The pros and cons of using pop-up notifications for email capture
Using pop-up ads to grow your email contact lists can be quite controversial. On the one hand, users hate pop-ups. They appear out of nowhere with seeming disregard for what the website visitor is in the middle of, disrupting their web surfing and e-commerce shopping experiences. On the other hand, pop-ups are extremely effective. Marketers who employ pop-ups drive 1,375% more subscribers than those who use other email capture methods. And as marketers work to ensure that pop-up designs become more sophisticated and incentivize new subscribers with offers that are harder and harder to refuse, more and more people are learning to accept the pop-up and its pivotal role in advertising and lead capture.
Let’s examine the pros and cons of pop-up advertisements, and see if we can learn from them how to create highly successful pop-ups that entice users to give up their email addresses, instead of exiting the website in frustration.
The pros of pop-ups
Pop-ups can increase your organization’s reach The goal of any organization’s marketing team is to increase their website’s reach. This is because you want as many people as possible reading your marketing materials, furthering them along the sales funnel towards conversion. Using pop-ups significantly enhances this process. Pop-ups tend to have an average conversion rate of 3.09%, but top-performing pop-ups can convert an average of 9.28% of website visitors. So, if your website has 100 visitors each day and you create really great, attractive pop-ups, your organization’s reach can potentially grow by 278 new users EVERY SINGLE MONTH!
Pop-ups offer real value to subscribers
Presented alone, pop-ups will not motivate website visitors to give up their email addresses. Yet, when properly curated, pop-ups contain real-value offers for new subscribers, which can highly encourage email list subscription. It truly is what is offered within the pop-up that counts; an appealing offer that speaks to your organization’s target audience, its online behaviors and preferences. This value is what separates mediocre, annoying pop-ups from the truly great ones.
Those who want to get rid of a pop-up, can do so with ease
Another advantage of using pop-ups to capture emails is their easy-to-use format. Most pop-ups give users the option of subscribing or closing the ad. This way, users who are not interested in what the ad has to offer, can simply get rid of the pop-up and continue with their website visit, without building up undue frustration or animosity towards the organization. In fact, this capability has the potential of building trust and loyalty between customer and business, eventually leading to conversion and personal information input.
Common pop-up cons
Pop-ups appear unsolicited From opt-in to exit intent pop-ups and everything in between, these small but powerful lead generation ads always appear without expressed interest. And when talking about the 1.75 billion pop-ups in circulation at any given moment, that’s a lot of unsolicited advertising! In fact, research indicates that spontaneous and unwelcome ads are so annoying, that users are driven to close 50 percent of all pop-ups before they have even finished loading.
They disrupt ongoing user experiences
As they appear without warning, pop-ups disturb whatever online experience the user is engaged in. Most often, pop-ups appear to request customer feedback or increase awareness regarding an organization’s product, service or content. But this still means that the ad is taking the user away from an ongoing experience, wasting time and severely detracting from potential customers’ desires to further their relationship with the business.
Users must take physical action to get rid of pop-ups
True, users can get rid of pop-ups, but why should they have to? If email capture attempts would appear in a sidebar or as a banner, they might not be as effective at garnering users’ attention, but they also would not require users to exert themselves and potentially press the wrong button in an attempt to return to their previous activity. The fact that physical action is required to make the pop-up disappear is a significant disadvantage for website visitors, everywhere.
Pop-up best practices: KISS
The best pop-ups strictly adhere to the KISS principle – they Keep It Simple Stupid. And by it, we mean the user experience. Here’s how:
- Pop-ups need to be tested before they are launched, to ensure they are as unobtrusive and clear to understand as possible. This means that users should not be prompted with countless pop-ups throughout their web visit.
- Exit intent pop-ups are preferred over opt-in ads and they must contain inherent value to the user.
- Pop-ups tailored to user behavior are more likely to be well-received by customers, but if users to want to exit the pop-up, they should be able to do so easily, without feeling compelled to click through to a web page they most likely will want to abandon.
Pop-ups are here to stay, in good times and in bad. Though some users might feel that pop-ups are annoying and disruptive, they are highly effective at driving website visitors to give up their email addresses. If best practices are adhered to, pop-ups can engage users, instead of serving as a source of frustration.