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Articles - Site Exit Popup Anxiety Disorder.

The use of the site exit pop-up window seems to be on the increase on the Internet. It was originally a ploy used by the pornography trade, and I feel that this is where it should have stayed.

The exit pop-up window of the"mainstream" Internet directs you to another (usually unrelated) site when you attempt to leave the current one. Increasingly, it is not a small window that opens up with a brief blurb about the site, but the entire top page of it.

In my years of training people in Internet, I have never heard the joyous exclamation "Cool! an exit pop-up window, how convenient" ..... but I have heard many other statements that I would not be able to publish here! This strategy tends to confuse and disorient surfers as it is unexpected.

There are many services that package this concept slickly, and when you read the blurbs of how"effective" it is, it can be quite convincing. But ask yourself before filling in the forms and hitting the submit button to"join up", will the surfers appreciate it? What impression will it convey about me, my site and my promotion strategies?

Our strategy in building and promoting sites should rely on informing and entertaining surfers - not creating the perception of a venus fly trap!

How have you felt when exiting a site, only to have another window present itself with a totally unrelated content? People want control over what happens with their browser software.

Sure, it's not that difficult for the visitor to move their mouse approximately 3 inches to close the window.... but when they have to do it 10 times in one surfing session, they can become understandably annoyed.

If you are using a free hosting service which uses this ploy, and you have no control over the implementation, it may be time to switch to another. There are plenty of good providers around who use more subtle techniques.

And as for the effectiveness results posted by some companies advertising this marketing strategy, remember the three kinds of lies - "lies, damned lies and statistics" It isn't just numbers we are chasing, but the quality of the hits -return visitors.

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
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