Pop-Up Window Effectiveness

In Your Face on brick wallA client recently asked me to add a “overlay window” (a special kind of pop-up) which said “save money.” If you click on it the pop-up it takes you to a page about how you can save money with their company. While I’m not a fan of pop-ups it seemed reasonable that it would be appreciated and clicked on because visitors would want to learn about saving money.

After several months I looked at Google Analytics to see how many people clicked on the “Save Money” pop-up and the end result was out of thousands of page views not one person clicked on the pop-up to go the the Save Money page.

Why Pop-ups Fail

The short answer is that people have negative feelings about popups.

  • Pop-up are associated with advertisements so they create negative feelings
  • Pop-ups are distracting
  • We have learned to disregard them because they are overused
  • Pop-ups are often used for gimmicks
  • We have learned that clicking on pop-ups can infect our computers with viruses.

What should you do instead of creating a Pop-up window?

Organize your information in a hierarchical manner. Prioritize, summarize and provide links to the detailed information (pages). Then you minimize need for a pop-up.

How to use Pop-ups Effectively

Use voluntary Pop-ups (user clicks on someting – pop-up comes up) to save space on the page instead of surprising users with an interruption. Positive ways to use Pop-ups:

  • provide information without leaving the page
  • when people need to fill out a form
  • provide answers to questions
  • to accept comments

Create a link for an action your client wants to take. The link then opens a pop-up with (a form, the answer to a question, statistics, charts, a graph, an image. Banks use Pop-ups like these all the time. Think about the last time you used Bill Pay, A new window opens (a pop-up) and you process your payments. Then you close the window. These are positive, effective ways to use a pop-up.

Frank Gomez

Frank Gomez is the owner of Empowered Marketing, LLC: Providing Website Development, Web Design and Graphic Design since 1997. Originally named Frank's Designs in Seattle, the descriptor Empowered Marketing was added in 2008 when he moved to Sarasota. In Sarasota, Frank developed his skills in InDesign, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop as well as incorporating WordPress to build compelling, fast loading websites.

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