Lightbox Popup on Page Load: Examples That Don’t Suck

lightbox popups

One trend that picked up majorly on websites in 2016 was the lightbox popup on page load. Almost any website you go to now has an offer to get you on a mailing list (promising no spam of course), to offer you a free consultation or piece of knowledge, or more often than not to downright declare that you are a moron if you don’t click the intended call-to-action.

Yet every once in a while on the interwebz, there are a few times you see a lightbox popup on page load and actually appreciate the design, the effort, the call to action and the thought that has been put into it. This post is a tribute to those lightboxes, and their creators. Why? because these folks realised that generating a lightbox today is about more than just bombarding a visitor with imagery the minute they appear on your website. Lightboxes today can be generated on extremely specific user activities and locations, A/B tested and designed with the customer in mind. Here’s how to make good use of that.

Meals for a Steal 

If I remember right, I was browsing through a food website and looking for particularly easy meals (not in those words) when this lightbox popup appeared. The lightbox has four awesome elements.

lightbox popup on page load

  1. “You’ve unlocked” –  +5 points for reading gamification theory right, folks! Three words that make you feel like you’ve accomplished an awesome feat, unlocked a secret, achieved a level-up in life. Good start.
  2. ‘That require NO SKILLS’ – Okay, you had me at no skills. I barely have any skills, or time in the cooking department. So whoever is doing the targeting here is on point. I’m intrigued.
  3. Show me ‘Stupid-Easy’ Meals – Reinforcing the whole no skills thing here pretty well.
  4. The design. Clean, clear CTA, and good use of fonts, image and colour.

Help us to help you

This one is kind of common in terms of layout, and the design isn’t exactly eye popping. But hey – it gets the job done. And the good part is that it is interactive also. The offer of this lightbox is perfect for anyone trying to grow their digital business. It is also a good way to build engagement and understand the audience that visits this website.


What I liked the most about this lightbox though, is that it isn’t ordering you to do anything at all. The line “Let us know, maybe we can help!” gives you no promises and doesn’t push you to do anything either. Its a great way to get feedback and information and then lead the user into a CTA. 10 points.

When all else fails: Guilt Trip

This may not be the best lightbox for a ecommerce or online retailer. But what it is great for is for non-profits and cause-driven organisations everywhere. When people around the world are more concerned with getting hearts on their insta posts and watching mindless “fail” videos of people hurting themselves on YouTube, it takes something a little shocking to educate the ignorant and snap them back to reality. Plus 3424324 points for the really cute image of Indonesian primates. (can anyone tell me what kind they are?)


An Offer You Can’t Refuse

I had to add this one to the list although it is a pretty standard CTA, asking you to join a mailing list that might not have the most unique information. However, if you were on this website, chances are Bangalore or Bombay – you may be interested to know what’s cookin’ in the area. The design and the tagline ‘Let’s be friends’ are both simple, eyecatching and effective. Well played, folks.


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