Let me ask you a question.
Does your email popup entice visitors to join your brand’s mailing list or, is it so intrusive (and uninspired) it has them rushing to hit the back button?
No new subscriber.
If the latter sounds a bit truer to your current situation – but you’d like to change that – then settle in. This post is for you.
In this article you’re about to discover:
- Why you should be using an email popup on your store (even if you hate them)
- The different types of email popup you can use – there’s more options that you think
- Examples of different email popups in the wild–the good, the bad and the ugly
- How to set up your email popup correctly – so it (finally) converts browsers into subscribers
- My top recommendations for email popup apps that play nice with Shopify
But first, let’s look at the bigger picture.
The problem: but don’t worry, it’s not your fault
Platforms like Shopify make it so easy to add an email capture form to your online store – as they should.
The sad thing is, oftentimes there’s not enough information given on how to set them up for a great (high converting) user experience.
And here’s the thing.
If your email popup does any of these things…
1. Obscures your visitors’ view of your products
2. Interrupts your viewer while they are consuming your content
3. Leaves your visitor is confused & annoyed as they can’t work out how to close it
4. Makes your online store look like it has technical issues. Otherwise, why the heck would your email form pop out/slide in/obscure the whole screen – every 5 minutes?
Well, I’m sorry to break it to you but, you’re doing it wrong.
Does that mean you should ditch the email popup and give up on list building entirely?
Not at all.
A rather compelling argument for having an email popup
Whether you personally love it or hate it, the truth is, sticking a big ole pop-up in *your customers face can be one of the most effective ways to jolt their attention & grab their email for a return visit. Source.
But here’s a statistic that’ll probably surprise you – especially if you’re a relatively new online boutique owner.
Customers need an average of five touch-points before they decide to buy. Only 0.25% of new visitors to your site will make a purchase.
But…if you can get them to visit again, your chances of making a sale increase nine-fold. Source.
And, I’m sure we can easily agree that this is not really likely to happen if their first encounter with your brand has them running for the hills.
Luckily for you, you’re reading this post and we’re gonna get you whipped into shape sharpish. Because seriously, get it right, and the results can be amazing.
Don’t just take my word for it though.
Sarah Hanson of Dolls & Daydreams got it so right, she went from averaging 5 new email list subscribers a day to a whopping 1300 in a week.
That’s why I have to agree with Derek Halpern from Social Triggers, when he says:
“if you don’t use popups you’re an idiot. If you’re offering something that people want…a silly little popup isn’t gonna stand in their way.”
Saying that, be prepared to make some enemies as there’s no escaping the fact that some people actively hate them, like this guy.
But if you’re convinced getting your email popup – poppin’- correctly – so it actually converts is worth spending time on for your business.
And, you’re willing to suck up the irritation of a few, to enjoy the benefit of having the email addresses of many. Then, let’s begin shall we?
Email Popup options: Choose the right one for your store
There are many different styles of email capture forms, which, when skillfully employed, will help you build your mailing list like a champ.
Here are the most common types:
Different types of email popup you can use:
- Popup when a user intends to exit (aka exit-intent)
- Popup when a user reaches the content end of the page/content
- Popup when a user reaches a particular element within the page
- Popup when a user scrolls a specific percent of a page
- Popup when a user scrolls down and goes back up
As you can see the options are numerous. And many Shopify coaches will preach that you should test, test, and test, again.
But my advice is a little different. Especially if you’re just starting out.
- Pick one type of email popup
- Create your best offer – but more on that later
- Write your best copy
- Create your best graphic
Then, get busy driving traffic to your online store.
Because without traffic, really there’s nothing to test as you won’t have a big enough data pool to give you any insights.
Once you’ve established a steady stream of traffic – that converts – then you can test different styles and different copy until you beat the control.
Things to consider when setting up your email capture form…
- Consider your email popup frequency, how much is too much?
While it can be tempting to have your popup show every time someone visits your online store you should resist this temptation and here’s why:
If a visitor has seen something on your website that they like, while they haven’t purchased now they may come back and purchase later.
But, you’ll likely kill that conversion if they are consistently presented with your email popup. Don’t put a barrier between your potential customer and your checkout.
Your email popup should present an offer, not pose a problem or a threat to the sale.
Most apps have the option to regulate your email popup frequency, and only showing your email capture form every 12-14 days is a better approach.
This means if a visitor comes to your site during that time they won’t be presented with a popup, but if they visit after this window they’ll see it again.
- What about your popup timings… don’t be fresh!
Just like when you find yourself attracted to someone and you want to ask them out, timing is everything.
Remember, your subscriber opt-in must present an interesting offer, not an annoyance. Having your email popup jump out and assault your visitor too soon, is just that.
Below you’ll find my recommended popup timings:
Now now doubt some that disagree, but these have gotten the best results for me and my clients.
- Home page: 40-50 seconds – let them see what you have to offer.
- Blog post: 40-120 seconds – depending on the length of your post
- Product pages: exit intent only. Don’t kill the sale. Relevancy is everything
- About page: 60 seconds – also have one embedded
- Other pages – 60+ seconds – if they’ve come to the non-commercial pages of your site they want to know more about you and what you do, so let them!
Longer timings give your visitor a chance to understand what products you sell, and what your core brand message and USP is.
It also gives them a moment to decide whether they like what you are about and want to learn more.
When you ask for the email before they’ve had the chance to subconsciously ask and answer those questions, you’ll reduce conversions while increasing your bounce rate.
Not the outcome we’re going for here.
- Make your popup something worth opting into
Offer something worth having- specially if you’re going to interrupt someone’s viewing experience.
