Popup Email Form in WordPress Blog: 6 Tricks To Make Visitors Love It

Lots of bloggers are afraid of using popup email forms on their blogs, because they?re convinced that visitors hate seeing them. And if your visitors hate something – they just leave.

popup email form in wordpress blog

Yet we often see popup forms on blogs of many famous bloggers. So how come they’re not afraid to lose their audience?

That?s because they create popups that their visitors enjoy seeing. Which results in a massive increase of email subscribers (up to 500% more!).

So today I want to talk about 6 tricks that you can use to make your visitors love your popup email forms.

This should convince you to finally start using a popup form on your blog and get a lot more email subscribers than you?re getting today.

I Stole A Few Tips From Lewis Howes

I?ve seen tons of different popup forms, but there?s one that impressed me the most. It?s the popup form by Lewis Howes and it?s just brilliant:

lewis howes popup form

Does this look disgusting or intrusive to you? I don’t think so.

It?s so good it?s not even funny. I can?t see how anyone will react bad to it; get irritated and just close the website.

So let?s see what tricks make this popup form so awesome:

1. Sleek Design

People are known to make snap judgements about things they see based on how good they look (kinda the Halo Effect). This was proven in many studies and now widely used as an argument to create an appealing design for your website.

Well you know what? The same applies to your popup forms! They should look good to be trustworthy. And they should actually correspond with the original design of your blog.

Of course, using a generic design template for your popup form will inevitably irritate your visitors, especially if they saw the same popup design on some other blog.

And besides…

[tweet_dis]If your popup form looks like hundreds of others, visitors will consider your offer to have low value.[/tweet_dis]

2. Personal Touch

Lewis has a cool photo of himself on his popup. It?s very big and it clearly doesn?t look like a stock photo, purchased for a few bucks. You just know it?s him on the photo, right?

Well, if you?re comfortable with showing your face to your visitors, this means you?re probably not some kind of a scam. So by using a picture of yourself on your popup you?re adding a few points of credibility to your offer.

And Lewis seems to be using another awesome trick here – on the photo he?s kinda looking at the text that’s on his popup.

It?s well documented that people focus on faces, so I guess Lewis used that as an additional trigger for visitors to read his offer.


Eye tracking heatmap shows increase in people looking at the headline and text when the baby is looking there

3. Social Proof

This one was easy to guess, right? How can you possibly be irritated with a popup of a guy who was featured at Forbes?

I guess your own blog was also referenced in some well known places, so don?t forget to list that on your popup.

The logos and names of familiar websites will yet again give you a few extra credibility points.

And A Few Tips To Add

I?m sure Lewis is doing amazingly well with his popup. And you can do it too, with just those three tips above.

But just in case, I?m going to list three more tips that can make your popup form even better and less intrusive.

4. Delay It

Even if your popup looks amazing, people might automatically close it, because in the first place they?re interested in reading what they came for.

As a workaround you might want to show your popup with a certain delay:

  1. You can show it only after a person visits a certain number of pages on your blog, which will be an indicator that he?s interested in your content and more willing to sign up to your email list.
  2. But if you look at your statistics, most people will only visit one page on your blog and never come back. So maybe it makes sense to show them your popup form on their very first visit?

  3. You can show your popup after some time since your visitor opened the page. This way you give your visitors some time to get engaged with your content and only then bring your offer to their attention.
  4. But again, by doing this you?re actually distracting people from reading your article, so they might just automatically close the popup without even looking at it.

  5. Some plugins allow to show the popup form only when the person is about to leave your website. The plugin will track where the mouse cursor moves and once it goes towards the [X] button, the popup will be shown.
  6. Now this option seems like the very best one, since you’re not irritating your visitors and showing them your offer only when they’re done with everything else you have on your website.

5. Add Testimonials

Most of us are not celebrities (yet), so I guess our own face on the popup won?t get us enough credibility to make our visitors subscribe.

That is why you might want to reach out to some guys who are already famous (or maybe you just happen to have some of them among your friends, like I do) and ask them for a short testimonial.


Dainis and his blog are very well known among web designers & freelancers

Now having some well known face next to yours should give your popup enough credibility points to convert visitors into email leads.

6. Never Show It Again

And the last tip. It?s quite specific to be honest.

In addition to the regular [X] button which will close the popup, you can add something extra.

?Never Show It Again? button.


this is my own invention; curious to know what you think about it…

I think that a click on this option should satisfy most of ?popup haters? and make them stay on your blog, knowing that they?ve just killed that damn little popup.

I never met this feature in any popup plugin for WordPress, so we had to create a custom one for Photodoto blog. And with about 150k people visiting this blog each month I?ve never seen anyone complain about our popup email form.

Convinced? Then Go Get Yourself A Cool Popup Email Form

I really hope that my tips make sense to you and now you?re ready to try a popup form on your own blog.

May I offer you a cool WordPress plugin that I use myself here on BloggerJet?

The plugin is PopupDomination and here?s how cool it looks on my blog:


this is what you can do with PopupDomination + custom design

Here are a few reasons why I love PopupDomination:

1. Design options

It has a few free design templates to pick from. But of course that?s just for starters as thousands of other bloggers use PopupDomination with these free templates.

You should either invest some money and buy yourself a premium template (which is not that widely used), or invest some more money and have freelancers design you a completely custom good-looking email form (like I did).

2. Analytics

PopupDomination has built-in analytics, where you can easily track how good your popup performs.

But there?s more! You can actually design 2-3 versions of the same popup and setup an A/B test to find out which of them performs better.

I did that here on BloggerJet. Here are the underdogs in case you?re interested: longer one & shorter one.

3. Delay Options

You have the three aforementioned options covered, plus there are a few more ways to delay your popup. I encourage you to try all of them, as you never know what will work best for you.


with just one click of a mouse you can switch between different display settings

I?ve played quite a bit with my popups before I figured which one was the top performing one and I really enjoyed the process and got tons of new experience out of it.

Email list is your blog?s main asset. It would be kinda silly not to invest in a tool that will help you grow it.

Right now PopupDomination brings me about 90% of all email subscribers. I only regret that I didn?t use it from the very first day I?ve launched my blog.

One Thing I Didn?t Mention

It?s your offer. The value proposition.

Make sure your popup is offering something that your visitors will really benefit from. Even the best popup in the world won?t work as it should if your offer is weak.

So how about you, guys? Anyone using popups on their blogs? Maybe you have any other arguments why they suck?


Today I was watching a webinar recording by Darren Rowse from Problogger. It was named something like “10 Things I Wish I Knew When I’ve Started Blogging“.

And one of his tips was actually to use popups to convert visitors into email subscribers. And he supported this tip with his own data.

It impressed me so much that I’ve decided to take screenshots and share it here.

1. What happened to his daily email list growth after installing popup form:


this is the effect you get with an email popup form

2. What happened to his overall email list growth:


can you guess where would he be in 2012 without that popup form?

3. And what happened to engagement of his visitors (cause we’re afraid we will irritate visitors with popup forms):


It doesn’t seem that people are leaving the site because of the popups

Now if these stats don’t persuade you to use popup email forms on your blog I really don’t know what will.

Tim Soulo is the Chief Marketing Officer and Product Advisor at Ahrefs, a leading tool trusted by hundreds of thousands of SEOs and marketers worldwide. His SEO-related data research studies have been cited by media giants, including Inc, TechCrunch, and VentureBeat. He's also a regular speaker at some of the largest industry conferences around the globe, such as PubCon (US), BrightonSEO (UK), and the Digital Marketers Australia Conference (AU).