Practical Pop-Up Tips for Website Owners

3 Nov
Practical Pop-Up Tips for Website Owners

Pop-ups are handy windows you can add to your store for collecting visitors’ email addresses and SMS consent—and nurturing these visitors into customers.

The burden of complex coding work for pop-up creation is handled effortlessly by eCommerce marketing platforms like Sendlane. This means you can dedicate your efforts to designing pop-ups that are not only visually captivating but also result in maximum sign-ups and conversion rates…

…and this article is packed with pop-up best practices to help you with just that.

4 Practical pop-up tips for eCommerce brands 

When implemented well, pop-ups provide an extra avenue for visitors to interact with your brand beyond your existing store content. They help visitors get more out of their time on your website—and ultimately feel more satisfied with their user experience.

So here are four practical pop-up tips you can use to boost user engagement, with pop-up examples for websites to match.

1. Offer value on each pop-up

Unless they’re huge fans of your brand, visitors usually need some kind of freebie or incentive before they’ll subscribe to a pop-up.

Such incentives are called “lead magnets” in email marketing terminology, and can include:

  • Discounts
  • Free shipping
  • Quiz results (if you’ve set up quizzes to help visitors find the perfect product for their needs, for example)
  • Resources (such as ebooks, informational newsletters, and early access to new products)

Once you’ve decided on your lead magnet, promote it prominently on your pop-up. Then watch as visitors sign up in droves!

Example of offering value on each pop-up:

This pop-up on the Levi’s store provides amazing value. Visitors who sign up get not only a 20% discount on their first order but free shipping too!

Levi’s store pop-up with lead magnet


2. Segment your contacts based on their pop-up inputs

If your pop-ups collect information on contacts’ interests and characteristics, segment your contacts based on such data.

Doing so helps you engage each contact segment more effectively (and possibly close more orders!)

Check out this example of what we mean. 👇

Example of how you can segment your contacts:

Let’s say you’re like Sea to Summit, and offer your newsletter in multiple languages to cater to an international customer base.

So you could create a pop-up that asks visitors for their preferred language:

Sea to Summit preferred language pop-up

Then, in your email platform, segment your contacts based on their preferred language accordingly!

Here’s how we’d create in Sendlane a segment of contacts who want German-language newsletter content, for example:

Sendlane preferred language segment

This way, when you’ve prepared your German-language newsletter, you can send it to just contacts in your German-language segment…

…and not contacts in other language segments, who may unsubscribe if they receive newsletters in a language they don’t understand.

3. Make your pop-ups eye-catching 

If your pop-ups don’t stand out, visitors are going to scroll past them without giving them a second glance.

Use large headings, images, and bold colors to make your pop-up, well…pop out from the page!

Example of an eye-catching popup:

We just love this pop-up on the Wild Souls store:

Wild Souls eye-catching pop-up

Its black lip image instantly grabs your attention, as does the bold “Join the Wild!” heading. 🗢

Also, extra points for the pop-up’s unique shape. I mean, how many pop-ups have you seen that are curved like that?!

4. Gamify your pop-ups

Try turning the subscription process into a bit of a game that entices visitors to play (and provide their email addresses while they're at it).

What will visitors get when they subscribe? Lady Luck will decide 🍀

Example of a gamified popup:

On miMaO’s website, visitors can spin a discount roulette:

miMaO discount roulette pop-up

All they have to do is to submit their email address, and they could be on their way to getting an easy 2€ to 4€ off their order!

3 Tips for creating pop-ups for different customers

Different customers have different interests, traits, and preferences. How can your pop-ups cater to them all?

Check out these three tips and accompanying pop-up email examples.

1. Survey your customers’ interests

The best way of learning your customers’ preferred newsletter content is to ask them directly!

To do so, add to your pop-ups custom fields that correspond to each preference option. Your customers can then conveniently share their preferences with you when signing up.

Example of a pop-up that surveys your customers’ interests:

For example, Stitch & Story asks visitors to indicate whether they’re interested in yarns, patterns, or collabs when they subscribe:

Stitch & Story customer interest survey pop-up

You bet the store will use this info to tailor its newsletter content for contacts after that! (Probably using the contact segmentation method we discussed above, too.)

2. Ask customers for their birthday

Apart from asking visitors for their interests, you can ask for their birthday.

With this info in hand, you can send them birthday discounts on their special day—or month—and nudge them toward shopping your store.

Visitors get themselves a discounted birthday gift, while you get a sale. Everyone wins 🥳

Example of a pop-up that asks customers for their birthday:

On this Noe Valley Bakery pop-up, visitors have the option of entering their birthday when signing up.

Noe Valley Bakery birthday field pop-up

Sharing their birthday is totally optional, but the bakery promises to send a “special birthday treat” if they do!

