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Post by Rich Moy on Mar 7, 2018 12:00:00 PM

For developers who are looking to cut through the noise and get to their favorite online content, ad blockers might seem like an obvious solution. Ad blocking technologies enable them to skip past things like animations, countdown timers, and autoplay videos that affect the amount of time a page takes to load. They’re also incredibly easy to install on most browsers.

If you’re looking to advertise to developers, is it possible to convince them to turn off ad blockers? Based on what we’ve learned, the short answer is yes—and the solution might be easier than you think. Still, there are a few unique nuances to convincing developers to disable their ad blocking software. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Advertisers Need to Ask Developers to Disable Ad Blockers

Alec Gorge, a Developer here at Stack Overflow, tells us that programmers usually don’t need to be sold on the merits of disabling their ad blockers. In fact, he says that in many cases, advertisers just need to ask developers to turn them off. He adds, “As long as the request isn’t invasive, I don’t mind when I’m asked to turn off an ad blocker.”

But what does he mean by an “invasive” ask? Sure, to reach developers, you need to be transparent. At the same time, when you’re looking to get past a developer’s ad blocker, Gorge tells us that there is such thing as too much information. “Sometimes, websites will replace their ads with a sob story about why they need to monetize,” he says. “Personally, I don’t respond well to that.”

With that in mind, there are a few things you should aim to do with your copy. Restrict yourself to one or two sentences that are honest about how advertisements help you maintain your website—and keep your audience in mind as you do so. If developers frequently use your product or site, they’ll be more inclined to see ads to support you.

Be Clear About What They Can Expect After they Turn Off Their Ad Blockers

When developers consider disabling ad blockers on any site, they want to know how their experience will change if they agree to it. Will you show them ads with text, static images, and products that are relevant to them? Or should they expect animated banner ads, autoplay videos, and countdown timers that will disrupt their experience? Gorge says the answers to these questions are crucial—and if advertisers want to reach developers, they need to be upfront.

“Messages asking me to turn off ad blockers are most effective when they make promises,” he continues. “I don’t need all the details, but some advertisers have found ways to push the envelope. I want to be sure that the ads that I’ll see won’t be annoying.”

In addition to being honest about how ads boost your business, make sure to communicate what developers will see after they disable their ad blockers. If you’re already selective about your ads for developers, don’t be shy about sharing this with them. But if you do show some of their least-favorite ad formats, be transparent about this as well. You might not convince them to turn off their ad blockers today, but this will help you build trust within the developer community.