I'll bet you've visited a site only to be plagued by one, two, three or even more popup windows ... to annoy you. Some poorly designed sites even pop up those same windows each time you visit a
I'll bet you've visited a site only to be plagued by one, two, three or even more popup windows appearing to annoy you. Some poorly designed sites even pop up those same windows each time you visit a new page, making simple navigation a horrifying experience.
Some webmasters believe in popup advertisements. They believe that their sales or signups (newsletters) are substantially higher when they use popups. And, guess what, they are often correct. Sites do get good responses from popup advertisements. People do look at them and do respond to offers, forms and ads.
However, I, like many surfers, find popup advertisements unacceptable and cease to visit sites which use them heavily. I will put up with an occasional pop up window, but immediately close it without reading - for the same reason I delete spam messages: I will not encourage their use by responding to them.
Pop-under windows, things that slide across the screen and pictures that jump out at me will cause me to immediately leave the site and more than likely I will never be back. I especially despise those exit window "services". A horrible invention, intended to deceive surfers and siphon traffic from legitimate sites. Of course, programs like Gator deserve immediate deletion as the are run by the scummiest of advertisers.
What kind of advertising do I respond to? I prefer a well-written article reviewing a product or service with a link to the supplier or order screen, or a side-bar that I can read, or even a small graphic. I want information, I want to know WHY I should look at a product or service.
But most of all, I want a reference to that product or service. A more-or-less trusted source saying, "yes, this is worth looking at". That's the best kind of advertising by far.
To illustrate how advertising on the internet often works, imagine walking down the street lined with a bunch of shops. Some shops have very nice window displays which show off the products very well. These are the stores which I would tend to visit as I can see exactly what they sell. The best of these stores have knowledgeable employees who know all about their products along with good signage which explains various facts (for example, coupons with recipes scattered throughout the produce section). Their advertising would consist of flyers which described the products, perhaps a newsletter and reviews by knowledgeable, respected people.
Other's have someone out front screaming "buy this stuff!". These people may wander up and down the street shouting buzz-words that may or may not attract people into a shop. This is the equivalent of banner ads. These might get my attention, but if the shop didn't produce the goods, then I would lose interest fast. And if shops consistently didn't deliver what was promised, then I would probably just ignore these hawkers altogether.
A really clever shopkeeper might hire someone to run around and plaster brochures to car windows - these are also banner ads and similar things.
Very aggressive shopkeepers might hire some very entertaining jugglers to put on shows - these are the strange ads which do weird things with the screens. I might look, but I almost certainly won't buy. These can, however, attract many people and some of them are likely to find something in the shop to purchase.
Then there are those shopkeepers which send out people to stop shoppers on the street and hold an ad in front of their face (this is a pop-up). I find this rude (it's happened in real life) and simply will not buy this stuff. I relate this to the people at airports (do they still exist?) who try to sell books for donation. I've never bought one because I don't want to encourage their behavior.
A pop-under would be similar to the above, except the ad is slipped in the shopper's back pocket so they can be surprised by it later.
Gator runs around and with some sleight-of-hand changes as many ads as it can to it's own as they are being handed or shown to patrons.
I hope this is helpful in illustrating how popup advertising fits into the overall promotional picture. Each webmaster must decide how to promote his or her site based upon their goals and objectives, as well as their budget and ethics. Ethical webmasters will find means to advertise which produce results without using spamming or other unacceptable means. Unethical webmasters will use whatever technique works regardless of the consequences to themselves, their customers or company and others. They will often appear to have great results, but those are often temporary and fleeting.
Richard Lowe Jr. is the webmaster of Internet Tips And Secrets at http://www.internet-tips.net - Visit our website any time to read over 1,000 complete FREE articles about how to improve your internet profits, enjoyment and knowledge.