5 Tips for Designing a High Converting Website Pop Up (Plus 4 Bonus Conversion Tactics)

It’s no secret, website pop ups have changed the way online businesses engage, interact, and convert their visitors. Whether you like them or not, they are incredibly effective, especially when used right. Still, many marketers are missing the boat when using pop ups on their website. In this article, we’ll cover the key elements of a high converting website pop up and how you can pop up conversions with a few simple tweaks.

What a website visitor wants

Before we jump into the fun stuff, we have to look at things from the website visitor’s perspective. Here’s a short list of things to consider from a visitor’s point of view.

  • They expect something of value
  • They are hit with marketing messages and pop ups daily
  • They are visual creatures
  • They have short attention spans
  • They are human

How can we market to them in a way that is unique, provides value, and ultimately, effective?

What you want as a marketer

As a marketer, your needs are different than those of a website visitor. Here’s a list of things that I value as a marketer and I’m guessing, if you’re reading this article, you have a similar list to mine.

  • You want a high converting pop up
  • You want to make a good first impression
  • You want qualified leads
  • You don’t want to damage your website experience
  • You want more opportunities for conversions

Key Elements of a High Converting Website Pop Up

What if I told you that you could design your website pop ups to cater to your visitor’s needs while also fulfilling your marketing needs? You definitely can and it’s not rocket science. After considering the marketer’s and visitor’s points of view, here are the key elements of high converting website pop ups. This is the last list (possibly) that I’ll put in front of you.

  • Branding and Design
  • Actionable and Relevant Headline
  • Highlight your offering
  • Clear CTA Copy
  • 3 Form Fields or Less

Pop Up Branding and Design

It’s in your best interest to invest some time in designing a pop up that grabs attention, represents your brand, and matches your website design. I could throw out the obvious “it just looks better” argument, but there’s much more to it.

As mentioned earlier, consumers see pop ups daily and the vast majority of them look something like this.

While I’m all for using pop ups to convert visitors, the truth of the matter is that these are far less effective and they are conditioning people to ignore the marketing message because they all look exactly the same.

Design and branding is your opportunity to stand out from the other guys and engage a visitor with something that will actually grab their attention and get them to convert. A well designed pop up will stand out, convert at a higher percentage, and won’t damage the website experience or brand perception. Here are a couple of examples that really stand out from the pack of mediocre pop ups.

Simple, distinctive email pop up from Greetabl

Effective gated content pop up from Momentum Mag

Actionable and Relevant Headlines

“Join our Newsletter” just doesn’t cut it anymore. That’s a statement that implies benefit to you, the business, and absolutely no benefit to the visitor. I’m not bashing newsletters because I know they can provide value to subscribers, but you must craft a headline that clearly states what value the subscriber would receive. Is it a discount? An e-book? If you don’t have an added incentive, let your visitors know why your newsletter is of value.


Highlight Your Offering

This is an extension of your headline. Your headline should grab attention and display value while the pop up copy persuades the visitor to take further action. Here’s a great example from Evo.

Remember, we’re dealing with short attention spans so be clear and concise when describing your offering. This copy should tell visitors what value they will receive, what action they need to take to receive the benefit (email opt in, social follow, no action at all), and when they will receive the benefit ( monthly newsletter, instant coupon code, email containing e-book to download, etc.)


Clear CTA Copy

Consistency in your marketing message is key for a high converting pop up. This applies to your call-to-action (CTA) button. Again, don’t be generic and please, do not use a CTA labeled “submit.”

Be clear, spur action, and show some personality if possible. A CTA i used recently was “Get My Free E-Book.” It clearly states what will occur when a visitor completes the form and presses the button. Here’s a list of words to use within pop ups and CTA’s.

  • Now
  • Quick
  • Fast
  • Hurry
  • Rapidly
  • Instant
  • Get
  • Approaching
  • Close
  • Never
  • Seconds
  • Again
  • Over


Three Form Fields or Less

We want to eliminate barriers that prevent visitors from actually converting within a pop up. One major barrier is the number of form fields. If you’re presenting a pop up to a first time visitor, the goal is to get a conversion. For this reason, just ask for an email. Email capture provides the greatest benefit to your business and it should be your main focus when using pop ups.

