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  1. #1
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    Monday, September 9, 2002

    Pop-ups Are Here to Stay

    By David L. Smith

    Nielsen//NetRatings reported last week that less than 10% of marketers use pop-ups. The trade press, including MediaPost, iMedia and others seemed to jump on the slant that inferred that pop-ups are turning out to be a smaller factor than initially thought. We disagree with that conclusion.

    In the first place, 10% is a significant number. For example, as of last spring, only 10% of online ads were branding oriented. According to eMarketer, an April 2001 Nielsen//NetRatings study reported that only 11% of online ads were branding oriented. Again, according to eMarketer, DoubleClick reported that only 10% of online ads were branding oriented. This does not mean that branding on the Internet won't have a significant future.

    Only one ad size has more than 10% of the market, according to NetRatings. That's the 468x60 weighing in at 35% of all banners as of spring 2002. The next is the 120x60 at 6% and the 475x89, 120x600 and 120x90 at 4%. Pop-ups on this measure would be 2%. This certainly does not mean that the 120x600 is a size to bet against for the future. It and the 250x250, along with the other newer IMUs, are the hottest creative units going as far as growth. Pop ups will continue to grow and be hot. Especially if true creative talents are turned loose on the unit.

    Safa Rashtchy, Senior Research Analyst Internet Media and Marketing for US bancorp Piper Jaffray, recently issued a report, and he too believes that "pop-ups are here to stay," as stated in his newsletter, Silk Road Weekly.

    "For advertising to be effective, it has to be intrusive" Rashtchy wrote. Whether we like it or not, pop-ups are a "lean forward" device. Rashtchy went on to say, "Obviously, there is a fine line beyond which advertising may alienate consumers, and we believe the online advertising industry is still experimenting with different levels of intrusion to find the right balance. Just like any medium, there will be the extreme cases where both the quantity and quality of advertising will be excessive and distasteful. This shouldn't distract us from the fact that mainstream publishers can also use the pop-ups in an effective and appropriate way."

    Rashtchy opined three reasons why they are "here to stay":

    Pop-ups are highly effective. We know that they get higher click-through rates. Their conversion rates are high also. Yes, some people hate them, but not so much that it affects the traffic on the sites serving them.
    Major advertisers like Orbitz, Dell, Providian, Morgan Stanley and Columbia House are among the top ten users. This shows a trend. It won't be long before other major advertisers use pop-ups too.
    Sites banning pop-ups are in a minority and have good reason to ban them (e.g., Google and iVillage who do not want to interrupt the user experience). This is not likely to spread to the majors, according to Rashtchy. And he makes a good point. After all, aren't the highly effective rich media takeover ads that have zoomed across sites like Yahoo!, The New York Times and CBS MarketWatch also pop-ups, albeit much more creative than the X-10 camera ads (which we cannot forget, still worked like crazy).
    To get the full report, go to http://www.gotoanalysts.com/rashtchy.

    We agree with Rashtchy. In all forms of media, intrusiveness has won the day. After all, what's more intrusive than a TV spot?

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

  2. #2
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    ""For advertising to be effective, it has to be intrusive" Rashtchy wrote. Whether we like it or not, pop-ups are a "lean forward" device. Rashtchy went on to say, "Obviously, there is a fine line beyond which advertising may alienate consumers, and we believe the online advertising industry is still experimenting with different levels of intrusion to find the right balance."

    Problem with taking figures from those pushing online advertising is they don't have either the viewer/prospect or anything other than fleecing the advertiser's budget in mind. Reality is this PR spin article for "give me your Ad budget for more intrusive Ads" doesn't take into account that the result/insult drives millions to install Ad Blocker programs. The Ad industry would be happy if they could brainstorm a way for TV programs to occupy only a 3" square section on a 52 inch screen.

    MY solution is to layoff 50% of all those involved in the advertising industry,from top to bottom, and make them learn a job skill that produces something other than visual noise. Net impact wouldn't effect gross product sales by 2%. Resulting problem being they'd all try to get daddy to foot the bill to get them into a law school to pad the glut in that worthless profession whose excess become politicians.

    WebMaster Mike

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    yes,

    In my mind just as Spam and viruses (Virii) are here to stay.

    I've been trying out various pop-up killers and the one I like the best is called "Pop-Up Killer". (How 'bout that) Grabbed it off CNET after a pretty good review from USA Today which I got from a routine search of Google.

    So, Andy, drop million$ into Pop-Ups. I won't see them.

    And, I Won't promote them either.

    My $.02

    Doc

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    Dr-Fix-It!

  4. #4
    Affiliate Manager Lionstail's Avatar
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    Pop-ups have certainly lost all effectiveness with me, I usually delete them before I see them.

