Pop-ups clearly raises emotions when you browse through experts blogs.
It has haters who says it’s annoying : “people will leave your site”, “people hate pop-ups”, etc. You will read plenty of those about pop-ups.
It has lovers who says it works : “you will boost email sign ups”, “it’s highly effective”. A lot of users feedbacks make it seems pretty clear that pop-ups can show a good ROI.
So what is true ? Well, both are. But there is a vocabulary problem. People use pop-ups to talk about pop-up ads and relative-to-the-site pop-ins. To see how different it is, let’s compare two “pop experiences” :
A. You arrive on a blog to read an article about cooking and a pop-up interrupt you with a new video ad for a pick-up car
B. You arrive on a blog to read an article, and a pop-up present you the author, who he is, and why this blog exists
You don’t have to be a marketing genius to guess that pop-up A will create annoyance and inbound, and pop-up B will generate interest and email sign ups.
We can have the same guess comparing a pop up that welcomes you at your first visit and that does not show up before a week, with a pop-up that appear at every refresh and scroll on the page.
So this is our opinion : a pop-up is just a another support to push information. And it is a very powerful one because it capture your visitors attention exclusively for a few seconds. This is precious. But pop-ups only exist through what they promote : why you use it, how you display it, and what you put inside will make it annoying and interrupting, or useful and great.