Are you getting traffic to your ecommerce website but barely seeing any sales? Or have you added an opt-in form to your webpages, but no one seems to care about it?
Email popups are a powerful way to make the most of your website traffic. But with so many brands using popups in various ways, how can you know which strategies work and which don’t?
To help you answer that question, we’ve analyzed data from some of the most successful Getsitecontrol users and put together eight email popup examples that convert really well.
Continue reading to find out why you should use popups on your ecommerce website, what high-converting popups look like, and how to improve your own email popups’ conversion rates.
What are email popups?
You’ve likely come across email popups if you’ve spent any time online. Email popups are windows that appear on a website visitor’s screen to ask for their email address. You may also see them referred to as a lightbox popup or modal popup.
You’ll see email popups on ecommerce and retail websites, but they also appear on blogs, especially for bloggers who are trying to grow their email list.
Email popups have come a long way since their invention. While most businesses used to rely mostly on modal popups alone, you can now find a variety of email popup types, such as:
Why should you use email popups?
Reason #1. You’ll get more signups
People get distracted. Even if you have an eye-catching website, your visitors are likely to get distracted by something on your page (or in their life, too).
And even when you have an opt-in form sitting on a webpage, not everyone will take notice.
This is where email popups come in. Email popups are virtually impossible not to notice. Even the least intrusive website popup examples, such as bars and slide-ins, are nearly impossible to miss for any user.
Because email popups are hard to miss, they prompt action from your visitors. They have to choose between two options: either they sign up, or they click away from your email popup.
Some types of email popups, such as sidebars, don’t stop the visitor from continuing to scroll your website:
However, most visitors will take one of these two actions to continue scrolling without any visible obstructions.
You can hope your visitors find your opt-in form at the bottom of your page… or, you can go ahead and ask them directly. You’ll get much higher opt-in conversion rates using popups compared to static forms.
Reason #2. You’ll reduce your bounce and abandonment rates
Email popups are especially important to reduce your bounce rate. New visitors who land on your ecommerce store and intend to leave may never come across your brand again. But if you add them to your email list, you’ll get to nurture a relationship with them and turn them into loyal buyers over time.
Exit intent email popups are perfect to convert some of the people who want to bounce into email subscribers:
Exit-intent popups are only triggered by the user's mouse movement to the exit, and it’s a great approach to convert them before they go. For example, you can display a discount code after a visitor signs up, so they can use it right away without leaving your store.
To put the importance of email popups into perspective, let’s do some math:
Let’s say you run ads to get 10,000 first-time visitors each month, and that only 1% of these people end up buying at an average of $50 per purchase. So you’ve made 100 customers, but those ads also cost you $1 per click!
So now you have a bill of $10,000 in ad spend, but only $5,000 in gross revenue.
However, what happens if 3% of your visitors turn into email subscribers? Now you’ve got 300 new subscribers per month AND 100 buyers. Using email marketing, you can generate more sales for years to come. Now the $10,000 investment starts to make sense in the long-term.
Whether you get traffic to your store organically or from ads, it’s all the same — you’ll get more return on your investment (of time or money) when you implement email popups and use email marketing to your advantage.
8 high-converting email popup examples (and why they work so well)
Adding any email popup to your website is simple. But not all email popups will convert equally. Let’s look at some real examples of popups with high conversion rates to understand what makes a great opt-in form.
Shoppers love free shipping. According to a recent study by Shopify, 75% of consumers say free shipping has a significant or very significant impact on their purchasing decisions.
Aplos clearly knows this, and they’ve made free shipping their lead magnet*. Aplos shows this popup to welcome their visitors a few seconds after they land on their website:
Would you believe that this simple popup has a signup rate of over 11%?
But that’s not all. Nearly a quarter (24%) of customers who interact with this email popup end up completing their order!
So why does it work so well?
First, you’ll notice how simple Aplos made this popup. There are no distractions from its main purpose — to enter your email and click “Sign-up”.
But free shipping is also a great incentive to join an email list. Many online stores offer free shipping to all visitors who reach a minimum order value, but offering free shipping to email subscribers gives people a good reason to receive your emails.
💡 A lead magnet (or freebie) is a free gift or resource you can provide in exchange for someone’s personal information.
2. Box'd Night In
Here’s another example of an email popup form that uses free shipping as an incentive. Box'd Night In, a company offering a range of differently themed date night boxes, shows this popup for first-time visitors almost instantly when they land on their website:
On desktop, signup rates are at 2.49% while they rise to an impressive 6.03% on mobile devices.
Notice how unobtrusive Box'd Night In made this popup. It only takes up a small fraction of the screen and doesn’t use a design that’s overly distracting.
Box'd Night In also uses an action-oriented call to action. Instead of leaving it as something simple like “Sign up” or “Submit”, they went with “Get free shipping” to remind visitors what they’re getting.
It’s clean, it’s simple, and it’s eye-catching without being too much!
