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5 Mind-blowing Use Cases for Website Popups You’ve Never Considered (Includes Augmented Reality)

Okay, so perhaps only one of these use cases will blow your mind, but it’s worth risking being labeled as click-bait to get this in your hands. Read on for the coolest things you can do with website popups. Ever. Including augmented reality. Yup.

Example #1: The Augmented Reality Customer Postcard

Alright, people. Prepare to have your minds blown. This example comes from one of our designers, and chief hackers, at Unbounce, Luis Francisco.

Imagine the image below is a postcard you sent to your customers.

They visit the URL printed on it, and then this happens!

Watch me blow my own mind

Try it yourself

Note: This demo uses your laptop’s camera (it won’t work without one). Follow these instructions to see how it works!

  1. Print out the postcard image (opens in new tab)
  2. Open this landing page (opens in new tab)
  3. Grant access to your camera when asked by the browser.
  4. Hold the postcard in front of your camera to see the magic! (Stand a few feet back).

Example #2: The Website Login Hijack

35% of all visitors to Unbounce.com are only there to log in to the app. You read that correctly. Thirty-five percent. You can see the details in this GA screenshot from the month of January 2018.

This is an incredibly common thing for SaaS businesses, where customers will visit the homepage to click the login link. You’ll want to create a segment in Google Analytics for this, so you can remove it from your non-customer website behavior analysis.

It’s a huge opportunity for product marketing.

If you drop a cookie on your login screen that identifies the visitor as someone trying to log in, you can then use the cookie targeting built into Unbounce to target returning account holders with a website popup containing new product release info, along with a large login link that makes their experience even easier.

Click here or the image below to see an example popup.

Example #3: Social Referral Welcome

Are you doing as much as you can to convert your visitors from social? Probably not, but that’s okay. For this idea you can add an extra level of personalization by detecting the referring site (an Unbounce popup feature) and present a welcome experience relevant to that source.

You can take it a step further and have custom URL parameters on the social link that populate the popup with relevant content.

This is made possible by the Dynamic Text Replacement feature in Unbounce.

Check out the Tweet below. When I shared the blog post on Twitter, I added a URL parameter to the end of the URL so it reads:

https://postURL/?postTitle=“Maybe Later” - A New Interaction Model for E-commerce Entrance Popups

Try clicking the link in the Tweet. It will take you to our blog, and will show you a popup that’s only triggered when the referrer is Twitter (specifically a URL that contains t.co which is the Twitter URL shortener).

This is a really powerful way of connecting two previously disparate experiences, extending the information scent from one site to another. All without writing a single line of code.

Example #4: Preferred Social Network Share Request

If someone comes to you from twitter it’s a strong signal that Twitter is a social network of choice – or at least somewhere where they look for and respond to, socially shared content. As such you can give them a customized tweet ready for that network when they’ve demonstrated some engagement with your blog.

Using the referrer URL targeting option in Unbounce you can easily detect a visit from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Which is what I showed you in the previous example.

You can use different triggers for this concept that are likely to be more indicative of someone who’s engaged with the post. I’d suggest the scroll trigger (either up or down), time delay, or exit.

The reason I like this approach is that most people have a preferred social network. Mine is Twitter. If you give me a specific task, such as “Would you share this on Twitter for me, please?” with a Tweet button and prepared Tweet text, I’m more likely to engage versus having 5 social share buttons at the side or bottom of the post with no instructions.

Click here or the image below to see this concept in a popup.

You’d then craft a really good Tweet, with text or links specific to this tactic so you can measure its impact.

BTW: the button in that popup is functional and will actually Tweet about this blog post. I’d really love a share from you, just so you know. Show the popup again so you can Tweet it.

Example #5: Joke of the Day

Let’s end the post with a fun one. I’m sure you’ve all seen those messages or jokes that appear on Slack as it’s loading (it’s a thing). It can be fun to have that unusable time filled with something delightful.

Well, this is kinda like that, except that it’s not appearing during a loading sequence, it’s just straight up thrown in the face of your visitors. Because we need to experiment, people!!!!!!!!!

For bonus points, only show this to folks who have the cookie set in example #2 – “The Website Login Hijack” cos they’re customers and might appreciate it.

To do this, I took Unbounce co-founder and Chief Product Officer, Carter Gilchrist’s pet project “Good Bad Jokes” and embedded a random joke into an iframe in a popup. Boom!

Fair warning, some of these jokes are a little NSFW.

