Website popups are an excellent way to catch the attention of visitors to your site, but some precaution needs to be taken. You don’t want them to drive users away from your website, but you do want them to encourage them to book with you. They can also be great tools for building social media followers and newsletter subscribers. Here are some things to consider before including them on your site.

website popups should consider user experience to be effectiveThink about your guests’ website experience

The most important thing when creating website popups is to consider the user experience. In his post for eConsultancy, Chris Lake says that annoying popups will make him immediately leave a website. This doesn’t mean you should avoid them entirely – he does give some leeway for popups that appear later. It does, however, mean they should be valuable to the user and not too invasive.

Stéphane Matute for Triptease has some great tips on how to ensure popups won’t drive your potential guests away. Website popups should be minimal, timely and add value to the user experience. In general, exit popups are far better than ones that appear at random or as soon as the user clicks on your website. If possible, try out your website with popups on guests to get some feedback. You should also keep an eye on those analytics!

Make the call to action exciting

Your website popup will only be exciting if the wording is right and it has something to offer the user. Benjamin Verot from Hotelminder advises you to include a clear incentive in your call to action. Want some more newsletter sign-ups? Make sure you mention that newsletter subscribers enjoy special perks and offers.

Wishpond have a great breakdown on creating effective messaging on website popups. The most important takeaway is that the headline should mention both what you want the user to do and what they will gain by doing so. “Sign up to our newsletter” does not give them any indication of why they should do so – but “Sign up for special offers” provides a very clear incentive.

time your website popups based on user behavioursTime your website popups well

This goes hand in hand with creating a smooth user experience. Pebble Design have a check-list of great points in the user experience timeline to include popups – and none of them are as soon as they land on your page. If you have a special offers page, this is a great place to put subscription and social media popups. You can also time popups so they only show on the third visit, or after they’ve looked at a certain number of pages.

By far the most important time to use popups is when they’re about to exit your website. This is your last chance to grab their attention. On Medium, Victoria C Lawson recommends you include a website popup either offering a special deal, or pointing out the benefits of booking directly, before they click away from your site. Websites are increasingly more intelligent, and can use key indicators to decide when someone might leave.

Keep the design consistent and attractive

Gone are the early internet days of seemingly random popups. If you want to ensure a smooth user experience, your website popups need to be consistent in their design. James Scherer sets out some great examples on Wishpond of website popups that work. The colours should stand out but still be inline with your branding. If you have pastel pink on your website, making your call to action a brighter pink is a good way to do this. There also needs to be great imagery.

Wisepops also have a good run down of great exit popups. They highlight companies such as Lush and Basic Outfitters who keep the design simple and consistent. Just like the design, your messaging also needs to be consistent. Lush’ brand allows them to get away with more humour in the popup, so consider your target audience when setting your tone.

personalize your website popups to appeal to guestsPersonalize your website popups

Adding some personal touches to your website popups will go a long way to securing more bookings. If your website has a login function, or they have been referred from a newsletter link, you can include names in the popup to forge a personal connection. Mary Fernandez mentions this in her post for optinmonster. She also suggests personalizing referrals. If you are using influencers, you can make sure links from them include popups that include their name.

There are also some smaller forms of personalization that will improve results. John Hughes on Themeisle suggests tailoring website popups by what device is being used and what message you want to get across. Certain popup style will look better on smartphones than others. Likewise, you might want to tailor offers based on previous behaviours. If someone has visited your website multiple times, you can give them an exclusive offer to seal the deal.

Website popups are a fantastic online tool for keeping future guests interested in your accommodation offering. You need to make sure they are useful and non-intrusive but still stand out. Exit popups are your best bet at this, but you can definitely get creative with new ways of getting newsletter subscribers, social media followers and bookers.

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