Are Interstitial Ads “successful” due to fat-fingers?

Folks who have worked in launching mobile marketing campaigns would be familiar with the term Interstitial Ads.

What are Interstitial Ads?

Those pesky ads which take up the entire screen space in the middle of an app or a website. Yes, the ones which block the content underneath and make you click on the small cross in some corner of the ad.

That’s what interstitial ads are. As an end user, I hate those type of ads. In fact these type of ads are one of the reasons why I feel compelled to root my Nexus 5. So I can install an ad blocker!

Why do marketers use them?

Interstitial Ads are known for their higher Click Through Rates (CTR). These are also one method via which a marketer can do in-app targeting.

How high a CTR could you get from Interstitials you ask, well how about 10% … how about 20%?

Yes. Imagine a 20% CTR in search ads … #swims in money like Scrooge McDuck#

Awesome right?

Think again

Have you noticed someone playing an app such as Candy Crush or Subway Surfer? I look at my children playing these games and what they do when using these apps teaches me a thing or two about advertising.

A lot of times when they are playing, and when they are shown an interstitial ad, they move to close the ad. However, half of those times they end up click on the ad. They do not even bother closing the page that pops-up, they move on playing the app.

Once they are done with the app, they simple close the browser (which has by now 10-15 landing page tabs open).

Fat Fingers

This behavior where the user by mistake clicks on the ad instead of the close button is called Fat Finger.

The problem with this use case is that the user gets even more irritated with the app and with the advertiser. Do you think such a user will convert on the landing page?

It will most likely bounce.

In fact, to those marketers who find Interstitial Ads successful, do a check and find what is your landing page bounce rate … it will be fairly high. How does that landing page perform in terms of conversion rate (clicks to lead) vis-a-vis pages in your other campaigns?