When most of us hear the word “popups,” our first reaction is annoyance. We think of those impossible-to-get-rid-of ads from the early 90s, when web design was still getting its feet under it. But these days, popups are very different and can have some definite benefits for your business.
Popups can be a great way to deliver focused messages, but they aren’t without their downfalls. Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of popups and how you should use them on your site.
Pro: Increase Your Lead Count
You might be surprised to learn that popups have some of the highest lead generation numbers of any marketing strategy. But it makes a degree of sense that these bold, in-your-face ads would get results. And when they’re framed properly, they can present an offer customers can’t resist.
Some of the most successful lead generation popups use a prize wheel with different discounts and free gifts on it. Customers like the game aspect of it and feel they’re getting something for free, so they put in their email address. Once you have their email, you have a hook to sell them on the rest of your products.
Con: Annoy Potential Customers
The biggest downside of popups is the one many of us associate with this approach: they can be incredibly annoying. Many of us may remember the early days of popups, when you would see dozens of them as soon as you opened a web page. These days, there are entire browser plugins dedicated to blocking popups and other annoying marketing ploys.
But the thing that really makes popups annoying isn’t their appearance – it’s their content. If a popup seems cheap, flashy, or disruptive, viewers are likely to shut a page just to get the annoying thing out of their line of sight. Viewers may also exit if a dozen different popups appear, since this can make a page seem junky and annoying.
Pro: Grab Attention
It’s impossible to deny that popups do one thing well: grab attention. When a new window pops up in the middle of the screen, viewers are going to have to pay attention to it. This can be a much more effective way to get a message across than a banner along the side or bottom of your page.
The trick to a successful popup is grabbing your viewers’ attention with something they feel will benefit them. This could be a discount code, a free gift, or a major sale. You need to make sure that once you get your customers’ attention, they’ll like what they see.
Con: Block Content
When you’re building your website, you work hard on your content. You make sure every word is right, you focus on following SEO guidelines, and you strive to provide value to your viewers. But when you start using popups, they cover up all that content you’ve worked so hard to create.
In order to overcome this obstacle, you need to make sure your popups add more value to your content, rather than taking away from it. If a customer is enjoying an article, you can set up a popup inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter and discover more such articles. If they’re shopping a product page, give them a discount code that will save them money on the item they’re on the fence about.
Pro: Keep Your Messaging Focused
One of the biggest challenges of building a website and a brand is keeping your messaging focused. You need to include enough content to answer any questions or resolve any concerns your viewers might have. But at the same time, you want to leave them with a clear call to action that keeps your branding consistent.
Popups, when done right, have one clear message to your customers. Their goal is to get an email address, let the customer know about a sale, or communicate some other simple idea and call to action. The rest of your site can handle being well-rounded and complete. Your popup’s only job is to get the most important messages across.
Con: Force Potential Customers’ Hands
It may seem counterintuitive, but something you never want to do if you can avoid it is to force your customers’ hands. Customers don’t like feeling backed into a corner, and some popups (especially those that won’t close without some action from the customer) can give that impression. When you force a customer’s hand, they’re just as likely to close your site and never visit again than to do what you want.
Always make sure your popups have an option to close them without taking action. And give the customer space to make the decision to engage with your company, rather than forcing their hand. Aim instead to get contact information so you can then take your time persuading them of the merits of what you have to offer.
Pro: New Ways to Get the Best of Both Worlds
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using popups these days is that they are not what they once were. The days of thousands of flashing, spinning, singing, and dancing popups is gone, and viewers can click out of popups they don’t want to engage with. Web design is more reserved, and we have more effective ways to deliver the messages we need to without annoying our customers.
Today, popups can be the best of all worlds. You can deliver focused, targeted messages to your customers without driving them away from your page. You can even use popups to strengthen your brand and let customers know about important issues like cookie collection and contact opportunities.
Discover the Pros and Cons of Popups
Although popups have traditionally gotten a bad name, they can have some real benefits for your website. There are definitely pros and cons to this technique, but with the right approach, you can write popups your customers will be happy to see. Remember to use content that benefits your viewers, and always give them an easy out.
If you’d like to discover how to make popups work for you, check out the rest of our site at Popup Domination. We can help you convert more of your visitors into subscribers and customers. Sign up today and start approaching popups the smart way.