14 Best Practices for Using Website Pop-ups

Best Practices for Using Website Pop-ups

What are the best practices when implementing website pop-ups?


To help you find effective ways to implement pop-ups for your website, we asked content marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From personalizing pop-ups to the customer lifecycle to using an enticing sign-up phrase, there are several ways to best create and feature your pop-ups to get positive response from visitors to your website.


Here are 14 best practices these leaders follow to implement website pop-ups:

  • Personalize Pop-Ups to the Customer Lifecycle
  • Make Sure Your Pop-Up is in the Best Interest of Your Customer
  • Match Pop-Up Timing With User Behavior
  • Go for a Short-Timed Pop-Up
  • Be Creative With Your Pop-Up Message
  • A/B-Test Ahead of Time
  • Collaborate With Websites in Your Niche
  • Make Your Pop-Up Simple and User-Friendly
  • Let Your Email Pop-Up Appear Toward the Exit
  • Use Visuals for Your Pop-Ups
  • Keep Pop-Ups as Unobtrusive as Possible
  • Make Your Pop-Up Easy to Close
  • Avoid Leaving a Bad Experience With Your Pop-Up
  • Use an Enticing Sign-Up Phrase With Your Pop-Up

Personalize Pop-Ups to the Customer Lifecycle

A huge mistake I see across all industries is serving irrelevant popups to visitors who have already done the thing you’re asking them to do. For example, serving newsletter subscription popups to visitors who are already subscribed, serving content download popups to visitors who have already downloaded that content, serving free trial popups for visitors who are already customers. Not only is it very annoying to visitors, but it’s also a huge wasted opportunity to keep visitors moving along and engaged in the next step of the customer journey.

Personalize pop-ups to move them along to the next step. For example, get anonymous traffic to subscribe to the newsletter, get newsletter subscribers to join a webinar, and anyone else left to start a free trial.

Corey Haines, SwipeWell

Make Sure Your Pop-Up is in the Best Interest of Your Customer

Make sure that your pop-up is in the best interest of your customer and not yours.
In order for it to be enticing, it needs to address the #1 pain point of your ideal customer profile and offer a free solution to that problem. By reverse engineering your ICPs pain point, you will ensure that your pop up has a high conversion rate, isn’t annoying by leaving a bad user experience, and is highly relevant to your customer (the reason why they came to your website in the first place).

Shoaib Mughal, Marketix

Match Pop-up Timing With User Behavior

It’s crucial to test what timing and intents fit best when trying to convert users through pop-ups. For example, shooting out a pop-up to sign up for your newsletter as soon as a user opens a new page is probably going to get shot down. Depending on why users are visiting a site, companies can leverage event tracking, split testing methods, and buyer personas to create pop-ups that match users’ intentions, timing, and goals. Pop-up content that populates at the wrong time, or with content that isn’t relevant to users won’t help increase conversions.

Jason Panzer, Hexclad

Go for a Short-Timed Pop-Up

Your pop-up should be less disruptive and shouldn’t last more than four seconds. Visitors are on your page because of a goal they want to achieve; it may be reading your content, signing up for your service, etc. And it can become annoying if something is blocking them from achieving that goal. As much as you can, keep your pop-up simple and straight to the point and ensure that it takes a few seconds. Interested visitors will interact with your pop-up if they want to, and the duration of time won’t force them to interact with the pop-up.

Simon Bacher, Simya Solutions

Be Creative With Your Pop-Up Message

Many websites implement pop-ups when a user is on their site. Some appear right away, while others wait 30 seconds, or for the user to reach a certain section on the website for the pop-up to appear. While not instantly bombarding a potential customer is a good practice, what the pop-up says is even more important. The bottom line is that businesses want email addresses so that they can market their products and follow up with customers who didn’t purchase. Customers know this and so they are hesitant to add their email for fear of being spammed by emails all the time. I know, because I’m one of those people who are hesitant to give out my personal email to companies. 

