The secrets of successful email pop-ups for eCommerce

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Almost every online customer triples the emails they receive by subscribing to a newsletter by pop-ups. This is just one way to collect emails from your customers, and what are the others?

Like any email subscription technique, pop-ups require experimentation. Some companies manage to turn only 3% of their visitors into subscribers, others achieve that with 16%. This article will review the basics of pop-ups and how to collect emails and will show you different ways to make them work for you.

Email pop-ups


Why collect emails?

According to Shopify, “Email marketing is one of the best ways to grow any online store.” Why? Because email is one of the best ways to get more visitors.

According to a Monetate report: “Initially, it takes clients an average of 3.5 sessions and 25 days to complete their first transaction. “In other words, the chances of converting your first visitor are quite low, so to turn a new visitor into a buyer, you have to return them to the store. There are only 2 options for this: email and remarketing through paid advertising. 

Let’s see why emails are the best option.

First, because we tend to trust emails more than ads. According to a study by Criteo, a leading remarketing platform, the average clickthrough rate for ads is 0.51%. On the other hand, the average CTR for emails varies between 4 and 14%. In other words, Internet users are 26 times more likely to click on an email than to click on a redirect ad.

Your options for creating an email list

Let’s assume that you agree that email marketing should be one of the pillars of success of your online store. The most important question you need to ask yourself now is: How do I persuade these visitors to subscribe to my email newsletter? Don’t worry, we at Grind have a few suggestions for you.

Newsletter form for collecting emails

The first and easiest way to collect emails is to add a newsletter registration form to the home page of your online store. It only takes a few seconds and does not involve additional costs. 

The problem with traditional registration forms is that they don’t work as well. A study by AWeber shows that the percentage of their subscription registration form is only 0.4%.

So why doesn’t the newsletter form for collecting emails perform well enough?

First, because most of the time on the website the forms are almost invisible. The majority of online store owners tend to put them in the footer of their website, and we know that this part is rarely seen by visitors. Secondly, because their design is not very attractive. As long as they are in the footer, and there is no room for good graphics, no photo and text, where the form for collecting emails remains a field that does not attract the user.

Email Collection Messages

Is there any way to overcome the limitations of email subscription? Of course! Let me tell you the secrets of pop-ups. Using pop-ups allows you to position your email form anywhere on the page, maximizing the chances that your users will see it.

Example: The subscription field is no longer hidden at the bottom of the site, it is right in front of the user and it will be difficult to miss:

Email popup

The pop-up should not simply be displayed by default on all pages, no matter what the user’s behavior in the online store.

For most pop-ups, you can specify:

  • Where will appear (on which pages, which part of the screen, etc.).
  • When (should it appear when the user has spent X seconds on the page etc.)
  • Who should see it (should it appear for first-time visitors, visitors who have items in your cart, etc.)

Here’s a good example of targeted pop-ups. This pop-up window is displayed just before the user leaves the website.

Targeted pop-ups

Finally, pop-ups offer a way to share a real message. If we stick to the example above, you can see that the company has added intriguing text to convince the user to subscribe and give their email. And because they control the targeting, this message can be adapted for the context of each user, so that the pop-up form is not the same for everyone.

But how do these benefits affect the results? The average subscription rate with pop-up emails is 5.9% and often we come across online stores that achieve better performance. But how?

Take this Shopify store, for example, they turn one in five visitors into a newsletter subscriber.


What do effective pop-ups look like?

Let’s look at the features of a good pop-up 

FEATURE 1: An offer you can’t refuse

In an ideal world, your visitors will subscribe to the newsletter just to please you. They wouldn’t want anything in return.

In fact, you need to convince your users to subscribe. It has been proven that when you offer a discount to the user, the chance for him to subscribe is much higher.

But adding discounts is not always the best option. You need to determine what would have the greatest impact on your audience (and will not spend your entire marketing budget). What do your visitors like? Are they looking for the best offer? Your customers are looking for a specific product, but are also interested in how to use it? 

You can simply promise your subscribers that they will receive interesting content (effective and cheap!). If you choose this direction, make sure you give the best possible content, yet the customer expects it. “Receive exclusive promotions and the latest industry news once a month!” Will work better than “Sign up to receive our great newsletter!”

Dark background popup

The product is not even mentioned here, the company simply offers its subscribers the opportunity to learn something.


If you are not sure what you could offer your visitors in exchange for their email addresses, take an A / B test and check which offer gets the best results. This advice also applies to all the next steps – test. Experimenting is the best way to get good results.

