Pop-Ups For Ecommerce: Do They Really Work? - ReEngager

Pop-Ups For Ecommerce: Do They Really Work?



Whether you love ’em or hate ’em, you’ve gotta admit, they’ve taken over the internet. It’s impossible to spend a few minutes online without running into a pesky pop-up offer. Sometimes they offer a discount. Sometimes they offer a free report. Sometimes they offer a free phone call.

The question is:

Do they work for ecommerce and online retailers?

In today’s episode, discover if you need to be using pop-ups with your store.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • if pop-ups really work for ecommerce stores and online retailers
  • whether discounts are the best strategy with pop-ups
  • what your store needs to do after someone signs up to maximize long term revenue
  • how pop-ups compare to more traditional sidebar pop-ups
  • how one store with 44,000 monthly visitors increased their sign-ups by 1,000%

People on this episode:

Mentioned in this interview/episode:

Listening options:


Welcome to ReEngager Podcast for online retailers and e-commerce stores. You’re about to discover how to increase sales by 15 to 30% or more with email marketing. If you’d like to learn more about ReEngager and how we help online stores like yours add millions to the bottom line, go to reengager.com. That’s R-E-E-N-G-A-G-E-R.com.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of the ReEngager Podcast. Now first of all, I just want to say – I want to start by saying thank you for tuning in, if you’ve been listening to a few different episodes now. I hope you’ve been finding it valuable. If you do have any feedback, please shoot me an email. It’s john@reengager.com. You can also leave comments on any of the podcast episodes on the website at reengager.com. Or even better, I would love it if you could jump over into iTunes – search for the ReEngager Podcast, and leave me an iTunes review. Now in the future I may read these out on the show, so if you do leave a link to your website or business, I will be happy to mention it when I read these out. So, so yeah.

Anyway, let’s get into it. Now today I’ve got a really, really cool topic to talk about – pop ups. Now the reason why I chuckle a little bit there is ’cause some people have a – pretty much you either love pop ups or you hate pop ups. There are people on both sides of the coin. Very few people are somewhere in the middle. It’s either like, “Oh I love them, they work really well.” Or it, “Oh I really hate those things. They really annoy me.” So, the question is, is it worth – are pop ups worth using for online retailers? For people who – for companies that are selling physical goods online and shipping them out.

Now here’s the thing. Did you know that most people won’t buy on the first visit to your website? It’s pretty straightforward, right? Now a friend of mine’s very fond of something he calls the 3, 47, 50 rule. And the basic idea is this. 3% of people will buy when they first visit. 47% will buy later, and 57% will never buy– 50% will never buy, okay? So 3% buy on the first visit. 47 buy later. 50% never buy. Now, if you’re not– What that means, is if you’re not collecting leads, if you’re not collecting subscribers – even if they’re not buying. If you’re not collecting those things, you’re losing out on 47% of the overall sales.

Now this is just a rough benchmark. That’s not like a scientific fact. But it’s a way of thinking or a framework. A heuristic, a way of thinking through what you can do to improve the website. So the more people that you can get to join your email database, even if they haven’t bought anything – you’re going to add revenue over the long term, okay? And next week, in the next show, we’ll talk about what you actually send them to maximize that long term revenue. But today, I really want to focus just on the pop ups.

So the idea is here – some will buy first, but the majority will just browse around your site, click on a product here, check out this product – and then they leave. And a lot of them won’t even add, they won’t– We talked about cart abandonment in the last episode, in a recent episode. And you’re not going to be able to use cart abandonment unless you’ve – unless they’ve actually added something to the cart.

So we’re talking about, these are the people who – they visited, they’ve left, they haven’t added anything to the cart. Now the problem is, that if you don’t follow up with them via email, they’re obviously going to forget you by the time they’re ready to buy. And here’s the other thing. If you don’t follow up with them at all, except for a weekly or a monthly promotion where you just blast the crap out of your database with an offer – that’s just terrible too, okay?

So we’re leaving huge revenue on the table. And it is with cart abandonment, is with everything I’ve discussed here on this show. Email marketing, life cycle marketing is another word for it. It’s a multiplier, okay? So the bigger the store, the higher the revenue, the higher the volume – the more potential this has. If you have a small store, then you can get a small lift. We’re talking 10 to 30%. So 10 to 30% of a big 100 million dollar store is 10 to 30 million dollars. Which is a nice chunk of change there if you’re trying to grow sales, right? So now, the thing here is that if you don’t follow up as well, they’re obviously going to buy from someone else who does do the follow-up. So, but you can’t do the follow-up unless you have them on your database.

So let’s talk about this, pop ups. What can you do to use pop ups? Well first, let’s talk about the stats. Do they actually work, or–? Actually let’s step back even further and go, “What is a pop up?” Now, a pop up, if you don’t know – is that sometimes annoying box that pops up when you’re on a website that says, “Hi, if you sign up below, we’ll give you 10% off your first order.” That’s the way you might use it on a retail site. On another site, it might say, “Look, put your email address in, and we’ll send you a free guide to – on how to lose weight.” That would be in a different type of site. On a software website, you might say, “Well look, here’s a whitepaper that we’re going to give you on all the different facts and figures around using our software to automate your sales process.” Something like that. And you sign up and – it’s a pop up, okay?

Now really, for the sake of this episode, and ’cause what we’re talking about here is not just – it’s not– Pop up is a – sort of beside the point. The outcome that you need, and that the clients that ReEngager works with, that we work with– What you need is more subscribers. More, well you call them subscribers, customers, prospects, leads – you need more of them. The more of them you have, the more revenue you’re going to be able to generate from them. So pop ups is one way. But what we’re really talking about is, what are some devices – what are some things, some strategies that you can use to get people into that database. Whether they bought– Even when they don’t buy on that first visit.

