7 Mobile Popup Best Practices That Drive Conversions
By Sam Thomas Davies Head of Content
@ Sleeknote

Mobile popups work.

Sleeknote customers, for instance, achieve an average mobile conversion rate of 5.23 percent. So, there’s definitely traffic to capitalize on.

Yet, many e-commerce sites don’t use them because they’re afraid of hurting the mobile user experience—or getting punished by Google.

But let me make something clear:

It’s not either-or.

You can create beautiful, non-intrusive mobile popups that convert mobile visitors into leads and customers. And you can do it without annoying your website visitors.

So, in this post, I’ll give you 7 mobile popup best practices to help you create high-converting, Google-friendly mobile popups.

1. Create a Compelling Teaser to Capture Attention

The most important rule, when creating mobile popups, is to ensure that they don’t trigger automatically and block the mobile screen.

It’s intrusive, to begin with, and certainly not good for conversion rates.

That’s why we created the teaser.

On mobile, the teaser will show first and the popup will only trigger if a visitor clicks to learn more. The teaser’s copy is important if you want to encourage mobile visitors to click through and see your offer.

Hideaways excite mobile visitors by including the value of their offer in the teaser:

Questions also work well in mobile teasers, such as “Want to win a trip to Piemonte?” or “Want 20% off your purchase?, for example.”

The teaser is less intrusive than a popup, but to make it even less intrusive, you can delay it to give visitors a chance to browse certain pages, first.

Action Item

Write a compelling headline for your teaser that invites mobile users to click. Moreover, remember to include the value of your offer and keep it short. Tip: Try placing your teaser at the top of the screen and see what effect that has on your conversion rates.

2. Limit Your Copy

When you write copy for mobile popups, it needs to be short and to the point.

This is the case for any popup—mobile or desktop—but it’s especially important on mobile because the screen is smaller.

If you add a lot of copy to mobile popup, users will have to scroll to get the message—and that’s bad for conversion rates.

Now, you might feel tempted to use bullets for brevity, but DON’T.

Bullets take up a lot of space on mobile, so conveying your message in a short paragraph is better if you want to convert mobile visitors.

Begin with a headline to capture attention and then include a sentence to elaborate as I’ve done in this example:

If you want to motivate mobile users to take action, you can copy the above approach and write mobile-specific copy.

With our mobile popup editor, it’s easy to customize popups for mobile without having to create separate popups for mobile and desktop.

Here’s a quick demonstration:

When you target certain visitor segments with specific messages and adapt the copy to match that segment, you create a better user experience—and get more signups.

Action Item

Customize your offer and message to mobile visitors, but keep your copy short and to the point. If your offer is good, you don’t need to explain it in detail.

3. Avoid Images

We usually advise using images in popups because they help the visitor visualize the offer.

But mobile is the exception.

Images take up a lot of space on mobile and that leaves little room for the rest of the message.

Furthermore, background images can quickly make mobile popups look “busy” and take focus away from the call-to-action.

So, instead of using images in your popups, get creative with font sizes and styles, and colors.

Take a look at this example from Wool and the Gang:

Their popup has a colorful design that matches the message (the Funfetti collection). They also use different font sizes to create breaks in the copy and make it more readable.

Action Item

Experiment with different colors and fonts that match your site’s design. If you need help identifying the right colors, use Adobe’s Color Picker and upload an image of the page you want your popup to show on.

4. Limit the Number of Input Fields

Many marketers use the same number of input fields in their mobile popups and their desktop popups.

But while it’s a common practice, it’s not always a best practice.

Desktop popups can be bigger due to a design that allows for more input fields than mobile popups.

So, instead of using the same popup on desktop and mobile, customize the mobile version and limit the number of input fields.

Or, you can use multistep popups to get more information from visitors without hurting the user experience, as Apuls does:

In the first step, Apuls asks for general information about the visitor. Then, in the second step, they ask visitors to add their favorite forms of exercise. This is valuable information for Apuls who uses this information to send targeted newsletters to subscribers based on their interests.

The best part of multistep popups is, if the visitor drops off after filling in the first step, their signup is still registered with the information added in the first step.

Action Item

Ask yourself what information you need from mobile visitors. Is it the same as desktop visitors? Then, if you have more than two input fields, consider using multistep popups instead. 

5. Optimize Your Remaining Input Fields

It’s important to think about the mobile user’s journey when creating mobile popups. Put another way, you need to make it as easy as possible for visitors to enter their information.

So, aside from limiting the number of input fields, you also need to optimize certain input fields. 

When you ask for a visitor’s phone number, for example, you could add a numeric input field instead of a text input. That way, when visitors click to fill in their phone number, the number pad is triggered instead of the regular mobile keyboard.

It may seem like a small tweak, but it can have a great impact on conversion rates.

Action Item

Use numeric input fields when you ask for numeric information. This will ensure a much better mobile user experience.

6. Optimize Dropdowns

It’s common to use radio buttons when asking mobile visitors to choose their gender, interests, age range, etc. upon signup.

But radio buttons on mobile are small. Trying to hit the right radio button is hit-and-miss, at least when I’m browsing on mobile. And I’m guessing I’m not the only one.

So, instead of using radio buttons for single-select options in your mobile popups, try dropdowns:

They take up less space, and it’s easier for mobile visitors to hit the right option—in the first try.

When you use dropdowns on mobile, we recommend using a font size of at least 14px. Otherwise, the text can be hard to read on mobile screens.

Action Item

Consider using dropdowns instead of radio buttons for your mobile popups. It makes it easier for visitors to hit the right options. 

7. Target Specific Users

Mobile visitors aren’t equal. So, they shouldn’t all get the same message.

When consumers browse online, they expect a personal experience. In fact, 61 percent of mobile shoppers say they’re more likely to buy when they receive customized offers.

So, create individual offers for different visitor segments.

New visitors might be interested in seeing your most popular products and learning more about your business. Returning visitors, on the other hand, might be more inclined to buy something if they get the right offer.

Here’s how Commedeux rewards returning mobile visitors with a free gift:

Notice how the free gift is contingent on a purchase. It’s a smart way to encourage returning visitors to buy. And you can easily track the success of your popups and determine which offers work best for which visitor segments.


Targeting mobile visitors with mobile-specific popups can do wonders for your conversion rates. Yet, it can feel overwhelming to have to create separate popups for mobile and desktop.

But with the above best practices you can have a mobile popup ready in no time.