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Leveraging Pop-Ups For ECommerce Lead Generation

We are all too familiar with website pop-ups as a lead generation tactic. The reason for this is quite simple, they just work. But we also have to admit that these can be pretty annoying at times, even causing us to leave a website in frustration.

Luckily, pop-ups have come a long way due to all the customization options available. You can determine where, when, and how they will appear to your website visitors to help minimize the negative effect of these. 

In this article, I will go over some of the best methods used specifically for growing your email list using pop-ups, as well as how you can use them effectively on your ecommerce store while being less intrusive to your visitors.

Types of Pop-Ups

Let’s first take a look at some popular type of pop-ups.

  1. Fullscreen Popup – This pop-up takes 100% of the screen and may block all of a page’s content. They can be pretty annoying and should be used sparingly.
  1. Modal Popup – One of the more popular types of pop-ups. These are still somewhat intrusive but still allow you to see some of the content, even if it may be inactive until you take action.
  1. Slide-in Popup – These are not as prominent and might generate less conversions but are far less intrusive than the former two.
  1. Floating Bar Popup – These pops will stick to one particular area of the screen, such as the header or footer. Great for showing especially important CTAs like a cookie policy or announcement.

These pop-ups are all OK to use, but if you want to give your visitors as much breathing room as possible, avoid full screen pop-ups in particular. Try to stick to modal and slide-in pop-ups as these can be pretty effective while allowing the user to not completely lose focus on what they’re doing. Of these two, the modal popup may be the most intrusive (but also the highest converting) so be sure your visitors can easily locate the button that hides it and that the pop-up still shows your page’s content without fading it out too much if you go this route.

The Pop-Up Offer

Having determined which pop-up you want to use, you need to next figure out exactly what will be in the pop-up that will entice the user to enter their email. One common method for ecommerce businesses is to provide a discount code. However, don’t let that be the only thing you show your visitors. Consider where in your sales funnel they may currently be.

As an example, if someone is visiting a blog page on your ecommerce store, chances are they are at the top of the funnel and just want information so you need to be selective about the offer you show based on the customer journey. If you show me a 10% discount when I’m not even looking to buy anything as I read one of your blog articles, and I’ve never seen your brand before, I’ll just ignore the pop-up if you’re just trying to sell me something. Whereas if you showed me an eBook or something else of value related to what I’m looking at, I might consider opting in. Likewise, if I’m checking out a category or product page, I wouldn’t mind getting a 10% discount or free shipping.

Optimize with User Experience in Mind

To maximize the results you get from your pop-ups, as well as be less intrusive and likely to frustrate your visitors. Consider limiting at what point they will get a pop-up. For instance, you can until the session has been going for sometime before introducing your offer. Another popular approach is having your pop-up trigger when visitors are about to leave your page, also known as exit intent pop-ups. 

These pop-ups will not randomly show up while a visitor may be consuming content on your website, but rather when they are done with it and are on their way out, allowing you to capture that email with your new lead magnet via a prominent opt-in offer.

You’ll also want to limit how many times they get a pop-up to once per day or even less frequently for returning visitors. Be sure to also use pop-ups based on a number of factors like the location of the user, the page they’re visiting, and even their device type. Aim to experiment with multiple options to see what works best.

This is all done thanks to cookies, these will allow you to customize your pop-up builder and have it exactly as you want it to be so that you can maximize your lead generation efforts while allowing your visitors to use your website without constantly being bombarded with an offer.

Most pop-up builders have a free trial or a free version so you can try them out before committing to purchasing an ongoing subscription. Popular builders include OptinMonster and Hubspot. If you have a wordpress website, OptinMonster also has a plugin available. Because pop-ups and lead generation go hand in hand with this strategy, investing in a good pop-up builder is definitely worth it.


Pop-Ups can be extremely effective at building your email list, which will allow you to turn some of these visitors into paying customers with the right email marketing strategy at a later stage.

It’s also not a bad idea to yet again remind you that while pop-ups can be an excellent way to grow your email list, they can be very intrusive and should be used very carefully. A poorly implemented pop-up solution can have a negative impact on your website’s user experience – not making them a good use case just to capture some leads. Google also does not take too kindly to intrusive pop-ups, especially if you were to consider using one on a landing page for a Google Ads campaign.

Once you have these tips in mind and carefully consider the options you have available, you might just come up with a winning lead magnet pop-up strategy.

Finally, make sure you are reviewing past and current landing page performance once you set up a pop up, not just the results you get from them.

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