How to use website pop-ups the right way

If you are trying to build an email list or make more sales from your website then check this out!

Are you using pop-ups on your website?

No... not the terrible ones that take over your screen and show up straightaway. These can harm user experience.

What is a website pop-up?

It can be a form to build your email list, a voucher or coupon code to entice someone to buy, a site wide notice about a special, or even a live chat.

Basically anything you want – and it will show up in a box that pops up over the rest of your content on your site.

Here’s how to get your website pop-ups to work best:

  1. Make sure that your pop-ups are timed. (This is the most important!) On a mobile device, leave at least 30 seconds when possible. This will allow someone to consume your content first before deciding if the message you show them is right for them. On a desktop or laptop you can set your pop up to be exit intent, so when someone is leaving the browser with their mouse the pop up displays.
  2. Display the right message at the right time. You can choose to display a different message on different pages. For example on your blog posts, or even certain blog topics or categories, you can display a special freebie to build your email list. And it can be specific to the topic someone is reading about. And on your shopping cart page you could display a special offer.
  3. Show different messages based on what someone did before. For example, if they signed up to your email list you can show them a special offer instead of a freebie, or lead magnet.
  4. Pop ups can also be for help. You can have a live chat box that pops up too. It can be a Messenger box or some other chat tool.


Here are my favourite pop-up tools:

  • OptinMonster (this is the one we use). It can be used on different types of sites like WordPress, Shopify, Wix and Squarespace.
  • ThriveBox. This is one tool of the complete Thrive Leads plugin and can only be used on WordPress.
  • Your own CRM system. Some CRM systems (where you build an email) allow you to build pop-ups, like Ontraport and ActiveCampaign.