    My favorite pop-up killer however is POW! This is a free software that you program yourself. It's effective for anyone who regularly visits the same sites and sees the same pop-ups over and over. Whenever there's a pop-up you don't want, you add it to your POW! list and it will automatically kill that one every time it comes up in the future. I like this better than other programs, because you don't want anything that will kill the pop-ups you want, and no one's been able to create a program that will automatically get rid of all the ones you don't want while keeping all the ones you do want. I highly recommend it. Dave

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    My favorite pop-up killer is Mozilla [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img] It has some other nifty options that I doubt IE will ever have (if IE had built in anti-pop-up abilities then it would add to MS's antitrust woes).

  6. #6
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    "For advertising to be effective, it has to be intrusive" Rashtchy wrote.

    Affiliate marketing, however, is not the same as traditional advertising. Getting the two mediums mixed up is a sure path to failure.

    The most effective affiliate sites have traffic coming through the site specifically to review products and shop. Affiliate sites generally need to be as attentive to their user's experience as Google.

    What Andy says is true for content sites. This is traditional advertising. Content sites either have to bastardize their content to gear it toward sales, or use more intrusive advertising. Neither is a good option. The content site often ends up trading traffic for a short term gain in ad revenues. There are several sites I stopped visiting because their ads were more intrusive than their content was worth.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador qball0213's Avatar
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    It's funny the number of webmasters using pop up killers here, I bet they would be the first to complain if someone blocked them from earning money on their websites. I don't think anyone should complain about getting one pop under per visit to a website, if they serve more than that then don't go back. Ofcourse people hate popups, they hate banners, they hate tv commercials, and once they figure out what affiliate marketing is, they will hate that too. Don't most popup killers block cookies and banner ads as well?

    Windows XP - Windows XP Tips and Info

  8. #8
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    qball uncovered the real problem with intrusive advertising for us affiliates pushing product sales .."Don't most popup killers block cookies and banner ads as well?" This is so true! The ones developing these sought after scripts by irritated surfers just load them up with all the features. What do they care as long as their sale when through the cart. None of their customers will need to see their Ads as they'd be blocked along with those from the affiliate and Ad industry network servers.

    We need to agree on one free Popup Ad blocker, like the POW program, to push as a service on our sites. Anything that won't block our return day cookies or the affiliate network banner feeds...just kill the POPs. The consumer is basically computer illiterate to settings on these programs, which by default block everything. Can you believe the ignorance of CJ letting these Blocker companies on their network??

    You can bet the content -news and top 50 destination sites are driving their own traffic to install these. Try out the stupid flash Ads at Yahoo news forums during posts or even here when Barenecessities Ad slows the screen displays down till it finishes. The Ad industry is shooting itself in the foot on this every more intrusive push to a quick buck. That's why I always pushed the affiliate networks to get completely away from the Advertising industry. They still don't get it(BeFree/ValueClick merger) so we see abusive tactics by merchants hell bent on brand advertising and free traffic through affiliates.

    WebMaster Mike

    [This message was edited by EcomCity.com on September 09, 2002 at 11:51 PM.]

  9. #9
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    That's why I love Mozilla's pop-up killing method: it only blocks the pop-ups by disallowing scripts to make new windows. Unfortunately it has the side effect of blocking any new windows created by a script (even on events like onClick) but hopefully the next version will only block certain events.
    Oh, and for those who've never tried Mozilla, the pop-up blocking is off by default.

  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    Based on this thread, I uninstalled the pop-up-killer and tried POW!.

    Pretty cool little program. Unassuming, yet quite powerful. I like that one must teach it which pop-ups to 'POW' so there is individual selectivity.

    So...let me see: Because I am involved with affiliate marketing, I should welcome intrusive and annoying ads into my life?

    Rather, I see pop-ups and pop-unders as a detriment to my presonal productivity when I have to spend my time to delete them ( Here is the punchline ) UNREAD. What good is an ad that goes unread?

    Doc

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    Dr-Fix-It!

  11. #11
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    I've tried several anti-popup programs, and none of the ones I've found to be useable (especially by most folks) have interfered with cookies or banner advertising.

    I accept banner ads and other on-site advertising as the price one has to pay for the internet, but even ONE popup (or popunder) is unacceptable. That's where I consider my internet experience (and my computer) to be getting screwed with.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    Andy?

    For soft, whither dost thou goest?

    HellO?

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    Dr-Fix-It!

  13. #13
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by qball0213:
    It's funny the number of webmasters using pop up killers here.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I find it sufficient to never revisit a site that runs popups. If I have links to a site that starts running popups, I simply pull them. But I do run popup killing software.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
    Don't most popup killers block cookies and banner ads as well?
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Lousy isn't it. The bozos who use popups hit us all in the pockets. I really don't know anyone who would load ad killing software to prevent banners but know scores of people running adsubtract to kill the fraggin' popups. I've loaded add blocking software for several elderly people who really have a tough time with popups and have my site as their homepage. Sad to see that revenue go away.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  14. #14
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    yintercept said:"The bozos who use popups hit us all in the pockets. I really don't know anyone who would load ad killing software to prevent banners but know scores of people running adsubtract to kill the fraggin' popups."

