Using Popups for Lead Generation

Lead Product Designer for the Clinical Data Team
Jan 2021 - September 2023
Using Popups for Lead Generation - Do they work?
You know those popups you get when you first land on a page? 🙄

Do they actually work? Now, as a UX designer, product sorcerer, or whatever fancy title I go by, those flashy popups can be as annoying as a mosquito on a summer’s day. They're like the party crashers of the internet.

I try to avoid them in my work, but I guess it really depends.

So why do companies use popups??
My Contributions
Sole Designer working closely with founders.
Image of a website of two men on the right with text on the left.

Done right it serves as:

1. Hey! You see me - Popups demand immediate attention, making visitors, like you and me, more likely to notice them.
2. Lead Generation - They are effective for collecting email addresses and other valuable contact information.
3. Promotion and Offers - Popups can effectively showcase special promotions, discounts, or limited-time offers.
4. But Wait!! There’s more - exit-intent popups appear when a user is about to leave the site, providing a last-minute chance to engage or convert them.
5. Get your upgrade - popups can be used to offer additional resources or content related to what the visitor is currently viewing, enhancing the user experience and of course encouraging further exploration.Ahh, don’t you just love sales psychology??

I was skeptical at first. The numbers don't lie.
Here’s an experiment I did at 12weekrelationships, a relationship coaching business:

🙀 Little time. No Users. What do we do?

There was just 10 days left until our webinar. And we had zero registrants. It was crunch time to get people in.

We didn’t want to repeat what had happened at our previous webinar, where only two people showed up (There were a number of reasons why the previous webinar failed, but that’s another story).

At TWR, we'd have a webinar every two weeks, it was something we were testing to see how we could perfect our funnel.

Time to buckle down and think

Step 1:
We wanted to leverage the traffic we were getting from an existing Google Ad Campaign and our organic search. We knew with that audience, they were likely to have never heard of us.

Our organic search numbers were higher and better than our social traffic too. If we were not able to capture through the webinar, at least maybe we’d get them to sign up for the newsletter (I'll share those metrics too).

To recap:
Our Goals
1. Increase newsletter signups
2. Get users to sign up for webinar (10 days before)

Here was what our traffic look likes for full visibility:

Dates: September 7 - September 14, 2023
A graph of the progress of a website
So that's the traffic acquisition, but where exactly are our users going? Let's take that to 2-3 weeks before any social or any mentions of the webinar:
So that's the traffic acquisition, but where exactly are our users going? Let's take that to 2-3 weeks before any social or any mentions of the webinar:
Another view of a list, the top pages of this website on Google Analytics

We know from this data that we are getting a lot of visits to these pages. Our blog posts are quite popular.

Here is what the user acquisition looked like for the webinar registration page:

Webinar Results

In the grand finale, we had over a hundred folks RSVP, but when it was showtime, it was like herding 60 cats into our webinar room.I mean, hey, it's an upgrade from our previous webinars where we could've held the event in a phone booth and still had room for the janitor! 😂 


Popups, when handled strategically, are like sprinkles on a digital cupcake. You've got to know your traffic sources and why they're flocking to your digital bakery.

In hindsight, I wished we'd kept better tabs on our pages. Use popups with the delicacy of a feathered touch. I've discovered they're useful tools for snatching leads.

I've tossed popups into the mix to flaunt our webinars and reel in folks for our newsletter. They work.

By waving these attention-grabbing wands, you can pique user curiosity without unleashing the popup apocalypse. Keep that user experience positive while still achieving your goals. Yes, it's the "magic" of popups.