“I absolutely hate pop-ups!

Of course you do, everybody does, and absolutely no website owner wants them on their site because they all absolutely hate pop-ups.

Pop-ups are such a massive problem that lots of companies are providing software that stops them from appearing, and there's now a huge industry in technology that stops the pop-up stoppers.

It's like a virtual pop-up arms race!

But why, if absolutely everybody and their dog hates pop-ups do we still see pop-ups on websites?

Because they work!

I know, you don't want to even consider the idea that something so evil, something that annoys people so much could actually work, but the truth is, they do.

Shall I tell you something else people shout across the rooftops?

“I absolutely hate marketing emails!”

Lordy. All that shouting.

In fact, people hate emails so much that they spend time and money on software that stops marketing emails in their tracks.

And yet there are companies providing software that attempts to deliver emails as accurately as possible, and entire software teams that work on packages to make sending business emails an absolute doddle.

But why, if absolutely everybody and their Facebook cats hates marketing emails do we still get marketing emails from websites?


Because they work!

You're a human, right?

OK, we've got that clear.

Did you know that according to lots of scientific research, free will is a myth?

You basically just react to what's going on and you have no control over it. Kinda.

And so, even though you absolutely hate emails, and hate pop-ups, I bet you're subscribed to loads of newsletter and you click on those pop-ups just like everyone else does.

And everybody is doing it.

So why don't you?

The good stuff that happens when you set your pop-ups free…

This is an actual graph of what happened when we added a pop-up to a website to collect emails from visitors, and then send them a bunch of emails over the coming weeks.

That's over two months. At the beginning, there were no contacts, at the end, there were 90.

A pop-up appeared and said “Give us your email address, and we'll send you an e-book on how to be great at digital marketing.”

We didn't send any more traffic, and we didn't do any adverts. None. And yet we got 1-2 sign-ups a day, on a really niche site, too.

When people signed up they got an email straight away with the e-book, and then four days later, we sent another, and then four days later (even at a weekend) we sent another. You know what, four days after that, we sent another, just to really get them going.

Over two months, we got 90 new leads, and absolutely no unsubscribes.

So, we used the two most hated techniques in marketing.

We used pop-ups, which you all hate, and emails, which you hate even more.

I once had an email from some one who was annoyed because they'd received an email from me.

“How dare you send email on a Sunday!!!”

Tsk, on the sixth day the Lord said “Let even email servers have a day off.”

Why people won't use pop-ups and emails

I know exactly why, people keep telling me why.

It's because they believe (sorry, you believe, I'm talking to you now, just you), that you will lose customers.

Here's the thing:

They were never your customers in the first place!

“But Andy, if I send too many emails, people will unsubscribe!!”

There are two reasons why people unsubscribe, either your emails are crap, or they're not interested in your business anyway.

If they unsubscribe because your emails are crap, then you need to do not-crap emails.

If they unsubscribe because they're not interested in your business, then good, they were never going to be customers.

Nobody ever said, “This company have a great product, but because they sent too many emails I'm going to unsubscribe, even though they're really good emails.”

OK, some did, but that's fine, they're not for you.

Oh, there's another reason people don't send emails, it's because they're scared.

Not you, you're not scared, the others are scared. Not You.

Every time they get a notification that someone has unsubscribed, it's like a kick in the guts. They go home to their wives and say “terrible day, I had someone unsubscribe, I'm not sure I can go in tomorrow….”

I'm not being sexist here, it's never the women who think that, they're made of stronger stuff. Men do though, they're always crying.

OK Andy, you've patronised me enough, how do I do this thing?

Assuming you haven't already jumped to the unsubscribe button (do it, see if I care), here's how to use pop-ups and emails to get more leads and make money.

It's easy, do this:

You'll obviously need some software to do it, here are some suggestions…


Hustle from WPMUDev is a WordPress plugin that can create some pretty snazzy pop-ups. It's part of an entire suite of plugins from one of the most proactive WordPress development companies in the world.

Sumo.com is the king of website conversion. We used this to get the results above, and it doesn't need WordPres, it'll work on any website, even Shopify, BigCommerce, Squarespace etc.

Email Marketing

MailChimp is everywhere now, and if all you want to do is send emails to a bunch of people, then it’s superb, and free for up to 2,000 emails.


ActiveCampaign is what we use though. It’s a fully integrated CRM and email follow-up system that allows you to do some pretty neat stuff.

Again, we used this in the example above.

We were able to handle all the follow-ups automatically.

Aweber has been around for ever, and is similar to MailChimp. It costs a bit more, but it also has autoresponders so you can send all those emails out without having to do it manually.


That’s about it.

Of course, there’s some planning to be done, and you need to write the e-book and follow-up emails, but really, the concept is fairly straightforward.

Just do it, it’ll be fine.

Will I be arrested?


Will people hate me?

They probably already do, chill, life’s like a box of chocolates or something, just don’t eat the coffee creams.