Posted Sunday, July 4, 2004
Pop-ups, if you’re somehow, strangely, not familiar with the term, are those little windows that open when you visit certain sites.
** Generation One - The Pop-Up
Until a few years ago, the pop-up was considered the biggest breakthrough in advertising on the web.
When they were first introduced they were a great success and click-through rates went through the roof.
Imagine being able to interrupt whatever your visitor was viewing, by launching a secondary window on top of the browser window and drawing attention to your advertisement or subscription box.
But after a while - like most effective marketing tools - pop-ups started being abused.
A primary popup would open secondary pop-ups till eventually just visiting a page that has a single popup in it, could land you with a barrage of about 15 to 20 pop-ups.
Unscrupulous marketers exploited this to the fullest, especially those hawking porn sites.
Pop-ups became such a nuisance that developers created popup blocking software.
These applications delete the code that's trying to open a window - and BAM - it's bye bye popup.
** Generation Two - The Pop-Under
Not to be left behind, web marketers came up with another version, the pop-under, which launched a secondary window
under the primary window.
In most cases, the visitor didn’t even notice this pop-under until they closed the primary window.
Although less intrusive, these were still a nuisance, and you don't get an award for guessing what happened next.
Right, the pop-up blockers soon started blocking pop-unders as well.
** Generation Next - The Hover Ad
What the beejeezus is a Hover Ad?
Well, it’s a floating window that popup blockers can't stop.
The technology that creates Hover Ads is not new. In fact, it’s been available to web designers for at least 2 years now as DHTML (Dynamic HTML).
Hover Ad are DHTML layers which can be selectively moved and displayed over the primary page that's being displayed.
Hover Ad can be animated, moved around, made to appear once per session, shown after a delay, and more.
These ads don’t work with older versions of Internet Explorer. But since most netizens use browsers with IE 4.0 and above, that are capable of displaying this code, this sort of advertising is being used more often.
So, you may ask "Why should I switch from regular pop-ups to Hover Ad?"
The most compelling reason is that your pop-ups can be, and are being blocked! Hover Ads can't.
Anyone who uses the Google and Alexa (ten million users) toolbars is most probably NOT seeing your popup right now.
The Netscape 7.0 Browser (almost 52 million users) has a built in popup blocker.
Earthlink (five million users) provides its users with a popup blocker.
AOL (35 million subscribers) has released version 8.0 with Popup Blocking capabilities.
At least 40 million internet users will never see your advertisement!
You could be losing out on a lot of new subscribers and potential revenue right now.
"So how do I add Hover Ads[TM] to my website?"
Another approach is to use high end HTML editors like Dreamweaver, which have DHTML scripts included under the
"Layers" menu. But again, Dreamweaver is an expensive software.
If pop-ups are a big part of your online marketing strategy - and if you have noticed a recent drop in your subscriptions, sales and profits, you can be pretty sure that your visitors are not seeing your pop-ups anymore.
But now at least, you know you can do something about it - and soon.
About The Author
Satyajeet Hattangadi is the Owner of Novasoft Inc (http://www.novasoft-inc.com), a software solutions provider, makers of Hover Ad Generator -that creates popup blocker proof, rich media animated ads in under a minute