Pop-ups have earned a bad reputation over the years, especially because of the intrusive manner that digital marketers have used them. All of us have come across such pop-up ads on the internet, and now many web browsers come with a built-in pop-up blocker to protect us against such unwanted ads.
However, pop-ups are not terrible in themselves. In fact, if used correctly, they can deliver additional value to your visitors and enhance their web-surfing experience. There are just a few guidelines you must keep in mind while designing pop-ups to ensure they don’t cause any disturbance and, instead, deliver useful information at the right time to the target user.
Avoid Using Entry Pop-Ups
Many web developers make the mistake of installing pop-ups at the entry page of their website. As soon as a visitor lands on the homepage, entry pop-ups block the content with information that they may not need then. If you don’t allow your visitors to view your website first before pushing information through pop-ups, how can you expect them to respect the information contained within it?
In fact, using entry pop-ups may even negatively impact the position of your webpage on Google’s search results, as the webmaster guidelines published by Google don’t recommend using entry pop-ups. However, these don’t include pop-ups that open up on the same page without redirecting to another page.
The best practice is to remove pop-ups at the entrance of your website and, instead, deliver them only when you feel like you must use a secondary window to display additional and useful information to your audience.
For example, you can use a pop-up if your visitor has remained inactive for a specific number of seconds, just to regain their attention. Or, you can use a pop-up to recommend further action once your visitor has reached a specific place on your website where its time to take further action, such as reaching the end of an article. Another good time to show a pop-up is when your visitor decides to leave your website, in the last effort to deliver crucial information that might convert them.
However, make sure that a single visitor is not bombarded with multiple pop-ups during a single visit, as that can leave a very negative impression of your website. The best practice is to deliver only one pop-up message per visitor on every visit, or perhaps two if the information being delivered adds to the visitor’s experience. Pop-ups can also be limited with a timeframe so that not more than a specific number of pop-ups appear within a specific duration.
Not all your visitors are looking for the same information and solutions, and hence it’s important to segment your visitors accordingly. Once segmented, you can design pop-ups that are targeted towards each unique segment of visitors. This way, you can ensure your visitors are not exposed to unwanted information.
Segmenting visitors is easy. You can do it along various lines, such as industry or by products. Some online businesses segment their visitors according to their position in the consumer buying journey, or by their shared interests.
A few examples of visitor segmentation are as follows:
- Segmenting according to visitor’s engagement history: frequent visitors that have been returning to your website over time show greater engagement with content and can be grouped as one. In contrast, new visitors can be grouped in another segment.
- The stage of a prospect: not all of your visitors would be convinced about your product or service, or the content of your website, and hence would not feel comfortable taking action at this time. These are called cold prospects, and instead of asking such a group to take action now, you should focus on delivering more information to them to convince them. For the hot prospect group, they can be called to take action, and hence should be grouped as one segment.
- Based upon geolocation: segmenting visitors according to their location is a great way to deliver highly targeted and relevant content to your visitors.
Sending Customized Messages
Whether its mobile marketing or any other digital platform, there is no doubt that a customized message has a greater impact compared to a standardized one. You cannot draft a communication without keeping your visitors in mind and then expect them to respond favorably to it.
After segmenting your visitors, it’s time to customize the messages that you send to them. These messages should contain information that is relevant according to the visitor segment. For example, a pop-up that delivers a discount as soon as a visitor decides to exit should only be shown to hot prospects, while that same pop-up should show additional product information to cold prospects to try converting them into a hot prospect.
No matter what you do, as long as your pop-ups contain valuable information for the right visitor segment and are delivered at the right time and not too often, they can create a lot of additional engagement with your visitors.