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Lead generation is crucial for any and all businesses. But it’s the one area where most marketing efforts are seriously challenged.

One of the most effective lead generators is popups which have become ubiquitous on pretty much all websites nowadays. Popups are sometimes considered annoying, but they can work wonders if you use them properly.

Even though popups have an average of a 3% conversion rate, the top marketers record a 10% conversion rate. Considering you don’t want to have your website marketing just be “average”, here are 9 ways you can boost your popup conversion rate and start generating leads on auto-pilot.

1. Know your audience

For any marketing campaign, knowing your audience is very important. However, this is one of the most overlooked parts of a website’s efforts to optimize conversion rates.

Oftentimes, if your website is focused on a very specific niche, you need not worry about knowing your audience, because it is apparent from the products or services that you offer. For example, a phone case seller need not stress about knowing their ideal customers, because they know that they are individuals who are looking for phone cases.

However, if you offer multivariate products or services, knowing your audience becomes imperative. For example, at WinSavvy, we offer marketing and legal consultancy. However, if a user signs up for our email newsletter, we need to know whether he/she is looking for legal help or marketing help.

Most websites with a broad niche, therefore, need to conduct extensive market research to figure out their audience and categorize them into their preferences, needs, and wants.

It also allows you to personalize your marketing messages. And, this is important because 72 percent of consumers reportedly engage with brands only if they receive personalized messaging.

As such knowing your audience is crucial if you want your popups to succeed. And, if you do not know your audience and your potential customers, then none of the following steps are going to work.

2. Ensure your popups are contextual

Ensure that your popups match the look and feel of the page as much as possible. If your popup is bright pink and has glitter it’s probably not going to fit in with a serious sales page, leading many users to dismiss it before it even loads in their browser.

Keep things consistent so users aren’t distracted or surprised by what pops up.

Popups should match the content of the webpage that they appear on, so try to avoid using popups on pages with different content than the popup.


You might be showing up a popup on a page where users don’t need your help or might feel annoyed by it. Weirdly, some websites display popups with special offers when users land on their homepage. This often leads to frustrated users and low conversion rates.

“When should I show up my popup?” you might ask, and the answer is very simple: when it is needed!


For example, add a discount coupon popup on your product page.

If you’re trying to collect information from visitors (like their email addresses), make sure that your forms are only appearing on pages where they’ll be useful. If you’re trying to sell something, make sure your offer is relevant to what people are looking at, and make sure that it’s connected to whatever they just viewed or interacted with.

Make this tip actionable

When designing a popup, always ask yourself, is this relevant to whatever my users are currently doing?

If the answer is no, then ditch the popup. As it is, it won’t work – all you’ll end up doing is irritating your audience and hurting your brand.

3. Don’t use immediate popups

Try making your popup appear after a certain amount of time instead of immediately. This will give the user a more relaxed experience when they are reading your content, which may make them feel more connected to you and increase the chances they will convert.

When people are browsing your site, you don’t want to scare them off by throwing popups at them. You need to know the right time to present offers and get the visitor to take action.

One way is to look at the page that they came from. If it’s a product page, offer a related product. If it’s an article page, offer another article or even more articles about that topic. If it’s a blog post, offer other posts from the same blog.

You won’t be able to do this if you just throw popups at your audience just when they land on your website. As such, wait for a few seconds. Let your audience get into the flow of your website content and then show them a relevant popup.

It will lead to a much higher conversion rate.

4. Leverage social proof in your popups

One of the most powerful tools available to any marketer is social proof. Social proof is the idea that we look to others to determine what’s normal and appropriate.

Most people are heavily influenced by the actions of their peers. We like to believe that we make our own decisions, but in reality, it’s difficult to ignore what other people are doing.

When used properly, social proof can have a huge impact on your sales conversions. When you present prospects with social proof, you’re telling them “this product has been seen, tried, and loved by many before you”. It’s as if you’re saying there’s nothing weird or fishy about this product at all.


Jeff Bullas’s blog displays its social proof with great dexterity.

You’ll be able to see on each and every webpage of, a quote:

“Join over 25 million other readers that have been educated and inspired to transform their life and business.”


This helps develop trust with your audience.

Even if you have not got so many readers, you can just mention your guest posts and showcase them as a list of websites where you have been featured.

You can also use this concept in your popup design.

For example, if you’re running a promotion for your blog and want people to sign up for your mailing list, adding a number of followers to your popup design can make people more likely to subscribe.

Even if you don’t have any followers yet, you can still use social proof by saying that you’ll share their name with a certain number of subscribers once they sign up.

Word-of-mouth marketing is also an effective way to get people interested in what you have to offer – if someone ends up following through with your promotion after they’ve seen how many other people are already taking advantage of it, they’ll feel like they’re missing out on something important if they don’t sign up.