Last year, we changed the wording on our pop-up and have seen a 3.5 to 4 % increase in submissions. Instead of “signing up” we have the user “receiving VIP Benefits”. People want that instant gratification feeling. They get it with our pop-up and receive a promo code. It’s the same functionality just worded differently.

Seth Newman, SportingSmiles

A/B-Test Ahead of Time

Be sure to utilize ab testing when implementing website pop-ups. Create two different pop-ups and then figure out which one will drive more clicks. Test out different background images, copy, layout, and the amount of time it is displayed for. Ideally, you don’t want a pop-up that never closes on its own, but it’s important to figure out if three seconds or thirty seconds yields better results. Ab testing will help you figure out which pop-up is most effective in improving your conversion rate.

Michael Bell, Manukora

Collaborate With Websites in Your Niche

Try to collaborate with websites that have a similar niche to you, it will help you significantly in finding a large potential customer base easily. People visiting the website will carry similar interests to that of the website, which will automatically indulge them in clicking the pop-ups. You are likely to gain more engagement through such kind of collaboration or paid promotion rather than showing your popups through a website that has a completely different niche than you. It is important to focus on the integration of interest to gain more and more leads at a faster rate without facing the loss of resources, which you might have to face if you go with a website with a completely different niche. It is because the people visiting the page are likely not interested in your popup. After all, currently, re is something else on their mind.

Jeremy James, Blue Water Climate Control

Make Your Pop-Up Simple and User-Friendly

Pop-ups are annoying, however, pop-ups on the website can encourage users one step closer – like the email sign-ups through coupons. This works because most people, when they see a coupon, are attracted to it and they want to try the product and experiment with how it works. This works for many companies who use a simple and user-friendly method. The pop-up gains the users through a simple email address space and at one click it drives to the conversion. Therefore, you acquire the visitor’s email address and make an influence with the exciting products of your brand.

Brigid Davey, Nimble

Let Your Email Pop-Up Appear Toward the Exit

The best type of popup for your website is the exit intent popup. It is not a good option to have a popup asking for your email address while you are still searching the site. It is annoying and can lead to increased bounce rates. A much better option is to have the email popup appear when the intent is already begun to exit the website. This way you can give them an offer and try to get permission to email them before they leave the site.

Doug Darroch, Renaissance Digital Marketing

Use Visuals for Your Pop-Ups

All information on the internet benefits greatly from the inclusion of images and other visual components. Lots of studies have found that they improve the overall appeal of websites, especially when they feature actual people. As an added bonus, visuals can help direct the focus of the user exactly where you want it to go. This includes window pop-ups. Yours will have a greater impact if you incorporate visuals. It adds a level of excitement, novelty, and interest to your marketing efforts, increasing their effectiveness. However, it is not necessary to always use full-size pictures. Some designs just need a more interesting background pattern or some brighter accent colors to really stand out.

Billy Parker, Gift Delivery

Keep Pop-Ups as Unobtrusive as Possible

I have A/B tested many different pop-ups. The best practice when implementing website pop-ups is to make it as unobtrusive as possible. To attain this, you need to set the trigger correctly, and I have found setting the popup trigger after they have been on a page for over 30 seconds is the best. If your trigger is too sensitive, the popup will just annoy the user, and they will bounce immediately.

Jordan Woolf, We Buy Houses in Bama

Make Your Pop-Up Easy to Close

When creating a pop-up, you want to make sure it provides value to the user and doesn’t disrupt their browsing experience. A best practice is to make sure you have an “X” button in your pop-up to allow users to close it if they want to. Creating an easy way out of your pop-up will make sure users aren’t annoyed by it, and they’ll be more likely to stay on your website.

Peter Beeda, fhalend

Avoid Leaving a Bad Experience With Your Pop-Up

Popups disrupt the user’s journey and can leave a bad experience. However, if the popup is genuinely valuable and offers the user something for free (that they’d otherwise pay for) you can expect incredible conversion rates. This is exactly what I did with Ticker Nerd, my investing newsletter that has since been acquired. All pages had a popup that promised to show visitors the investing process. And we did exactly this. We broke down exactly how we surfaced interesting stocks. Our emails were often reopened up to 10 times in some cases.

