How to Use Magento Popups to Build Your Email List and Maximize Your Profits

Did you know that, on average, popups displayed on e-commerce websites have a 3.75% conversion rate?

In other words, if you’re displaying 50,000 popups/month, you’ll end up with 1,875 new emails added to your list each month. All with a technique that takes less than one hour to implement…And that’s not all — popups can help you maximize your Magento store’s revenue as well.

In this article, we’ll show you how to use popups to:

  • skyrocket your email list (and beat the 3.75% average conversion rate)
  • reduce cart abandonment and increase your average basket value
  • create or code your own Magento pop-up

Ready? Let’s go!

How to Build Your Email List Using Newsletter Popups

Crafting the perfect newsletter popup for your Magento store is a 4-step process:

  • First, we’ll focus on your offer, the thing that will convince your visitors to subscribe
  • Then, we’ll show you how to find the right words to “sell” your offer to your visitors and convince them to leave their email address
  • Afterwards, we’ll discuss how your popup’s design can help you maximize your popups’ results
  • And we’ll conclude with “Targeting 101”

Find an Offer That Speaks to Your Audience

Let’s start with some quick stats about the impact of offers on a pop-up’s conversion rate:

Average conversion rate for ecommerce popups


As you can see, offers have a huge impact.

And, of course, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy for offers. Some Magento stores are selling clothes, some are focusing on electronics, others on hand-made articles, etc… So each offer is unique and adapted to the kind of products you’re selling and to your audience.

In most cases, a coupon or a free shipping offer will work great (that’s the kind of offer most of our clients on Magento are using).

Giveaways also work well (usually they outperform coupons and free shipping offers). Plus, they’re cheap. But they come with a downside: you’re not sure that the people you’re adding to your email list are interested in purchasing a product from your website.

Here’s what the transition from a popup with no offer to a popup offering to win a free product looks like. The client went from an average conversion rate of 2.3% to 7.1%!

the conversion rate of a giveaway popup


(The product costs only $30, so the campaign costs them close to nothing.)

If you’re not sure what offer will speak to your audience, you can reuse this trick from one of our clients:

A magento popup mentioning a surprise


They created this popup and then sent an email to all their new subscribers to ask what kind of gifts they were expecting. The replies they got helped them identify the perfect offer and improve their welcome email at the same time.

Find the Right Words

When using popups, you have to remember one thing.

There’s a good chance that they will interrupt your user’s flow. A little bit like when you’re receiving a call while you’re cooking. Do you like getting long calls when you’re busy preparing a carrot cake? Of course not.

Pop-ups are the same. They should be quick to read and scan because they’re interrupting your visitor while she’s busy shopping.

To make sure you’re not using too many words, read the text of your popup out loud. If it takes more than 2 seconds to read, it’s too long.

Here’s a good example on Bruno Magli’s website:

Magento newsletter popup example


The whole copy takes 1 second to read.

When it comes to the words you’re using, you should focus on action verbs and power words. They will help you convince your visitor to act now.

Here are a few examples of efficient copy:

  • Subscribe and receive an instant offer
  • Get X% off today
  • Claim your discount
  • Win a XX worth $150
  • One-time offer: Get a unique gift when you subscribe

And here’s an example of what you shouldn’t do. As you can see, Cox & Cox (a Magento 2 website) is listing too many benefits. It takes a while to scan their popup…

Magento popup example


Design a Popup That Doesn’t Look Like One

To prepare this article, we reviewed some of the largest Magento stores in the world.

Out of 40 stores reviewed, 21 were using popups.

In a world where most e-commerce websites are already using a popup extension, you have to stand out.

Your visitors deserve something better than a square popup.

Let’s take a real-life example. This is a popup I found on As you can see, it’s a classic rectangular popup…

A rectangular popup on Oliver Bonas' website


And this is what it could look like if you changed its shape. Suddenly this modal looks way more original.

An improved version of the same popup


(I used this tool to generate the background image.)

Select the Right Audience

Earlier this year, we ran a survey to understand what web visitors thought about popups.

And as you might expect, most of them confessed that they hated popups:

The results of a survey about popups

One of the biggest frustrations? Popup timing!

Most web users dislike pop-ups that appear as soon as they land on a website.

Why web users hate popups

So if you’re going to display popups on your store, make sure that you’re not displaying them right away. Add a reasonable delay: 20-30 seconds, or display the popup on the second-page view. You’ll get a better conversion rate and you’ll minimize annoyance for your visitors.

You can also use exit-intent detection to display your modal when they’re about to leave your website.

There’s an extra precaution you can take to make sure you’re not spamming your users: exclude your existing subscribers. To do so, you can exclude all your visitors that come with a UTM_source equal to email.

How to Use Popups to Maximize Your Magento Store’s Revenue

For years, popups were quite basic. Everyone landing on a website got the same popup at the same time asking for an email address.

But times have changed.

In this section, we’ll discuss how you can use popups to reduce cart abandonment, increase your average order value and understand your customers’ pain points, all using what we call “contextual targeting.”

Implement a Cart Abandonment Popup

First, let’s explain what contextual targeting is.

