Quick question: Do pop-ups work?

Answer: Yes, they do. Very well indeed.

Whether or not pop-ups work, it’s one thing to use them the right way and it’s completely something else to insult or mock your visitors using your pop-ups.

That insulting or shaming also has a term for it. It’s called “Confirmshaming”.

It’s also a part of conversion rate optimization called Dark Patterns.

Julianne Tveten of Vice, writes that it’s a form of a subversive-modal tactic.

Frankly, it’s not a nice way to do marketing.

It’s understandable that we need sales funnels. We need ways to grow our email list and to nurture our leads in a way that leads to more sales.

Note: If you’d like to speak to us to get a custom marketing strategy for your business, schedule a call now

As marketers, we understand the trick which involves adding a layer of guilt to the pop-up by another button near the main CTA (call to action) such as:

“No, I don’t want to know the secrets to Day Trading ”
“I am too rich for Discounts”
“Coupon? Savings? Not for me”

What should have been a simple button with nothing more than “No, thanks” is often used to manipulate visitors, to make them feel stupid (or guilty) or both?

You might have seen your fair share of such Pop-ups (and we aren’t sure if you fell for that trick yet) but these tactics are downright offensive.

Pop-ups already have a bad reputation (although they work well) and we think you should not resort to such tactics. But then, these pop-ups are common. Here are a few examples for you to see what we are writing about:



Dailylook is a startup that allows you to take a style quiz (they try to get to know you better), they’ll send you about 12 pieces of clothing that best fit you (based on your inputs), and then you pick what you like and ship back the rest.

Shipping is free both ways.

The exit-intent pop-up gives you a $10 discount on $40 styling fee. No issues with that. However, there’s that little “No, thanks. I don’t want to look my best” that spoils the party.

Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts

Advance Auto Parts seems to be a nice business that sources quality auto parts, spares, and accessories.

We aren’t judging them at all but the exit-intent pop-up could really be used for something that’s more relevant and something that flows with the context. Giving 25% off on orders is cool. But with a cap on maximum savings at $50, the confirm shaming, like “No, I’d Rather Pay Full Price” isn’t even worth it.



Look, selling WordPress themes is cool. WordPress just happens to be a leader in the CMS market and by all means, keep selling themes alongside the free themes that anyone can download.

There’s already an official directory for WordPress themes that already lists out all the free themes (and the official directory guys play nice too). Plus, WordPress theme marketplace business is brutally competitive.

With that as a backstory, why would the folks at JustfreeThemes think that we’d be wasting time looking for a theme?

#Confirmshaming #fail



Esquire is quite an online publisher. Witty writing, fun pieces, and lots of advice. Strangely, it doesn’t have to work so hard to get its subscribers since it already has a healthy readership.

Confirmshaming  — Yes, there’s a Tumbler site that actually tracks and shares all those confirmshaming pop-ups — puts it best, when it comes to Esquire’s exit-intent pop-up.

“I don’t click either. How can I read this if I don’t read?”

We don’t want to unlock anything here either. Point made.

If you are doing confirmshaming, remember that while you are already playing with fire, you’d lose potential subscribers (or the potential to lose those who are already subscribed) if they are already signed up and you’d still have those pop-ups disrupting their normal browsing behavior.

Are you doing Confirmshaming? Your pop-ups — are they designed to convert and push more leads into your funnels or are they designed to do more harm to you than good?

Read up our Funnel Factor Report to get more insights on how to build sales funnels that work.