In the mid 90s, Tripod programmer Ethan Zuckerman invented the popup, kick-starting an advertising trend that would grow to shape the internet of that time. Now it is 2017, more than two decades on. Advertorial popups are no longer a trend, but we're all living in the age of the email signup popup.
"Lightboxes", "modals", "opt-ins" - whatever you call them. These are first-party widgets that are helping content marketers weaponize their content. Some vendors say their "exit-intent" popups will boot conversions by 600% while others promise to make you $82,125 more per year. Either way, the popup industry is booming, and bringing controversy with it.
Here's where you need to help. We all know the story of the old popup; including when it started and where it was born. But this is what we don't know - the email signup popup's origin story.
What was the first email signup popup you saw? Email me firstname.lastname@example.org or post it on the comments of whatever reddit, hackernews or so-forth sent you here! Help us work together to uncover the story.
Are you curious just like me? If so, make sure to share this article so we can get to the bottom of this story!
Hero image adapted from >Ninja Popups