Traditional popups used basic targeting options like time on site, device, etc.

But today, it’s possible to use behavioral targeting options to display modals that are adapted to what your visitors are doing on your website.

How exactly can this help you grow your store?

Let’s start with cart abandonment. According to 41 studies reviewed by the Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment in e-commerce is 69.57%. In other words, only 30.43% of your visitors who’ve added items to their cart will actually purchase them. Bummer!

And the top reason for checkout abandonment? Extra costs.


Top reasons for checkout abandonment


As a marketer, there’s something you can do about this: offer a discount to your visitors who are about to abandon their cart.

A lot of Magento stores are displaying coupons to all the visitors leaving their website. But when doing so, you’re probably sharing the offer to too many visitors.

And you’re not adapting the value of the discount to the real value of your visitors. In other words: does it sound OK to you to share the same discount to someone who’s exiting your website only after checking your homepage versus someone who’s leaving the checkout page with $150 in his cart?

Here’s how you can create a campaign specifically targeting users leaving your website with items in their cart.

Select an exit-intent trigger:

Then select visitors exiting the basket or checkout pages:

Add this last condition to make sure you’re displaying the offer to visitors who’ve already added items to their cart:

You can then display this kind of popup to retain your visitors who are the most sensitive to price and extra costs:

Upsell Your Visitors

What more can we do to maximize your revenue using popups?

There’s a simple trick that I like.

Using popups to maximize the impact of your free shipping threshold.

Here’s a real-life example. Hips & Curves, a Magento 2 store, is offering free shipping over $75. They edited the header of their store to promote the offer.

But what happens when you reach the checkout page with less than $75 in your cart?

The offer is gone.

Again, using contextual targeting, we can display a banner to users in the checkout process with a cart below $75 to boost the average cart value. Here’s what it could look like.

And in terms of configuration, we would display the banner when visitors load the cart page with a cart value below $75:

Add a Survey Popup

Until now, we’ve only seen ways to use Magento popups to grow your email list or generate instant revenue. This last technique is more focused on maximizing your revenue in the long run.


By using survey popups to help you understand your visitors and what they expect from you.

For example, Thinx uses them to understand how their visitors heard about the brand.

Thinx's Popup Survey


This is a good start. But surveys can help you understand more complex problems.

Like why your visitors are leaving your store empty-ended (yes, this is an exit-intent popup displayed on the product pages).


Magento exit-intent popup survey example

To make sure your survey pop-up is a success, I recommend following these three rules:

  • Display them to a qualified audience (visitors who have viewed 2 pages already and/or spent at least 40 seconds on your website)
  • Display them on the right pages (if you want to understand cart abandonment, select only the basket and checkout pages. For example, if you want to understand why people are not adding your product to their cart, focus on product pages)
  • Use a limited number of options in your questionnaire to make it easy to fill in

How to Create a Popup in Magento

By now, you should be convinced that Magento popups can help you grow your business with limited effort.

But how do you create the popups themselves?

Basically, you have two main options:

  • Magento extensions
  • Popup scripts (requires coding skills)

Find the Best Magento Popup Extension

If you’re not a developer, I recommend using Magento extensions. Luckily, the Magento marketplace is filled with options.

The hardest part is to find the extension that works for you. Here’s a quick checklist to help you find the best tool for your store.

Does the extension integrate with your ESP?

If you plan to use popups to build an email list, that should be your main concern.

I recommend that you make sure that the extension integrates with your ESP and includes all the options you need (instant sync, option to select the destination list, etc.).

Is the extension compatible with your version of Magento?

This might seem obvious. But some older plugins, for example, are not compatible with Magento 2.

What level of customization do you need?

Let’s get it out of the way: there are tons of free plugins that let you create basic popups.

But if you want to customize the colors, add pictures or GIFs, or select the position on screens, there are way fewer options available.

What targeting options do they offer?

Again, most solutions, including free tools, include exit-intent popups (at least on desktop) and page selection by default. But if you need to create contextual rules based on cart value, purchase history, login status and more, you may want to focus on plugins offering more options…

What options do they offer to test and measure your results?

This is an important question.

With basic plugins, you can publish your popups but not track how visitors interact with them. With the most advanced tools, you can follow displays, clicks, leads collected and even revenue…In other words, if you want to test and learn, you need a pop-up extension that lets you try different options and follow their impact on your campaign’s performance.

How to Code a Popup in Magento

If you have experience in development and want to save money, you can code your own Magento popup using one of these scripts.

What’s best about this plugin? It comes with a detailed tutorial and includes all the basic options you expect from a popup script: delay, frequency, exit-intent popups…


This is probably the best known pop-up script. It’s used by thousands of websites.

It includes even more options than Beeker’s script, such as a timer, callbacks, etc. It’s no longer maintained, though.

Ashwin Shahapurkar’s elegant exit intent pop-up

I picked this one mainly because of its nice-looking gradient. It’s probably not the best option, but at least it looks good.

That’s all for today!

I hope this article has convinced you that popups must be part of the marketing strategy for any Magento store.

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