Pop-ups (pop-ups): what they should be, and what are the alternatives

Pop-ups are not always needed. The result also brings less annoying types of advertising: banners, native links, sliders, etc. In order to understand what brings more orders and subscriptions, you will have to test.

Let us consider in what cases it is necessary to abandon the pop-up windows, which people like them, and what can replace the classic pop-ups.

If you want everyone to love you, do not put pop-ups

In 2017, a study on the most annoying types of advertising was published, in which 452 adult respondents from the United States participated. They were shown 23 advertising options for computers and mobile devices. Survey participants had to answer which options they liked and which they did not.

The leader in negative impressions both on the desktop and in mobile devices became modal windows - the very same pop-ups. With a small margin went video with auto start, advertising, which when loading shifts the contents of the site, and links that look natural, but turn out to be commercial. If you want visitors to love you, it's better not to use it.

Source: nngroup.com. Modal windows - the most annoying type of advertising on the Internet

The least hate was caused by static columns on the right side and relevant (native) links. They can be implemented without fear of losing the audience.

If you do not want your ad to block Google Chrome, do not put pop-ups

Or do it very carefully.

Since February 15, Chrome has earned a built-in blocker of annoying ads in the browser. The first in the list of annoying are full-screen pop-ups, except for a few species. On sites that use them, Chrome will block the display of all ads. Google seems to hint that it's time to hear the user and make the site more friendly.

In total, Google, along with Coalition for Better Ads (CBA), identified 12 types of poor-quality advertising.

On computers:

  • advertising pop-ups;
  • countdown ads blocking immediate access to the site;
  • video with automatic playback and sound;
  • banners, fixed at the bottom of the page, which occupy more than 30% of the screen.

On smartphones and tablets:

  • advertising pop-ups;
  • full-screen ads that appear before the site loads;
  • video with automatic playback and sound;
  • countdown ads blocking content;
  • advertising, which in total takes more than 30% of one page;
  • flashing animated ads;
  • large banners attached to the bottom of the page;
  • fullscreen ads that need to scroll.

A similar study in December 2017 was published by the IAB Russia Advertising Improvement Committee. Recommendations use "Yandex Browser".

Forbes, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, In Touch Weekly and other English-language sites have already removed pop-ups and other annoying ads from sites. They can spy on what exactly admits to showing Chrome.

Several types of full-screen pop-ups are not included in the banned list. For details, see the recommendations section for pop-ups.

People are willing to tolerate pop-ups if the site benefits.

If you’re willing to partly donate love to users for conversion and follow Google’s recommendations, there’s good news. With pop-ups, the site brings more orders and subscribers. If you have not read about our experience, it's time.

In January, I conducted a small survey about the attitude of users to pop-up windows, 109 people took part in it. In the first question, it was necessary to assess the personal hatred of pop-ups on a 10-point scale, where 1 - "I love pop-ups," and 10 - "I hate most in the world." The average score - 7.6, and the top ten put 30% of respondents. That is, 30% are people who are most likely to stop visiting the site, where windows often pop up.

In the same place, I asked when the site could show pop-ups. Only 15% categorically answered that never. The rest agreed that pop-ups might come in handy. Especially if this is a great deal on a topic of interest, a discount or something free.

  1. Is always. I love pop-ups / I often find out important points from pop-ups
  2. Is always. I do not like pop-ups, but I understand that the site earns it.
  3. When they want to give me something for free (I don't care what)
  4. When they want to give me something useful for free
  5. When they want to give me a discount
  6. When they want to warn me that the goods are quickly bought up, or the term of the promotion ends
  7. When an information site or media offers to subscribe
  8. When the site wants me to evaluate the service / product / article / response of technical support
  9. When the site wants me to answer a question or fill out a survey
  10. When the site wants to advertise a profitable offer, and it relates to the topic that I watch
  11. When the site wants to advertise a profitable offer, but it does not apply to my topic
  12. When the site displays paid advertising partners
  13. Never

In the question about the actions for which pushed the pop-up, 8% of respondents admitted that they made orders. 16% are ready to share their contacts with the pop-up or fill out a survey. So they get into the database of potential customers.

Useful pop-ups on the useful site work. The negative effect will be if you aggressively advertise everything and give little in return: customers will start to complain, stop visiting the site and will not advise others. Take into account the interests of users.

How to make a pop-up for free: a quick and easy way

What to consider when creating pop-ups

If you decide on an annoying type of ad, embed it with care.