Click here for your Joke Of The Day.


Now go back to the top and try the augmented reality example again, and then share it on your preferred social network because it’s awesome, and that’s an awesome way to do business!

Cheers my dears,
Oli

Original source – 

5 Mind-blowing Use Cases for Website Popups You’ve Never Considered (Includes Augmented Reality)

5 Legitimately Cool Use Cases for Website Popups You’ve Never Considered (Includes Augmented Reality)

Okay, so perhaps only one of these use cases will blow your mind, but it’s worth risking being labeled as click-bait to get this in your hands. Read on for the coolest things you can do with website popups. Ever. Including augmented reality. Yup.

Example #1: The Augmented Reality Customer Postcard

Alright, people. Prepare to have your minds blown. This example comes from one of our designers, and chief hackers, at Unbounce, Luis Francisco.

Imagine the image below is a postcard you sent to your customers.

They visit the URL printed on it, and then this happens!

Watch me blow my own mind

Try it yourself

Note: This demo uses your laptop’s camera (it won’t work without one). Follow these instructions to see how it works!

  1. Print out the postcard image (opens in new tab)
  2. Open this landing page (opens in new tab)
  3. Grant access to your camera when asked by the browser.
  4. Hold the postcard in front of your camera to see the magic! (Stand a few feet back).

Example #2: The Website Login Hijack

35% of all visitors to Unbounce.com are only there to log in to the app. You read that correctly. Thirty-five percent. You can see the details in this GA screenshot from the month of January 2018.

This is an incredibly common thing for SaaS businesses, where customers will visit the homepage to click the login link. You’ll want to create a segment in Google Analytics for this, so you can remove it from your non-customer website behavior analysis.

It’s a huge opportunity for product marketing.

If you drop a cookie on your login screen that identifies the visitor as someone trying to log in, you can then use the cookie targeting built into Unbounce to target returning account holders with a website popup containing new product release info, along with a large login link that makes their experience even easier.

Click here or the image below to see an example popup.

Example #3: Social Referral Welcome

Are you doing as much as you can to convert your visitors from social? Probably not, but that’s okay. For this idea you can add an extra level of personalization by detecting the referring site (an Unbounce popup feature) and present a welcome experience relevant to that source.

You can take it a step further and have custom URL parameters on the social link that populate the popup with relevant content.

This is made possible by the Dynamic Text Replacement feature in Unbounce.

Check out the Tweet below. When I shared the blog post on Twitter, I added a URL parameter to the end of the URL so it reads:

https://postURL/?postTitle=“Maybe Later” - A New Interaction Model for E-commerce Entrance Popups

Try clicking the link in the Tweet. It will take you to our blog, and will show you a popup that’s only triggered when the referrer is Twitter (specifically a URL that contains t.co which is the Twitter URL shortener).

This is a really powerful way of connecting two previously disparate experiences, extending the information scent from one site to another. All without writing a single line of code.

Example #4: Preferred Social Network Share Request

If someone comes to you from twitter it’s a strong signal that Twitter is a social network of choice – or at least somewhere where they look for and respond to, socially shared content. As such you can give them a customized tweet ready for that network when they’ve demonstrated some engagement with your blog.

Using the referrer URL targeting option in Unbounce you can easily detect a visit from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. Which is what I showed you in the previous example.

You can use different triggers for this concept that are likely to be more indicative of someone who’s engaged with the post. I’d suggest the scroll trigger (either up or down), time delay, or exit.

The reason I like this approach is that most people have a preferred social network. Mine is Twitter. If you give me a specific task, such as “Would you share this on Twitter for me, please?” with a Tweet button and prepared Tweet text, I’m more likely to engage versus having 5 social share buttons at the side or bottom of the post with no instructions.

Click here or the image below to see this concept in a popup.

You’d then craft a really good Tweet, with text or links specific to this tactic so you can measure its impact.

BTW: the button in that popup is functional and will actually Tweet about this blog post. I’d really love a share from you, just so you know. Show the popup again so you can Tweet it.

Example #5: Joke of the Day

Let’s end the post with a fun one. I’m sure you’ve all seen those messages or jokes that appear on Slack as it’s loading (it’s a thing). It can be fun to have that unusable time filled with something delightful.

Well, this is kinda like that, except that it’s not appearing during a loading sequence, it’s just straight up thrown in the face of your visitors. Because we need to experiment, people!!!!!!!!!

