by | Mar 1, 2023

Are pop-ups bad?

Pop-ups: yay or nay?

Are they still a valid way to generate leads and promote interaction? Truth is, marketers swear by it, but users tend to complain about it all the time. Maybe it could be a necessary evil for marketing purposes. Or is it?


Pop-up forms — what are they?

History tells us that the first-ever pop-up ad ‘popped up’ (pun intended) in the late 90s on Quite a trip down the memory lane! Long story short, over time, this trend quickly spread all over the web like wildfire. A multi-purpose tool still widely used by marketers and developers today. Promoting content, newsletter sign-ups, lead generation, enticing subscriptions and downloads  pop-ups are the one-size-fits-all solution for driving leads.

But they carry a fatal flaw for the user that most marketers prefer to ignore. They’re annoying and interrupt the user experience.


Do Pop-Ups Work?

The data-driven answer is: yes, they do! Everybody claims to hate pop-ups, yet the stats show otherwise.

So what’s the deal? A great user experience should always be the priority. Nevertheless don’t disregard the power you may extract from good usage of pop-ups. Instead of placing them in a way that disrupt the visitor’s experience, consider these less annoying alternatives:


1 – Sticky bars 

Also known as top banners, these low intrusive bars live at the very top of a page. Commonly used to highlight announcements, simple subscriptions, coupons, promotions. The good thing about them is their omnipresence throughout the user experience, occupying very little screen “real estate” and not disturbing how the user interfaces with the website.


2 – On-click pop-ups

Instead of bombing visitors with unwanted and uncalled pop-ups, showing upfront and center on the screen, using an on-click option reduces friction and frustration. Trigger by a button or CTA, these work perfectly to drive leads without crowding the page with a full form.


3 – Gamified

Everybody loves to play! A good way to minimize the disruption caused by a pop-up is to make it playful and interactive. Spin a wheel, scratch to win a prize, are two common examples to offer coupons and discounts for eCommerce websites.


4 – Mobile

As an industry-standard, pop-ups shouldn’t be part of a mobile user experience. Whether we like or not, Google actually penalizes websites for it, and it’s not worth ruining your google rankings. So, make sure your pop-ups are correctly set up to be excluded for mobile devices.


In a nutshell, the main problem with pop-ups is its way of disturbing someone’s experience on a website. By the other hand, data tell us they’re still relevant and useful for marketing purposes. Like in most things in life, a good balance is the key. Like in “Spiderman”, with great power comes great responsibility. So use them but use them well!

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