Let’s not beat around the bush here – There aren’t many lead capture strategies capable of generating as many signups and conversions in Ecommerce as popups.
And before you ask, yes, I do have the data to prove it.
You see, earlier this year, we analyzed our top-performing customers’ campaigns. We discovered that their average conversion rate was around 4%. Some of the best performers, however, generated conversions up to 23%.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, so many other companies struggle to make pop ups work. Many of them convert no more than 4% of their visitors. Some report conversion rates below 1%!
Well, there’s more than a single reason, of course. That said, there is also a commonly-omitted factor that significantly affects your conversion rates – It’s when you set the popup to display.
Luckily, that’s exactly what I’ll show you in this post. We’ll discuss what to consider when triggering the popup, and at which point your popup should, erm, well, pop up on the screen.
Let’s dive in.
What Happens When You Trigger Popups at the Wrong Time?
Popups don’t enjoy a great reputation, do they?
Some visitors hate them (or so they say, at least.) Google doesn’t seem too fond of them either (at least on mobile, of course.)
But have you wondered why? How could such a small thing generate so much hostility?
Well, we’ve discovered some of those reasons. We’ve surveyed 300 web users, asking what they dislike about popups.
It turns out that, aside from being so prominent on websites, the main reason is that they appear right after the person lands on the site.
What irritates us about popups has nothing to do with the marketing strategy at all. It’s how you trigger it that causes friction.
(To give you a greater context on our findings, only 5.7% of respondents named the design as popups’ greatest flaw.)
And it makes sense. Pushing the popups in front of someone who just landed on the site disrupts their experience. They’ve just arrived on your site, after all. Chances are they had no previous interaction with your brand before and need time to get to know you.
Yet, all you do is push marketing messages right in their faces…
Imagine what would happen if you gave that person time to explore, make up their mind about what you sell, and engage with your brand?
Well, I think it’d be safe to assume that their attitudes towards any offers you’d present would be different, right?
Your popups wouldn’t irritate them as much, for one. There’s a much bigger chance that they wouldn’t click them off right away. Hell, judging by our customers’ results above many of your visitors would most likely act on the offer!
All you need to do to make it happen is knowing when to trigger that popup…
Let’s chat about that, then.
Factors to Consider When Triggering Popups
You can display a popup based on various customer behaviors. In general, however, I recommend you focus on one of the three aspects of engagement:
Factor #1. Time on Page
Did you know that dwell time – the time customers spend on a particular page type, on average – can affect your popup strategy?
For example, you might set a popup up to display too late. It’d show long after the person’s gone. Or you might trigger it too early, and disrupt whatever else they should be doing on that page.
So, the first factor to consider is how long customers spend on a given page type, on average.
If they use the page as a transition between two other content types (i.e., list of store’s categories,) then, don’t wait too long to trigger the popup. Set it up to show no more than after a couple of seconds from landing.
But if the page contains content or information that you absolutely want the person to consume – be it product information or advice on the blog – trigger the popup with a significant delay.
What’s more, knowing when to show up your message will help you tailor the actual popup copy to maximize conversions.
You could target specific interests, like this company:
Or display a discount to visitors to seem to stall on their purchase:
How to identify time on the page? Check your Google Analytics. The Site Content report (in the Behavior tab) will give you a detailed analysis of how long visitors spend on a given page.
For example, the All Pages report details the average time users spend on each page on your site.
The same report will also tell you which pages visitors exit the site from the most. This insight will come handy when setting up another popup type we discuss here – the exit popup.
Factor #2. Visitor Behavior
Another way to trigger popups is by targeting behavior that signifies engagement.
Some examples of such behaviors include:
- Reaching a specific place in content (measured by the percentage of content the person’s viewed.)
- Viewing a minimum number of pages.
- Hovering the mouse over a specific page element.
- Clicking on a specific button.
Each of those behaviors above suggests a customer’s readiness to consume your marketing message.
Of course, you can never be sure whether someone reading half of the page would be happy to see your popup. You can test it though, and identify which behavior translates into engagement and conversions.
In general, I recommend you test displaying popups in the following scenarios:
- Visitors landing on the site for the first time,
- Visitors scrolling to a specific point on a page (i.e., viewing 40% of the content,)
- Customers clicking on a specific link in the copy (the link would trigger the popup,)
- Customers who have viewed a specific number of pages on the site.
This popup, for example, appears only after visitors have seen two pages on the company’s site. As a result of such specific targeting, it generates a 16.3% conversion rate.
(A quick note: You can see more examples of highly-converting Shopify popups here, by the way.)
Factor #3. The Exit Intent
Finally, you could target a highly-specific visitor intent – their desire to leave the page.
You can set up a popup to detect when someone is about to leave the site, and trigger relevant messages to stop them.
Now, your goal when targeting this factor isn’t necessary to retain the visitor. You might use it to convert the person to your mailing list right before they go for example. Just like this company does it:
This company uses a similar approach, engaging the person as they’re about to abandon the site.
This brand, on the other hand, uses the exit popup to engage visitors and keep them on the site for longer.
But does targeting the exit intent work?
Absolutely! Because exit popups target a very specific behavior, they often outperform other types of popups by a staggering 5%.
Popups are an amazing strategy to generate leads and sales, capable of delivering double-digit conversion rates. However, for that to happen, you not only need to present users with a strong offer, you must also display it at the right time.
In this post, you’ve discovered three factors to consider when triggering popups:
- Time on page,
- Behavior and
What’s left is to go and test which ones work best at engaging your users.
About the author: Greg d’Aboville is Head of Growth at WisePops, a popup app. He’s helped major brands like Fender, Nissan and Skechers maximize lead generation strategies and 10X their result