Luciano Viterale, Luciano Viterale Consulting

Use an Enticing Sign-Up Phrase With Your Pop-Up

A great popup should have the following: 

– specific timing (does it show after 2 seconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, or on exit)
– a great image or offer
– a first name and email field
– something other than “subscribe to my newsletter” 

There is nothing more unappealing than “subscribe to my newsletter.” Pop-Ups should entice others to sign up. For example, “Grab my free Mailchimp Cheat Sheet!” sounds a lot more exciting than “subscribe to my newsletter.”

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

7 Mailchimp Certification Benefits For Marketers

7 Mailchimp Certification Benefits For Marketers

What are the benefits of getting a Mailchimp certification?  


To help marketers see the benefits of earning a Mailchimp certification, we asked marketing professionals and business leaders this question for their best insights. From keeping you current on trends to showing employers you are dedicated, there are several benefits of getting Mailchimp certified that may encourage you to add this program to your learning and development initiatives.


Here are seven Mailchimp certification benefits for marketers:

  • Keeps You Current on Trends
  • Learn How to Create & Automate Email Campaigns 
  • Showcase An In-demand Skill
  • Insider Access to Special Events
  • Enhances Your Credibility
  • Charge More for Your Expert Services 
  • Shows Employers You Are Dedicated 

Keeps You Current on Trends 

The benefit isn’t as much the certification itself, although that does give you access to some marketing tools, a badge, and an approved freelancer status. The benefit is what you learn in obtaining your certification. It’s like taking free marketing courses.

The amount you learn to gain certification to be a freelancer through Mailchimp gives you an edge with your clients. It keeps you current on trends and updates that are important to you and your clients.

Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

Learn How to Create & Automate Email Campaigns 

One benefit of getting a Mailchimp certification is that you would learn how to create and send newsletters, email campaigns, and other automated emails. Additionally, you would be able to track their success using analytics, and make necessary adjustments to improve the effectiveness of your communications. You would also be able to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD

Showcase An In-demand Skill

Email marketing is one of the most in-demand skills for marketers. A Mailchimp certification sends a message to employers that you are a valuable asset to a team. The more you know about how to personalize, segment, and analyze data in email marketing, the more you have to offer. A Mailchimp certification is a great thing to add to your resume to help you stand out and prepares you for a job in email marketing.

Sumeer Kaur, Lashkaraa

Insider Access to Special Events

A Mailchimp certification grants you access to exclusive events, webinars, and product news. These special opportunities, offered only to those with this special certification, are a great way to consistently feed your mind valuable insight into the marketing industry.

You can further take advantage of these benefits by networking with other like-minded professionals with similar career goals. Once you’re Mailchimp certified, a whole new world of valuable information and exclusive opportunities are afforded to you.

Datha Santomieri, Steadily

Enhances Your Credibility

Being able to flaunt a Mailchimp certification and thus call yourself a Mailchimp Partner instantly lends credibility to your credentials. This badge of honor separates you from others in freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork in terms of knowledge and skillset. Mailchimp is widely recognized as one of the leading marketing automation platforms and email marketing services in the world, so a stamp of approval from them is an invaluable feather in your cap—it also looks great on a resume!

Jordan Duran, 6 ICE

Charge More for Your Expert Services 

Mailchimp’s certification program is a great way to show you know your stuff when it comes to email marketing. It takes just 2 hours to complete, and you can watch the video lessons on your own time. Once you pass the exam, you get a badge that shows up on your profile and is able to showcase to prospective and current clients.

When people are searching for an email expert, they’re looking for someone who’s knowledgeable and trustworthy—and Mailchimp certified tells them you are. You’re likely also able to charge clients a bit more for your services because of your certification too. Plus, if you’re looking for a job, it makes your résumé stand out.

Nick Cotter, newfound

Shows Employers You Are Dedicated 

The benefits of getting a Mailchimp certification are many, and one of the most important is that it will help you land a better job. Since many businesses and marketing agencies rely on Mailchimp for their email marketing, the demand for people with the skills to work with this software will only grow. If you are serious about landing a job in the marketing field, getting a Mailchimp certification will show employers that you are dedicated to furthering your education.

