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Pop-up ads are often considered the villain on websites. No one wants their website experience interrupted by an ad, even if it is a well-intentioned email sign-up form. However, taking the right approach to pop-ups drastically affects how well users respond to them. Show pop-ups at the right moment on your site journey, and you’ll increase conversion rates.
1. Give them an offer they can’t refuse
Yes, pop-up ads are annoying. But, if the content in the ad is an irresistible offer, all the annoyance disappears. For example, if you’re running an e-commerce shop, offer new site visitors free shipping on any order or 50% off a single item. This one-time discount keeps visitors on your site and encourages them to buy something.
The same holds for any website. Do you want users to sign up for your newsletter? Offer them something in return. Sometimes, site owners partner with related sites to offer discounts on products and online services. If you’re an education website, you might be able to provide a two-month free trial of an online learning platform.
2. Wait until they’re leaving your website
One of the worst types of pop-up ads is the one that blocks the entire site before you’ve even had a chance to see what’s on the page. Instead of rushing to ask visitors to shop or sign-up for something, wait until they show signs of leaving. Often, this is when they start to close the page or start to type something in the address bar.
These are called exit pop-ups. If you’ve seen a “Before You Leave” pop-up, you’ve witnessed exit ads. These may offer a final discount or a call-to-action to sign-up for a newsletter, so the visitor doesn’t miss any more great content. These are less annoying and work well for boosting conversions as visitors appreciate you not disturbing them immediately.
3. Announce important news or updates
You won’t use this type of pop-up ad strategy all the time. However, if you’ve made a major change to your website, site policy or product selection, use a pop-up ad to announce it. Many sites did this when GDPR rules were enacted to let everyone know their rights to data and privacy.
You can also use these to announce upcoming events, such as contests or live streams. It’s a simple way to ensure visitors don’t overlook essential updates and news.
4. Wait and be patient
Immediate pop-up ads usually aren’t as successful as if you wait a while. Once again, it’s about improving the user experience. Imagine running a brick-and-mortar store. If you stop people at the door and try to immediately make a sale before they even get a chance to browse, they’ll probably leave. Wait for them to browse for 15 minutes and then offer them a suggestion or discount.
Use this same approach with your pop-up ad strategy. Set a specific time frame before a pop-up appears, anywhere from one to several minutes. Another option is to wait until a user has navigated to a certain point on a page, such as halfway through the page. This gives them time to understand your site better and the value of what’s on it before a pop-up appears.
5. Make timely suggestions
If you’ve ever used social media, you know that if you’ve recently checked out a product, you’ll start seeing ads for related products. You can use pop-up ads the same way. Maybe someone just added a new pair of jeans to their online cart. Use a pop-up ad to display related items, such as belts or shoes. Users consider this to be a more helpful pop-up. Plus, this can increase overall sales.
6. Remind users about their cart
What’s more disappointing to an online store than an abandoned shopping cart? While you could email them, many shoppers don’t provide an email unless they decide actually to check out. Where does this leave you, then? Pop-up ads remind them about items they’ve added to their cart. For first-time shoppers, you might even offer a discount code if they check out in a set time frame or continue through the check-out process during their visit.
While it won’t always work, this simple nudge is enough to reduce abandoned carts and increase sales. After all, you have nothing to lose with this strategy.
7. Offer a freebie
Pop-up ads can be frustrating. However, when they offer something of value, they’re less frustrating. Wait until a visitor has been on your site for a set period, and then hit them with a freebie pop-up. This freebie must be related to your site and incredibly useful to your visitors. This might be a free consultation for a service, an e-book, a helpful template, a cheat sheet or anything else your visitors might love.
If you’re trying to boost email sign-ups, this is the best approach. While you will likely still get many disposable email addresses, you’ll also see an increase in legitimate emails, which helps improve marketing efforts.
The most important strategy of all is to use pop-up ads sparingly. Don’t forget to use A/B testing to gauge the effectiveness of pop-ups to see if they’re suitable for your audience.