There’s a few ways to do that. So obviously a few different approaches, which you’ve probably seen. Now interestingly, you’ve got the sidebar pop up. But pop ups in one test, pop ups drove 1375% more email captures. That’s 13 times more email captures, when you compare it with the side bar opt in form, okay? So a lot of sites, you see this on blogs. They have a form in the sidebar. Now on e-commerce site, on a platform like Magenta or Kentico or different platforms – it’s going to be harder to do that. Because you’re going to have – you want the product to take up the prime real estate. So that’s where pop ups are useful.

So what I would do on any site, what my suggestion would be, is to – down the bottom, you want to have a section where – obviously this is, not many people are going to fill this one out. So this is the lowest, probably the lowest thing you could do. Add a little banner there that says, “Sign up.” And make them some kind of offer. Whether it’s a discount, it could be a buyer’s guide. It could be some sort of package, some sort of valuable information. Something that’s going to incentivize to get on the list. And you’re going to have to test this to find out what’s there. Some industries, all people want is discounts. Other industries it’s different, okay? So you’re going to have to test.

Now the next best is – or one of the next best things is going to be the standard pop up. Now how that works is it can display, you can have different triggering rules. It can either display when someone just arrives on the site. Or you can say, “Give it 30 seconds, and then display it.” That’s pretty standard. Now as far as what it looks like, you want to have a headline. You want to basically tell them, here’s what you’re going to get if you sign up.” And then tell them what to do. “Get 10% off, put your email address in the box below and click ‘sign up now.'” Something like that. “Send me my discount.” You want to make this dead simple. So imagine if a 4 year old visited the website, would they be able to figure out that pop up? Would they be able to figure out what they do? Or your 80 year old grandfather. If he got onto the website and that came up, would he be able to read it, and figure out what you want him to do? That’s the test.

Now my favorite way of doing this, which is still a pop up, but it’s a little bit different. Is the exit intent pop up. Now what that means is – there’s some great technology around in 2015, these days. Where you can track when someone’s going to leave your website. And that sounds a bit spooky, but the general idea is that you’re tracking someone’s mouse movements. So as they move their mouse over the site, when they decide they’re going to leave, most people are going to move that mouse up to the x in the tab or in the window – and click the x to get out. And what you can do is, when you move – when that mouse leaves the, what’s called the view port or the window. And moves up towards that x, you can actually track that and trigger a pop up.

Now that’s a great time to do it, okay? Because at this, at that point you know that – well they haven’t bought anything yet, otherwise they wouldn’t be leaving. Well, they haven’t bought anything yet, and now they’re leaving, okay? Because if they – the, part of this is that you don’t want to annoy someone to the point where they don’t want to buy. So give them a chance to buy, and this is why I like the exit intent. It gives them the opportunity to sign up after they’ve more or less said, “no,” to the opportunity to buy. So the exit intent popup comes up. Same rules apply. So you still want to make it dead simple for them to figure out what’s going on. But it triggers on the exit, when they go to exit. Very simple. There’s a lot of different software out there these days that will do it for you.

Now here’s the, here’s another thing that’s worth pointing out. Was having a great, fascinating conversation with a friend recently. And it was about how software is becoming commoditized. Now what I mean by that is that 5 or 10 years ago, if you wanted to get some email opt in software, it would be expensive, it would be clunky and complicated and difficult to use, difficult to implement – it’d be a nightmare, right? These days, in 2015 as of this recording, it’s – there are just so many pop up software, email software providers out there. It’s incredible. And a lot of them are very cheap. You can get started with some pop up software for as little as 20 or 30 dollars a month. It will scale depending on your volume.

Now if you’re an enterprise company, you are going to find that you have budgets for more software. And what I would suggest, is that if you do have a big budget – instead of investing it in some software that’s very much commoditized these days. It’s just very cheap to produce. Invest it in a strategy .Working with a company, whether it’s ReEngager, whether it’s us – whether it’s someone else. That’s where the, that’s where the magic happens. That’s where the science is right now. Is figuring out the strategy, and using the– It’s not the software that’s going to make this a huge win for you, it’s the strategy and how you get it implemented. And so however you see fit to do that, I would focus on that area. ‘Cause you can get up and running with some very, very simple, simple software very fast. Software’s just getting cheaper and cheaper and easier to use, okay?

So that’s it for today. This is the ReEngager Podcast. If you want some links, if you want to check out the show notes, that’s at reengager.com. Next week – next week we’re going to be looking into– Well next week, well first of all – got an interview with a friend of mine, Matt Paulson. He’s one of the best email marketers that I know of. One of the best guys I know of to talk to on the topic of email marketing and all the different things you can do. So definitely check that out. And the week after that, the episode after that – going to be diving into the welcome series. And this is what you’re going to want to be sending people after they obviously sign up, okay? This is what we’re going to do to maximize their long term revenue, long term customer value, okay? Don’t miss it, hope you’ve enjoyed today. I will see you then.

Hi there, thanks for listening to the ReEngager Podcast today. If you’d like to discover more about email marketing for online retailers and e-commerce stores, go to reengager.com. That’s R-E-E-N-G-A-G-E-R.com. Use our ROI calculator to find out how much you could increase sales with email marketing, or book in for a free strategy session with a ReEngager email marketing expert. Get started now at reengager.com. That’s R-E-E-N-G-A-G-E-R.com.

Intro music by DJ Rkod and George_Ellinas.

John McIntyre

As a freelance copywriter, I used rapid reengagement to become a "mini celebrity" in my market and charge 10x what my competitors did. Now I help business coaches use the same principles to demonstrate their authority, dominate their competition and double their profit.