Pop-ups are everywhere these days. In recent years, pop-up forms have re-emerged as a popular marketing tactic to promote content, drive blog subscriptions, grow email lists and boost lead generation. Some pop-ups are quite functional, even if you barely pay attention to them. Others are distracting and, frankly, unnecessary.

The function of pop-ups is to present relevant information to website visitors in order to attract their attention. These resources allow directing the interaction between users of the platform or conditioning the accessibility to its contents. Since in many cases visitors want to continue browsing the website, they will follow the indications of these windows to stay on the site.

What are they used for?

A pop-up is a digital resource that appears when a user interacts with an electronic site. These elements, also known as “pop-up windows”, present information in a sudden way that forces visitors to interact with the information presented, whether it is advertising or informative.

Types of pop-ups

Center screen pop-ups, which appear on top of the page content, are the closest thing to a traditional pop-up. Unlike the welcome mat, overlays do not prevent the rest of the content from displaying, but the user will have to click out of the window to continue browsing. While some users feel overlay forms very intrusive, they often have high conversion rates if the offer is attractive.

These are full-screen forms that slide over the page content. Their advantage is that they display your content at the top. You may consider doing this if the offer is relevant and important to your strategy. Otherwise, a welcome pop-up may be too intrusive and annoying for users.

A click pop-up is a specific type of overlay mode that appears with a form when a user clicks on a call to action or other page element. They are perfect when an online form clutters the page, but you want to reduce friction with a particular offer. The user experience is usually pleasant, which encourages conversion.

Other pop-up overlays are gamified coupons, which will allow users to play for a discount or prize in exchange for information. They often come in the form of a roulette or scratch-off ticket and are best for e-commerce stores (as the coupon can be applied at checkout).

These are small banners that appear as a bar at the top of the page, prompting the user to act on something. They are generally a more permanent conversion element than other types of pop-ups and are most useful for broad offers, such as newsletter subscriptions, coupons or even general advertisements.

These are small boxes that slide to the side or bottom of the page; they are similar to an overlay mode, but with less obtrusive behavior. They are excellent for presenting offers as the user scrolls through the page content.

Pop-up triggers

  • Page Entry: arises when the visitor first accesses the page. They are often considered the most annoying, but can be used effectively with less intrusive formats, such as the top banner.

  • Page scroll: appears when the visitor scrolls to a certain point on the page. These are great for long-form content, if you don’t want to embed a CTA in the content.

  • Interaction element: appears when the visitor clicks or scrolls over a specific element. Its effectiveness is higher, since the user performed a specific action with the intention of converting.

  • Time on page: appears when the visitor has been on the page for a specific period of time.

  • Exit intent: exit intent pop-ups appear when the visitor scrolls to the top of the page to exit.

  • Inactivity: appears when the user has not performed any action on the website for a period of time.

Pop-ups work, in most cases producing an average 5-10% increase in conversions with a specific pop-up strategy. Not all pop-ups are bad. They can be used as long as they are a healthy part of an inbound marketing strategy. When used correctly, they can improve the experience on your website, as well as increase your conversion rates.