Your website sucks because it asks for too much, too soon

Seriously, we just met. I don’t know you. I don’t even know if I want to know you.

And you’re asking me to tell you where I live, enable notifications, and subscribe to your newsletter … all at once? Before I can even have a look around?

It’s not gonna happen.

Imagine you enter a physical store and the owner accosts you at the door. He asks for your name, address, and phone number, then tries to sign you up for his customer loyalty program.

You’ll probably delay, politely decline, or maybe give fake info. But it’s unlikely that you’ll curse loudly and run screaming from the store, because there’s social pressure not to behave that way in public.

There’s no such social pressure on the internet. Bouncing from your website is easy, trust me, and comes with no downside to the visitor.

(Do a lot of visitors bounce from your website?)

Here's what you can do

Make all these popups and intrusions pay rent.

Don’t include them on your site unless you’ve run a controlled experiment to measure their value, and decided that the overall impact on revenue justifies how annoying they are.

Of course, you might not have the resources to run those experiments. If that’s the case, please consider a default setting of Not Annoying.

That might mean asking to enable notifications only after someone has engaged with your site.

And triggering your newsletter popup only after a visitor has spent 30 seconds on the page.

In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I am hereby giving you permission to assume that “don’t harass visitors” is the optimal strategy.