Eugene Chimpoy, Church Helper

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

What is one creative way you plan to market your business in 2021? What do you have planned?

We asked marketing professionals and business owners about what they have in store for the year ahead. 

Here are twelve creative ways to market your business.

  • Instagram Reels
  • Prioritize Video Content
  • Plain Text Emails
  • Optimized Blog Content 
  • Join Online Communities
  • TikTok
  • Exterior Branding
  • Get Personal
  • Hit It Old School
  • Highlight Success Stories
  • Establish Yourself as Experts
  • Live Shopping on Apps

Instagram Reels

Everything is virtual these days and one of the most creative things you can do is capitalize on this. I am a big fan of Instagram’s “Reels” feature which is similar to TikTok. I’ve seen a lot of business owners using Reels to teach their followers something short and fun. You could do a simple “3 Tips for…” and set it to music. It makes for fun content and it gets a lot more exposure than a traditional Instagram post. Make sure to include hashtags in your caption!

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

Prioritize Video Content

Video creation is one of the most creative ways to market your business in 2021. Studies show that video content performs better on social media and also increases the average time on page for web users, and it is a powerful tactic that not many people use due to the labor-intensive nature of video production. We are excited to do more in this space come 2021!

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions 

Plain Text Emails

Sending personalized, plain text email messages to existing and prospective customers is a simple, but underutilized marketing tactic. We receive so many emails every day, but if you can insert your business into an inbox in an unobtrusive way, then you are able to deepen customer relationships and be there when customers need you. 

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Optimized Blog Content 

Going into 2021, we plan to create high-quality, optimized content to be featured on our blog.  Our goal is to be the most trusted experts in our industry.  This helps us organically rank on search engines and be the featured page when people are looking for durable device cases. We have gotten really creative with keywords and topics to appeal to potential customers and just rolled out a 3-month content strategy to aid in our marketing efforts. Content will be king in 2021. 

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case 

Join Online Communities

One creative way you can market your business in 2021 is to join different online communities! I personally attend online webinars and meetups for female entrepreneurs and creatives to build my network and promote my company to potential clients. In addition to the reach these communities provide for my company, they also give me the opportunity to meet other prominent professionals in my vertical who help me get even better at my craft.

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors 

TikTok

A tactic we have been utilizing in 2020 and will use well into 2021 is TikTok. With over 800 million monthly active users, Tik Tok is officially the hottest new social media platform. While TikTok is thought to just be for teens, we have found that a lot of our target market is active on TikTok and looking for content geared toward them. We created an account and have been making our own videos and publishing them for the world to see. With no monetary investment, we just use our free time and creativity to spread the word about our brand. 

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell 

Exterior Branding

We equip all of our vehicles with visually appealing exterior graphics to help capture what it’s like to “Cruise America.” We often hear positive comments from customers and prospective customers about these graphics. With more than 4,500 vehicles on the road, the more our vehicles are in use, the more marketing benefit our company receives. 

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Get Personal

Not in a creepy way, but in a true authentic way. We are all exhausted from being online 24/7. Can you send a handwritten card just because? Can you organize a pickup/drop off spot for a joint activity or craft project? Can you organize a safe winter wonderland activity? I believe the secret sauce behind effective marketing in 2021 is going beyond the digital screen.

Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing

Hit It Old School

We’re hitting it old-school with some of our approaches this coming year to activate our wholesale network. Our plan is to resurrect the idea of “scratcher postcards,” but with actually great rewards under those silver flecks. Digital ads are becoming more expensive and are vying for subprime attention, while print advertising is seeing a resurgence in both affordability and the stronger eyes it gets.

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

Highlight Success Stories

In 2021 we are aiming for the strategy of storytelling. We’re focusing on telling our clients’ stories. We believe storytelling, be it brand-led or customer-led, connects with audiences. We’re combining the two to show how our brand helps our customers through their success stories. It will take us some time to find the right stories, shape them for our audiences, and tell them in a way that showcases our clients’ hard work and success. Any good story has a setting, a character, character flaws, conflict, resolution, and lesson. Brand storytelling is not an exception. We plan on incorporating all those elements into our stories.

