Popups are one of the most popular forms of visitor engagement on Shopify. Last year, we reviewed 300 Shopify stores. Half of them were using popups.

 

 

A screenshot of the Wisepops Shopify shops case study.
A screenshot of the Wisepops Shopify shops case study.

The problem? Most store owners jump the gun and don’t take the time to optimize their popups.

In this article, we’ll explain how to create pop-ups that will truly boost your Shopify store’s email list.

Identify the Right Incentive

Let’s not beat around the bush here. Most web users won’t share their email address unless they get something in return.

This something might be:

  • An X% off discount code
  • A free shipping code
  • A chance to win something
  • A freebie (video, e-book, etc.)

But before we elaborate on incentives, let me show you first a real-life example of their powers.

We recently onboarded a client who started collecting emails using the following popup. As you can see, the popup didn’t include any incentive.

Praella Shopify Plus Agency - Wisepops - My Jolie Candle Subscribe Popup

After we recommended for them to bait potential subscribers, they updated their popup and invited their visitors to enter their email to win a free candle:

Praella Shopify Agency - Wisepops - My Jolie Candle Pop Up - #2 A/B Test

The results were immediate: their popup’s conversion rate jumped from 2.5% to 7%!

Praella Shopify Agency - Wisepops- Email Subscription Rate

We observed the same phenomenon with discount codes a few months back.

One of our clients, a Shopify store selling smart bottles, did the following A/B/C/D test.

Shopify Smart Bottles Shopify Store - AB Test - Praella Shopify Plus Agency - Wisepops

The results are pretty self-explanatory: the bigger the discount, the higher the conversion rate.

In our experience, discount codes and sweepstakes work way better than freebies.

To help you choose between coupons and sweepstakes, here’s a quick comparison of the two options:

ProsCons
Coupons
  • You’ll collect emails from people who are considering buying your products at some point
  • Coupons can end up on coupon aggregators’ sites and reach a much larger audience
  • The discounts will have a direct impact on your margin
Sweepstakes
  • Sweepstakes are super cheap
  • You may attract “sweepers”

Find Convincing Words

Once you’ve picked your incentive, it’s time to work on your popup copy.

Internally, we use a rule called “SIP” when working on the wording:

  • Short: Your visitors will choose to share their email or dismiss your modal in a split second. You need to use very few words.
  • Impactful: You need to use strong words that will convince them to subscribe.
  • Precise: Again, it’s a matter of timing. Your visitors don’t have time for unclear sentences.

Here’s a good example on Fulton & Roark:

fulton & roak - praella shopify agency - wisepops - pop up ab test

Every word is useful and contributes to convincing visitors to leave their email address.

Here’s another interesting example from Baubax:

baubax-praella-shopify-agency-wisepops---pop-up-ab-test

The popup includes only 12 words from the headline to the call-to-action, and it takes only a few seconds to read.

Design an Eye-Catching Overlay

Let’s get straight to the point. 

As visitors, we’re literally bombarded with email popups.

To outsmart the competition, it’s worth noting what a standard popup looks like so you can design something better:

  • Most email popups don’t include visuals. Add product visuals or inspiring pictures to your overlay to make it more memorable.
  • Most email popups have a square or rectangular shape. Try a rounded popup or use graphical elements that make your popup more original -pictures that stand out from the popup, etc.
  • Most emails appear without an animation. Add an animation when your popup enters the screen to make it more noticeable.

Here are a few examples that I like.

Saltsurf uses a bright green background to highlight its pop-up.


Mavi uses a bar with a visual that stands out from the bar itself, adding some depth to the bar.

mavi-popup-wisepops-praella-shopify-agency

Sojao displays a rounded popup with an all-blue background. Interesting design as well!

sojao-praella-shopify-agency-wisepops---pop-up-ab-test.

Want more examples of convincing Shopify popups? Check this article.

Pinpoint the Right Timing

Most stores display a popup right when visitors reach their website.

It drives visitors crazy, and it’s not good for your list-building efforts, either.

Want proof?

Here’s an A/B test run by one of our clients, an online store selling maternity clothes.

The results speak for themselves: by waiting 5 additional seconds before displaying her email popup, our client increased her popup’s conversion rate by 23%!

online store selling maternity clothes - praella shopify plus agency - wisepops pop ups

But it doesn’t mean that the longer you wait, the more emails you’ll collect! Because if you wait too long, the number of visitors who’ll see your popup will be reduced drastically. And you’ll end up collecting fewer emails.

To identify the best timing for your popup, we recommend either running tests or using an exit-intent popup (this second option is way quicker to implement).

Create a Mobile-Friendly Popup

In 2016, Google announced that their algorithm would start penalizing intrusive interstitials on mobiles.

The new rule targeted websites that use large email modals like this one:

society6 mobile popup wisepops praella

To avoid being penalized, we recommend following these best practices:

  • Create a separate popup for mobiles (having a responsive popup won’t be enough)
  • Position your popup form at the bottom of the page
  • Make sure its size doesn’t exceed 30% of the page

Here’s an example of a mobile-friendly popup:

Source: Romwe.

Create Additional Popups

Another major mistake that most Shopify sites make when using a popup is creating only one popup.

A typical shopping experience includes multiple opportunities for a marketer to collect emails:

  • You can display a simple email bar on the homepage
  • Create a specific exit-intent popup for visitors exiting a product page with a discount
  • Create a popup that appears only on out-of-stock items to encourage your visitors to subscribe to your restock alerts
  • Create a cart abandonment popup on the cart page

Here’s an example of this strategy on Christy Dawn. The website displays an email bar on the first page a visitor views.

christy-dawn-slide-out-pop-up-email-subscribe-optimization

And if this visitor doesn’t subscribe, they display this complementary popup (you’ll notice the different wording) on out-of-stock product pages.

christy-dawn-slide-out-pop-up-email-subscribe-optimization-2-wisepops-praellaWrap-up

Before leaving you, I’d like to share one last piece of advice.

Today Shopify can boast running some of the most successful online stores: Leesa, Colourpop, Inkbox, Skinny Me Tea… 

If you’re ever lacking ideas for your popups, I recommend you spend a few minutes on their websites checking the different pages and trying to trigger popups. Their modals are a great source of inspiration.