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Website Popup Ideas (7 Examples to Steal) [UPDATED: December 2022]

We’re always on the hunt for email pop-up ideas, and we’re going to share our favorite website popup ideas in this article.

Why Website Popup Ideas Matter

While email signups are critically important 98.05% of our site visitors ignore them (source).

Have you considered using principles of buyer psychology for email signups?

What’s Buyer Psychology?

It’s the study of shopper behavior. As much as we like to believe each person is totally unique we behave in very predictable ways. By understanding the psychology of site visitors we can better connect with them. By better connecting, we can do a better job of converting them.

Email Pop up Ideas and Buyer Psychology

We all show the same email pop-ups with the same generic messaging. Would you sign up for your own email newsletter? Chances are you would close out of a pop-up before reading the first 3 words.

It’s because our pop-ups are easy to ignore.

These 7 email pop-up ideas stand out because they’re unique and different, which is why they will help you optimize conversion rates.

Seven website popup ideas for you to steal.

Idea 1: Unconventional Design

90% of the pop-ups out there look exactly the same. They’re rectangular and feature an easy-to-spot and all-too-enticing ‘close’ button on the top right corner.

Seems like a good way to immediately tell users how to close your pop-up, right?

So why not try an alternative pop-up shape—something that will make your shopper stock for an extra second because they weren’t expecting something so different?

3D pop-up design on StriVectin (strivectin.com). I love this email signup buyer psychology tactic because the 3D effect makes me slow down. That slowdown grants an extra few seconds for the visitor to notice the 15% off message:

This is one of the website popup ideas used on Strivectin.com

Here is a stacked look that stands out because I’ve never seen this before. When shoppers encounter a design or message they haven’t seen before it slows them. That small shift can make a big difference.

This example is taken from PurityProducts.com. It looks like a stack of post-it notes:

Stacked look Website Popup Ideas

Take a look at this hand-drawn look popup from Postcardmania.com:

You’re probably taking an extra few seconds to look at this pop-up right now. It looks fun and inviting.

More importantly, it’s unexpected. Postcardmania.com’s shoppers will definitely slow down to look at this pop-up. That could be enough to generate more sign-ups.

Here’s another unexpected shape I just discovered:

Idea 2: Use Human Nature to Your Advantage

I hate pop-ups. BUT. There is no denying that the word “mystery” has a magnetic pull:

Mystery discount code message on kettleandfire.com.

(taken from kettleandfire.com).

The word mystery it’s so much more powerful than 10% or 15% off. It has intrigue. Let’s assume that the discount code is actually 10%. If we were to A/B test I’m confident this version with the word mystery would win.

Idea 3: Let Them Personalize

The #1 reason I don’t signup is that I’m thinking, “I’m going to receive a ton of generic messages from this site.”

Shoppers don’t see the world from your perspective. They see it from THEIR perspective. They don’t mind hearing from you as long as they know the content will be tailored to their preferences.

Here is a great example from WildZora.com.

WildZora Popup Email Popup Ideas
WildZora popup

By adding checkboxes the marketer is letting the viewer know the marketing content will be personalized. This increases the likelihood of signups.

Idea 4: Video Pop-up

Lagos.com does something different with its newsletter popup. They show an animated video of their beautiful jewelry:

This is a clever buyer psychology tactic because visitors are ready to hit the close button moment they see an email pop-up. The animation gives them pause. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed to take the user from “I hate pop-ups” to “oh, man this jewelry is beautiful, look at it glitter …”

You could have the same effect with a simpler animated gif too:

animated gif popup

Idea 5: Can You Keep a Secret?

You probably want to know what the secret is, right?

As I said earlier, people are naturally curious. UncommonGoods.com knows this and they’ve taken advantage of this with their email signup.

Take a look at this floating tab that appears on their site:

Many shoppers will definitely want to know what the secret is, so they’ll click on this floating tab. When they do, they’ll see this:

Website Popup Ideas

UncommonGoods.com is making their shoppers feel exclusive. After all, only people who subscribe will be notified of “secret sales”. Do you think all shoppers would be able to resist the urge to find out what secret sales they could benefit from?

This is a clever buyer psychology example for email pop-ups.

Idea 6: Give More Than 1 Option

I was on ember.com and saw this pop-up:

Website Popup Ideas
Ember.com email pop-up message

To double signup rates I would make 2 tiny tweaks:

Email Popup Ideas
Updated message that uses buyer psychology

Changes: now the button on the left says NOT INTERESTED (this is for people who simply don’t want to signup) and the button on the right says NOT NOW.

You see, most visitors are interested, they just might not be ready at this very moment. In my scenario, this pop-up message appeared while I was reading their Travel Mug (link) details. So while I am interested in a 10% discount (who wouldn’t be) I had to get rid of the message because it was blocking my mobile view.

Functionality: when people pick NOT NOW the pop-up will disappear immediately and return later (this could be set based on time on site or the number of pages visited). The next time the user is much more likely to convert.

An Added Benefit:

In the original design, the only data being collected is how many people are clicking NO THANKS. But this isn’t rich data because as we saw in our example many people are interested, just not now. By collecting NO THANKS stats the retailer is likely drawing the wrong conclusion about their shopper intent. In the new design, we’re collecting richer data.

NOT INTERESTED– this is a pure count of people who aren’t interested. There is a very low probability of a false positive (link) because the user has 2 choices. If they are clicking NOT INTERESTED it’s because they really aren’t interested. So we’re collecting real data on shopper psychology.

NOT NOW– this button is revealing people who are interested (just not now). But it has another hidden benefit, something that will shed even more light on buyer psychology. And that’s this: say we program the site so that when NOT NOW is clicked the signup prompt disappears for 3 more pageviews. Let’s assume 60% of visitors click NOT NOW but only 9% signup when it reappears. This is a signal that we need to adjust the timing of the second prompt (it’s appearing too late).

Idea 7: Social Good

This is an interesting newsletter signup hook.

People want to feel their actions are generating good outcomes.

Clever pop-up design

Idea 8: Framing Things Differently

You’ve seen those “I don’t want to save money” messages on email signup popups.

They can be annoying.

At least this one gave me a chuckle. It’s not so in your face.

Mugsy Website Popup Ideas

Note to self: humor is a conversion tool.

Idea 9: Interaction

If you can make the user interact with your popup, do it.

Website Popup Ideas scratch off

Idea 10: Strikethrough

There is something indescribably attention-grabbing about a strikethrough. Use it wisely.

Popup Strikethrough

Idea 11: Animated

I see a lot of popups. Call it an occupational hazard.

Never seen anything like this before. You?

Popup animation

Want More Examples?

I spend 20 hours a week truffle hunting for interesting marketing ideas. In my searches, I find a lot of interesting things, including clever popup ideas, like the strikethrough example above. If you want me to share my findings consider joining my marketing newsletter.

Further Reading

Wouldn’t it just be better if we could convert shoppers on their first visit? Then we wouldn’t need to depend on email marketing and you wouldn’t need website popup ideas.

The good news is that that’s what we’ve been working on for the last 14 and you can have it all for free here: The Frictionless Process.

Comments 3


That’s a really nice list of options if you insist on using a pop up.

My favourites: The ‘can you keep a secret’ and the ‘Get a mystery discount’, as they use the open loop. I’d never have thought on using this psychology tactic on pop ups.

I’ve bookmarked your blog. Thanks for taking the time to create an overview of options!

avatar post author

Thanks, Hanna. I’m so glad you liked the examples.



Super useful advise as always, thanks Rishi!



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