For bonus points, only show this to folks who have the cookie set in example #2 – “The Website Login Hijack” cos they’re customers and might appreciate it.

To do this, I took a fun joke site called “Good Bad Jokes” and embedded a random joke into an iframe in a popup. Boom!

Fair warning, some of these jokes are a little NSFW.

Click here for your Joke Of The Day.


Now go back to the top and try the augmented reality example again, and then share it on your preferred social network because it’s awesome, and that’s an awesome way to do business!

Cheers my dears,
Oli

Read this article: 

5 Legitimately Cool Use Cases for Website Popups You’ve Never Considered (Includes Augmented Reality)

Changing On-Page Behavior with Sticky Navigation and Data-Driven Design

As an optimizer, there’s nothing that excites me more than using design to change on-page behavior. By “change”, I mean to positively influence visitors to achieve their (and your) goals more effectively, and sticky navigation is a great way to increase your odds of driving behavioral change.

The best way I know to design experiences that change on-page behavior is to use my Data-Driven Design (3D) framework to gather and observe available data, and use the Micro Metrics Method (3M) to guide design exploration.

This is what I’ll be showing you today by using sticky navigation on a long landing page and also on this blog post.

It’ll help you move around the content while secretly showing you the cool things you can do with Unbounce ;)


What is Data-Driven Design? (3D)

Data-Driven Design is an 8-step collaborative optimization process designed to help your marketing team work together to increase conversions, but more importantly, to develop empathy for your customers and your coworkers. It begins with The 3D Playbook, which is an interactive lookup table that helps narrow down the data types you should be looking at when trying to optimize your landing pages, websites, and more.

It looks like the screenshot below, and you can check it out at this link. The process for using it needs more explanation that I can give in this post, but I am doing a webinar at Marketing Optimization Week where I’ll cover it in depth.

One of the most important steps in the process is taking the observations we make looking at data (analytics, heatmaps, usability tests etc.), and working as a team to design solutions to each of the problems you observe. Measuring the impact that these design changes have is called the Micro Metric Method (3M).


What is the Micro Metrics Method? (3M)

When you make observations as a team (I recommend you include a designer, copywriter, and marketer), not only are the solutions better, but the collaborative nature helps with team/client/executive buy-in for the changes you’ll propose. You can see a session I ran recently below. We watched usability test videos and took notes about the observations we were making in a shared doc that is created for you as part of the 3D Playbook (when you choose a page element from the menu it will create a series of worksheets for you and your team – the instructions on the first page of the sheet explain how).

A marketing team following the Data-Driven Design process

A definition of micro metrics

A completed worksheet with observations, severity ratings, and those assigned as micro metrics

The design solution sketches the team came up with to solve the problems identified by the micro metrics


I’m actually giving my Data-Driven Design for Marketing Teams talk for Marketing Optimization Week, so you should definitely register for that and I’ll run you through the whole process. MOW is a 4-day event from Feb 20-23 and I’m on the last day.

How to Use Sticky Navigation to Change On-Page Behavior

I’ve set up a demo page that shows a long landing page with a sticky nav that I created using an Unbounce Sticky Bar with some CSS to hide the close button. The goal of sticky navigation is to increase the level of engagement with your page by presenting persistent options that explain what’s available on the page.

I really love this approach to landing page design, where it’s standard – and recommended – to not have navigation (that takes you away from the page). In particular, it’s great because it’s persistent. It scrolls with you so the opportunity for behaviorally interesting clicks doesn’t go away. What I mean by that is that there’s so much more data to collect when the navigation follows you down the page. When it’s fixed to the top of the page, you have very few opportunities beyond the very first click, to get a sense of which items trigger intent.

According to The 3D Playbook, for sticky navigation, we should first look at heatmap data and the click-through rate of each navigation link, as well as the primary call to action you have on your page.

In the Unbounce app, I used a sticky bar to create a navigation bar, assigning each link to the ID of a page element on the landing page that it would reside on.

Below is a screenshot of the sticky nav that shows up on every post of Product Awareness Month (except this one and one other where I’m demoing sticky bars). I’ll be sharing the data I collected from this, and a gazillion other data sources, in the end of month results show.

Sticky nav helps increase engagement with your content, bringing people further down the page to sections they may otherwise not see, and almost as importantly, it lets you measure what people ate interested in.

