An Open Letter to Internet Advertisers and Websites Who Think Ads Are Helping Them

Subject: An Open Letter to Internet Advertisers and Websites Who Think Ads Are Helping Them
From: An Internet Dweller
Date: 5 May 2018
Frustrated by dumb internet ad strategies

I’m not buying the things being advertised in your ads. I’m not too curious about the other articles linked on the side which jut out into my reading space. Your soundless news video insert isn’t helping me learn anything that I can’t find out from the article I’m trying to read, or other articles listed elsewhere. Your pop up ads make me click off your site. If I try again to return to your site, I am reminded of why, despite the interesting link title, I did not go through with reading it (hint: the pop ups). (Yes. I know how to enable my pop-up blocker. No, it is not enough).

I’m not going to spend half an hour signing up to pay you real-world dollars from my bank account right off the bat, so don’t ask. I don’t care that you are trying to block me from reading your article with your paywall —I’ll find a different way, or maybe I don’t care that much. Stop trying to shove a huge movie trailer or drop-down banner on top of the main article — I know that movies exist and that they come to theaters on certain dates. If I wanted to know I would look them up. Turning on audio ads that sneak attack me while I’m on another tab reading or watching something else will not convince me that the ad has anything important to say. Your news website that is a bottomless pit of square-shaped tabloid ads is a really stupid idea for real people who want to scroll to find links for contacts, addresses, mapsite, or the name of your web-host and web designer. Having advertisers when those advertisements are trash is the worst decision of all for your website if it is a news site. It’s literally #fakenews.

Stop thinking that a scroll-following pop-up ad will convince me that I want that ad more than the article I am attempting to read. Making me pay money right off the bat to not see ads in my face means you are really clueless about how advertising works. All of these things make me hate your website and I will probably never visit it again if I remember to, or I will visit less as you increase your ads. (You may be saying, “not as many visitors, therefore more ads needed!” That’s like being in debt and applying for more credit cards. Keep digging if you wish.)

I’m not anti ads or anti- you needing to support your website. However, if you’re buying into all the tricks of the advertising companies to make you take their ads, you’re doing it wrong. Don’t laugh you, you other person. This also applies if you are embedding huge videos or pictures or picture-scrollers into your website articles thinking you are being really savvy. You’re not. It means you are over-integrating functionality, when just the article might do.

Websites DO need money to run (this isn’t an ad transition. Being real here). What should you do?

1. Design a cleaner website with less ads, or keep ads confined to one area (top only, right-left sides only), but not both or all at once. Do not surround your potential (potential) regular visitor and customer with ad-givitis (this is the disease you have). Everything has a real-world counterpart, right? The ice cream truck may drive through your neighborhood with music playing, but they do not park in front of your house and honk their horn while playing Death Metal really loud in order to make you buy an ice cream cone. Neither should you.

2. Only allow one kind of ad (the immovable, audio-option only, non-following kind) on your website.

3. Build the website, not the ads.

4. Ask for money on the side, on the top right hand corner where I naturally see it and may think about actually doing it. “YOU MUST PAY!!!” means I definitely won’t. “Purchase Here” means I might.

5. Advertising does work, but it doesn’t work that hard.