Anyone browsing the web today knows how annoying pop up messages can get, yet what would seem as a “common sense bounce increase cause” is turning into the norm.

Should your site have pop up messages? What is the advantage of using them? Do they increase the bounce rates?

There are 3 main type of pop up messages

1. Welcome Mat


The Welcome mat pop up message, is a pop up that appears before you can access any content on the website. Typical uses are for sites that have age restrictions (Alcohol, tobacco, firearms…).

Very often though, standard sites try to get your email address before they let you on to the site – they do this because studies show that an overwhelming of first time visitors that bounce, never come back.
Think about the number of sites you visit on any given day, you cannot possibly remember them all. If you submitted your email address, even if you forgot about them, they won’t forget about you.

While as a consumer these pop up windows tend to be very annoying, for a business owner they are a gold mine. You spend so much money and effort on getting the traffic to your site in the first place, any email address collected is an opportunity for further engagement with the visitors and hopefully convert  them into customers.

People have gotten so used to these welcome mat pop up windows, that they don’t usually bounce because of them. We ran tests on different sites and the results were consistent, as long as three conditions were met, people just closed them and continued on with their visit.

  1. The pop up must load instantly – forcing the user to wait for the content of the pop up will cause them to bounce.
  2. It’s crucial that the user can easily close the pop-up, simply having an “X” on the top right corner, won’t do it. If people can figure out how to bypass your pop up, they will just bounce.
  3. The site’s main content has to be visible, use an overlay, not a blackout. WHen user’s can’t see your site in the background, they have no idea where they are and they tend to just bounce.


2. Exit intent


The exit intent pop up is designed to catch visitors as they are about to leave the site. As soon as the website detects that your mouse is leaving the webpage area to go to the toolbar or any other area on your screen, BOOM, a pop up appears begging you to stay on the site.

As a consumer, it’s always worth trying to leave a site before you proceed to checkout, you never know what juicy coupon the store owner might offer you to stay on the site 🙂

Causing a higher bounce rate is not something you need to worry about, because you are targeting customers that were about to bounce anyway.

The data shows quite a high success rate with these exit intent messages, the reason is very simply because even if the conversion rate is 1%, that 1% is 100% conversion on a lost transaction.

When visitors originally come to the site, we expect to convert them all into customers, so if only 7% converted into a purchase, we call this a 7% conversion rate. But when you’re dealing with people that already ditched your site, any person that we can bring back and convert is a 100% conversion rate.

If you want your exit intent message to be as effective as possible, keep these three things in mind:

  1. The value proposition needs to be clear – i.e “you could get these headphones for only $89.99 instead of $100.00”. The user was already on his way out, he’s only going to give us a second look if we can effectively catch his attention.
  2. You must have a clear Call to Action that entices the visitor to continue his visit. “Get this special price”
  3. Stand Out – adding a humorous graphic a cute tag line, will have more chances of getting the visitor to stay – remember he was already on his way out, you’re fighting an upstream battle.


3. Customer Retention


These messages pop up after the visitor has been on the site for a while and usually prompt the user for his email address in exchange for some goodies such as  free shipping or a promotional offer.

This is where you enter the real danger zone and timing here is truly everything. These pop ups can be triggered based on the amount of time a user has been on a site, the amount of pages he visited, or the actions he took on the site.

However you decide when is the appropriate moment to interrupt your visitors peaceful journey through your site, a lot is on the line, considering that you’re dealing with someone that’s already somewhat engaged with your product or content.

A promotional offer that pops up might give them that extra push to make a purchase, but the annoyance of a pop up can just as much give someone else that extra push to abandon ship and leave. It’s a very tightrope to walk, but it if done properly can bring in nice revenue.

  1. Make sure your message doesn’t interrupt the customer, consider using a fly out instead of a pop up.
  2. The pop up cannot disrupt the flow, if you’re asking the visitors for their email address, make sure that after they hit “submit” they are not redirected to a new page.
  3. If they opt to ignore your pop up, make sure you don’t bring it up again. If the visitor is not interested in your offers, he shouldn’t have to decline more than once.