Managing with Adblockers – An Enreach Guide for Publishers

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By Brian Jacobs, Founder Enreach

It is well-known that the proportion of people using a blocker to avoid online ads has increased. Hard and fast figures vary by market, by type of publisher and by demographic, but as a general rule of thumb it would seem to be somewhere between 25% and 40%

We don’t believe that anyone wakes up in the morning and decides to install a blocker. Rather those that do so are driven to do it by a number of factors, which together stop them doing whatever it is they are trying to do online. These factors might include a substantial slowing down of load times, a reduction in battery life, and consuming large proportions of a data plan.

We also believe that it is not mainstream, targeted messages that irritate, as much as untargeted irrelevant ads almost all of which are ‘placed’ automatically and with little planning thought.

How should a publisher react to blockers? There are a number of strategies.

One is to appeal directly to the person doing the blocking, pointing out firmly but politely that the publisher can only provide the free content the consumer requires if allowed to generate income from advertising. Metro Newspapers in the UK do this; as do the US books GQ and Forbes and the B2B publisher IDG.

A more extreme route, and one that we do not recommend is to threaten legal action against those providing blocking software. One or two German titles have tried this tactic, so far as we know without success. Naturally this risks alienating consumers.

In our view it is smart to give the consumer a few options. One might be to pay for the content, via a subscription or through providing a paid-for added value service (an approach favoured by The Guardian in the UK); another is to remove, or selectively remove the block via a whitelist; a third could be agreeing to provide free content despite the blocker, as long as the consumer agrees to receive a direct communication (like a newsletter) from the publisher (more appropriate to B2B and specialist publications).

When data has been released by those publishers taking action it seems (according to the title ‘AdExcahanger’) that between 30% to 40% of blockers are prepared to whitelist the publisher on request, whilst maintaining a block on non-whitelisted sites.

Different strategies appeal to different users, which makes it important for the publisher to understand the reasons why ads are being blocked in the first place (something that can be ascertained via a questionnaire).

Once a consumer has agreed to whitelist a title, or to take some other action to allow ads it is worth reviewing the site’s ad policy. Some US books have decided not to allow spaces like interstitials, which could be seen as overly disruptive to the consumer experience, at least for those who have used blockers.

Our view is that consumers are perfectly prepared to accept advertising as long as it is targeted, relevant and not disruptive to their experience with their chosen publishers.

Further that publishers can minimise the impact of adblockers through some considered and appropriate direct dialogue with the consumer doing the blocking.

About Enreach

Enreach helps publishers turn data into profit. We help you make the most of your data, and build audience segments for easy targeting and reporting. Workflows are simplified with exposure and advertising effects measured as well as documented. The whole process of planning, buying, selling and reporting digital advertising is delivered efficiently and effectively for publishers, advertisers and agencies. All accessible via simple, intuitive interfaces.

For more information please contact

Martin Brøndum Klode
Chief Marketing Officer
klode@enreach.me
+45 40 33 38 58