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How To (And Not To) Use Popups To Increase Your Conversion Rates

By December 7, 2022Marketing, Sales, Website

Popups aren’t uncommon in websites, especially in the eCommerce world. They can be a good tool for increasing sales, but only in certain situations, and only if they’re actually implemented correctly.

Let’s Address The Obvious: They’re Annoying

People don’t like popups. This is pretty obvious when you realize just how many popup blockers are available. According to a customer satisfaction research survey, only 25% of users trust pop up ads, compared to 61% trusting search engine ads.

But if that’s the case, then why are they so wildly used? Here is where things get a little controversial… they can be really effective… IF they’re designed well and used in the right situations.

When To Actually Use Popups

Abandoning A Cart

Cart abandonment popups have the highest rate of return out of any, since the user already has an intent to buy. Analytics tools like Smartlook can help you identify why people are abandoning their carts.

If you don’t have analytics, there are a few things you should be testing. If shipping cost is why users are abandoning their carts, try using a popup that offers a discounted shipping rate.

Exit Intent

When someone is about to leave your website, it’s a good time for a little popup. Common popups here use discount offers to get people to purchase items. These are most effective if someone already has an item in their cart, like the cart abandonment popups.

What To AVOID In Your Popups

Difficulty Closing

The most infuriating popups to deal with are the ones that hide the close button. If the “X” in the top corner or a “close” button isn’t obvious, people will just close out of your website without ever making a purchase.

Even more annoying, if you don’t allow the popup to close unless someone enters their email. This is a guaranteed way to anger people.

Full Screen

Full screen popups can scare some of your visitors and even cause them to distrust you. Leaving a little bit of the website page visible under the popup will make distrusting users feel more at ease because it lets them know they are still on your website and haven’t been taken somewhere else.

Timing Popups

Popups only work if someone is at least a little investing in your website and what you have to offer. If your popup shows up before people even have a chance to look at your content, they aren’t going to convert. They’re just going to close the popup or instantly navigate away from your website.

Why You Should Stop Using Popups All Together

Ad Blockers

Ad blockers are used by 47% of online users. That means if you’ve got your ad in a popup, about half of the people who visit your site won’t even see it.


Users with visual disabilities use screen readers to access the internet. Unfortunately, not all popups are compatible with screen readers. Some screen readers will not see your popups at all.

Want Help Creating An Expertly Designed Popup?

There are a few general rules to keep in mind:

  • Keep the popup to less than 40% of your screen size.
  • Make sure it’s clear to users that they are still on your website and haven’t been led away to a different page or different website all together.
  • Make it easy to close your popups if people aren’t interested, so they can convert later, in a different area of your website.
  • Don’t set up the popup to show up the second someone lands on your site, let the user become actually interested in your business first.

If you need additional help, our support and strategy team can help you create a popup to increase your conversion rates and capture more leads that fall through the cracks. With our high level analytics and funnel tracking, we can find out what does and doesn’t work for your business far faster than blind testing changes. Get in contact with our team to get started today.