What Is a Discount Popup? An Overview of This Popular Marketing Tool
By Emil Kristensen CMO
@ Sleeknote

If you have ever browsed online stores, chances are you have encountered a discount popup. They are a type of marketing tool used by businesses to attract customers and drive sales. But what are discount popups, and why are they so popular?

The Purpose of Discount Popups: Why Marketers Use This Tool

Discount popups are a type of website overlay that appears on top of the page a customer is browsing. They typically offer a discount or some other incentive to make a purchase, such as free shipping or a free gift with purchase. The purpose of these popups is to capture customers’ attention and encourage them to make a purchase they may not have otherwise made.

Marketers use discount popups for a variety of reasons. Firstly, they can be an effective way to increase sales and revenue. By offering a discount or incentive, customers are more likely to make a purchase, which can lead to higher profits for the business. Secondly, popups can be a useful tool for increasing the size of a business’s email marketing list. By offering a discount in exchange for a customer’s email address, businesses can grow their list of contacts for future marketing efforts.

Types of Discount Popups: Which One Is Right for Your Business?

There are several different types of discount popups that businesses can use. Some of the most common include:

  • Entry Popup: This type of popup appears immediately upon a customer entering a website, before they have had a chance to look around or make any purchases.
  • Exit Popup: An exit popup appears when a customer is about to leave a website, usually triggered when the customer’s cursor moves towards the top of the page to close the tab or enter a new url.
  • Timed Popup: Timed popups appear after a set amount of time has passed on a website. The timing can vary, but is often set to around 30 seconds.
  • Scroll Popup: A scroll popup appears when a customer has scrolled down a certain amount of a webpage, indicating they are actively engaged with the content.

Choosing the right type of discount popup for your business depends on your specific goals and audience. For example, an entry popup may be effective for a new customer visiting your website for the first time, while a timed popup may be more effective for someone who has already made a purchase.

The Psychology Behind Discount Popups: How It Influences Customer Behavior

The effectiveness of discount popups largely relies on the psychology behind customer behavior. Studies have shown that people are more likely to make a purchase when they perceive a good deal or discount. This is known as the “anchoring effect,” where people use the initial price of a product as a reference point, making any subsequent discounts appear more appealing.

In addition to the anchoring effect, discount popups also tap into the “scarcity principle.” This principle suggests that people are more likely to take action when they feel like they have a limited opportunity to do so. By creating a sense of urgency through a discount popup that offers a limited-time deal, businesses can increase the likelihood of a purchase being made.

Tips for Creating Effective Discount Popups: Best Practices and Examples

While discount popups can be highly effective, there are certain best practices that businesses should keep in mind when creating them. Some tips for creating effective discount popups include:

  • Use attention-grabbing design: The design of your popup should be visually appealing and stand out from the rest of the website.
  • Be clear and concise: The messaging in your popup should be clear and to the point. Let customers know what the offer is and how to claim it.
  • Create urgency: Use language and design elements that create a sense of urgency, such as highlighting a limited-time offer.
  • Avoid being too pushy: While discount popups are meant to encourage action, it’s important to find a balance and avoid being too pushy or aggressive with the messaging.

Measuring Success: How to Evaluate the Performance of Your Discount Popups

As with any marketing effort, it’s important to measure the success of your discount popups to make sure they are achieving your desired goals. Some metrics to consider when evaluating the performance of your discount popups include:

  • Conversion rate: This measures the percentage of people who see your popup and then make a purchase.
  • Email opt-in rate: If you are using a discount popup to grow your email marketing list, measure how many people are providing their email address.
  • Bounce rate: A high bounce rate on your website may indicate that your popups are not effective, as customers are quickly leaving the site.
  • Sales revenue: Ultimately, the success of your popups should be measured in the amount of sales revenue they generate for the business.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Discount Popups

While discount popups can be a powerful marketing tool, there are certain mistakes that businesses should avoid when using them. These include:

  • Being too aggressive: As mentioned earlier, it’s important to find a balance with your popup messaging and avoid being too pushy with customers.
  • Offering a discount that is too small: If the discount you offer is not perceived as a significant savings, customers may not be motivated to make a purchase.
  • Having too many popups: Too many frequent popups can be annoying or overwhelming for customers, and may lead them to leave the website.
  • Not optimizing for mobile: If your popups are not optimized for mobile devices, they may be difficult to close and may frustrate customers.

Alternatives to Discount Popups: Other Marketing Tools for Boosting Sales

While discount popups can be effective, they are not the only marketing tools businesses can use to boost sales. Some other options to consider include:

  • Upselling: Encouraging customers to purchase higher-end products or add additional items to their cart.
  • Free shipping: Offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount.
  • Loyalty programs: Implementing a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat purchases.
  • Cross-selling: Recommending complementary products to customers as they shop.

The Future of Discount Popups: Trends and Predictions in the Marketing Industry

The use of discount popups is likely to continue to be a popular marketing tool in the future. However, businesses will need to keep up with changing trends and preferences among customers. Some predictions for the future of discount popups and marketing include:

  • Personalization: Customers are increasingly expecting personalized experiences, and businesses will need to find ways to tailor their popups to individual customers.
  • Integration with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems: Businesses may begin to integrate data from their popups with their CRM systems to better understand customer behavior and preferences.
  • Experimentation with different types of popups: As popups become more common, businesses may need to experiment with different types and designs to find those that are most effective for their audience.

Case Studies: Successful Examples of Brands Using Discount Popups to Drive Sales

There are many examples of businesses successfully using discount popups to drive sales. One example is the Beauty Bay website, which increased its email opt-in rate by 52% by using a timed discount popup. Another example is the clothing brand H&M, which used an exit popup offering free shipping to encourage customers to complete their purchase.


Overall, discount popups are a highly effective marketing tool that can help businesses boost sales, grow their email marketing lists, and increase revenue. By understanding the psychology behind customer behavior and implementing best practices, businesses can create effective popups that encourage action without being too pushy. By measuring success and keeping up with changing trends and preferences, businesses can continue to successfully use discounts popups in the future.