Website popups gone wrong | Marketing content writer |

Website popups gone wrong: A mistake to avoid

By Renae Gregoire

Here at The Write Idea, I'm all about helping you make life easier for the people who visit your website and read your content -- including content on your website popups.

To that end, here's a lesson learned straight from this morning's browsing session.

The problem: Vague website popups

So ... I'm about to embark on a passion project, something I've always wanted to do but haven't for lack of time, money, whatever.

As a first step, I opened Google and typed in a query on how to do the thing I want to do.

Without giving it away (it's a surprise!), this thing I want to do is something specific, as specific as, say, "How to care for bamboo." (My passion project has nothing to do with bamboo.)

Then, after I entered the query, I began a "new tab opening" spree as I worked through the search results, 

  • Right click. Open in new tab. Read a little. Nope -- not what I'm looking for. "X."
  • Right click. Open in new tab. Read a little. Nope -- not what I'm looking for. "X."
  • Right click. Open in new tab. Read a little. Maybe -- keep this page open to look at later. Back to the search results.
  • Right click. Open in new tab. Start to read. Enter gigantic, annoying website popup.
How not to use entry pop-ups

First, can you "feel" how the popup totally interrupted the flow of your reading?

Yeah. It did that to me, too.

Second, as I said, I was searching for a specific thing. Something way more specific than what is offered in the popup.

  • 8 profit-packed video tutorials

Who said I was looking to profit? This has nothing to do with my search!

Why did you interrupt me with this nonsense?

<Take screenshot. Write blog post about incident.>

And now, here we are.

The solution: On-topic website popups that match the content on the page

Look, I understand that website popups work. They work bigly.

But to avoid annoying the people who visit your site, especially people who visit your site through back doors, like search results on long-tail phrases, consider popups directly related to that topic -- the topic of the page the reader just clicked into.

I clicked into a page that talked about a specific "how-to" topic -- a topic totally unrelated to profiting. But the popup offered some nebulous tutorials in a lame attempt to capture my email address.

Sorry, Charlie. 

If you want my email address, you'll have to do better than that.

And you, dear reader, will have to do better to create an exceptional experience for the people who visit YOUR website.

Join my tribe?

Do you sweat the small stuff? Do you want your online presence to inspire trust and confidence? Do you grit your teeth when others don't care enough about YOUR web experience? Are you all about creating an excellent website and excellent content that makes it easy for people to get to know, like, and trust you and buy your stuff?

I think we might be soul mates. And I'd love for you to join my tribe.

When you do, I'll alert you to new blog posts, new programs and products, and new ways for you to create excellent, frictionless, online experiences that lead more people to YES! I promise to be relevant and real, and to send only thoughtful content and advice.


Thoughtful content. Real-world advice. Enter your details to get the next issue when it's ready.


About the Author

Hi! I'm Renae Gregoire, a digital conversion expert improving the performance of digital marketing content, including websites, landing pages, sales pages, online courses, blogs, and email sequences. If you're a coach, consultant, or other expert having trouble getting people to click, sign up, subscribe, or buy, I can help. My work typically involves a blend of strategy, design guidance, and wordsmithing, with a heavy focus on how your materials look, sound, feel, and function—all from your reader's perspective. Contact me to see how I might be able to help improve your conversions.