If you want to get more sales from your website, you’ll know that you want to generate as many leads as you can while creating a fantastic experience for the visitors to your site.

There are lots of ways to maximise the number of leads you create, and one that has emerged in the last couple of years is through pop-up forms. But using these forms has also triggered debate.

Some pop-ups don’t bother us too much, like Digiday’s blog that motivates you to register before you click off the page:

pop-up forms for newsletters

But others are so intrusive that it distracts from the content on the page. Even Google penalises pages where the pop-ups are simply excessive. So should you be using pop-up forms in your marketing? We’ll try to uncover the problem here.

What are pop-up forms?

Pop-ups are nearly as old as the web.

The majority of them were from third-party advertisers, and typically flashed up on your screen telling you’d won a prize. However then, web browsers and visitors started overlooking pop-ups, so third-party advertisers stopped using them. Until online marketers began using them instead. There are 4 primary kinds of pop-up that marketers utilise today:

  • Welcome mats – Full-screen pop-ups that appear over the page content
  • Overlay modals – Screen pop-ups that appear in the centre on top of page material
  • Top banners – Small banners that fit right at the top of the page
  • Slide-in boxes – Small boxes that slide in from the side of a page or up from the bottom

Hubspot made a useful graphic to reveal exactly what these different pop-ups look like:

These days, there are different triggers that prompt a pop-up to appear. These triggers include:

  • Page entrance: Appears when a visitor first gets in the page
  • Page scroll: Appears when a user scrolls down to a particular point on the page
  • Element interaction: Appears when a visitor clicks or hovers over a component on the page
  • Time on page: Appears when a user has been on the page for a certain quantity of time
  • Exit intent: Appears when a visitor goes to leave the page

So do pop-up kinds work and should you be using them?

Is it worth using pop-up forms?

Aweber did an experiment to see if using pop-up forms is better than standard forms. They found that pop-up forms converted 1375% better than traditional forms for driving blog subscriptions. And Sumo discovered that the top-performing 10% of pop-up forms convert at 9.3%. That’s massive!

So pop-up forms work, but you must be careful that you don’t compromise user experience for them. So make sure that your pop-up types are easy to use and look fantastic.

So take a look at our 4 suggestions for creating beautiful pop-up forms that improve the user experience.

4 tips for creating pop-up forms that work

1. Think about how visitors engage with your pages

Make sure you don’t have your pop-up appear at the wrong time. This will simply irritate your visitors. So think of the best trigger point for your pop-up. If you’ve got short article content on your website, your visitors will be the most engaged when they’re midway through reading your article. So consider adding a pop-up form then.

2. Offer value to your visitors

Visitors simply get irritated if you include pop-ups that do not offer them anything important. So make sure the benefit that your visitors will get for completing your form is something they actually desire.

For instance, if you’re composing an article on the best ways to find the best conservatory installer, you might add a pop-up form encouraging the visitor to fill out their details to get quotes for a brand new conservatory.

3. Get your copy perfect

You do not have much copy to work with, so you’ve got to make sure you use specific, actionable and human language:

  • Specific: Tell the visitor exactly what they will get if they click on your pop-up. Don’t simply state ‘Register for our newsletter’. Tell them that they can get x amount of posts per week delivered to their inbox.
  • Actionable: Tell your visitors what you want them to do. Do not just state ‘Click here’; try’ Get my free e-book’.
  • Human: Remember to advise visitors that there’s a human behind your marketing. Try using colloquial language to make them more casual and friendly. What about ‘Enjoying this post?’ instead of’ Sign up for our blog’?

4. Make sure your pop-ups are mobile-friendly

Google revealed last year that they would penalise sites with intrusive pop-ups, and this reaches mobile. Make sure your website is still easy to use on mobile to prevent being punished by reducing the size of the pop-ups to fit a small part of the page rather than the full width. So as long as you get pop-up forms right, they can be a great tool for your inbound marketing method.