How to Make Pop-Ups That Users Love: Best Practices for 2024

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At OptiMonk, we eat, sleep, and breathe popup design. So, it’s no surprise that we’re obsessed with staying up-to-date with the latest tips and techniques to make a successful campaign.

Recently, when reviewing the results of popup campaigns across a wide range of sites, we noticed that popup campaigns that are regularly updated achieve better results than popups that remain unchanged for months or even years.

Of course, you might say: “That’s obvious”.

We all know that making changes, testing and continually optimizing is the best way to improve your conversion rates.

Still, it can be difficult to refresh your pop-ups on a regular basis – and that’s why many people simply “stick to what works”.

To help get the ball rolling and make it easy to regularly update your popup campaigns while creating popups that users love, we’ve created a list of everything you need to keep in mind. We’ll break down the most important tips and techniques for creating effective popups.

Bookmark this blog post, and when you need some ideas for your next pop-up campaign, come back, grab a few, and get to work 🙂

Why is it important to create user-friendly pop-ups?

First, let’s discuss why it’s important to create user-friendly popups!

The easiest answer is that intrusive pop-ups that are difficult to close or irrelevant can frustrate users and drive them away.

By designing user-friendly pop-ups that are easy to interact with, you respect the user’s journey and maintain a positive relationship with your audience.

Pop-ups are also a reflection of your brand. Annoying or poorly designed pop-ups can create a negative impression.

On the other hand, thoughtful, user-centric pop-ups can enhance your brand’s reputation. By showing that you care about the user experience, you build trust and loyalty among your audience.

Plus, user-friendly popups can be a powerful tool for collecting data and increasing conversions and sales.

Recommended reading: Why Do Popups Annoy Visitors And How to Prevent It?

6 popup best practices for high conversion rates

Now let’s dive into six essential best practices for creating effective and user-friendly pop-ups.

1. Don’t be a pop-up spammer

The basic element of every great popup is the same: it’s not annoying.

You don’t want to overwhelm your website visitors with too many messages. Your pop-ups should appear a maximum of two times for each visitor. This helps improve the user experience for your website visitors, ensuring a positive first impression.

But what about your repeat visitors and long-term customers? You want to connect with them but you don’t want to overwhelm first-time visitors. To do so, you’ll need to create different pop-up campaigns for each segment.

You should apply this to visitors who have already signed up for your offer, and also those who have closed your popup without converting. If these visitors didn’t opt in, they had a reason. 

Maybe the segmentation wasn’t fine-tuned, your offer wasn’t clear enough, or you didn’t add a sense of urgency. Either way, the offer didn’t meet their needs. Your goal is to re-engage these visitors with something different.

ZOOSHOO does an awesome job of continually renewing their popup campaigns. Check out this collage below including some of their best pop-up campaigns:

ZOOSHOO pop-up campaigns

By creating segments for new and returning visitors, and different popup campaigns for each, you can be sure to connect with your visitors without being annoying.

2. Keep your pop-up campaigns grounded in reality

It’s important for every website to keep grounded in reality, this applies in two ways.

First and foremost, pay attention to the data and the real results you are achieving. Show visitors your best deals and top-selling products based on your sales history.

You can also use your popup campaigns to redirect visitors to your best-converting and most important landing pages. This is a great way to reduce your bounce rate and encourage more immediate purchases.

Check out this example from Soggy Doggy that redirects visitors to their best-performing offers:

Soggy Doggy popup example

The second way to keep your pop-up campaigns grounded in reality is to pay attention to the change of seasons and holidays, as well as the latest news and events, basically, what’s happening offline in the real world.

Holiday-focused campaigns can help you to boost your sales, and customers also love an end-of-season sale. You can also run promotions based on a news event, or the latest conference you are attending.

Running relevant popup campaigns for a short period of time can be highly effective. Be sure to update your designs to reflect the campaign you run.

Let’s say you sell sports equipment. It makes sense to run a campaign for two weeks before the beginning of the Olympics with a special deal. Then, run another campaign specifically for the World Cup when that event happens. You can clearly see how these two different and timely messages would be more relevant than one simple message all the time.

Check out this popup from Lennebelle Petites for Mother’s Day. It’s right on time, and the design matches the holiday:

Mothers Day popup example

3. Stay up-to-date with the latest design trends

Web design is changing constantly. To keep your popups appealing, you need to keep a close eye on the latest design trends as they evolve from year to year.

An outdated design is less attractive and will result in fewer conversions. Many visitors will simply leave your website and never come back after a bad first impression.

We always recommend that your popups are designed to fit with the style of your website. It’s important that they appear as an integral part of your website. As a result, you may need to update your website to the latest design trends to ensure your sales stay consistent.

