Holiday Ecommerce: How Popup Offers Can Win Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Guest Author

The online holiday shopping—and spending—season is here, and revenue expectations are even better than in 2018. 

Last year, holiday ecommerce accounted for $122 billion in November and December, according to Internet Retailer. A strong economy and positive consumer sentiment have analysts such as eMarketer predicting upwards of $135 billion in ecommerce spending in 2019.

“Cyber Monday is once again expected to be the biggest online shopping day in history, with a total that could approach—or even surpass—$10 billion. Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and ‘Cyber Tuesday’ should also rank among the leading days for the season,” explains Andrew Lipsman of eMarketer.

If you’re an experienced ecommerce shop, then you’ve probably already started your email marketing campaign plans and are ready for Black FridayCyber MondayGiving Tuesday, and all the other online commerce that happens from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

If you’re just prepping your store and inventory, you’re in a rush to get everything working so you can move your products and take advantage of the uptick in web traffic and sales.

But are you ready and able to use all the ecommerce and email marketing tools in your toolbox?

Why should you use popup offers on your ecommerce website?

In simple terms, online commerce is incredibly competitive this time of year. You don’t have a lot of time to capture consumer attention and convert them into customers. Luckily, popups are an effective way to do just that.

According to a study of more than 1.7 billion popups, the top 10% highest-performing popups averaged a 9.28% conversion rate.

When used well, popups are an excellent way to capture email leads, share coupon codes, ask for opt-in to newsletters and loyalty programs, and help move inventory during this special money-making time of year.

Popups can also stop visitors from exiting your site before they’ve acted or remind them that they abandoned a shopping cart. Because once a visitor is gone, they might not come back.

“Some popups see conversion rates as high as 50.2%. But the average conversion rate of the very best popups was 9.28%. To put that into perspective, if you get even 150 visitors per day to your site, you’d have 418 signups in a month,” writes Sean Bestor of Sumo.

How are website popups used?

As email capture tools, popups can help grow your newsletter lists or upsell products or overstocked inventory. But during the holiday season, they’re frequently used to promote discounts or remind consumers about free shipping, buy-one-get-one offers—and to emphasize the timing and urgency of these deals.

Next, we’ll explain the best ways to use popups this holiday season, such as:

  • Focus your popups on the discounts and deals you want visitors to use.
  • Capture emails from consumers right before they exit your site.
  • Communicate key information that’s relevant to specific segments of your customers.

Popups shine the spotlight on deals and discounts consumers want on Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Let’s be clear: During the holidays, and especially on major online shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, consumers expect deals and discounts.

So there’s no need to hide these deals. Popups are perfect tools for quickly communicating your best offers and getting consumer emails as part of the trade-off.

Here’s an example from Legacybox, a company that digitizes old photos, film, and video.

Legacybox Cyber Monday Website Popup Examples

Source: Really Good Popups

This popup’s easy-to-understand language gives clarity about its 50% off discount in exchange for a consumer’s email. The popup is branded with old photos and film—and maintains the branding of Legacybox’s website.

Its simplicity is effective.

Legacybox also uses the form box that says “continue without 50% off” to remind visitors that they’re passing up a good deal by not giving up an email address. It’s a quick way to find out who is not interested in receiving emails.

Use popups before a visitor exits your ecommerce site for good.

Exit popups monitor a user’s mouse behavior and appear whenever a visitor scrolls to exit the window, navigate to another page, or return to the previous page. By crafting a relevant lead-capture popup for your visitors, you can ensure you put the right offer in front of the right visitor at the right moment.

The following clever holiday example is from wine-subscription service Vinebox that markets its “12 Days of Wine” program, or what it calls “the world’s first wine advent calendar.”

Vinebox Email Sign Up Website Popup Example

Source: Vinebox

The company does everything it can to capture potential leads before they leave by keeping the copy simple, the interaction easy, and the focus on the upcoming holiday.

Additionally, the leading copy starts with empathy. It’s about your consumers. Do they need more time? The popup feels thoughtful.

Maybe consumers aren’t ready to buy right now, but they might be willing to keep thinking about it by adding to their holiday wish list—something many people do to track their gift ideas for themselves or family and friends.

An email can serve as a reminder for the consumer and can at least keep your product top of mind. This exit-capture measure is about being helpful in the moment rather than asking for a sale.

Use popups to inform specific segments of customers.

Sometimes you can use popups to relay important and meaningful information directly to specific groups or segments of your customer base.

For example, see how watch and accessories maker Fossil used popups to tell its Canadian customers that it now ships to them.

Fossil Winter Sale Site Popup Example

Source: Spiffykerms

Rather than frustrate visitors when they get all the way through the shopping experience to find out they cannot receive a product they want, the company used a popup to clearly state that Canada is now open for shipping products.

This popup is not asking for an email address. It’s letting the visitor know that Fossil recognized and filled a gap in its delivery service. The flag makes it clear who the message is for and the CTA is simply to “start shopping.”

Sometimes a popup is a simple, friendly way of making things easy for the consumer.

Take note: CM Commerce now has popups built-in.

One of our goals at CM Commerce has always been to help you eliminate unnecessary apps from your marketing stack and consolidate as much of your workflow as possible. That’s why CM Commerce remains the only email marketing automation solution that also enables ecommerce brands to collect and leverage product reviews and user-generated content.

With popups, we wanted to build something that would fit seamlessly into your current CM Commerce dashboard and workflow.

This shortcut will capture new leads or email subscribers via a popup and then immediately drop them into a welcome or nurturing workflow, where we have pre-built recipes ready to go.

Here’s a quick overview of the primary features available for popups today:

  • Create a new popup, link it to a mailing list of your choice, and activate it to start capturing new subscribers on your website immediately.
  • Popups can be triggered in two ways: after a certain amount of time spent on a website or based on exit intent (i.e., as soon as the visitor’s mouse scrolls outside of the browser window).
  • Capture as many metadata fields in custom properties for a subscriber as you want and then use that to segment and personalize your emails such as customer birthdays.
  • Easily edit the design of popups with our WYSIWYG editor, or use one of our pre-designed themes.

Wrap up

Because popups are so eye-catching and interactive, they’re effective tools of the trade. For some users, they feel like a nuisance or an interruption but if you harness a popup in the right context—especially during the busy, competitive holiday shopping season—your message can keep visitors interested, engaged, and informed.

Ultimately, popups convert visitors into customers. Popups can also be a positive reinforcement for your brand experience.


  • Popups are a great way to spotlight deals and discounts.
  • Use popups before a visitor exits your ecommerce site for good.
  • Use popups to inform specific segments of customers.

From welcome emails to re-engagement campaigns and beyond, we seamlessly integrate with your ecommerce platforms—Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce—so you’ll have all the features you need to exceed your goals.

CM Commerce features:

  • Pre-made conversion campaigns to recover revenue from abandoned carts
  • Follow-up segmented and personalized emails for cross-selling
  • Product reviews that spotlight your happy customers and build trust (and sales)
  • Automated feedback to increase repeat revenue
  • Ready-to-go templates or custom versions, coupons, and rewards with your branding
Try CM Commerce today for free.