You know the type of thing, you research a Wordpress function, you're reading a site and an popup ummm..pops up and says "join us, sign up, newletter, courses, whatever", you press X - thankfully normally in the top right - and carry on.

I realise that I have never (that is really never-ever) followed the CTA. I can't ever recall actually reading one.

Now I have a client for whom this would seem an appropriate solution. It doesn't take up screen, it's a yes or no answer, email field and Submit.

They are an insurance broker, they want the potential customer to fill in the expiry date of their existing policy and, of course, their email address.

Good idea? or just another annoyance?

closed as unclear what you're asking by msp, Mayo, Devin, Graham Herrli, JohnGB Apr 13 '16 at 4:01

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  • What solution do they say is appropriate? Can you elaborate on what this client is actually asking for please. – JonW Apr 12 '16 at 9:11
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    Are you just asking if having a popup is a good idea, or is it specifically something about the 'X' to close that you're concerned with? – JonW Apr 12 '16 at 9:17
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    I agree with JonW - This question seems to be asking whether popups are a good idea or not without giving enough context to make any kind of informed answer. As it stands, this question is highly subjective and answers are likely purely opinion based. – Andrew Martin Apr 12 '16 at 10:27
  • What's the fuss here people, Chris is just asking about the experience of lead capture interruptions. Pretty clear stuff in the ecomm realm. – plainclothes Apr 12 '16 at 16:11
  • More important question ... are there really two Chris Pink's who care about email capture modals? – plainclothes Apr 12 '16 at 16:59

You really have two separate questions that should be weighted together in the final decision.

1. Is this effective for capturing new leads?

Probably. This pattern (anti-pattern according to some) is frequent around the interwebs. That is not purely the result of copy cat or uninformed marketers getting greedy for email addresses.

I've personally tested this strategy and heard from plenty of others who have done the same. It normally generates more email leads than a less intrusive form of email sign-up.

Why? You want to capture the contact info of users who are most likely to purchase, the qualified leads. A genuinely interested visitor is also more likely to be interested in hearing more. IOW, not everyone is going to fill out the form (eg those who aren't interested or don't want more emails) but the ones who do are leads you don't want to lose.

2. Is this good for UX?

Maybe. This is a tricky question. For one thing, you have to decide whose experience you want to improve.

  • Meh: You drive away visitors who were never really that interested -- the request may just drive them away sooner.

  • Good: It makes getting looped in dead simple for users who prefer passive research (you send me the info). Define the persona and see where they fit.

  • Bad: It interrupts the flow of a user who is trying to research your site.

  • Ugly: You scare off qualified leads by asking for too much too soon.

I believe there are two things you can do to improve the success of this tool and not negatively impact the experience for those who will reject it.

  1. Find exactly the right time and context to ask.
    Look to analytics and user interviews to make an educated guess at where and when in the flow users may want to get on your contact list.

  2. Don't block their workflow.
    Being forward about your request for their info doesn't mean you have to block interaction with the page. You can create a prominent module on the page somewhere or use a notification-style presentation.


The fact that you have never followed a CTA doesn't mean your targeted audience won't. One of the biggest misconceptions in UX design is that people think they know what their audience wants, when in fact they don't.

It's a great way to generate leads for their marketing or sales team to follow up with emails, legally you should ask for permission to use their e-mailaddress for marketing related purposes, even though most companies don't actually do this.

It works for a lot of people, but if you want to know whether or not it works for your client's website, I'd say A/B test it.

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