Here are a few notes to help guide you:

  • Your website has to be responsive and look good on mobile
  • Use bold, hi-resolution images
  • Look for unique images instead of typical stock photos
  • Find graphics and icons that match your brand to create a visually rich website
  • Follow minimalism in your designs with more white space, larger font sizes, more graphics, and less text

Your popups should also have a minimalist feel with a clear message and call-to-action, bright and bold colors that match your website, and only one main graphic or image.

Trying to add too much information to your popups will distract your visitors and reduce your conversions.

To make this easy for you, we’re constantly updating our popup templates to match the latest design trends. Check out some our pop-up templates below:

4. A/B test continuously

A/B testing is another way that you can keep your pop-up campaigns grounded in reality. Continuously split-testing your popups to see what works best is a vital part of improving your campaigns.

While you might have a gut instinct about what works, be sure to always follow up by checking the data. Based on the data you collect, you’ll learn which pop-up design and copy changes actually lead to better conversion rates.

Here are some different elements you should A/B test:

  • Your headline
  • CTA text and button color
  • Font style
  • Percentage vs. dollar amount offer
  • Free shipping vs. discounts

Let’s take a look at an example from They tested two different offers in their pop-up campaign. The A variant shown below offered a fixed dollar amount store credit, while the B variant provided a percentage discount.

After testing each variant, they found the percentage discount was a more powerful incentive, outperforming the first variant by almost 21 percent. Check out both popups below.

A/B test popup example

5. Use new templates for your campaigns

We regularly release new pop-up templates to help you create better campaigns. Built on the latest design trends and using the best techniques for conversion, there may be a perfect match for the campaign you are creating or refreshing.

For example, have you seen our latest product recommendation templates?

These templates have a nice, clean, minimalist feel, and product recommendation is a highly effective way to reengage visitors, especially those who are abandoning their cart.

6. Don’t let your visitors get bored with your offer

The other day, I was talking to a friend who runs an ecommerce store. He was asking for my advice on conversion rate optimization.

“The conversion rate of my website is decreasing continuously” – he told me. “I don’t understand why, the offer rocked in the first few months.”

He was really surprised by the drop sales. This is another example where it helps to keep your website and popup campaigns grounded in reality. I asked him nicely: “How would you feel if you went to your favorite store once a month for half a year and you saw exactly the same clothes and offers? You would get bored pretty quick, right?”

Your website visitors feel the same way when they see the same offer month after month. You’ve got to switch up your offers to keep your visitors engaged and give your repeat customers a reason to come back again.


How to create high-performing popups?

Creating high-converting pop-ups involves a combination of strategic design, targeted content, and timely deployment. Here are some key tips:

  • Compelling offer: Ensure your pop-up offers something valuable to the user, such as a discount, exclusive content, or a useful resource.
  • Clear and concise copy: Keep your message clear and concise. Use strong headlines and call-to-action (CTA) buttons that clearly convey the benefit.
  • Eye-catching design: Design your pop-up to stand out without being intrusive. Use contrasting colors, clean fonts, and high-quality images.
  • Targeted triggers: Use behavioral triggers to show pop-ups based on user actions, such as exit intent, time spent on page, or scrolling behavior.
  • Mobile optimization: Ensure your pop-ups are mobile-friendly, with responsive design and easy-to-tap buttons.
  • A/B testing: Continuously test different elements of your pop-ups, such as headlines, offers, and designs, to see what performs best.

What’s the best pop-up software?

One of the best pop-up software for creating effective and user-friendly pop-ups is OptiMonk. OptiMonk offers a range of features, including:

  • Personalization: Deliver personalized messages to different segments of your audience.
  • Variety of templates: Choose from a wide array of pre-designed templates that can be easily customized.
  • Behavioral targeting: Show pop-ups based on user behavior, ensuring they appear at the right moment.
  • A/B testing: Test different versions of your pop-ups to optimize performance.
  • Integrations: Seamlessly integrate with various marketing and ecommerce platforms.

How to display your popups at the right time?

Timing is crucial for the effectiveness of your pop-ups. One of the best strategies to ensure they appear at the right moment is using exit-intent popups. This means that you show a pop-up when a user is about to leave your site, capturing their attention before they exit. You can also trigger a pop-up when a user has scrolled a certain percentage down the page, suggesting they are engaged. Or display your pop-up when a user clicks on a specific element, such as a button or link, indicating interest.

Wrapping up

Monitoring hundreds of pop-up campaigns, we discovered the ones that were continuously updated performed the best. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Refreshing your pop-up campaigns on a regular basis can seem a bit challenging.

We’ve gathered some great tips here to take the guesswork out of creating new pop-up campaigns and refreshing your existing popups. 

If you’re new to popups, you may also want to check out our Ultimate Guide to Creating High-Converting Popups.

Always feel free to reach out to our customer support team if you’re stuck and need some ideas to jumpstart your business.