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12 Different Ways to Use Website Pop-ups

By The Leadpages Team  |  Published Mar 10, 2022  |  Updated Oct 06, 2023
Leadpages Team
By The Leadpages Team
12 ways to use website pop-ups

Almost any time you land on a webpage these days you’re greeted by some sort of website pop-up. Why? Because they work.

The average pop-up has a conversion rate of 3.09%, with the highest performing pop-ups converting nearly 10% of the time. This means that if you’re not utilizing website pop-ups you could be missing out on a lot of leads and sales.

The key is to provide value. Pop-ups are only annoying if they’re not offering something visitors want. In short, if you’re going to interrupt a user’s visit make sure you have a good reason.

So, how exactly do you take advantage of pop-ups? We’ve put together a list of our 12 favorite ways to use website pop-ups. If you run an online business you’ll surely be able to use one or more of these strategies to boost conversions and engagement.

Hidden lead capture forms

Pop-ups aren’t always automated—they can also be triggered by click events. For example, when someone clicks on one of your CTA buttons to get your lead magnet a pop-up could appear with a lead capture form.

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Many marketers use this strategy instead of directing users to another page or placing the lead capture form directly on their landing page. This is because studies show that having fewer form fields on the page leads to a higher number of conversions.

Pop-ups triggered by click events convert 12 times better than other types of pop-ups since the users initiate the pop-up themselves.

Promote your lead magnets

12 ways to use website pop-ups

Lead magnets are a free item you give away in exchange for someone’s email address. Some examples of lead magnets include:

  • Ebooks
  • Checklists
  • Courses
  • Templates
  • Short (or long) videos

These giveaways not only provide value and grow your brand, but they’re also a great way to build an email list of qualified leads.

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By using pop-ups to promote your lead magnets you ensure website visitors are made aware of your lead magnets and increase your chances of collecting a lead when someone lands on your website.

You can either include a lead capture form in your pop-up to collect the email address right away, or direct users to a landing page that gives more information about the lead magnet.

Everyone loves a good sale, so if you have one for your business you’ll want to let people know as soon as they arrive. While you could place a banner somewhere on your homepage many people overlook these since they’re often perceived as ads.

A much better strategy is to use a pop-up that appears after someone’s been on your site for a pre-determined amount of time (7 seconds is a great benchmark to test first). This way everyone that comes to your site and begins reading your content will know about the sale.

By alerting people to potential savings you should decrease your bounce rate and encourage more visitors to browse your products and services.

Give a discount code

This is a similar idea to advertising a sale. However, with a discount code, people usually have to submit some information (like an email address) to receive it.

Offering a discount code through a pop-up has a few benefits:

  • It makes visitors feel like they’re getting an exclusive offer.
  • It encourages new customers to take a closer look at your products and services.
  • It helps you gather qualified leads that you can continue to market to.

Announce important news

There may be times when you have important news to share with your audience, but it’s not really suited for the front page of your website. This could include things like a change in your terms and service, a policy update, or a change in the way you’re doing business.

In order to keep your homepage focused on your products and services, consider using a pop-up to let visitors know. Using this strategy in conjunction with an email to your users will ensure everyone stays up to date with your changes.

Promote an event

Have an in-person or virtual event? Let website visitors know with a pop-up. This ensures people see it and could boost your attendance numbers. Consider using this strategy for:

  • Speaking events
  • Meet and greets
  • Conferences
  • Live webinars

Collect pre-order signups

Any time you launch a new product it’s a good idea to collect pre-orders. Not only does this help you get some sales right out of the gate, but it also builds hype leading up to your product launch.

Consider offering a discount to anyone that pre-orders to encourage people to reserve now rather than later (and possibly forgetting about it).

Emailing your subscribers is one of the most popular methods of promoting a pre-sale—but you can pair this with a pop-up as well. This will alert any non-subscribers to the sale and serve as a reminder to those who received your email but haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

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Surveys allow you to collect valuable feedback from your customers. There’s always room for improvement, so even if your business is thriving it’s still a good idea to ask your customers what you can do better.

Surveys help you:

  • Improve your customer service.
  • Come up with new products and services.
  • Learn more about your customers.
  • Identify your weaknesses.
  • Build on your strengths.

Use pop-ups to promote your surveys and increase participation. You can also add an incentive (like a discount code) to get even more submissions.


Holding the occasional contest or giveaway offers a number of benefits to your business. It promotes engagement, allows you to give back to your customers, and helps you collect leads for future sales.

