Pop-up ads are a powerful marketing tool, so let's take a closer look at some of the ways you can use pop-up windows on your site, and see how you can guarantee your popups bring maximum results ...
Subscription Pop-up Ads
One of the best uses of a pop-up window is eliciting subscriptions for a site's newsletter or ezine. Here a simple subscription form pops up in a small window, often automatically as the surfer enters the main page.
The most effective way employ pop-up ads like these on a multi-page site is in conjunction with cookies. The pop-up appears on the first page your visitor arrives at, and the script then puts a small file called a cookie into their browser. On subsequent pages the pop-up script checks for this cookie. If present, it won't open the pop-up again. This way you greatly reduce the possibility of annoying people.
Pop-up Ads for Collecting Prospects
You can also have a window pop up when the visitor leaves a site. Known as "exit popups" these are best employed on single page sales sites, as a back-up response when no purchase is made. Getting visitors to a Web site is often costly, and this is an excellent way to try and ensure you at least get their email address, so you can attempt to sell to them again in future.
Pop-up Ads for Increasing Revenue
Alternatively, exit popups can be used to display, different, but related offers. Affiliate programs provide an easy way to do this, though you can just as easily use other products of your own if you have them. You'll have seen this strategy in action if you've ever come across pop-up ads that say something like "We also recommend" followed by several links.
Other Ways of Marketing With Pop-ups
Automatic pop-up windows can be used for several other purposes too. You might have a window pop up to display a special offer you are running, or to highlight any information you want to be sure the surfer will notice. You can use a pop-up to display an interactive survey or quiz. You may wish to use one to entice visitors to recommend the site to a friend, or vote for it in a top sites poll. The applications are limited only by your imagination. Here's a good example (press "submit" to see the effect).
Pop-up Windows to Enhance User Experience
Pop-ups can also be used to improve visitor experience on your site, by providing additional information in an easily accessible format that leaves the main page visible, and which can be dismissed with a click of the mouse. A common example of this application are "Help" windows, opened by clicking on a link or button. Using a pop-up means that the information loads quickly, the surfer doesn't have to move back and to between pages, and they are able to refer back to the main content.
Secrets to Success With Pop-up Ads
Always use a powerful headline right at the top of your pop-up ads. List the benefits of your offer, and then make a strong call to action. You must compel people to do exactly what you want.
Make sure your pop-up ads load quickly, hopefully before people like me have chance to close them! This means keeping your HTML code to a minimum, and using no more than one graphic - if any - optimized to reduce file size.
Your popup ad also needs to correctly fit the window size you specify. As far as possible, everything should be visible without scrolling. Horizontal scrolling is a definite no-no. Mac users in particular need to take account of how much larger their popup text will appear to windows users (unless font sizes are specified in pixels).
Don't overdo it. Try to avoid having a pop-up window open on every page. This can rapidly become very annoying, particularly if it's the exact same pop-up. Don't nest many pop-ups so they appear one after another. For the average site this strategy will not work, and will guarantee the visitor never comes to your site again.
For best results, use Automatic Pop-Up Makers