3 Reasons Your Pop Ups Aren’t Increasing Conversions

What are Pop Ups?

Have you ever been reading an article or shopping online and come across some random advertisement that’s taken you to a different website? If so, you, like every other internet user, have stumbled upon what is known as a pop up ad. These pop up ads, while they reach a wide range of viewers, don’t attract any real business in a meaningful way.

In marketing, there is a concept known as “customer pain points.” These pain points come in many forms. However, they all represent a problem that a potential customer is experiencing while interacting with an ad. Oftentimes, potential customers will have one or more of these pain points when interacting with pop ups. The two main pain points customers might experience with pop ups are: “productivity.” This means that they’re time consuming and “support” pain points, which means the pop up is inconvenient or poorly placed. You might be asking yourself, “If pop up ads are the most viewed form of advertisement, then why are they so ineffective?” I’ll give you three reasons why pop up ads are the least effective form of advertising.

They’re Outdated:

The first reason that pop up ads are so ineffective is because they’re an outdated form of advertising. Pop up ads first came into existence in the late 1990’s when the internet was still a relatively new thing. They really took off in the early 2000’s when you could hardly go on any websites. This is of course without being dragged to a different website in a different window.

In this instance, a customer would experience a productivity pain point because being brought to a different site is time consuming! Now, pop up ads have evolved slightly and are known as “hover ads” where an ad will briefly come across your screen rather than take you to an entirely different site. While this form of advertising was once all the rage, it has slowly become increasingly less effective as the internet and its users have developed.

The Creation of Ad Blocker Software:

The second reason that pop up ads are so ineffective is because of the introduction of ad blocker software. Have you ever been annoyed by pop up ads and wished there was something that would prevent them from sprouting up every time you tried to read an article?

Well, thanks to new ad blocking software that you can download online, there is now a software that will automatically block any pop up ads. It’s difficult for an ad to be even remotely effective at attracting business if the intended target audience has never seen the ad. What makes this reason incredibly important is the fact that most of these softwares are completely free, which makes downloading them a no brainer!

Pop Up Ads Are Annoying!:

The third reason why pop up ads are so ineffective is that they’re incredibly annoying. What’s your typical response when you see a pop up ad come across the screen of your computer, phone, or tablet? Do you analyze the ad with genuine curiosity, or are you like me and click out of the ad as quickly as humanly possible?

Most of you reading this probably click out of the ad as fast as possible.

Customers will experience what is known as the “support pain point” because they’re being inconvenienced with a pop up at a time that isn’t appropriate. Pop up ads are so much of a nuisance that the man that created them, Ethan Zuckerman, has publicly apologized for creating them on numerous occasions! It is hard to effectively market a product or a service when the audience is already turned off to the product because of how it’s marketed.

Are All Pop Ups Bad?

The answer to this question is simply “no.” Pop ups can be a very effective form of marketing at times if they are implemented correctly. Pop ups are featured on nearly every website and reach a very large audience providing the ad and company with lots of exposure. The way pop ups can be implemented correctly depend on three major factors: the positioning, the timing, and the call to action. An example of an effective pop up can be found in articles online.

After you’ve been reading an article and are either half way through or close to the end, a pop up might come up. At this point, the reader has already committed to reading the article and is interested in the content that the site has to offer. So when a pop up suggests subscribing to the site or “clicking here to learn more information,” it’s received much better by the reader than if they were to see it at the very beginning.

When dealing with pop ups like these, customers won’t experience productivity or support pain points because the pop up occurred at an appropriate place and didn’t waste any of their time. 


My advice to companies still using pop up ads to market their products is simple: think like a consumer. You wouldn’t buy an unpopular and outdated product, so why would you advertise your own products that way? Think of quality rather than quantity; who cares if you’re able to reach a massive audience of people if the majority of the engagement with the ad is just to “X” it out. There are numerous ways to effectively market your products or services online by utilizing the popularity of social media. However, pop up ads are not one of these ways. To effectively use digital marketing to promote your company or products, contact us here at PivotPath. We specialize in brand strategy development and web design development that focuses on engagement and real results!

John Quinn is a recent graduate from Manhattan College where he majored in English and minored in business. He is an avid storyteller and a passionate writer. When he’s not writing his own story, he’s trying to learn from others. Check out his LinkedIn account here.

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