What do you think of first when you hear the word “pop-up”? Most people would answer with “those annoying little boxes that randomly appear from nowhere while browsing the web”. Unfortunately, this is exactly what the pop-up has been reduced to. People hardly spend any time interacting with pop-ups other than scrambling around on the screen to close them.
As with any technology that falls prey to inexperience, the pop-up has been misused, and has had the exact reverse effect from what they were originally invented for. The pop-up is a great little tool, which, if used properly, can do a whole world of good for a website. It has been proven statistically that pop-ups are a great deal more noticeable than banners, and are generally more effective at garnering clicks and opt-ins than the standard header banner. So how exactly should pop-ups be designed so that they can boost opt-ins, as well as generate a certain degree of interest from viewers?
Lure your subscribers in – Pay them
This does not mean that you should literally pay them; it just means that you should offer them something worth their while in return for their opt-in. They choose to give you their name and e-mail address, it’s only fair that they be given back something in return – a free e-book, a free consultation – anything that is free and has relevance to your brand and/or service.
There are plenty of pop-ups which ask visitors for their names and e-mails, without giving so much as a tiny freebie in return. Needless to say, it is these kinds of pop-ups which people chase to close down.
The headline is of utmost importance
The first thing about a pop-up that a visitor will notice is the headline. A catchy headline can draw visitors into reading the rest of the information in the pop-up, while a bad headline can, well, be disastrous. To attract attention, it is vital to inform your visitors exactly what they will gain from their opt-in.
Reduce loading time
If a pop-up takes a lot of time to load, chances are it is going to be closed down before it has even had a chance to completely load. Visitors won’t sit around, waiting for a slow pop-up to load – they will close it down immediately, thus rendering all those fancy graphics useless. Since capturing the interest of the viewer – and doing it as quickly as possible – is the prime motive, minimizing the use of graphics in a pop-up is as effective as it gets.
Balancing the pop-up
A good pop-up should blend in with the rest of the page – it should not stick out like a sore thumb. Examples include designing a red-based pop-up for a website which has shades of black and white as its primary color palette. That is a strict no-no! Also, the text, alignment and images on the pop-up should be such that they remain consistent with the rest of the content on the webpage.
Let visitors opt-out – Don’t forget the close button
As much as you may not want to do this, providing a close button to your pop-up is absolutely necessary. Adding the close button is a rather simple process, as all you need to do is add the code: onclick=”self.close();return false;” to the button tag/link that you have used.
Bottom line – Keep it simple!
Everything said and done, the key to an effective pop-up – one that can attract a lot of opt-ins – is to keep it exceedingly simple. No embellishments, no razzle-dazzle. That is the key to boosting opt-ins using pop-ups.