What do you usually do when seeing pop-ups? Apart from becoming a little bit annoyed, I bet you look for a button to close it.
Are pop-ups really that terrible? Then why do so many e-commerce marketers keep using them on their websites?
Well, maybe because they actually work. Some people admit that it may be extremely disturbing to get a page blocked by a pop-up. However, numbers say that pop-ups have around 2% click-through rate which is quite a decent result compared to other kinds of ads. So, people actually read what’s written on pop-ups and even follow the directions. “Of course I want 30% off”. “This ebook looks really helpful. Yes, I want it in my inbox”.
To use or not to use – this is one of the biggest dilemmas of e-commerce marketing, as the question remains open: Do pop-up ads really work?
Types of email pop-ups
The most common types of email pop-ups are:
- Lead magnet: This classic type of pop-ups is used to offer a downloadable piece of content like an eBook, guide, checklist, infographic, or even a sample of a product in exchange for a site visitor’s email address.
- Email capture form: It is used when you’ve already shown the value to your readers through your blog posts and other pieces of content on your website, and people are ready to hand over their email addresses, as they trust you as an expert.
- Exit intent: This form usually pops up when someone is about to leave the website. It gives a visitor one last chance to deliver some value, so they will hand over their email address.
- Discount or coupon codes: Through this type of pop-up you can offer a coupon code to visitors in exchange for their email address. This is an effective method to convert people who were thinking about purchasing from you but needed a final push to do it.
Pros and cons of email pop-ups
A 2016 study found that 50% of participants rate pop-ups as “extremely annoying.” Users noted that pop-ups can be intrusive or spammy, as well as annoying because of interruption to the customer experience. Pop-ups can also slow down the page’s loading time which is another reason for customer’s discontent.
However, despite reports that pop-ups provide poor user experience, they can be incredibly effective when implemented appropriately. There are three main advantages of using these kinds of messages:
- Pop-ups deliver a message when site visitors are engaged. Well-implemented pop-ups deliver a message exactly when site visitors are most likely to click through.
- Pop-ups can’t be ignored. Site visitors can’t help but read your message or value proposition when it pops up on the page they were on. Even if they close it, the message has still been delivered.
- Pop-ups are a free and working method for marketers to collect emails. One effective pop-up may help you boost the number of subscribers per day significantly. For example, WPBeginner increased its subscribers by nearly 600% with an exit intent pop-up.
Why email marketing is so important for e-commerce websites
Email pop-ups allow marketers to get tons of user emails and build email lists. This is a powerful tool to reach out to site visitors directly and convert them from users to customers. Unlike social media profiles, emails are direct and personal, while there are no distractions. Messages, notifications, posts on the wall — all of these make it harder for users to stop and focus on your message.
Email pop-ups come with targeting and segmentation options. It allows e-commerce marketers to use the information about the customers and their preferences to send personalized follow-up cart abandonment emails. Considering the fact that 67.45% of shopping carts remain abandoned, this may be a good idea for a marketing strategy.
When do pop-ups hurt e-commerce websites?
The title kind of spoils the plot. Yes, pop-ups not only have benefits but also come with serious pitfalls.
Optimize the loading time
Website ranking is extremely important, as it affects traffic. The less traffic you have, the fewer conversions you can count on. There are a number of factors that search engines take into account such as loading time, keywords, content, etc. As we mentioned earlier, pop-ups, especially exit intent, may increase the loading time which negatively affects the website ranking.
Optimize your pop-ups for mobile devices
A majority of your target audience access your website via their mobile devices. This is why it becomes essential to focus on optimizing your site for mobile conversions. The first thing you need to ensure while implementing pop-ups is to use responsive designs and layouts. Take care of it if you don’t want a popup to look crooked. Alternatively, you could create a mobile version of your desktop pop-up design that is more likely to suit all types of mobile devices.
Do not rush to show pop-ups immediately
Some e-commerce websites show you a pop-up as soon as the page is loaded. This is a failing strategy if you want to reduce the bounce rate. An immediate pop-up doesn’t allow site visitors to engage with the content, blocks their screen, and makes it impossible to navigate the website page properly.
Do not get on visitors’ nerves
Forced pop-ups that can be closed after a few seconds is another marketing failure. The user experience should be a priority. The ultimate goal of e-commerce websites is to have returning customers. Who is going to return to the website that brings an irritating experience?
How should marketers use pop-ups effectively?
As you can judge by now, pop-ups can be an effective way to boost your conversion rates. However, it’s important to use them smartly and empathically.
Stick to the point
The idea behind pop-ups is to capture the user’s attention. So be it desktop or mobile, ensure that your pop-up has a clear message. Remove all the excess information and focus on the value proposition that will nudge him towards interacting with your business. Relevant messaging and an attention-grabbing design make up for a pop-up that works.
Don’t be intrusive
Time your pop-ups perfectly. Do not try to sell once a visitor has just landed on your website. Give them time to engage with the content and hit them when they’ve seen something they are interested in.
Ensure the CTA is intuitive
Another aspect that you need to pay attention to is call-to-action. If the visitor thinks a certain element is not clickable, you’re going to lose a potential customer right there. Make sure a CTA is persuasive and distinguishable from the overall design of the popup. The best call-to-actions are brief and speak directly to the user with action verbs.
Define segments to personalize as much as possible
To maximize your conversions, it’s important to design popups that speak individually to your visitors. The easiest way to do that is to segment your audience and create a specific popup for each of your segments. There are two most popular segmentation approaches:
Content segmentation. When using this approach, marketers adjust their popups to the page (or page category) that the user is browsing. So, the pop-up copy and design are correlated to what users see.
History segmentation. Some marketers choose to create different pop-ups for new and returning visitors. This way they can display a large popup with a discount for users who are not entirely familiar with their brand and display a more delicate popup for users who have already visited the website and seen a larger pop-up.
Test, test, test, and then test some more
Be prepared to test for a specific amount of time and evaluate the results before making a final decision. Make sure you are offering relevant and helpful content. The right kind of pop-ups will help you improve website conversions while implementing a pop-up that annoys visitors will ruin the whole impression of your website.
So…Shopify email pop-ups…Hurt or help?
As an e-commerce marketer, I should admit that an email pop-up is a great way to boost your conversions and increase sales. Unfortunately, pop-ups earned a bad reputation because they’ve been used in very obtrusive and wrongful ways. So, to succeed with pop-ups on your website, make sure that they don’t affect the loading time and clearly communicate value to your customers.
Author Bio: Anna Grechko is a marketing enthusiast and knows the field inside out. She is the marketing specialist at Smart IT. Sharing knowledge is a big part of her career, so Anna doesn’t miss any opportunity to do so.