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Last updated Thu Apr 11 2024

How to Do A/B Testing for Popups [+Ideas & Examples]

"My popups are not performing well enough."

That's one of the main reasons why many marketers and business owners stop using website popups.

But as with any marketing project, a much better idea is to experiment with various campaign versions to get improved results.

Many of those who keep going and test different versions of popups get better outcomes and achieve their goals.

In this guide, you'll see how it's done.

Click to view:

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Benefits of A/B testing for popups

You should try A/B testing your popups because it can help:

  • generate more leads and sales

  • understand what marketing messages your customers respond to better

  • discover the top-converting web pages on your website

  • find out what customer group brings you the best results

  • get measurable data about the performance of your marketing projects

As one marketer said—

Amitai Sasson

"I know a lot of people are worried about popups and customer experience and I agree. But if you do popups right, then you can have them done tastefully, and you will reap the rewards."

Amitai Sasson, VP of ecommerce, Overstockart

"Doing popups right" undoubtedly includes A/B testing.

overstockart logo
See how Amitai uses popups to get 1,000 leads monthly:

A/B testing for popups: a case study

Let me show you the value of A/B testing your popups with a real case.

Ben, the head of growth at Asphalte, needed to increase lead generation and increase the number of visitors participating in the product survey.

He used A/B testing to experiment with a few campaign variants.

Here's the design of the first campaign...

...which was also made into a full-screen variant:

And here's the second one—

(as you can see, it had a different background image, which gave the campaign a completely new feel):

The experiments with various versions really paid off.

With A/B testing of different designs and audience targeting settings, Ben boosted the popup CTR from 15% to 25%. That equaled about 4,000 new leads for Asphalte every month!

This example is a great one to demonstrate the value of A/B testing popups. Even small tweaks can improve results and make a difference for your business.

If you'd like to know more about this project:

asphalte
Get more details:

Read Asphalte case study (also available in French)

How to do A/B testing for popups

  • Choose a goal

  • Define campaign elements for testing

  • Create the first popup

  • Enable A/B testing

  • Customize the second popup

  • Publish the test

  • Analyze the results

Prefer a video?

Check out this two-minute tutorial:

In this tutorial, I'll use Wisepops, a top-rated popup tool with advanced A/B testing (named one of the best A/B test tools by Capterra).

If you'd like to follow along, get a free account:

Unlimited free trial, no cc needed. Learn more about Wisepops popup builder

trustpilot
"Great for testing popups & notifications"

"The best feature of Wisepops is the AB Testing, we can test different discounts on signup to see which one is the most impactful, and increases sign up and conversion rate in doing so."

G&G, Trustpilot

Step 1: Choose a goal

Put simply, what do you want to achieve with your popups?

For example:

  • generate more leads

  • make more sales

  • drive traffic to a page with promotions

Step 2: Define campaign elements for testing

The elements are our variables, e.g. the design of the popup, text, the targeted visitor group, and the type of incentive offered.

Here are some ideas for popup A/B testing:

  • a full-screen popup vs a non-intrusive popup with a sticky tab

  • a discount popup with a countdown vs a popup without the countdown

  • a popup with a product image vs. a popup with a model photo

  • a first-order popup with a mystery offer vs. a popup with a 10% discount

  • a welcome popup with a 10% discount vs. a spin-to-win popup with 5%, 10% discounts and free shipping

For example, Martin from Faguo chose to test different formats: a small popup in the corner vs a full-screen spin-to-win popup.

Step 3: Create the first popup

Make the first version of your popup to serve as the control version.

In Wisepops, click New Campaign > Campaign Assistant > Newsletter.

Then, you'll see a gallery of templates.

Feel free to choose any template:

templates to choose

Then, customize the look of the campaign in the editor. Just click the element you'd like to change and the customization options will appear:

customizing

Save your campaign once you're happy with its look.

If you need help using the editor, watch this quick video:

Step 4: Enable A/B testing

Click to campaign settings (the three-dot menu, shown below):

test menu

There, click "A/B test:"

ab test button

Now, you'll see two versions of the same campaign: half of your visitors will see the first one while the other half will get the second one:

duplicating ab test popups campaigns

Note:

You can adjust how many of your visitors see each campaign variant. Click the "Attributes 50% of the audience" below the variant you'd like to adjust:

choosing audience percentage

Step 5: Customize the second popup

Now, let's change the second campaign.

Click it to launch the campaign editor. There, adjust the design or offer as you planned and save.

Optionally, you can add more than two variants by clicking Duplicate as new variant in the campaign menu:

duplicating ab test popups

Step 6: Publish the test

Publish your campaigns!

The publishing button is available in the campaign overview (that appears when you hit Done editing in the campaign editor):

publishing ab test popups

Next—

Leave it for a few days and check back to see the results.

Step 7: Analyze the results

Check the performance of the two campaigns: displays, emails, and/or clicks.

See that one campaign clearly outperforms the other? Choose the winning variant and select "Duplicate as new campaign." This action will stop the A/B test and replicate the successful variant into a fresh campaign:

better version ab testing

If there's no appreciable difference between the two campaigns, consider testing another element (change the copy, images, targeting rules, etc.).

Final tips:

  • Consider testing multiple versions if you can (more than two)

  • Test only one element at a time to clearly see the impact of each change

  • Monitor the performance of your campaigns even after choosing a winning variant, as changes in external factors may affect their effectiveness

A/B testing for popups: next steps

A/B testing is a powerful tool for improving the effectiveness of website popups. By testing different elements and analyzing the results, you can optimize your popup campaigns for better performance.

Consider these resources to know how to use popups effectively:

Oleksii Kovalenko

Oleksii Kovalenko is a digital marketing expert and a writer with a degree in international marketing. He has seven years of experience helping ecommerce store owners promote their businesses by writing detailed, in-depth guides.

Education:

Master's in International Marketing, Academy of Municipal Administration

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