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Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Website Pop Ups

As a web owner, sometimes you need to attract your visitor’s attention to specific sections of your site, but how do you do it without messing with the user’s experience? Easy: you ask your web designer to setup pop-up ads.

You have probably stumbled upon a few pop ups when surfing the net, those little windows your browser shows you with information. How many of those have you actually clicked on? How many do you read?

If the answer is almost none, then the web designer that created those pop ups didn’t have in mind your needs as a web visitor or didn’t know how to present them nicely.

Both mistakes are quite common among the website design services, at Design Point, we know your website is the most important marketing tool, that’s why we think that talking about the advantages and disadvantages of using website pop-ups is essential these days.

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What is a Pop-up?

A pop-up is a type of advertising originated in the late 1990s; it consisted of a new window that would literally pop-up on your screen and block the content you were reading first.

The idea was good; it was a fantastic way to attract the reader’s attention, but it was incredibly annoying because they didn’t know how to design it properly.

Pop-ups of that time would completely cover the original site, they were aesthetically flashy, and some would even play music automatically; three things that users find incredibly irritating.

With time, pop-ups (at least the ones that were designed for serious websites) got updated and started to respect the user’s experience. Meaning, they were created to attract attention in a positive way instead of making the visitor close the page forever.

Types of Pop-Ups

Our team of web design expertsin Melbourne want to help you choose the right type of pop-up for your website, so they have gathered information about 6 kinds of pop-ups for your consideration and marketing goals.

Each type of pop-up serves a different purpose, and the way they are presented to the visitor does matter!

website click pop ups

Click Pop-Ups

For some web designers, click pop-ups are a perfect replacement for landing pages; they are small windows on-page that show the visitor information they may consider valuable, like a similar product to the one they are watching or a special offer.

Besides the quality of the information they are usually combined with killer call to actions; click popups are known for increasing conversion rates because they allow the visitor to click them if and when they want to.

They do not mess with the viewers’ experience in a bad way, on the contrary, click popups make them feel like they have the decision to open it or ignore it because they don’t mess with the reading.

Exit Pop-Ups

This one must be treated and planned with extra care; exit popups may be perceived as aggressive by the users, but for the web owner it means the last chance they have to get a subscription or a sale.

This kind of popup stops people from leaving your site once they press the X button, then they see a persuasive message that pretends to make them stay longer or finish a purchase.

As a client, it may be annoying because when we make the decision of closing a site we actually mean to do so; but the right kind of message in that last popup could change our final decision and stay a bit longer.

For this type of popup to work, our team of web designers in Melbourn prefers messages that invite the viewer to subscribe, follow the site on their social media and showing the client special discounts.

Timed Pop-Ups

They are only visible for visitors that have already checked your site previously or have signed in with anticipation.

Usually they show on the screen after 30 seconds of activity, and the content is specifically designed for them, decreasing the chances of pestering them or losing a sale.

Sidebar Pop-Ups

They are used to immediately draw the attention of a web visitor who’s scrolling down your page. These type of popups are small but colourful and carry short messages, but important and attractive enough for the eye.

They are mostly used to redirect the user to other sections of the site, to show related content or to offer a subscription.

Entrance Pop-Ups

If there is an exit pop-up, there’s got to be an entrance pop-up; they appear seconds before the user gets into your site and they are big enough to cover all or half the screen.

They must be this flashy to take advantage of the visitor’s feelings towards the site before they have the chance to click or see anything; that reduces the chances of them thinking the popup is bothering their experience.

Just make sure to ask your web designer to make it interesting and big enough; a good idea is offering a 10% discount on their first buy after subscribing, or a welcoming message.

opt in website pop up

Opt-in Bar Pop-Ups

This type of popup is always visible for the visitor whether they scroll up or down; it is useful because it allows the promo to be noticed at all times.

Sure, users can close it but since it doesn’t really interfere with the visitor’s view, chances are the user will continue checking the page without closing, which translates to a higher possibility of the popup being clicked on.