Fort Skincare is a great example of how modal popups don’t have to be overwhelming to be effective. While they do fade out the background, Fort keeps their opt-in form small enough not to be too intrusive, but large enough to still be effective and easy to use.
This form pops up a few seconds after arrival and gets displayed to first-time visitors. Mobile users sign up at a rate of 5.9% while desktop users convert at a rate of 3%.
Instead of offering free shipping, Fort Skincare gives a 10% off coupon. For shoppers who intend on spending a pretty penny in your store, this could be worth much more than free shipping.
4. Dr. Steve’s Caffeine Melts
Everyone loves a good Buy One Get One Free deal (BOGO). Dr. Steve’s Caffeine Melts uses this trend to their advantage by offering a BOGO code to first-time email subscribers:
Like previous examples, the Dr. Steve’s Caffeine Melt email popup gets shown to first-time visitors shortly after their arrival on the website. A whopping 12.78% of visitors from desktop convert to email subscribers while 7.21% of mobile users do the same.
If you look at this popup carefully, you’ll notice it doesn’t take much to create an effective form design. Dr. Steve keeps it simple with a single image and a few short lines of copy. Like several other high-performing forms on this list, this one doesn’t eat up the user’s entire screen, either.
5. Swedish Linens
You can get creative with your email popups and add a fun spin to your headlines, just like Swedish Linens does below:
Although this email popup’s signup rates on desktop are quite average at 3,73%, on mobile, they climb up to 7,79%.
What I love about this popup is that it makes use of the placeholder text instead of adding more copy. They only use 4 words to write a fun and quirky headline, with no additional caption or subheading. The only other text they show is on the call-to-action button, the placeholder text, and the disclaimer.
This goes to show that you don’t need tons of words to convince people to join your email list. A 20% discount is already a pretty great deal and doesn’t require additional arguments to get people to convert.
6. August Alchemy
What happens if you don’t want to offer a lead magnet in exchange for someone to join your email list?
August Alchemy shows that while lead magnets can help your conversions, they’re not absolutely necessary to get good results.
Despite having no upfront incentive, the signup rate for this opt-in form is 4.27% on desktop and 3.08% on mobile. That doesn’t mean there’s no incentive — the brand does specify that subscribers are the first to know about restocks and flash sales.
So what does August Alchemy do to make this email popup so effective? Let’s look at the copy:
“Magic inspired goods for humans made up of magic. Join our email list! Become a part of our magical family! You’ll be the first to know about restocks and flash sales!”
Instead of giving something of value upfront, this brand appeals to the human desire of belonging to a community. And they know how to speak to their ideal customers using language that appeals to them. I’d be willing to bet August Alchemy’s conversion rates wouldn’t be as high if they received traffic from the wrong people who have no interest in their type of goods.
Since this form isn’t modal — meaning it slides down from the top of your screen — it’s not nearly as intrusive as most modal forms. It takes up a tiny portion of your screen and doesn’t stop you from scrolling through their website.
7. Ubuntu Life
Earlier I mentioned that exit intent popups are an effective method of reducing your bounce rate. Ubuntu Life shows you exactly how it’s done with this simple yet powerful modal form:
The brand uses a clear headline that tells visitors exactly what the company wants them to do — to wait before they leave. Next, they offer a generous 15% discount.
If you’ve ever felt intimidated by designing your own exit intent popups, take one look at this form. It looks good without being overly fancy or using difficult-to-design elements. Sometimes that’s all you need to move the needle with your conversions.
8. Jens Hansen
For our final email popup example, we have a unique lead magnet idea: inviting people to a contest! Just like Ubuntu Life, this Jens Hansen popup is an exit-intent form. But instead of providing a discount as an incentive, the brand gives visitors a chance to win $100 in cashback.
Of course, not every subscriber will win the cashback. However, the idea of winning $100 sounds juicy and enticing for shoppers who love this brand.
I also love how Jens Hansen uses playful language in their copy. “Who wants $100 cashback? You do!” It’s engaging and fun without being over the top — a great way to win back distracted visitors who were about to bounce.
How to improve your email popup rate conversions
Now you’ve seen what great pop-up advertising can look like. But what if your own email popups aren’t converting well?
Here are five methods you can implement to get better conversion rates, no matter which type of email popups you have.
1. Write enticing copy on your email popup
The copy you write on your email popups can be simple or complex, but it needs to be enticing and attention-grabbing.
The less appealing your offer to join your email list, the more heavy lifting your popup copy will need to do.
Use these tips and tricks from some of our favorite brands to spruce up the copy 👇
- Play around with words and expressions (Play it cool)
- Clarify the value your subscribers are getting (FREE splash pad worth $59)
- Use unique CTA copy (Make a splash!)
- Acknowledge what your visitors are thinking (emails suck)
- Explain how you’re different (ours don’t)
- Reaffirm the benefits of your products (Gold jewelry for everyday)
- Get your target audience to recognize themselves in your copy and make them feel good (For all golden beauties)
2. Consider using a lead magnet
You’ve seen plenty of email popup examples that don’t showcase a lead magnet. However, our data shows that email popup signup rates can vary dramatically depending on several factors, including:
- Device type
- Lead magnet used (or lack thereof)
- Source of traffic
- And so much more
However, we’ve seen that a lead magnet for ecommerce businesses, especially in the form of a discount, can increase sign up rates for your email list by at least 2.5 times — and even more!
