Every day, millions of online shoppers are interrupted by annoying pop-up ads. On the flip side, though, there are millions of others who actually click them and accept what they’re offering. Let’s look at the difference between a successful pop-up that improves your reputation (and sales) and one that drives potential customers away.
If you search the term “pop-up blockers” in Google, the first thing you’ll see are instructions about how to block pop-ups in every type of search engine. You’ll also find advice about the best pop-up blocker software available today. There are videos and articles dedicated solely to trashing these unrequested annoyances.
Yet, for all the negativity, pop-ups persist. Why? Because when they’re done right, pop-ups are incredibly powerful tools that can increase sales, build a brand, and improve customer loyalty. Done wrong, though, they can send potential customers away from your site faster than you can say “My pop-up ads suck”.
With this in mind, let’s explore some best practices when it comes to using pop-ups.
Create Relevant Content—This is by far the most important step when using pop-ups. Consider these eye-opening results from a recent survey by InsightsOne about Americans’ advertising preferences. The survey showed that 70% of Americans are most annoyed by irrelevant pop-up ads. The key word here is “irrelevant”. Americans don’t hate pop-up ads; they hate pop-ups that are disconnected from their wants and needs. Said another way, effective pop-ups always offer something that the customer believes is worth the interruption.
Amit Bhaiya, founder and CEO of web development company DotcomWeavers, believes in the power of pop-ups but always advises his firm’s clients to tread carefully when using them. “Many customers are already pre-programmed to dislike pop-up ads because they’ve been hit with so much meaningless content,” Bhaiya explains. “No one wants to be bothered with irrelevant information.”
With that in mind, Bhaiya recommends the following pop-ups as a starting point:
If you want to be a bit more aggressive with your pop-ups, you absolutely must offer something relevant. For example, if a customer is browsing for concert tickets for a New York City venue, don’t shove a pop-up in their face that offers tickets in Dallas…even if it’s for the same band. However, it might be smart to develop a pop-up that offers tickets to a similar band that is also playing in New York City.
The goal is to make your pop-ups as relevant as possible. So, do your research first and then segment your pop-ups based on real data.
Be patient—Another key to pop-up success is patience. If you’re going to use pop-ups on your site, don’t blast them at your customers as soon as they arrive at your home page. Give your customers time to look over your site. Bhaiya says good pop-up software empowers eCommerce sellers to customize when a pop-up appears.
“We’ve created pop-ups that only appear after a customer has been at the site for a few minutes,” Bhaiya explains. “This approach allows the visitor time to enjoy your site without having to deal with an intrusive pop-up offer as soon as they land there. In my opinion, delivering a pop-up within a few seconds of visiting a site shows a bit of desperation. It shows a lack of confidence in the layout of your site.”
Test Your Success—Like almost every other aspect of your site’s design, you should be measuring and analyzing your pop-up campaigns to see what is and isn’t working.
It’s important to note that you will need to continue testing your pop-ups to develop a true gauge of what’s working. For example, if you choose red Helvetica font and get a poor response, you won’t know if it was the red or the Helvetica until you test a different color with Helvetica or a different font with red. If the top right gets a great response, don’t stop there…top left might do even better.
As you think about using pop-ups on your site, the most important thing to remember is deliver relevant content to your customers. That shows you understand their wants and needs and respect their time. Once you have that piece of the puzzle in place, it’s all about testing your pop-ups to find what works best.
To speak with a professional about developing a successful pop-up strategy, contact DotcomWeavers at email@example.com or 888.315.6518.