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42% of People Use Ad Blockers in 2023: What Can Marketers Do?

42% of People Use Ad Blockers in 2023_ What Can Marketers Do

“What a wonderful day, let me browse the internet, and take a look at a bunch of ads”, said no one ever.

Yeah, ads are annoying.

Back in the day, TV commercials were technically unskippable, always irritating viewers by interrupting their favorite shows with what felt like an eternity of products and service promotions.

Naturally, with the rise of the internet, advertisements have followed suit.

Yet, there is one major difference: users can block online ads by using ad blockers.

That’s just what 42.7% of people are doing – blocking ads, with desktop ad blocking having over 290 million monthly active users.

From a marketing perspective, this sounds disastrous, and begs the question: what can we do to persuade users to turn off their ad blockers?

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What Are Ad Blockers?

Ad blockers are specialized software that filter, or completely stop, online advertisements in web browsers. Most commonly, they come in the form of browser extensions/add-ons and are easy to use.

You just need to choose one, add it to your browser, and within a few clicks, you get an advertisement-free online experience.

Here’s a quick comparison of how TheNewYorkTimes looks with and without an ad blocker:

Looks much better without ads, right? The best part is that you can remove advertisements not only on news websites, but also on literally every type of website, and, yes, that includes YouTube.

Some of the most popular ad blocking tools include AdBlocker Ultimate, uBlock Origin, Total AdBlock, and AdGuard. And all of them work, in more or less, the same manner.

The good news for marketers is that users have the option to disable their ad blockers when visiting websites. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done.

So, let us dig deeper into the reasons why consumers choose to use ad blockers, and how we can convince them to let us advertise to them.

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Why Do People Use Ad Blockers?

Why Do People Use Ad Blockers

In order to find out how to encourage people to disable their ad blocking software, we must first understand why they use that software in the first place.

A HubSpot Adblock Plus study found that, to no surprise, most people decide to block all ads, because they are annoying.

Here’s the full breakdown of the study:

  • 64% of people use an ad blocker, because ads are annoying/intrusive.
  • 54% state that ads interrupt them when they are busy.
  • 39% use ad blockers, due to security concerns.
  • 36% rely on blocking ads for a better page loading time.
  • 33% do not want to see offensive/inappropriate ads.
  • 32% block ads to have more privacy.
  • 22% stop ads for reduced data usage on their mobile devices.
  • 18% don’t like helping businesses that make money from their browsing.
  • 8% turn off ads for ideological reasons.

What’s the takeaway from this data? Around two thirds of ad block users dislike annoying and invasive advertisements that distract them from their browsing.

Additionally, a lot of people are concerned about their online privacy and security, and some simply want an improved website loading speed.

While 32% of ad blocker users state they would not stop using it, no matter what, others are more willing to consider whitelisting your website, if certain conditions are met.

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Turning off Ad Blockers: What Can Marketers Do to Convince Users?

What Can Marketers Do to Convince Users to Turn Off Their Ad Blockers

  1. Be Polite and Understanding
  2. Provide an Ad-Free Version of Your Site
  3. Set a Fixed Priced for No or Light Ads
  4. Change Your Advertising Strategy

1. Be Polite and Understanding

The first thing you should do in this situation is to change your mindset, and think from a user’s perspective. Be honest with yourself, you also don’t like seeing ads, just like any other person.

Therefore, it would be counterproductive to adopt an aggressive attitude towards people that simply cannot stand annoying ads.

In fact, if faced with a choice: 28% of users would stop visiting a website that restricts ad blockers, or requires users to disable their ad blocker.

This just proves the theory that a high-pressure anti-ad block strategy will not do your business much good.

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2. Provide an Ad-Free Version of Your Site

A lot of users would actually agree to turn off their ad blocking software if the website is willing to provide an ad-free version.

What is more, people are okay with paying a fee to use a website that does not have intrusive ads, or is very light on ad placement.

For example, YouTube Premium is a paid version of YouTube, which gives an ad-free video-watching experience to users.

What’s more, this strategy seems to have paid off, since YouTube Premium already has 80 million active monthly users, which is huge, compared to the 10 million subscribers the platform had in 2018.

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3. Set a Fixed Priced for No or Light Ads

According to the HubSpot Adblock Plus study, 15% of people are okay with stopping an ad blocking tool, if the website has an option to pay a fixed price, or subscription to get a version of it that displays fewer ads.

Think about it. Users that do not want annoying ads don’t necessarily want to sabotage your business and how you make money. Try giving them an alternative instead.

For instance, you could place a CTA, designed specifically for ad block users. You can give them the option to support you in another way, since they do not want to see advertisements.

Put a link, leading to a page, where people can pay you a small fee on a weekly or monthly basis. Let your readers know that you rely on their financial backing, and how much you appreciate their support.

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4. Change Your Advertising Strategy

When all is said and done, sometimes you must admit that what you are currently doing is not working, and you should adopt a new approach.

In this scenario, let’s say you have tried various tactics to motivate people to disable ad blockers, and none of them have worked particularly well. Your website is supposed to earn from advertising, however that simply isn’t happening.

Forget about the traditional advertising model, and start thinking about a method that would work better for your business. There are a lot to choose from. In fact, here are some examples:

  • SEM. Search engine marketing is a way of increasing your websites’ visibility through paid advertising. You target certain keywords, and pay to appear among the top SERPs, which allows you to target users with a high purchase intent.
  • Social ads. Advertising on social media is based on the PPC model. Social ads, however, provide more possibilities to personalize your ads, based on the people you want to reach. What is more, you ensure that your advertisements will be displayed only to users that have specific interests related to your product or service.
  • Email marketing. Emails are one of the most effective ways to promote yourself. They have one of the highest conversion rates, and are quite flexible, giving you the opportunity to adapt, and attract loyal customers.
  • Influencer marketing. People might not want to see ads…unless it’s their favorite celebrity that endorses a product or service. Influencers and micro influencers are a great way to promote your business, without irritating users.
  • Native advertising. This type of advertising, also called sponsored content, is way less intrusive than banner ads, for example. It is basically paid content which appears on a platform, and matches the form and function of said platform.
  • Amazon advertising. Amazon is the go-to-place for shoppers, so it makes sense to advertise there. On top of that, the platform gives you the opportunity to place ads at the right time and in the right place, which results in higher conversion rates.
  • Contests. Running contests is a great way to attract attention to your brand, and encourage users to interact with it, at least for a short period of time.
  • Discounts and promotions. Limited-time offers always tempt people. While you should only use this tactic once in a while, it can help generate a huge customer base, and could do wonders for your startup.
  • Guerilla marketing. Are you ready for marketing warfare? Guerilla marketing advertising tactics rely on being flexible and creative, while focusing on a niche market, making it a good choice for small businesses.
  • Loyalty programs. The main goal of loyalty programs is to develop long-term relationships with your customers, and encourage them to make repeat purchases. If executed correctly, you may even attract brand ambassadors to your business, and reduce your overall costs for acquiring new customers.

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We can all understand people that use ad blockers, because, let’s face it: more often than not, advertisements are quite simply annoying and disruptive. So why not block all ads, then?

Businesses must adapt to this way of thinking, and find better ways to promote themselves. The good news is that there are digital advertising strategies that work far better than annoying pop-up or banner ads.

Last but not least, keep in mind that DevriX offers digital marketing services. This means that you can always rely on us, especially if you’re not quite sure how to execute your marketing strategy in the best possible way.

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