I’m not a big fan of popups. You know, those annoying banners which pop up on a web page… straight over the top of what you’re trying to read.
Imagine you’re curled up in your favorite chair on a rainy Sunday afternoon, deeply absorbed in a great book. Then someone sneaks up behind you, shoves a sales brochure in your face and yells, “Here, READ THIS! NOW!”
No, I don’t think so.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a poorly executed popup does.
That action could be signing up for a newsletter, encouraging customers to complete an abandoned online purchase, or simply informing them about related topics on your website. The possibilities are endless.
This is why I’m using popups on our Money-Making Website. They work.
You can do the same on your website. Yes, even on your business site. Or you can offer this service to clients.
Done properly, popups can benefit any business… without annoying your readers.
And there’s the key. You want to enhance the user experience, not annoy them.
If done poorly however, popups can damage your business. This time, we’ll look at the bad practices you must avoid when designing and implementing popups on any website. (We’ll cover best practices next week.)
How to Annoy Your Readers
Bad popups broadly fall into four main categories. You decide which one is the most annoying!
The “Hi, Welcome to the Store. Now Buy This” Popup
When someone arrives at your website, it’s like they’re walking into a department store for the first time. They’ll pause inside the entrance to get their bearings. “Now, let’s see. How’s this place laid out? Is this place useful? Do they have what I need? Where do I find what I need?”
The last thing they want is a salesperson rushing up to them, distracting them… annoying them. They need time to think, to see if this store can help them, can solve their problem.
Imagine how they’d feel if a salesperson was in their face the second they stepped in the door… “Hi, welcome. If you buy one perfume today, we’ll give you another bottle free. But you need to decide right now. Do you want it or not?”
Your website is the same.
Imagine your visitor clicks through to your site and their very first experience is a popup covering the page, trying to persuade them to take an action.
Like the shopper who’s assaulted by the aggressive salesperson, they’ll likely “walk out.” They’ll click the Back button and go to another “store.”
These “zero-second” popups can be damaging to your business. Give your readers time to orient themselves. Allow them to relax and feel comfortable.
Don’t punch them between the eyes with a hard sell the second they “step in the door.”
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