Even worse, the bad feelings arent limited to the companies advertising through pop-ups. The Bunnyfoot study also shows that users resent the Web sites that run pop-up advertising—so much so that theyll stop visiting those sites.
So, your Web site is running an advertisement that is driving away visitors, which will, in turn, cause companies to stop advertising on your site. Thats a great way to generate revenue. I sure hope the pop-up advertisers are paying you enough to make up for the rest of your lost ad dollars.
To me, the Bunnyfoot study is simply stating the obvious. Before I started using pop-up blockers, I discontinued visits to any site that caused a wave of pop-ups on my system, and I know many other people who did the same. But its nice to have a cold, hard study to validate what seems logical to most of us.
The Bunnyfoot study might also provide ammunition for Web site administrators who instinctively have known that pop-ups were driving down site traffic. They now have backup they can take into meetings with executives and sales staff. Armed with the good news that other forms of Web-based advertising are actually working, site administrators might just stand a chance of getting rid of pop-ups. After all, does any company want to advertise using methods that will have a negative effect on sales?
Sadly, however, we all know that pop-ups arent the worst of our online advertisement worries. If a pop-up that can easily be closed is creating negative feelings among users, imagine how they must feel about TV-like ads that block site content and are difficult—if not nearly impossible—to shut down.
Heres a piece of advice for anyone hoping to see revenue and garner affinity: If you have to question whether people will hate a new form of Web-based advertising, they probably will. And hate tends to sour customer relationships.
eWeek Labs Director Jim Rapozas e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.