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It’s rare that people are happy to encounter a pop-up. Even so, close to 1 in 50 people on average still end up entering in their email address when prompted by a pop-up, according to a report from Sumo, which based on data from the more than 3.2 billion people who have seen their email capture tools.

So, what type of pop-up tool is most effective with regards to opt-in rates? According to Sumo, tools which can control when the pop-up appears – such as on a click, after a period of time, or prior to the visitor exiting the page – have the best average opt-in rate, of 2.9%. Close behind, Sumo’s Welcome Mat, which is effectively a landing page that appears before a visitor sees a page on the website, has a 2.6% average opt-in rate.

The third most effective tool, which has an average opt-in rate of 1.9%, is one that targets the most engaged visitors and allows for email pop-ups to appear after the visitor has read a specific percentage of the website.

The most unobtrusive tool – the “Smart Bar,” where the opt-in box is either at the top or bottom of the page and blends into the site – has an opt-in rate of 0.5%.

Email capture pop-ups are certainly not new – a study 6 years ago found  22% of marketers saying they used pop-ups to collect email addresses. While they seem to work, research indicates they have the potential to damage a brand by annoying site visitors.

For example, a study from the CMO Council found that consumers are put off by pop-ups. Their research showed that consumers felt that pop-up ads were the most bothersome form of brand advertising.

Another study revealed that the majority (69.5%) of adults consider pop-ups to be intrusive or unacceptable, making it the most annoying ad format, even ahead of autoplay video ads.

So while the conversion rates may look appealing, marketers should weigh these against the potential to irritate customers who would otherwise have a more positive experience with the brand.

To read more, find Sumo’s report here.

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