5 Pop-up Mistakes to Avoid and Convert Your Website Like Mad

5 Pop-up Mistakes to Avoid and Convert Your Website Like Mad

Pop-up advertising is truly a double-edged sword when it comes to digital marketing nowadays. For one thing, it is a great way to keep customers up-to-date or offer some benefits like discounts, free trials, or free shipping. On the other hand, it can be extremely annoying, irritating, and turn the slightest hint of a great customer experience strategy into ashes. Without prior knowledge of some easy-to-make mistakes, introducing pop-ups to a website can discourage users from dealing with a brand. 

In this article, you’ll get an overview of some common issues that can stand in the way of creating user-friendly pop-ups on a website, and hacks on how to eliminate those mistakes once and for all. 

Benefits of pop-ups

Let’s start with the basics. Pop-ups are floating boxes that appear on a website. They emerge either automatically or after being triggered. Pop-ups can be displayed if a user hovers their mouse towards an exit button on a webpage or just stopped scrolling, for example.

An example of an exit-intent pop-up. Source: Leesa

A pop-up normally disables the main page until a person interacts with it. The question is, are pop-ups still worth implementing?

Let’s consider another essential thing, namely conversion, to answer this question and avoid groundless statements at once. Conversion rate is known as the percentage of visitors on your website, who completed the desired action. Basically, the higher your conversion rate, the better your business is performing. 

Do pop-ups influence conversion? Well, yes, they do! According to a SumoMe survey, an average pop-up generally increases conversion by 3.1%. High-performing pop-ups can boost it as high as 9.3%. Not bad, right? 

An increase in conversion rate after implementing pop-ups. Source: SumoMe

Apart from driving heavenly conversions to your website, here are some indisputable pop-ups benefits for eCommerce: 

  • Better visibility. Based on the nature of pop-ups, they can’t pass unnoticed. In most cases, they serve as an eye-catcher and are the first ones to present your brand or company to a visitor. The way a pop-up is created and displayed influences further relationships with a customer greatly.
  • Purchase initiation. Pop-ups can be game-changing when it comes to sales. If a person landed on your website and saw an attractive offer, it can serve as a stimulus to buy or at least motivate leads to find out more about the company itself and what it sells. 
  • Personalization. With customized pop-ups, your prospects will be shown relevant information or deals depending on their search. With a couple of clickable options, your website will instantly look more user-friendly. 
  • Less cart abandonment. Nothing can be more frustrating for a digital marketer than a changed decision to buy and an abandoned cart as a result. Pop-ups can deliver interim offers like discounts or bundles, for example, to prevent a customer from leaving.  
  • Feedback options. Is there any better working method to improve your business than to ask your customers about it in the first place? Pop-ups can be efficient and super easy to utilize when it comes to gathering insights and processing them afterward. 

As every coin has another side, pop-ups can be somewhat contradictory and raise a lot of discussions. Several surveys have focused on reasons why people have a negative experience with pop-up ads. 

A study performed by Learn G2 named the ubiquity of pop-ups as the main cause of poor customer experience. Other reasons are wrong timing, poor targeting, and design. 

Reasons for negative experience with pop-ups. Source: Learn G2

The data, shown above, basically explains why people use pop-up advertisement blockers in their browsers. 

All in all, pop-ups are still a very powerful tool when it comes to eCommerce. But if you overlook the important details while integrating them into a website, pop-ups can have the opposite effect on your business. 

Let’s have a look at some of the most common mistakes and ways on how to use pop-ups for eCommerce to boost it even further! 

Time to create a perfect pop-up!

Enjoying the article? Remember to put your knowledge into practice! Create a spotless pop-up with 13Chats and invite see your sales grow 🙂

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5 common pop-up mistakes to avoid

Despite some of the potential headaches of pop-ups, it is possible to address some of the issues in the preparation stage. Here is a list of 5 common pop-up mistakes that stand in the way of creating positively perceived and high-yield smart widgets.

An instant pop-up display

Before actually introducing pop-ups to your website, it’s vital to know when and where to show them. You wouldn’t want them to be intrusive after all, right? 

For a newly-landed client learning about your products or services is important and even essential when it comes to understanding the value. Only after that can you offer someone a subscription to your email campaigns or an info-talk to a manager, if any questions should arise. It is always better to set up displaying a pop-up or a subscription form at least after 30 seconds after visiting the website. 

13Chats’ pop-up customization

As an alternative, you can trigger a pop-up according to the length of its content, if there is a list of the products, for example. In this case, it’s better to show an ad after at least 35% of the page has been scrolled. If you are unsure about the timing, consider referring to such tools as Google Analytics, for example, to find an optimum time slot. 

With information about the average session duration on your website, you can customize pop-ups for your prospects, meaning displaying them after the 3rd part or half of the period. 

Using such an approach, clients won’t be bombarded with pop-ups instantly and will have enough time to figure out whether they are interested or not. 

To put this into practice, consider planning and implementing smart pop-ups with 13Chats. It gives you access to over 30 pop-up formats and 5 scenarios for fine-tuning the display based on customer actions. After choosing a condition, you can set the exact time after which a pop-up will be shown. 

Poor design

Pop-ups usually stand out from other elements on a website. However, it’s not enough to make them bright and colorful to convert. A pop-up can have a bad design for several reasons.

