by Juan Robin II
Popups are a controversial topic, to say the least. Are they effective? Are they annoying? Do they work?
Truthfully, the answer depends on who you ask.
According to a study from Sumo that analyzed nearly two billion popups, the average conversion rate for a website popup is 3.09%. The top 10% of high-performing popups convert at an average rate of 9.28%. Some websites saw conversion rates that topped 50%.
Let’s put these numbers into perspective. According to a recent study from Impact, the average conversion rate for any website landing page is 2.35%. The top 10% of websites have an average conversion rate of 11.45%. So popups on average outperform the average traditional landing page. And, the average conversion rate of the highest performing popups are still in the ballpark of the highest performing landing pages.
On the flip side, HubSpot reported that 73% of consumers dislike online popups. Although this study focused on pop-up advertisements, as opposed to popups for something like email opt-ins.
I could spend all day arguing both sides of the spectrum. But I’m not here to convince you to add popups to your website, or talk you out of implementing them either.
Popups are like anything else. It’s all about context and application. To give you an analogy, think about social media marketing. Social media marketing works (in theory), but that doesn’t mean every company has success with it.
I created this guide for those of you who’ve already decided you’re ready to add popups to your WordPress site. I’ve narrowed down the top seven options so you can find the best WordPress popup plugin for your website. Let’s dive right in.
1. Ninja Popups
Ninja Popups is definitely one of the most popular WordPress popup plugins on the market. I’m not saying you should always follow the crowd, popularity is usually a telling sign when it comes to quality.
Of the reason why Ninja Popups is one of my favorite plugins is because they offer an extensive list of features, the popups are extremely responsive and work well on mobile devices in addition to desktop browsers and it’s easy for anyone to configure this plugin, even if you don’t have any coding experience.
With Ninja Popups, you can customize the design of your popups to match your trending website color schemes. Ninja Popups also lets you customize things like the size of your popups and colors of the buttons. This is important because this plugin also offers A/B testing. You can try different variations of your popups to see which is the most effective and yields the highest conversions. In addition to the A/B tests, Ninja Popups has a detailed analytics page. You can see other KPIs with charts to help you improve your popups. This plugin has page level targeting as well, so you can have different popups for each page on your site depending on your goals.
The regular license for a single website starts at $26, making this plugin extremely affordable. It’s ideal for nearly any type of popup campaign you want to run.
2. Layered Popups
The Layered Popups plugin lets you create popups that are, you guessed it — layered. Basically, these popups can have multiple layers, which can attract the attention of website visitors and let you get creative. I’d recommend this to anyone who wants to implement website popups that are far from boring and separate themselves from the crowd.
This plugin has a visual editor, which makes it easy for anyone to create and make changes to the design of these popups. Layered Popups has several options for display modes as well. These are some of the options for triggering a popup:
- Exit intent
- Idle pages
- Once per session
- Once every specified number of days
- Every visit
- HTML element click
- Specified delays
These options make it easy for you to get more email subscribers without annoying your website visitors.
Layered Popups is also compatible with some of the top email marketing platforms on the market. As a matter of fact, the plugin supports 56 of these email systems, but some of the biggest names include:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
- Active Campaign
So it’s safe to assume that whatever software you’re using for email is on this list.
When you install Layered Popups to your WordPress site, you’ll have access to more than 150 templates. You can also create an unlimited amount of A/B tests for different elements of your popups. With pricing starting at just $21, this is definitely one of the best WordPress popup plugins available.
3. Popups by OptinMonster
OptinMonster is a popular lead generation software. Some of you might even be using this platform to help you with other marketing strategies. More than 700,000 websites have used OptinMonster for something. In addition to its standard lead generation solutions, OptinMonster also has a WordPress plugin called Popups by OptinMonster.
I like this plugin because the drag and drop builder is easy for anyone to use, regardless of their technical skill level. In addition to popups, this plugin allows you to create other campaigns like:
- Slide-in forms, or scroll triggered boxes
- In-line forms
- Mobile-specific forms
- Floating headers
- Footer bars
- Welcome gates
OptinMonster has advanced targeting based on personalized behavior for each unique website visitor. This technology is made to trigger popups at the most optimal time to drive conversions. They specialize in popups with exit intent technology. The software can determine when a website visitor is going to leave your page based on their browsing behavior. For example, if they open a new tab, there’s a good chance they are going to navigate to that tab. So that’s a time when an exit intent popup would be triggered. This is great because you don’t want popups to be intrusive to a user’s browsing experience, but you do want to catch visitors before they leave.
