A (Joyful) Farewell to the Pop-up Overlay

A (Joyful) Farewell to the Pop-up Overlay

The 1990s was a turning point for the internet. At the beginning of the decade, there were only 3 million internet users across the world. Jump forward 12 years this figure rose to 558 million. The effect this had on advertising was unprecedented.

As the internet grew, brands began to see the potential to get themselves seen on a screen other than the television. Inevitably, with this came a boom in digital advertising which has shaped the online world we now know. However, there was one type of advertising that was born out of this movement that hasn’t shaped the digital world quite as we would have liked it to.

Pop-up overlays.

The Birth of the Pop-up

The pop-up was invented in the late 1990s out of an error, which continues to happen today. A major car company found out that its ads were being served on inappropriate sites, uncannily similar to the news this year that Mercedes Benz’s ads had been placed alongside pro-terrorist content. To prevent this from happening, a team was instructed to design an ad format that could have no direct association with the site it was placed on.

And so the pop-up was born.

At the time, it represented a huge development in the advertising world. However, technology and user standards have undergone huge change since then. So much so that the inventor himself now calls it “one of the most-hated tools in the advertiser’s world”."one of the most-hated tools in the advertiser’s world"

So with the pop-up overlay now so unpopular to advertisers and users alike, what is the alternative?

Digital Assistant. The Digital Assistant solves every flaw that the pop-up overlay has, in the process creating an onsite engagement solution that the user actually wants to engage with – and better still, can help them in their path to purchase.

So why do they want to engage with it? Because, unlike the pop-up overlay, it is unobtrusive, personalised, helpful and brand native. Combine these elements together and you can offer every visitor with a user-centric solution that improves their user experience – whilst boosting your site’s  conversions.


Take a look at our onsite engagement solution, Digital Assistant, designed to help your customers find and make the purchases they want. 

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Posted by Kate Rogerson

Kate is a Copywriter and loves sports, pubs and the tech world.