Use pop-ups to call attention to any contests you’re currently running on your website. You can either direct people to the contest landing page or include a form within the pop-up to collect their information right there.

Countdown timers

There’s a reason why so many offers are for “a limited time” or “today only.” Any time you let people leave your site to think about a purchase there’s always a chance they’ll forget and never return. By adding a sense of urgency people are more likely to buy now to avoid missing out.

Countdown timers are one of the most effective ways to add urgency to any offer. While you can embed them into any webpage or landing page you can also display them using a pop-up. For example, you could have an exit pop-up with a countdown timer appear on one of your landing pages to make sure people realize they only have a limited time to act.

Collect donations

If you operate a charity or non-profit then donations are the lifeblood of your organization. Unfortunately, a lot of visitors skip past donation requests as they look for other content.

This is why many organizations utilize pop-ups to collect donations. It forces people to read your message and consider donating to your cause.

You don’t have a lot of space to make your case, so try to sum up your cause as best you can and include a picture of what you’ll use the money for.

Catch people before they leave

One type of pop-up we haven’t discussed yet is the exit intent pop-up. This is triggered when someone is about to click away from your site, allowing you to make one final pitch before they leave.

12 ways to use website pop-ups

Include something valuable here, like a lead magnet or discount code, to catch their attention and convince them to hand over their email address.

This is a great way to boost conversions and ensure none of your visitors leave empty-handed.

How to create high-converting pop-ups

So by now you probably have a good idea about how you want to use pop-ups on your website. But how do you create ones that will actually convert? Here are a few tips.

Show them at the right time

You don’t want to bombard visitors with pop-ups as soon as they land on your site. But you also want to pitch them while you still have their interest.

Here’s a trick to help you show your pop-up at the perfect time: check the average time visitors spend on your site in Google Analytics and multiply it by 0.3. That means your pop-up will appear roughly 30% into their visit, giving them enough time to familiarize themselves with your brand before seeing your offer.

You can also opt for an exit-intent pop-up if you want to pitch people before they leave. Just don’t use both a timed pop-up and an exit-intent pop-up, as it might feel like you’re hounding your visitors.

Align them with your brand

Your pop-ups should fit with the rest of your website, whether that be the color scheme, tone, or imagery.

For example, if the tone of your website is formal and professional you don’t want to have a pop-up appear that uses more sales-y language. It will feel like an ad from a completely different person and your visitors will be more likely to click away.

However, if your pop-up aligns with the rest of your brand you’ll keep the experience more seamless. People will be more likely to trust your pop-ups, which will lead to more conversions.

Address your visitor’s needs

When coming up with your pop-up offer ask yourself, “what are my visitors looking for?”

12 ways to use website pop-ups

Do they need help starting a business? Do they want to learn how to create Facebook ads? Are they searching for the perfect pumpkin pie recipe?

Once you have your answer create a pop-up that addresses these needs. If your pop-up is relevant to the rest of your content and gives your visitors something they genuinely want it should perform very well.

Don’t ask for a lot of information

Imagine you’re visiting a website and a pop-up appears asking for your name, email, phone number, address, name of your firstborn child, etc. You’re probably going to click away immediately since you don’t have time to tell the website owner your entire life story.

This is why when you’re creating your own pop-ups you should ask for as little information as possible. If you include a lead capture form just ask for their email address (and maybe their name if it’s absolutely necessary).

The less work your visitors have to do the more likely they are to convert.

How do I add a pop-up to my website?

Leadpages makes creating and adding pop-ups to your website easy. Within your Leadpages account click “Conversion Tools” and select “Pop-Ups.” Then click “Create a New Pop-Up” to get started.

12 ways to use website pop-ups

Use the Drag & Drop Builder to edit text, add images, insert lead capture forms, customize your CTA button, and more. The interface is extremely user-friendly, even if you don’t have any coding or web design experience.

Once your pop-up is ready click “Publish” to view your publishing options. You can create it as a click-event pop-up, a timed pop-up, or an exit-intent pop-up. After making your selection you’ll be given code that can be added to your Leadpages website. Or you can use the Leadpages plugin to add it to your WordPress site.

Advanced tip: Already customized a landing page with Leadpages? If so, you can copy a section of an existing landing page and paste it into a pop-up for a consistent look across your marketing assets.

Create your first pop-up today

Ready to build high-converting pop-ups for your websites and landing pages? Try Leadpages free for 14 days to see if it’s right for you.

Leadpages Free Trial

Try Leadpages free for 14 days

Easily create your website and landing pages with the only platform engineered by marketing nerds.

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