Popup Etiquette: Best Practices, Guides, and Rules for Success
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Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning – popups still work! However, with the decline of the average user attention span, capturing the attention of people online is trickier than ever. 

As an online business, there’s etiquette and rules involved when conducting popup best practices, all in favor of using them effectively without disrupting the online experience. 

Popups, while a potent tool for engagement and conversion, often contribute to this problem. They can be intrusive, annoying, and may drive potential customers away if not executed correctly.

When armed with best practices for popups and guides to success, you can ensure that you’ll add value to the experience, with minimal disruption. Without further ado, let’s get straight to these strategies, complete with real-world examples, actionable advice, and insights.

Table of Contents

Core Principles of Popups

To navigate the ins and outs of popups effectively, you can begin with a solid foundation in the core principles of using popups. The following core principles serve as the guiding rules for creating popups that are not only effective, but also respect the user’s online experience. 


Source: Bite

The timing of your popup can make the difference between a positive user engagement and a frustrating intrusion. Intrusive popups that interrupt a user’s browsing experience too early can lead to immediate disengagement. 

But, the key is to introduce popups at moments when users are more likely to be receptive. This could be after they’ve spent a certain amount of time on your site, scrolled through a percentage of a page, or completed a specific action. 


Source: Heveya

Beyond timing, the relevance of your popup content to the user’s interests and current engagement on your site is paramount. 

Personalization and contextual understanding play significant roles here. Popups that offer related content, products, or services based on the user’s browsing behavior are far more likely to be well-received. 

Utilizing user data to tailor your popups not only enhances their effectiveness but also demonstrates a commitment to providing value to your audience.


Source: NotebookTherapy

Your popup’s design should integrate seamlessly with the overall user experience of your site. This means adopting a design that is not only visually appealing but also intuitive and non-disruptive. 

The popup should be easy to dismiss, with clear close buttons, and should not obscure critical site content. Additionally, ensuring your popups are mobile-friendly is crucial, as a significant portion of web traffic comes from mobile devices. 

A well-designed popup feels like a natural extension of the user’s journey rather than an unwelcome interruption.


Source: Thesus

The message within your popup should be crystal clear and to the point. Users should immediately understand the value proposition and what action you’re asking them to take. 

Whether it’s signing up for a newsletter, taking advantage of a special offer, or downloading a free guide, the call-to-action (CTA) should be compelling and straightforward. 

Avoid overloading popups with information or choices, as this can lead to decision paralysis and reduce the effectiveness of your message.


Source: MVMT

In today’s digital landscape, respecting user privacy and adhering to data protection regulations is non-negotiable. 

Ensure that your popups comply with laws like GDPR in the European Union, CCPA in California, and other relevant regulations. This includes providing clear information about data collection practices and obtaining explicit consent when necessary. 

Respecting these guidelines not only protects you legally but also builds trust with your audience.

Having established the core principles of popup etiquette, it’s time to translate these concepts into actionable tips and strategies for your online business

By implementing the following strategies effectively, you can dramatically improve user engagement and conversion rates, while maintaining a positive user experience. 

Without further ado, let’s explore practical tips and best practices for designing and deploying popups that adhere to the principles of timing, relevance, user experience, clarity, and privacy compliance.

Optimizing Timing for Maximum Impact

As we’ve mentioned in the beginning of this guide, popups can be extremely effective when implemented correctly, as they collect valuable contact information and promote enticing deals such as improved pricing, product bundles, complimentary shipping, and discounts. 

These benefits align with the objectives of business owners and marketing teams. But still, the success of a popup largely hinges on its timely appearance and the tone it adopts to motivate site visitors towards a desired action. 

When you introduce a popup way too early in the customer’s browsing experience, it can be counterproductive, potentially annoying them and jeopardizing their continued engagement in the purchasing process. 

On the other hand, displaying a popup too late may result in missed opportunities to convey critical information to customers. This delay can lead to increased cart abandonment rates and customer dissatisfaction. 

