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Nine Ways To Use Popups Without Driving Customers Insane

Published: | Updated: | By Mara Certic

Popups: Those little boxes that pop up when you visit a website, interrupting your train of thought and demanding your attention. We all hate them. But as irritating and distracting as they may be, popups can be effective little buggers. We've compiled a list of easy, powerful ways to use popups to improve your website, without annoying every single visitor.

Popup-induced rage is well documented (see comedy writer Ken Levine’s piece on how not to use them). But their impact is hard to deny. One blogger found that moving her newsletter signup from a sidebar to a popup increased email subscriptions by 1375%. It’s hard to say why popups work so well - Usability Analyst Craig Tomlin points to the power of interruption - but the truth is that they do work and can help you capture new leads, expand your mailing list, grow your business as a whole.

In simple terms, popups help guarantee that all of your visitors see a particular piece of information. This might be an announcement about an upcoming event, a sale, a newsletter singup, or a featured product. But if you’re thinking about adding a popup to your website, make sure you have something valuable to say. Surveys show 70% of Americans find irrelevant popups annoying. Only once you’ve figured out your message should you start looking at popup creators.

POWr Popup is a versatile, user-friendly way to add popups to almost any website, no matter what platform or CMS you use. Each POWr Popup can contain text, images, and videos. For a more interactive experience, you can add other POWr plugins to your popup - like a countdown timer, a video slider, or a mailing list signup. The possibilities are endless, and we'd love to help you explore them. Here are nine examples of how other POWr users are maximizing the power of the popup:

Get 'em There Fast

A popup is one way to let visitors bypass your homepage and skip to somewhere else: a new blog post, a product page, or a subscribe page. Canadian honey producer, Nude Bee Honey, uses a popup on its homepage to offer visitors free shipping, and sends them directly to the online store. By using the customizable POWr Popup, Nude Bee was able to perfectly match their site design, promoting a consistent brand image.

Publicize Promotions

Popups are the internet equivalent of a sign; whatever a paper sign does in a physical store, a popup can do online. For example, a popup might advertise a holiday sale or promotion as soon as someone lands on a page. Displaying that information in a popup, rather than on a particular page allows you to easily delete or update it over time. Ahead of President's Day, Black Flag Beards, a leading purveyor of beard oil, used a popup on their homepage to highlight their holiday promotion.

Create Flash Sales

Similarly, you can create a complete flash sale inside a single popup. Flash sales last a short time, often just a day or weekend. And they work. One study in 2012 found websites using flash sales over the holiday period grew their business twice as fast as those that did not.

Promoting your flash sale with a popup is simple and straightforward. Just include a way for visitors to purchase the item on sale, and something to create a sense of urgency, like a clock or timer. You could create a popup flash sale using just a few POWr plugins. Use POWr eCommerce to showcase and sell your item, and POWr Countdown Timer to show when the sale ends. You could even include a discount code to push reluctant buyers over the edge. Best of all, popup flash sales don't just drive sales. They're also easy to remove once a sale ends.

Provide Updates

Things change quickly. Use a popup to inform your customers that you’ll be closing early on a specific day or will be unexpectedly closed. Auckland’s Bluebell’s Cakery added a popup to their page on Valentine’s Day when they were too busy to accept more orders. This let people know to look elsewhere for their custom cakes, or visit the store in person. Popups can quickly convey important information to your entire online clientele.

Age Verification

Businesses with age-sensitive content often use popups to separate the men from the boys…literally. Many retailers in the alcohol, tobacco, gambling and adult entertainment industries protect minors from mature content by adding age verification directly to their homepage.

You can do this by customizing a popup. Just add two buttons to the popup, and require visitors to select their age group. This is how Vape Parkway keeps children off of their smokeless tobacco website. Another approach to age verification is to require visitors to fill out their date of birth in a popup before continuing onto your page.

Showcase What's New Popups are a great way to promote a different product or user each week. Internet radio station Vogstation features a recently released video each week in a popup on the New Music Videos page. This lets them direct attention to the newest additions to their site.

Newsletter Signups

Putting a newsletter signup in a popup is one surefire way to boost your subscribers. One marketing specialist found that using an email popup doubled his subscribers without negatively affecting user experience. UPAVIM is a cooperative of more than 80 women in the outskirts of Guatemala City who create handmade crafts to sell in the international market. They use a popup newsletter registration and offer free shipping to new subscribers. This provides a great incentive to sign up, and consistently grows their community.

Find New Followers

Similarly, popups are an easy way to direct visitors to your various social media accounts. In addition to text, you can add an image, video, or even a button to a POWr Popup. You might link to a Facebook page, like the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism did on their website. Or kill several birds with one stone by adding POWr Social Media Icons to a popup, and linking to all your social accounts side-by-side.

Terms and Conditions

Make sure your visitors read and accept your terms and conditions by adding them to a popup. Cameron Faulds, a Canadian real estate broker, added copyright terms to a popup on his homepage. Just include the relevant information up top and either a checkbox or a button underneath where visitors can choose to either accept or decline your terms.

How are you using POWr Popups on your website? Please let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear what you’re up to.