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Answered: Your Most Burning Questions about Pop Ads

by    |    Nov 10, 2018    |       3 min read

Love them or hate them, you have to give credit to pop ads for the publicity they attract. Being with us since the early days of online advertising, they are known to cause a debate, but you’d be pressed to question their staying power. If you are a user, you will unavoidably ask yourself if you want to see them at all, while marketers will focus on the same issue in an effort to balance between the revenue they provide and the user experience they wish to offer. Thankfully, there is a middle ground to keep all sides happy, which we’ll discuss in this post together with other most interesting questions you may have about pop ads.

Are they really that annoying?

Publishers who want to use pop ads on their site will usually have no problem to put themselves in the shoes of their visitors and ask themselves: do I really want to see these ads myself? The dreaded usual answer to this is that pop ad has the potential to be the annoying, intrusive and less loved child among the advertising formats. But there is a twist – they will be so only if you use them incorrectly, which is the main reason why they suffer from a case of a long-term bad reputation.

However, you can easily avoid misusing this ad type and actually manage to tap into their full potential, which means solid conversion rates and high visibility. The first prerequisite is to avoid making mistakes that have to do with placing pop ads that bear no relevance to the general context, suffer from poor timing and even worse placement.

How do I make them palatable?

The answer to this is rather straightforward: you need to infuse your pop ads with quality context. Yes, the thing which allows your content to breathe and deliver its message in an adequate environment. Just as you would do for your content, you can give the same treatment to your pop ads. They will surely reward you with better results if they work in unison with the rest of the elements that form the general intent of your webpage. You can, for example, choose to place pop ads that present special offers to your visitor only on select few pages that actually describe them.

Thus, you will achieve the needed unity of efforts regarding your content, context, and ads. Just remember that the information you convey through your pop ads has to be relevant to what you offer on the web page on which you display them, as well as be aligned with them. You can, for example, have a pop ad for a newsletter subscription on the page featuring a relevant blog post. Also, some pages may feature particular topics which you can adorn with pop ads offering an ebook or a course about the very same subject. You have to ensure relevance even for the headline you present in your pop ads, paired with the need to make them as clear as possible when it comes to delivering their desired message.

Can someone help me with ensuring the relevance of ads?

Thankfully, the answer to this is even simpler. Showing sufficiently contextual ads depends on your ability to find an adequate business partner that can supply you with them. RevenueHits, for example, uses advanced algorithms capable of researching both your audience and the context of your web asset, with a single goal of offering you only top-notch marketing performance. Aided by geotargeted ad-serving technology, this advertising network offers a fully customized inventory consisting of high-performance ads fully in line with the context in which you intend to place them.

Do pop ads offer satisfactory conversion rates?

Do not worry about the rewards for the effort you invest in pop ads, as going after contextually relevant ads can yield conversion rates of over 40%. Adjust your expectations accordingly, as these ads, on average, offer a conversion rate of 3.09%. But, with a trick or two, you can replicate the results of an experiment in which lightbox pop-ups provided 1,375% better conversions in blog subscriptions compared to sidebar forms.

By their very nature, these ads offer high visibility, which can help with boosting revenue from the existing traffic on the website, particularly if it originates from developed countries. RevenueHits, for example, offers opening an ad window behind the one used for browsing, which renders it visible even after the windows or tabs close.

At the same time, you can experiment with pop ads that offer great visuals, such as those with bright colors, as described in the experiment. Finally, you can always go for the best option: have them feature giveaways for your visitors, such as discounts, content upgrades or promotional offers.

conversion rate for pop-ups header

The average conversion rate for pop-ups is 3.09%
Image Credit: SumoMe

Are they a source of malware?

Pop ads are sometimes confused with the format often used for the proliferation of malware. This comes as the result of a false notion that malware infection often manifests when pop ads appear on your screen while browsing the web. In reality, as long as you visit regular sites, these ads are perfectly safe and sourced from legitimate advertising inventories which help web owners protect their revenues.

In order to avoid this misconception, you’ll do well to ensure that they remain as clean as a whistle in addition to securing their relevance. This usually means partnering with a network that upholds strict standards when it comes to prohibiting the promotion of dubious content via ads, as well as exposing the visitors to unsafe advertising practices such as the use of redirects, inappropriate tags or infected landing pages. RevenueHits, for example, demands its advertisers to sign an agreement forcing them to abstain from using ads featuring content promoting child or adult pornography, racial and ethnic hatred or any other objectionable materials. The same goes for its zero-tolerance policy regarding dishonest advertising practices that can hurt your reputation and marketing efforts.


Pop ads sometimes face unfounded hostility that stems from the lack of knowledge about how to handle them most efficiently. This usually relates to their lack of relevance to the content and context of the pages on which they appear. At the same time, you need to consider timing and placing them intelligently and intuitively. These ads are often mistaken as a source of malware infestation, making it necessary to focus on upholding a clean advertising policy. Understanding how to utilize these ads to their fullest potential will provide the best results in conversion rates and revenues only if you find a quality advertising partner to help you follow your vision through to its very end.

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