8 Essential Popup Tips to Boost Your Conversion Rate

8 Essential Popup Tips to Boost Your Conversion Rate

Popups are one of the best ways to generate leads and sales for your ecommerce store. However, the success of your popups depends on converting visitors using relevant content and a compelling call to action.

In this article, we’ll go over some popup best practices that many sites still get wrong. If you’re already using popups and you’d like to boost conversions, these 8 essential popup tips are for you!

Let’s jump in!

What's the average popup conversion rate?

One of the key metrics to monitor when assessing the effectiveness of your pop-ups is the conversion rate.

According to our stats, the average conversion rate of popups is 11.09%.

This statistic provides a benchmark against which you can measure the performance of your own popup campaigns.

However, it’s essential to note that achieving a conversion rate below this average doesn’t necessarily indicate failure.

The effectiveness of a pop-up can vary significantly depending on its purpose, context, and the target audience.

For example, email popups typically yield lower conversion rates compared to cart abandonment popups.

How to boost your pop-up conversion rate?

Now let’s take a look at some popup best practices that will help you create user-friendly and effective popups that customers want to engage with.

1. Use the right popup use case

Before you start to create a new popup, ask yourself the following question: What’s the end result you want to achieve with your popup?

For example, right now you might be interested in building a subscriber list for your email campaigns, but down the line, you might focus on introducing a new product to existing customers. Or maybe you’re trying to build your brand and position your company as a thought leader in your industry.

There are use case examples tailored for each of these scenarios… you just need to ensure that you’re explicit about the objectives you intend to accomplish with your popup campaign.

Let’s say you want to collect email addresses and grow your email list. You still have a number of options to choose from:

  • If you’d like to collect additional info about your website visitors (e.g. what they’re interested in), you can use a conversational popup.
  • If you have a useful, free ebook to offer to your subscribers, you can use a lead magnet popup. 

These are just a few examples of the use cases available in OptiMonk’s Template Library. Browse all use cases to see how you can align your pop-ups with your goals!

2. Keep your popup short and simple: use only one value proposition

Going minimal in your popup will improve your results.

You only have about one second to convince your website visitors to engage with your popup. 

That means you need to get straight to the point and be clear about your value proposition: exactly what benefit can your visitors expect from clicking that call-to-action button?

Be direct with your offer, but never pushy. People appreciate an offer that’s simple, clear, and honest.

Let’s take a look at this popup example:

Exit-intent popup example from Christopher Cloos to convert visitors

This popup from Christopher Cloos is simple and to the point. They’re only offering free shipping and a 15% off coupon code.

The offer is so simple that a visitor can decide in an instant whether they’re interested.

3. Only ask for critical information

Customers hate filling out lots of fields to sign up for a list or take advantage of a discount offer. Fewer fields equal a higher conversion rate, so keep those forms short and simple!

Many visitors are also concerned about their privacy and don’t want to provide too much information on an ecommerce website.

Our internal data on the performance of popups indicates that only asking a user for their first name and email address results in 67% more conversions than using longer forms. 

And you can achieve even higher conversion rates if you only ask for an email address (like in the popup example below).

Popup example from Bibado that helps to improve the user experience

When you’re designing your popup forms, you should focus on creating a good, friction-free user experience by asking yourself two questions:

  • What information do I really need?
  • Would I take the time to fill out this form?

Those questions will help you minimize the information you ask for as much as possible, leading to popups that your visitors will want to engage with.

4. Use exit pop-ups

Ensuring your popups display at the right time is the key to taking advantage of that magic moment that results in a conversion. 

Exit popups are designed to show up at the exact moment a visitor tries to leave your website.

This is the perfect time to show a simple, compelling offer that keeps visitors on your site and gives them a reason to make a purchase now rather than later.

For example, Kiss My Keto was able to decrease its cart abandonment rate by 20% with a few exit-intent popups. Timing is what matters here— grabbing your visitors’ attention at the right moment is a proven way to increase your conversions.

An example for exit pop-ups from Kiss My Keto

5. Be creative when building popups

A fun way to increase conversions is by getting creative with your popups. The best popups grab visitors’ attention, and there’s nothing like a funny meme or an interesting image to help you do it!

Just like every industry has technical jargon, every industry has its own “inside jokes.” Using a funny phrase only your audience would recognize is a great way to build a connection.

Another idea is using a cute character or mascot on your popup. 

You want to design your popups so that they feel like part of your website, but with a twist that sets them apart. You can use contrasting colors (perhaps by switching the primary and secondary colors of your brand) to make your popups really pop.

Don’t be shy. Customers love when a business expresses itself with a bit of personality. Of course, you don’t want to use anything that might offend a user.

The takeaway: when it comes to designing popups, think outside the lightbox!

Interrupt users who are about to exit with unique pop-ups

6. Always A/B test your popups

When you choose a popup software, it’s important to find one that offers solid A/B testing for your popups

Using A/B and multivariate testing to try out popup variations is a surefire way to boost conversions and lower your bounce rate.

Without testing different variations of your popups, you won’t know exactly what makes your popups work or how to achieve the results you want.

For example, on some websites visitors will prefer a discount code to free shipping, but on others, it will be the reverse. It’s hard to tell which will be the case without trying out both by A/B testing different variants of your popups.

It’s almost unbelievable what a big difference the smallest changes can make. Changing the color of the popup or flipping the order of two sentences can increase (or decrease!) your conversion rate much more than you might expect.

You need data to learn which version of your popups will perform best on your website, and there’s no popup expert or marketing guru that can replace A/B testing!

Software like OptiMonk lets you easily create variants of your popups so that you can start to learn which changes lead to higher conversions. Once you figure out what works best for your customers, you’ll be a step ahead of the game when you create your next campaign.

7. Create a sense of urgency

Adding a healthy dose of urgency is an effective way for ecommerce stores to combat customers’ natural tendency towards procrastination. A message like “buy while supplies last” or “for a limited time only” will encourage visitors to act quickly. 

With too much time to think, most users will often put off making that final decision to complete their purchase. 

Using a countdown timer is one of the best ways to increase the sense of urgency on your popups. Check out this popup example:

8. Make your mobile popups look great

This best practice is particularly important because mobile visitors account for a larger and larger share of website traffic. Studies suggest that 42% of ecommerce traffic will come from mobile devices by 2024.

And because mobile devices have less screen space than desktops and laptops, it’s essential to ensure your popups look great on them, too.

Luckily, creating mobile-friendly popups is easy with OptiMonk. Every popup template in our library has a version that’s been designed and optimized for mobile viewing.

Check out this mobile popup from BlendJet:

Popup example from BlendJet on a mobile screen


We hope you’ve found a new best practice to share with your popup team on this list of 8 essential popup tips. Following all 8 will help you create great-looking popups that achieve your goals.

All ecommerce websites can benefit from the list-building and sales-boosting capabilities of popups—as long as they convert! If you’re ready to get started with popups on your site or improve your results by taking advantage of OptiMonk’s many high-converting templates, create an account here!