To build effective pop-ups that drive visitors to take action, you have to use the right copy. Having great design is important, coming up with an irresistible offer is essential, timing and placement both matter a great deal—but when it comes to creating pop-ups that ultimately convince people to convert, words matter above all else.

In pop-ups, the words you use help visitors quickly understand and recognize your brand voice, style, and personality. Words help you manage expectations and leave a good first impression on the people who land on your website for the first time. Words help you build trust. Words help you persuade visitors to take action.

To build and launch pop-ups that drive more conversions and sales for your ecommerce shop, you need to think strategically, and you need to choose your words very carefully.

Not sure how to do it or where to start? Here are a handful of copywriting tips that you can use to build better pop-ups for your website:

Use Words That Promote Exclusivity and Community

To begin, you should use language that makes the people who see and opt-in to your pop-ups feel like they are joining something special by taking action. Pop-ups historically haven’t had the best reputation among online users—many people are wary about filling them out and aren’t always thrilled at the idea of being surprised with a prompt when they land on a website for the first time.

To combat these fears and objections, the best thing you can do is make people feel like there’s real value being offered to them personally. You need to really roll out the red carpet and give everyone who lands on your website and sees your pop-up the VIP treatment.

The words you ultimately choose for your pop-up can help create this sense of exclusivity or community for website visitors.

To promote exclusivity in your pop-up, use words and phrases like:

  • JOIN OUR VIP GROUP
  • GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES AND DEALS
  • SPECIAL COUPONS FOR MEMBERS ONLY
  • BE PART OF OUR COMMUNITY
  • BECOME A MEMBER
  • GET NOTIFIED BEFORE ANYONE ELSE
  • SPECIAL OFFER FOR FIRST-TIME VISITORS

Your ultimate goal here is to use words that make your visitors feel like by opting in, they will get access to something special that not everyone gets (i.e. special offers or access to inventory before anyone else).

Talk Like Your Customers

If you’re not sure what language to use when writing copy for your pop-up, steal words and phrases from your customers! This is a really underutilized tactic, but one that can greatly impact the conversions you see from your pop-up campaigns.

The idea is simple: to find the right words to use in your pop-up, scan through product reviews on your website and try to identify compelling words and phrases that your happy customers have used to describe their experience with your products.

Remember: your website visitors are inherently cautious about buying products from you, especially if they are unfamiliar with your brand. To help them overcome their objections, and to show them you have a good understanding of who they are and what they need, use real words and phrases from people who were once in their position and ended up choosing to buy your products.

To illustrate the power of this tactic, let’s look at two examples of reviews:

The first comes from ModCloth:

Screen Shot 2017 05 12 at 11.21.18 AM

As you can see, this review is full of colorful language that could be repurposed into a pop-up. Words that could be pulled include: “beautiful fabric,” “sturdy construction,” “adorable and vibrant,” “quick addition to my wardrobe.”

The second example comes from Filson:

Screen Shot 2017 05 12 at 11.22.53 AM

In this review, the phrases that could be pulled and incorporated into a pop-up are “tough, utilitarian, and handsome,” and “nice fit and comfort spring through winter.”

Instead of wasting too much time trying to write creative copy, spend the time searching for gems like these in your own product review sections!

Make Your CTA Language Specific and Actionable

To make a pop-up effective, you need to use language that helps you promote a clear promise. The people who land on your website need to know what you’re offering them in exchange for providing you with their contact information.

To get the most ROI from your pop-ups, use specific and actionable words that make a clear promise to the people who land on your website. In addition, make sure that the language you use is actionable and specific.

For example, don’t publish a generic pop-up on your website that simply asks people to sign up for your email list to receive updates from you. Instead, make a specific promise. Let your visitors know what they actually will get if they give you their email address. Drive more conversions by using words and language in your call-to-action that promise subscribers things like:

  • A special promo code immediately after they sign up
  • Regular monthly discounts that only get sent out to people who opt-in
  • Free or discounted shipping
  • Access to new or restocked inventory before anyone else.

The key to making this tactic successful is to first understand what your website visitors and customers want. Ask yourself what people are most motivated by—what could you offer visitors that would make them most compelled to opt-in? Once you have your answer, build a pop-up that includes specific language relating to the promise you’re offering to anyone who decides takes action.