If you must ask for more information, don’t go over three fields. Anything over this and it appears to be too much work in the eyes of the visitor. This lowers your chance of converting that visitor. Also, make sure the information you’re asking for is relevant to your marketing and the visitor. For example, if you’re selling shoes, ask for a shoe size so you can deliver more relevant marketing emails.


A Note on Mobile Pop Ups

Mobile traffic is different and therefore should be treated differently. This change the way you design and write copy for mobile pop ups. A few things to consider: use less text, bigger font size, and blatantly showcase your offering.

In addition to this, Google has recently updated their policies regarding mobile pop ups. In short, Google does not want you to present a pop up to visitors immediately after they click through from a Google search result. Besides that restriction, you are free to use mobile pop ups on your website! Here’s an article that provides a full breakdown of Google’s policy update and best practices for mobile pop ups.


Bonus: Give these conversion tactics a try

2 Step Pop Ups

2 step pop ups use micro-commitments to drive visitors to convert. Micro-commitments are small actions that you ask visitors to perform leading up to a bigger conversion step. In this case, the higher conversion step would be an email opt-in or purchase.

Simply pose a question like “Want a discount?” Then provide two calls to action: one that is a “Yes” response and another that is a “No” response. This presents visitors with a decision that they must make. When an individual selects a “Yes” response, they are psychologically inclined to behave consistently with the “Yes” commitment. It’s not a sure thing but the visitor is much more likely to stay on the same path and convert. Using an a/b test, this ecommerce business discovered that pop up conversions increased by 104% when using a two step pop up!

Cheeky Opt-Out Text

Using some negativity may actually help conversion rates. Try using some clever opt-out text to give your visitors a fear of missing out on some value. Here are two variations of the same pop up. One has a basic close button and the other has a close button with some cheeky text. The one with cheeky text outperformed the other variation in email opt ins by 15.51% and sales conversion by 217%.

Full Screen Pop Ups

If the goal is to interrupt the visit and bring full attention to your pop up, a full screen pop up could be your best bet. This conversion tactic can be very effective, especially when implemented at the right times. Consider using a full screen takeover with exit pop ups and cart abandonment pop ups to ensure that your message will not be overlooked.

Countdown Timer

Creating urgency during a website visit is an excellent way to drive action. A simple way to do this is to use a countdown timer within your pop up. This timer could be the amount of time left to engage with the offer. It could also be used to let shoppers know how much time is left during a current sale. Here’s more info on how to create urgency on your website.

Create a High Converting Pop Up Today!

Now that you have some direction on how to optimize your pop ups for conversion, it’s time to implement some changes! Making a few simple tweaks to your website pop ups can drastically increase conversion rates and the design process can actually be quite fun.

For additional design inspiration, here’s 10 more examples of pop up designs and why they work

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3 No-Cost eCommerce Marketing Strategies to Increase Conversions to your New Shopify Store

Have you ever clicked on a Facebook ad and dropped on an unfamiliar site with an unknown brand? If the product’s common enough (like jewelry, toothbrushes, or sunglasses), would you prefer an unknown brand over the rest?

I don’t think so.

Driving traffic to your site doesn’t make sense if it does not have enough reputation to unlock conversions. Otherwise, you’re pouring water into a leaky bucket.

In short, paid ads won’t solve your traction problem. Reputation, social proof, and authority does.

So how do you create a reputable site that gets conversions? How do you set your site up in that your paid ads spend isn’t wasted? If you’re a new Shopify store, how do you set this up with your startup budget?

That’s what I’ll teach you in this article.