    Well put. Intrusive advertising pushing Popup/unders and full screen crawlers and all slow load FLASH Ads drive the web surfer nuts!!! They then look for anyway to get rid of these irritants like they do spam. Most just install the first one they can find without concern for the regular banner displays and return cookie killers within the applications.

    We as affiliates need to see our sites as we intend others to see them. So we look for the selective popup killers like POW. Should ABW endorse one program like POW so we learn to pass it on to our visitors as a POPUP cure???

    WebMaster Mike

  15. #15
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    I must disagree. For advertising to be successful, it MUST be intrusive. Remember, we are talking advertising here not sales. Most of the products that people buy are bought as a result of intrusive advertising. Branding the image of the product and the company's name into the brain and psyche of consumers. This is how Coca Cola, McDonalds and Wal-Mart have become so dominent in their respective industries.

    What do you think a commercial is? It is intrusive advertising. Advertisers buy commercials in bulk to intrude into our lives so often that we remember them and when we need a product, we associate it with that advertiser.

    We overestimate the problem because it is annoying but lets face it, people will pay to see a movie then sit through 20 minutes of commercials, we buy a video tape or dvd and do the same thing, we are happy to sit through 5 or 6 minutes of commercials at a time on the radio so we can get back to the big 20 in a row. We watch television and are content to sit through 15 to 20 minutes of commercials an hour on both free and cable tv.

    To say that people will not look at popups is just plain wrong. Most people are ignorant to the fact that they can just click it off while its loading. Most people do not have our knowledge of how things work nor do they care. Popups are simply the internet's version of a commercial.

    Advertising agencies are not looking to just spend a company's ad budget. They know that if there is no ROI for their customer, that advertiser doesn't buy again from them.

    The dilemma that I feel most of us see is how do we keep the internet free of advertising and commercials while monetizing this medium at the same time. It is IMO impossible to balance.

    Mike

    Don't Worry Mama, It Won't Get Freaky!

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    Popups are extremely powerful. I know of several user communities where both users and webmasters despise popups. But at the end of the month, if banners have not generated enough income to pay the hosting bill, webmasters turn on popups and then post a "sorry about the popups" message to the users. And they get the money.

    And BTW, popunders are much much more powerful than popups.

    The day Microsoft incorporates popup control into Internet Explorer, like Opera did, that's the day popups are gone. A wide range of popular programs also disables cookies and/or ads as an add-on feature, some examples are Norton firewall, antivirus programs and even AdWatch, which is bundled with AdAware.

    Personally I use AdSubtract Pro, probably the best $30 I've ever spent. Why did I do it ? Because of the enormous amount of ads and popups on Cnet, PCworld and newspaper sites. When you're on dialup and it takes 30-60 seconds to load a page due to all the ads, then browsing becomes a nightmare.

    I'm convinced popups are here to stay for now, but it's the uneducated ones who pay the price of intrusive marketing.

    The question we may ask ourselves is "do we get returning visitors or not?" If we mostly get first time visitors and our goal is to redirect them to the merchants site, isn't it only logical that we should use popups too? After all, since they're not coming back anyway, why should we care about ppl getting annoyed? Executing a popup on exit which loads the page of the merchant gets us the cookie, rigth ? I've never done it, but what do you ppl think ?

    If my clients were as loyal as my dog I'd be rich
    If my dog were as loyal as my clients I'd be unhappy

  17. #17
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    I'd like to know what it is about pop ups/unders that is supposed to make them effective.

    Is it simply because they are another window or because they are intrusive/in-your-face or because they are pure add spin.

    If it's because they are pure ad-spin I think there must be more effective ways we could incorporate our regular ads within our sites to get the same results (or better).

    "I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
    - Thomas Jefferson

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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Heyder:
    Is it simply because they are another window or because they are intrusive/in-your-face
    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yes, it's because they are intrusive,

    In the old days the topbanner performed well. Then ppl learned to ignore them. Webmasters then put the banners in the middle of the text, and they performed well. Then ppl learned to ignore them too.

    Today text links are hot, Google adlinks do well because they are text links that look like search results. Popups are the most intrusive of all.Popunders are even better because they disappear before the user gets around to close them.

    If my clients were as loyal as my dog I'd be rich
    If my dog were as loyal as my clients I'd be unhappy

  19. #19
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    Popups are not affective for affiliates. When a person comes into an affiliate site, they are in a shopping mood. The best thing for an affiliate to do is to concentrate on creating a high quality user experience, and to provide the user enough information so they can make a rational purchasing decision. You do not want instrusive advertising on affiliate sites.

