A Guide on Email Popups

If you want to know the basics of email popups, you’ve come to the right place.

In this guide, you’ll find out what email popups are, why they are effective, and how to make one, alongside examples from famous brands.

So stick around!

TLDR: Email popups are small windows that open on a particular website and can be used for a variety of marketing purposes. You can collect email addresses, offer discounts and giveaways, promote sales, remind customers of abandoned carts, and also as social proof — there’s no end to their versatility. Email popups consist of a headline, a body (copy), and a CTA button. All of these elements should be concise and straightforward, reflecting the core of your offer. When crafting an email popup, you should consider the type of template you’re using, the copy you’re providing, and the timing of the popup. You’ll also need to have in mind who gets to see the popup.

What Are Email Popups?

Email popups are small windows that appear when a visitor lands on a particular website. They usually ask for email registration and offer newsletters in return, as well as gifts, vouchers, giveaways, and discounts, among other things.

You may think of popups as something from the earlier days of the internet, but that’s not the case, especially when it comes to email popups.

Are Email Popups Effective?

Email popups are definitely an effective marketing strategy.

They’re effective for several reasons:

  • They can be pretty helpful when it comes to developing your inbound strategy, aka the way you attract new customers and subscribers in the first place;

  • They can help you get new leads fairly simply;

  • They can help guide your visitors and make them do the desired action;

  • A simple way to spread your newsletter to your users;

  • A simple way to get customer feedback.

You must know that not all email popups are created equal. In order for them to be effective, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

The way a popup is constructed can make a world of difference. The headline, the CTA button, the body, and the design of the popup are all very important elements you should never take for granted.

Types of Email Popups

There are many different types of email popups for different sales opportunities, such as:

  • Black Friday

  • Countdown timer

  • Cart abandonment

  • Product recommendation

  • Discount

  • Sales promotion

  • Exit-intent

  • Social proof

  • Newsletter

These are just a selection of what you can do with email popups. The options are endless!

Elements of Email Popups

Email popups usually have three parts — the title or the headline, the body, and the CTA button. I’ll give you a couple of examples and walk you through why all of these parts are so important.

The Popup Headline

The headline is your “way in,” so it must be short, catchy, and fun. Take a look at this example from the London Review of Books.

Their title is “Fresh Thinking” — it’s a straightforward and clever way to connect a subscription offer for a literary magazine with a beloved season. The title works perfectly with the body of the text alongside the visual design. The art and copy tie together a feeling of summer and blue skies where you can sit down and enjoy a good book. London Review of Books Popup

The Popup Body

The body of your email popup should also be short and cut straight to the point. Take a look at this popup from Electric Literature, an independent publisher and online magazine. Electric Literature Popup I just love how they immediately draw you in with their body - what kind of bookworm doesn’t want to become the person who everybody asks for book recommendations?

This popup body is catchy, concise, and cuts straight to the chase.

Another example is Adidas, with its popup body/title, which is also pretty short and simple and tells you that you’re going to get a discount if you join their club. Who wouldn’t want to belong to such a club?

Also, the design is nice and sleek, it corresponds with the Adidas logo, making it instantly relatable for Adidas fans, but it also stands out for those new to the brand. Adidas Popup

The Popup CTA Button

The CTA button (call to action button) in your email popup is something that must be there. Otherwise, the whole popup is just there to block the user from seeing your website.

The CTA copy should be only a few words and must use a verb to tell people what action they should take. It all depends on what your popup is about. You can use “Join now,” “Subscribe,” “Sign up,” “Shop now,” “Get in touch,” “Save _,” etc.

Things to Have in Mind When Creating an Email Popup

As I mentioned earlier, email popups are not created equal. Their effectiveness depends on the target audience, the design, the well-crafted message, and some other factors.

Next, I’ll tell you a little about what to consider when crafting the perfect email popup.

Choose the Right Template

The template you choose for your popups should be based on the goal you’re chasing. It could be about collecting new users’ email addresses or attempting to increase your sales. Whatever it is, choose a template that will fit your goal.

Ask yourself what you can offer them in the email popup to get them excited and ready to enter their email address. A 10% or 15% discount might do the trick if you’re doing a sale.

Pay Attention to the Copy

I’ve mentioned this earlier, but yes, the copy is critical, even though it’s pretty short. The copy should concisely and straightforwardly reflect what you’re offering to your users.

So, if your title is “30% off all Swimwear,” you can write something like this in the copy:

“Spend the rest of the summer looking chic and fresh with our summer collection, now on sale — 30% off all designs!

We’ll promptly send you the discount code once you sign up.”

Choose Who Can See the Offer and When

Not everyone needs to see the offer. If, for example, you’re going after new email addresses and new subscribers, existing subscribers are not the ones you’re chasing after, so they don’t need to see this particular popup. You can easily adjust this by turning off the popup for newsletter subscribers.

Also, it’s a good idea to think about when you want the popup to show up. Generally speaking, it’s recommended you do this after 6-8 seconds once the person opens the website.


Email popups are an easy, fun, and pretty straightforward way to attract new subscribers and guide your visitors towards taking a particular action.

Email popups are so versatile that you can use them for whatever incentive you want. As an indelible part of any marketing campaign, don’t hesitate to start crafting them as soon as possible!