3. Promote your SMS marketing

Most of the pop-ups out there focus on getting visitors’ email addresses. But some people may prefer to keep in touch via SMS instead of email—so put out an SMS channel for these folks!

Just configure your pop-up to collect visitors’ phone numbers instead of their email addresses. Not all email marketing platforms offer this feature, so check if yours does.

(If it doesn’t, try our Sendlane platform, which supports email *and* SMS marketing. 😉)

Example of a pop-up that promotes an SMS channel:

This one-field pop-up on Whispering Willow’s store lets visitors subscribe to its SMS newsletter with their phone number:

Whispering Willow SMS newsletter pop-up

The pop-up’s country code drop-down menu also helps visitors conveniently—and accurately—select their country code so Whispering Willow can send its newsletters to the right phone numbers.

3 Tips for making pop-ups using Sendlane

Sendlane’s intelligent pop-ups feature makes building high-converting pop-ups easy. Add these three tips to your pop-up strategy and start growing your email and SMS audience with Sendlane!

1. Experiment with different pop-up types

In Sendlane, you can create not one but THREE types of pop-ups! They are:

  1. Inline: Inline pop-ups are embedded into specific places on your page and don’t move as visitors scroll your page.
  2. Pop-up: These appear after the visitor has spent some time on the page.
  3. Banner: Banner pop-ups remain fixed to the top or bottom of the page while visitors browse your page.

Use the right type of pop-up depending on your intended objective.

For example, if you want to promote your newsletter prominently on your page at all times, setting up a banner-type pop-up will be perfect!

Just like what Antonelli’s Cheese Shop has done here:

Antonelli’s Cheese Shop banner pop-up

2. Preview your pop-ups on both desktop and mobile

With many users shopping from their phones these days, make sure that your pop-ups look good on mobile devices. You don’t want your pop-up to look pixel-perfect on a desktop computer, only for it to be hard to read and unusable on the smaller mobile screen.

One way of testing your Sendlane pop-up’s mobile-friendliness is to:

  • Embed it into your page, and then
  • Navigate to that page from your phone.

But if you’d rather not make your pop-ups “live” before you’ve tested them, preview them directly from Sendlane instead!

Just go to your pop-up’s settings to preview how it will look on both desktop and mobile.

Sendlane pop-up settings

3. Welcome contacts to your community

When a visitor subscribes to your pop-up, it’s as if they’ve handed over their ticket (being their email address) to enter your housewarming party (being your email list).

So imagine if they excitedly walk through the front door to join the fun…only to be met with a silent and empty room.

That’s what will happen if you don’t engage contacts after they’ve subscribed. You’ll have missed the opportunity to introduce them to your brand and start building customer goodwill.

In Sendlane, you can set up automated email funnels to send emails to:

  • welcome new contacts to your community upon sign-up, and
  • deliver any freebies you’d promised them on your pop-up.

Here’s an example of such a welcome email, courtesy of Supergoop!:

Supergoop! welcome email

Being part of an automated funnel, your welcome emails will go out automatically whenever you get a new contact. You won’t have to worry about sending them yourself. 😎

What are the possible unfavorable effects of pop-ups?

Pop-ups can have a bad rep in the form of being annoying. Just imagine you’re drooling over a pair of sneakers you’ve been coveting…

…only for a pop-up to suddenly appear and exhort you to “SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!”


Thankfully, there are ways of saving your visitors from such a bad pop-up experience!

For example, you could:

  • Set up an inline or banner-type pop-up. These pop-ups are loaded together with the page at the start and won’t jump-scare your visitors out of nowhere.
  • Limit how often your pop-ups appear for visitors. In Sendlane, you can set up your pop-up to appear only after your visitor has remained on your page for some time, scrolled through a certain percentage of your page, or made a repeat visit to your page. Be selective in how often you show your pop-ups, and your visitors will be less likely to regard them as pesky irritants.
Sendlane audience and trigger settings


Put these pop-up tips into action with Sendlane!

Whether you’re new to pop-ups or have some experience building them, the practical tips we’ve shared above will help make your pop-ups attract new contacts like a magnet.

You’ll just need to apply these tips in an eCommerce marketing platform with powerful pop-up functionality—such as Sendlane!

Use our drag-and-drop Pop-Up editor to create beautiful pop-ups, then install them into your website with a few lines of code (that we’ll provide).

After that, you can:

  • connect your Pop-Ups to marketing automations for delivering nurture emails and SMSes to new contacts, and
  • segment the contacts who subscribe to your Pop-Ups so you can send them targeted marketing messages via their preferred channels.

Sign up for a free 60-day Sendlane trial here to try these features on your store today.

Pop-up tips FAQs

Should I display several pop-ups on the same page?
How long should I wait to display a pop-up?
Which types of pop-ups can I create in Sendlane?

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