There is so much delicious hypocrisy surrounding website popups and overlays.

Your customers might say, “We hate them! They are annoying!”

You might say, “No wonder – even I hate them on sites I visit!”

So… why does everyone keep using these oh-so-infuriating lead capture tools?

Here’s the deal: the vocal minority of website visitors will always complain about pop-ups. But they aren’t the ones who sign up!

So… is it worth pissing off a few people who will never become your customers, in return for getting more qualified leads for your business?

Of course it is!

The truth is, carefully crafted pop-ups can double your website conversions. This means you will have a bigger audience to sell to, and more revenue in the future.

Ah, the magic of online distribution…

Let’s talk about how you can use pop-ups and overlays the smart way:

  • In a way that grabs attention…
  • In a way that adds value to your target audience…
  • And most importantly, in a way that converts like gangbusters!

These 5 strategies will help you do just that. Let’s dive in!

Interesting Pop Ups

#1. Provide value for free

Giving away your knowledge and expertise in exchange for an email address is a tactic that has worked wonderfully in the past, works amazingly well now, and will work just as well in the future.

People like to get something for free. Something that will solve a problem (like our free magical tool of more attention), teach them something new, or even simply entertain them.

This piece of marketing advice is so obvious it’s not even funny. But you’d be surprised how many business owners happily ignore it – and miss out on thousands of leads every month. Don’t be like them!

#2. Stop abandoning visitors in their tracks

First-time visitors are fickle and delicate creatures. Even if they loved your website to bits, most of them (up to 98%) won’t come back for seconds. Losing strong potential leads is something a business owner can’t afford.

Exit-intent technology is a powerful way to capture abandoning visitors just as they are about to skedaddle. According to Neil Patel from Quicksprout, it’s an effective and underused strategy (#9 on his list) that could boost your conversions by as much as 46% – or more!

Worth trying, don’t you think?

#3. Command their full attention

You’d think that making a pop-up more conspicuous and more in-your-face would hurt conversions… but more and more business owners and online entrepreneurs are finding that the opposite is true!

A full-screen call to action is something that could triple the email signups on your website (at least according to SumoMe) and make any page your highest-converting page. Who knew, right?

#4. Incentivize impulse buys

If you’re selling something directly on the website, offering a discount is probably the easiest way to convert new visitors. Long-term, you don’t want them to get used to lower prices – but short-term, why not nudge them closer to an impulse purchase?

And what better way to tell someone about a discount than through an overlay?

This is something we touched on in our recent holiday marketing post. But you don’t have to wait until it’s time to munch on turkey, or until Santa gets stuck in a chimney. You can do this year-round, enticing passive visitors to become first-time buyers!

#5. Provoke their curiosity

Sometimes, you don’t want a big, boisterous pop-up. Sometimes, you want a small bar on top or at the bottom of your page that just has a short description and an opt-in form or call to action.

It’s the marketing equivalent of a treasure chest left unlocked: something awesome is inside, but it’s up to the person to flip the lid and find out.

As of this writing, I Will Teach You to Be Rich has one of the finest examples of a curiosity-driven call to action. Just a bar that says “How to Make $10,000 in 10 Minutes” – and a button. So incredibly clickable.

Bottom line? Pop-ups and overlays are annoying – to small, loud, but ultimately harmless fraction of your target audience. Which is also the most useless fraction of it.

Pop-ups and overlays are also the best way to get the people who are the most likely to buy from you to stick around and pay attention to what your business is doing. Using them to grow your audience isn’t even a trade-off – it’s a no-brainer.

And we hope that the 5 strategies we’ve shared with you will help your business grow faster in 2016 and beyond!