Pop-ups are among the WordPress plugins that have to fight a bad rap. They’re like the Justin Biebers of the web design world. They’re loved and hated in the same measure.
Some people just find them annoying, while some marketers and web owners won’t drop them for any reason – because they’ve proven to work.
Confirming this claim is a recent study conducted by Sumo. After analysing about 2 billion pop-ups, found that their average conversion rate rests at 3.09%. Taking the top 10% best-performing pop-ups and averaging them, their conversion rate stood at a good 9.28%.
From these study findings, there’s no denying that pop-ups are actually good at what they do. They can be pretty much annoying at times, but they know how to get the job done right.
Here, we like to think of pop-ups as any other marketing tool. They can be pretty much anything depending on how you use them. They’re not any different from social media. Social media marketing, as we know it, works. But that’s not to say that every business has success with using it.
This post is for those who’ve already made up their mind that they’re going to use pop-ups regardless of what the world thinks about them. All we’ll be doing is singling out the best of these plugins so we can help you reach an easy decision on what plugin to use.
Now without wasting more of your time, let’s take the dive and get the list of the best WordPress plugins rolling.
Talk about a popup plugin and the first plugin to come to mind will be the Ninja pop-ups, one of the most popular popup plugins that you’re likely to come across.
The first thing people do when sampling a plugin is to look for what’s popular before checking the rating. The odds always favour what’s mostly used. And in this case, both popularity and the rating seem to rank Ninja pop-ups as one of the best popup plugins on the market.
First, the plugin boasts an extensive list of off-the-wall features. It’s also super responsive and can adjust itself to match all sizes of screens. The configuration process is also a snap. You don’t need any prior coding experience to find your way around it.
You can even customise the popup to match your website’s colour scheme. You also have the option to adjust the size of the pop-ups you create and change the colour of the buttons.
More interesting, this popup plugin is among the few that offers A/B testing. You can play around with different variations of the popup you’re creating as you weigh on the results to find out which one among them is the most effective or yields the best conversion results.
Even better, the plugins features a detailed analytics page that you can use to analyse results and see how everything is coming into play.
Lastly, the plugin offers in-page targeting, where you create different popups for different pages depending on what’s proven to work best with that particular web page.
The Ninja popup is also one of the most affordable popup plugins you’ll ever come across, with their regular license for single use going at $26 only.
As the name suggests, this plugin allows you to create popups that can stack multiple layers. These are the popups you create when you’re looking for a more efficient way to grab your users’ attention. It also allows you to put your creativity into work and come up with something totally different.
Are you looking to stand out and kill the ennui of filling the internet with the same type of popups? This is the plugin to choose.
Arriving with the plugin is a visual editor that you’ll be using to edit your pop-ups to the finest of details. It also comes with various displays options for you to choose from. For instance, here are a few display options and popup triggers:
- Exit Intent
- Once per session
- Specified delays
- Every visit
- Once per a specified number of days
- Idle pages
With this option, you can easily get more people to subscribe without you annoying them.
It goes without mentioning that the plugin is also compatible with a great majority of email platforms out there. It’s, in fact, compatible with 56 of these email platforms including mail chimp, get a response, active campaign, aweber, constant contact, and active campaign.
Or we could just say whatever email campaign software you use, you can be sure works with this popup plugin.
Better yet, after you install the plugin, you’ll be granted access to an upward of 150 templates to choose from. You’ll be allowed to run an unlimited number of A/B tests for the different elements that come with the plugin.
Their pricing plan starts at $21, which make it one of the most affordable popup plugins for WordPress.
OptinMonster is one of the leading lead generation software. There’s a fair chance you might be using it already for other marketing needs. As a matter of fact, way over 700, 000 websites are using OptinMonster for something as we speak.
Besides its standard lead generation solution, OptinMonster has a popup plugin that’s specifically dedicated to creating pop-ups.
You have every reason you need to like this plugin. First, it’s for featuring a drag and drop builder that makes it a cinch for you to create a popup form from scratch without hard-coding anything.
Other than that, here’s a series of other campaigns that you can create with the plugin:
- Inline forms
- Scroll triggered boxes
- Slide-in forms
- Welcome gates
- Footer bars
OptinMonster offers advanced targeting. Which means you can target different people differently based on their personalized behaviour. This technology allows you to trigger pop-ups at their most optimal moment to drive conversions.
Their pop-ups can sense when a user is about to exit and respond by triggering the popup window almost instantly. For instance, if a user opens a new tab, the technology will sense that they’re about to navigate to that tab. In response, they’ll release the popup immediately as the last shot at getting the underlying user to take action.
This technology is commendable because it’s not intrusive. It will not be interfering with the browsing activities of your users, until that last moment when they’re done with what brought them to your site.
OptinMonster has been in full praise of this plugin and even claimed that the plugin has managed to boost the conversion rate of some websites by up to 785%. So while these claims come with no guarantees, there’s no harm in trying out to find out if there’s some truth in this statement or if the company is just blowing smoke.
Every single one of the popups that you’re likely to make using this plugin is responsive enough to load just fine in absolutely any device. You can even integrate it with pretty much any email marketing software that you know.
You’re also allowed to run A/B tests with the plugin. Plus it can be integrated with your Google Analytics data for every single one of the campaigns that you run.
This is a free popup plugin. But make no mistake: it’s one of the most flexible and versatile plugins on the list. You can create almost any type of popup with it without coding anything. Also, it has an active support forum that you can use to solve all the issues that you’re likely to encounter while using the plugin.
The plugin can work with some of the popular form builders such as Ninja Forms, Gravity forms, Contact form 7, and so much more. You can even set targets and integrate them with specific posts and pages on your website.
Other than using it to create popup forms, the plugin can be used to create EU cookie notices, modal forms, option pop-ups, and so much more.
Also included in the app are auto-open triggers that you can use to determine when to display the pop-ups. In other words, you have a vast range of setting options to display the pop-ups any way you prefer.
Key Features of the Popup Maker plugin
- Has awesome forum support that you can use to solve some of the problems that you encounter while using the plugin.
- It’s fully responsive and can fit in absolutely any mobile device.
- There’s a popup editor that you can use to build the pop-ups and all of its content.
- Comes with auto-open triggers that you can use to set a time delay for the pop-ups. After how many minutes should the popup display once a user lands on your site?
- Has click triggers that you can also use to trigger the popups.
This is another free WordPress popup plugin, arriving with a cornucopia of stunning popup creation and display features. You even get to decide on the specific pages, posts and templates that you’d wish to display the popups.
Also, you can filter your users based on the results you’re getting on search engines. You’re also allowed to filter your users based on whether they commented on your web post or arrived at your site from another site.
The plugin is also compatible with the majority of social networks, which makes it a whole lot easier for you to connect with them.
You can use the plugin to display any popup. Whether you’re looking to display an important message such as the EU cookie notice, increase your social followers, add a call to action, or display any message you have in mind; you can be sure the popup will be able to display it in the best way possible.
The premium version of the plugins comes with even more features, including:
- Compatibility with a majority of popular form builder plugins including Gravity and Ninja forms.
- Five different locations for the plugins
- Configuration of background opacity
- Short codes for displaying social shares
- Change background and font color.
Icegram is another widely liked WordPress plugin that comes loaded up with unique features. It’s the plugin you’d want to install if you’re looking for something more than just popups. In other words, it can save you the trouble of installing so many popup plugins.
Besides pop-ups, the plugin offers a string of features, including overlays, badges, toast notifications, sidebars, stickies, and ribbons.
For advanced features, you have scrolling, call to action, geo-targeting, exit intent, and user activities, to name a few.
The plugin can also work with your email marketing campaign, as well as form and lead capture plugins that you have. The plugin also allows you to run A/B tests to determine which among your plugins is performing well enough; It also offers detailed analytics reports for almost anything you implement using the plugin.
It’s therefore safe to say that your options are not limited as far as this plugin goes.
This plugin was specifically designed to help you drive more conversions using popups. It comes loaded up with features including full-screen pop-ups, slide-ins, bottom bar information, sticky boxes, and toolbar information.
You’re also going to like their broad range of template options. We’re talking 100 plus unique templates that you can choose from and even tweak them to match your brand or web content.
The plugin also comes with more than 700 fonts to choose from, which you can use to customise your pop-ups for something unique. They also offer custom CSS, background setting options, and animations.
That’s without mentioning that they have detailed analytics that you can use to test out your pop-ups in real-time. With the information you get, you can track various KPIs, including views, conversions, and clicks.
You can even integrate it with almost any email marketing software and CRM solution, including WooCommerce, WP Registration form, Contact form 7, and Zapier.
Winding up this list is another popular WordPress plugin for popups, Bloom. This plugin was designed with email opt-ins in mind, and it does come with six different ways to display the popups:
- Automatic popups
- Automatic fly-ins
- Widget areas forms
- Below content forms
- Required option for unlocking content
- Inline opt-in forms
The plugin also boasts a long list of other high-end features that set it miles apart from the rest of the plugins on the market. Depending on what you’re planning to offer on your site, the plugin allows you to restrict part of your content to a registered user.
You have two sections of content on your site. In the first section, anyone can access it. But there’s a premium section of content that requires one to submit their emails and register before they can be granted access.
Best Website Popup Design Practices to Increase Conversions
Already, we have covered the best popup WordPress plugins. Let’s dive in and look at the best website popup design practices you should follow to increase conversions.
But before we do, let’s take a minute to appreciate that popups are versatile website conversion optimisation tools that you can use for different purposes, from collecting potential customers’ email addresses to guiding visitors through the sales funnel to increase sales
Remember the recent Google algorithm update, Core Web Vitals, is focussed on ranking websites based on the quality of user experience they offer visitors. Make sure that follow all the 10 popup design practices recommended below to avoid hurting your site user experience.
Design of your Website Should Match with the Popup
Regardless of the WordPress plugin you decide to use, it is vital to make sure that the design of the final popup matches or rather complements your website.
We recommend using selecting the right colour palette by leveraging Adobe Colour. It should naturally pop out from the website background, and visitors shouldn’t struggle to locate it. Upload a screenshot of the page you intend to add a popup to Adobe Colour to get recommendations.
Check out the Platinum Trading Academy homepage below.
As you can see, the popup matches the other colours on the page without getting “swallowed” by the background. The use of dark blue colour makes it stand out from the other light grey colours on the page.
Your popup should be less intrusive to encourage potential customers to click, convert, or fill in the required details.
Increase Readability by Adding Colour Blocks on Background Images
Background images help increase the discoverability of popups. They make them more noticeable and display the details of your brand or intention better.
However, the background image can reduce the readability of the text contained in the popup if it doesn’t match the other colours. This problem can be easily solved by adding see-through colour blocks to highlight the text.
Here is a screenshot of the Møbelhuset 2 furniture store homepage showing the impact of using see-through blocks behind popup text.
Notice the difference when the colour blocks are removed.
Use photoshop to create images that match your brand niche and preferences. Be sure to adjust the opacity of the colour to get the best results. Also, experiment with different colours but make sure that they complement those in the background image.
Use the Right Form
The success of a popup depends not only on its design but also on the colours you use. There are three primary types of popup forms that you can use on your website, namely;
The slide-in is the most commonly used popup on websites, especially in the hospitality industry. It is designed to appear from the bottom section of the screen and doesn’t obscure the rest of the website content.
One of the benefits of using this popup is that it allows the visitor to continue browsing the page without first closing the slide-in window. When designing this kind of popup, make sure that it resonates with your website’s overall design and appeal.
You could also include a teaser in the popup to encourage visitors to click. Ideally, the teaser is displayed at the bottom of the target website page and disappears when the visitor clicks the form trigger button. Make it more visible by using the proper background colour contrast and writing a compelling headline to draw visitors’ attention.
The popup is different from the slide-in as it’s displayed in the middle of the website page and covers the page content.
Most web designers don’t use it due to its aggressive nature. That is, it conceals the content on the page, which could ruin the overall user experience. It should be displayed after a visitor has interacted with the page and clicked on a button that triggers the form to be displayed. It is best used as an exit-intent popup to capture the visitor’s details before leaving the website.
- The Bar
The bar popup is displayed either at the bottom or top of the home screen, as shown on Kings & Queens website.
It’s ideal for announcing an upcoming event, such as promoting or launching new products. It’s safe to use bold colours on this kind of popup since it doesn’t occupy much screen space.
Use contrast to make the background colours or images more visible and less concealed.
Compare the pros and cons of each of these popup forms to identify one that matches your brand and goals.
The Popup Should Have Only Essential Input Fields
Too many input fields will confuse the visitor and unnecessarily increase the size of the popup. Ask yourself, is it possible to still connect with a potential customer if I remove one or two input fields?
If your answer to this question is Yes, go ahead and remove the unnecessary fields. Decluttering the popup will enhance its appearance and increase its ability to boost conversion rates.
Consider that every time you add an unnecessary input field, the page conversion rate takes a beating of up to 50%.
Note that you will get countless opportunities to learn more about the prospect once they get into the sales funnel. For instance, you can use the captured email address to request additional information.
Below are screenshots of two campaign popups. The first one has only two fields, while the second one has four fields and an additional field about gender.
Which one are you most likely to engage with? If you are anything like me, the second one is too aggressive. It creates a negative perception – the brand seems too needy to collect the data.
When designing a popup, keep in mind that online customers are more concerned about the personal details they share with brands than ever before. The fewer the input fields, the better.
CTA Button Should Be the Centre of Attention
After reading the copy or landing on the primary landing page, the visitors should never struggle to know which action they should take next. If they feel confused, rest assured that most of them won’t hesitate to exit your website.
Ensure that the call-to-action button is the centre of attention in your popup. Write a compelling copy to showcase the visitor’s benefits if they submit the details requested in the popup.
Eva Solo’s popup below works like a charm because it tells visitors the benefits they will get if they subscribe to the newsletter.
Apart from the enticing copy, the black colour on the white background makes the popup difficult to ignore. This hack also works well in popups with two CTA buttons, as shown below.
Surprisingly, most ecommerce websites with two CTA buttons in one popup use positive language in one and a somewhat discouraging or negative language on the second button like “No, I don’t mind paying the full price.”
The assumption is that visitors who click on the second button are less likely to convert. However, that is a wrong assumption that may turn hundreds of customers away from your competitors who have professionally crafted CTA button messaging.
Instead of using such negative language, reassure them it’s OKAY if they are not ready to take the desired action. Also, please encourage them to visit the other pages to learn more about your brand. They could have a change of heart after reading customer testimonials.
Use New Shapes to Draw Visitors Attention to the Popup
Contrary to popular belief, the content in the popup does not have to always be inside the box. The main objective is to capture the visitor’s attention, and you cannot achieve that if you do what everyone else is doing.
Go against the grind by experimenting with new shapes to make the popups more eye-catching and exciting. The more distinct it is, the more likely it will stand out from the other elements on the page.
There is always the risk of the popup being overshadowed by the other elements on the page with the conventional box. Get creative and redesign the popup by using different shapes and adding them as floating images.
Check out the WoodUpp popup for inspiration.
Having such unique shapes in the popup will attract the visitor’s attention. The company displays the product images in the above screenshot without concealing the popup text.
Highlight Actions and Text Using Colour Contrast
Hiring a designer to create the popups may not be possible for brands on a tight budget. It’s also challenging to decide which colours to use to create contrast if you are not a designer or have experience.
No need to worry, though; the secret is ensuring that you don’t use the same colour in the entire popup. If you must do that, ensure that the primary colour shades are different for the popup to look attractive.
It’s not easy to complement the font colour with the background without compromising the readability of the text if there are background images.
Save time by identifying a contrasting colour in the main background image and using it on the text and action button that you want the web visitors to click.
Concisely, contrasting colours will make the popup subtly attractive to the visitors. You may have to carry out several A/B tests to find colours that evoke the desired positive emotions. Factor in colour phycology to know which ones to use in the popup and background images.
Use PNG Images to Create Illusions
Earlier, we mentioned the need to try different shapes to make the popup stand out from other website elements.
It turns out that’s not the only way to make the popup more visible. Search the web for royalty-free .png images that have a transparent background. By doing so, the image on the popup will create the illusion of a unique shape that visitors will have a hard time ignoring.
Here is Billeje.info popup to help you understand what we mean and guide you when creating your own.
The original popup shape is a rectangle in the above image, but the transparent image creates an illusion when placed in the background.
Don’t Forget About Spacing
One of the mistakes that marketers make is forgetting spacing when creating popups for landing pages. As most professionals like to say, spacing is the invisible content on your popup that can either make or break its performance.
The entire popup will look bad and unprofessional if the spacing is off. Customers won’t click to submit their information, and as a result, your sales will deep.
Avoid such issues by making sure the spacing on the popup is consistent. The spacing should be the same on all four sides of the popup. Even more important is to ensure that the spacing in the bottom and top section is the same.
Before it goes live, make sure that there are no single words on one line of the popup text. You can rectify the issue by dragging the spacing out to increase the space. You may have to write one sentence to fill the additional space after dragging it out but be careful not to clutter it.
In a nutshell, the spacing will give your popup a professional look, and the results will be evident from the new conversion rates after publishing it on the website.
Select the Right Font
Be creative with fonts to make your popups different from the competitors. Some brands have hit the jackpot by having different fonts on the same popup.
Here are three essential practices you should follow when selecting a popup font.
- Don’t use more than three different fonts in one popup.
- Stick to the font used in the website content to increase readability and better convey the intended message to the audience.
- Capture the website visitors’ attention by using creative fonts on the headlines
Test the fun font on the headline against the font used on the website content to ensure that the two complement each other. Ensure that the copy is utterly easy to read. More importantly, optimise the popups to work perfectly on different devices.
Make sure that users get the same experience as they interact and use the popup to submit the requested details no matter the device, they use to access your website.
The Final Thought
Whether or not pop-ups work, this is up for debate. Our main focus today was on listing some of the best popup plugins that the market has to offer today. If your mind is already made up, then you can choose a plugin from the options provided, and we can almost guarantee there’ll be almost nothing to regret with that decision.
Do you feel like we’ve missed any important popup plugin? Talk to us about anything, including your social media strategy. Or better, talk to us about your project or to our web development team at MediaOne Marketing to help you with the installation process.