When you’re starting to grow your website or email list, you want to collect data as fast as possible. For that purpose, it’s hard to find something more efficient than a fullscreen website overlay.
Above is a fullscreen email opt-in form – the most common example of a website overlay. However, you can also use overlays to conduct surveys, promote sales, prevent shopping cart abandonment, request age verification, and more.
In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to create custom overlays in Getsitecontrol – a no-code popup builder that works on any website platform. We’ll also feature overlay templates you can customize and use on your website.
How to create a website overlay using Getsitecontrol
With Getsitecontrol, you don’t need to create anything from scratch. There are dozens of pre-designed templates to help you focus on the content instead of the technical side of the process.
Step 1. Select a template
For this tutorial, we’ll be using the email capturing overlay featured at the beginning of the article. However, in the gallery, you’ll also find fullscreen surveys, sales promos, and other overlay examples designed for different goals. So, go ahead and visit the gallery first.
To see templates in action, simply click on them. Once you find a website overlay you like, use the prompts on the right-hand side to add it to the Getsitecontrol dashboard.
Step 2. Adjust the copy
On the first screen, you can work with the content and design of the overlay. To get started, click on the text you’d like to change and type your copy instead.
For example, if you’re working on a welcome offer overlay, indicate it in the title by typing “Welcome offer” or “20% off your first purchase” 👇
In the same manner, you can change the description, field names, and the call to action on the button.
Step 3. Create submission success message
Once a visitor fills out the form, you can display the discount coupon code right on the overlay using a submission success message.
If you display the discount code right after submission, it may encourage visitors to continue shopping and apply the promo.
To create a custom submission success message, open
Page 2 in your dashboard and type the coupon code along with the terms and conditions.
💡 Want to add a little nudge? Make your offer time-limited and encourage customers to use the coupon within a week or less.
Step 4. Adjust the design
Along with the copy, you can change the color theme, image, font, and field style. For example, if you want to use another creative, click on it and proceed to ‘Change image’. You’ll be able to select a new image from the built-in gallery or upload your own visual.
It's also a good practice to use the same font you’re using on your website. To change the font, open the
Theme menu and make a selection from the dropdown menu.
On the same screen, you can change the colors of the background, text, and button or just try other pre-designed themes.
Step 5. Set up the timing
By default, the overlay you’ve created will appear on every page of your website as soon as a visitor arrives. If you want to change that, use the
To specify the pages where you want to display your offer, use the first field, named
Include. Alternatively, you can do the opposite and exclude some of the pages from the promo.
If you want to change the timing, find the field named
Start displaying the widget, remove the default ‘at once’ condition and select another one. For instance, you can display a website overlay when a visitor is heading to the exit or stays inactive for a certain period.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you stop displaying the overlay to those who have already filled out the form.
At this point, the website overlay is ready. Save your changes and activate the overlay in your website using the app prompts. If you want, you can also connect it to your email marketing software using the
Remember to connect Getsitecontrol to your website as well. The installation is an intuitive and straightforward process, especially if you’re on WordPress or Shopify. If you’re using any other website platform, just follow the step-by-step instructions, and you too will figure it out in no time.
How to make the most of website overlays
If you want your website overlay to bring real results, make sure it’s always:
- Easy to close
These three rules will help you increase conversions while maintaining great user experience on your website. Below, we’ll elaborate on these ideas and provide examples.
Always use website overlays to deliver value
Let’s face it: if you’re displaying a fullscreen popup, especially if you’re displaying it upon landing, it will interrupt your visitor’s experience on the website. Most visitors dislike being interrupted. That’s why you want to make sure the interruption is paired with value, such as a discount, free shipping offer, an eBook, or at least a big promo announcement.
Using website overlays to conduct a survey? You will get more submissions if you offer a discount in exchange for participation and display the coupon code on the submission success page.
Use the right timing
The fact that you can display a website overlay at any moment doesn’t mean you should. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to display overlays either right upon landing or right before the exit. Anything in between might be perceived as too much of a distraction for a visitor.
Make it easy to close the overlay
One of the worst practices is hiding the Close button on a popup. At Getsitecontrol, we disapprove of this tactic so much, we made it impossible to implement. If you want to go the extra mile with the transparency, you can add a second button that will also allow visitors to close the overlay. It’s often called an opt-out button, and it usually says something like “No, thanks” or “Maybe next time”. Here is one example 👇
Marketers often use a bit of humor when writing the opt-out button copy, and you can do it, too. For instance, instead of “No, thanks”, you can type “No, I hate discounts” or “I’ll pay the full price.”
Whether you’re collecting emails, survey submissions, or leads, website overlays can help you get more traction, faster. And as long as you follow the best practices by putting your visitors first, you’ll be able to create a win-win situation without annoying potential customers.
Ready to try website overlays? Then create a Getsitecontrol account and head straight to the template gallery. Within less than an hour, you’ll be able to launch your first overlay and start tracking results.
Nina De la Cruz is a content strategist at Getsitecontrol. She is passionate about helping small and medium ecommerce brands achieve sustainable growth through email marketing.
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