Bloggers December 7, 2020

Pop-ups are hurting your blog

Kameron Tanseli @kamerontanseli

You've probably been forced to leave a website because of annoying pop-up ads. Those slow, clunky, obstructing pop-ups, stop you from reading the content you specifically visited the website to read.

This isn't something that's been happening as of recent either. Pop-ups have been around for over 5 years now, with most being used ineffectively.

Why pop-ups don't work

Most of the time pop-ups barrage the reader with deals, offerings, and calls to action. Doing this immediately, rather than letting the reader see what the site is about, ruins your chance at conversion.

You have to let your reader's read your site. It's what they came to do. After they've read an article you can then prompt them to join your newsletter.

The idea is to give them the validation that the website is worth something to them before requesting their information. In a similar fashion to how a SaaS landing page would work. You sell them what your site is all about and then ask them if they want to join it.

What can I use instead of a pop-up?

Readercatch (My own tool), Sumo, and Convertkit all offer what is called an "Inline email form". This is a form that is either injected into the blog post (for e.g: Readercatch), or it is copy and pasted in the article by the author (for e.g: Sumo / Convertkit).

Inline email forms are better because they don't block the content as a pop-up would. The reader can simply read your content, get a feel for what the site is about, see your call to action within the article, and choose to sign up.

  1. 5

    I don't care how nicely designed pop ups can be, or how well they convert, I wish they would disappear off the face of the earth!

    1. 2

      Hehehe, same here. Bad popups!

  2. 4

    I personally despise popups and will instantly leave a site, but I worked as a developer at a marketing agency a few years back, and when I protested about creating popups for our clients, was presented information showing that they actually (unfortunately) are effective at gathering emails. I couldn't find anything to rebuke the data with, just my personal feelings about how annoying they are. I hope the solution you provide catches on.

  3. 2

    My knee jerk reaction is to click the "X" as fast as possible. But I guess there must be some people who take the prompt?

  4. 2

    I dislike them, but I noticed I was signing up to exit intent popups that only activated after a certain time and enjoyed the content being sent to me.

    So I use them.

    For https://saaspages.xyz/ i was able to 3-4x email collection rate with them.

    1. 1

      Great job with saaspages.xyz! I think you've found the right way to use pop-ups. Unfortunately for a lot of bloggers out there they don't set them up correctly as you have, that's why I suggest for using inline email forms instead.

      "Doing this immediately, rather than letting the reader see what the site is about, ruins your chance at conversion."

  5. 2

    Ugh thank you! I HATE pop ups and they actually make me want to leave the site without even reading. Bad UX.

  6. 2

    Contrary to what most people think, popups do work, that's why they're still used. If you want to gain more readers and build an email list, use popups.

    1. 1

      I think there's a fine balance between using pop-ups and just letting the readers read the blog. Yes, pop-ups do increase email sign-ups but at what cost to the reader's experience/thoughts with your brand?

      Like I commented above there is a right way to use popups but unfortunately, most blogs misuse them.

      1. 1

        Yes, pop-ups do increase email sign-ups but at what cost to the reader's experience/thoughts with your brand?

        If your website bounce rate starts getting high then cut back on them, otherwise continue using them.

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