Pop-up marketing has always been a source of controversy. While some advertisers deem it to be an incredibly effective approach, others believe that it does little apart from annoying and alienating the audience. If you ever do research about this form of digital promotion, you will come across both of these opinions and you’ll find it difficult to decide whether to make pop-ups a part of your landing page design.

To Use or Not to Use Landing Page Pop-Ups? Main Pros and Cons

When looking at statistics, you can understand a bit more about the controversial nature of pop-ups. An overwhelming 73 percent of consumers say that they dislike such ads. Here’s an even more impressive number – 81 percent of people closed a page or left a website because of a pop-up ad.

This information could make you think about scraping the pop-up strategy altogether. Don’t rush it! When done right, pop-up advertising could actually deliver results. There are two keys to getting the best possible outcome – relevance and timing.

When do Will Landing Page Pop-Ups work?

On-screen pop-ups are marketing tools that have a promotional window appear on top of the page that the audience is currently viewing. If they’re not interested, people can close the pop-up and continue exploring the content they were previously engaging with.

The effectiveness of pop-ups went down significantly when ad blockers were introduced as a part of internet browsers.

At a certain point in time, ad blockers nearly killed pop-ups. This is when a whole new range of advertising approaches began emerging. Because of the convenience, ad blocking use is growing all the time. In 2016, 20 percent of internet users relied on an ad blocker. In 2017, the usage of ad blocking software went up to 40 percent for US laptop users.

2017 alone, United States advertisers lost dollars of annual revenues due to ad blocking (including pop-ups, pop-unders, and banners). Internationally, in conclusion, publisher losses reached 42 billion dollars.

All of these bleak statistics suggest that pop-ups are becoming nearly instinct but are that really the case?

There may still be ways to get this advertising method to work.

In order to see good results from pop-up advertising, you will have to meet all of the following conditions:

  • Make pop-ups relevant and easy to dismiss. Otherwise, you will annoy your audience and your search engine score will also suffer.
  • Switch to a timed pop-up that shows on the screen and disappears on its own after a short period of time.
  • Use pop-up segmenting to show different audiences to different ads.
  • Don’t spam people – make the pop-up appear just one time during their experience on your landing page or website.
  • Do A/B testing
  • Have a back-up plan and rely on a less intrusive advertising approach in case the audience isn’t interested in viewing pop-ups.

The Benefits of Pop-Up Advertising

When strategic and done right, pop-up advertising could actually be beneficial for your business. There are multiple reasons why businesses still rely on this marketing approach today.

The first and the most important benefit is that pop-ups rank among the most visible types of ads. In-text links and CPC campaigns will not ensure the same prominent display for your message. There are ways to work around ad-blocking software and to still make sure that your message is going to reach the right audience.

Marketing professionals from dating company DoULike, widely using such advertising on their website, highlighted the key advantages of pop-ups based on their experience:

  • A pop-up ad provides you instant feedback about the audience’s tastes and preferences. You can learn a lot by going through the campaign data. In addition, the pop-up itself could feature survey questions provided in an easy to complete format.
  • A versatile platform that can accommodate numerous different types of advertising.
  • Pop-ups are a great tool to rely on if you want to increase your social media following (the provision of direct links works wonders).
  • There are dozens of pop-up creation tools (including various WordPress plugins) that you can utilize on your own to reduce the cost of organizing and planning the campaign.
  • In some instances, especially when relevance is ensured, a pop-up ad can increase the conversion rate in comparison to other marketing approaches.

The Most Important Shortcomings

All of this sounds great but pop-up advertising isn’t always the answer. The biggest advantage – the visibility of your pop-up ads – could also turn into the demise of a campaign.

Landing page pop-ups advertising is annoying. Even if you provide website visitors with an easy way out, they may still be annoyed by having to deal with unsolicited content. Thus, you have to be very careful and use relevant pop-up ads sparingly to get a good outcome.

Let’s take a look at the other key shortcomings of the marketing approach:

  • Even if you have a good tech team, it may be impossible to get around ad blocking software. This fact will inevitably decrease the reach of your campaign.
  • Pop-ups could take attention away from the landing page’s main content.
  • Historically, pop-up advertising has had a bad reputation and it’s definitely not the most innovative or engaging method for delivering your message.
  • This is not a long-term marketing solution. Pop-ups can be used for a short time campaign but if you want to build the prominence of your brand, you may want to consider another sustainable solution that will continue delivering results through time (social media marketing, content-based campaigns, SEO, etc.).

Final Verdict

It’s impossible to deny the effectiveness of pop-up ads. They are loud and in your face. They are impossible to ignore. When relevant, they will potentially get the audience interested in finding out more.

At the same time, the pop-up ad is a bit of a dinosaur in the inbound marketing world. Today, advertising is all about building a relationship with the audience and getting people involved with your message. You cannot accomplish these goals through the use of old-school pop-ups.

Can you make pop-ups an effective part of your marketing mix?

The short answer is yes. If you have a short-term campaign (a survey you want people to fill out, a new product, an ebook subscription option), you can get good results from strategic pop-up advertising. You will, however, have to go through a thorough research process and through A/B testing in order to make the most of the campaign.

Landing page pop-ups can easily go bad, which is why you have to be careful with them. If you’re a newbie and you’ve just launched your first ever website, you may want to avoid this advertising approach. Alternatively, opt for a bit of professional assistance. Pop-up advertising is somewhat tricky and somewhat difficult to execute in the correct way.

A final word of warning is to keep pop-up advertising sparse. If you overdo it, you risk harming the search engine positioning of your website. Hence, keep your efforts focused, measured and segmented. If you do so, you could see good results from pop-up campaigns.


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