Do Popups Convert On Landing Pages?


We’ve all been there, you’re reading through a web page’s content and then POP! There’s a pop-up window blocking your view of the information you want. You’re annoyed, scrambling around, trying to figure out how to make it go away without clicking on something else, making you lose your place in the content entirely. Once you remove the pop-up — wait where is that sound is coming from? Ugh, not another pop-up! Okay now that you have removed every pop-up window, you’re relieved and resume reading through the content that you actually came for. But you can’t help but think, “Why do advertisers still use pop-ups as a conversion tool if they obstruct the page content and annoy so many people?”

Pop-ups are small windows that ‘pop up’ over the top of web pages in your internet browser and they were created to catch a user’s attention and encourage them to convert before leaving. Advertisers use pop-ups as a conversion tool but because people find them annoying, all of the major web browsers now offer “blockers” to curb the egregious use of pop-ups. In addition to offering pop-up blockers, search engines like Google have begun penalizing marketers who use pop-ups on their landing pages and this is impacting their overall quality score. As a result of these restrictions, marketers have tapered their use of pop-ups and the pop-ups themselves have become more legitimate.

Using a pop-up on a landing page isn’t the sole reason your quality score may be lowered but, if your user experience, ad relevance, and click through rate are all up to par then you can probably bank on that pop-up hurting your overall score. But in the case of our clients who sell emergency response vehicles, we actually found that a high performing landing page can facilitate a pop-up and not suffer as badly as one may think. Because of our pop-up, we helped convert 17 users that would have otherwise abandoned the landing page and at $22/ per customer we were happy to have taken the slight blow to the quality score.

We found that the trick to placing a pop-up on the page and not compromising quality was delaying when the pop-up appears and giving the user enough time to explore all of the information throughout the page. We only deploy our pop-up if the user reads through all of the content, does not convert on the main form, and scrolls back up to the top of the page before they leave.


By having a great landing page that ranks well we were able to outweigh the quality leads over their score of 7/10. Our quality leads captured by the pop-up was more valuable to the client and we were still able to improve their online lead generation despite the scoring penalty.

To combat the negative impact on your quality score and the blockers, advertisers are displaying more useful or helpful calls to action less frequently to their audience. By setting limitations and reworking the concept of pop-ups, marketers have learned that they can still leverage this conversion tool in their favor based on the campaign success rate and experience. To help you avoid any major penalties when using pop-ups, here are some tips for creating a conversion friendly pop-ups.


#1 Use Header & Footer Pop-Up Bars

Looking for an alternative to pop-ups for lead generation on your website? Header and footer pop-ups can be a great, highly noticeable option for your campaign because they attach to the top or bottom of the web page, allowing your visitors to scroll more easily. Using a sticky footer or header pop-up bar has proven to boost sign-ups and conversions without disturbing visitors and annoying them off your website.




Collapsable sticky bars are another great way to boost conversions and keep your CTA highly visible without blocking any web page content. Here are two great examples of header and footer pop-ups that create a sense of urgency, describe the value offer clearly, and use clear calls to action.




Pro Tip: Add a static countdown timer in your pop-up bar to create a sense of urgency in your campaign. As the clock winds down to zero, the user will realize that the value offer is a time-sensitive promotion and fill it out before it disappears.


#2 Ask For Less Or Nothing At All

When designing your pop-ups keep the ask short and simple. There should never be more than three actions in your entire pop-up and so if you have two form fills like the one below, make your third step the call to action. Getting an email address is the most common ask for in pop-ups but you can also use the pop-up to offer value offers and discounts.



By keeping the pop-up simple, you will reduce friction and lessen the appearance of the ask. 23andMe’s non-traditional pop-up creates a bridge to ask for more information past the window and allows the user to decline the value offer with a simple “no thanks”. By giving your users the option to decline even the shortest of pop-ups, you will create a sense of comfort with your audience and remove the desperation that some pop-ups create.




#3 Prioritize Your Value Offer & CTA

Your pop-up copy’s placement is the key to creating a conversion friendly lead magnet. We recommend placing your value offer at the top above the CTA button and supporting that copy with a cohesive design. If you’re promoting a specific deal that offers a discount or a cost-effective payment schedule then make that the focus of your copy. The eye is naturally drawn to numbers when there’s a lot of copy so make sure that those numerical value offers are prominent to increase conversions. The design is also a key factor in creating an appealing pop-up. As you can see from the example below, a seasonal theme was applied to this pop-up and everything from the colors to copy make you think of their springtime promotion.




This cohesion between the design and copy shows the user that there is a continuity of thought behind the promotion and that creates a more trustworthy campaign. Designing the best pop-up possible shows your audience that you respect them and their time that you’re currently occupying with a pop-up. To take that trust to the next level don’t forget to add that simple and polite option to decline the pop-up offer and resume reading the copy.

We don’t like to use negative exit paths from the pop-up that make the user feel bad about not converting. We believe that it’s better to use pops-up as a way to draw attention to the main CTA without a consequential result from them not clicking. Making your user feel stupid or any negative emotion for not clicking on your popup isn’t the tone you want to set for your brand. This negativity can turn your users off and make them think that you’re voice and tone is rude or pretentious. Keep the popup focused on the CTA and use the most important value offer or differentiator that your business has to encourage the user to take action.



This pop-up example from TapRm is great because they kept it simple, only asked for an email address, and clearly stated their action and value offer. Your copy should be the most important part of the pop-up so make sure that it positively highlights the best parts of your campaign and intentions.

If you’re still not comfortable with the idea of using pop-ups on landing pages to increase conversions, stick with traditional forms and set up an A/B test with a pop-up to see what yields the best result. Testing can only teach you what you don’t know and pop-ups may help you capture leads that would have never converted. If you’re using a pop-up and your quality score takes a significant hit beyond your level of comfort, remove the pop-up and continuously improve your landing page until it can handle a small penalty.