OptinMonster claims that this plugin has helped some websites boost conversion rates by up to 785%. While I can’t guarantee you’ll get those same results, I’d definitely say it’s worth a try.
All of the campaigns built with the Popups by OptinMonster plugin are mobile friendly and highly responsive. The plugin integrates with your email marketing software as well. You can run A/B tests with this plugin. And you’ll have access to Google Analytics data for all of your campaigns.
Icegram is another popular WordPress plugin with tons of features. It’s a top option if you want to implement more than just popups to your website, without having to install multiple plugins. In addition to popups, the Icegram WordPress plugin offers:
- Floating action bars
- Messenger slide-ins for live chat integration
- Toast notifications
Icegram offers advanced targeting options for elements like:
- Time on page
- User activity
- Exit intent
- Call-to-action targeting
- Geotargeting based on location parameters
Icegram will work with your email marketing service as well as your form and lead capture plugins that you’ve already installed. Icegram lets you run A/B tests to see which campaigns are performing the best as well and you’ll get detailed analytics and reports for everything you implement. As you can see, your options certainly won’t be limited here.
The ConvertPlus WordPress plugin is designed for driving conversions with popups. Here’s what the plugin offers
- Popups, of course
- Fullscreen popups
- Top bar information
- Bottom bar information
- Sticky boxes
One of my favorite features of ConvertPlus is the template selection. You can take one of the 100+ templates and make slight tweaks to personalize it for your own website content.
ConvertPlus has more than 700 fonts that will make your popups stand out. They offer custom CSS, animations, and background settings as well. You’ll also benefit from real-time analytics for your popups and other campaigns. This information will help you track KPIs like views, clicks, and conversions.
This plugin integrates with email marketing software, as well as other CRM solutions such as:
- Contact Form 7
- WP Registration Form
The Bloom WordPress plugin is designed specifically for email opt-ins. There are six different ways to display these opt-in forms on your website.
- Automatic popups
- Automatic fly-ins
- Inline opt-in forms
- Below content forms
- Widget area forms
- Required opt-in for content unlock
The last option is something that’s unique, and makes this plugin stand apart from other available options. Here’s how it works: Depending on what your website is offering, you can restrict content to the average user. This is a great way to entice opt-ins or registrations. In order for a website visitor to gain access to premium content, they’ll need to opt-in first.
Popups can be triggered based on a number of different actions.
- Delay based on time
- Triggered based on scrolling
- After comment popups
- Post-purchase popups
- Inactivity popups
Bloom also works with 16 different email marketing platforms, including:
- Campaign Monitor
Bloom has hundreds of templates for your popups. You can also customize things like the borders and edges of your popups. The color options are virtually unlimited, so you won’t have to worry about finding a color scheme to match your website design.
7. Elementor Pro
With Elementor Pro, you can build any type of website popup from scratch. Like some of the other plugins we’ve seen, Elementor Pro has other features that will benefit your website.
You can create popups for specific reasons like:
- Capturing leads
- Making announcements
- Keeping users on the page with exit intent notifications
- Growing your email list
- Content lock and upgrades
- Full screen welcome mats
- Generate sales by showcasing products and upsells
- Build login forms
Elementor Pro offers advanced targeting options as well. For example, you can trigger a popup after a specified number of page views or a specified number of sessions. You can even control popups by the device a user is browsing from.
Popups are triggered based on actions such as scrolling, clicks, page loading, inactivity, and exit intent. You can show certain popups on posts with specific tags, authors, or categories. This plugin also offers WooCommerce integration.
I like this plugin because it allows you to hide popups for users who are logged in. That way you won’t be asking for an email address that’s already been added to your subscriber list.
Subscriptions start at $49 per year for Elementor Pro, which is a bargain, in my opinion, considering all of the advanced features you’ll get for that price, plus design elements that are second to none. You can create beautiful popups that are visually appealing and attractive to your audience.
Do popups work? That’s a conversation for another day.
For those of you who are ready to add popups to your website, you’ll need to install a WordPress plugin that will make this process much easier for you.
So what’s the best WordPress popup plugin?
It all depends on what you’re looking for. I’ve narrowed down the top seven options for you to consider.
You’ll want to install a plugin that lets you create the type of popups you want, but also integrates smoothly with any other software you are using.
Some plugins have more templates and custom design features than others. While other popup plugins offer better analytics, A/B tests, and advanced targeting options. You’ll even find some options with all in one features.