Interstital Ads – What They Are & How To Use Them Effectively

Interstital Ads – What They Are & How To Use Them Effectively



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54.8% of all global traffic is mobile.

This means that mobile ads can be a great way to reach your ideal customers and grow your business.

Interstitial ads can help you do that if you use them correctly.

Here’s what we are going to discuss today:

  • What are interstitial ads?
  • Why do interstitial ads work so well?
  • How to get the most out of your interstitial ads?

Want to increase your mobile advertising ROI?

Continue reading…

What Are Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads are mobile ads that cover the entire screen. They can feature text, images, and video.

Typically, the ads that feature static elements can be closed immediately, meanwhile, video ads usually have a delayed close option (up to 5 seconds).

Why Do Interstitial Ads Work So Well?

Banner blindness is a phenomenon where website visitors consciously or unconsciously ignore elements that look similar to ads.

It has been observed as early as 1997 and web usability expert Jakob Nielsen has published his research on the topic a decade later.

That research confirmed that banner blindness was indeed real.

“Users almost never look at anything that looks like an advertisement, whether or not it’s actually an ad,” explained Nielsen.

Why Do Interstitial Ads Work So Well, banner blindness website heatmap research.

In 2018, usability expert Kara Pernice discussed research that showed how users don’t pay attention to in-line mobile ads.

So it’s clear that banner blindness applies not only to browsing on a computer but also browsing on mobile devices such as smartphones.

This presents a problem if you want to use paid advertising to catch the attention of your ideal customers. How can you do it when they have learned to ignore ads?

That’s where interstitial ads come in. An ad that fills the entire screen is impossible to ignore. Moreover, the delayed close option means that you have the visitor’s full attention for a few seconds.

Used correctly, interstitial ads can help you grow your business, but used incorrectly they might alienate potential customers.

When Should You Use Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads work best if they are placed at transition points within your website or your app.

For example:

Let’s say that you have a game app where the user needs to progress through all the levels in order to win the game.

The transition points between those levels are great places for displaying interstitial ads.

When Should You Use Interstitial Ads, mobile gaming transition point example.

This is the approach to interstitial ads that is recommended by Google.

When Should You Avoid Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads should not interfere with the user experience which is why you shouldn’t display them when the user:

  • Has just launched the app.
When Should You Avoid Interstitial Ads, do not use when launching an app.
  • Has decided to exit the app.
When Should You Avoid Interstitial Ads, Do not use when exiting an app.
  • Is focused on a particular task (e.g. playing the game, filling out a form, etc.).

You should also avoid using recurring interstitial ads…

When Should You Avoid Interstitial Ads, do not use recurring ads.

…as well as interstitial ads that interfere with the site’s or app’s navigation.

When Should You Avoid Interstitial Ads, do not use to interfere with an app navigation.

Note that all these practices are disallowed by Google.

Interstitial Ads That Are Exempt From Google’s Guidelines

There are three types of interstitial ads that are approved by Google despite following the disallowed practices:

  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) banners. GDPR is a legal framework that governs the collection and processing of personal information within the European Union. One of its requirements is that all websites that use cookies must obtain the visitor’s consent to do that by displaying a consent banner. This banner can be displayed as an interstitial ad when the visitor loads your website. 
  • Age verification banners. Some companies are required by law to ask the visitor to verify their age, meanwhile, other companies choose to do so out of concern for the well-being of minors. An age verification banner can be displayed as an interstitial ad when the visitor loads your website. Consider using one if you think that your content is not suitable for people under the age of 18.
  • Paywalls. With the advertising model becoming increasingly unsustainable, more and more media outlets choose to place their content behind paywalls and charge their readers a monthly fee for access. A paywall banner can be displayed as an interstitial ad when the visitor loads your website. This approach might alienate people, though.

How To Create an Interstitial Ad That Converts

Okay, so now you know when to use interstitial ads. But how can you make them persuasive?

Here are three tips:

Use a Pattern Interrupt Hook

Interstitial ads are bound to get noticed because of how they work, but that doesn’t mean that the potential customer will necessarily pay attention to them.

Banner blindness applies to this type of ad as well. When someone is shown an interstitial ad, their first impulse is to close it. You have probably experienced this yourself.

That’s why you want to use a pattern interrupt. It can be anything that makes the potential customer stop in their tracks and do a double-take. it’s how you get people to pay attention instead of automatically closing the ad.

Here are three pattern interrupt ideas:

  • A shocking statement. Say something controversial that goes against the consensus of your industry. Just be careful about being offensive. It’s okay to be cocky, it’s not okay to be hurtful.
  • A baffling statement. Say something so weird that it will make the potential customer curious to learn more. This approach works best when you do some bizarre experiment (e.g. “I ate nothing but pancakes for 365 days. Here’s what happened”). 
  • An impressive data-backed statement. We are all impressed by extraordinary results and we all want to know how they were achieved. Have an impressive accomplishment under your belt? Then you might want to use that to catch the potential customer’s attention. It works best when you use concrete numbers  (e.g. “I made $X in Y amount of time”, “I lost X kilograms in Y amount of time”, etc.).