FEATURE 2: Format that is compatible with navigation

There is no correct size for all pop-ups. Let’s take a look at a few different options and choose which one fits best in your store.

  • Lightbox pop-ups

This is probably the most widely used format. By obscuring the background, they are highly contrasting and interrupt users during their search:

Lightbox pop-upsa

As such, they are very intrusive. We recommend that you use them just before leaving the store, otherwise you may risk increasing the dropout rate.

  • Side pop-ups

As their name suggests, side pop-ups appear on the side of the screen, allowing the user to continue accessing the rest of the page. Here is an example:

Side Pop-up

FEATURE 3: Unique design

To prepare the best pop-up design for collecting emails, you will need to balance between two conflicting tips:

  • Make the pop-up window part of your online store: Your pop-up menu should be a part of the website in order to avoid the mistake of being considered to be an advertisement.
  • Make it stand out: the pop-up form should be visible enough to arouse the interest of the visitor, but not so much that you make him leave the store.

Let’s see how these principles become a reality.

  • Pop-up previews

Using images is one of the best ways to turn the annoying form of an email newsletter into an experience that brings new customers to you.

  • Pop-up fonts 

Fonts are a key aspect of your website’s identity, so be sure to use your own font in pop-up menus as well. This is the best way to keep it in line with the rest of your website and brand.

  • Pop-up options

Do you think you should force your users to subscribe? If so, you’re probably on a bad path that will alienate more visitors than it entices. However, if you think that a good user experience allows your customers to have control, then keep reading.

Closing options are crucial for pop-ups. They give visitors a way to express their intention not to subscribe and to continue their search in the online store.

We recommend that you use at least one visible closing option. 


FEATURE 4: Text that attracts more users to give their emails

Pop-up content has 3 main goals:

  • To increase interest
  • To accelerate the number of visitors who have given their emails
  • To convert more visitors into loyal customers

Let’s look at them in detail.

Goal 1: Increase the interest of any user with pop-ups

This goal relies mainly on the title of the pop-up menu. Use words that make the visitor stop and think, “Wow, that’s interesting.” One of the classic ways to do so is to simply describe the offer that new subscribers receive in large font size. 

Different font

Goal 2: Accelerate the number of subscribers

What can prevent a user from subscribing? The chance that they will receive an influx of promotional emails and a lot of spam. Your pop-up is a good reminder that you keep their privacy and will not send email every 5 minutes.

Here are some sentences you can use in the pop-up forms:

We hate spam as much as you do

We will not share your email with anyone

We’ll only send you one email per month

Goal 3: Convert more users to loyal customers through email pop-ups

Pop-up forms have one major limitation – they only appear once per session. So, as a marketer or online store owner, you are in a situation where the user is subscribing now or never. In other words, you should be able to convert the visitor as soon as he sees the pop-up menu. To do this, you can rely on FOMO, the fear of missed opportunities.

You will ask how? First, using words that inspire a sense of lack of time and exclusivity. With adjectives such as “exclusive”, “limited” or “VIP”, the user will assume that this offer is not available to everyone and, most importantly, that it may not be offered again.


CHARACTERISTICS 5: Perfect time 

The right schedule is difficult.

According to A / B tests of companies, each time it acts differently when collecting emails. Displaying a window after 10 seconds collects more emails than displaying the email form until 40 seconds after entering the online store. 

The longer a user waits and browses the products on your site, the less chance there is to give you an email and turn him into a loyal customer. The result of displaying the form for collecting emails 10 seconds after the user has logged in to the site is over 100% more collected emails, and after 40 seconds -63%.

It is difficult to find a balance between reaching too many visitors at the risk of annoying some of them (if 3% of visitors subscribe, it means that you have shown an offer that did not interest 97% of people).

But again there is a solution.

  • Pop-ups and attention-grabbing buttons

If you want to avoid spending hours looking for the best time, you can add your own form when a user leaves your store. Pop-up forms when you log out are activated automatically when your visitor is about to leave the online store, which means that you do not have to choose when the pop-up menu will appear.

Among our customers, the subscription rate of pop-ups on exit is on average 5% higher than that of pop-ups on entry into the online store. This should come as no surprise: A visitor who leaves is not interrupted by a pop-up menu and there is no way this can irritate him.


These are all the basic points you need to know about how to implement pop-up emails to collect emails in your online store! Remember the most important thing: Always A / B test your pop-up forms. This is also the only way to ensure that your campaigns are always optimized and your visitors are satisfied.

 And let’s start collecting emails now!