Loving and Hating Pop-ups

From a user’s point of view, pop-ups are terrible. They are offensively obnoxious, and have no business being on my computer. But the minute you start looking at pop-ups from a business perspective, they become instantly less repulsive. As annoying as pop-ups are, they really do get results. Does that mean you should use them for your business?

Many businesses are wary of using pop-ups because people really, really, really, dislike them. Some people don’t even read pop-ups, and instead, immediately close out of it, and vow never to return to that site again just because they were subjected to a pop-up. It’s true that if you use pop-ups you will upset some folks, but you’re also likely to get positive results. What’s more, pop-ups aren’t quite as abrasive as they used to be, and some people might not even view a modern pop-up as a pop-up.

Pop-ups are now much more subtle than the pop-ups of the past. You might not even be aware that you interact with pop-up ads on a regular basis. For years, people have had such strong feelings against pop-ups that pop-ups have had to change their identity. It’s like they caught a plane down to Mexico, underwent facial reconstructive surgery, came back, and are up to their old tricks again, but this time with a more refined and tactful approach.

In the past, all pop-ups were aggressive and in your face. A new window would open in front of the page you were viewing and completely and totally interrupt whatever it is that you were doing. Imagine you’re having a conversation with a friend, and a stranger jumps between the two of you and starts shouting into your face. That’s old school pop-up.

Someone must have realized that the old fashioned pop-ups are infuriating, loathsome, detestable, and a little bit rude. They do a better job of upsetting people than conveying any message. That’s when some crafty marketer thought, “Hey, what if popups were less aggressive? What if we could still incorporate pop-up advertisements, but in a way that’s so different from current pop-ups that people won’t immediately hate them, and might actually give them the time of day?”

The new pop-ups are still intrusive, but they’re much less abrasive. Rather than opening an entirely new window in front of your current page, pop-up ads are now built into the page you’re viewing, and seem more a part of the website than some uninvited guest. Instead of a stranger jumping in your face and screaming at you to download their ebook, it’s like your friend casually pauses the conversation you’re having to mention something to you. Today’s pop-ups take a kind of a, “Hold that thought, what do you think about this?” approach rather than the, “LISTEN TO ME!” approach used by traditional pop-up ads.

While new pop-ups may be less intrusive, that doesn’t change the fact that pop-ups can still be obnoxious and that there are still people who exit pop-ups before even reading a single word.

But using pop-up ads on your site could be beneficial for you. You can see the results of conversions from pop-ups, which provides clear evidence that pop-up ads are effective. Yes, pop-ups are really annoying, bu some people take the stance that the benefits of pop-up advertisements outweigh the potential negatives. They figure that you will get more people to sign up for your email list, or download your ebook, or fill out whatever form you have than you will lose due to a pure hatred of pop-ups.

What it boils down to is that pop-ups are terrible, yet effective. If you incorporate pop-up ads, you will get results, but you might also bother a lot of people. The choice is yours.


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