How iSpionage used blog pop ups to increase referral traffic to landing pages by 58%

Oh, pop-up ads. These small windows that appear when you least expect are one of the most-loathed tools in the advertisers’ toolkit. Even marketers find them annoying, and a whopping 75% of internet users disapprove of them. In fact, pop-ups are so hated that the inventor of pop-ups in the 1990s had to publicly apologize for this marketing aberration.

But despite being so universally despised, they’ve stood the test of time. Marketers use pop-ups with complex triggers to turn website visitors into subscribers or paying customers. They’re annoying. But they work.

In this blog post, let’s see how iSpionage used these pop-up ads to increase their blog referral traffic towards their website by 58.09% and achieve a 5.47% CTR on their pop-ups. After all, implementing pop-ups is not enough. You need to implement them smartly for them to be effective and not annoying.

iSpionage’s problem: well-read blog posts, but low homepage visits

iSpionage is a widely-used search marketing tool that lets you download your competitors’ Google ads’ keywords and monitor their pay-per-click landing pages.

iSpionage wanted to direct more of their blog visitors to their homepage to convert them into leads. But there was an issue with its overall marketing efforts. It was investing heavily into the blog, and posted great articles on pay-per-click tactics.

As their analytics showed, visitors would linger on the page, scroll down to finish the articles they were reading, and come back again to the blog to read more. But not a lot of them went on to visit their homepage to see their products, after reading.

This is one of the perennial issues of content marketing. You know that you’re creating great content that your mother would love if she were in the industry. But your traffic is not converting.

So the team looked into various traffic data, including bounce rate, average time on page and exit. And they realized that on-site retargeting was the way to go to encourage these visitors into visiting the main website.

In other words, iSpionage resorted to using pop-up ads.

Using pop-up triggers effectively

Fortunately, iSpionage knew what they wanted to achieve and had the common sense not to annoy their readers. For this, they’ve separated their traffic between cold and warm traffic. Warm traffic consists of returning blog visitors, and cold traffic of first-time visitors. They were interested in the former to visit the main website, not the latter. Cold traffic wasn’t just well-engaged enough to seem interested.

In order to achieve this, they used this pop-up by OptiMonk, below:

This pop-up had the following elements:

  • A lead magnet urging them to download their competitors’ keywords. If they clicked “Yes…”, they were directed to the homepage. If they clicked “Not right now”, the pop-up closed.
  • Only returning visitors were targeted.
  • The pop-up only appeared after 10 seconds.
  • This pop-up also only appeared only when they were about to leave the blog.
  • The warm traffic can only see the pop-up ads 5x a day, at most.


iSpionage’s efforts paid off. Using the pop-up, they achieved the following results:

  • The pop-up received 4,144 impressions
  • 227 people clicked “Yes”
  • In other words, the pop-up had a clickthrough rate of 5.47% towards the main website
  • Blog visitors going to the homepage increased by 58.09%

Final takeaways

Posting great content should only be one part of your overall content strategy.

As iSpionage illustrated, you can be writing valuable content and have captivated readers, but this does not mean that they will convert! One great content calendar does not a content strategy make!

If you need to convert your readers into subscribers or even leads, use subscription forms, pop-ups and lead magnets.

One final thing, if you liked this article, please kindly like and share so others can read it, too.

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