Home > How to Create Effective Pop-ups in WordPress

How to Create Effective Pop-ups in WordPress

The average internet user hates having their surfing session interrupted by needless pop-ups, and many opt for ad-blockers to prevent the disruption. But what if the pop-up offers something truly relevant to the visitor, something they may have just been looking for? Let’s compare two situations. Let’s say you’re hard at work on a project online. In the first situation, someone barges in, unplugs the wifi and forces you to start working on something else. In the second situation, someone brings in a glass of your favorite beverage and then asks for a small favor. You may lose focus in both situations, but you’d likely feel radically different about these disruptions.

The above example is a perfect way to illustrate that, while many pop-ups are annoying distractions, the right pop-up is sure to catch a potential customer’s eye—and is sure to help an online business grow. But the secret is all about understanding the right way to design a pop-up campaign.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of creating pop-ups in WordPress that really work, complete with some helpful real-world examples, plus some tips for choosing the right pop-up creator. Before we get started, let’s talk about how pop-ups can help a website.

What’s the point of popups?

A well designed pop-up has plenty to offer the online business owner. They can draw in new audiences, improve user retention, increase newsletter subscription or convince visitors to sign up for your email list. If you run an online store, when a visitor views a certain product or post category, try displaying a pop-up suggesting related items and watch your engagement grow.

Pop-ups are also a great way to encourage first-time purchases, especially when they come with a discount coupon. You can also use them to remind cart abandoners of their uncompleted purchases. As you read on, we’ll share with you the best way to put each of these pop-up concepts into practice.

Choosing the right pop-up tool

Designing effective pop-up campaigns is not a game of chance. Rather, one should consciously aim to craft pop-ups that get the highest rate of feedback. To do this, choosing the right pop-up creator is just as important as choosing the right design or strategy. When selecting a pop-up tool, consider the following factors:

Ease of use

Crafting pop-ups can be quite fun, assuming you choose a tool that saves you any unnecessary hassle. Opt for a pop-up creator with a visual interface that has a completely drag-and-drop builder to let you combine all the essential elements, from text and image to form elements, in whatever way you want. You’ll also want the option to add dynamic keywords and coupons to your pop-ups for that next level of personalization.

Targeting and automation

The real secret to good pop-ups is as follows: the less you interfere with user experience, the more positive results you will see from your pop-up campaign. This is why timing and content are so important. You want the user to interact with the pop-up at proven key funnels that will drive engagement, and you’ll want to include personalized content to make the user feel the pop-up was crafted especially for them. Targeting is your secret weapon here: the right targeting feature will enable you to show popups based on a range of criteria from user behavior to region. To save time without sacrificing quality, automation can make sure the pop-up is shown once a certain condition is met.


Segmentation capability allows you to group users based on any number of characteristics and in turn target each group with different pop-ups. Some possible groupings could include subscribed users, first-time visitors or VIP customers.

Performance and analytic reports

Any comprehensive popup tool should also provide analytics reports to help you gauge the effectiveness of any campaign. But be careful! Your site could experience performance issues if the tool uses your WordPress server instead of its own server resources to run a pop-up campaign.

Growmatik: the perfect popup builder

Growmatik: the perfect popup builder

You may know Growmatik as a marketing automation tool, but one of its main functionalities is building and automating pop-ups for WordPress sites. This easy-to-use tool comes with a visual interface and 15+ ready-made pop-up templates. To get started building pop-ups in Growmatik, simply go to the Workshop in the dashboard, click Pop-ups and click the Create Pop-up button. A window will then open showing a number of ready-made pop-ups, and from there you can choose to edit or create a new template. The pop-up builder, as seen below, will then open.

pop-up builder

Growmatik lets you customize your pop-ups with a wide range of dynamic keywords, from first name, region, sign-up date, number of orders, last purchased item and more, as well as customizable elements such as images, socials, buttons, coupon codes, forms and videos. You can even adjust the size, positioning and shape of the pop-up using the pop-up settings button.

Once you’re ready to automate your pop-up, you can set rules for the three main segments of guests, leads and customers. But Growmatik’s targeting capacity doesn’t stop there. You can set conditions with a few simple clicks (no shortcodes required!) for anything from behavioral activity, such as scroll percentage or exit intent, to region or date and time. 

Lastly, Growmatik enables you to track pop-up campaigns over time and learn what’s working and what is not. This powerful tool does all of this from its own servers, so it won’t ever slow down the performance of your WordPress site.

Best practices and some sample pop-up recipes

Let’s look into what kinds of pop-ups can help you connect with your audience.

Pop-ups with dynamic keywords

Dynamic keywords are the perfect addition to any pop-up to help you connect with your leads, guests or customers so you can encourage them to take the next step. Growmatik offers a wide range of dynamic keywords. This example will familiarize you with the process of using personal details, such as first name, time of day, or UTM parameters, as dynamic tags in your pop-ups.

Subscribed or registered users are generally the population with the most potential to make a purchase from your online store. These individuals are called leads. To nurture your leads, you need to deliver relevant, personalized content that makes them feel appreciated. The perfect moment for this is immediately following signup. Show them a well designed pop-up that includes their first name to say thanks for subscribing!