DEMO: How to Use Sticky Navigation to Increase Blog Engagement

You can click here to show a sticky nav on this blog post. I’ve set it up so that the nav links connect to different “chapters” of the post. It’s a great way to direct your readers, and also to gather valuable engagement data by looking at click heatmaps and analytics.

It’s very easy in Unbounce to duplicate a Sticky Bar and apply it to another page! Huzzah! Product awareness in action. Remember to click here to show the sticky nav.

Notice the CSS ID shown for the click target in the screenshot below (it says URL: “#register-for-mow”). This makes the nav link jump to the corresponding section of the blog post that I set up by adding an ID to a page element.

Sticky Nav in Unbounce: links to #register-for-mow

#register-for-mow as a target ID in the blog post

Do me a favour and click on the nav so I get some heat map data. It won’t be legitimate as I’m asking you to do it, but hey, shits and giggles amiright?

This post wandered a bit into a few directions, but I hope you got a sense for how I like to think about optimization, why sticky nav is awesome, and why we need more collaborative frameworks like Data-Driven Design.

Cheers
Oli


p.s. Register for Marketing Optimization Week to see 4 days of the most badass content including my Data-Driven Design framework, plus Larry Kim from Mobile Monkey, Dana DiTomaso form KickPoint, Purna Virji from Microsoft, David Gerhardt from Drift, and many more.

Taken from: 

Changing On-Page Behavior with Sticky Navigation and Data-Driven Design

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[Mobile] How to Turn Your Blog Posts Into a Mobile App Experience – Using Sticky Bars

With so much of your traffic coming from people’s phones, it’s essential that we start to craft exceptional mobile experiences. This means going beyond simple responsive design if you’re going to create a superior mobile UX (user experience) that stands out from your competition.

IMPORTANT: Use your phone to read this post – it’s designed as a mobile experience.

***Click here to show a mobile nav bar***. The concept here is to use a nav bar with icons, to turn this blog post into an app-like mobile user experience. Click the nav buttons to move up and down the blog post on your phone and you’ll get a sense of how the experience has changed from a regular blog post reading experience.

You can use this technique with landing pages, blog posts, or anywhere you want to create a mobile app experience.

For those reading on desktop, this is what you’ll see at the bottom of your mobile browser.


Why Do Landing Pages (and Your Blog) Need Good Mobile UX?

When a landing page or blog post is long, there will most likely be a small percentage of visitors who will actually read the whole thing. You can increase engagement, and make a better experience if you guide people to the most important chapters or segments of the content.

***Click here to show the mobile nav bar***.

To achieve this you can use a navigation bar with clearly labeled sections that are not only helpful but and also feels like you’re inside an app native to your phone.


Turning Your Landing Page into an App-Like Mobile Experience with Unbounce Sticky Bars – in 4 Simple Steps

I’ve set it up so there are 4 main sections in the blog post that you can navigate to using the sticky app nav. So go ahead and click the nav icons to jump to each of the four steps you can follow to add this experience to your own landing pages and blog posts.


Step #1 – Create a Sticky Bar With Retina-Grade Icons

I created a sticky bar with four icons. To make them retina I made them with a width of 160px and a height of 130px, and shrank them to 80×65 in the Unbounce builder. To do this, I added 4 boxes and set the background style to be “Image” and “Background to fit container”. Then I added a fully transparent button above each of the images (because boxes don’t have a link action) to link to each of the 4 page sections.


Step #2 – Add Anchor Links and Sections

You can do this by setting the link action of the icons to point to a page element ID. For instance, the horizontal rule (line) that appears above step #2, has an ID of “section2”. In Unbounce this looks like the settings below. Note that the target of the link is set to “Parent Frame” as the Sticky Bar is set in an iframe above the page.


Step #3 – Hide the Close Button with CSS

As with many hacks that I’ve come up with for Product Awareness Month, this one requires that we hide the “Close” button that is part of the Sticky Bar functionality. When your Sticky Bar is used for promotional purposes it’s important that people can close it. But when you’re creating a navigational experience, the bar becomes part of the interface, and we need it to be always present.

To do this, you need to add a line of CSS to the landing page or blog that you want it to appear on. Note: this is not an official Unbounce feature, so your best bet for geeking out with functionality will be in the Unbounce community.

.ub-emb-iframe-wrapper .ub-emb-close visibility: hidden;

Step #4 – Look at Your Phone and Say Hells Yeah!

I can’t state enough how much I think this is a better mobile experience, so please give it a try and join the conversation in the comments (or ping me on Twitter).

