Stop Asking For Emails and Push Notifications So Quickly

First came newsletter pop ups, then came live chat bots, and now we have push notifications.

That’s three clicks website visitors have to go through before they get to the real content of your website. In our opinion (and many, many consumers’), that’s way too many.

It’s not just an annoyance, it’s taking time away from customers to actually get to know you and your product. If e-commerce were a physical store, this pop up frenzy would be akin to throwing leaflets at customers the second they walk in. It’s a terrible experience for them, and a counter-productive one for you.

What’s more is that these on-arrival pop ups are more prone to low quality data, adding noise to your already-busy marketing insights.

Don’t get us wrong – email marketing and push notifications can still be a valuable marketing channel. And can be used with a human-first approach at that.

A better way to collect customer contact details

Evaluate alternatives

E-commerce managers see pop-up banners on other websites, and automatically assume it’s a necessity. But, as with most things, it’s dangerous to assume that just because others do it, that it’s the best practice.

Before activating pop-up banners, take the time to evaluate its use. There are dozens of ways to get the attention of your website visitors – engaging videos, creative animations, or even a crafty headline.

Think about whether a pop up is truly the best method for your website.

Deliver value

People don’t like being marketed to, unless your marketing benefits them. Marketing should always be aligned with business goals – driving traffic, generating leads, closing sales – but that doesn’t mean your marketing should only service your needs.

When you ask customers to share their contact details, it should add value to their lives.

Instead of offering “the latest news and updates” (vague and meaningless), consider exclusive content (e.g. relevant and useful guides), exclusive deals (e.g. free shipping, discounts), or exclusive access (e.g. events, communities).


Open Spaces is proof that you can have clean, simplistic design without being dull and monochromatic. They use color the same way they use their product – to compartmentalize information so that it’s easier to access.

Time it right

Generally, your visitors are a lot more receptive to your emails and notifications once they’ve had a chance to navigate your site and get their bearings on what you’re about.

That’s why, we recommend triggering pop ups based on:

  1. Scroll – enough down the landing page that someone can understand your offering; or,
  2. Time spent – if your website layout is short, trigger by time and make that time long enough for people to, again, get a good sense of your business.

Not sure which trigger is right for you? Tools like Full Story and Hot Jar can help track user behavior onsite, so that you can see which trigger is more effective.

Mind the context

When e-commerce marketers experiment with different acquisition strategies (as they should!), they can sometimes forget that a pop up is activated and is hindering a new strategy. A common example is driving ad traffic to a landing page with an immediate pop up.

So, with every new element you introduce to your e-commerce website, consider how someone will interact with it. Take a scroll through your website as a customer or new prospect would and see through their eyes.

Closing Thoughts

We all know how valuable customer data is. So why don’t we collect them with more care? By focusing on value and optimizing customer experience, you can get more out of your website. And, your site visitors will too.

Audit your website

Howl is currently providing free website audits for small to medium sized businesses that are currently selling products online. We will assess all facets of your online touch points and deliver actionable advice on where to improve your efforts. 


Give us a shout! Let’s talk about your vision, your goals, and what keeps you up at night. This is where the rubber meets the road.