A pop-up form is a window that appears while a user browses a website. It can be triggered by a number of actions, including interactions with an element on the page, scrolling, and inactivity.

But here’s the thing: not all pop-ups are bad. When executed well, they can be part of a healthy inbound strategy.

However, because of the intrusive and disruptive nature of pop-ups, marketers should be careful of when and how they appear as well as the type of content they present. In other words, context.

When they’re appropriate context mixed in with added value, pop-up forms can enhance website visitors’ experience and boost conversion rates.

Pop-ups come in many shapes and sizes, but here’s a graphic that depicts the most common ones you might see on a web page:

Let’s dive a little deeper into these pop-up formats:

These are full-screen pop-ups that slide above the page content.

The biggest advantage to using a welcome mat pop-up form is that ig brings the offer front and center. Consider doing this if the offer is highly relevant to your content and important to your strategy.

Otherwise, a welcome mat pop-up may be a little too intrusive, as it may not be what users expect when landing on this page.

Unlike the welcome mat, overlays don’t block the rest of the content from being shown, but the user will have to click out of the pop-up to continue what they’re doing. While some users do feel that overlay modals are intrusive, they often have high conversion rates if the offer is compelling.

An on-click pop-up is a specific type of overlay modal that pops up with a form when a user clicks a call-to-action or other page element.

They’re perfect for when an in-line form would clutter the page but you want to decrease friction to a particular offer. The UX tends to be easy, which reduces friction on the conversion path.

Another type of overlay modal, gamified coupons will let you play a game for a discount or prize of some kind in exchange for the users’ information.

They often come in the form of a prize wheel or scratch-off ticket and are best for fun ecommerce store brands (since the coupon can then be applied at checkout).

Also known as sticky bars, these are small banners that manifest as a bar at the very top of the page, asking the user to take action on something.

They are typically a more permanent conversion element than other types of pop-up and are best used for broad offers such as newsletter subscriptions, coupons, or even general announcements.

These are great for presenting offers as the user is scrolling through the content of the page.

Among the most popular pop-up triggers are:

Now that we know a little more about pop-up forms, let’s get back to the core question: Should marketers be using them? Let’s dig in.

I’ll answer this one right off the bat: The answer is yes. Pop-up forms do work, and this is the main reason so many marketers are using them.

To dig into why some pop-up forms perform better than others, we surveyed 100 consumers to learn about their habits.

50% of respondents say what draws them most to a form is a clear indication of what they’ll receive for completing it. I.e. the offer.

The length of the form along with an engaging description will also play an important role in the conversion rate. In fact, 50% of respondents say a pop-up form’s length can cause them to abandon it.

The longer the form, the higher the odds they’ll disengage. 20% say they’ll abandon a form if they feel they’re asked invasive questions.

Although this can vary by form, it’s much easier for users to offer a name and an email than it is to give a phone number and home address.

Knowing which questions to ask is key to how well the pop-up form converts.

Find below additional tips on creating effective pop-up forms.

The problem with most pop-ups is they get in the way of the visitor’s experience on a website, rather than enhance it.

This is likely because the offer in the pop-up is either not valuable to the visitor or isn’t relevant.

To boost engagement with your pop-up, make sure you follow these steps:

In this example, the article is all about growing an audience on TikTok as a brand. The pop-up offer aligns perfectly by offering readers a free TikTok growth checklist.

While an offer on social media statistics could work, the conversion rate would likely be much lower as it doesn’t directly target their current needs.

Another common mistake marketers make with pop-ups is having them appear at the wrong time, which adds to the annoyance factor. ‘

Be strategic about the timing and trigger of your pop-ups. Think about the way that visitors interact with certain types of pages on your site.

For instance, when someone engages with a blog post, they do so by scrolling down the page as they read the content. If you want to catch your visitors while they’re most engaged, then you should customize your pop-up to appear when someone has scrolled halfway down the page.

Similarly, you might find that people who stay on your product or pricing pages for more than 30 seconds are highly engaged because they’re taking the time to read through and consider their options.

Most pop-up forms have a fairly basic layout. You get a headline, some body copy, and maybe an image. In other words, you don’t have a lot of real estate to work with.

This means it’s super important to nail the copy on your pop-up form. In order to do that make sure your copy is specific, actionable, and human:

When building out your pop-up forms, it’s critical that you consider mobile. With most consumers accessing the internet from their smartphones nowadays, that could be a costly oversight.

To ensure a user-friendly mobile experience and avoid being penalized by Google, be sure to exclude your pop-up forms for mobile, or use pop-ups that don’t take up the entire screen of the page on mobile devices.

Most pop-up tools already offer this type of functionality, but if what you’re currently using doesn’t, you may need to find a new solution.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.