Best Practices for Pop Ups on Websites
As a Website Designer, I advise all my clients to just say no to pop ups on websites*!
Many marketers will push you to try to increase your contact lists, and website pop ups with email signup forms seem like a good way to get people to notice and signup.
A email subscription pop up on a website's homepage IS going to get noticed. But it will be noticed as it is annoying, most viewers immediately look for the X close button to remove the barrier so that we can continue viewing the website. Or, if users are required to signup in order to view the content (such as many news outlet websites these days), people may just use the back button and go elsewhere.
Showing a popup when the main page content loads is incredibly intrusive. Think about it, the viewer has not even had the time to get to know what the website and your business is about before it's asking them to leave their personal information. And, if they are already a member or email subscriber, it is just an unnecessary interruption. This is not a good way to treat a new customer or a returning customer!
Sure, it's good to have an email newsletter subscribe form somewhere on your homepage (or a button to it), but it doesn't need to block the entire screen and keep your viewers from doing what they wanted to do: such as find your phone number, buy a product, fill out the contact form for a service order, find your location, read an article, see what products you offer... the list goes on and on. Don't pop up a signup form interrupting their experience, it's rude and aggressive.
*Note: Website pop ups are fine to use IF they are activated by the user.
For example, your website could have a Signup for our Newsletter button that, when clicked, opens a pop up that has the subscribe form, so the user doesn't have to leave the page they're on. Or, you can have pop ups that provide more details on a product or service, activated only by the user when they click on a button or image to learn more.
Best Practices for Pop Ups on Websites: So be nice, and let your website visitors VIEW your website instead of blocking them with an annoying pop up.