Should I Use Pop-ups On My Website? [Let’s Bury This]

Given that most businesses don’t have anything that closely resembles a lead generation strategy, the question always surfaces: Should I use Pop-ups on my website for lead generation? 

I ask you this: Why not? Because you read somewhere that “pop-ups” are bad? Have you been brainwashed into thinking that pop-ups are intrusive, pop-ups are bad for Google, or that Pop-ups don’t work at all?

According to Sumo, the top 10% highest-performing pop-ups averaged a 9.28% conversion rate. 

Wondering how well you are performing and how your own conversions are stacked up against industry benchmarks? See this Conversion Benchmark Report

Most businesses that write opinions on pop-ups — including marketers, influencers, and marketing agencies also use pop-ups, by the way. 

Unless your name is Seth Godin or Guy Kawasaki — or anyone else with a humongous following and influence — the pros of pop-ups for marketing and lead generation outweigh the cons (and I don’t see why there are even disadvantages of pop-ups because there aren’t any). 

The rest of us whose names don’t match with Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, or Warren Buffett have a need to “grow audiences”, generate leads, and make our businesses work. 

Here’s some more dope to help you answer this “Should I use Pop-ups? question , once and for all: 

Pop-ups just work (your opinions don’t count). 

Love pop-ups? Hate pop-ups? Your opinions don’t matter. 

You could go all vocal with your hate for pop-ups on Twitter all you want but the fact remains that pop-ups work. They are essential for lead generation. 

Everyone whining about pop-ups doesn’t use pop-ups maybe. If they don’t, they find other ways to generate leads and make their respective businesses work. 

You could choose to do what they do (if they tell you). Or you could use simple and easy pop-up tools such as the Unbounce Pop-up builder, Optimonster, Elementor Pop-ups, the Crocoblock’s Pop-up builder, or the LeadPages Lead Boxes to create pop-ups and get some results. 

No pop-ups. No lead generation 

The fundamental reason you have a website is because you want your website to work for your business.

With a comprehensive, well-executed digital marketing strategy, you work hard to bring in relevant, high-intent traffic to your website. 

But how will you pique the interest of your visitors? How will you retain your visitors? How are you going to take this relationship forward? How do you turn these visitors  — they visited, they read your blog posts, they visited your website often, and they often also find you on social media — into customers? 

It starts with pop-ups. 

Pop-ups > Leads > Email Marketing Automation > Sales 

Now, you could give away lead magnets with your pop-ups, ask visitors to sign up for a free trial, or maybe entice new visitors with a discount for your eCommerce store. 

That’s a basic sales funnel. 

Without a sales funnel, why do you even do what you do online? 

Should You Use Pop-ups? Yes. The right & wrong way to do it

All the hate for pop-ups comes in only because most people don’t give a thought to user experience when designing them. They also don’t care about just how difficult some businesses (or websites) make it for their own visitors. 

Here are a few very common mistakes (apart from the design aspect of pop-ups): 

  • Pop-ups popping up as soon as someone visits (way too soon)
  • No visible “X” or  a way to “close” the pop-ups or to click out of it. 
  • No links to “opt-out” on the pop-up. 
  • Pop-ups on mobile without a responsive layout for the website (the pop-ups don’t rotate with the website). 
  • Pop-ups that have no offer to make. 
  • Pop-ups that don’t have a compelling offer to make (but this isn’t that big of a mistake since you can tweak, test, optimize, and work on it). 

The right way to use pop-ups is to: 

  • Try to be as relevant as possible
  • Trigger pop-ups after a while (say after 6-10 seconds) 
  • Personalize your pop-ups, if you can. For instance, you can identify visitors with the source (from Twitter? From a Google Ad?) or you can use their first names ( Try OptinMonster for this. Or you can also try Unbounce Pop-ups). 
  • Use exit-intent pop-ups 
  • Bring in other ways to trigger pop-ups (such as 60% page scroll) 
  • Try to use multiple pop-ups for multiple lead magnets or offers. Example: If you have various topics that your blog posts are based on, use relevant pop-ups to give way lead magnets such as content upgrades on the topic those blog posts are all about. 

Use pop-ups for 5 years. Do it the right way. Then, come back and tell me the answer to should you use pop-ups or not. 

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