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4 High-Converting Popup Types

7 min read

If you’ve ever considered using popups on your website, then you know how tough a decision it is to make. Popups get a lot of flak for being annoying and that’s not surprising — most popups actually are annoying. And it’s no surprise that most pop-ups also do not convert.

But there is no doubt that you’ve encountered a popup that was just perfect. You engaged with it and entered your email address and hit that subscribe button.

This is every marketer’s dream — to have a popup that actually does what it's supposed to do — get you more subscribers!

Collect more email subscribers

Wait. Hold on.

Are you one of those people who doesn’t believe that email marketing works?

Are you skeptical of the need to put effort into creating a popup and asking visitors to your website to enter their email addresses?

Well, here’s why you’re wrong — for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.

Yes, you read that right!

Email marketing has a strong impact on the bottom line for digital marketers. That is why we’re going to show you how you can build popups that actually convert in order to get people to give you their email addresses. For this, we’re going to look at the most common high-converting popup types and then give examples of each one. By reading this article, you equip yourself to kickstart your email marketing.

Before we do that, let’s look at one more reason why pops are the best way to capture emails for your subscriber list.

Popups can get you a 500% increase in signups and also decrease cart abandonment by up to 17%.

If you have a website, it’s highly likely that you have a newsletter. If not, you definitely have encountered a newsletter sign-up form as a popup on some websites you have visited.

These types of popups are very popular among both marketing experts and bloggers. You’ll encounter these forms on homepages, embedded in blog posts and other areas of a website that visitors spend time on.

The problem, of course, is to convert these visitors into subscribers. Of all the traffic you get, you only really have to convert a fraction of them to be successful.

That is where popups are miracle workers — they can help you get a 500% increase in signups and also decrease cart abandonment by up to 17%.

What’s the reason for these unbelievable numbers? Well, it’s a one-two punch. First, every visitor to your website will see these popups and have the opportunity to sign up. Second, if you add an enticing offer or incentive for them to sign up, your chances increase further.

High converting discount popups

Here’s an example of a popup that offers 20% off on your first purchase if you simply sign up. Most of us would not hesitate to do so! That’s why this is so effective.

With that said, let’s dive in. Let’s take a look at some of the major types of high-converting popups and also examples for each case.

#1: Exit-Intent

You are browsing a website. Unfortunately, you haven’t found anything worthwhile on it or you just are about to move on and hit that close button when suddenly a popup appears with an enticing offer that is just perfect for you. That is what an exit-intent popup is.

Notice the wording of the popup above. It’s almost natural communication.

The website knows that you are leaving and says either of the below......


‘Leaving already?’

‘Before you go…’

In addition, there is an incentive to actually sign up. The fact is, most visitors will sign up just based on the incentive and might not actually use it to make a purchase immediately.

However, you now have their email address and can communicate and convert them over time!

It’s possible that you have an enticing offer that gets completely ignored simply because your popup isn’t designed well!

There are, however, two other things to note. The first is — design matters. People are more drawn to visuals than to text. So it’s possible that you have an enticing offer that gets completely ignored simply because your popup isn’t designed well!

Popups provide a very tiny real estate for your content. In fact, you have so little space to work with that every single word counts!

And second, your copy needs to be effective. The exit-intent popup gets to work when people are on their way out of your website. They aren’t going to read a long message from you. So a terse and effective copy is a must!

A final note — make it easy to close the popup. Don’t leave your users with a bad experience!

#2. Gamified Popups

Games are as old as humanity. People are most engaged when they play. So it should come as no surprise that gamified popups increase conversions.

Gamified pop-up example
Gamified pop-up

You might have encountered a ‘spin the wheel’ type popup while browsing the internet. These pop-ups are based on the concept of an incentive, but instead of offering a discount directly, you get your visitors to play a game. Here are examples of some incentives you can offer through your game:

  • Free shipping on your first order.
  • A straightforward discount.
  • Free subscription to your digital service.

You can even have variations on the above (for example, different % of discounts) as rewards in your gamified popup.

#3. Multi-step popups

A multi-step popup acts like an onboarding process for your visitors. The intention here is still to get the email address but to do this by taking visitors through a 2-3 step process where they are enticed with an offer and asked a detail or two.

The above is a good example of how to use a multi-step pop-up. Liveplan uses a beautiful fullscreen background coupled with a multistep flow that maximizes their conversions.

This works simply because you don’t ask for the email outright. Instead, you ask people if they are interested in an incentive or deal. Most will say yes. That is when you ask them for their name and email address.

You can then have a third popup that thanks them and asks them to check their email for the incentive or discount code.

#4. Free eBook Download

Everyone loves free content. And the most loved type of free content is a high-value ebook. An ebook has many advantages. There is the feeling of ownership that comes when you are able to actually download the ebook on your device.

An ebook is a good way to showcase your skills and in-depth subject matter knowledge, opening up the possibility of future purchases.

From the marketer’s perspective, the ebook is a good way to showcase your skills and in-depth subject matter knowledge, opening up the possibility of future purchases.

That is why we have included the free ebook download pop-up on this list. There is no doubt that it is one way to increase conversions while using popups.

Free ebook download pop-up design
Free ebook popup from Pushpay

The above is a good example of an ebook download popup. It works well on multiple levels. First, the design is minimal and to the point.

There are no frills. Second, the copy is on-point. It’s not too short or too long. It tells you the name of the ebook and what you can expect to find inside.

How do you offer value using your ebook?

Here are something that you can do:

Share your secrets:

People love to discover secrets. They love getting insight into areas they are interested in but don’t know much about.

Ensure kickass presentation:

Once again, design matters. The way you style your ebook makes a big difference in readability and engagement. Use pictures and graphics generously.

Make it easy to skim through:

Many readers will want to get the main ideas from your ebook as quickly as possible. That is why you need to make your ebook scannable as well.

You don’t need to have a huge budget to create an ebook. It’s simple to create one with your own knowledge and expertise. You will be able to showcase your talents and get subscribers in no time.


With this list, we have covered the most effective ways in which you can use popups to increase conversions and build your subscriber list. Here’s a quick summary of the 4 types of popups we have seen:

  1. Exit-intent popup: Appears right when a visitor is about to leave your website and offers something in exchange for the email.
  2. Gamified popup: Entices the visitor by getting them to play a game in exchange for an incentive while also giving you their email address.
  3. Multi-step popups: Walks the visitors through 2-3 steps kind of like an onboarding process, which involves submitting the email address.
  4. Free ebook download: Offers a high-value ebook in exchange for submitting the email address.

If you are looking for a way in which to leverage the power of popups for your website, you cannot go wrong by choosing Qualzz popup templates! Run unlimited campaigns and get access to high-converting templates that you can tailor to your needs.

Get access to Qualzz now!

Email Signups Best pop-up types High converting popup designs