1. Check the pop-up for compliance with the instructions of Coalition for Better Ads

Google Chrome now relies on them when it decides whether to show ads to the user or not. If your ad does not fit into the standards, Chrome may block all ads on the site, including acceptable ones. The data from Yandex.Radar at the beginning of 2018 says that 40% of users in Russia use Chrome. Therefore, ignoring innovations is unprofitable.

So that full-screen pop-up is not blocked on computers or mobile devices, it is necessary that it be silent, non-aggressive, and it can be immediately and easily closed.

You can not:

  • insert video with autoplay and sound;
  • run a countdown without the ability to immediately close the pop-up;
  • fix the pop-up at the bottom of the page so that it occupies more than 30% of the screen;
  • trigger aggressive effects, such as blinking.

You can show when a user:

  • decided to leave the page; for example, introduces another address in the string (but do not interfere with it easily;);
  • inactive for more than 30 seconds on a page where there is no video;
  • came to the end of the first article;
  • moved to another tab, and then returned to your site.

If you are still not sure that pop-up or other advertisements meet the standards, request a site check. And remember that full-screen pop-up scripts from the right column are valid now, but the CBA can add them to the list of unwanted at any time. If you have on your site or appear inappropriate advertising, a message will come from Google, and you will be given 30 days to replace or remove it. Immediately do not block ads, do not worry.

2. Make the pop-up text as short and succinct as possible.

Describe the essence of the proposal and add a concise call to action. Putting the idea in a couple of lines will be easy if the sentence is combined with the information on the page. For example, if a user reads an article about e-commerce, you can offer him a book on this topic:

Example: Lemonstand. Translation: Advanced e-commerce marketing. Free ebook. Advanced e-commerce tips for creating better strategies, increasing subscribers, increasing conversion rates, and more.

If the user is considering a winter collection of jackets, offer a discount on any model in exchange for e-mail. If you are in the restaurant business, on the menu page you can suggest the user to reserve a table via the online form and receive a compliment from the chef. Or so:

When registering for the conference in 2017, the IGCONF website offered to receive free videos of the past year.

To get rid of unnecessary words on the pop-up, you can drive the text through "Glavred." So you make room for the most important.

3. Be polite and do not hold users for idiots

Have you met provocative pop-ups? With the buttons "No, I prefer to earn little", "No, I do not need new customers", etc. According to the marketing expert, such language should put pressure on a person’s pride and push him to press the action button. But reception rather causes rejection. Insult or dishonest antics are unlikely to benefit conversion.

Example: Popudomination. Translation: Would you like higher conversions? I can help you. Yes, I want to dominate with Pop-ups / No, I prefer to sit without subscribers

Even if you fall for your psychological trick, this is not the best start of cooperation.

4. If users have ad-blocks, do not try to bypass them.

This is unethical. If a person has decided to refuse advertising - this is his choice. Such users pop-ups are especially besyat. A person will be angry at the site that “deceived” him, and at the service that protects him from modal windows.

5. Do not overload the site with pop-ups.

If the user has already refused the offer once, do not show it again. Do not put pop-ups on each page, use alternatives. To convey a message to a person is always possible in more humane ways. Here it looks indecent:

When the same type of advertising pursues at every step, it is annoying. Remember user actions and do not show repetitions. If you have already subscribed to the newsletter, then you should not offer to do it again. To avoid duplicates, have to work with cookies.

You can give the user confidence that pop-ups will no longer appear on this site. Add a clickable line "no longer show", and do not show modal windows to the user who clicks it.

6. Create pop-ups that are combined with the site.

The user should have no doubt that the offer is related to you. If the pop-up is done in a different style, it will be perceived as someone else’s advertisements on a subconscious level. The more your pop-up looks like a page, the more the user will associate the advertisement with you.

Do not make the pop-up bright and do not blind the visitor in the hope that he will not miss it exactly. The user will notice the window, even if it is faded, because it will already block part of the page.

If you are afraid that the window will merge with the rest of the information, just darken or lighten the background. When booking.com warns the user that he may miss an advantageous offer, he shows a pop-up in the same style as the site, and the background darkens:

Example: Booking

7. Check for yourself

Would you yourself click on your pop-up? Site owners can write off the uselessness of the proposal for the fact that they are not the target audience, so they would not accept the offer of pop-up. But try to get used to the role of a potential buyer. Would you follow a call to action? Sometimes it's funny and sad about what pop-ups offer:

Popular sports portal sports.ru offers me to share with the world that I did not watch the movie "Moving Up"

8. If you are collecting user data, do not forget to warn about data processing.

If there is a form in the pop-up window that collects information about the user — name, email address, telephone number, etc., then the person needs to confirm that he agrees. You can put a link to the rules, the phrase "I agree to the processing of personal data" and a checkbox. Otherwise, you can get a fine of up to 75,000 rubles.

