Lightbox Ads – Everything That You Need To Know About Them

Lightbox Ads – Everything That You Need To Know About Them

We live in an attention economy.

And the competition for this finite resource is more fierce than ever.

So how can you capture the potential customer’s attention and hold it long enough to convey the value that you offer?

Lightbox ads can help you with that.

Here’s what we are going to discuss today:

  • What are Lightbox ads?
  • Why should you use Lightbox ads?
  • How does Lightbox ads bidding work?
  • How to create a Lightbox ad?
  • Top 3 tips for creating effective Lightbox ads.

Want to learn how to get the potential customer to stop what they are doing and pay attention to your message?

Continue reading

What Are Lightbox Ads?

Lightbox ads are a type of ads that appear on Google Display Network (GDN) which consists of over 2 million sites and reaches over 90% of people on the Internet.

What differentiates Lightbox ads from other ad types is that they are initially displayed as banner ads but then expand once the visitor hovers over them, clicks on them, or taps them.

You can use both images and videos for these ads, including various media assets that you already have in your marketing chest such as YouTube videos.

Here’s a video from 2014 in which Google introduced the concept of Lightbox ads:

Google’s technology has progressed tremendously since then but the main idea behind Lightbox ads remains the same to this day.

Why Should You Use Lightbox Ads?

You might be wondering why should you use lightbox ads instead of regular ads.

Here are three key reasons that you might want to consider:

  1. They are interactive.
  2. They are engaging. 
  3. They grab the potential customer’s attention.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these points…

#1 They Are Interactive

The potential customer needs to click on the ad, tap the ad, or hover over the ad in order to expand it and learn more about your offer.

This makes for a better user experience than pop-ups. We can probably all agree that those can be incredibly intrusive and annoying.

Meanwhile, Lightbox ads feel more respectful, since you are asking for the potential customer’s permission to tell them more about your company.

This is a much better way to start a relationship with them.

#2 They Are Engaging

You can use videos in your lightbox ads which makes them more engaging than static ads that use only images and text.

Presenting your message in the video format is a great idea because today this medium is more popular than ever.

#3 They Grab the Potential Customer’s Attention

Lightbox ads help you grab the potential customer’s attention.

Once the potential customer expands the ad by interacting with it, the ad comes to the forefront of their screen, temporarily blocking out everything else.

Sure, they can close it anytime they want but this pop-up functionality makes them stop browsing the web and pay attention to your message, even if only for a few seconds.

And if you make your ad compelling enough, they will be inclined to watch it to the end and click through to your website.

How Does Lightbox Ads Bidding Work?

The bidding strategy for Lightbox ads is known as cost-per-engagement (CPE).

It is measured differently depending on the ad type:

  1. For expandable ad spaces, “user engagement” means that the user hovers, clicks, or taps to expand the ad and the ad has time to load and be seen.
  2. For pre-expanded ads (like interstitials), “user engagement” means that the user interacts with the ad after it displays.

It does seem like a reasonable approach because it means that you only pay when a user interacts with the ad.

How To Create a Lightbox Ad

So how can you create a Lightbox ad?

Here are the official instructions from Google:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Ads & extensions in the page menu.
  3. Click the blue “+”  button and select Lightbox ad.
  4. Create up to 10 cards for your ad. Click Images, Videos, or Start with a feed card (if you have a feed that is linked to your campaign settings) to create your first card.
    • Add new image assets by clicking Scan website, Upload, or Recently used. You can add up to 10 images to a single gallery card.
    • Add new video assets by clicking Search YouTube, Upload, or Recently used. Each video requires its own card.
    • Add a product gallery from your Google Merchant Center feed by first linking it to your campaign, and then clicking Start with feed card.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Add captions, calls to action, and links for your images, or cover photos for your videos, by expanding your cards in the panel on the left. See your changes in Preview on the right.
  7. Add additional cards by clicking the blue plus button labeled Card and choosing to add an Image gallery, Video card, Feed card, or Map card.
  8. You can also add a logo and up to 10 messages or calls to action to give people more details about your business or to encourage an immediate response, such as “buy now” or “visit website.”
  9. Save your ads to send them for review. Once approved, your new Lightbox ads will start running.

Top 3 Tips for Creating Effective Lightbox Ads

Wondering how can you make the most out of Lightbox ads?

Here are our top three tips that will help you do that…

Use a YouTube Video in Your Ad

Youtube device video format styles graphic.

YouTube is the largest video hosting platform in the world and has over 2.24 billion monthly active users at the time of writing.

In other words, the odds are that the potential customer is used to watching videos on that platform.

This means that if you use a YouTube video in your ad, they will be more likely to watch it to the end because it won’t feel that different from the video content that they are consuming on a regular basis.

Grab the Potential Customer’s Attention Within the First 5 Seconds

Talking about Youtube…

You have certainly encountered YouTube ads. What is your first reaction when an ad starts playing? It’s probably safe to assume that you immediately start looking for the “Skip Ad” button. And so does everyone else.

Lightbox ads are different because the potential customer voluntarily interacts with the ad to expand it as opposed to being subjected to it without having any say in the matter.

However, you still only have a few seconds to grab their attention before they close the ad.

You might be familiar with the hook-story-offer format that we recommend for selling online:

  1. You use a hook to grab the potential customer’s attention. 
  2. You tell a story to keep their attention and establish rapport. 
  3. You present your offer and follow it with a call to action.

You can use this proven format for your Lightbox ads to make them as persuasive as possible.

And it all starts with an irresistible hook. Come up with a pattern interrupt that makes the potential customer stop and do a double-take.

What matters is that they go “What the…” and then continue watching the video to find out what this is all about.

You can achieve this effect by making a seemingly outrageous statement, sharing a bizarre bit of trivia, using unexpected visuals, etc.

Make Sure That Your Ad Doesn’t Look Like an Ad

When people feel like they are being sold to, they automatically get their guards up.

That’s why the best video ads don’t look like ads, they look like regular YouTube videos, sometimes even featuring the “I just shot this with my iPhone” aesthetic.

Take a look at the ultimate example of this video ad genre, Tai Lopez’ “Here In My Garage (Official): Lamborghini, Knowledge, And Books With Tai Lopez” (it has over 70M views):

(Also, note he hooks you within the first 5 seconds with the “Here in my garage. Just bought this new Lamborghini here” line)

You might want to consider experimenting with casual video ads like that to see if they work for your company.


Using Lightbox ads can help you reach more potential customers and get them to visit your website.

But then you have to convert those visitors into leads, those leads into paying customers, and those paying customers into repeat customers. And that’s what sales funnels are all about.

Our co-founder, Russel Brunson, has used sales funnels to grow ClickFunnels from zero to $100 million in annual revenue in just three years.

Want him to show you how you can apply those same principles to your business?

Check out our 5 Day Challenge.

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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