Pop-Ups. Whether they are for gathering email address, engaging with customers, or promoting special offers, pop-up overlays on a website are a standard marketing practice, but are they really worth the time and effort? Do they really deliver the best ROI?

Let us get down to the plain and simple facts.

Pop-ups are good when you want to increase engagement with your customers:

  • For collecting feedback (quick survey)
  • When you want to assist them in their buyer journey (You did not find what you are looking for…)
  • For upselling (Don’t forget to join our rewards program and save 20% off your bill)

When we (HiConversion Services Team) look at websites, we don’t just think of the site from a business perspective, but we look at the overall site user experience. Desktop, tablet, and mobile are brought into our thought processes. We put our proverbial feet into your customer’s proverbial shoes. We combine technical insights and real life usage. Sometimes, even standing in line for coffee will demonstrate a site’s effective usability.

When one of our analysts and a confirmed coffee-addict was waiting in line for coffee, he began browsing the customer’s website to see what the average user experience would be while on a mobile device. Upon entering the site a marketing pop-up appeared and since this was on a screen smaller than desktop, it made exiting/closing the overlay very difficult and frustrating. We decided to run a test to block all pop-ups from mobile traffic. At first, the marketing department was against the test, but the e-Commerce Director rationalized that the interaction with mobile and tablet users with the pop-up was probably minimal to begin with and was worth exploring.

After a few weeks we saw that the pop-up blocking variable provided a significant increase in overall conversion rates (CR) and revenue per visitor (RPV). We continued to monitor the progress of the test and after about six weeks of testing, it was very clear to everyone that the overlay pop-ups were affecting RPV and CR.

Since that initial test, we proposed the same idea to many of our other clients for their own mobile and tablet website experiences. Collective results have proven that Pop-Ups can bring in the marketing leads, but they really can hurt the overall RPV and CR of a website.

Many e-Commerce websites that are responsive will take into account the tablet and mobile experience, but forget the details like prompting people for surveys or making them sign up for discounts. You might be able to say that your site is responsive, but is it responsive-able?