Cheesy Pick-Up Lines & Pop-Ups – A Comparison

I always say that sales and marketing are a lot like dating and relationships. To market your business and sell your products, you need to develop a relationship with your customer, way before they even become your customer. Selling – just like dating – isn’t easy! Every interaction counts.
While the same fundamentals apply to both, the rules aren’t black and white. Sure, it’s important that you’re honest, empathetic, friendly, and attractive… but every relationship is different.
Think of your marketing efforts like trying to win someone over, hoping to get them to go on a date with you, maybe a relationship, and ultimately marry you (if you’re into that type of thing!)
I could go on and on about the fundamentals… but today I want to focus on your first interaction – how you approach someone you want to develop a relationship with. This often that starts with your opening line, or with a pop up on your website.
Let’s start by looking at a few pickup lines…


Pick up lines are rarely a good idea. Sure, they can be a good icebreaker, especially if you approach them in a fun way, with a sense of humor. However, they could also take you from “unnoticed” to “not a chance”


What do cheesy pickup lines and pop-ups ads have in common?

We’ve all heard them – just about every single one… and for the most part, we just roll our eyes and ignore them.

“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put I next to U.”


“Want to receive the BEST tips and news about ___ straight to your inbox?”


Source: Cracked

Not again…

The thing is… there are so many of them, you hear them all the time, and they’re (for the most part) unoriginal, and so unsexy.
Let’s go through a few more…
“Did it hurt?” … “When you fell from heaven?”
“Is there an airport nearby; or is that just my heart taking off?”
“Hi I’m Mr. Right, somebody said you were looking for me?”
“Do you have a map? I keep getting lost in your eyes.”
“Am I dead? Because I think I just met an angel.”


Do pop up ads work?

Hmm… I mean, if it was a great ad or a great pickup line, at a good time, coming from someone who is cute and genuine… it could! Certainly, it could – you just might give out your phone number.
Same with pop up ads – some of them stop you in your tracks. You think “mmm, this is cute and original… I like it – sure, you can have my email address – I might like to see you pop into my inbox”

It’s not just cheesy pickup lines and pop-ups though…

The same goes for overplayed songs – maybe it was a great song, but by the time you’ve heard it for the 1,000th time in the radio your reflexes kick in and you automatically tap next in Spotify or change the radio station.

We all want newness, we want to be surprised, and we want to see something we’ve never seen before… but even a little variation is appreciated!

What happens if you hear a creative pick up line, or a cover of that overused song? It might be a slight variation of the same thing, but you might stop and notice it for a moment.

However, if you feel that the experience is completely generic, you’ll probably just be annoyed and X out or say byeeeee.


How we perceive pop up ads

The way we react to anything overused is about the same… unless it comes from a source we really like – in that case, we might be able to look past the fact that it’s sort of unoriginal. 

I mean, would you roll your eyes at Ryan Gosling?

Would you hit “next” on your favorite artist’s overplayed song?

My point here is that we usually ignore those really cheesy lines, just like we x out of most pop ups, unless they come from someone we really like.

Because it’s boring, it’s overused, it’s not personalized, and it doesn’t make you feel special. We have to really like someone enough to be blindsided by an un-personalized experience.
The problem isn’t the act itself, it’s the execution.
There’s nothing wrong with someone showing interest in you and asking for your phone number, and there’s nothing wrong with offering to provide more value to your customers.
If you execute correctly, you might just succeed.

How to succeed: a pop up advertising strategy

The same fundamentals apply to both pickup lines and pop up ads:
• Have a good presentation
• Be sincere
• Be engaging
• Use humor when appropriate
I can’t stress the presentation enough! Designing an attractive pop up is the equivalent of wearing your best outfit, popping a few breath mints, spritzing some perfume on, and doing your hair – these won’t seal the deal, but they will definitely help you get their attention! The small details add up.
Next, you need to be sincere. Your looks will only get you so far. You’ll need to be engaging, sincere, or humorous (ideally, all of the above!). Sincerity is #1 though – when all else fails, just be sincere, be you, and be honest.

Credit: Adam Jang

At the end of the day, what matters is that people like you for you. You’re not helping yourself or anyone by putting up a front and acting like something you’re not… because you’ll end up losing them at some point.
Make sure that the way you begin that relationship is representative of the type of person you are.
Which situation do you think would yield a higher chance of success:
A. 1 date with someone who likes you for you
B. 5 dates with people who don’t like you for you
Sure, 5 is more… but if you don’t turn out to be what they expected, you probably won’t marry any of them. Plus, going on those 5 dates reduces the amount of time and resources you have available to dedicate to that one “right” person.

Pop ups – yes or no?

Don’t get me wrong… we DO encourage you to use pop up ads. However, you have to do them right! The one advantage you have when adding a pop up to the site is that you already know that the person is at least slightly interested in you, as they’re on your website for a reason.
So focus on being the best you that you can be, on providing value, being honest and real… and remember that the quality of the leads is more important than the number of leads!
Want to learn more about pop up advertising? Click here to read our article on pop-ups for examples, tips, and strategies to use in your ad efforts.