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Last updated Mon Jul 03 2023

How to Create MailChimp Popups That Convert

You’ve set up your MailChimp account.

You’re ready to send emails and attract tons of traffic to your website!

But your contact base is empty. Who will you send your emails to?

That’s when website popups come into play.

With a 3.8% subscription rate (that’s the average CVR), they’re the most powerful way to capture emails and turn your visitors into subscribers.

Let’s see how you can make the most of them.

Prefer to get to work right away? Create a Mailchimp popup now 📈

If you're looking for something different, check out these guides:

How to make a Mailchimp popup

Follow these steps to create a Mailchimp popup form for your website.

For starters, get an easy-to-use popup app—we recommend Wisepops, our own popup builder. You can use it to make a popup for free:

Here's a look of its popup editor—everything is in drag-and-drop:

popup builder for wix

Step 1: Identify your segments

Before trying to get more subscribers, it’s important to set your strategy first.

As with emails, there’s no one-size-fits-all strategy possible. You need to tailor your MailChimp popups to your audience.

To do so, these questions can help:

Do I have different segments of visitors? (If you already created multiple lists or groups in MailChimp, the answer is probably yes)

What defines these segments?

  • Your visitors’ interests? For example if you’re a SaaS, you might want to segment your visitors by the type of product they’re interested in

  • Their country? If you’re working for an international ecommerce website, you might want to segment by country.

  • Their language? Most of the time, you need to adapt to the local language.

  • Their gender? If you’re selling shoes or clothes, it would make a lot of sense to segment by gender.

Step 2: Prepare your offer

To convince your users to fill in your popup form, you’ll have to find a convincing offer.

Offers can be:

A discount coupon:

Coupons are still one of the best ways to seduce a customer. According to research, 39% of customers use them.

mailchimp popup with discount

A free shipping coupon:

Free shipping offers can be very convincing as well. Actually, 9 out of 10 consumers say it’s the most convincing incentive to shop more online.

Learn more: 18 discount code ideas

free shipping discount popup

Product giveaway

See this example below? 17.5% of the users who saw it entered their email to participate in the giveaway.

Learn more: Faguo lead generation project


Sometimes the best reward is knowledge in the form of a PDF or a spreadsheet which will save you time or teach you something.

MailChimp makes it very easy to send a welcome email containing that kind of freebie (or any lead magnet example, really). In other words, it’s easy to implement and given the results, it’s worth trying this kind of offer.

Step 3: Craft the perfect MailChimp popup

Start by picking the right headline. It will be key to getting your visitor’s attention.
In short:

  • Make sure it highlights a benefit of subscribing to your newsletter

  • Use power words to make it more appealing

  • Keep it short, its aim is to drive your user’s attention to the popup in itself

Here's a good example:

wisepops popup software example use case

ou can also draw inspiration from the 6 popup headline formulas.

Once your headline is ready, let’s focus on your optin popup main content:

  • Make sure it’s easy and quick to understand

  • Detail the benefits of subscribing (“exclusive offers”, “10% off your next order”, etc)

  • Use words which reflect your brand’s tone of voice

If you want to take it further, you can read our 8 tips to write popup copy.

email newsletter signup popup example

Step 4: Prepare a stunning design

When designing your popups, we recommend you to keep the following rules in mind:

First rule: don’t forget mobile

Prepare two designs, one for mobile and the second for tablets and desktops. It will display better on each type of device and will prevent an SEO penalty.

A mobile lightbox popup on Tom Ford

Second rule: keep your design coherent with your website

Work on a design that matches your website style and your brand. The visitor must feel like the popup is part of the navigation experience.

popup for mailchimp example

You can draw some inspiration from your MailChimp email templates: what colors do you use in your newsletters? What kind of visuals? Call-to-actions? Can you reuse some of these elements?

Third rule: use visuals

Images can help get your visitors’ attention. See how this popup contributes to helping focus on their message?

visuals in mailchimp popups

Step 5: Prepare your target

The first option you’ll have to think about when preparing your display scenario will be the popup trigger. Here are some of the most common options:

  • On landing: as soon as the user loads the page (often you can add a delay)

  • On exit: when the user is about to leave your website

  • After X pages: when the user has browsed through more than X pages

  • On scroll: when the user has read X% of your page

  • On click: when the user clicks a specific link or call-to-action


popup display settings
There’s no universal rule for triggers. The results you’ll see will depend a lot on your type of business. To make sure you pick the right option, we recommend you AB test the different triggers.

Once you’ve chosen a trigger, you can select who should see your popup. Remember when we discussed your segments at the first step? Well, let’s use them now.

To make sure your popups reach the right visitor segment, you can rely on the following targeting options:

  • Visitor type: you could distinguish between new visitors and returning visitors

  • Pages viewed: you can trigger a different popup depending on the category of your website the user visits

  • Device: this option will help you serve a different popup to mobile users

  • Geo-location: if you’re an international business and want to target users from a specific country or region, etc.


Step 6: Configure MailChimp

Get ready to roll!

You’ve built your list-building machine. Now we need to configure MailChimp properly so you can make the most of these new subscribers and adapt the emails they’ll receive to the segment they belong to.

Segment your lists

MailChimp provides a few options to segment your lists:

  • Lists: MailChimp lists are the highest level of segmentation available in MailChimp. Usually they group contacts from the same country, or those interested in the same product, etc. A given email can be only sent to a given list or a subset of a list.

  • Groups: Groups allow you to create subsets of subscribers inside a given list. They’re useful when you have recurring segmentation needs

  • Other segmentation options: You’ll find tons of other segmentation options.

In general, we recommend keeping things simple and starting with a unique list that you later segment using groups or field values.

Once you’ve chosen a structure for your account, it’s time to prepare the automations.

Set up your automations

By default, MailChimp offers a welcome email option. Once activated, this option will trigger an email for any new subscriber you get, whether it comes from a signup form or an opt-in popup.

This email is a good opportunity to:

  • Share a welcome coupon or a freebie if you advertised one in your opt-in popup

  • Drive your visitors back to your store:  to do so, it can be as simple as adding links to your main website categories. Or featuring your best sellers.

  • Reinforce your branding: the welcome email can also be a good opportunity to communicate on your brand’s story or on your main services (free returns, money-back guarantees, etc.)

But this default welcome email might not be adapted if you have different segments of subscribers and need a different welcome email for each.

So, you’ll need to deactivate the default welcome email and create a specific welcome email for each group.

In your Mailchimp account:

1. Go to Automations

2. Select “Get started"

3. Click "Welcome automation"

4. Click "Use this Journey" and "Continue" in the next window

5. Click ‘Edit segment’

6. Check “Edit" in the first step of the automation (the three dots)

segmentation in mailchimp
7. Choose "Get more specific about who can enter this map" in the window that opens

8. Choose the segment you'd like to target by choosing different subscriber behavior-related events

The last thing to do is to create your welcome email, of course. And your campaign should be ready to go!

MailChimp x Wisepops

MailChimp default popup forms are quite limited.

With Wisepops, you could:

  • Easily design unique and beautiful pop-ups which match your brand identity.

  • Reach the perfect audience for your campaigns thanks to 30+ targeting options

  • Track the impact of your campaign on your sales and revenue

  • Integrate your popups easily on Shopify, WordPress, Magento and any other kind of website

Pawel Lawrowski

Pawel is the Head of Growth at Wisepops and an expert in lead generation, popups, and onsite marketing.

With over a decade of experience in digital marketing, he has both build marketing teams from scratch and led strategic business growth projects.

Pawel has worked with countless online businesses on marketing strategies and is now sharing his knowledge on the Wisepops blog.