There are three main ways you can get a high-converting, reputable site at little to no cost:

  1. Build referral traffic and social proof via reviews
  2. Borrow reputation & build more referral traffic via Instagram marketing
  3. Build more leads & trust with free guides


Just a heads-up: this is going to be a long post, so buckle up! 🙂


First Strategy: Build referral traffic via reviews

Testimonials and reviews are proven to influence the purchase decision of 77.3% of visitors. Without prominent reviews on the site, you may have already lost that many customers!

To get initial reviews for your site, you’ll need to do email outreach to lifestyle bloggers.

For this example, we’re going to imagine ourselves as an owner of a paleo bar e-commerce store. To acquire reviews through email outreach, this is what you need to do:

Step 1: Search & Take Note of paleo-related reviews in your search engine of choice

Below, you’ll see a list of paleo blogs that actively do reviews. Open all the tabs and take note of their domain names.

Now here are the domains I’ve found, and the names associated for each:


If you’re a new eCommerce store, go for up-and-coming bloggers before targeting the established ones.

To find these folks, look at the 2nd or 3rd pages of the search results then get domains & names of the bloggers.

Now that we have a handy list of data, how do we turn this into contactable information?

Step 2: Get an Email from the Site (If Available)

For some sites, you can usually find the emails in the “About” section of the site. For example, Burton’s Bakes’ email is right there in the “Work With Me” section:

But most of the time, the email can’t be found. Or it could be as generic as “contact@domainname.com.” What do you do then?

What you can do is to generate email address combinations from your list of names and domains.

Step 3: Generate Email Addresses from your List

To generate these email addresses, go to Email Generator IO and add the First Name, Surname, and Domain from the data we generated in step one.

Clicking on “Generate” will return a rather large list of potential emails. Remove everything that’s not a business domain.

Now let’s ensure that we’re using the right email.

Step 4: Validate Email Addresses from your List

To 2 tools you can use to verify your email list:

  1. Email Checker NET is a free, single-use email validation tool; and
  2. Bulk Email Checker NET is a paid, multi-use email validation tool. This is the best validation tool that I’ve seen so far.

For the bulk checker, all you need to do is to copy and paste your generated email in a separate .txt file and upload it into the software. Then you’ll see a blue button to start the validation process.

After a few minutes (sometimes hours if you have thousands of generated emails), you should have personal emails that you can now use for your outreach.

Step 5: Prepare a thoughtful Email

Please note that “outreach” does not mean “broadcast.” Too many bloggers get a lot of manufactured stuff that looks like this:


I recently saw your website in the XXXXX directory, and I wanted to know if you’re currently accepting product reviews.

My product’s been reviewed In YYYY and ZZZZ and I’m looking to expand my audience a bit.

If you’re interested I’m happy to send over the product to you.



Ugh. Remember that you’re optimizing for traffic & sales, not for productivity. Show them that they’re special to you (which they are!) and that you really care!

A good email would look something like this (an example for emailing Paleohacks):

Hi Casey,

LOVE your paleo bar table comparing six products over at http://blog.paleohacks.com/paleo-protein-bars/. Saved me a lot of time!

I’m emailing you because you might be interested to know that I’ve created a paleo bar with less fat% than any of the list that you’ve shared.

Wanted to know if you’re willing to try it out? Happy to give it to you for free in exchange for feedback 🙂

Your Name

What I like about this is approach is that:

  1. The language is not dry. There’s a lot of emotion in the email (i.e. there’s the word “love” at the start and an expression of relief in “saved me a lot of time”).
  2. You’re offering something new, different, and compelling (i.e. you’re showing off the fact that you have an even lower fat% paleo bar)/
  3. It’s not overly self-promotional. Instead of asking for a review, you’re asking for feedback. Since it’s a lower commitment response, you’re making it easier for them to say yes. Besides, if they like your product, they’ll leave a review anyway!


Most people stop with one batch of emails. Remember that this is a marketing strategy and thus email outreach should be done consistently.

And to become consistent, you need a solid pipeline. Here’s how:

Step 6: Have a Solid Weekly Pipeline of Emails

To create a pipeline, first sign up for a free account at Trello.

Then create five lists: “Leads”, “Contacted”, “Follow Up”, “Scheduled”, “Done”.

