Let’s talk about pop-ups or pop-overlays, whatever they’re called nowadays. I don’t mean the intrusive ads from the early 2000s about winning a free iPad, but email opt-in pop-ups and push notification buttons.
I think we can all agree that one of the worst user experiences as far as browsing the internet is going to a brand new website and being inundated within the first second of arriving with
- push notification requests
- email pop-ups for a newsletter
- accidental exit-intent pop-ups for the same newsletter
all within moments of arriving.
That’s like asking for a date with someone before asking their name and getting to know them.
Even as marketers, I think we can all agree it’s obnoxious and overwhelming. In most cases, it’s also a way for us to never ever put our email address in any forms. If that’s how they treat us when we first arrive, imagine what they’ll be doing to your inbox.
Here’s how to do pop-ups and opt-ins properly
Starting with the push notification, think about what the request looks like. You have
- a large allow button
- a large block button
- a tiny x button in the corner
I didn’t know there was that x button for the longest time, and I’m sure regular users don’t know it’s there either. So with that, you really have one opportunity for a visitor to opt-in. Otherwise, most people just block. Unless they clear their cache, your notification will not show up again. And how often does anyone clear their cache?
What I suggest is to give your visitors some breathing room before asking for their opt-in. I set the pop-up as at least 45 seconds to give them a chance to absorb the content before requesting an engagement.
You’re going to lower your impressions, but increase your conversions like crazy because you’re only showing your opt-in to people that are more likely to actually say yes.
The same timing applies to email opt-ins but it’s also beneficial to have a few other options as well.
There are three major email pop-ups that are non-intrusive and more likely to convert than the bombardment as soon as anyone lands on your web page. They are, in the order of lease intrusive to most,
- exit intent pop-ups
- end of article pop-ups
- timed pop-ups
Quick reminder, pop-ups are just pop-overlays, no new windows are being created.
The exit intent pop-up
The least intrusive of all the pop-ups, because they’re triggered when someone’s mouse cursor leaves the window. Kind of like a “hmm, this person is probably going to hit the backspace or close the tab, let’s last-ditch effort them.” Any website that’s building a mailing list can get away with using this tactic, they were probably going away anyways!
The 90% page scroll pop-up
So this one depends on the general length of your content and page size, but the intent behind this is an end of the article pop-up. Don’t have massive comment threads or a long footer? Set it as 100%. This one does take over the screen with verbiage similar to “hope you enjoyed the article, subscribe to get more.”
The intent behind this pop-up is that they’ve made it to the end of the article either reading it or skimming and are more likely to join your mailing list because they found value in the article.
The time pop-up
This is can be the most intrusive if you treat it that way or it can just be a side suggestion. The good old fashioned timed pop-up. Much like push notification requests, I set this to at least 45 seconds, usually 60 seconds.
After a minute of reading your article, they’re probably enjoying what they’re reading. This shouldn’t be a complete screen takeover or a middle of the screen pop-up. Keep this one in the corners or out of the way of your content that just casually slides in. Just a suggestion. Just a “hey, if you’re interested, we have more content.”
So those are the three email opt-ins and one push notification settings I use and see great opt-in rates. A low number of impressions, but when people do see them they’re probably at the point where it’s more likely a yes than “HEY WELCOME TO MY SITE GIMME YOUR EMAIL.”
Of course, like all things marketing, you’ll have to test this out yourself and find what works for you and your industry.