  • Mobile-unfriendly pop-ups

A client can log in from a laptop, a tablet, or a mobile phone. Subscription forms should be convenient and easy to deal with from any device. Run different pop-up formats for desktop and mobile. Also, keep in mind that the smaller the screen is, the more concise the wording should be. Make sure that the text is readable from any gadget and that it’s possible to fill out the form without any obstacles. 

Just have a look at Tom Ford’s pop-ups for a desktop and a mobile. Both of them have only one input field. Such a minimalistic design doesn’t look off-putting or obtrusive. 

An example of a desktop pop-up. Source: Tom Ford

The pop-up window is relatively small and simple. As device-specific display rules were taken into consideration, it also allows typing in an email pretty seamlessly both from one’s laptop and mobile. 

An example of the same pop-up for mobiles. Source: Tom Ford

  • Too many input fields 

As for fields in a pop-up, here reigns the rule — the fewer, the better. One pop-up window usually means one action. 

If you ask users to fill out more than three input fields, they might feel overwhelmed and refuse to type in anything. Start by asking for basic information like an email address and a name, for example. Supposing you need more information from your prospects, think about implementing multi-step pop-ups. 

To supply an example, Joyous Health shows a pretty concise pop-up that asks for a visitor’s name and email address in exchange for a free guide to overcoming sugar addiction. 

An example of a multistep pop-up. Source: Joyous Health

After that, another form ‘pops up’ asking for the person’s general field of interest.

An example of a one-step pop-up. Source: Joyous Health

If a customer is keen on getting some more relevant information, the company is willing to share according to one’s specific preferences. 

Unnecessary overlaying

When launching pop-ups, it’s important not to overdo it. In other words – keep it simple. Assuming you have a live chat on your website, make sure that both widgets stay visible. For example, an online chat can be in the right corner of the site and a pop-up in the left. Also, keep in mind that if you run the pop-up in the center of the screen, it should not overlap another form.

The best solution is to set up targeting conditions so that some of the forms appear based on a customer’s actions. 

Another option is to not show pop-ups simultaneously but use a set timing, for example. Two pop-ups appearing one after another are easier to perceive and deal with than forms that overlay one another. 

Let’s have a look at what Starbucks does. What do we see at a first glance? Firstly, they show a notification informing about the cookie policy and after that suggest getting one more cookie, a real one for this time, in one of their stores. 

An example of a Starbucks’ cookie policy notification

This is a rather sound example of how to avoid unnecessary overlaying and produce a gimmick at the same time. Not every customer is expecting to get a real treat after a cookie notification, after all.

An example of a Starbucks’ pop-up

No exit button

Pop-ups in eCommerce can perform various functions. While some of them serve as CTA, others can be used to notify clients about maintenance on the site, for example. In eCommerce, you should always allow the client to click on the Exit button and leave if the offer is not relevant. Unfortunately, some business retailers underestimate the importance of that “X” sign and make it barely noticeable — inevitably leading to customer frustration. 

To say more, a pop-up window might be impossible to close at will because it is designed to disappear after some time. 

By generally abolishing the option to close a pop-up window, some marketers count for interaction with it. Sadly, if a person can’t find a way to leave a form, they are likely to leave the website entirely. This gross mistake is pretty easy to avoid.

Create smart pop-ups with a clear and visible exit button that is possible to use from every kind of gadget. Alternatively, you can also integrate a “Not now” or “Not interested” option. The main thing is that prospects must have a choice. 

Ruroc provides a pop-up with a rather laconic design and a visible exit button in case a client isn’t interested in participating in a giveaway contest. 

An example of a pop-up. Source: Ruroc

Forever and ever pop-ups

The last but not least mistake is launching one pop-up without the prior testing and forgetting about it. Before initially creating a pop-up, it’s better to settle on a plugin or service. 13Chats allows flexible conditions for you to change the settings all the time in the future. 

Test different CTAs, formats, offers, and conditions for displaying pop-up forms. Analyze the results and leave the best options. Also, do not forget to periodically change your pop-ups and test again. Consider creating different pop-up ads specifically for holidays or any other occasions. 

For example, Wool and the Gang provides an exclusive pop-up specifically for Black Friday at the end of a season. 

An example of an event-specific pop-up. Source: Wool and the Gang


As you have seen, pop-ups are an extremely widely used tool on different websites regardless of the services or goods they offer. Some may call these popping boxes a rather controversial tool, as various statistics show that people can also be annoyed with them. 

At the same time, pop-ups are useful when it comes to generating leads and improving overall performance. If you’ve made up your mind about integrating smart widgets into your website, try to create ones aimed at creating a better user experience.

Things like instant appearance, an overly-complicated design, or several boxes displayed at the same time may lead to customers’ frustration and poor conversion as a result. Pop-ups, as every other detail of your site, need nurturing and constant testing. That’s why it’s essential to settle on a service that allows you to check on your widgets any time and make changes if necessary. 

Consider 13Chats as your trusted partner to create effective pop-ups for your business, uplift conversion, and enhance customers’ satisfaction. Try pop-ups from 13Chats and stay on the safe side of pop-up marketing. Enjoy your pop-upping!

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