Pop-up forms can be great tools to prompt site visitors to take an action, like signing up for a newsletter or following a social media account. That being said, pop-up forms can also be annoying if overused. The end goal is learning how to use pop-ups tastefully, without causing site visitors to navigate away from a page.
While people claim not to like them, pop-up forms do work. A study conducted by Sumo revealed that on average, pop-up forms receive a conversion rate of just over three percent. This means that for every 100 people who receive a pop-up form, three take the requested action. 500 people visiting your site daily translates into an average of 15 new subscribers per day, or about 450 per month.
If you are a WordPress.com Business plan user, third-party plugins allow you to create pop-ups that integrate with your email service provider. There are usually different options for how they appear, ranging from a scrolling box to a form that covers an entire page.
No matter what type of pop-up you use, there are several factors to consider before you put one on your site. If you’re not careful, you could drive your visitors to leave your site before they even read anything. A tasteful, well-executed pop-up form can go a long way in nurturing a base of supporters and helping your business grow.
How to create forms that get filled out
Time it right
The first element to consider when using a pop-up form is timing, and how quickly it appears on a page. Does it pop up on the screen as soon as visitors land on your website, or is it timed to appear after they take a moment to look around? Alternatively, some forms pop up after visitors scroll down a certain percentage of the page. To avoid driving visitors away, give them time to read your blog post or look at the content on your homepage before they’re immediately asked to fork over their email addresses.
If you can, limit how often the form appears. For example, set it to materialize every few days, or to never display again if users have already filled it out.
Target relevant places
Another option is to create a form that only appears when a visitor clicks on a link. For example, if you are a DIY blogger and want to offer visitors a PDF of holiday-themed decorations, you might place a link within a relevant blog post that says, “Click here for more holiday decor inspiration.” Once clicked, this link would open a pop-up form asking visitors to input their email addresses to receive the PDF.
You don’t want the pop-up to appear on every page of your website. For the DIY blogger, that holiday-themed PDF wouldn’t be as enticing or relevant if found on a post about summer crafting. You can specify which pages you want your pop-up forms to appear on. You can even customize them across specific pages to ensure they’re relevant.
Make it worth their while
You might want to offer something in exchange for your visitors’ information. Would you give your contact information to a website just because someone wants to send you updates? Few people are going to share their information unless they’re guaranteed something in return.
If you’re a small business owner, consider offering a small discount or free shipping to incentivize visitors to fill out your form. If you’re a blogger, provide a tip sheet or printable related to your content. Do you blog about easy everyday recipes? Those who fill out your pop-up might receive a printable grocery list with the ingredients needed to make a week’s worth of your most popular recipes.
Don’t get in the way
Finally, make sure the pop-up form is easy to close — especially for mobile users. A surefire way to turn visitors away is with a pop-up that’s nearly impossible to close. Another thing to note is that Google may penalize you in its search engine rankings if you have what it considers to be an obtrusive pop-up. HubSpot recommends using pop-ups that don’t fill the entire screen on mobile devices.
When used correctly, a pop-up can be a great way to compel visitors to take an action. Ultimately, pop-ups can increase site traffic and business leads, and are creative ways to collect the contact information of your site visitors, allowing you to keep in touch and build your relationships moving forward.