However, you should not overdo it. The art is providing a lot of social proof in very little space – preferably in just one line or picture.

So, just mention one of the biggest achievements of your website or business that you are very proud of and that would be it.

Here are some suggestions for you to implement as social proof for your popup:

  • Testimonials from customers
  • Endorsements from big names in the industry
  • Awards given to you by respected entities or organizations

5. Try content upgrades for the popups on your blog

Content upgrades are one of the best ways to generate leads for your business. Content upgrades are a type of lead magnet content that you can offer to your readers in exchange for their email addresses.


A content upgrade is a special offer that is directly related to the blog post topic, such as a PDF version of the post, a checklist, or additional video content.

The popup comes up at any relevant location on your page and it offers the reader a free PDF version of the article they are reading. In fact, this tactic was one of the biggest sources of leads for Backlinko in its hay day.

Even if you can’t provide additional content as content upgrades, just repurpose your content and share the repurposed content in your popups as a downloadable to generate more leads.


6. Create teasers for your popups

Popup teasers are a great way to build leads because they provide an incentive for the user to gain access to the entire popup without being intrusive to their experience. Popups are often compared to interruption marketing in that they both offer something of value to the user in order to garner interest from the potential customer.

However, the fact is that attention marketing is working less and less with every passing day. As such, it is important we actually put into use Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing formulae in our digital marketing practice.

When you show a small teaser of a popup, it is highly unobtrusive. As such, when individuals click on them, they have a very high chance to convert and become a lead.


Teasers are the new popups and should be used so as to make your popups much more effective.

7. Surprise your audience with exit-intent popups

Since your audience is already leaving, there’s no harm in being obtrusive at that very moment.

However, when a user is leaving your website it is very difficult to change their minds. As such your popups need to have a strong value proposition when you use them so as to make your audience stay and become leads for your business, thus ensuring your conversion rate stays strong.

Ensure it’s personalized, has lots of contrast (possibly, images/videos), and surprises your audience.

If it’s a product or service page, offer some sort of discount so that they sign up and become a lead for your business.

8. A/B test your popups

When it comes to A/B Testing your popups, you should use the exact same copy and images in each version so that you have a fair comparison between them.

However, just make one change each time.

This will help you to determine whether one performed better than the other. You’ll look at how many people clicked through from each of the two versions of your popup after being shown each one for a certain amount of time (usually 24 hours). This data is then plugged into a statistical significance calculator and you get the results right away. The version with the higher conversion rate is the winner!

That said, what are some of the key areas that you should run A/B tests for?

Well, they are:

  • The popup headlines
  • Positioning and placement of the popups
  • Removing and adding information into your popup
  • Basic popup design changes

9. Don’t overcomplicate your call-to-action

Popup calls-to-action (CTA) are an effective way to grab your visitors’ attention and encourage them to sign up. But, if you get it wrong, these can actually reduce the effectiveness of your popups, make them annoying and drive people away from your site.

The most common problem with popup CTAs is that they are not done properly. Here are a few quick tips for creating the best popup calls-to-action:

Keep it simple

When creating a popup CTA, keep it short, sweet, and simple. The more complicated the message, the less likely people are to read it or sign up for what you are offering.

Make sure you have one strong message for your popup CTA. If possible, restrict yourself to just one sentence.

Focus on the benefits

Your popup needs to clearly state the benefits of signing up for your offer so the customer knows exactly what they are getting from the deal. Focus on benefits rather than features and make sure you are describing what the customer gets out of the deal rather than what you get out of it.

For example, “Get instant access” instead of “Sign up now” or “Claim your free report” instead of “Read our blog”.


A user who wants to download a free report will not be as amenable to a CTA of “Subscribe to our blog” as he will, to a CTA of “Get my free report now!”

Wrapping it up

These 9 tips are sure to set your popup in the right direction and improve your conversion rate by a huge margin.

The most important advice to follow is to make sure you provide value to your visitor at every step of the journey. These 9 tips are designed to provide just that but in different ways and manners.

If each and every popup tries to ensure your visitors can actually get the best out of your website, there’s no reason why your popup should remain at the average of 3%.

If you have any questions or feedback, let us know in the comments and I’ll get back to you. If you liked this article, give it a share.

Guest author: Adhip Ray is a startup consultant, the founder of a startup consultancy WinSavvy and an advisor at PatentPC. Although he hails from a finance and legal background with twin specializations on intellectual property rights and corporate law, he has been a marketing geek since 2015. He is also an author at HubSpot,, Addicted2Success, StartupNation and several other business publications.

The post 9 Ways to Increase Your Conversions Using Popups appeared first on Jeffbullas's Blog.

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