Brands who don’t use a lead magnet with their email popups average signup rates of under 1% to 2.5% across all devices.
If you have 10,000 visits every month, that’s equivalent to 250 email subscribers.
Compare that to the average signup rate for brands that use a lead magnet, which ranges between 3 and 5%. In some cases, opt-in rates can be as high as 25%. For 10,000 visitors, that’s a whopping 2500 new email subscribers.
Plus, you don’t have to stick to the old but gold freebie of 10% off. For example, Tom’s gives $20 off for every $100 spent and $30 off for $125 spent. Not only is that great value for your shoppers, but it encourages people to increase their order value, too.
3. Keep your design clean but eye-catching
What do most of the popups in this article have in common?
They keep their design simple and clean without making them bland.
Of course, this is easier said than done. But keep in mind that you don’t have to spend hours designing an email popup for it to be effective. When you take existing templates, like the ones you get with a Getsitecontrol account, you can have a stunning popup designed and ready to go in minutes.
Even complex-looking popup designs are actually simple when you look at them. For instance, consider the popup for Coco Village below:
It only consists of one image with a simple overlay with a clean opt-in form to the right. And you don’t even have to include that much detail in yours.
4. Optimize for mobile conversions
Let’s face it — your customers are using their mobile devices to shop on your website. Mobile ecommerce holds a 72.9% market share, which means the majority of buyers aren’t using their desktops to purchase from you anymore.
That’s why you need to optimize your popups with mobile devices in mind. Mobile screens are much smaller than desktop screens, which means the entire experience feels entirely different.
Let’s compare three different opt-in forms on mobile devices to see how they can impact the shopper’s experience. First up is the fullscreen popup Urban Outfitters threw at me barely a few seconds once I landed on their site:
When this first appeared on my phone, it was so big I couldn’t even see the whole thing. I had to scroll down to capture the full image. It didn’t feel great, and I’m certain other visitors feel the same.
I’ll give them this one thing: in addition to the tiny X at the top right corner of the popup, Urban Outfitters also provides a second opt-out hyperlink at the button of the form. This gives visitors two options to remove the popup.
Next, let’s look at this modal popup from Reel:
This is already so much better. For one, I didn’t have to scroll or move around to have a look at the entire popup form. It also feels much less intrusive than Urban Outfitters, since it only takes up part of my screen.
From a user experience standpoint, this popup feels much less overwhelming while still being eye-catching.
Now, for our third and final example:
This popup from We Are Knitters is impossible to miss — and it looks great, too. Despite that, it only takes up about 30% of the screen on my mobile device.
When this popup appeared, it felt much less aggressive than Urban Outfitters and even more comfortable than Reel.
Here are some best practices to follow when you’re optimizing your email popups for mobile devices:
- Wait until your visitors spend a few seconds on your website before showing them a popup — especially if you’re also showing them other popups (cookie popups, for instance)
- Keep the number of fields to a minimum (ask for names only if you can)
- Avoid filling up the entire screen with your popup — a rule of thumb is to use 30% of the screen space or less
You can also add a call-to-action button at the bottom of the screen that users can click to launch the fullscreen form.
5. Perform an A/B test
How do you know which type of email popup will perform best for your ecommerce website?
Short answer: there’s no way to know for sure.
You can make an educated guess based on research that’s already been done. For instance, we ran an email popup signup rates test earlier this year and got the following results:
- Fullscreen: 3.34%
- Modal: 2.92%
- Slide-in: 2.16%
- Sidebar: 2.59%
- Bar: 2.27%
But will you get the same data? It’s impossible to tell without putting it to the test.
That’s why you should consider running A/B tests and split tests to see which email popups get the best results for your store. And you don’t have to only test popup types — you can also test variations with:
- Button CTAs
- Lead magnets
- Two different lead magnets
Plus, you don’t need fancy software to run A/B tests. When you build your popups using Getsitecontrol, you get built-in A/B testing capabilities as a part of your dashboard.
Use these email popup examples to skyrocket your signup rates
Have these email popup examples inspired you to create (or revamp) your own? With the right popups in place, you can increase your email signups by 2-3 times compared to inline opt-in forms. Visitors who would never have found you again can now become part of your email family.
Getsitecontrol not only comes fully loaded with several beautiful popup templates, but it’s also extremely easy to customize and implement, even if you’re not a developer or a designer.
Try Getsitecontrol for free to launch your own email popups for your ecommerce store today!
Charlene Boutin is a freelance content writer & email marketing strategist for hire specializing in helping Ecommerce and SaaS businesses increase conversions by growing authentic relationships with their audience. She loves helping business owners tell their unique stories to capture the hearts of more customers.
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