Do Those Pesky Pop-Ups Really Help Generate Leads Online?


This is probably going to offend a lot of people who read my blog but I have to ask the question about whether or not the pop-up ads really helps to generate leads online or promote products any better than not having them.  Personally, I hate them.  I absolutely hate them.  Do I blame people, especially internet marketers trying to sell products or generate leads online for using them?  Of course not.  It just looks more and more like one of those “monkey see, monkey do” kind of situations.  I decided to do a little research because I have personally seen one application of these type of pop-up ads that Rob Fore uses that made complete sense to me.

Of course, marketers are always looking for ways to move more product and generate leads online and it seems that these pop-up ads are all the new rage.  And, when used in the right way, they can obviously be effective.  Just ask Rob Fore.  What kills me though is visiting so many different websites looking for content and suddenly being interrupted by a pop up that requires me to search for the button that removes it from blocking the page so that I might continue reading.  What I discovered in just a little bit of research may surprise many people.

Will You Generate Leads Online In Greater Quantity Using Pop-Ups?

Several researchers have studied this subject intently but most of the “scientific” studies were done almost 10 years ago.  At that time, most of the conclusions were that people felt  they were being spammed or that their privacy was being invaded.  Patricia Williams, a Wharton marketing professor made mention that “the internet is a place where consumers don’t like to be interrupted.” She goes on to say that she has seen other studies that assert that “consumers think pop-ups are actually worse than telemarketing calls.”  David Schrader, director of strategy and marketing for the Teradata division of NCR mentions “… For people who have to get rid of them, they’re just clutter.  They start bordering on the equivalent of spam.”   David Croson, visiting professor at MIT mentions that “…Pop-up ads are probably the only form of advertising that has spawned a whole industry designed to help you get them off your screen.”  Other researchers went on to talk about information overload, annoyance, slow loading times and general irritation with the pop-ups.

Suffice it to say that the data above came from a 2003 article when everything was different online and the pop-ups we refer to now are much different than those of 10 years ago, but they are still screen blockers.  Fast forward to more recently and the data changes dramatically.  We must keep in mind that the median age for computer users has grown up in an era of these things and instead of getting rid of them, they’ve made them more sophisticated… and targeted.

Maybe I Can Generate Leads Online With These Goofy Things…

More recent data continues to allude to the fact that these pop-up type ads are still annoying but that they are continually used.  In fact, they are used in greater number now than ever! Internet marketers absolutely insist on using them for the simple and dirty truth that THEY WORK!  In one instance I read that “They receive the interest of the person. They help marketers create e-mail marketing directories. It has been verified many times that you will definitely not get as great a result with a voluntary opt-in box on your sidebar or even into the primary content of your site as you do with a pop-up.”  But what really becomes of a name on a list that was simply put there to get a pop-up ad off of the page? Are they going to become a team member or a customer because they can now receive more emails from you?  I don’t know that answer to that question, but I think targeting a product to review, writing a good review about it and then strategically placing a pop-up ad on that specific site that leads directly to the product being reviewed may actually save the consumer time.  Not only this, it will potentially produce a sell or a lead for that marketer.

All in all, I think it’s time to seriously consider employing some of these strategies on this site.  I still hate them and don’t want to use them, but I need to test and truly see if they generate sales and/or if they are going to ultimately help me to generate leads online so that I can grow my list and, ultimately, my business.

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