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Establish Yourself As Experts

When we look at 2021, it’s important to understand that we still have uncertain times ahead. Therefore, we need to not only have a Plan B, but we need to work our way a little further down the alphabet. We plan to stay innovative and ready to make a pivot whenever traditional marketing efforts aren’t paying off. So, we have targeted strategies for outreach, guest posting, and providing beneficial quotes for articles on high-traffic sites. By establishing ourselves as experts in our niche, we plan to exude trustworthiness and professionalism.

Sally Rong, Rellery

Live Shopping on Apps

In order to successfully market your business next year, the answer lies in adopting a combination of new social tools vs. tapping into just one. We’re anticipating that the next phase of retail will heavily focus on ‘Live Shopping.’ For example, our partners at Facebook and TikTok are rolling out new features that will make it extremely quick and easy for consumers to make purchases directly from interactive content—without ever leaving their respective app or site. In 2021, brands will be able to sell seamlessly through Instagram’s ‘Checkout’ feature and take advantage of TikTok’s first-ever commerce partnership with Shopify. This provides a great opportunity to work with influencers across platforms and explore new channel capabilities.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

8 B2B Instagram Marketing Tips & Best Practices

B2B Instagram Marketing Tips

Instagram has always been a place for brands to shine–interacting with customers and creating a feed akin to an art show. But what about B2B businesses looking to enter the game?

How should a B2B business use Instagram? 

We asked eight B2B leaders, “What Instagram tip would you have to offer other B2B businesses?”

Here’s what they had to say:


It’s All About Insights

For us, Instagram is a place to share insights and wisdom. Our work is about people and we want to put people first through the content we share. As a result, much of our content is motivational and inspirational. Connect your business, whatever you offer, to something personal and that will offer something valuable to your audience. 

Jenn Christie, Y Scouts


Share Your Brand Personality

We use Instagram as a way to share our brand’s personality beyond our site while still promoting our business. Instagram allows us to connect to our audience in a way that’s more personable. We share our sales and products, of course, but we also engage with our followers by asking questions and including them in the content. Create a brand personality and use that to guide your content.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional


Network

We have a podcast (CEOpodcasts.com) so we use it very much as a way to connect with podcast guests and generate content. The reality is that most businesses are looking for visibility so we try to provide that opportunity with our platform. By doing that, it opens up the opportunity to develop, nurture, and cultivate relationships. Simply by sending a direct message to a potential podcast guest can open up a tremendous amount of opportunities.

Gresham Harkless, Blue 16 Media


Promote Brand Identity and Culture

We use Instagram for culture posts. Our audience doesn’t consume content or convert on Instagram so we’ve switched from trying to promote on there to showcasing a more human side of us and highlighting our great brand!

Janelle Amos, Revenue Marketing Manager


Be Consistent

We use Instagram to promote our mission, programs, and fundraisers. The best practice we strive for is consistency. What I have learned about social media engagement is it is all about consistency. It is also important that you create polished and eye-catching content for social media since it is driven by picture content.

Lloyd Hopkins, Million Dollar Teacher Project


Start Your Narrative

You are not the hero of the story. This comes from Storybrand by Donald Miller and it is more applicable than ever. To be effective on Instagram, start your narrative where the user is and not what you want them to see. Provide value by helping them navigate the problem they are currently having.

Lukas Ruebbelke, BrieBug


It’s OK if it Isn’t Right For You

First, determine what business objective(s) you want to achieve from Instagram (and social media as a whole). Instagram isn’t for everyone, and if your efforts on the platform aren’t organic or authentic, it could actually damage your brand reputation with your followers. If you do create a presence on Instagram, commit to conceptualizing the type of visual content that will tell your brand’s story in a compelling way.

