NewsMatch Pop Up Best Practices

There have been some changes since our last blog post around Pop Up best practices for NewsMatch and other special campaigns, so we're releasing an updated guide.

Here are some general recommendations and best practices for using popups as part of NewsMatch, year-round campaigns, or special campaigns on your site. 

Installing the plugin

We recommend using Popup Maker plugin for setting up donation and newsletter signup popups on your site. 

Instructions for installing the plugin and creating a popup.

Recommended Pop Up Settings

Your popup should:

  • Be size “Large” or smaller from Popup Maker’s settings
  • Appear at the center of the bottom of the reader’s screen
  • Appear by sliding up from the bottom of the screen, over 350 milliseconds
  • Have an obvious “Close” button
  • Allow readers to interact with the rest of the page (do not use a full-page overlay)
  • Automatically open after 25 seconds (or more) on the page, because immediate popup appearances can be jarring. It can also be set to open after scrolling down a percentage of the page.
  • Be configured to not appear again for 2 weeks or more once dismissed by a reader
  • Be configured to not show on your donation page

You'll need to configure which pages the popup appears on, using the built-in conditionals feature. For disabling the popup on certain pages or in certain cases, read on in this blog post, or check out Popup Maker's paid extensions.

You'll also probably want to review the Popup Maker themes available and modify them to suit your own site's appearances. Once you've modified or created a theme, edit your popup to make it use your theme.

In addition to using Popup Maker themes, you can style popups using your site's WordPress theme's CSS, Jetpack’s Custom CSS Editor, or any other tool that allows you to define custom styles on your site.

What goes in a popup?

NewsMatch will provide calls to action, images, and gifs to be used leading up to and during the campaign. 

Here are some examples:

Non-NewsMatch popups should have an engaging, short call to action along with an eye-catching button.

Need help?

There is a ton of additional information on the WP Popup Maker support pages:

If you have questions, sign up for one of INN Labs’ NewsMatch technical support sessions or email the INN Labs team at

How INN Labs Can Help You with NewsMatch

Interested in technical help from INN Labs? Fill out the request for support form.

NewsMatch is here! The team at INN Labs is once again gearing up to help participating organizations take advantage of this incredible fundraising opportunity.

Thanks to an investment from Knight Foundation, INN Labs is providing services to help participants improve their online donation flows, add important NewsMatch messaging and media to their sites, and learn how to use existing tools to optimize your campaigns. These services include direct technical support, written guides, and advice on implementing best practices.

Technical Support

INN Labs is providing technical support for participating organizations of all kinds, including WordPress and non-WordPress sites.

What are some examples of technical support?

  • Configuring WordPress plugins or integrations
  • Creating a new donation page
  • Adding NewMatch assets to your site
  • Optimizations for existing donation pages/campaigns

We understand that every organization’s needs are different. If you're part of a participating organization and would like to receive Knight Foundation-funded help with your website, please fill out this request for support form. We’ll be in touch starting September 17th to schedule a meeting to review your needs and set a timeline for working together on your campaigns.

Available Tools for WordPress Sites

INN Labs is providing training, hands-on configuration, and guidance on the best practices for how to use an array of WordPress plugins and tools.

Last year, INN Labs developed two WordPress plugins to help INN members strengthen their audience engagement efforts and improve their donation campaigns based on best practices recommended by the News Revenue Hub. We are recommending them again this year:

News Match Popup Basics Plugin

Popup Basics Plugin Documentation

This plugin is an add-on for the popular Popup Maker, automatically generates a popup that follows the Hub’s recommendations for user-friendly newsletter sign-up forms. These popups are minimal, responsive, and effective for growing your newsletter subscribers. Once the plugin is installed, you can then edit the popup with campaign messaging and branding elements for your organization.

How we can help: the INN Labs team is available to make sure you get the most out of the wonderful images, gifs, and messaging provided by NewsMatch. We can help you configure popups or update your site

News Match Donation Shortcode

How to use News Match Donation Shortcode

This second plugin by INN Labs creates a donation form compatible with the Hub’s Salesforce-Stripe connector, similar to the donation form on Oklahoma Watch or the Rivard Report. The donation form allows for either button or drop-down styled membership level selections, and you can use it multiple times on a single page, which is great for explaining membership levels to your donors. On the back-end, the plugin allows you to define the membership levels and associated messaging for your organization.

In addition to tools created by INN Labs, we have vetted and are suggesting the following plugin for donation pages:

Give Plugin

This plugin is great for WordPress sites that do not currently have a donation page or would like to start fresh with best practices and ease of use in mind.

The Give plugin is a full-featured donation plugin that allows you to accept one-time and recurring donations through customizable donation forms. It inherits your existing site design out of the box and integrates with many third-party gateways and services, such as Stripe, PayPal and MailChimp. You can also manage your donors, view donation reports, and more! We love that it gives you options for one-click donations and embeddable forms that eliminate scrolling and improve engagement.

Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin

SCAIP Plugin Documentation

The Super Cool Ad Inserter is a WordPress plugin that gives site administrators a way to insert widgets such as ads, newsletter signups, or NewsMatch calls to action for donations directly into post content.

Stay Tuned

Make sure to keep an eye on Nerd Alert, our weekly newsletter, for events, tips, and other resources to help you get the most out of NewsMatch. We’ll be sharing how-tos for configuring donation forms and best practices for user experience design.

Sign up here if you aren’t subscribed already.

Get in Touch

  1. Interested in technical help from INN Labs? Fill out the request for support form.
  2. Join us for one of our weekly Office Hours. We’re happy to provide recommendations for maximizing your campaign or answers to NewsMatch questions.
  3. Reach us directly at with “NewsMatch 2018” in the subject line.

We look forward to supporting you!