Moreover, the frequent use of popups can be counterintuitive, as excessive annoyance is unlikely to inspire purchases. Bombarding customers and visitors with incessant, intrusive pop-up windows can be detrimental. 

The Page-Related Timing

While pinpointing the perfect moment for a pop-up is challenging, certain time windows can yield more favorable outcomes. By analyzing the number of pages a typical customer views before exiting or proceeding to checkout, you can determine the optimal timing for a pop-up. 

For example, if customers typically browse 2-5 pages before making a decision, consider placing a popup after they’ve viewed 2-3 pages. If certain items are notably popular, timing a popup when users are engaged with those pages can be a great strategic decision.

Both of our plugins, Popups for Divi (free) and Divi Areas Pro (premium) allow you to add a popup inside a given page within the user journey. 

Access the Visual Builder on your page and decide whether to set up a new Section or modify an existing one for a Popup

Once you’ve made your choice, navigate to the Section’s Settings-Toolbox. In this toolbox, locate and select the Popup-Tab. This is where you can activate the Popup Mode and allocate a unique Popup ID.

This ID is crucial for the next step, where you’ll be setting up a trigger. To do this, add a Button Module to your page and proceed to edit it. When setting the Button Link URL, ensure you include the Popup ID, starting with a “#”, for example, “#contact”.

Scroll-Based Timing

Understanding where users commonly stop scrolling on a page can guide the timing of pop-ups. If your data indicates that users often pause at certain points, placing a popup at these junctures can increase the likelihood of engagement, especially after they have shown interest in a product or service.

For service-based websites, if users are thoroughly reading about your processes and results, a popup at the bottom of the page could be timely, capitalizing on their demonstrated interest in your services.

With Divi Areas Pro, adding a scroll trigger to your popups is easy. Click on the ‘Trigger’ options, choose ‘Add New’, and choose the ‘On-Scroll’ option. This is where you can choose whether you prefer the on-scroll logic to be ‘Distance’ or ‘Element’.

After confirming the trigger settings, Save the Area and test it. The scroll-triggered popup should appear on your Divi website automatically according to the defined trigger.

Time Spent on Specific Pages

Monitoring the duration users spend on specific pages can also inform popup timing. If users linger longer on certain pages, it implies a heightened interest in those offerings. 

This insight is particularly useful on pages featuring discounted products or services, where customers are likely seeking the best deals. In these scenarios, popups that highlight best sellers, remind about free shipping, or notify about the end of special deals can be particularly effective.

Again, you can also use Divi Areas Pro to set up a time-based trigger for your popups, in an effortless manner. Click on the ‘Trigger’ options, choose ‘Add New’, and choose the ‘After-Delay’ option.

After confirming the trigger settings, Save the Area and test it. The time-delay popup should appear on your Divi website automatically according to the after-delay trigger.


→ Leverage Delayed Popups: Instead of displaying popups immediately upon page load, introduce a delay. Allow users to engage with your content for a predetermined duration before the popup appears. This approach respects the user’s initial browsing experience and increases the likelihood of a positive response.

→ Utilize Exit-Intent Technology: Exit-intent popups are triggered when the user’s cursor moves towards closing the tab or browser. This technology captures attention at a critical moment—when the user is about to leave—and can be an effective way to offer value or a gentle reminder that encourages them to stay or revisit.

→ Scroll-Triggered Popups: Trigger popups based on how far a user has scrolled on a page. This ensures that the user is sufficiently engaged with your content before encountering a popup, making them more receptive to your message.

Personalizing Content for Relevance

For any business, delivering a customized and engaging experience to users is critical. This is why customizing your popups based on individual visitor preferences can significantly boost engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction. 

Personalized popups are a powerful way to showcase pertinent product suggestions to your visitors, tailored to their unique browsing and purchasing patterns, as well as other personalized insights. 

Presenting timely and relevant recommendations can captivate your visitors, sparking their curiosity and guiding them towards a purchase. Such personalized engagement not only elevates the user experience but also improves the chances of converting visits into sales.