Here’s how it looks like for me:

Put every email you generate in the “leads” column. Then slide the card to the right as you pass through every stage. When you’ve finally closed a deal, move it to “Done”!

Now that you have a system for creating referral traffic that converts (thanks to blog reviews), I’ll teach you how to build a system for creating Instagram traffic.

Second Strategy: Borrow reputation & build social media traffic via Instagram marketing

Product placements Instagram is another source of high converting traffic. The principle here is simple: everyone looks toward someone for fashion inspiration, health tips, comedy, etc.

For instance, MeUndies has built their entire company via Instagram influencers.

Now let’s walk through how you can create product placements through influencer partnerships


Step 1: Use the right hashtags

While I agree that hashtags don’t work for Facebook and Twitter; it’s golden for Instagram. If you think about it, influencers mainly use hashtags to get their profiles discovered. Otherwise, there’s no other way to increase their follower count.

Regarding hashtag quality, the best solution that I’ve seen is HashMe, which is a mobile app. If you don’t like switching between your phone and laptop, All Hashtag is the best next thing.

Begin by entering a seed keyword to start your research. We’re still using our paleo bar ecommerce store as an example.

You’ll get a list of 30 hashtags:

Then go through these hashtags one by one to find influencers.

Step 2: Create a list of your influencers

Note your influencers’ names, handles, locations, follower counts, types of posts, and their personal descriptions.

Going through the types of posts is especially important because it helps you determine if the influencer has a consistent brand voice with yours.

For example, if your paleo brand caters more to men and has a casual & approachable brand, then someone like Dave (@happynettleboy) will make a lot of sense for you.

If your paleo brand is positioned more towards fitness junkies, Camilla (@coach_camilla) makes a lot more sense.

The location’s also there if your brand has geographic constraints.

Step 3: Reach out and recruit them as an ambassador

When reaching out, be careful not to sound as transactional as your earlier outreach to webmasters. You’d want to transform these influencers into long-term brand ambassadors.

These ambassadors will get a unique referral link, and they’ll get credit when someone purchases. Based on the number of purchases that they generated, they will be classified under Ambassador tiers with specific perks/gifts.

Here are some examples for paleo bar case:

  • 10 sales generated: Free pack of paleo bars
  • 25 sales generated: Two free paleo books of your choice
  • 50 sales generated: Free ticket to the Paleo F(x) conference
  • 100 sales generated: Free trip for two to Bali
  • 200 sales generated: Marketing support for the ambassador’s projects


Beyond that, you should create a community for your ambassadors:

  • Invitation to Secret Facebook Group: brand ambassadors get to connect with each other


To track this, you can use affiliate tracking software like Tapfiliate.

Remember, apart from revenue generation, you should also create a tight-knit community of like-minded influencers who feel that they’re part of something bigger.

Third Strategy: Rank higher with Linkable Assets

If you execute the first two strategies well, you have not only driven immediate traffic to your site. You’re also setting yourself up for long-term search rankings increase.

Why? That’s because you’re increasing backlinks through other people’s blogs, and you’re increasing social signals by getting influencers to link back to you. The key factor to SEO is mainly to get authoritative sites to link back to you – and that’s how you can do it while getting short-term results!

Now let’s boost your rankings more by creating “linkable assets.” What this means is that you should create content that’s so good that it gets linked by other sites.

For eCommerce, this could mean comprehensive guides.

The best example of an eCommerce store that does this is Right Channel Radios. They have this immense learning center that has a guide for CB Radios for the following:

  • CB Radios for Pickup Trucks
  • CB Radios for Jeeps
  • CB Radio Fundamentals
  • etc


Not only do they make helpful content (and hence generates links), their content also allows them to own a particular keyword (CB Radios in this example). If you google CB Radios, you can take a guess on who’s the #1 CB Radios eCommerce store in the results.

Now I know that you’re like most eCommerce store founders: you LOATHE writing. That’s completely fine. We won’t go through keyword strategies here. What’s important is that you get started as a new eCommerce owner.

