The 5 Do’s and Don’ts of Email Subscription Pop-Ups


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If you ask anyone, they’ll tell you straight up that they hate email pop-up boxes on websites.

Yet, the data shows that they don’t hate them enough not to subscribe. Klaviyo customers have seen up to 2,000 subscribers added in six months come from pop-ups alone.

The trick is to be smart about your pop-ups and think about who you are showing them to and what message you’re sending in the pop-up.

In this post we’ll walk through a few tips on how to make pop-ups more effective for email acquisition.

DON’T: Show the Same Message to Everyone

Just as you should segment your email marketing, your email subscription pop-up message should be different for new visitors and your “regulars.” Showing the same message repeatedly on every single visit is what annoys people about email pop-ups because it provides no value to them after the first visit. Continually engage people by customizing your messages.

DO: Segment Your Pop-Up Viewers By New and Returning Visitors

Using Padiact (which integrates with Klaviyo) you can customize your message and greet new visitors with a message that points them to your newsletter subscription. People who have already subscribed (as indicated by a confirmation page pageview or triggering another on-site event) can be encouraged to share your content or invite others to subscriber.

DON’T: Be Smug In Your Pop-Up Message

A recent trend in pop-ups is to include opt-in and opt-out buttons within the pop-up frame. The opt-in button copy reads, obviously, something to the effect of “Yes, sign me up!” What’s troubling though is that the opt-out button says something like “No, I don’t want to be a better marketer” or “No, I don’t want stylish clothes.”

The tone of your marketing copy is up to you, and for some brands, a sassy approach works. But in my opinion this messaging comes off as rude and presumptuous. It’s not that people don’t want to be a better marketer, maybe they just aren’t ready to commit to an email subscription to your marketing advice. It’s not that people don’t want better clothes, maybe they just haven’t decided if they want your clothes yet. I say, don’t insult people before you’ve had a chance to win them over and earned the right to joke around with sarcastic copy.

DO: Target People Based on Number of Visits

Segment your list beyond new visitors vs. returning visitors and take the number of visits and which pages they’ve visited into account.

For example, people who have only visited your blog may not even realize you have a store where you sell things. Assume nothing, and direct clearly interested visitors to product pages.

Alternatively, people who’ve viewed a product several times could be indicating that it’s a purchase they’re mulling over. A pop-up that offers help could nudge them to purchase.

DON’T: Ignore the Time They’ve Spent On Your Site

Throwing a pop-up in someone’s face when the site has literally just loaded is their browser is a recipe for disaster. If your website is truly meant to be a gated experience (like One Kings Lane), make it so. Otherwise, give people a few seconds to check out the site first before you proposition them for an email subscription.

Combining these tips will help you make the right offer to each visitor and increase your email subscriptions and conversions. Plus, with the Padiact and Klaviyo integration and Klaviyo’s own pop-up tool, you don’t have to be an engineer to make this all happen.

What tips do you have for email pop-ups? Let us know in the comments.


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