eCommerce Insiders

Why You’re Missing Out If You’re Not Using Popups (Pt. 1)

In part one of this two-part in-depth series, we’re going to cover what has become a rather controversial and heated topic within the online marketing industry: to use, or not to use email capture popups?

We’ll look at:

  • Why you should be using popups (even if you’re not a fan)
  • What happens when you get your popup wrong
  • The different types of popups you can use
  • Things to consider when setting yours up
  • Examples of popups in the wild

Now just to make sure we’re all on the same page, before we go any further let’s clarify what an email popup is: A popup is a piece of email capture software which overlays over your website in order to collect your web visitors emails.

The argument for using popups (even if you don’t like them)

There are a slew of different ways to use popups, but most brands use them to build their mailing list for the simple reason that: when you collect the email address of your visitors, you get a second, and possibly even a third opportunity to guide them back to your online store and transform them into a customer.

Yes! You will need an effective email marketing campaign to make this channel profitable, but there’s such a high ROI in this form of marketing it’s well worth investing your time and budget in it.

Your potential customers inbox is often fiercely protected space. When they give you permission to interact with them there it offers you the opportunity to quickly build brand awareness, and trust, deepen your relationship, and provides a distraction free channel of communication. Email marketing is pretty hard to beat.

Still not sold?

Make sure you tune in for part-two of this series, where I share how one store owner (this is their opt-in below)  went from getting 5 signs ups a day to over 1300+ new sign ups in just over a week – without spending a penny more on paid traffic.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 15.23.46

Over the last few years email capture technology has become more and more sophisticated, and this is demonstrated by the amount of different types of popups there are available now. What that means for you is, even if you’re fundamentally not a fan of popups, there are ways you can use this technology that are non-offensive or intrusive to your website visitors.

Different types of popup you can use:

  • Pop-up when a user intends to exit (aka exit-intent)
  • Pop-up when a user reaches the content end of the page/content
  • Pop-up when a user reaches a particular element within the page
  • Pop-up when a user scrolls a specific percent of a page
  • Pop-up when a user scrolls down and goes back up

Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute claims that “popups are responsible for over 65% of his mailing list.” And marketing expert, Derek Halpern, of the ever popular site Social Triggers, goes as a far as to say: “if you’re not using popups you’re an idiot.”

I agree, but like with most things there is a caveat, because here’s the clincher–done the wrong way popups can do more harm to your business – by increasing bounce rate, abandon carts etc, – than good.

What happens when you get your popup wrong?

  1. They block your visitor from easily viewing your product
  2. They interrupt your potential customer – often at inopportune moments
  3. They ask your viewer for something – while offering no real value
  4. They’re confusing to your visitor  – especially when the close button is tiny
  5. You can overwhelm your visitors– which usually happens when you get frequency wrong
  6. They make your website look like it has technical issues – your popup going up every 5 minutes makes people thinks there’s a problem.

So now we’ve established there’s a wrong way and a right way to do popups, let’s dive into what you need to consider when you’re setting yours up, and share some examples of good, bad, and blah popups in the wild.

Think about popup frequency

Most software comes complete with the ability to alter the popup frequency – by this I mean how often your popup is shown to your customers, whether new or repeat. By tracking your web visitor with a cookie you can show them your popup at timed intervals, rather than on every visit. Or as set up on some websites, any time you refresh or hit any other button, which is just annoying.

If your customers are consistently presented with your popup, this puts another step between them getting to your product and the sale. Your goal is to make sure your popup presents an irresistible offer, not poses a problem or threat to the sale. I’ve found that 12-14 days is a successful frequency. What that means is, if a visitor comes to your site during that time they won’t be presented with a popup, but if they visit after this window they’ll see it again. Perfect.

Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 18.05.17Timing is everything

Like I mentioned above, your popup should present an interesting offer to your customer, not an annoyance. If your popup jumps out too soon (and too often) that’s exactly what it becomes.11

Here are my recommended popup timings in a handy little graphic you can easily refer back to. 

POP UP TIMINGS CHEATSHEETMake your popup something worth opting in to!

Don’t be lazy or stingy with your opt-in offer – remember people are confronted with these all day every day. Your job is to stand out and get attention.This is best achieved with a killer combo of great design and an even better offer.

Think the standard “10% off first order, sales, and previews” are gonna win the day? Think again. As these are the most thrown about offers, unless someone really digs your brands they’re also the ones most likely to be overlooked and ignored.

If you’re stuck for ideas on what makes a good opt-in, a good place to start is by looking at the problems and questions your customers have around your product or niche, and start creating content which addresses and solves that problem.

Screen Shot 2015-10-06 at 20.28.46Use popups to segment your list and fine-tune your messaging

Customising your marketing according to where your customers are in their buying cycle and their buying behaviour, is where the serious money is when it comes to email marketing. But in order to do this effectively, you need to become super-skilled at list segmentation – which is where it gets tricky.

Big brands with large established audiences can get away with asking for lots of information during the signup process – which they can use to target their messaging more accurately – when you’re just starting out, keep it simple

That’s it for today. In part-two of this series – make sure you join our mailing so you don’t miss it – I’ll share more tips to help you grow your brand and business with email marketing popups, plus a list of tools (many free) that you can use to get started.

Got questions? feel free to ask them below, and if you got value from this article we’d love a share on your favourite social platform.

Stacey Herbert is a marketing and business coach for fashion entrepreneurs, and the founder of #TOMB The Online Marketing Boutique – the premier group coaching program and training portal for online boutique owners. Take a class, accept a challenge, or access expert marketing advice 24/7 – 365. To discover more, check this out.

Ready to experience brazen profits in your eCommerce business? Get in touch today.

Join her private community for online boutique owners on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

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