Why You Should Be Using Popups on Your Online Store
Popups suck right? So why do so many of your favorite sites use them? If you don't know, popups are those little annoying boxes that pop up or out at you while you're comfortably reading a site. They are those things that interrupt your shopping or surfing experience and force you to find that little tiny X button to close them. They are annoying and rude and... they work. Really, really well.
In this post, we're going to tell you why you must implement a popup for your store, the pros and cons of having a popup and the best practices to get the most from it.
Let's pop right into it.
The purpose of a popup is to provide a very strong call-to-action. This action might be an announcement or sale you want to the visitor to know about, but more often than not, it's to collect email addresses. Test after test has proven that popups work extremely well. In one test, popups drove 1,375% more email captures vs. a sidebar opt-in form.
In another test, a website was receiving only 10 to 15 subscribers per day despite getting over 44,000 unique visitors each day. After implementing a popup with a 60 second delay, they began receiving 100-150 emails per day.
Why would you want to collect email addresses?
In a previous post, we talked about how your store is like a bucket of water with a lot of holes in it. You spend time and money to keep filling the bucket with water (visitors) but the majority (99% if you have an average 1% conversion rate) falls out of the holes and are gone, usually forever. This is obviously counter-intuitive to a successful business. Keeping people in the bucket and being able to bring back those that fall out is really important to running a long term successful business.
By collecting email address of visitors, you get a second and maybe third chance to bring them back and convert them to a customer with effective email marketing campaigns.
So why email? Why not try to get them to follow on Facebook or Twitter instead?
If you've followed the Shopify blog for a while you'll already know the answer to this question. Email converts better than any other channel. In fact, email has an ROI of around 4,300%, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
That's because your customer's email inbox is their most personal online environment and getting permission to message them there provides you with a level of distraction-free attention for your message that you just can't get on other channels.
The Darkside Of Popups
So with so much compelling evidence that popups work, why isn't everyone using them? Well, it's not all unicorns and rainbows. There are disadvantages to using popups on your site that you should be aware of before making a final decision to use them.
Let's take a look at some of the disadvantages below:
Disadvantages Of Using Popups
Types of Popups
There are several ways to display your popup based on visitor actions. Let's take a look at some of the most popular below:
Making Popups Work For You
If you've decided that a popup would be right for your store, there are a few things to consider to make it as effective as possible. Let's take a look at the two core characteristics of an effective popup below:
Timing Can Be Everything - You can show your popup at different points in your customers experience on your site. You can hit the visitor as soon as they come to your site, after a predetermined amount of time, when they complete a certain action (like viewing a particular page) or as they are about to leave your site.
Showing a popup as soon as a visitor hits your site might provide you with more emails but it comes at the expense of being intrusive and possible annoying to some visitors. Some experts would argue that many times the emails you receive from this approach are less qualified because these people didn't have enough time to explore your site and truly determine if your brand and products are a good fit for their needs. This can possible lead to a poor email list with a lot of unsubscribes.
Feel free to experiment with the various types of popups and see what works best for you.
Choose The Right Message - Choosing the right message is critical. Just like creating any ad, your image should be eye catching and interesting and your copy should be straight to the point and provide a clear benefit along with a strong call-to-action. Many visitors are accustomed to closing popup boxes immediately, so you only have a second to get their attention and pique their interest.
Consider including a catchy headline, impressive numbers or interesting facts to attract the visitors interest right away.
Other Uses For Popups Besides Collecting Emails
We have talked primarily about using popups to collect email addresses, however, they are other uses for a popup that should be noted: