The Stigma is Gone: Forms and Popups Aren’t What They Used to Be
by Habeab Kurdi last updated on 0

The Stigma is Gone: Forms and Popups Aren’t What They Used to Be

Take two: Popups are essential to growing a business — and to a growing business 🙂

Chances are, if you’ve been online for a hot minute, you’ve seen the evolution of popups and the forms that accompany them. From utter nuisance to the embraced way to earn some discounts and special offers from your favorite brands.

Way back when, these things used to just appear as if from nowhere all over your screen, cluttering and ruining the site and experience, and what we knew then to be a popup became synonymous with annoying and something untrustworthy.

This was in the times of solicitors spamming everyone endlessly and when we as a collective had very little idea of what we were doing online — even though the people we were trying to connect with were people just like us.

Examples of annoying popups in the past.
Annoying popups of the past. (Source: medium.com)

Even though that was long ago, the stigma has stuck around to a degree. Yet the practice, and the value of a popup, as evolved immensely.

Now, with popups offering true value for the user (and clear consent presented for the user as well), along with popups appearing strategically and usually with a beneficial instead of cumbersome purpose — such as presenting a special offer in exchange for an email address – popups and the forms that appear on them are one of if not the best way to collect information from your visitors.

The same way you are willing to give out your email address if there is a perk attached is the same methodology you can use to collect vital, insightful information on your website visitors and customers.

Adding popups to your website and landing pages is the best way to grow your email list.

And (of course) using the newly improved forms and popups with upgraded technology behind the scenes and an extremely easy to use interface and functionality for users will help you use both tools – alone or combined – to the full extent of their capability.

Modern popup examples.
Examples of modern popup templates at GetResponse

But your popup needs to be strategic — both in timeliness and placement. More so, the form on your pop must be presented in an approachable, inviting manner.

That might seem like a lot of variables to figure out, yet it’s not, and we’re here to let you know the best practices and tips on how, when, where, and why to use popups and forms.

Why?

You can use the forms on a popup to promote a limited-time sale, present coupons, make an announcement, entice people to join a VIP club or collect signups for your email newsletter.

In fact, you could use them to do more than one of those things all at once! We’re going to show you how in a moment, but first, let’s go through the thought process and present-day realities of why popups and forms are actually important, and no longer a nuisance.

Using a popup or form on your site falls into three basic categories:

  • Promote
  • Sell
  • Engage

It’s all about what you need – for your business and from your audience.

Consider the times you, a normal person, have visited a website and had a form pop up on the page. If it’s not something you want, you simply click X, and away it goes.

And if you like what you see, you might give your email, even your location, phone number, gender, likes and dislikes – form on popups have become nuanced and even make people filling them out feel they can trust giving away this information without all of a sudden receiving 100s of spam emails and a clutter of additional popups and even pages popping up all over their screen.

What a relief!

An animation of editing a popup with a counter and a signup form.
One of the new GetResponse Forms and Popups templates with plenty of ways to customize.

No reputable site has more than one popup appear these days, and they certainly don’t have 10 showing up in flashing lights and colors that you can’t get to disappear.

The best question to ask yourself, and to ask of yourself regarding your users, is why. Why are using this valuable asset, and why are you asking your audience to trust you with the info you’re asking for? Why is it mutually beneficial?

Why would you use a popup? Well, as mentioned up top, a popup is there to provide information from your brand, and to make an offer that is of good enough value to fulfill the “why would I fill this out?” question in your audience’s head. To capture attention, without annoying the customer or making them feel put off.

The better answer to why is two-fold: so your audience is engaged to perform the action you are hoping for, and to grow your presence and sales all at once.

What?

On to those three precious categories we alluded to ­– promote, sell, engage.

Promoting means drawing attention, to a sale, a product, your newsletter, something that you want to put at the top of your visitor’s mind so they see it and go, “Oh whoa, that’s pretty cool. Count me in!”

Selling means you have some inventory, either a new release, some leftover stock you need to clear, or a discount meant to trigger a purchase pretty immediately, that you are putting on their screen to try and get that click and sale.

Engage is a bit of everything, but this usually leans more toward the getting them to sign up for something to come, like a rewards program, or a waiting list, or to receive a special item from you for the signup that will entice them to open that next email from you (maybe a video or ebook).

As you can see, there is some overlap sometimes, such as asking someone to sign up for your newsletter (engage) with a special offer to come if they buy something in the next 24 hours (sell) and even giving them a bigger discount or freebie if they share your info in a post or with a friend who signs up too (promote).

How – can you do it?

There are the tried and true methods out there, and we’re happy to say we’ve taken the norm and given it a spiffy polish that will make it easier for you to create a popup and form, as well as deploy it for your audience. With the popup and form creator in the GetResponse account, which you can plop down onto the very same website or landing page you created in the very same platform, you can:  

  1. Customize simply with the drag-and-drop builder
  2. Optimize for mobile or desktop view
  3. Try out various formats, including the literal popup, a floating bar, full screen, and slide-in
  4. Use one editor for both forms and popups
  5. Time it perfectly with event-based triggers: landing on a page, upon exit, after scrolling, when visitors have been inactive, or with a specified delay
  6. Elevate your game with advanced targeting: Present the popup based on the type of website visitor (new, returning, all), the device (desktop, mobile), or location
  7. You can set a start and end date or let it run for a while 
  8. Take control over recurring visibility (with OR conditions) 
  9. Page-level targeting: choose specific pages in which to show your form/popup
Customizing a popup.
You’ve got options when it comes to picking both forms and popups to use with GetResponse.

And don’t forget, you can use brilliant marketing automation to trigger those timely popups right when you want them!

What – is right for you?

Depending on what you’re looking to do, the answer will vary.

Consider:

  • Are you looking for an easy solution to generate more sales?
    • This could be presenting discounts, offering add-ons, or one-time codes
  • Do you want to promote certain items or services?
    • Maybe you have too much stock of an item and want to promote it as discounted?
    • Perhaps you have a new item coming out and want to offer it exclusively
  • Do you want to personalize your content better?
    • You could present a form asking for more information, even preferences and wants, of a visitor or customer, in exchange for something.
  • Want to grow your email list?
    • Tell them why they should give you their email address, and make sure to have a great Welcome Email series ready to go as well!
Automating a popup with a special offer.
Marketing automation triggers a popup with a special offer, all from your GetResponse account.

When?

Think back to visiting a website of a new brand you’ve discovered, or even somewhere you visit and/or shop at frequently.

Once you’re on their site and they present to you a popup for their newsletter, you might think to yourself, “If I give them my email address and sign up for their email newsletter, I bet they’ll send me a coupon or discount!”

Even better, some forms pop up and already tell you something such as, “Sign up for our newsletter and get 20% off your first order!” or “Want to get exclusive deals and be the first to know about our new items? Sign up today!”

You see the form asking for your email address and sometimes your location, gender, interests, and other items that help the site asking for this info to better know you as a customer and better present personalized items and special offers your way, and you go ahead and sign up.

There are different times to present your popup, and of course, it depends on your goal.

If it’s a discount to entice someone to buy before they click away from your page, popping it up (like it’s hot) either before they exit your website or even as they have added items to a shopping cart but are closing the page, boom, hit them with an offer if they go ahead and buy in the next five minutes or something to that effect.

Example of an exit popup.
A perfect example of an exit-intent popup to entice visitors before they leave, which you can create inside GetResponse.

If it’s to sign up for a VIP club, maybe it pops up when they look at some of your higher-priced items.

Or, it could come as they click on your blog (Hey there! Sign up for our lovely GetResponse blog 😉) or it could be once they’ve scrolled halfway through your site, or spent a certain amount of time on your site, so you see they’re interested.

It could be on the checkout page, when you wanna tell them that if they add one more item or reach a certain $$ amount, they can get a bigger discount (a popup without a form). Or as they’re about to pay, ask them to create an account for a special offer, or after they’ve paid tell them if they sign up for your newsletter now, you’ll send them something cool with their order (or there will be a discount for their next purchase).

Popups and forms are as vivid as your imagination (in purpose, execution, and design)!

So, now, it’s time for you to do the same for your customers ­– and for the growth of your business!

Who?

Let’s throw another question in the mix!

Consider what information you need from your clientele and the reasons for a popup. Do you want to sell a specific item? Do you want to get them enrolled in a subscription list? Do you want to increase customer engagement with your brand?

The important factors are:

  • What do you plan to present to them in newsletters?
  • Will it be a one-time offer for their signup?
  • Will you be offering periodic sales and discounts exclusive to subscribers?
  • Do you have seasonal items that people clamor for, so you want to give them an exclusive window to shop for it before it’s available or known to the public?
  • Is your business new(ish) or established? Who is your audience? Are they steady?
  • Do you know your audience? A form is a perfect way to get more info from your visitors, and by offering them something of value for that info, they’re more likely to fill in that info you covet

The neat thing is, if you have a free (totally free) GetResponse account, you can now incorporate forms and popups for whatever reason you need, wherever you need it, with customizations galore to fulfill your unique brand and audience – all of which you can also create totally free!

Of course, if your business starts growing and booming and you need more than just a website and need to incorporate all the great aspects of marketing your business online — such as marketing automation, social media ads, webinars, and more – GetResponse has several tiers tailored toward your business size and needs.

Pop pop!

Pop Pop Community GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

For now, though, let’s start with getting you even more familiar with how easy it really is. Check out this video by our go-to insider Pedro, who is gonna get your there step-by-step.

The first thing though is to get inside GetResponse and see the options available to you.

In there, you can create the form to your liking and to your brand’s style. You can add as few or as many fields as you wish. And you can simply drag and drop it onto your webpage, hopefully that you’ve also created in GetResponse.

You can customize to your heart’s content. Do you want your form to, as the name states, pop up? Do you want it to slide onto the screen, have it as a floating bar, or even have it presented full screen?

Consider your audience, and your own tastes. What types of popups and forms encourage you to interact with them or fill them out? How much attention do you want on your form?

In the GetResponse editor, it’s all in one place, so you can create and implement the popup and form from the same infrastructure.

Now you’re good to go, so go and make your business – and marketing – even better!

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