Advantages of Using Pop-Ups

A well-designed popup is a tool that plays in your favour, the secret to make it successful is to combine what users want from a site and your needs as a seller.

Some of the advantages of popups are:

  • You have different types of popups for different parts of your site and the goals you want to achieve
  • Since they are tools with high visibility, you can generate leads quickly if you play it smart enough
  • Popups allow you to redirect traffic on-site
  • They offer you the chance to deliver extra value to determine sections of the site
  • You can create popups designed to gather information and opinions from your visitors
  • You can use up to 3 popups on one page for different purposes, just try to make them simple enough not to disturb the user’s experience
  • They are an amazing tool to gain subscriptions

Disadvantages of Using Pop-ups

Not everything that glitters is gold; so far, popups can be seen as a magnificent marketing tool but if they are not chosen carefully, they can make the visitor feel uncomfortable, harassed and annoyed.

Some of the disadvantages we can encounter when using popups are:

  • We all think they are irritating, that’s why it’s so important to make a pop up useful and simple enough
  • Overusing the number of popups in your site will cause visitors to close the site in a short period of time and probably never come back
  • A well-designed popup will work as a lead generator, but popup blockers are very popular these days, so not everyone may be able to see them
  • They can damage your brand’s reputation if not used correctly
  • For mobile visitors, popups will be more irritating than the ones presented on the computer screen

How to Make the Best Pop-Ups for Your Business?

Since we want to offer you the best web design in Melbourne, we would like to tell you a bit more about what makes a popup a good popup.

In this article we gave you tips about the dos and the don’ts of popups, but let us summarize the ideas for you to understand how we make things work at Design Point.

The best popups will always be the ones that are:

  1. Simple
  2. To the point
  3. Don’t interrupt the user’s experience unless it’s extremely necessary

Simplicity includes messages, shapes, location and colours. Depending on the type of popup you are looking for, we can adapt them to the main goal of your marketing plan.

For example, if you want to gather newsletter subscriptions, a good pop-up for this goal would appear 2 seconds after the user enters your site, and occupies a big part of the screen inviting the user to subscribe.

The less pompous the message is, the better. People don’t like popups already, so why make it worse by writing a whole paragraph in a tiny box?

Choose keywords and numbers to draw full attention of the visitor; if you are offering a discount or a special clearance, say so! Don’t go back and forth about it, the visitor’s time is precious, treat it like gold.

Now, a popup by itself is an interruption of the user’s experience, so how do we manage to make it feel the other way? By choosing wisely where and when we present them.

We mentioned different types of popups so you get an idea of what you can achieve with them, knowing the type of popup you want to use makes it easier for the web designer to create a piece that doesn’t annoy the visitor that much.

Would you like some guidelines for making the most of those popups on your website? Here they are below:

  1. Do not introduce pop-ups for mobile sites! Part of having a SEO friendly website is making it responsive, so if you already have a mobile version of your site, please remove the pop ups, they only bother the users and it’s harder to close them from such a small screen
  2. Play with the showing time, depending on the page of the site the user is browsing, you get to choose whether to show a popup a few seconds after the users gets in, a few minutes after, when they are about to leave or when they click another section
  3. Offer valuable things, don’t just ask for a subscription without letting them know why they may need it, show them the value of their actions and reward them
  4. Make them easy to close, if there is something more annoying for an internet user than popups, are popups that can’t close easily
  5. Avoid automatically playing music or videos, they do attract immediate attention to the ad but can often be perceived as irritating and frequently lowers the page load speed
  6. There is no need to include a popup on every web page of your site, and definitely you don’t have to show more than 3 popups in one page

So, after all this information, the big question is if it actually is worthy to use pop-ups on your site. Many web designers and publishers will say yes, but only if played well.

A pop-up has advantages and disadvantages at the same time, but it is up to the web owner and the web designer to make the most out of it.

The best advice we can offer you from Design Point is know your audience; understanding what they are doing on your website and what they are looking for, makes you understand their needs better, so if you decide to use pop-ups, you can make them attractive and useful enough for them to click on.

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