64% of People Won’t Stop Visiting Your Site Because of a Pop-Up (But 36% Will!)

By Daniel Scocco - 1 minute read

Last week I wrote an articled titled Pop-up Mania! Will They Come Back To Vogue?, where I described the current trend of bloggers using pop-ups to encourage people to subscribe to their newsletter.

The conversion rates on those pop-ups are miraculously high, hence why a lot of people are jumping on the bandwagon. It is also known that pop-ups annoy many people, and they could hurt the traffic on your site. The key question then becomes: are the benefits of running pop-ups larger than the drawbacks (for the site owner point of view)?

We had a poll on that post, and the results were interesting. The question that I asked was: Would one pop-up offering you a newsletter subscription be enough to make you stop visiting a website? The result is as follows:


As you can see 64% (or 101 people) answered “no,” meaning that a pop-up would not make them stop visiting a website. On the other side 36% (or 57 people) answered “yes,” meaning that a pop-up would make them stop visiting the website.

The results might seem encouraging to people that want to try out pop-ups, but are they really? Even if 64% of people wouldn’t mind your pop-ups, there is a whole bunch of them that would. I would think twice before using something that would annoy even 30% of my readers.

This overall negative effect from the pop-up might also be related to the quality of the content on the site and to the authority of the author. In other words, perhaps a popular and established blogger could get away with the pop-ups without losing too many readers, while a new blogger could end up hurting his traffic a lot if he decided to try this technique.

Personally, I will not start using pop-ups on any of my websites, because to me the user experience is more important than increasing my subscriber list right now. At the same time, I can’t say I will never use them, and I don’t condemn people who do.

I think it is a matter of personal opinion and testing. Also, if someone is writing quality content for free, I think he does have the right to use whatever ads or promotional techniques he wants. It is up to the readers then to decide if they wanna bear with that or not.

What do you think?

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40 Responses to “64% of People Won’t Stop Visiting Your Site Because of a Pop-Up (But 36% Will!)”

  • Nial Fuller

    pop ups are great, no need to be afraid, if you deliver what you promise and don’t burn the subscriber.

  • medyum

    I’m not visiting shoemoney blog anymore after he added annoying pop up…
    So make your own conclusions.I don’t have time to keep pressing X all the time.

  • Paolo Amoroso

    @Alice: some demographics actually doesn’t mind spam either, but their preference forces it to the rest of us.

  • milford walton

    I have one website that I use a exit pop-up to gain reader info and so far it has been very disappointing. I haven’t noticed my traffic dropping, but I am not gaining a lot of subscriptions.

    I think I may have a pop-up with way too much stuff on it. I believe I will do away with it.


  • Stephan Miller

    I was amazed when I started seeing popups again. I thought they were gone about the time “internet marketing” became “make money online”. I do not like them much and will not be adding them to my blogs.

  • Kathy @ Virtual Impax

    36% is better than 1 out of three.

    Imagine if you had a brick and mortar store and a naked homeless man jumped in front of 1 out of 3 customers – wouldn’t you call the police?

    WHAT THE HELL!?!?! Why would I do ANYTHING to drive away 1/3 of my prospective customers?!?!?!

  • suresh

    Well pop up is generally irritating for user and if the internet connection is slow the pain increases further.

    May be a popular blog/site can do it and negative effect may not be felt in high magnitude but for small blogs it will be costly and visitor don’t feel like coming back again.

  • Melissa Donovan

    Just say no to popups! Also, those ads that enlarge when you (accidentally) hover over them – they are so annoying, especially when the CLOSE button is not clearly visible. Why would website owners do this to their readers and customers?

    Oh yeah, to make a buck.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Dan, yeah that is an important point in web design, and pop-ups do hurt it indeed.

    @Jackie Jackson, I think the analogy is pretty good.

    @Adam, it depends on your goals though. For example, the goal of some internet marketers is purely to sell as much as possible, no matter what. Hence why they are ok with using over hyped, long sales pitches. It annoys some people, but converts like nothing else.

    @Jonathan Drain, the new aweber popup is a javacript light box effect I think, and browsers still don’t block it.

    @Mike, I changed the title to include that. Good point.

    @Roberto, yeah I mentioned that on the post.

  • Andre Thomas

    Wow… I get that most of us hate pop up. And I get that most of us wish they were extinct blah blah blah. But your blog or your website is not about you!

    It’s about your readers for God’s sake. And how do you know if your reader hate it? Test! Test! Test! If you don’t even test because you “feel” that it’s annoying, the you’ll never improve your blog/website, would you?

    Sure, you would see a drop in response for that few days or a week of testing, but you never know unless you test! Don’t other people’s data to make your decision… and don’t copy what they are doing simply because they have the same type of blog.

    Test! Pop-ups are are just tactics. Look at the bigger picture here…

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