You also want the copy to be accompanied by an attention-grabbing image or an attention-grabbing video.

Note that in the latter case super casual “I shot this with my iPhone” style videos can work well because they look less like ads and more like YouTube videos that people are already accustomed to watching.

The purpose of a pattern interrupt is to serve as a hook that gets the potential customer interested in your story which in turn allows you to transition into making your offer.

Here’s how our co-founder Russel Brunson explains the Hook, Story, Offer framework:

Focus on the #1 Benefit of Your Offer

One of the most important concepts in copywriting is the distinction between features and benefits:

  • A feature is a quality or a function of a product (e.g. “These shoes are waterproof”).
  • A benefit is a value that the customer will derive from that product (e.g. “These shoes will keep your feet dry”).

Entrepreneurs often make the mistake of emphasizing features instead of focusing on the benefits in their ad copy.

What you want to do is focus on the #1 benefit of your offer in your interstitial ads. How will it make the potential customer’s life better? Make that crystal clear to them.

Have a Benefit-Driven Call-to-Action

Every ad needs a call to action that tells the potential customer what they should do next.

These calls to action are often generic, with copy like “Click Here”, “Download”, “Subscribe”, etc.

You can make your ads more effective by using a benefit-driven copy instead. Say, instead of “Download”, you can say “Get My Free Book”. Much more persuasive, right?

How Can You Get the Most Out of Interstitial Ads?

The three tips that we have shared above will help you get more people to click on your ads. But what then?

What often happens with pay-per-click paid advertising is this:

Entrepreneurs get potential customers to visit their websites…

But then they don’t quite know what to do with those visitors, so potential customers end up leaving and never coming back. What a waste of ad spend!

But there’s no need to stumble in the dark hoping that you will somehow manage to persuade the person who clicked on your ad to buy your product.

There’s a better way…

Meet The Value Ladder Sales funnel

Our co-founder, Russel Brunson, has created a system for converting site visitors into leads, leads into paying customers, and paying customers into repeat customers.

It’s called the Value Ladder sales funnel.

Here’s how it looks like:

Meet The Value Ladder Sales funnel graphic.

There are four stages:

  • Bait. You offer the potential customer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
  • Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
  • Middle. You offer the customer a more valuable and more expensive product. 
  • Backend. You offer the customer your most valuable and most expensive product.

The reason why the Value Ladder sales funnel works so well is that it allows you to gradually build trust with that person by:

  1. Continuing to provide free value.
  2. Offering increasingly more paid value at each stage.

Here’s how Russel explains it:

But what does this have to do with interstitial ads?

The #1 Paid Advertising Mistake

You see, the most common mistake that entrepreneurs make with interstitial ads, or any ads for that matter, is using the ad to pitch their product.

But people rarely buy products the moment they hear about them. Sure, they might click through to your website to check it out, but they are unlikely to make the purchase.

And because their lives are so hectic and full of distractions, they will probably forget about your product the moment they leave your website.

However, if instead of trying to sell them something, you offer them a freebie in exchange for their email address, they are much more likely to say “Yes”.

After all, providing free value is a much better way to start a relationship than saying “Yo, here’s my stuff, now buy it”.

And once you have their email address, they have entered your sales funnel. This means that you can then continue nurturing that relationship by offering them both free and paid value.

At first glance, this approach might seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually much more effective than pitching your product right away.

A Lead Magnet + One Product Is Enough To Get Started!

When people see the Value Ladder blueprint, they often feel overwhelmed because they assume that if they want to implement this sales funnel in their business, they need to have:

  1. A lead magnet.
  2. A frontend product.
  3. A middle product.
  4. A backend product.

But you can get started with just:

  1. A lead magnet. 
  2. A frontend product.

Set up the first two stages of the Value Ladder, then build the rest later. What matters is that you get a sales funnel in place.

Keep in mind that the general rule is this:

Any sales funnel is better than no sales funnel at all.

So don’t let perfectionism get in your way. Start with what you already have. Then add more products to your Value Ladder as you go along.

Want Russell To Teach You How To Build Your First Sales Funnel?

Let’s keep it real:

Building a sales funnel from scratch can seem like a daunting task.

That’s why we have created our 5 Day Challenge where Russel walks you through it step-by-step.

You will learn how to:

  • Generate unlimited leads.
  • Create your first lead magnet.
  • Build your first sales funnel.
  • Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
  • And launch your funnel!

…in just five days.

So don’t hesitate.

Join our 5 Day Challenge. It’s completely free!



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