Pop-ups. Love ’em or hate ’em. But they’re effective marketing tools for many business owners (including MavroCreative!) as long as they’re used the proper way.
What do we mean by a pop-up? You’ve probably been on a site, cruising along, when suddenly something appears on your screen. That’s a pop-up, or otherwise known to marketers as an “opt-in” form. Their main purpose is to grab your attention with an enticing offer that makes you want to click to learn more.
Pop-ups come in many shapes and sizes. Some of them come in and cover your entire screen until you click it away. Others are “timed” so that they appear after the visitor has been on your page for a certain amount of time. Some will show up after you scroll down to a certain percentage of the page. But the one that we recommend (and use on our own website) is the Exit Intent pop-up. This type of pop-up will only appear when it looks like your visitor is going to be leaving the page. In our opinion, it’s the least obtrusive type of pop-up yet is still effective.
Why Use a Pop-Up?
As a business owner, the most basic using for adding a pop-up to your website is to:
Convert your website visitors into email subscribers and ultimately paying customers
You may have heard them referred to as “lead magnets” or “opt-in offers” or “freebies” but the goal is the same: get a potential customer engaged and into your marketing “funnel”.
Savvy marketers know that getting people to visit your website isn’t enough to convert them into customers. You need to continue to engage with them and get them to keep coming back. Using a pop-up with an attractive offer will allow you to add them to your email list. From there, you will nurture them and provide them with awesome content in the form of a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly email. Building your list is a critical component to long-term success in your business and is the best way for you to personally connect with your potential (and current) customers.
Don’t Be a Gnat!
You know that feeling when something annoying is buzzing around your head and you just want to swat it away? That’s how many people feel about pop-ups. They view them as unwelcome guests to their website visit. There are ways to use a pop-up that decreases the annoyance factor:
- Give them something useful: You’re asking someone to give you their email address and that can’t be taken lightly. It’s a big “ask”. Make sure that what you’re giving them in return has value. There’s nothing worse than signing up for something and then the download you receive isn’t worth the paper it was printed on. Your visitor will feel used.
- Be specific: Saying “Sign Up for Our Newsletter” is not a call to action. Your visitor wants to know WHY they should sign up for your newsletter. What are they going to get from it? Instead, try using language like “Be the first to receive new recipes when they’re added!” The reader wants to know what to expect when they sign up.
Be creative with your Submit button. Language like “Grab Your Free Guide Now” is more actionable and appealing than simply saying “Sign Up Here”.Here’s an example of a pop-up that we use on MavroCreative’s website. You’ll notice that the visitor knows exactly what they will receive when they sign up, and the call to action is in a color that stands out with a playful “Join The Fun!”
- Timing is Everything: Most pop-up plugins will now come with the option of setting the timing of when the pop-up will appear.
Are Pop-Ups and Google BFF’s?
Google is REALLY focused on the user experience. That’s why they started placing a huge emphasis on mobile responsiveness a few years ago. (For more about that, check out our blog post here.) Now Google is taking that one step further, which what they’ve termed “interstitials” (I can’t even pronounce that!) on mobile sites.
Basically, they don’t like pop-ups on mobile because it affects the user’s experience. They want people to be able to quickly find the information they searched (via Google!) for and certain types of pop-ups prevent the visitor from getting to the information immediately.
Here’s the official statement from Google:
In Google Search, our goal is to help users quickly find the best answers to their questions, regardless of the device they’re using.Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
Pop-ups, opt-ins, lead magnets: When used properly, they can be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing toolbox. Always keep the user experience in mind when creating and implementing your pop-up and remember to provide QUALITY CONTENT in your offer. You want to overdeliver with the free content to keep them coming back for more!
What do you think about pop-ups? Let us know in the comments below!
Until next time!