Many companies ignore or bypass this law. But if you look at the sites of banks, law offices and other serious institutions, this rule is observed.

Example: YouDo

Example: "Bastion"

Example: Sberbank

9. Do not hide the cross and the "close" button

Without a cross and a "close" button, the window as if hints: "Do what we wrote, or die." Do not do it this way.

User experience suggests that the cross should be in the upper right corner, and the button to close under the message on the pop-up. Also give the opportunity to close the window by clicking in any area outside the pop-up.

The more difficult it is to close the offer, the stronger the negative impression of using the site for the visitor; accordingly, it is less likely that he will become your client.

10. Tell the truth

Do not put the counter in the window "the action will end in 50 ... 49 ... 48 seconds" if the action continues for another year. The worst thing is that when the page is reloaded, the countdown will restart.

Source: the online store "Ship"

11. When there is a lot of information, make two alternate pop-ups.

If you understand that it is difficult to fit a sentence in several lines, and you still need to add a form for collecting contacts, divide everything into two windows. Convince & Convert example:

In the first window, the user decides if he needs a book.

On the second user enters email

The email request window is divided into two steps. First, a person must decide whether he needs a free book, and then enter his address. So the user is easier to digest the information, and he is more willing to agree.

12. Let the person know that his actions with the pop-up worked

Consider the feedback that the pop-up will give the user. Do not confuse with the letter that goes to the post office if the person gave you his contact. Feedback should be on the site.

Mysterious silence is not what the user expects. The pop-up should confirm that everything is fine: the letter has been sent, the survey has been filled out, personal data has been received. You can do with the phrase "Thank you for ...". But it is even better to explain to a person what awaits him. Examples:

  • We sent you a letter to the specified address. It should come within 10 minutes.
  • Thank! We will call you within 5 minutes to discuss the project.
  • Your discount is activated. When you pay the order with the total amount, we will automatically withdraw 10%.
  • File download will start in 10-15 seconds. If the download has not started, click on the link.

13. Check pop-ups on all devices.

Your website can come from a computer, tablet or mobile. Make sure the modal window looks correct everywhere. To do this, you can take different devices and visit your site. And you can use tools that show the adaptability of the site. I like Responsinator. Go to the site, enter the address of your page and scroll down to see how it looks on mobile devices.

Responsinator shows how a site with a pop-up looks on an iPhone. When scrolling down, other devices are shown. Each species is signed below.

Still have quirktools:

In quirktools you can even see how the site will look on your TV.

14. Analyze the results

You will not be able to understand whether you are getting the maximum conversion from pop-up or other tools if you have nothing to compare with. Run A / B tests, change the pop-ups to other types of advertising and analyze the results.

Check list

We check if we have foreseen everything:

  • accessible text that explains what you are offering and what you want in return;
  • a place to enter contacts (if you collect them);
  • call-to-action button;
  • cross or close button;
  • feedback on user action;
  • information about the processing of personal data (if you collect them);
  • pop-up is correctly displayed on all devices;
  • Coalition for Better Ads.


  • the line "do not show more";
  • spam protection information;
  • social proof (for example, “15,000 entrepreneurs are already reading us”).

What to replace the classic pop-ups

There are small pop-ups, online chat rooms and other options that can replace traditional pop-ups that cover the whole page. If you reduce the pop-up and allow the user to view the page further, the site will leave a more pleasant impression.

1. Small pop-up windows that minimally cover content

Их называют "поп-аут". Они выезжают сбоку, снизу, сверху. Они привлекают к себе внимание тем, что внезапно появляются, но при этом не мешают пользователю дальше смотреть сайт, не блокируют действия на странице.

Примеры. Окно может всплывать в любом месте и быть любой формы. Слева и наверху тоже можно

На десктопе проследите, чтобы они занимали не более 30 % от страницы, а в мобильной версии отключите. Add a cross in the corner or a close button.

Leadmachine: a concise sentence in one line put on the side. It does not prevent the user from reading the article.

LaModa: the offer blocked the chat window, but still does not interfere with watching the site

Airbaltic example. In the small window offer to subscribe to the newsletter and fly cheaper

2. Static line at the top (hello-bar) or at the bottom of the page

A kind of pop-out that "eats" part of the space. In the line can be a proposal or a subscription form, as in the usual pop-up. There are three main options for how she will behave:

  • hang on the site immediately when you open the page;
  • run over the top of the page;
  • move content down / up.

