity on a page. If the user is still on the page after 10 seconds, there’s a good chance that they’re starting to engage with the content.


A pop-up that shows when a user is scrolling through the site, is working on an activity basis. The pop-up would be set to show at a certain scroll percentage e.g. 50%. This means that once the user has scrolled down 50% of the page, the pop-up will be shown. Again, as this is action-based, it means the user has chosen to engage with the website.


Page-based pop-ups will either trigger because the user has visited a set number of pages in their browsing session, or because they’ve visited a specific page e.g. pricing. This can be combined with a timed pop-up, to show an effective message to an engaged user.


A pop-up could be set only to show after a click action has been taken. In this scenario, the user has requested the information and is therefore expecting something to appear on their screen as a result of the action being taken.


Pop-ups can be shown in many different ways. One of the most common (and jarring) is a full-screen pop-up. While these can work, they do interfere with the browsing experience heavily. Better options would include a modal centered pop-up (not full screen), a banner at the top or bottom of the website, or a slide-in option from the lower left or right corner.


Pop-up frequency needs to be carefully managed so as not to overwhelm or frustrate a visitor. A limit should be set on the number of times that someone will see a pop-up during their browsing session. It would also be smart to use a cookie to ensure the pop-up is not shown for a period of time after the user has specifically closed it.

Exit Intent (carefully!)

An exit intent pop-up is still quite an annoying experience for someone who has chosen to leave a website. It can certainly win back customers with the right message but must be used sparingly and with great caution. This type of pop-up is best used for a limited-time promotion.

Do you need help creating an uncertainty strategy for your business?

Contact us to schedule a 1 Hour Small Business Technology Strategy Session with Ashley, which includes a website and digital marketing audit ($350 value).

Ashley Behlen

Ashley Behlen

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