Why Popups Are Ruining the User Experience

As an online business owner, your main goal is to turn your site visitors into leads and eventually, as paying customers. Using popups can help you achieve your conversion goals by capturing the reader’s attention. However, popups can be quite annoying. Hence, users refuse to utilize them.

Online marketers like applying pop-ups on their digital marketing strategies. The reason for this is because it can help increase your email lists. However, this website feature has lead to a lot of complaints.

Users don’t actually hate the pop-up itself. What they truly hate is their execution. There’s no denying that most pop-ups distract site visitors by appearing at the wrong time and interrupting their journey. So it’s no surprise that people make it a habit to dismiss untimely pop-ups.

The challenge for web owners is how to utilize the website element without ruining the user experience. It’s hard to please everyone. Nonetheless, there are some ways on how you can effectively apply pop-ups without damaging your site’s user experience.

Different Types Of Pop-Ups

  •  Modal pop-up. This is probably the biggest culprit why people are hostile about pop-ups. Modal is a type of pop-up that blocks readers from interacting with your site’s content unless they dismiss it. 
  • Non-modal pop-up. Usually located on top of your page, this pop-up type is often triggered by either user action or the page itself.
  • Dimmed pop-up. A pop-up that disrupts your website’s visual appearance. Not only does it display an overlay, but this pop-up also hides the entire body of your website.
  • Lightbox pop-up. Lightbox does not utilize a dimmed background. This means that even if there’s an overlay on the screen, your content will appear as is to your visitors.

How Pop-Ups Ruin User Experience

Your website may have a stunning layout, but if it doesn’t offer an excellent user experience, all your efforts will go down the drain. With that in mind, here’s how pop-ups can affect the overall browsing experience of your audience:

1. They are intrusive in nature

Just the mere thought of pop-ups is already intrusive. It interrupts how your users interact with your site. Even if your intention is good, that interruption is what will make people say no thanks, especially if it’s a full-blown overlay.

2. They feel more like ads

There’s a big difference between writing web content and traditional marketing. Pop-ups are mostly crafted by a marketing team, who struggles to identify the difference.

Avoid making it seem like you’re selling something to your site visitors. Instead, make them feel that you’re providing a solution to their problems. This is especially true if an interaction is unwanted.

Keep in mind that online users today are smarter. They know that email offers do not necessarily mean they’re getting a free gift. Nevertheless, it doesn’t mean that they’re not willing to purchase an offer. But they’ll be put off right away if upon landing on your page, the first thing that they’ll see requires them to buy something they may not even need or want.

3. Pop-ups display before visitors can interact with your web page

This is a common problem people face every time they visit a site. A lot of websites today display pop-ups once users land on their site. Some even ask for personal info right off the bat, not giving potential customers to get to know their business first.

Doing this is a surefire way to annoy site visitors. Even if you’re offering them a discount, your pop-up is going to fail if you won’t give them a chance to browse your shop or consume content first.

How To Use Pop-Ups Effectively

There are a wide variety of pop-up forms out there. Hence, it’s a bit difficult to utilize them in such a way that it will not bother customers. So we’ve come up with ways on how you can use pop-ups to your advantage.

1. Lead Generation

The focus of most pop-ups is to assist your business to draw in leads using a simple form. However, you can connect with your target audience by utilizing a pop-up chatbox.

Live chat enables you to reach people on a more personal level. You’ll also be able to answer their inquiries, questions, and concerns instantly. According to research, about 30-35% of consumers tend to choose a business that responds immediately.

Thereby, employing an instant connection with your leads allows you to provide people real value. This, in turn, establishes trust, which can help seal in the deal.

2. Increase your email subscription list

If you want to use a pop-up to boost your email subscription list, consider the following content approaches:

  • Simply ask your visitors to subscribe. Provide them with a clear CTA (call to action). Although something this simple may not deliver dramatic results, you’ll be able to build your list consistently. Plus, you can expect a conversion rate of around 3-5%, which is the average percentage of an e-commerce or content website.
  • Attract your leads with useful resources. Lure your audience with valuable and relevant content such as infographics and e-books. This can potentially turn about 10% of users who will abandon your page into leads.

3. Redirect traffic

A traffic redirect pop-up responds to any visitor attempting to leave your site with a message. It could be something like “If you don’t find this content relevant, consider checking this one instead.” An approach like this is ideal on your landing page. Furthermore, redirecting your audience to your high-performing content will not only promote user experience but improve your conversions as well.

4. Help recover your abandoned carts

You may not believe it, but around 70% of shopping carts online get abandoned. So by employing a pop-up with an exit-intent on your checkout page, you’re more likely to salvage plenty of lost income. Take it up a notch by offering potential customers with free shipping or a discount if they complete their orders right then and there.

Pop-Up Best Practices To Apply

  • Make sure they are relevant. Nowadays, user experience is what matters most. So ensure that the copy and layout of your website pop-up work well with the page.
  • Provide value to your audience. Get your visitors to sign up to your email list that promises to equip them with actionable tips.
  • Avoid multiple pop-ups. One is enough. But if there’s a need to, make sure they don’t show up at a page at the same time. A good follow up is an exit-intent pop-up.
  • Avoid maximizing screen space. Your pop-ups should not get in your audience’s way. This is especially true on mobile gadgets. So instead of a full-scale overlay, choose a smaller type.

If you’re going to incorporate your website with a pop-up feature, make sure to keep these best practices and approaches in mind. Keep in mind that providing your site visitors with a great user experience will play a major role in the success of your website or online business.

We hope you find this article useful. If you have something to add or share, do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

Aileen Cuaresma

Aileen Cuaresma

Aileen is a Technical and Creative writer with an extensive knowledge of WordPress and Shopify. She works with companies on building their brand and optimizing their website. She also runs a local travel agency with her family. On her free time, she loves reading books, exploring the unknown, playing with her two adorable dogs, and listening to K-pop.

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  1. Hurri

    Great article Aileen!

    I just wish this site took some of your advice as the popup appears and disables the entire screen even before I’ve had a chance to interact with the website.
    And while we’re talking about user experience, the font colour is too light for my eyes.
    I get the design aspect if a nice clean looking site but when it becomes too difficult to read, personally, I just go away.

    • Aileen Cuaresma

      Thank you so much Hurri and noted on your suggestions.


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