Gathering Customer Data

The cornerstone of effective personalized popups is the diligent collection and analysis of customer data. Utilize various tools such as Google Analytics, customer tracking software, and CRM systems to amass insightful data about your visitors. 

This information might encompass their browsing habits, previous purchases, demographic information, and personal preferences.

Audience Segmentation

With a wealth of customer data at your disposal, the next step is to segment your audience based on meaningful parameters. 

This could include segmentation by demographics, browsing and purchasing behaviors, or specific interests. 

Tailoring your popups to meet the distinct needs and desires of different customer groups enhances the effectiveness of your personalized recommendations.

Identifying Triggers

Selecting optimal triggers for your popups is crucial for ensuring they appear at the most opportune moments. 

Triggers might be based on various behaviors or milestones, such as the duration on a page, intent to exit, scrolling depth, or a particular stage in the customer journey. 

Effective use of these triggers can significantly increase the impact of your personalized product suggestions.

Crafting Appealing Popups

The success of your popups heavily relies on their design. It’s essential to create visually striking popups with compelling headlines and clear calls to action (CTAs). 

Incorporate high-quality images of the products and persuasive descriptions that highlight their benefits and features. Ensure your popups reflect your brand’s aesthetic for a seamless user experience.


→ Segment Your Audience: Use user data and browsing behavior to segment your audience and deliver targeted, relevant popup content. Tailoring messages based on user interests, location, or browsing history can significantly increase engagement and conversion rates.

→ Dynamic Content Adaptation: Implement dynamic content in your popups that adapt based on user behavior or the specific page they are viewing. This creates a more personalized experience, demonstrating that you understand and cater to the user’s interests.

NOTE → Divi Areas Pro allows you to dynamically change the content of your popups, with some coding skills at hand. To learn more, go to our Knowledge Base and read ‘Dynamically change the content of a Popup’

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Designing for a Seamless User Experience

The potential of crafting relevant, visually captivating popups is often overlooked, with many opting for basic, uninspired designs that fail to resonate.

Far beyond mere attention-grabbing technique, through their design and placement, effective popups have the power to make a great impression on potential customers, driving engagement and conversion.

Recognizing the power of well-crafted popup designs is key. Investing mere minutes into the creation of an engaging, beautifully designed popup campaign could yield an asset that continuously generates revenue over time.

Understanding the significance of popup design, let’s focus on practices that elevate your popups:

Choosing the Right Colors: Forget the myths of a one-size-fits-all color scheme. Focus instead on creating contrast to draw attention to key elements and ensuring your colors align with your brand for a seamless experience. Whether opting for a classic white background or integrating brand colors, maintaining contrast and brand consistency is key.

Source: Cupshe

Simplicity is Key: The adage “Less is more” is particularly pertinent for popups. With limited time to capture interest, ensure your design and message are straightforward, focusing on a singular value proposition and CTA.

Source: Sneaker Shouts

Utilize Contrast: While maintaining brand harmony, your popups must catch the eye. Ensure your CTA buttons pop and your headlines are clear, employing contrasting colors and legible font sizes to draw attention to the most crucial elements.

Source: Mnml

This example from mnml demonstrates the classic approach, while it showcases brand alignment, the dark background with lighter text enhances readability without sacrificing style.

Mobile Popup Design Tips

The mobile device’s UX is distinct from that on desktops, therefore, when designing popups for mobile, it’s imperative to ensure they’re optimized for these platforms to engage users effectively without causing frustration.

A key difference between desktop and mobile popups lies in the available screen real estate; mobile screens offer significantly less space. This means your message must be concise and compelling, fitting within a compact area while still motivating the user to act. 

Source: Prose

Achieving an optimal design for mobile popups can significantly enhance your mailing list growth and improve your site’s standing with Google. After all, the search giant places great emphasis on mobile UX, highlighting the importance of mobile-friendly design choices.

→ Concise Copy: Keep your message brief and to the point, avoiding distractions and unnecessary detail.

