They double-tapped your photo on Instagram. They clicked on your website link. And then…they clicked away. UGH.

Social traffic is finicky, to say the least. Your followers are used to endlessly scrolling through never-ending photo feeds, and interrupting that mindlessness to get them to buy in is hard.

That’s where your popups come in.

You have the power to make your Instagram traffic stop, drop, and convert.

We’ve looked at how top brands use popups to capture Instagram traffic, and now you can steal their tactics to do the same.

  1. It’s all about the persona.

You’ve heard “know your audience” a trillion times. It’s not sneaky or groundbreaking, but it works.

Supplement brand PureWOD demonstrates their distinct customer persona—someone who is active and highly values natural ingredients. They’re willing to go the extra mile to maintain a clean diet.


PureWOD’s “no thanks” text hones in on their customers’ values. The alternative to getting a coupon for your order goes beyond simply spending more money on the company’s products; it implies that by saying no, customers prefer unnatural products. It causes them to question why they aren’t ordering a product that matches their lifestyle choices. That consideration leads to conversion.

Learn what types of people follow your Instagram account. Why do they follow you? Where does your product fit in their daily lives? Once you know their intent behind purchasing your product, you can reflect that in your popup and show that you get them.

  1. Give them what they want.  

How annoying is it to get bombarded with generic popup asking for an email address without offering anything in exchange??

You can do better. And you will. Because you know your audience (there it is again!) and you know what they want.

Discounts are great ways to get Instagram visitors to convert. Drop a coupon code in a caption to attract their clicks, and match that offer to your popup.

Bam. Converted.

Pro tip: Free shipping is one of the main incentives that online shoppers want. One survey found that shipping costs triggered 52% of cart abandonment, so free or discounted shipping is an enticing offer for your exit popup if you’re aiming to convert.


But a lot of your followers are on your Instagram for more than deals. They want to engage. They want to show support, let their voices be heard, and create an ongoing two-sided relationship with your brand.

Your popups? Yeah, they should honor that. Asking for feedback or creating an “inner circle” feel is likely to get those customers involved and establish loyalty.


While offering a discount or contest entry is common for companies’ exit popups, very few brands have ongoing opportunities to save money or win a contest. In other words, the one-time benefit of joining a newsletter is high, but your brand won’t necessarily stay top-of-mind.

Inkbox establishes that exclusive inner circle by providing a recurring opportunity to win. A monthly contest increases the odds of eventually winning, so joining their email list feels like a valuable long-term commitment. It’s a relationship that keeps on giving.

  1. Optimize for mobile.

Honestly, this should be #1. It’s not optional, not even in the slightest.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve been on a site and can’t click anything because there’s a popup that I can’t find—or worse, is too small to click either the email field or the x.

Your popup should make it just as easy to opt-in as to opt-out. The best brands know that having converted customers who are engaged is way more valuable than having ones who only joined your email list to get escape the popup.

You know what that means; you have to optimize your popups for mobile. While Instagram is accessible via desktop, the vast majority of your followers will click through on their phones, and your design must accommodate that.

strong liftwear

The Strong Liftwear mobile website does this really well. The popup occupies most of the screen, but I can easily tap the x if I’m not interested. No tricks, no frustration.

  1. Catch their eye.

Basic black and white email fields? What’s your excuse? Step it up! Your Instagram audience craves the same stunning visual content on your website that they see on your feed, and they won’t settle for less.

Using visual content to draw in your audience not only reminds them of why they clicked through, but also what they get from subscribing to your mailing list or buying your products.

It’s a win-win.

four sigma foods inc

Enter Four Sigmatic, a company that sells medicinal mushroom-based coffees and elixirs. Their popup is bright red to command your attention, and it uses an image that combines both a person and their product. Studies have shown the positive impact of using photos of people on conversion rates—it can increase feelings of empathy, connection, and trust.


Your popups can also take a multimedia approach to command the attention of your site’s visitors. Khinky is a salon and hair extension company that (very smartly) includes a YouTube video in their exit popup. The words “easy installation” tempt hesitant customers and the ability to see the process proves a company commitment to transparency. The email field offers a discount code to further offer value once the video sparks visitors’ interest.

  1. Reinforce your brand.

Your Instagram followers double-tap your images all the time, so they know what to expect from your unique style.

Popups are an opportunity to reinforce your distinct branding through your classic colors, signature fonts, or hilarious tone of voice.

Beyond being eye-catching, images also emphasize your brand. For Instagrammers who love your content, a popup with a never-before-seen photograph feels like a fun bonus perk of visiting your site and putting their info down.

My Baby Pie

My Baby Pie absolutely nails their branding. The photos on their popup are consistent with the photography on their social media, giving it a familiar, credible feeling. This popup also emphasizes that their coupon is instant, which reinforces a trustworthiness and customer focus without gimmicks.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. With strategies from top Instagram brands in your marketing toolkit, you’re ready to take on designing exit popups that channel that finicky social traffic into clicks that convert.

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