Rennie Leon, Director of Marketing and Communications


Feature Behind the Scenes

Instagram is our favorite tool for letting our brilliant team shine. Since we’re a digital marketing company for small businesses, it’s important for us to have a medium where our clients can learn more about the awesome people they’re working with. Through our efforts, we aim to show that we connect small businesses with customers and have a great time doing it. Since Instagram is a casual social media platform, I recommend using this channel to feature the people working behind the scenes. Show people what your business is all about, but don’t forget to highlight those who make things happen! 

Grecia Olachea, Markitors

11 Best WordPress Design Tips For A Clean & Modern Website

Whether you like it or not, people will judge your company based on your website. In light of this, it’s important to have a clean, user-friendly webpage to attract clients. If you’re operating on WordPress, there are multiple options available to impart a modern feel to your website. 

In this piece, 11 small business leaders share the steps they took to breathe new life into their company sites.


Conduct Research

We recently just did an overhaul of our website. We started by researching large companies we look up to and see what type of content and style they’re currently using. Once we had a better understanding of current trends, our own user experience, and the ideal layout, we found a template and plug-ins that would drive conversions.

Megan Chiamos, Cannabis ERP Software 


Have Easily Identifiable Calls to Action and Negative Space for Easy Navigation

We are currently working to move our website to WordPress from a different platform because of its versatility. During the transition, we are working with a designer to ensure the best possible SEO performance with the new design. Two of the key components of our new site will be easily identifiable calls to action and negative space to help ensure easy navigation.

Pete Newstrom, Arrow Lift


Use Meaningful Images

Selecting images is a very important part of website design. For our adoption agency, the images we have chosen to select on our website are very reflective and respectful of the unplanned pregnancy our birth mothers face. Previously, our website was populated with photos of babies. Now, the hero images on our site are filled with images of the life situations birth mothers face: the initial positive pregnancy test; the discomfort of a pregnancy; wondering what the future holds; research; joy. By including these images, it is our hope that we can visually communicate to birth mothers that we understand what they are going through…and that we are here to help. 

Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center


Simplify the Messaging

We have simplified and cleaned up the messaging. Ensure load times are fast and provided call to actions right at the top of the site. We also are telling people what happens to their information right up front using video so we can eliminate any fear. Finally, we are including video and virtual tours as much as possible.

Thomas Ahern, Embark Behavioral Health


Prioritize User Experience

Carefully think about the user experience and flow of information. Write enough but not too much — nobody likes to read the web. Make sure the design is clean, simple, and appealing.

DD Kullman, University of Phoenix


Keep it Fast and Efficient

I am in the process of a redesign. I was using a template that had a lot of custom css that just slowed the site down. Speed is one of the biggest ranking factors so I have switched to a lighter template with fewer plugins and a whole lot less custom CSS. Most of the fancy stuff I didn’t use anyhow. Simple, clean, easy to navigate, and fast is better than cool bells and whistles.

Eric Rutin, Rutin Marketing


Keep it Simple

Simplicity.  Easy, clean, and to the point without extra bells and whistles.  Use this style for a quick reference and then to start a real conversation about meeting your customer’s personal needs.  Every business and website has different needs.

Joe Harlan, JoeHarlan.net


Keep it Clean and Basic

My team and I are always updating our WordPress website. We keep it clean and basic. We want our customers to be able to easily flow through our website. 

Vanessa Molica, Eyelash Supplies Company


Use a Fresh Design and Real-Time Data

We have an expert and award-winning team that uses fresh design and real-time data to create brand awareness and help our services stand-out. We look at our site every day and it shows.

Cameron Robb, GPEC


Short, Choppy Copy Wins

One underrated aspect of a modern website is the copy. Short, choppy copy wins in today’s world. Say what you need to say in as few words as possible, as clearly as possible. For example, “We help ____ with ____ by ____”

Michael Norris, Youtech


Don’t Overcrowd the Pages

To adopt a clean, modern look, I do several things. One, I use a font that’s readable. I make sure that it’s big enough and that the color has high contrast against the background. Two, adding adequate space in between text and elements. If the page looks too squished, it looks outdated and messy. Three, use high-quality images to add visual interest.

Danielle Ganon, SEO Marketing Company