Let’s be frank: a pop-up is a clutch way to hook qualified leads on a lead capture page.

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But, everyone hates pop-ups, right? Not exactly. Everyone hates pop-ups when they’re done wrong.

Good marketing shouldn’t manipulate people or drive them mad—it should make the right message/ resource available at just the right time.

Screen takeovers, exit-intent popups, and Leadboxes come in all shapes and sizes and help businesses of all sides generate leads and turn clicks into customers.

Pop-ups can serve as a way to expand an email list, conduct a survey, generate more social followers, prompt visitors to download a lead magnet, and even recapture interest from an exit intent.

Contrary to popular belief, most people’s internet browsers do allow pop-ups. In fact, less than 20% of Americans use pop-up blocker software, according to Business Insider, and even so, the pop-up blockers don’t always work.

But what does it take to make a pop-up truly work without driving your site visitors mad? Let’s take a look at 15 real-world examples that showcase marketing greatness that will hopefully inspire your next pop-up creation. 

15 Real-World Pop-Up Examples

1 – The Animated Pop-Up 

By Lemonstand

Have you noticed that your eyes are naturally drawn to movement? If the human brain is hardwired to attract to motion, why not integrate it on a pop-up? This example from Lemonstand uses an animation to drum up qualified leads by offering a free eBook. 

And if you can’t include animated elements on the pop-up itself, how about animating the whole module? Build a fly-in pop-up that is triggered by a specific event and you’ll achieve the eye-catching movement that makes this technique work so well.

1 - Animated pop-up example

2 – The Countdown Timer Pop-Up

By Mobile Monkey

A leading psychological hack that marketers can—and should—use is scarcity. The “going,going, gone” mentality can be incredibly persuasive. If you have ever opted into a limited-time offer or sale, you’ve fallen for this sales hack!

Scarcity refers to someone’s attraction to things there are either available in limited quantities or for a limited length of time. When someone thinks “what I want now I might not be able to get down the road,” they are more apt to pull the trigger to click, opt-in, or buy something. Ergo, using a timer on a pop-up page is a very effective lead generation technique.

2 - Countdown Timer Pop-Up Example

3 – High-Contrast Pop-Up

By Drip

There’s a design principle that is effective across industries and businesses—and that is color contrast.

Imagine scrolling through a page. What do your eyes go to? Movement, yes, but also high-contrast images.

This is because of the Isolation Effect. The essence of this phenomenon is this: an item that stands out is more likely to be remembered, notes Psychology Today. People are able to recognize and recall things far better (be it text or an image) when it blatantly sticks out from its surroundings.

Additionally, the Aesthetic Response to Color Combinations and Consumer Preferences for Color Combinations studies also expose that the majority of consumers favor high-contrasting colors in marketing.

Here’s a great example of high contrast from Drip. Its use of white space, simple shapes, and almost fluorescent colors makes this pop-up literally pop on the page:

3 - High Contrast Color Pop-up Ad

4 – The Value-Driven Pop-Up

By Leadpages

As with any other marketing strategy, it’s important to answer “why” and “what’s in it for the reader?”

With copy on pop-ups, you have to have to be persuasive, yet not annoying enough to disregard it.

If your copy doesn’t show your brand’s value, you will lose out on opt-ins and subscribes. Marketers should a unique selling proposition that compels visitors to take the next step.

In this example, Leadpages clearly states the “why” in the text: edging business owners to get inspired by looking at real-world examples of landing pages by downloading a lookbook file. 

Leadbox example Leadpages Popup

5 – The Access Offer Pop-Up

By MarketingLand.com

Want to make your pop-up different than the dreary masses?  Do it! Spending some time to come up with a unique or unexpected offer that you can give access to in exchange for an email address: in this case, access to a video replay of a recent webinar. 

As you can see in this example, Marketing Land is using high-contrast colors and social proof (by listing the names of their two presenters). By doing so, visitors are enticed by the pop-up ad, rather than annoyed by it. That’s exactly what you should aim for when creating a lead capture pop-up: a compelling offer that aligns with your audiences and catches their attention (and interest) at just the right moment.  

pop-up ad example

6 – The Social Proof Pop-Up

By Social Media Examiner

Visitors who are confused about making a purchase decision of some kind, will likely decide to look to others. That’s why reviews are so powerful and effective.

Otherwise known as the “bandwagon effect,” the consensus principle is about making a decision based on others having made the same choice. Why do we do this? People assume others have more knowledge about a particular area, so they look to others to make a decision.

If you want to make your pop-up pop, include social proof mechanisms. The term “social proof” is where people do things that they see others doing. 

In this example, Social Media Examiner includes the number of subscribers (500,000) to create social proof that its Marketing Industry Report is worthy of a download.

Other brands have found success by adding social integrations and share numbers on a pop-up as well.

