5 Reasons I Hate Pop-Up Newsletter Sign-Up Boxes
Too many times lately I come to what I am told is a great UX blog––or let's face it; I'm really on a clothing site––and BAM! Before any interaction happens, one of these pop-up boxes asking for my email to sign up to a newsletter covers my browser screen.
Conversion optimization studies have revealed these pop-up boxes, also known as modals or lightboxes, can result in higher conversions. I am going to take an unchacteristic stance and say this: Screw the numbers. I bet any decent usability test that surveyed users and asked about the experience––the emotional effect––of seeing these would show a different approach.
Why I Hate These Demon Boxes
- Poor timing. Without even a chance to see what the site has to offer, I am asked to get a daily intrusion into my inbox with their newsletter.
- HIdden "Close" button. Logically, I should be able to find a close button in the top right or because I'm a power user and know these things, I should be able to push ESC or click the overlay area to close it. Nope! Look for the tiny, light gray "close" that doesn't look like an interactive element.
- No logic. Okay, damn you, I signed up for your newsletter. So why is it that every time I go to your site, I have to see this silly box? Shouldn't there be some sort of magic code that know I'm a returning visitor that did your damn conversion?
- Not mobile-friendly. Not only am I pinching and scrolling to see your site on my phone, but now I have to search around on my viewport for a way to get out of this hell and just see the content I came to see.
- Your conversion is useless. Okay, I've liked you on Facebook or I've signed up for your newsletter but I'm un-liking and un-subscribing almost immediately because you have content that isn't fresh or interesting.
Some Advice if You Insist on Using a Newsletter Modal
Look beyond the quantitive results of modal boxes and use logic and common sense before you decide to be the Rosemary to this demon spawn.
- Do set up some intense logic code that will only show these if the user is engaged and hasn't already done the conversion.
- Do include a "Don't show me this anymore" option for those that are repeat users but not ready to convert.
- Don't use it as a splash page. If you literally say "Welcome" anywhere on your homepage, you need to hire a copywriter.
- Do create modals that are mobile-optimized, either sizing to the viewport, appearing as a notification bar above the content, or just going away entirely on the smaller devices.