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Using popups – survey results

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Tuesday December 8, 2009 )

A recent survey has found what most of us already know – people don’t particularly like popups; also commonly known these days in the industry as hover ads. In my experience, there are some exceptions though.

A Synovate survey found 39% of respondents think there are too many ads on the internet. Two-thirds of those people have avoided websites that they feel have intrusive advertising such as popups. This figure rose dramatically to over 80% in Australia, Canada, Spain and the US.

That may not be earth shattering news, but based on years of using them, popups can still be very beneficial.

So when are popups ok?

Probably the safest way to display popups is for newsletter or special offer subscription purposes only these days. The key is to give something away as a sweetener and to only use hover ads (displaying over content) only once per visit maximum – better still, only display the popup/hover ad once every 7 days or longer to the same visitor.

Even given results of surveys such as the one by Synovate, never underestimate the power of the popup. I have seen newsletter subscription rates jump 600% for various projects when they are implemented

Oddly enough, the ones that work best appear to be the ones that display over the top of content, rather than those that slide elegantly from the bottom of the screen and only occupy the bottom of the browser window. However, as the latter is less intrusive, you can let the ad follow the user from page to page without the annoyance factor of doing the same with hover ads that cover content at eye level.

It’s also important to use a DHTML type hover ad instead of the old popup style as most browsers automatically block that type.

Learn more about using popups to increase subscriptions and if you’re interested in giving the concept a whirl, try my free hover ad generator. For really eye-“popping” results, it’s worth trialing Advanced DHTML Popup

This Synovate survey on advertising was conducted in September 2009 and surveyed over 8,600 respondents in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, India, the Netherlands, Spain, Taiwan, the UK and the US. Read more of the survey results.


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