When it comes to targeting customers online and on social media, companies had better make sure their ads are relevant.
That's because irrelevant ads annoy and turn off customers, a new eMarketer report has found. And no advertisement annoys customers more than an irrelevant pop-up ad. In fact, irrelevant pop-up ads were more annoying than lottery scams, male enhancement ads and scam emails of deceased relatives asking for money. Fifty-eight percent of respondents also say that ads for products they do not need and ads for female enhancement ads were annoying.
Those annoying ads have real consequences for companies. Sixty percent of customers say they will unsubscribe from future emails after being flooded with spam. Respondents also say they will ignore future emails or leave a website if they receive spam advertisements. And last, respondents say they will also stop using the advertised product, boycott the company or tell their friends about their experiences. [Read related article: 'Hyper-Local' Ads More Effective for Small Business]
Overall, the researchers found that more than 90 percent of internet users say they have encountered annoying ads online. Though the top source of annoying advertisements is still television, social media and online ads follow close behind. More than 50 percent of Internet users say that email/sidebar ads and websites are the top sources of annoying ads. The researchers found that junk mail and social media are equal as sources of annoying ads.
"While it should be noted that many of the most annoying ad campaigns originated with the least legitimate advertisers, the reality is that all advertisers can suffer as a result of these poorly conceived and executed campaigns," the eMarketer report said. "Thoughtful marketers have to work to make sure their content is getting in front of the right people, and be careful that their messaging does not overwhelm potential customers and alienate them."
The eMarketer report was based on a March 2013 survey from InsightsOne.