5 Split Tests You Need to Try on Your Popups Right Now

In spite of how well your popups convert right now, they could always perform better.

But to boost their conversion rate any further, you first need to find out what popup elements engage your audience.
And although it might seem like a challenging task, the entire process is actually quite easy…

In fact, all it takes to boost your popups conversions is split testing different popup elements to see which one delivers more signups.

If you’re not familiar with the concept of A/B testing, I recommend you read this guide to designing a split test first.
In this post, however, you’ll learn 5 simple split tests you could run on your popups right now to improve their conversions.
So, let’s begin.

#1. Increase Popup’s Contrast or Size

Look, I agree:
A popup should match your brand.
After all, you want it to seem like an integral part of the website and your overall company’s brand.

But here’s the catch:
With ONLY branded colors, your popup is likely to blend with other website elements, leaving many visitors to ignore it completely.

Here, just take a look at this example. Even though it features a strong headline and offer, the popup almost entirely blends with the site. Plus, its background image makes some of the copy hard to read.

A popup on NewBalance's online store

Now compare it with this popup.

A popup on GlassesUSA with contrasting colors

The difference is astonishing. And it’s all down to a single factor, contrast.

Because, as Peep Laja confirms in his article fantastic article on Conversion XL:
“We pay more attention to things that are in contrast to other things.”
So, experiment with increasing the contrast between your popup and the rest of the page.

There is a number of ways you can achieve it:
Use a contrasting background color. Instead of using your branded color in the background, pick one in contrast to it.

You can do it in apps like Adobe Kuler.
When using the app, select “Complimentary” as the color rule to use.

Adobe's color wheel

Then, input your branded color value into the left-most box:
Adobe color's wheel - 2

Hit enter and the tool will generate colors directly opposite to your branded one on the color wheel.

The right-most color will on the screen then will be the most contrasting one matching your brand.

Adobe color wheel - Final step

Or use an Overlay. If you don’t want to introduce any new colors to your designs, then another option is to use an overlay.
The overlay is a semi-transparent layer that covers the website behind the popup, making a visitor focus on the popup only.

A popup displayed with an overlay

Activate overlay on your popup, then, specify its color and transparency.

Overlay settings in Wisepops

TIP: Ideally, you should add at least some transparency to the overlay, to ensure that a visitor still sees the website behind it, although it stays out of their focus.

#2. Change Popup Placement

I believe that surprise is one of the most effective ways to engage visitors and grab their attention.
Most visitors already exhibit what’s known as banner blindness – they ignore any website element that looks like an ad.
For that reason, many calls to action no longer deliver satisfying conversions. Sidebar banners, under the post calls to action, and many others used to attract visitors’ attention and convert them into leads.

Today, however, most people landing on your pages simply overlook them, focusing on the actual content.
And I believe the same might be true for certain popup elements.

For example, many visitors might automatically dismiss a popup appearing in the center of the screen, since they’re so used to seeing them on almost any website.

a centered popup

However, they might react differently to a popup appearing in an unusual location, at the bottom of the screen, on the side or the top.
A side popup example

A Side Popup on Survicate's website

So, consider split testing two different display locations, the current one you’re having, and another one, that would take a visitor by surprise.

#3. Add Trust Signals

I’m sure you’ll agree:
Trust is one of the biggest factors affecting our online behavior.
After all, you know so well what might happen if you surrender your email to a company that doesn’t take privacy and security seriously.
And your visitors feel the same. In fact, they might fear to sign up on your site, simply because they haven’t seen it or heard of you before.
And so, consider adding trust signals to your popup. These could include:

  • A privacy statement, confirming that you will not distribute the person’s email address to any 3rd
  • Trust seals highlighting that it’s safe to buy from you.

Just take a look at some examples of popups including those elements:
A popup on Kate Spade featuring trust signals

A popup stating that personal details will not be shared with 3rd-party companies

Now compare them with a popup featuring no trust signals:
An exit-intent pop-up on Dodocase

I’m sure you’ll agree, although it presents a strong offer, this popup gives visitor no reassurance about the security of their personal data.

#4. Delay Displaying a Popup

You have two options when displaying a popup:

  1. You can show it to visitors the moment they land on your site. And by far, this is the most common scenario.
  2. Or you could wait until they had a chance to learn more about you and engage with your site.

Both offer equal benefits. However, your audience might react differently to each of them.
For example, when split testing both scenarios you might discover that visitors who had a chance to find out more about you first, are more likely to convert on your popup.
Or vice versa.

But you won’t know which one works best for you until you test them both.
So, create a version of the popup and delay its appearance. You can do that in two ways:

  • Specify the time delay after which you’ll display a popup.
  • Or, show a popup when a user has scrolled to a particular point on a page.

#5. Shorten (or Drop) the Form

I agree:
Unlike landing pages, popup signup forms are typically short.
Most popups would ask for name and email at most. Many require visitors to only submit their email address.
However, even a short form could be an obstacle in conversion. And that’s because sometimes asking for even a single additional information could deter a person from signing up.

For example, completing this form would certainly take more effort than just submitting an email address or a phone number.

A popup including a long form

However, to complete this form a visitor has to perform a single action.
A short form popup

If your popups ask for more than an email, consider shortening your forms. Edit them to require only the most basic information, and test if fewer fields have any effect on your conversions.

Pawel Grabowski Pawel is an SEO and content marketing consultant working exclusively with SaaS brands.

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