Over the last few days, we have been digging deeper into the use of popups and whether they actually do have a good impact on business websites. Not so surprisingly, we found that popups – when backed with a good strategy and technology, do work.

Be it a travel business website, a media company, an eCommerce business, or a blog, well timed popups are the best website elements to grab a visitor’s attention – even when he is just about to leave!

In this post, we want to share 5 examples each of the good and bad popups that business websites have been using:

5 examples of popups that are a complete no-no

1. This popup here that is trying to push you

As we mentioned above, using two CTAs is another smart move to reinstate your value proposition. But let’s get one thing straight – don’t make it repetitive and don’t try to be all too pushy. It isn’t going to work. This popup here for instance has too much ‘bounce’ to it!

bad popup 1

2. This popup here that is just way too cluttered

Another thing about popups that work is that they bring the visitor’s attention to ‘one’ thing. The designs are usually focused on making the value proposition stand clear of all the other elements. If you see this popup, there is practically an overload of everything – too much text, too many elements that your eyes want to map and we’re pretty sure you’re already trying to hit the ‘close’ button on this image.

bad popup2

3. This popup here that is way too common

Yes, we said we’re a fan of minimalism and that we like getting straight to the point – but a little bit of personalization does nobody any harm! This popup here for instance, uses a very common template for newsletter subscriptions. We have seen it so many times already that we just don’t see any value in it.

bad popup 3

4. This popup here that wants too much information

The idea of the popup is to capture a visitor’s attention with a value proposition that makes him want to convert – easily – preferably in just 1-2 steps. This is why on your popup you should focus on asking only what’s important. The popup we show here is practically asking us a little too much information. Even if it is important for the business it is used on, we’d like to see lesser fields please!

bad popup 4

5. This sneaky popup that has a lot to say

Effective popups are all about finding the right timing, the right message and the right design. Basically, a visitor who has already chosen not to interact with you, wouldn’t want to waste another minute trying to figure what the popup has to offer. This popup here sneakily gets triggered in the corner of the webpage and we just don’t mind that. But take a look at the copy, the white spacing and tell us if you could process all that in 3 seconds. No!

bad popup 5

5 examples popups that actually work

After seeing the popups that don’t work because of different aspects, here’s taking a look at some that are doing their job really well.

1. This cute popup that just wants you to stay (and even has an incentive)

A few things that internet users will never stop relating to are cute puppies, cats and memes – let’s face it. This popup here uses a sad little puppy to show how the website feels when the visitor is leaving. And it also offers an incentive to make him stay! You couldn’t possibly say no to this puppy with an offer, could you?

cute dog popup

2. This popup here that strikes the nail

Sometimes a website visitor just needs a slight nudge to convert. This is when you should use the weapon of hitting the nail right on the head! Pick a pain point of your target audience and turn it into a question that offers a solution. Using two CTAs here for instances, the popup states what happens if the visitor declines what it has to offer. Making it more obvious and intuitive for the visitor to click on yes.

purple exit bee campaign step 1

3. This minimalistic popup for social following

Contensify makes use of an exit intent popup to drive their visitor’s towards liking them on Facebook. The campaign is as simple and minimalistic as it could get. The design of the popup resonates the theme of their blog, uses an image that is associated with the services they offer, makes use of typography to give it authenticity and uses a plugin to make ‘liking’ a one-click process!

contensify popup

4. This popup that matches its value proposition

Backlinko knows exactly how to capture their visitor’s attention. Their popup doesn’t just make use of a copy that tells simply tells the visitor what he gains from subscribing to their newsletter, but also uses smart elements. For instance, their strategies are aimed at improving the SEO – better SEO, rocketed traffic. Now see the correlation?

backlinko popup

5. This popup that looks as exciting as the music festival

Tanzinsel used an exit intent popup during their music festival to ensure that the leaving visitors knew their tickets were going out of sale. Based on their visitor data, they personalized their popup with localisation, using the language that was commonly used by them. While the messaging was simple and said the tickets were going out of sale, we love how the popup itself is designed in the shape of a ticket and how the CTA directly leads to their booking web page.


Over to you

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to creating popups, the anatomy of a high converting popup is to focus on a compelling message, add value, have a crystal clear call-to-action, an eye-catching design and most definitely, the timing!

If you’re just getting started with implementing popups on your business website or blog, we suggest you begin with exit intent technology before trying various other triggers. This will help you maintain the consistency of not intruding your visitor’s experience and at the same time help you retarget them before you leave!


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Vanhishikha Bhargava

Content Marketer at Exit Bee. Most of the times found trying to create compelling copies for blogs and digital campaigns, keeping a watch on what's happening on social media or ranting on Twitter. At all other times, not found.

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