To do this in Growmatik, choose the Text element in the pop-up builder, click Dynamic Keywords, then Personal details and choose First Name as the dynamic keyword to add to your design, as seen above. Save the automation and head to the Automations section. To access your leads, click on the Plus button. Then, set the condition to User behavior > Sign up and set the action to Show pop-up. Finally, select the popup you designed before.

If you want to personalize your message for those visitors coming from a specific URL, referral UTMs can help you out. For example, setting the utm_medium to CompanyNames lets you customize the pop-up for every individual entering your site via the following URL:


It’s also possible to use daytime dynamic tags to offer a limited-time discount. You might choose to do this for a specific sale, or to encourage first purchases right after the visitor navigates to your site. The pop-up design you see below contains two different dynamic tags,  the {{UTM MEDIUM}} where users will see the company name, and {{WEEKDAY}}, which will display the day.

dynamic keywords

Automate this pop-up by adding a rule with a Source condition (UTM_medium) for visitors as seen below:

rule discount pop-up

Showing a subscription pop-up upon exit

Exit-intent pop-ups are many marketer’s secret weapons for retaining guests and transforming them into leads. They should offer an irresistible reason to keep interacting with the website, or at least to return at a later time. You might ask your guest to subscribe to the mailing list just before they click out of your site, and then court them with discount coupons via email. This will give you a way to keep in touch with them and give them a reason to come back to your site.

exit intent

Set up an exit-intent pop-up in Growmatik by selecting All guests as the condition and set the pop-up to show with On exit as the action:

on-exit intent rule

Show guests a  giveaway pop-up

Giveaways are often a tempting offer for potential customers, but you’ve got to carefully consider what you will offer your audience. Basically, this should depend on the type of website you run. If you run a website for a cafe, why not offer a free coffee in exchange for signing up? This might win you over a couple of new regulars. Some other common options for giveaways include ebooks, coupon codes and premium learning materials. Whatever you’re offering, make sure your pop-up design is eye catching.


For example, try automating your pop-up to display to leads visiting your site in the evening.

To do this, open the Automation Section > Leads > Custom rule and then select evening as the condition and Show Pop-up as the action:

giveaway rule

Appreciate your most loyal customers with a discount pop-up

Pop-ups are not just handy tools for attracting new customers—they can also help you retain old customers as well, increasing their lifetime value. Make sure to show your repeat customers plenty of appreciation to keep them buying, and what better way to do this than offering a discount code for one of your products (especially one relevant to their shopping history). Be sure to say thanks, address them by name and let them know why they are receiving this exclusive discount.

loyal customers

It’s easy to define loyal customers in Growmatik—all you need to do is segment via number of orders placed by a customer.

Just follow Automations > Customers > Custom rule and select User Behavior. Then, click on Orders Placed and set the value to 5. This means that any user that has successfully placed five orders will count as a loyal customer.  If you choose Show Pop-up as the action, then your pop-up campaign will be ready to go once you add the pop-up you designed before.

loyal customers rule

Display a pop-up for a regional audience

Ever considered crafting special pop-ups especially for your customer base from a specific geographic area, complete with personalized content that will speak to them? Growmatik lets you create such pop-ups for WordPress by enabling the targeting of audience members visiting from a specific country. Let’s say you live in Italy and want to invite your users living outside of the country to win a trip to Rome.


Choose Automation > Leads > Custom rule, and select Location as the condition, set it to Other Countries or the particular area you want to target. Then pick Pop-up to Show as the action.

regional rule

Display an abandoned cart pop-up 

Online businesses lose plenty of revenue every year in the form of abandoned shopping carts. Encouraging the recovery of these carts is proven to increase both engagement and conversion rates for online stores. Design a pop-up to convince users to return and complete the purchase they were considering.

cart abandonment

To automate this process, set the user behavior to Abandoned Cart as the condition and Show Pop-up as the action for customers.

abandoned cart pop-up

Drive sales with FOMO pop-ups

FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out, is a natural psychological reaction to feeling like you’re missing something and is often used in marketing to drive sales. An example of FOMO techniques for pop-ups is including a deadline to accept a tempting offer. This means the user will feel they have to act soon or lose the opportunity to take advantage of the offer. The element we used above can be found in the “Pop-ups with dynamic keywords” section. Automate these pop-ups for every segment with the Period element as your condition.

fomo pop-up

Show holiday-specific discount pop-ups

Discount coupons are a simple way to get your customers excited, but there’s not always an occasion for them. Holiday-specific discounts, including seasonal or promotion deals, are a popular way to offer a discount on your products without hurting your sales. Choose a discount rate depending upon your business, the product and the occasion, then design and automate it via Growmatik and choose which segment of users to show it to.

holiday specific

Closing thoughts

All of the methods above can be combined to create effective pop-ups for WordPress that serve the goals of your marketing campaign. Show your audience relevant, personalized pop-ups, complete with dynamic keywords, to help nurture your connection to them. Think of yourself in your customers shoes and try to design pop-ups that offer the maximum value for the smallest of interruptions. Plus, it’s essential to target specific groups of customers with your pop-ups, rather than showing the same pop-up to every single visitor.

From Browsing to Buying: Put Wagento’s eCommerce Mastery to Work for You

Soumi Biswas, with vast years in content writing, specializes in technical topics from eCommerce platforms to digital marketing. Known for engaging content, she’s also passionate about cooking and traveling.

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