According to research by Hubspot, 73% of mobile users are annoyed by full screen pop-ups. But we didn’t need research to tell us that. You hate pop-ups, I hate pop-ups, and everyone I know hates pop-ups. Even Google hates pop-ups and will penalize you severely in search rankings if your site is notorious for intrusive pop-ups.

Yet pop-ups work. It’s the very reason for their longevity. The average conversion rate for a pop-up is 3%. This might sound pretty small but if you get 10,000 visitors a day you could have 9,000 conversions in a month. And 3% is just the average for all pop-ups, good and bad. The best pop-ups have an average conversion rate of 9% and some of the really good ones have gone as high as 30% – 50% but we will get to those in due time.

Here are a few dos and don’ts that will enable you to get the most out of pop ups without ruining the experience for your users. 


1. 15% of the screen

Make sure your pop-ups take up no more than 15% of the screen and are easy to dismiss. Any larger and Google will penalize you. There are a few instances where large pop-ups on mobile are acceptable: accepting cookies and having the user log in. Otherwise, keep the size smaller than 15% of the screen.


2. Implement a delay

The most annoying pop-ups are those that assault a user as soon as they access the site. Give a user time to browse your site and see what you’re offering. Research by Learning Hub has shown that pop-up conversation rates go up by 104% once a delay is implemented. 

An exit pop-up is also a good idea.


3.Offer the user something of value

The best performing pop-ups are those that offer the user something valuable. Discounts, sweepstakes, and exclusive offers have been shown to work really well. You have to ensure your offer is genuine because if it comes across as fake or manipulative, it will do far more harm than good and destroy your trustworthiness ratings.

Context is very important where offers are concerned. Offering a 10% discount on running shoes to someone browsing sports gear is an excellent idea but offering the same discount to someone shopping for a wheelchair will not win you any friends.


4. The pop-up should be specific

Your pop-up should have a clear title and offer the customer something specific in exchange for their information. Explain to the customer why you need their email address or why they need to create an account with your site.