One of the biggest debates in the online marketing community is whether or not to include direct-response pop-ups on your site. The debate would be a lot less...View More fierce if these pop-ups weren't so damn effective. Whenever you are able to block out competing attention & deliver a clear & concise offer & CTA, your odds of converting go way up. However, one of the biggest arguments against it is that it kills user experience & is too pushy on the visitor. The problem with many pop-ups is that they are not targeted. There's a generic message that pops up immediately before the visitor gets to even browse the site (bad timing) & if it doesn't resonate, it's a deadly first impression. This is why I am sharing this example from http://www.bleacherreport.com (a very popular high-traffic sports blog). I clicked on one of their articles upon Googling for info on the latest Floyd Mayweather fight & this pop-up came up for their app, Team Stream. Why is this simple example so different? The pop-up itself isn't the clever part. Plenty of companies show mobile pop-ups to download their app that can be annoying (e.g LinkedIn). The difference here is that this one is specifically targeted & completely congruent with what I was searching for. They show a headline & icon that are specific to my intent & demonstrate what we in the biz call maintaining "scent" http://www.conversionxl.com/give-your-advertising-roi-a-serious-boost-by-maintaining-scent/. Even though it's technically an obtrusion to the article, you still get a sense that they have your best interest in mind & that little bit of extra effort makes all the difference. Still anti-popup? Give this case study a look: http://danzarrella.com/my-data-shows-email-popups-work-and-dont-hurt & another post that expands on it: https://www.mailmunch.co/blog/how-to-use-exit-intent-popups-to-grow-your-email-list/
Mobile Pop-Up from Bleacher Report Swiped in May 2014
Instead of dismissing pop-ups completely, try thinking about how you can actually provide the visitor with something valuable that they want at that very moment
If you can do that, you are in fact, helping them & giving them what they want while helping boost your conversions. It's a win-win.
In Bleacher Report's case, they simply created a pop-up with a variable headline. If they had a variable photo, it would be even more powerful.
This is an example of maintaining "scent" or maintaining consistent messaging & presentation based on the user's intent
Lastly, if you're going to be more generic with your offer, you might want to delay the pop-up more for the sake of user experience or only activate it on exit
Mike Schaueris the founder of Swiped.co and the main analyst in the swipes section. After intently studying & building conversion-focused websites for 6+ years, he started Swiped to help others master marketing & copywriting through the analysis of great examples!
Visit the archives of this swipe's source URL or view past screenshots of bleacherreport.com below.