    The problem comes with content sites. These companies are struggling to survive. 1 sale in 100,000 page views is a good coversion rate for a good content site. I've seen sites with click through rates of less than 1 in 750,000 ads.

    Content sites either have to bastardize their content to make sales, or have more intrusive ads. In some ways, popups were a god send for content sites, since it created an ideal mechanism for separating the content of a site from the ads. Unfortunately, the one problem with this approach is that the companies really pushing popups were rather scummy...like Gator, X10 or mass email list; so adding popups tends to push scum.

    The other area where popups are extremely effective is scumware. For example, you could do a mass mailing to 5 million addresses in your scum campaign. If you call a popup in your fake unsubscribe page, you might get 50,000 pop unders from people trying to opt out of your spam. Some of these naive users will forget to close the window. With even a .1 percent conversion rate on these ads, you will get 50 sales...more than paying for the mailing. Repeat the process 10 times with 10 different fake opt out pages, and you get 500 sales! Do the math, a mere 500,000,000 emails and a fake opt out button equals 500 sales! If you make $5 per sale...that's $2500 bucks!!! Not too shabby for a few hours work, plus there's a chance you will get more people in your MLM downline, or buy your p@~!$ enlargement kit, or whatever.

    Popups can also help you manipulate stats. For example the X10 popup put X10 on the media metric 50. They effectively manipulated the ratings.

    Popups are effective whenever people are just randomly clicking through sites like porn. Buy expired domains with traffic. Install popups...it's a lucrative business.

    The final problem with popups comes with the content of the popups themselves. Turns out, the most effective content of popups are things that trick people. You press the wrong button on the popup and Gator installs, etc.. I had one that popped up in an over size page with a picture of a browser on it. I clicked the closing [x], and the program started trying to install something on my computer. I was quick enough to realize my mistake and hit reset before the download completed.

    Tricking 1 out 100,000 people into installing Gator by accident is a good deal for Gator, since that enables Gator to steal the commissions on any thing that user buys in the future.

    Missoula - Short Stories

  20. #20
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Yintercept ..you have this down to a science. Thanks to the heads up for all those who lurk here trying to find a way to beat the system and the consumer over the head with trick Ads. No wonder the folks who brought us banner blindness ..now want to super glue Ads to our CRTs on every page request.

    WebMaster Mike

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    I totally agree. Yintercept, that's one awesome post! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]

    If my clients were as loyal as my dog I'd be rich
    If my dog were as loyal as my clients I'd be unhappy

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    I STILL would like to read Andy's Reply to this thread.

    Andy: You Started it. Several posters disagree with your stance.

    Where are you?

    Doc

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    Dr-Fix-It!

  23. #23
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Doc Sawyer:
    I STILL would like to read Andy's Reply to this thread.

    Andy: You Started it. Several posters disagree with your stance.

    Where are you?

    Doc

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    http://www.dr-fix-it.com<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Doc, et all:

    I didn't write this article. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

    If you notice, it was an article that came out, i received via e-mail, and I posted it as an information piece. I knew it was a hot topic, i wanted to see reaction.

    How do i feel, well you are talking to an advertisng guy. Close to 18 years in the ad world. Print, in-store and for the past 6 years, online. Advertising is here to stay. The medium will continue to evolve and advertisers, media buyers and ad agencies will always look for ways to get the most bang for the buck.

    My personal opinion is that pop ups serve a purpose. When used properly they can communicate a message and cause a visitor to take action. When overused, they become highly annoying. I have a pop killer on all my computers, home and office.

    There will always be a mixed jury on this one, the advertisers and the consumers will always have different views.

    Now one question that was asked of me once, would you rather pay a fee to see a website that didn't run any advertising? Pops are just another way of getting the message accross. Advertising.

    What do you all think about that? I personally would rather go through a few pops and keep my surfing free......

    Andy Rodriguez,
    Online Advertising / Affiliate Marketing Manager

    TigerDirect.com
    P: (305) 415-2313
    E: andy.rodriguez@tigerdirect.com
    ICQ: 175010
    AIM: miamitigercub

  24. #24
    Defender of Truth, Justice and the Affiliate Way
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    Would I pay for ad free viewing of a site? Probably not. I have my own personal tolerance level for how much advertising I will put up with. If it is above my tolerance level, I'll just leave the site and never go back. Then I'll find another site that has what I'm looking for which is less annoying. There are just too many web sites out there for me to pay a subscription to a particular site just to not see advertising. I also don't usually pay a subscription to a site for information either. I can usually find what I want somewhere else for free. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  25. #25
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    Oh get real, Andy.

    Do you really think content site will not survive without the pop-up?

    I don't buy your pop-up_or_else_the_internet argument.

    Doc

    "I spent most of my money on
    Gambling, Whiskey and Women.
    The rest I just wasted."

    Dr-Fix-It!

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