Article | January 13, 2020

How Ad Blockers Are Messing With The Customer Experience

A conversation with You can attribute them to Jeff Kupietzky, PowerInbox

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Jeff Kupietzky, CEO of PowerInbox, took the time to speak with Software Business Growth about ad blockers and how they mess with the customer experience.

Q: What is behind the rise of ad blocker use by individuals?

Kupietzky: Consumers are growing increasingly aware of just how much data companies are collecting about their online searching, browsing and buying habits. While some enjoy the convenience and benefits this data collection offers—such as personalized content and targeted, just-right-for-them offers—others are more concerned with privacy and opt to use ad blockers and incognito browsing mode to avoid being tracked. Ad blockers also can offer a faster web experience and help pages load faster. This is especially true for users in rural areas where bandwidth is limited by older infrastructure.

Q: Do individuals like ad blockers? Is there a certain amount consumers are generally okay with?

Kupietzky: Despite a lot of fearmongering about adblockers, surprisingly, fewer than 1 in 3 people actually use them. For the vast majority of internet users, the benefit of personalized content outweighs the drawbacks of digital tracking. And, many recognize that for many publishers, digital ads are a primary source of revenue. Because “free” internet content isn’t really free (someone has to pay for the servers and employees to deliver that access), it often comes down to either tolerating ads or paying for content through a subscription. As it turns out, 4 out of 5 users prefer ad-sponsored content rather than paying out of pocket.

Q: How do ad blockers diminish the customer experience?

Kupietzky: By blocking ads, users are inadvertently eliminating the personalization that can provide them a better user experience. Instead of seeing content and offers specific to their interests and tastes, they’ll see random suggestions in which they have absolutely no interest, or they’ll be forced to pay for a subscription to access the content they desire. Again, free content isn’t really free; someone has to pay for it, and aside from a paywall, your data is the most valuable form of currency.

Q: What are some other options for publishers to drive revenue without taking away from the customer experience?

Kupietzky: Publishers have several options for monetizing other channels. For example, email and push notification monetization are two relatively simple ways that publishers can drive new revenue without taking away from the customer experience. By dropping personalized ads, based on known subscriber behavior and demographics, into email newsletters and push notifications, publishers can generate proven revenue without interfering with customer experience. In fact, over half of people say they’re not bothered by or even notice ads within email newsletters, and 2/3 of people actually click on the ads if they’re relevant to their interests, once again underscoring the importance of personalization.