Nov 7, 2023

Nailing your holiday pop-up strategy: The dos and don'ts

Filippo Casavecchia - Guest blog
Filippo Casavecchia - Guest blog
Filippo Casavecchia

Filippo Casavecchia

Nailing your holiday pop-up strategy: The dos and don'ts

The holiday season is on the horizon, and shorter days mean busier schedules for most people. This time of year is always eagerly anticipated in the digital marketplace, as retailers gear up for a surge in shopping.

Interestingly, the 2022 holiday season saw an unprecedented rise in consumer spending, according to an Adobe study. Between November and December, online shoppers spent a staggering $211.7 billion – a notable 3.5% increase from the previous year (Source: Retail Dive). It certainly sounds worth it to do your homework before diving headfirst into this shopping season!

The role of pop-ups in your holiday marketing strategy

While popups may not be the initial tool marketers think of, they can be silent game-changers in the digital marketing arena. When implemented correctly using pop-up best practices, they play a significant role in amplifying the message, capturing attention at crucial moments, and driving more conversions. 

The potential of pop-ups to capture attention

During the bustling holiday season, consumers are inundated with an array of promotions, making it increasingly challenging for brands to stand out.

Pop-ups, with their distinct, front-and-center placement, offer a unique solution to this challenge. They seize those ephemeral moments of attention, presenting curated messages or deals right when the consumer is most engaged with your site.

Okay, that all sounds great, but where do you start? Keep reading to discover the four main popup types you can easily implement on your website.

4 Popup types to boost holiday sales

When well-executed, these unassuming boxes can significantly amplify your sales message, driving higher conversions. However, the key lies not just in their implementation but in ensuring that they seamlessly align with your overarching brand strategy for the festive season.

Let's delve deeper into how to tailor popups for maximum holiday impact

The promo prelude

Pre-event teasers, often manifested through simple yet captivating popups, have a dual purpose. Besides stirring excitement, they set the stage for what's to come, acting as an appetizer for the main event.

These popups, when aligned with channels like social media, email, or PPC, create a cohesive narrative that can hook the audience early on.

By collecting email addresses during this phase, marketers not only prepare for targeted promotions but also nurture a community eager for holiday deals.

PDPAOLA uses an eye-catching popup to advertise their upcoming deals. The brand is not collecting email addresses with this popup, effectively missing out on a great list growth and retargeting opportunity.

Early access: Rewarding loyalty

Loyal customers are a brand's best advocates. Their continued patronage deserves recognition beyond standard loyalty points or discounts. By offering them exclusive previews or deals, brands can create an inner circle, making these customers feel valued and special.

Platforms like SMS, push notifications, or even chatbots can be employed creatively to deliver these exclusive deals, ensuring a multi-channel engagement strategy. Create a sleek popup to collect early access and spark some exclusivity to your holiday sale.

Bulletproof collects email addresses in exchange for Early Access to their sale. This strategy helps the brand to build excitement and exclusivity, collect email addresses, and notify their subscribers when the sale starts.

Sale alert: Direct and effective

Make sure to use one when the sale starts. A popup can play a pivotal role in conveying your message. Capture people’s attention as soon as they land on your website, stimulate interest and urgency.

If you’re collecting an email address in this phase, make sure to use follow-up strategies, such as tailored email campaigns, which can provide additional information, or email flows to retarget abandoned carts, ensuring the maximum reach for your best deals.

Oodie advertises massive savings in exchange for an email address signup. This allows them to maximize the retargeting during the holiday period. The red color of the popup conveys urgency and invites you to take immediate action.

The final countdown: Last chance offers

As the curtains begin to close on the holiday sale, the urgency becomes palpable. Last-minute deals flashed via popups, can capitalize on this urgency. Pairing these with real-time counters or stock indicators can further push customers to act quickly, ensuring they grab the best deals before they disappear.

Umbra uses simple and effective last-chance messaging. All the right elements are in place: a holiday color palette, urgency, an inviting and clear % offer, and a clear CTA.

The dos of holiday popups

Design with clarity: 

Think of when you've quickly scanned a website for specific information. Cluttered designs can be overwhelming and deter interaction. A clean design allows the essential message to shine.

Every popup, especially during holidays, should emulate this by having clear themes, like a universally recognized black background, that directs the viewer's attention seamlessly to the main offer.

Copy must be direct:

Conciseness is key. Prioritize the central message, eliminating unnecessary fluff or jargon. Users spend mere seconds on a popup; make sure your copy quickly conveys the offer's value and compelling action.

Prominently highlight offers: 

When showcasing deals, your audience should instantly recognize the value. Highlight top discounts, such as "up to 50% off," using bold fonts or contrasting colors. But, it's crucial to strike a balance between eye-catching prominence and the overall aesthetic appeal of the popup.

Time your popup right:

While it's common to use factors like delays or page-scroll percentages to determine when your popup appears, the holiday season demands a shift in strategy. Instead of waiting, showcase your popups when a visitor enters your site.

This immediate introduction ensures that visitors are instantly aware of the top deals available. Given that holiday shoppers anticipate more direct marketing tactics, they're more accepting of upfront promotions and less prone to exit the page quickly.

The don'ts of holiday popups

Avoid overcrowding:

While the holiday season often brings with it an urge to be extravagant, it's crucial to keep your popups clean and straightforward.

Overloading them with too much information or excessive graphics can dilute the main message. A simplistic design can help your main offer shine and improve user engagement.

Don’t overlap offers:

Make sure that one popup doesn't interfere with another. Before deploying a new offer, double-check that previous popups are deactivated.

This ensures a seamless user experience, where each message is given its due attention. Overlapping offers not only confuse visitors but can make your brand appear disorganized.

Don’t be vague:

In the busy world of online promotions, especially during the holidays, clarity is your most potent tool. Ensure that your call to action is direct and easily understandable.

For example, instead of saying, "Get the best deals here," you might opt for a straightforward "Save 50% Now!" This leaves no room for interpretation and compels the user to act immediately.

Bonus: Experiment with adding gamification to your popup

Beyond discounts and offers, the modern consumer seeks engagement and experiences. Gamification elements, added to popups, can provide this fun and immersive experience.

They not only engage users but also encourage them to spend more time interacting with the brand, leading to potential upselling opportunities. A spin-the-wheel popup is the choice for many brands, because, in the end... Who doesn’t like a little gamble?

Vegan leather bags brand ECOSUSI opts for a spin-the-wheel popup to stand out from the crowd and add some fun to their Black Friday Popup. Data shows that a spin the wheel can have up to 3x signup higher rate when compared with traditional popups (source: Justuno).

Final thoughts

The holiday season is a period filled with shopping, deals, and festivities. For brands, it presents unparalleled opportunities to acquire new customers, retain existing ones, and boost their sales.

Popups, when executed right, can be a powerful conversion tool for brands. Aligning them to your overall brand strategies, making sure the timing is right, and putting the right effort into a clean and effective design, can set your brand up for success.

About the author:

Filippo is an email marketing expert and founder of The Popup Project, a curated gallery of popup examples for eCommerce brands and digital marketing agencies.

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