Cheers
Oli

Taken from – 

[Mobile] How to Turn Your Blog Posts Into a Mobile App Experience – Using Sticky Bars

A Blueprint for the Perfect Popup: Structured Design for Unstructured Marketers

Is it possible to design the perfect popup? One so fiercely potent that people just can’t refuse to convert?

Of course not.

As small as seemingly simple as a popup is, it’s still important to understand a little about its anatomy. There are five primary elements to make up the architecture of a popup, and then there’s a layer of interaction design beneath that which deals with the functional aspects such as triggers and targeting.

The five primary elements of a popup blueprint are:

  1. Headline and subhead
  2. Offer details
  3. Hero images
  4. Trust and social proof
  5. Call to Action

Using a structural approach to your popup designs helps us avoid mistakes and choose the right interaction modes and content elements that will create a good conversion experience.

Obviously, you can’t use every version of every element on a single small popup, but you can choose the best parts of each anatomical section to craft something that presents your offer in the best possible way.

An important thing to know is that the circled icons beneath each section represent Unbounce functionality that allows you to make your popups way more awesome than they would be if you simply showed it to everyone.

Got any weird and wonderful popup designs?

If you have designs that include elements I didn’t include in the blueprint, share them in the comments so I can add them to my layout specs.

Popups that don’t suck, rule! Make better popups, please.

Cheers,
Oli

p.s. See what Unbounce Popups look like on your website with the new Live Preview Tool. It’s really cool.

p.p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates for the rest of Product Awareness Month. If you click that link a popup will appear!

Read more:

A Blueprint for the Perfect Popup: Structured Design for Unstructured Marketers

Technology isn’t the Problem, We Are: 5 Horrific Website Popup Examples

It’s Day 5 of Product Marketing Month. Today I get to bash some really bad popup examples. Yuss! — Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner

But before I bring the heat, I want to talk a bit about what it’s like, as a product marketer, to be marketing something that’s difficult to market.

You see, there’s a common problem that many marketers face, and it’s also one of the most asked questions I hear when I’m on the road, as a speaker:

“How do I great marketing for a boring product or service?”

That’s a tough challenge for sure, although the good news is that if you can inject some originality you’ll be a clear winner, as all of your competitors are also boring. However, I think I can one-up that problem:

“How do I do great marketing for something that’s universally hated, like popups?”

We knew we had a big challenge ahead of us when we decided to release the popups product because of the long legacy of manipulative abuse it carries with it.

In fact, as the discussion about product direction began in the office, there were some visceral (negative) reactions from some folks on the engineering team. They feared that we were switching over to the dark side.

It makes sense to me that this sentiment would come from developers. In my experience, really good software developers have one thing in common. They want to make a difference in the world. Developers are makers by design, and part of building something is wanting it to have a positive impact on those who use it.

To quell those types of fears requires a few things;

  • Education about the positive use cases for the technology,
  • Evidence in the form of good popup examples, showcasing how to use them in a delightful and responsible manner,
  • Features such as advanced triggers & targeting to empower marketers to deliver greater relevance to visitors,
  • And most important of all – it requires us to take a stance. We can’t change the past unless we lead by example.

It’s been my goal since we started down this path, to make it clear that we are drawing a line in the sand between the negative past, and a positive future.

Which is why we initially launched with the name “Overlays” instead of popups.

Overlays vs. Popups – The End of an Era

It made a lot of sense at the time, from a branding perspective. Through podcast interviews and public speaking gigs, I was trying to change the narrative around popups. Whenever I was talking about a bad experience, I would call it a popup. When it was a positive (and additive) experience, I’d call it an overlay. It was a really good way to create a clear separation.

I even started to notice more and more people calling them overlays. Progress.

Unfortunately, it would still require a lot of continued education to make a dent in the global perception of the terminology, that with the search volume for “overlays” being tiny compared to popups, factored heavily into our decision to pivot back to calling a popup a popup.

Positioning is part of a product marketer’s job – our VP of Product Marketing, Ryan Engley recently completed our most recent positioning document for the new products. Just as the umbrella term “Convertables” we had been using to include popups and sticky bars had created confusion, “Overlays” was again making the job harder than it should have been. You can tell, just from reading this paragraph alone that it’s a complex problem, and we’re moving in the right direction by re-simplifying.

