founder at addictive!
05 March 2005 11:04am
A little test. You learn that a large proportion of your target audience have become ad avoiders by using pop up blockers because they find pop ups really irritating.
a) recognise that the old approach doesn't work and start to experiment with less invasive, less interruptive types of marketing
b) do you find out that overlays or floater ads can't be blocked by pop up blockers and start to use them instead of pop ups?
Hopefully you went for a) but there are an awful lot of people going for b) judging by a recent New York Times (free registration required) article (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/24/technology/circuits/24popp.html?) .
The article reports that Neilsen data shows the use of overlays has increased by 32% in the 12 months to December 2004 whilst pop ups have declined by 41% over the same period.
Now I know that lots of people will say that pop ups work - they get good clickthrough and good conversion. But does getting .5% clickthrough warrant alienating a high proportion of the other 99.5%?
This sort of head in the sand attitude can only end in tears; the web can only be a viable advertising medium when online marketing adapts to suit the way people use the medium.
Simon Andrews Big Picture
CEO at Econsultancy
08 March 2005 15:50pm
I agree with your broad point but I think there may be a sensible "middle way".
We currently still have a pop-under (quite a different experience for a user than a pop-up) to promote sign-ups for our free weekly newsletter. When we launched it, it quintrupled the number of daily sign-ups compared to when we just had the sign up on every web page.
So in that sense it was very effective. We've never received a complaint and we've not noticed sign up rates decline.
However, we can't be sure, as you say, that we're not alienating people and, as a rule, I don't think pop-ups are the way forwards.
But it depends very much on how the format is delivered (experientially) rather than just the format itself. For example, a pop-up could still work well for post-purchase customer satisfaction surveys, or some types of customer service (e.g. agent help during a purchase process). For advertising purposes it is harder to justify but, again, in very contextually targeted situations I think it can be very effective.
We're going to be changing our pop-up to a DHTML layer, in part to avoid possible erosion of sign up rates as pop-up blocking software proliferates. However, we're thinking carefully about exactly *how* that layer can be delivered to our benefit without annoying users.
For example, we're looking at delivering the layer:
- after a user has been on the site for more than 30 secs
- and where the users has looked at more than 5 pages of content
- and the layer would appear top right so as not to obscure core content / navigation
- it would have a very clear close button
- it would only be server on the user's first visit to the site and then again only after a 3 month gap
- etc. etc.
On the Dell site the other day I experienced an internal ad delivered as a layer (see http://www1.euro.dell.com/content/products/category.aspx/desktops?c=uk&l=en&s=pad# if the OptiPlex ad is still there when you look...) which I thought worked well without being annoying as it was in context, caught my attention, and went away when I wanted it to.
So I think you can combine a) and b)?
09 March 2005 10:47am
I agree its a complex subject as the approach does work and I admit we did lots of rich media at DLKW Dialogue. I think the cardinal sin is interruption- which is why pop unders are much less of an evil than something that floats over the football report I’m reading.
The effect of these approaches on the 99% that dont respond is totally unmeasured and I think that is something the industry needs to take account of.
Does anyone have any research/learnings/opinions on this
CEO at SciVisum.co.uk
11 March 2005 17:40pm
On 15:50:22 8 March 2005 Ashley wrote:
>We're going to be changing our pop-up to a DHTML layer, in
>part to avoid possible erosion of sign up rates as pop-up
>blocking software proliferates. However, we're thinking
>carefully about exactly *how* that layer can be delivered
>to our benefit without annoying users.
>For example, we're looking at delivering the layer:
>- after a user has been on the site for more than 30 secs
>- and where the users has looked at more than 5 pages of
>- and the layer would appear top right so as not to
>obscure core content / navigation
>- it would have a very clear close button
>- it would only be server on the user's first visit to the
>site and then again only after a 3 month gap
Be careful tho' - with privacy and identity theft getting more coverage; more and more folks are deleting their cookie caches (or using privacy tools which does it for them), so if you're using cookies to test if they're a new user or not, you may end up sticking the layer up every visit...
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