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9 Ways To Use Pop-ups On Your Website

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

When one talks about pop-up ads, the first impression is, it’s invasive, distracting, and leads to a bad user experience. What’s your take on pop-up advertising? Well, the numbers speak against the general norm of pop-up ads. Sumo conducted a survey with almost 2 billion pop-up ads and found that the average pop-up ad converted 3.09% to 9.28%, that’s a conversion rate of almost 92 to 274 a month even if you had just 100 visitors a day. So let’s understand the what, why and how of pop-up advertising.

What is a pop-up ad?

Pop-ups are ads that appear in a small square on a computer screen or mobile device. Pop-up advertising can be configured to serve multiple purposes from subscriptions, to surveys, to product introductions, and much more. The key to effective pop-up advertising is to take user experience into account, and make sure your ads don’t hinder the user and add value to your already engaged visitor..

Why use pop-up ads?

Numbers prove that pop-up ads are effective, businesses have seen a 40% drop in bounce rates and conversion rates of 6.39%. Pop-up ads work for a few key reason:

  1. Pop-ups are shown to every site visitor – Since they have to be closed, pop-ups have a 100% viewership. Unlike banner ads which a user might just miss or ignore.

  2. Value addition – If used correctly they add value to you user, enhancing your customer experience and in turn increasing your conversion rate.

  3. A message can be delivered when visitors are engaged – when done in the right way a pop-up can appear exactly when your user is most likely to click through.

  4. One can’t ignore them – Since they are in a user’s face, pop-ups cannot be ignored. Even if the user instantly closes it, the message will still be delivered.

How to use pop-up ads successfully?

That being said, we know that pop-up advertising is effective, the key being user experience.

Your pop-ups should not be annoying to your user to get the best results. Now that we’ve answered the what and why, let’s look at 9 ways on how you can use pop-ads successfully.

Time your ads well

It’s bad user experience to see a pop-up as soon as a user lands on your page, imagine not exploring a site and seeing a pop-up with an offer or a sign-up. It is important to give your visitors a chance to explore your website before they see a pop-up. You can set the timing of pop-up to when there is an exit intent like switching a tab, or when a user is inactive for around 30 seconds.

Use clear and prominent CTAs

Your call to action button is one of the most important aspects of your pop-up ad. It determines whether or not your visitor will convert. These buttons take the user to the next step. If your CTA is not clear and bold, a user might navigate away from your pop-up. This is why you will see many websites use bright colors for their CTA buttons.

They should be easy to close

Pop-up ads can get annoying and negatively impact user experience if exiting them becomes a challenge. You should not force a user to take an action on your pop-up ad to be able to access your website. This may lead to the visitor bouncing off, instead of taking the forced action. A button next to or below your CTA with an opt out option, like “No Thanks” will improve user experience. Also make sure your ‘X’ (close) button is clearly visible.


You don’t want your visitors to see the same pop-up ad on every page or every time he visits your website. You can show users different campaigns at different stages of your website. You can also have different campaigns for different occasions or just change the design and artwork on a regular basis.

Don’t create a lead form

It’s a pop-up ad not a lead form, so don’t ask your user for too much information when giving them an offer. For example, if you are offering a discount coupon with a sign-up ad, ask only for a phone number or email, not both. You do not need more information at this point. So to make a pop-ad effective, always remember less is more!

Hide the form

We aren’t contradicting ourselves here, it’s being smart with your pop-ups. If you need to get more information from your users, hide the lead form. For example, start with a download button, once the user clicks on the button take them to the lead form to get all the information you need. Since they have already been intrigued to click on the download button chances of them filling the lead form are higher.

Give first time buyers a discount

This is usually done with an entry pop-up. Since the user has visited your page, there is an intent to buy, so showing them a discount pop-up ad in exchange of their email may be worth it. It is highly unlikely that a user will not enter his/her email in exchange for a discount coupon.

Offer an eBook or a downloadable checklist when the user is already engaged

Scroll-up ads are used to offer something that adds value to an already engaged user. Since the visitor is already going through relevant information offering them something that will add more value to them will most likely lead to a conversion.

A/B test to maximize results

Use different pop-up advertising strategies to identify which one works best for you. You can experiment with content, design, timing, frequency, type, etc of your pop-up ads to understand which campaign brings you the highest results. Be certain to use different CTAs, titles, offers etc in different pop-up ads.


With pop-up advertising, you can capture leads, increase sales and answer survey questions from your client base. The best part is that pop-ups are also super easy to set up and integrate into your overall marketing strategy. Pop-ups have been a valuable growth strategy for many businesses and one you should not miss out on.


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