What does Website popup mean in marketing terminology?

Website popup

A website popup, also known as a pop-up message, is a computer window that appears unexpectedly and without the user’s consent on a computer or mobile screen. They are commonly used by websites to display messages, advertisements, or promotions, with the intention of providing users with more information or offer special deals which the user can engage with.

Popups have become an effective way to showcase offers and directly engage with a website’s users, while also helping to drive sales and leads to businesses. Popups are typically displayed as a “lightbox”, i.e. as an overlay over existing content on the website - meaning the user has to interact with the popup in order to view the further information or offer.

Due to their effectiveness, popups can be used across a wide range of websites, including e-commerce businesses, online services, publishers, businesses, and blogs. Here, they can be used to show offers, discounts, special promotions and leave messages tailored to the website’s visitors.


When using website popups as part of a digital marketing strategy, there are a few guidelines to bear in mind and ensure the popups are displayed in the most effective manner possible.

? Timing and Frequency – this is often one of the most critical factors in determining the effectiveness of a popup. Ensure the popup message isn’t triggered at an inappropriate time for the user, such as when they’re leaving your website. Additionally, ensure that the popup isn’t overly frequent or used excessively during each visit to the site. Doing so risks overloading your website visitors and sending them away annoyed.

? Audience – design the popup message to be tailored to the user’s needs. Use demographic, behavioural and geographical data or analysis to determine what kind of popup will best fit with the user’s interests and needs. Personalised messages tend to be the most successful.

? Consistency – make sure the popup follows the same styling, design, branding and layout as the rest of the website. This helps to ensure the popup is recognisable to visitors and gives them a sense of familiarity and trust.

? Mobile Optimisation – with higher numbers of users accessing websites via mobile, ensure the popup is optimised for mobile phones and tablets, and that it doesn’t appear broken or disrupted on different devices.

? Motivation – create a sense of urgency with the popup message. Incorporate “limited time only” offers or encourage visitors to sign up quickly for a special deal with a timely message in the popup.

? Simplicity – ensure the popup message is clear and concise. Don’t fill it with unnecessary information that could be posted outside of the popup.

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? Call to Action – make sure the popup message has a clearly visible, easy to click call to action. The most successful call to action button tends to be “Learn More” or “Sign Up”.

? Opting-In – whatever the purpose of the popup message, make sure that the user has the option to opt-in or opt-out of the messaging system or offer. For example, an email subscription popup should offer the user a way to unsubscribe if they don’t wish to receive emails.


When deciding on a website popup strategy, every website will have different needs and goals. However, when used effectively, website popups can provide many advantages and be a large part of a website’s success. Here are some general best practices to consider when displaying popups on a website:

? Set a goal – the first step of any website popup strategy should be to plan and decide on the goals for the popup message. Consider what kind of message will be most effective for the website’s users, including the type of information and how the popup should be tailored.

? Make it hard to ignore – draw attention to the popup message with designs or shapes that stand out on the website and make it hard to ignore.

? Keep it short and sweet – once the user has triggered the popup message, make sure that there isn’t too much text or information to read. Include no more than 2-3 paragraphs of information, followed by a call to action that encourages the user to take the desired action and interact with the popup.

? Include visuals – include visuals in the popup message if appropriate. Many users find attractive visuals easier to engage with and will quickly understand the meaning of the message.

? Test and review – use web analytics or website heatmaps to track how users interact with the popup message and adjust the popup’s design and content as necessary.

When using website popups as part of a website’s digital marketing strategy, it’s important to be aware that it’s easy to get it wrong. Popups that are too frequent, blocked by user settings, or appear too late can easily alienate and frustrate users. Therefore, it’s essential that website owners test, review, and refine popup messages in order to get them just right.