6 - Social Proof Pop-Up Example

7 – The Creative Button Pop-Up 

By Shoe Money

While visual design is key in pop-ups, copy matters too. Intelligent button copy or call to action(CTA) is a big converter. In the CTA button text, when you make people feel like they are missing out on information or a deal, they will be more apt to convert.

In this example, Shoe Money offers two reader CTAs: “Yes, Hook it Up” or “No, I Have Enough Money” rather than bland “Yes” and “No” options. These options are fun, and make you think twice about clicking, right?

7 - Pop-up example

8 – The Personality Pop-Up

By Merriam Webster

“Using a conversational tone will resonate more with your shoppers and will increase your conversions,” notes BetaOut.

Heard of Merriam Webster’s “Word of the Day”? Merriam Webster humanizes its brand by using words like “you” and “your’re” in its pop-up copy. When readers see these words, they feel the text is personal, and it effectively establishes a connection to the brand. In addition, the pop-up contains an adorable image of a librarian cat, which displays a fun brand personality and makes people naturally like the brand.

8 - Pop-up ad example

9- The Authority Pop-Up

By Lewis Howes

Another persuasive technique drawn from the depths of psychology textbooks involves using authority. When uncertain about making a decision, people look to authoritative figures for information to guide their decisions. Any person or brand with specialized knowledge, credentials, or even an air of confidence can be viewed as an authority on a given subject matter.

In this example, social media guru and self-help expert Lewis Howes shows authority by including the logos of the media outlets he’s been featured on, further validating visitor trust and promoting people to build an email list.

9 - Popup ad example

10 – The Unique Offer Pop-Up

By Neil Patel

Draw a crowd in with unique lead magnets. Here’s an example from Neil Patel who offers readers access to a quiz that will teach them how to get more traffic and rank higher in Google. He’s also incredibly specific about what he’s offering: a 3-min quiz, that will deliver specific results (rank higher), in less than 30 days. Clarity leads to confidence, and when visitors feel confident, they’re more likely to convert. 

10 - Popup Example Neil Patel

11 – The Minimalist Pop-Up

By Optimonk

Your design and copy don’t have to be complex in order to be effective.

In fact, website visitors tend to scan rapidly through web content and decide quickly if they want “in” or “out.” This example from Optimonk is a perfect embodiment of simplicity.

Minimalist popup example

12 – The Mouth-Watering Pop-Up

By Blue Apron

Adding alluring imagery helps people visualize your pop-up offer or message. Take it from Blue Apron here, who adds four pictures of mouth-watering meals in its pop-up.

Some brands even add a video within a pop-up to up the visual ante.

12 - popup ad example

13 – The Transparent Pop-Up  

By The 4-Hour Work Week

Typically you see pop-ups with a solid background, but Tim Ferriss of 4-Hour Workweek designed his pop-up to display a pensive image of himself in the background. It works because showing images of faces is a proven neuromarketing hack.

13 - popup ad example

14 – The Coupon Pop-Up 

By Toms

Providing a coupon or discount offer is a great way to give your website visitors a reason to purchase and an incentive to come back at a later date (if they’re not quite ready to do so today). In this example, Toms is cleverly offering a coupon as a gateway (lead magnet) to entice visitors to subscribe to their marketing newsletter, which contains information about new products, offers, specials, etc.

14 - popup ad example

15 – The First-Time Customer Coupon Pop-Up

By Baublebar

In this coupon pop-up example, Baublebar is targeting prospective first-time customers who are unfamiliar with their brand and may need a special offer in order to feel more comfortable trying out a new ecommerce site.

15 - popup ad example

Your Life Just Got Easier…

The examples look cool, sure, but you’re probably wondering how the heck to make them a reality for your business. I recommend using Leadboxes or ThriveLeads. They allow you to turn any webpage or blog post into a major source of leads by simply using a button, image, or piece of text to trigger a pop-up opt-in form.

Leadpages’ drag-and-drop Leadbox builder lets you quickly customize your pop-up opt-in forms any way you like. You can add fields, buttons, images, timers, icons, and even a video like on this example Leadbox. You can also change the backgrounds, colors, and layout of each individual Leadbox so it perfectly matches each offer and your business’s brand. You can also paste the tracking code from your favorite analytics service into Leadboxes’ analytics fields and collect additional data.  They’re so effective and so easy to deploy that some of our customers have created hundreds of Leadboxes, gaining opt-ins from literally every page or post published. That includes places like …

  • Sidebar widgets on your blog
  • Your website’s navigation bar
  • Inside your blog posts, so you can deliver content upgrades in exchange for an opt-in
  • Links in your guest blog posts, so you can collect leads directly from a partner’s website.

That’s it, go get those leads with a lead magnet and great opt-in popup!

What do you think about this?