The biggest challenge developing our positioning was the number of important strategic questions that we needed to answer first. The market problems we solve, for who, how our product fits today with our vision for the future, who we see ourselves competing with, whether we position ourselves as a comprehensive platform that solves a unique problem, or whether we go to market with individual products and tools etc. It’s a beast of an undertaking.

My biggest lightbulb moment was working with April Dunford who pushed me to get away from competing tool-to-tool with other products. She said in order to win that way, you’d have to be market leading in every tool, and that won’t happen. So what’s the unique value that only you offer and why is it important?

— Ryan Engley, VP Product Marketing at Unbounce

You can read more about our initial product adoption woes, and how our naming conventions hurt us, in the first post in the series – Product Marketing Month: Why I’m Writing 30 Blog Posts in 30 Days.

Let’s get back to the subject of popups. I think it’s important to look back at the history of this device to better understand how they came about, and why they have always caused such a stir.

Browser Interaction Models & the History of the Popup

The talk I was doing much of last year was called Data-Driven Design. As part of the talk, I get into interaction design trends. I’ve included the “Trendline” slide below.

You can see that the first occurrence of a popup was back in 1998. Also, note that I included Overlays in late 2016 when we first started that discussion.

Like many bad trends, popups began as web developers started trying to hack browser behavior to create different interruptive interaction modes. I know I made a lot of them back in the day, but I was always doing it to try to create a cool experience. For example, I was building a company Intranet and wanted to open up content in a new window, resize it, and stick it to the side of the screen as a sidebar navigation for the main window. That was all good stuff.

Tabbed browsers have done a lot to help clean up the mess of multiple windows, and if you couple that with popup blockers, there’s a clear evolution in how this type of behavior is being dealt with.

Then came the pop-under, often connected to Malware virus schemes where malicious scripts could be running in the background and you wouldn’t even know.

And then the always fun “Are you sure you want to do that?” Inception-like looping exit dialogs.

Developers/hackers took the simple Javascript modal “Ok” “Cancel” and abused it to the point where there was no real way out of the page. If you tried to leave the page one modal would lead to another, and another, and you couldn’t actually close the browser window/tab unless you could do it within the split second between one dialog closing and the next opening. It was awful.

So we have a legacy of abuse that’s killed the perception of popups.

What if Popups Had Been Built Into Browsers?

Imagine for a moment that a popup was simply one of many available interaction models available in the browsing experience. They could have had a specification from the W3C, with a set of acceptable criteria for display modes. It would be an entirely different experience. Sure, there would still be abuse, but it’s an interesting thought.

This is why it’s important that we (Unbounce and other like-minded marketers and Martech software providers) take a stance, and build the right functionality into this type of tool so that it can be used responsibly.

Furthermore, we need to keep the dialog going, to educate the current and future generations of marketers that to be original, be delightful, be a business that represents themselves as professionals, means taking responsibility for our actions and doing everything we can to take the high road in our marketing.

Alright, before I get to the really bad website popup examples, I’ll leave you with this thought:

Technology is NOT the problem, We Are.

It’s the disrespectful and irresponsible marketers who use manipulative pop-psychology tactics for the sake of a few more leads, who are the problem. We need to stop blaming popups for bad experiences, and instead, call out the malicious marketers who are ruining it for those trying to do good work.

It’s a tough challenge to reverse years of negative perception, but that’s okay. It’s okay because we know the value the product brings to our customers, how much extra success they’re having, and because we’ve built a solution that can be configured in precise ways that make it simple to use in a responsible manner (if you’re a good person).


Follow our Product Marketing Month journey >> click here to launch a popup with a subscribe form (it uses our on-click trigger feature).


5 Really Bad Website Popup Examples

What does a bad popup actually look like? Well, it depends on your judging criteria, and for the examples below, I was considering these seven things, among others:

  1. Clarity: Is it easy to figure out the offer really quickly?
  2. Relevance: Is it related to the content of the current page?
  3. Manipulation: Does it use psychological trickery in the copy?
  4. Design: Is it butt ugly?
  5. Control: Is it clear what all options will do?
  6. Escape: Can you get rid of it easily?
  7. Value: Is the reward worth more than the perceived (or actual) effort?

#1 – Mashable Shmashable

What’s so bad about it?

If you peer into the background behind the popup, you’ll see a news story headline that begins with “Nightmare Alert”. I think that’s a pretty accurate description of what’s happening here.

