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Pop-up advertising has gotten a pretty negative rap over the years. Maybe that’s due in part to the 90s, when pop-ups would frequently flood your browser window, unfettered by blockers or anti-virus software. Perhaps pop-up ads deserve their negative connotation; they’re intrusive, gaudy, and difficult to escape from. But when properly implemented, pop-ups can effectively direct your Web traffic to a particular Web page, generate more lead information, and spread brand awareness.

Since the Internet boom, marketers have tried to figure out a way to send a message to consumers without alienating them with annoying and flashy ads. Pop-under advertising is a slightly different (and less intrusive) take on the same concept. These ads are hidden behind your browser window and are only seen when the visitor exits a Web page. Netflix, Orbitz, and Priceline are famous, current examples of companies that use this kind of advertising – and they’ve historically frustrated their audience with these tactics. But do they work?

As the automotive industry’s premiere live chat provider, we utilize a variety of tools to increase visitor-to-chat conversion. One of these tools (ActivInvite) is a personalized, talking pop-up message that invites visitors to engage us in a chat conversation. We decided to test the effectiveness of our own pop-up invitations. After comparing before-and-after data from the hundreds of dealers who use our pop-up invitation, we found an average increase in chat conversion of 23% –  and some dealers saw an increase of almost 70%!

The moral of this story is that pop-up ads – though universally despised and reviled – actually work, proving once again that empirical testing of web strategies is the only way to evaluate them. Though you might hate pop-ups, don’t discount them as ineffective or useless. The most successful marketers are data driven; they embrace new ways to reach their goals.

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Tags: ads, pop-up

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