The first option will be easier for the user, since nothing will overlap and pull his content.

Line layout examples

Do not forget to add a cross to close and make the line less than 30% of the screen.

A good option for "Layfhakera." A translucent shape that slides over the content. It can be conveniently closed by clicking on the cross in the upper right corner:

3. Online chat

It can be just a button anywhere on the page to be clicked on, or a window that opens on its own and greets the user. Reception is distracting, but does not cause as much irritation as pop-ups. It is better to make the window silent and open according to the same rules as full-screen pop-ups. Well, if an employee sits in an online chat and promptly answers user questions.

In the "Texterre" chat opens automatically. If an employee is in place, he will introduce you. If there is no one, you will see an invitation to send a question or review. You will receive the answer as soon as someone appears.

The site "Tinkoff" has three options for how to contact the operator. Until you click on the button, the chat window will not disturb you.

4. Browser Push Notifications

Short pop-up messages with a link to the sender's site. Messages appear on top of all open windows. This increases conversions from notifications to the site.

It looks like a push-notification that comes from the site rg.ru

Your loyal users can subscribe to them voluntarily. This is a common practice among the media, blogs, online stores, etc.

Example: "Russian Newspaper"

Notifications are a great alternative to ezine. It’s easier to get permission from the user: to subscribe to the newsletter via pop-up, a person needs to enter his email address, and to agree to push, press one button. Setting up notifications on the site is not difficult. There are convenient services.

Pop-up alternatives

A good offer will be noticed, even if it does not pop up on a separate window, but will be part of the page. Try and look at the results. It will be more solid, users will be satisfied.

1. Slider with sentences

If you have several suggestions, instead of making several modal windows, just put a large slider on the site. You can make it static and allow the user to switch independently, or you can set the time after which the slider will switch frames automatically. The main thing is to choose the length of time for which the user will have time to read the information on the slide.

Example: Sberbank. The main offers are switched to the top of the site. All close up

2. Form for collecting contacts and a proposal, as part of the page

This is the best pop-up alternative that crashes when you scroll through the page. If you are already sure that a person comes to this point, why bother him with a pop-up? Integrate the subscription form or offer into the page. This is what they did on pushbooks:

Put the form on the side:

GetResponse Example

Offer to get a discount or download the app:

Lamoda example. Discount and link to download the application in the center of the page

Instead of the contact collection form, give links to social networks and invite the user to Telegram. So you too will stay in touch with him.

Digital Bandito example. Together with the links, the site owners give a short description of the benefits that the subscriber receives.

3. Skyscrapers banners

Banners for the entire length or part of the page (but not more than 30%). Usually they are placed on the right:

On a large banner easily fits text, large picture and form to collect contacts. For the site visitor to see the offer anywhere in the page, the offer can be duplicated several times.

Example: Ulmart. Information on the banner is duplicated. Clicking anywhere will direct the user to a sale.

Be sure to check out this type of advertising in the mobile version, because it may not display correctly on a narrow screen, or it may overlap the content.

In the mobile version of Ulmart there is no banner, but the site greets the visitor with a large slider with information about the sale.

4. Native advertising

Natural advertising. It harmoniously looks in the context of the article or on the page where the user went, coincides with his interests. These are links to online store products in a culinary recipe, restaurant information in traveler’s notes, clinic contacts in the article on laser vision correction. The best place for native advertising is a corporate blog.

Sample Lowcarb.lv: links to online store products are inserted into the recipe

Sample The Village: information about the cafe in the overview of the places where to drink coffee in the Turk


  • If the love of users is most important to you, do not put pop-ups.
  • In order not to fall under the block of Google Chrome, do not use ads that users consider unnecessarily annoying.
  • Remember the user. Your guest does not like pop-ups, but he will be glad if he gets something valuable.
  • Test, not limited to one type of advertising. You can not judge the effectiveness, if not what to compare. Experiment. So you will find a pop-up or alternative that will give you the best conversion.
  • Combine 2-3 types of advertising on the site, but do not get carried away. When several buttons and calls are at war for attention, the user will start worrying and will not click anywhere. Ideally, when a person sees only one targeted action on a page.
  • The main thing: try to look at the advertisement through the eyes of the user, evaluate the usefulness. Forcing a person to perform an action is not a goal. The goal is to interest and help make the right choice.

A little good utopia:

Watch the video: How To Surf: Alternative Pop-Up Technique, Common Errors & Corrections 33 - (February 2020).


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