  • Design: Bad. The first thing I saw looks like a big mistake. The Green line with the button hanging off the bottom looks like the designer fell asleep with their head on the mouse.
  • Clarity: Bad. And what on earth does the headline mean? click.click.click. Upon deeper exploration, it’s the name of the newsletter, but that’s not apparent at all on first load.
  • Clarity: worse. Then we get the classic “Clear vs. Clever” headline treatment. Why are you talking about the pronunciation of the word “Gif”? Tell me what this is, and why I should care to give you my email.
  • Design: Bad. Also, that background is gnarly.

#2 – KAM Motorsports Revolution!

What’s so bad about it?

It’s motorsports. It’s not a revolution. Unless they’re talking about wheels going round in circles.

  • Clarity: Bad. The headline doesn’t say what it is, or what I’ll get by subscribing. I have to read the fine print to figure that out.
  • Copy: Bad. Just reading the phrase “abuse your email” is a big turn off. Just like the word spam, I wasn’t thinking that you were going to abuse me, but now it’s on my mind.
  • Relevance: Bad. Newsletter subscription popups are great, they have a strong sense of utility and can give people exactly what they want. But I don’t like them as entry popups. They’re much better when they use an exit trigger, or a scroll trigger. Using a “Scroll Up” trigger is smart because it means they’ve read some of your content, and they are scrolling back up vs. leaving directly, which is another micro-signal that they are interested.

#3 – Utterly Confused


(Source unknown – I found it on confirmshaming.tumblr.com)

What’s so bad about it?

I have no earthly clue what’s going on here.

  • Clarity: Bad. I had to re-read it five times before I figured out what was going on.
  • Control: Bad. After reading it, I didn’t know whether I would be agreeing with what they’re going to give me, or with the statement. It’s like an affirmation or something. But I have no way of knowing what will happen if I click either button. My best guess after spending this much time writing about it is that it’s a poll. But a really meaningless one if it is. Click here to find out how many people agreed with “doing better”…
  • It ends with “Do Better”. I agree. They need to do a lot better.

#4 – Purple Nurple

What’s so bad about it?

  • Manipulation: Bad. Our first “Confirm Shaming” example. Otherwise known as “Good Cop / Bad Cop”. Forcing people to click a button that says “Detest” on it is so incongruent with the concept of a mattress company that I think they’re just being cheap. There’s no need to speak to people that way.
  • I found a second popup example by Purple (below), and have to give them credit. The copy on this one is significantly more persuasive. Get this. If you look at the section I circled (in purple), it says that if you subscribe, they’ll keep you up to date with SHIPPING TIMES!!! Seriously? If you’re going to email me and say “Hey Oli, great news! We can ship you a mattress in 2 weeks!”, I’ll go to Leesa, or Endy, or one of a million other Casper copycats.


#5 – Hello BC

What’s so bad about it?

Context: This is an entry popup, and I have never been to this site before.

  • Relevance: Bad. The site is Hellobc.com, the title says “Supernatural British Columbia”, and the content on the page is about skydiving. So what list is this for? And nobody wants to be on a “list”, stop saying “list”. It’s like saying email blast. Blast your list. If you read the first sentence it gets even more confusing, as you’ll be receiving updates from Destination BC. That’s 4 different concepts at play here.
  • Design: Bad. It’s legitimately butt ugly. I mean, come on. This is for Beautiful Supernatural British Columbia ffs. It’s stunning here. Show some scenery to entice me in.
  • Value: Bad. Seeing that form when I arrive on the page is like a giant eff you. Why do they think it’s okay to ask for that much info, with that much text.
  • Control: Bad. And there’s not any error handling. However, the submit button remains inactive until you magically click the right amount of options to trigger it’s hungry hungry hippo mouth to open.

Trainwreck.


Well, that’s all for today, folks. You might be wondering why there were so few popup examples in this post, keep reading and I’ll explain why.

Coming Up Tomorrow – Good Popups, YAY!!!

One of the most interesting things I’ve noticed of late is that there is a shift in quality happening in the popup world. When the team rallied to find the bad popup examples above, we found at least 10x as many good ones as bad. That’s something to feel pretty good about. Perhaps the positive energy we’re helping to spread is having an impact.

So get your butt back here tomorrow to see 20+ delightful website popup examples. More importantly, I’ll also be sharing “The Delight Equation”, my latest formula for measuring quantifying how good your popups really are.

See you then!

Cheers
Oli

p.s. Don’t forget to subscribe to the weekly updates.

Excerpt from: 

Technology isn’t the Problem, We Are: 5 Horrific Website Popup Examples