Graphic of a screen saying "Warning! Annoying Pop Up!"

Make Your Pop-Ups Work For You, Not Against You

Remember pop-up books? They brought a little extra magic to storytime by adding a third dimension to the pages, and drawing us further into their imaginary worlds. Regular books just weren’t the same after you got a taste of pop-up books!

Now, as an adult, “pop-up” might bring on a totally different range of emotion. Maybe annoyance, confusion, a dash of anger, or – every once in a blue moon – mild acceptance. Pop-ups in the adult realm now primarily describe those little boxes or entire screens that appear on a website we’re visiting. For those outside of the marketing world, pop-ups just seem like a barrier keeping website visitors from the content they actually came to see. For those inside the marketing world, pop-ups are seen as another touchpoint between companies and their audience, so marketers can potentially overdo it in the pop-up department in a bid to never miss capturing a single visitor.

We are ready to change the stigma clouding pop-ups. They are a fantastic tool but only when used properly and wisely. If you’re looking to build your customer base and boost sales through your website, keep reading!

How NOT to Pop-Up

  • Display on the second a visitor lands on your site: This practice is partly to blame for why people hate pop-ups so much. When someone comes to your website, they are there to see your content, NOT get immediately asked for their email address. Wait until visitors are at least a couple of pages in before pausing their browsing with a request for an email address. (The only exception to this: a security or cookies message.)
  • Use a pop-up just to use a pop-up: If your pop-up isn’t giving the website visitor something valuable, or if you aren’t using the pop-up as part of a carefully-thought-out marketing plan, DON’T USE IT. All you are doing is annoying your website visitors and disintegrating their trust in you.
  • Make the pop-up mandatory: Nothing will make a visitor click off of your site faster than having a pop-up show up on their screen that they can’t get rid of. All pop-ups should have a clearly visible way to get out of them, and the information fields on the pop-up should be optional except for the email address.

Visitor-Friendly Pop-Up Methods

  • Design your pop-up to fit in, not stand out: Pop-ups that follow the same design guidelines and feel as your website will make them seem more organic. There are a variety of placement options available for pop-ups that make them more aesthetically-pleasing, too, like a notification bar or pop-up that slides up from the side or bottom of the screen.
  • Set frequency rules: If someone has already acted on a pop-up, the last thing you want is for them to continue to be bombarded with a new pop-up on each page they visit. Be sure to have frequency rules in place to respect visitors who have already interacted with your pop-up.
  • Create custom pop-ups using audience information: Want an even bigger conversion rate for your pop-ups? Go the extra mile and create custom pop-ups for each visitor. Using audience information like gender, location, and shopping history, you can tailor pop-ups to interact with your visitors at the perfect times in their sessions, making them more likely to act on your pop-up than if it had appeared at a generic time with a generic message

Using Pop-Ups on Mobile

Mobile browser space is limited and valuable, and mobile visitors expect a simple visit to website, as they are likely there while on-the-go. In an effort to preserve mobile users’ experiences on website, Google implemented strict guidelines for websites using pop-ups. Here are some quick guidelines to follow to ensure your mobile website isn’t penalized by Google:

  1. Don’t use an interstitial pop-up: Mobile visitors are viewing your website on a small screen, so having a pop-up appear and cover their entire screen is detrimental to their time on your site…which will likely be very short now.
  2. Don’t have a pop-up appear at the beginning of their session: Like we mentioned earlier, give your website visitors time to browse before asking them for their information. A mobile user may be accessing your site in a hurry, and having a pop-up appear right as your site loads will earn you a quick click-away and no action on the pop-up.
  3. Don’t blend your pop-up into your content: A mobile visitor is coming to your site for quick information. If they land on your page for that information, the last thing they want to see is a pop-up that has been made to look like the content they were hoping to see. This is another loss-of-trust trigger for visitors to your site.

Are you currently using pop-ups? Have you thought about using them in the past but have been afraid of turning off your customers? We hope this article has opened your eyes to the good side of pop-ups! If you’d like more information about how to effectively use pop-ups and boost your customer conversion rates, contact the Marbury team today at

Breaking News

Marbury Creative Group is joining forces with Luckie & Company, one of the top privately held marketing firms in the Southeast. Clients will continue to work with the team you’ve grown to know and love, but now we have access to specialized services for your benefit.

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