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Mobile Vs. Desktop Popup Templates, And When To Use A Responsive Campaign

Today, more than 77% of Americans own a smartphone, with more than 2 billion users worldwide. That’s a lot of people consuming information from the palm of their hand. And a lot of opportunity for brands to reach users on mobile device. In fact, users spend twice as much time on mobile devices as they do on desktops. It’s clear you have to meet your customers where they are: on-the-go… and on-the-computer.

If you’re currently using offers to increase conversions on your website, you know that desktop campaigns are only half (really only part!) of the equation. If you’re not capturing leads on mobile, you’re leaving money on the table.

Since day one, Picreel has understood the importance of providing high-quality, high-converting mobile popup templates for customers. While we always, and still do, recommend separate desktop and mobile campaigns for best results, we now offer responsive templates that work well across all devices.

So which should you use? Let’s take a closer look at the differences.

The Benefit Of Separate Mobile And Desktop Campaigns

The single most important reason that Picreel offers separate templates for mobile and desktop is that visitor behavior is different on each device. Mobile users consume lots of small bites of information in short sessions throughout the day. Desktop users are more committed to reading and researching and making big decisions in a single sitting.

When you have separate campaigns for mobile and desktop, not only can you more effectively target your offers based on behavior, you also get more accurate stats when reporting on campaign performance.

Think about it. Offering instant access to an e-book download on mobile isn’t nearly as practical as it is on a desktop. Likewise, offering a coupon with a QR code (using a QR code generator) to your local sandwich shop is going to be way more successful on mobile than on desktop. If you’re running a single responsive campaign, the results are commingled and it’s difficult to gauge the true performance.

Separate campaigns, even if you’re offering the same thing, allow you to track performance on mobile versus desktop.

It also offers a better experience for users! Let’s take a look at some best practices for using separate templates, and how spending just a few extra minutes setting up two campaigns can yield maximum results.

Best Practices For Mobile Vs. Desktop Offers

Having separate campaigns for mobile and desktop offers allows you to fine-tune your targeting, offer users something valuable based on how they’re coming to your site and what they’re doing, and will give you a clear picture of performance. When setting up mobile and desktop offers, consider the following:


We touched on this briefly above, but the actual offer has a huge impact on results. Offer mobile users something valuable that they can use in the moment, or some way to stay in touch with your brand in the future. Often, users will visit your mobile site for a very specific reason or piece of information. They can’t spend a lot of time on it now, but they may be interested in connecting with you again in the future. Make that connection and get them to opt-in while they’re still on your mobile site, before they forget about you.

With desktop campaigns, you have more flexibility. Your offers don’t have to be specific to users on-the-go, but they should still be valuable and relevant to visitors’ behavior on your site. We’ve talked about this before. Don’t ask a user to sign up for your email list if they make to abandon items in their shopping cart. Do offer them a discount or free shipping to complete their transaction. Likewise, someone who has read three blogs in a row is clearly interested in your content. Ask them to sign up for your newsletter or download a juicy piece of gated content! Don’t hit them with a survey asking if they found what they were looking for.

Calls To Action

We’ll keep this one short and sweet. Your call to action goes hand-in-hand with what you’re offering. An offer for free shipping is great, but don’t make it difficult for users to access it! CTA buttons should stand out color-wise, be easy to click (especially on mobile), and should have clear, affirmative, and actionable language.

Picreel can help make your CTAs even more impactful with the use of GIF backgrounds. These animated designs capture the attention of your visitors better than still images, and, when matched to your CTA, really pack a one-two punch. For example, a GIF background of an email being sealed and sent in an envelope could support an offer for a free ebook. The CTA button might say something like “Email me my ebook now!”

Template Design

This is where it really pays to use separate templates for mobile and desktop offers. How many times have you been on your phone and you’re pinching and zooming and scrolling just to try to fill out a stupid form? It’s frustrating! Don’t frustrate your visitors. A mobile popup template is specifically designed to correctly display on smartphones and tablets. When you encounter those frustrating forms on your phone, what you’re experiencing is a desktop template on a non-responsive desktop site, or a poorly designed mobile template.

Likewise, desktop templates are specifically designed to display on larger screens. You can add more content, images and form fields (more on that in a minute, though) on a desktop template.

When it comes to actual design, in both cases your campaigns should complement your overall online branding scheme in terms of colors, fonts, imagery, and logos. Your design should not be jolting and obnoxious, nor should it be so subtle that it’s easily dismissed without being read.

Picreel users have the ability to use both still images and animated GIFs as the background of their offers. While this feature has been available on desktop templates for some time, it’s now an option for mobile as well. To check out this new feature, choose the Mobile 1 template. Under Design select “Image,” then upload your own image.

Form Fields

In general, less is more when it comes to collecting information on popups. Usually a name and email, sometimes just an email, is sufficient for your marketing needs without annoying visitors.

Especially on mobile, keep the form fields to a minimum. People are on-the-go and busy.

On desktops, you can selectively choose to include more form fields when the benefit really outweighs the risk of losing some leads that can’t be bothered. Usually the only time to collect extensive information in an offer is when you’re pre-qualifying leads and really only care about capturing the quality ones.


For both mobile and desktop campaigns, Picreel popup builder offers very granular targeting options. We believe that the right visitors should be shown the right offers, at the right time. We make it easy by allowing you to set offer targeting based on behavior such as time spent on site, number of pages visited, percent scrolled, links clicked, referring source, and even when a visitor makes to leave the page. This means you can even create multiple campaigns on the same page in order to show a visitor an offer based on their engagement with your site.

Use these targeting options! They ensure your offers are relevant, not annoying and is the difference between skyrocketing your conversions – and tanking them.

When To Use A Responsive Template

Clearly, there are some pretty significant advantages with using separate mobile and desktop templates. However, we recognize that there are times when a single responsive campaign can be effective. We usually recommend responsive campaigns to customers who already have a robust and comprehensive mix of mobile and desktop campaigns running.

With a responsive campaign, it’s important to remember that users will be seeing the SAME exact popup on both their smartphone and desktop. The only difference will be in the size; responsive campaigns are just that: they will adjust on mobile devices to display properly, so no pinching or zooming or scrolling. But they’ll have all the same content, fields, buttons and images. So keep that in mind when designing a responsive campaign.

So when would you actually want this? When the offer is truly relevant across all devices, and you can get your message across with minimal content and form fields. If you’re an e-commerce site with good sales on both mobile and desktop devices, a simple free shipping or discount offer is a safe choice for a responsive campaign.

Picreel Is Here To Help

Want help with campaign design? We’re here to help! We have seasoned CRO experts who you can schedule a Conversion Optimization review with to help understand your conversion goals and how Picreel can help. We also offer webinars for both new and seasoned users to help them get the most from the platform. Short on time, but want to experience the benefits of using offers to increase conversions? Check out our Managed Campaign services, where we design campaigns, implement them, and test strategies for you!

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