98.05% of visitors close the popup message (source). Have you considered using principles of buyer psychology for email signups?
What’s buyer psychology?
It’s the study of shopper behavior. As much as we like to believe each person is totally unique we behave in very predictable ways. By understanding the psychology of site visitors we can better connect with them. By better connecting, we can do a better job of converting them.
Email popups and buyer psychology
We all show the same popups and email signups with the same generic messaging. Would you sign up for your own email newsletter? Chances are you would close out of a popup before reading the first 3 words.
But it’s not because the 10% off coupon or free item with a purchase coupons upon signing up aren’t compelling offers.
It’s because our popups and the mechanisms that trigger our email signup prompts are not compelling.
Maximizing email popup signups using buyer psychology
Idea 1: Unconventional Popup Shape
90% of the popups out there look exactly the same. They’re rectangular and feature an easy-to-spot and all-too-enticing ‘close’ button on the top right corner.
Seems like a good way to immediately tell users how to close your popup, right?
So why not try an alternative popup shape—something that will make your shopper stock for an extra second because they weren’t expecting something so different?
Look at this popup from Wayfair.com:
Instead of a rectangular popup shape, Wayfair.com uses a circle. They also removed the ‘close’ button and replaced it with a “No, thanks.” link at the bottom of the popup.
The shopper is practically forced to slow down and scan through the content. They have to do this even if they want to close out of the popup. Just by changing the shape and ‘close’ mechanism, Wayfair.com was able to slow their shoppers down and increase the chances they’ll submit their email address.
Another example: 3D popup design on StriVectin (strivectin.com). I love this email signup buyer psychology tactic because the 3D effect makes me slow down. That slowdown grants an extra few seconds for the visitor to notice the 15% off message:
Idea 2: Use Human Nature to Your Advantage
I hate popups. BUT. There is no denying that the word “mystery” has a magnetic pull:
(taken from kettleandfire.com).
The word mystery it’s so much more powerful than 10% or 15% off. It has intrigue. Let’s assume that the discount code is actually 10%. If we were to A/B test I’m confident this version with the word mystery would win.
Idea 3: Asymmetry
Popups are often very neat. Nothing is hanging off the edge of the popup, the design is sleek, the popup is symmetrical, and so on.
However, creating a little bit of asymmetry can be all that’s necessary to slow down your shoppers and get them to read your popup content. Take a look at this example from Rockbottomgolf.com:
The Rock Bottom Golf logo is large and hanging off the edge of the popup! It looks weird, but that’s why it works. Shoppers will take notice and slow down before instinctively moving their mouse toward the ‘close’ button.
Idea 4: Hand-drawn Popup
Take a look at this popup from Postcardmania.com:
You’re probably taking an extra few seconds to look at this popup right now. It looks fun and inviting.
More importantly, it’s unexpected. Postcardmania.com’s shoppers will definitely slow down to look at this popup. That could be enough to generate more sign ups.
Idea 5: Video popup
Lagos.com does something different in their newsletter popup. They show an animated video of their beautiful jewelry:
This is a clever buyer psychology tactic because visitors are ready to hit the close button moment they see an email popup. The animation gives them pause. Sometimes that’s all that’s needed to take the user from “I hate popups” to “oh, man this jewelry is beautiful, look at it glitter …”
Idea 6: Can You Keep a Secret?
You probably want to know what the secret is, right?
Like I said earlier, people are naturally curious. UncommonGoods.com knows this and they’ve taken advantage of this with their email signup.
Take a look at this floating tab that appears on their site:
Many shoppers will definitely want to know what the secret is, so they’ll click on this floating tab. When they do, they’ll see this:
UncommonGoods.com is making their shoppers feel exclusive. After all, only people who subscribe will be notified of “secret sales”. Do you think all shoppers would be able to resist the urge to find out what secret sales they could benefit from?
This is a clever buyer psychology example for email popups.
Idea 7: Give more than 1 option
I was on ember.com and saw this popup:
To double signup rates I would make 2 tiny tweaks:
Changes: now the button on the left says NOT INTERESTED (this is for people who simply don’t want to signup) and the button on the right says NOT NOW.
You see, most visitors are interested, they just might not be ready this very moment. In my scenario, this pop-up message appeared while I was reading their Travel Mug (link) details. So while I am interested in a 10% discount (who wouldn’t be) I had to get rid of the message because it was blocking my mobile view.
Functionality: when people pick NOT NOW the popup will disappear immediately and return later (this could be set based on time on site or number of pages visited). The next time the user is much more likely to convert.
An added benefit:
In the original design, the only data being collected is how many people are clicking NO THANKS. But this isn’t rich data because as we saw in our example many people are interested, just not now. By collecting NO THANKS stats the retailer is likely drawing the wrong conclusion about their shopper intent. In the new design, we’re collecting richer data.
NOT INTERESTED– this is a pure count of people who aren’t interested. There is a very low probability of a false positive (link) because the user has 2 choices. If they are clicking NOT INTERESTED it’s because they really aren’t interested. So we’re collecting real data on shopper psychology.
NOT NOW– this button is revealing people who are interested (just not now). But it has another hidden benefit, something that will shed even more light on buyer psychology. And that’s this: say we program the site so that when NOT NOW is clicked the signup prompt disappears for 3 more pageviews. Let’s assume 60% of visitors click NOT NOW but only 9% signup when it reappears. This is a signal that we need to adjust the timing of the second prompt (it’s appearing too late).
A LITTLE ABOUT US
Thank you for reading this article about the paradox of choice. We are Frictionless Commerce and over the last 11 years, we’ve thought about just one thing: how do we get online shoppers to convert? We’re fascinated by buyer psychology. And once we understand how your site visitor thinks we use our 9 point copywriting process to convince and convert them.
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can should definitely connect with me. On LinkedIn, I post ecommerce conversion ideas every day, multiple times a day.