With that context in mind, here’s a simple and practical process to create compelling & comprehensive content:

Step 1: Research and find existing content online.

You don’t have to overthink this!


To know what content will work, first, go to either Buzzsumo or Epicbeat. This allows you to find content that is frequently shared online.

To get that content, enter the seed keyword where you want to get some sample content:

Take the content which has the highest number of shares:

Step 2: Extract the Content Template from these Highly-Shared Articles

Now you should infer or extract the content template from these proven benchmarks.

For this article from the Poliquin Group:

  • Introduction: Share the benefits on why the Paleo Lifestyle has become popular
  • Detailed Findings: Share facts that support your claimed benefits
  • Action Steps: Share 10 tips on how your reader can get started with the Paleo lifestyle


For this article from the New Zealand Herald:

  • Introduction: Share the outcome of one person after adopting a Paleo Diet (e.g. shed 55kgs)
  • Quotes from Previous Life: Use quotes from your interview to display the eating habits the person had and the consequences for having those habits
  • Quotes from the beginning of her transformation: Share how her habit changes were not instant and instead, it’s a product of incremental changes (i.e. first removed processed food, then fresh whole foods, then regular workouts, and then created a blog for accountability)
  • Quotes about her current progress: Show how much progress that the person has had while showing a realistic update.


Just from doing that exercise, you now have two content templates that you can use: 1) for creating “X tips” articles and 2) a case study article.

Step 3: Draft, Proofread, and Publish

Based on my experience of writing a lot of content, the most difficult part is always knowing what to write. If you force yourself to structure your content in a way that we did for Steps 1 and 2, the content creation process will be a lot easier for you.


If you made it this far, congratulations! And thank you!

To recap, the intent for doing all of this activity is to strengthen your reputation (reviews), increase social proof (Instagram influencers), and improve Google search rankings (through content).

For each of these marketing objectives, I’ve given you some systems above that you can start using today.

Good luck, and start driving traffic that converts!



Kenn Costales is the Founder of Growth Hacker Kit, which is an eCommerce Marketing Agency that helps online stores grow their traffic and sales. If you want to improve the revenue & ROI of your paid acquisition campaigns (Facebook, AdWords, Amazon), he does Free Audits here.


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Instagram Is Changing

Did you hear what’s happening with Instagram?

It’s the same thing that happened with Facebook.

Instagram just switched from a chronological live feed to an algorithm feed.

Here’s what Eugenia, an artist and store owner had to say about this change:


I have 30,000 followers on my FB fan art page, and when I do posts that mention a sale or my art as a product, I only get 50-100 people seeing the post.

This has resulted in almost *zero sales* via Facebook.

On the other hand, via Instagram, the direct way of viewing posts, guarantees me an audience, and I’ve sold a lot of my art via Instagram.

In fact, Instagram was the last bastion for art people after Tumblr and FB faded away as possible sale avenues. Now, Instagram is also going away, and I will probably be out of business.


I don’t think it will put Eugenia out of business nor will it put any store out of business that wasn’t already in a downward spiral.

But what it does mean is this…


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Driving Customers From Instagram To Your Store

Obama and I have the same philosophies on clothing.

You see, I like to keep my life super simple including my wardrobe.

In fact, I loathe new clothing because it just means I have to make more decisions when getting dressed.

That’s probably weird, but I heard the President only owns navy suits for the same reason.

I was perfectly fine with my wardrobe until I went on Instagram and saw a post from past Shopify Masters guest Jeff Sheldon, founder of Ugmonk.


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Email Marketing Best Practices: 15 Actionable Steps To Grow Your Email List and Send Emails That Sell

It’s proven.

When you stay in touch with your customers, they buy from you over and over again.

Email marketing works, but most stores aren’t getting the full benefit from email marketing because they just wing it.

Today, you can stop winging it.

I’ve put together 15 quick email marketing best practices that you can implement today to grow your email list and know exactly what to send to them.

Let’s dive into these email marketing tips.


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