Last Minute Checklist to Optimize Your Thanksgiving Popups

Scary, isn’t it?

You have just one day left until this year’s shopping season begins.
And I’m sure you’re already doing the final checks to make sure your store’s ready for the surge in traffic.

But you know what: I bet you forgot about the popups.

After all, they seem so insignificant compared to a server’s speed, a compelling offer or checkout optimization, right?
And yet, a poor popup might send visitors away from your site.
A strong one, though, could boost your sales.

So, with that in mind, I created a simple checklist you can use to find out how well you’ve optimized your popups for this Thanksgiving weekend.
Ready? Let’s do it.

Part I: General Setup

Almost every popup’s element can affect its performance. From headline, images, buttons to the way you set it up, timing, or design.
And so, as a first thing, assess your popups’ general setup.

#1. Are you using dedicated Thanksgiving templates?

For your popup to work, you need to make it relevant to your visitors’ intent. And you can achieve this via headline or images. But the simplest way to do it is to change your designs to a relevant theme.
Templates like these help you tell a visitor what to expect – a Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals – and don’t force them to analyze the popup to discern its meaning.
Cyber Monday Templates

#2. Are you allowing visitors to bring back the popup even if they clicked it off?

I’m sure you’ve noticed it already – many visitors click the popup off without even looking. And in turn, miss out on whatever promotion you offer.
Luckily, you can allow them to bring the popup back with our new feature called the Permanent Tab.
The tab works just like a button. Clicking it activates or hides the popup.

Additional benefit of using the Permanent Tab is that it allows you to place another, this time permanent call to action on the screen.
You can place the tab in various locations on the screen, and it will remain there for as long as the popup is closed. Once a visitor use it to bring the popup back, the tab will disappear. However, it will show up again the moment a person clicks the popup off.
permanent tab

Ready to include Permanent Tab in your Christmas promotions?

#3. Are your popups optimized to display at the right time?

When it comes to popups, timing is everything.
As I wrote in one of my earlier articles:
“To succeed in converting a visitor, you need to display the popup at the time when they are the most likely to respond to your offer.”
And so, identify the best time to display a popup. To do that, analyze your last year’s Thanksgiving weekend data to find out how much time visitors had spent on a page. Then, depending on a campaign you run, set your popups to display immediately (directing visitors to a Black Friday page) or at about 50%-60% of the average visit time (lead generation).

#4. Do you have an exit popup displaying only at the checkout to collect abandoners’ email addresses?

Most strategies you set up for the Christmas shopping season will aim at converting as many visitors as possible into sales.
But don’t forget about shopping cart abandonment. Display an exit popup triggered by someone’s intention to leave your site at the checkout, and offer them an additional discount in return for their email address.

#5. Have you disabled other promotions and popups that aren’t related to Black Friday?

Make sure that you pause any other campaigns you normally run, to prevent irrelevant offers displaying to your visitors during the shopping season.

Part II: Content

Let’s face it:
Your visitors will only scan the popup. And so, unless it immediately grabs their attention, they’ll dismiss it (or irritated, leave the site).
So here’s what you should check on your Christmas shopping popups:

#6. Do your headlines clearly describe your offer, using plain language your audience can understand?

A good headline will help you attract a visitor’s attention, tell them about your offer, and if it’s for them, and entice them to read the rest of the popup.
But his can happen only if your audience can understand what you tell them. So make sure that your popup describes your offer in the simplest way possible.
Here’s an example of a popup with a confusing (and barely visible) headline.
Screenshot 2016-05-24 at 9.18.13 AMScreenshot 2016-05-24 at 9.18.13 AM

#7. Do you include power words or active verbs in the headline?

Power words evoke emotions and trigger our natural curiosity. Active verbs, on the other hand, get us to take action. You should use either of them in your headlines to engage your visitors and grab their attention.

#8. Is the subheading/description brief and easy to understand?

True: you don’t have to include a subheading on every popup. But if you do, make sure that it is short, and focuses on communicating the value of your offer.

Part III: Visuals

Visuals you use on a popup can affect your visitors’ interest in your offer. They can help you ensure visitors will pay attention the most important element of your popup, like a headline or a call to action.
So here are the last-minute checks you should do on your popups’ visuals.

#9. Are your visuals relevant to the offer?

Make sure that when designing a popup, you display an image that’s related to your offer, rather than a generic visual that’s just going to confuse your visitors.
For example, compare these two popups. The image on the first one doesn’t seem relevant to its content.
The other, however, features a visual theme that clearly indicates what promotion the company’s running.
Funky christmas jumpers 4

#10. Do you show visitors what they’ll get when they act on the call to action?

If you’re promoting a specific offer, show customers visuals that relate to what they’re going to get from your offer. Show product images, or use graphics that relate to Thanksgiving or Christmas shopping to ensure relevancy of your popup.
what they get

#11. If you use images of people, do they look towards the most important elements on the popup you want visitors to notice as well?

We can’t resist following the gaze of other people. And that also refers to faces on images too.
You can use that behavior to ensure visitors notice the most important elements on your popup – headline, or a call to action.
For example, the image on this popup immediately makes you look away from the main copy.

However, this popup immediately makes you notice the headline, doesn’t it?

Part IV: Trust Factors

Trust is a major factor affecting online buying behavior. Customers are aware of potential dangers of handing over their email addresses on unknown sites. So, make sure you display relevant trust marks on the popup to overcome their security concerns.


#12. Do you include a privacy policy under the form to reassure visitors?
#13. Do you feature trust marks and trust seals to highlight that it is safe to sign up to your list?
#14. Do you include social proof that reassures a person of your trustworthiness?


Part V: Calls to Action

Call to action (CTA) is the second most important element of your popup, after the headline. It informs a visitor what action you want them to take, and how to complete it.
And so, check your popups to ensure that their calls to action meet the following standards:

#15. Does it clearly communicate the action you want visitors to complete?

The role of your CTA is to tell a visitor what to do and how in the simplest way possible. Don’t try to use complex language or wordplay. Instead, include simple action verbs and a description of the action a person should take.

#16. Is it relevant to your offer?

For example, if you promote Black Friday deals, then you call to action should urge visitors to check your promotions page or start shopping.

#17. Does it include an action verb?

Your CTA should start with a verb that prompts customers to take the relevant action, i.e. “shop,” “visit,” “get,” etc.

#18. Does it create a sense of urgency?

Given the nature of holiday shopping, your CTA should also convince visitors to the benefits of acting on your offer straight away.

#19. Do you include a secondary call to action to help visitors opt out of the offer?

It is a good practice today to add a second call to action; that focuses on the opposite action to the one you want the user to take. Its goal is to help a person to close the popup should they decide not to avail of your offer.

#20. Does the button stand out on a popup?

Finally, for your call to action to work, your visitors must be able to notice it right away. So, make sure that you set the call to action in contrasting colors, and leave space around it, so it immediately attracts attention.
For example, this popup features a text-only call to action that blends with the rest of the copy, making it indistinguishable at first sight.
Screenshot 2016-05-24 at 8.37.18 AM

Not having any popups ready for the Christmas season? No problem. Learn more about how easy it is to use Wisepops to create Ecommerce popups

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

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