Leverage Psychology Principles

There are a number of psychology principles and techniques you can leverage when writing copy in order to drive more conversions from your pop-ups. We recently published an actionable blog post on this topic that helps readers understand how to use words and language to:

  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Leverage fear and loss aversion
  • Connect with buyers on a personal level
  • Appeal to the senses
  • Build trust with social proof
  • Overcome objections with risk aversion
  • Tell compelling stories
  • Create a common enemy

If you have a few minutes, spend some time going through that blog post after you finish this one. It’ll give you the background and actionable tips you need to understand how to infuse more psychology-backed principles and techniques into your pop-up copy.

Focus on the Why

Online consumers don’t really like to be sold to. They don’t like buying products—they like finding solutions to their problems. When writing headlines and copy for your pop-ups, focus on describing the benefits and value that your company and products offer to people, rather than focusing too much on features or product specifications. Information about features, product specifications, and other technical information belongs on your product pages—not in your pop-ups.

Your pop-ups should connect with your online visitors on a personal level and help them understand within a few seconds why they should care about your company and your products—what’s in it for them?

For example, if you’re selling a fitness technology product, like a heart monitor or a step counter, you would write copy for your pop-up that focuses less on the tech specs and more on convincing visitors that you can help them:

  • Get healthier
  • Get more exercise
  • Have more energy
  • Become part of a community that makes health a priority

Although not a pop-up, the following copy from the Fitbit website provides a good example of how ecommerce companies are writing copy that focuses on benefits rather than features:

Screen Shot 2017 05 12 at 12.16.24 PM

If you’re a clothing retailer, you would write copy that focuses less on fabric or manufacturing details and more on convincing visitors that you can help them feel and look great, or find the perfect outfit for any occasion.

By focusing on benefits rather than features, you’re connecting with visitors on a human level, showing them that you understand their problems and needs, and presenting your company as the resource that they can work with to get the right answers, help, and solutions.

Use Compelling Numbers

Another simple way to drive more conversions from your pop-up campaigns is by including more numbers in the headline, body, and CTA button of your pop-up. Including numbers can help you leverage the power of social proof. Social proof is, according to this Shopify post, “a psychological phenomenon where we look to the opinions of others and additional “signals” to help us make decisions.”

In layman’s terms, social proof can help you build trust with online visitors by showing them that other people have purchased products from you in the past and are happy with their decision to do so.

To drive more people to take action on your pop-ups, include numbers that illustrate:

  • How many products you’ve sold
  • How many customers have purchased from you (total, last month, this week so far, etc)
  • How many 5-star reviews you have on all of your products or a particular product you are featuring

You can also use numbers when promoting specific coupons or deals in your pop-ups. For example, instead of just saying “FREE SHIPPING IF YOU JOIN OUR LIST,” you might say, “FREE SHIPPING (AVERAGE SAVINGS OF $10) IF YOU JOIN OUR LIST TODAY.”

By using numbers in your pop-up copy, you’re providing more specific information to visitors in an effort to build trust and persuade them to act.

Get Personal

We’ve mentioned it a few times on this blog before, but you can also drive more conversions from pop-ups by personalizing the copy you use in each of your pop-up campaigns.

Instead of launching one campaign that everyone sees regardless of where they came from before landing on your website, create different pop-ups that offer customize messages based on each audience type. For example, send Facebook traffic to your website and present them with a customized pop-up that refers to Facebook (ex. SPECIAL OFFER FOR FACEBOOK FANS).

In WisePops, you can create custom, personalized pop-ups that target people based on location, traffic source, browser, language, operating system and device (mobile, tablet and desktop). Want to give it a try on your website? Sign up today for free and launch your first pop-up.

By adding more personalization to your pop-up copy, you’re able to effectively present them with relevant offers that you know they’ll find attractive.

Test Different Copy Variations

Finally, you should always take the time to launch 2 or more variations of your pop-up with different versions of copy in order to determine which pop-up converts the most visitors. To identify the copy that converts most visitors, spend time A/B testing:

  • Headline variations
  • Value proposition variations (remember, think about the benefits)
  • CTA button copy variations (SIGN UP vs GET COUPON CODE)
  • Copy length (minimal vs longer paragraph)

To learn how to set up intelligent A/B tests in WisePops, read this blog post.

Over to You

What copywriting techniques or strategies do you use most often when creating your pop-ups? Tell me in the comments below.

  • Rob Wormley