Email popups are a powerful way to capture leads and get them onto your email newsletter list.

However, you need to learn how to use popups in a way that comes across as useful for website visitors to make the strategy work well.

In this article, you’ll learn the different types of popups to use, when to show popups on your website, and how to tell if you’re getting quality conversion rates.

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What Is a Popup Email Form, and What Types Exist?

A popup email form is exactly what it sounds like: an email form that pops up on your website to capture emails.

Most marketers use either the exit-intent popup or the timed popup.

An exit-intent popup works to capture a percentage of website visitors who decided to leave the site. Your goal is to entice them with a quick offer before they go on their way. The popup will offer an incentive, such as a free lead magnet, to encourage visitors to get on your email list.

Timed popups work a little differently. You can set a timed popup to show after a certain period passes. For example, you might set your popup to show 30 seconds after a visitor lands on your website. A timed popup can capture leads by providing an offer that builds off the content they started reading a few seconds ago.

Do Popup Email Forms Really Work?

You might wonder whether popup email forms work well to build a newsletter list.

The answer is yes; they do work well. Conventional thinking may try to convince you that people won’t enter their email addresses after seeing a box pop up on your website. You could even think your visitors will think it’s annoying to see a popup or two. conducted a study of over 1.5 million popups and found a few interesting statistics about popup form conversion rates.

What’s a Good Conversion Rate?

The Sumo study found that the average conversion rate of all the popup forms they included in the study came to 3.09%.

However, the top 10% of all popup forms studied converted at over 9%. Some of the popup forms Sumo looked at gave website owners 50% conversion rates.

You should aim to get 3-5% conversion rates when you start testing your popup email forms. Then, continue to test different headlines, opt-in boxes, and offers to see if you can get closer to 10% conversion rates.

Imagine getting as low as 3% conversion, however. If your website attracts 500 visitors each day, then you would add 450 new subscribers each month from one popup alone.

Not bad! Add a few more popups, along with a few embedded forms inside your blog posts next. You might get a nice surprise as you watch your subscriber list grow.

When Should You Show a Popup on Your Website?

There are three main times to use a popup form.

First, you should show a popup right after someone lands on your site. Many people skim blog posts and don’t remain on your site for a long time. Try to get them on your email list by offering them an immediate chance to grab your lead magnet.

Second, you can use a timed popup form. Try setting a popup to appear 30 to 60 seconds after landing on your website. Give them a little time to digest your content, and then ask them if they want your free resource.

Another variation is offering the popup form when they’ve scrolled 40% to 50% down a blog post. You know they’ve invested some time reading your content by that point. Give them a popup offer that relates to what they’re reading.

The third time to use a popup form is when a visitor indicates they’re about to leave your website. In this case, you’ll employ an exit-intent email popup form.

Tips for Increasing Email Popup Conversion Rates

Here are a few things to keep in mind after you’ve decided to use email popup forms on your website.

Make the opt-in box large and noticeable. You won’t get much traction if your site visitors can barely see it.

Try testing a variety of images in the opt-in box to see which one inspires people to enter their email addresses. You could try a generic image of a person, a photo related to your niche, or something funny. Your niche and type of business will influence your decisions about image use.

Don’t forget about using a headline in your opt-in box, too. Something short and punchy typically works best.

Test each popup form on mobile devices. One popup form might convert well on a PC while looking horrible on a cell phone or tablet.

Try different colors on the button a website visitor clicks to become a subscriber. Green and orange are good colors to start with. Test the button text as well. See which copy your specific target audience responds to best. You might A/B test the following button copy.

  • “Click here for your report”
  • “I want in”
  • “Give me my free video”

Focus on Your Offer

It won’t matter how well you craft your popup form headlines, images, or buttons if you haven’t provided a winning offer to your website visitors.

Make sure your lead magnet revolves around a problem your audience gets excited to solve. For example, if you sell cycling equipment, your lead magnet should help them learn how to ride better. If you offer a video course on how to fix flat tires, that also works.

Create a great opt-in offer, and your email newsletter list will see increased growth month after month. Combine it with the right type of popup form for your website, and you could see even higher lead magnet conversion rates.


Did you enjoy learning about the benefits of using email popup forms on your website? Your next action step is to select which type to test first. Get it working on your site and test how well it converts for you.

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