Most users of the mobile web will agree, many mobile websites, by virtue of the number and style of advertisements, are rendered unusable. Not virtually unusable, not nearly unusable but truly and literally unusable. We all know what happens next with such a poor user experience; that’s correct, the user abandons the site. There are many problems with mobile advertising.
Either the ads are so intrusive (see USA Today screenshot to the right) that the user just calls it quits and abandons or worse, the abandon occurs before the ads actually become visible. The advertiser, perhaps, is paying for ads that are never seen.
Even when an ad fully loads, the advertiser still may be paying for nothing. Take a look at this screenshot from CookInCanuk and get back to me if you can figure out what the brand is or even what kind of product is being advertised. Annoying to the target audience and a waste of budget for the advertiser.
Make no doubt of this, with ads like these, both the advertiser and the publisher run the risk of being cast in the bad light of a poor user experience and the subsequent, and very real, association of their brand with a bad experience.
DomainNameWire.com seems have gotten it right from a user experience perspective. Don’t have access to their metrics but suspect they got it right from the effectiveness perspective as well.
While reading an article on a new Verisign patent, a popup appeared mid-screen which did not come across as disruptive or overly intrusive and I read it before I Xed it out.
But why? It fits the profile of annoying mobile ads: popped up unexpectedly, stops the reader from continuing the article. So what makes this ad effective?
Let’s Break Down Why This Mobile Ad Works
- The ad popped mid-screen, under my "swiping thumb". Allows the reader to continue reading the top paragraph (which is most likely where they are when the ad deploys)
- The transition was smooth and did not “pop” like a firecracker in my face
- Chartreuse seems to be the color of choice for many (bad) DIY designers building their own websites. However in this case its selection seems to have been a professional and effective tactical decision. Bright enough that it was noticed, mellow enough to ensure minimum disruption
- Ad Copy and White Space
- Minimum copy with plenty of white space made it very easy to read…quickly
- Clear and Simple Call to Action
- Sign Up for a Newsletter, no less, no more
- Easy to Close
- Not interested, no problem; the X to close the ad was clearly visible and easy to use
To paraphrase Steve Krug, ‘it didn’t make me think’, and that’s the key to the ads success.
While it did increase Interaction Cost for the site overall, it was so minimal it was negligible. The audience doesn’t have to think and that enables the advertiser’s ability to deliver its message.