Unless you’re Zappos, Amazon or Beardbrand, offers like ‘newsletter, sales, first previews’ don’t really cut it quite the way they used to.
That’s why you should use popups to offer clever incentives (that will get the click) but won’t break your bottom line.
The reason is simple: until you’ve built up the know, like and trust factor with your audience they don’t care about your newsletter or sales – because they won’t be buying from you anyway.
Think about it?
When was the last time you signed up to get 10% off something you weren’t even sure you wanted…
I rest my case.
Not sure what type of offer your customer is likely to be compelled by?
A good place to start is by looking at some of the most common problems and questions your customers have about your product or niche – then creating content which addresses or solves that problems.
User guides can be a brand’s best friend. This content doesn’t need to be long-winded, but it does have to deliver on it’s promise. And a little time and money spent on quality design can really help build your brand credibility.
Quick tips for writing educational user-guide content that customers love:
- Speak your customer’s language
- Enthuse your brand’s personality into the copy
- Provide enough information to actually be of value
- Don’t be boring
Honestly, that’s just one of an unlimited amount of opt-in offer ideas. But if I delivered them all to you here, where would the fun be in that?
And remember, a 10% discount is not groundbreaking stuff.
It’s time to check out some popup examples
Brands getting their email popup offer wrong
Errm, so what is your newsletter about?
Yep! 10%, that’ll do it.
Notice the lack of thought in these email popup offers?
- Bland boring design.
- The cheapo discount (discounts can work but don’t forget you’ve got other options)
- The newsletter about nothing
Don’t be that guy.
- Use your popups to segment your list (but don’t go crazy)
Relevance is the holy grail of email marketing.
That’s why segmenting your mailing list according to your subscriber’s actions and where they are likely to be in the buying cycle, is mission numero uno for many online retailers.
But let’s be honest, it’s not exactly beginner stuff.
While some big brands with large established audiences can get away with asking for lots of information during the signup process – which they then use for deep segmentation and messaging. If you’re just starting out, asking your reader for everything but their blood group within your email capture form is a bad idea.
Common advice is to keep it to one field only, the only one that matters: the email address.
But personally I like to customise my emails using a subscribers first name, as I find this helps to get their attention and improve open rates.
My rationalization is: I’d rather lose out on the emails of less interested parties, than on the opportunity to deepen my brand bond using personalisation.
- Craft an enticing CTA (call to action)
If you look around the Ecommerce space it’s full of online store owners asking people they don’t know to ‘subscribe’ to something.
Yes, it’s only a word.
But it can present a point of friction for some people as it implies long-term commitment.
Or, that they are signing up to be a part of something they’re not yet sure they want to be part.
This can be daunting. And instead of taking a second to think about it, they just click the back button.
That’s why a compelling call to action is crucial.
Here are some other calls to action (CTA’s) you can use on your email popup that have a more positive affect.
- Grab yours
- Join us (867 fashion lovers already have)
- Send mine now
- Sign me up
- Keep me updated
Brands who are getting close
- Keep your email popup design true to your branding
While you want your popup to stand out and get attention, it needs to feel like an extension of your website.
This means the copy, images, colours and, if possible fonts, should blend seamlessly with your branding.
Visually this will reassure your customer that your popup is related to your brand, and they’re not being redirected to some spammy page that will give their computer a virus.
Many of us savvier net users are familiar with the different popups and overlays that cover our web content now – we’re not phased by them.
But for less frequent users, these types of interruptions to their viewing experience can be alarming and concerning.
They’d rather back away than take the risk or find out more.
Email popup examples from brands who are killin’ it, so pay attention…
- You’ve got a new subscriber, but now what?
I see this happen so often and it grieves my soul.
Someone takes the time to give you coveted access to their inbox, and you can’t even take the time to send them a welcoming thank you message.
This is a massive wasted opportunity for you to start building a relationship with your (potential) customer.
But it get worse.
Many brands that don’t have any sort of email marketing engagement strategy – short of blasting their all too frequent sales at their new list members.
These brands are soon tuned out and quickly unsubscribed from. Trust me.
If that’s what you want, then forgo the welcome message and nurture sequence in favour of frequent sales blasts. But Good luck with that.
One way I train my clients to use welcome emails is to see them as a way to get those mailing list subscribers over to their social media channels.
If you’re not asking new subscribers to follow you on your social channels in your welcome email, then you’re missing out on a easy way to get more followers.
Not to mention increasing the time it takes for your email subscriber to become engaged, then, confident enough to actually buy something.
And remember this:
Your welcome email is often one of the most highly clicked through emails in your sequence.
Okay, so it’s a wrap.
But before we go I want to share with you a nice list of Shopify friendly email popup plugins you can use to get started.
‘Cos here’s the thing: the only thing worse than getting your email popup wrong, is not having one at all.
Check out these bad boys – research courtesy of Richard Lazazzera.
- Pop-Up Window – Standard customizable popup for your store.
- Email Pirate – Standard customizable popup for your store.
- Smart Popup Box – Allows for email capture and social follows to reveal discount.
- Exit Offers – Only shows a popup if a visitor has added an item to their cart and attempts to exit or close the page.
- Picreel – Shows a popup right before a visitor attempts to leave your site.
- ExitIntent – Shows a popup right before a visitor attempts to leave your site.
- Bounce Back – Shows a popup right before a visitor attempts to leave your site.
- Justuno – Exit intent, giveaways, and locked content
For a list of all email popup apps in the Shopify App store, just search for “popups”.
Not on the Shopify platform? Well what are you waiting for.
If you gained some insights on how to set up your email capture form correctly from this article ?
Then I’d be honoured if you’d help me share it as far and wide as possible. There are buttons on the left.