6 Design Tips for Creating Spectacular Promotions

Website design, simply stated, is important and should be a focus for all online businesses. Whether you’ve paid someone to design your site, used a theme provided by your platform, or built it from scratch, we can all agree that a lot of time and resources are used throughout the process.

The same applies to your overlay designs! Below, I’ve provided six tips to create attractive and effective overlays along with some resources to help you along the way.

The Importance of Design

Before we jump into the design tips, let’s take a quick look at four reasons why design is important for your website and your promotions:


Quite possibly the most important part of a design is how it applies to navigation. Good design makes it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for while also creating an understandable flow. This is not only pleasant for visitors but also leads to better on-site conversion which is the main goal!


The idea of a “brand” has become a major focal point for businesses, specifically online retailers. The design represents the look and feel of your brand and needs to be consistent throughout all aspects of your business. Solid branding grabs attention and establishes trust.


While there are certain things that can be communicated visually, you still need to use content to relay your message. Your site’s copy must be clearly written and easy to read. This includes factors like font type, text size, color, and layout. This is how you literally communicate with website visitors so be meticulous with this stuff.


If your business can’t evoke a feeling of trust with visitors, then you probably won’t see much success. A well-designed site with consistent branding establishes trust with visitors which increases the likelihood of them purchasing or returning.


1. Showcase your Brand

I browse through hundreds of e-commerce sites on a daily basis and it amazes me how many businesses are using generic overlays that don’t represent their brand. This can be damaging to brand perception and can have sub-par conversion results. You’ve put a lot into designing your website and creating your brand. The last thing you want to do is put something on your site that doesn’t match its look and feel.

Luckily, we’ve made it extremely simple to customize every element of your promotion design giving you total autonomy on how you engage your website visitors. Now, you can implement custom branded overlays that cost other marketers thousands of dollars to create for a fraction of the price!

Here is some more info on how to customize pop-up designs like the examples below.

buffalo jackson pop up

Don’t know where to start? No need to worry. We’ve got a library of design themes to help you get started. Begin with a theme and make it your own using the designer! Login Here to access the gallery.

template library screenshot

2. Clear, Concise Copy

If your promotion details aren’t clear, you’re going to add confusion and your promotion will not be as effective as it could be. Craft a clear message that instructs visitors on what is being offered, how they can receive it, and when they will receive it. With a clear message and a great offer, you’ll be well on your way to converting more traffic.

Keep it simple. Use words that create urgency and excitement (instant, daily deals, save, get, etc.). Check out this beginners guide to e-commerce promotions.

3. Implement a Side Tab

skinny fox detox tea exampleYou only want to engage visitors with overlays at key moments and data capture points. For the rest of the time, use a side tab. This enables you to display a visible call to action in which visitors can access your offer. Customize your side tab or create your own. The design canvas gives you the option of uploading an image to use as your tab. Here are step by step instructions on how to edit tab designs.

4. Use Micro Commitments

Micro-commitments are small actions that you ask visitors to perform leading up to a bigger conversion step. In our case of promotions, the higher conversion step would be an email opt-in or purchase. To get these desired results, we can implement micro-commitments within our promotion design.

Simply pose a question like “Want a discount?” Then provide two calls to action: one that is a “Yes” response and another that is a “No” response. This presents visitors with a decision that they must make. When an individual selects a “Yes” response, they are psychologically inclined to behave consistently with the “Yes” commitment. By using this technique, you can increase engagement while also influencing people to take the intended action.

Intro Page

brooktide promo intro page

Pre-Engagement Page

pre engagement page brooktide

5. Use a Full Screen Take Over

Want to make an impact on your visitors? Use a full-screen overlay to capture your visitor’s full attention. This type of design puts all focus on your message in a visually pleasing layout. What’s great about a full screen take over is that you can clearly display your message while still displaying your website in the background.

This simple overlay layout is located in the theme gallery in the design canvas.

buddy scrub promo example

6. Mobile Designs

design canvas for mobile screenshotMobile traffic has steadily increased over the last few years. Today, it’s basically a 50-50 split between mobile and desktop traffic. Use mobile promotions to engage the half of traffic viewing your site on phones and tablets. Here’s a quick look at the mobile design canvas to create your mobile-specific promotions! Here’s some additional info on mobile promotions.

Finishing Touches

Need some inspiration for your promotions? Take a look at these 10 effective promotion designs from successful e-commerce brands.

Designing your promotions doesn’t have to be a laborious process. In fact, it’s quite easy! Use these six tips and the resources provided to create captivating and effective promotions on your site.

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