Mobile-Friendly Design: Ensure popups are easy to navigate on mobile, with clear, tap-friendly buttons and minimal scrolling required.

→ Minimal Form Fields: Streamline the opt-in process with as few fields as possible, ideally just an email address, to reduce friction for mobile users.

→ Google-Friendly Popups: Avoid popups that could detract from the user experience or accessibility of your content, in line with Google’s guidelines on intrusive content.

Adhering to these practices and tips can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your popups, improving user engagement and conversion rates across both desktop and mobile platforms.


→ Mobile-Friendly Popups: Ensure that your popups are optimized for mobile devices, with responsive design and touch-friendly elements. Considering the growing prevalence of mobile browsing, this is essential for reaching a wider audience effectively.

→ Unobtrusive Design: Design popups that are visually appealing but not overwhelming. Use colors and fonts that complement your website’s design. Ensure that the close button is prominent and easy to interact with, offering a clear and immediate way to dismiss the popup.

→ Limit Popups per Session: Avoid bombarding users with multiple popups in a single session. Determine a sensible frequency and limit for popup displays to prevent user frustration and potential site abandonment.

Respecting Privacy and Compliance

Respecting user privacy and adhering to compliance regulations are paramount when implementing popups on your website. In an era where digital privacy concerns are at an all-time high, ensuring that your popups are not just effective but also ethically sound and legally compliant is essential. 

This involves transparently communicating how user data is collected, used, and protected, as well as obtaining explicit consent when required. First and foremost, compliance with laws such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and other regional privacy laws cannot be overlooked. 

These regulations mandate clear consent mechanisms for data collection, offering users the option to opt-in or out of tracking and data gathering practices. Therefore, your popups should include concise, understandable consent forms or information notices that align with these legal requirements.

Moreover, privacy should be embedded into the design of your popups from the outset—a concept known as “privacy by design.” This means considering the privacy implications of your popups during the design phase and integrating privacy-respecting features, such as easy-to-access privacy policies and straightforward options for users to control their data preferences.

Popups that are intrusive, misleading, or perceived as violating user privacy can harm your brand’s reputation and trustworthiness. By prioritizing transparency, consent, and user control, you can create popups that not only comply with legal standards but also respect the privacy of your users, fostering a relationship based on trust and respect.


→ Transparent Data Practices: Clearly communicate how user data will be used and ensure that your popups include links to your privacy policy or terms of service.

→ Consent and Opt-In Features: For regions with strict data protection laws, include opt-in features or consent checkboxes in your popups to comply with legal requirements and respect user privacy.


If you’ve enjoyed our insights about using popups and you’re ready to elevate your website, we have an exciting offer that you won’t want to miss. By purchasing a Divi Areas Pro license, you’re not just getting one of the most versatile and powerful tools for your website; you’re also unlocking a treasure trove of knowledge.

As a special thank-you, you’ll gain exclusive access to the Popup Master Class course, personally crafted by our founder, Philipp Stracker. This comprehensive course is the perfect companion to Divi Areas Pro, guiding you through the intricacies of creating engaging and effective popups that captivate your audience.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from the best and take your website to new heights. Act now and embrace the full potential of Divi Areas Pro, along with the expert insights of Philipp Stracker’s Popup Master Class. Your website’s future looks brighter already!

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Wrapping Up

As we conclude our journey through the realm of popup etiquette, it’s clear that the strategic use of popups represents a powerful manner to enhance user engagement, drive conversions, and achieve various business objectives. 

However, the key to this potential lies not just in the use of popups themselves but in how they are implemented. By adhering to the principles of timing, relevance, design, clarity, and privacy compliance, businesses can create popup experiences that not only respect the user’s journey but also contribute positively to their overall experience on your site.

The art of popup etiquette is about striking the perfect balance between engaging users and preserving the integrity of their online experience. By following the best practices, guides, and rules outlined in this guide, you’re well on your way to achieving success with popups—transforming them into a valuable asset for your digital marketing toolkit.

May your popups be both courteous and conversion-driving, contributing to the success of your digital endeavors!