14 PROVEN LAWS OF
by Michael T. Glaspie
Banner advertising unquestionably has become the
industry's most reliable, predictable, and measurable method for
attracting new visitors. With 60-70% online ad expenditures being
allocated to banner advertisements, there is little room for
question as to the effectiveness of a well managed banner ad
campaign. I have therefore assembled for your review
the 14 principles of successful banner advertising.
You are encouraged to incorporate these concepts into your online
marketing strategies, to not only boost traffic to your site, but
to leverage it as well.
1. Join two, three, or four quality exchange
organizations. A typical exchange organization will offer
you usually one-half to .7 or .8 credits, each time you host
another member's banner at your site, and a full credit will earn
you the displaying of your banner on another exchange members
site. Some exchanges offer multiple page coding so you
may host members banners on numerous pages throughout your
site. Thus membership in multiple exchange organizations
allows you to leverage visitors not only as a result of each
unique visitor producing multiple credits for you, but also as a
result of visitors who go beyond your home page, explore your web
site, and earn you additional exchange credits through the impressions
they are exposed to on any or all of the pages you host banners
on. It's highly possible to earn, with a ten page web site,
and a visitor who sees all ten pages, ten or more credits, meaning
impressions due you just for belonging to two exchanges. Now
that's leverage. My personal favorites are http://www.linkexchange.com,
and my number one favorite http://www.bannerco-op.com.
The co-op offers a full one to one exchange plus a unique program
paying cash for click throughs. And you can exclude specific
categories of competitors banners appearing on your pages.
2. When dealing with seconds, and sometimes fractions of a
second, to grab the attention of the viewer, it's vital that your
ad screams LOOK AT ME NOW. You accomplish this goal
primarily through and in this order, your copy, color,
graphics. Therefore spend as much time on the five to ten
words that little box has space enough for as you did practicing
to ask for that first date.
3. Bright colors almost always out perform the reds and the blacks
which are less effective. Use yellow, orange, blue and green.
4. Animated banners have multiple advantages over static or
single screen banners. Use them to layer in additional copy.
A three screen animated banner easily provides enough room for
five to seven words per screen. Just make certain the copy
that you choose for the first screen is compelling and attention
getting. Focus on your web site's premium benefit. Why
do people visit your site? What's in it for them?
Build your headline, ie: the first screen, or your static banner,
based upon your single most prominent, compelling benefit.
5. Banner size, should be maintained at 3-5K which is ideal
if you can accomplish your copy and creative objectives. If
not, up to 7 is OK. Never more than 10 as it takes much longer to
load and you run the risk of the visitor not seeing your banner at
6. I can't stress this enough. There is no reason not to
brand every banner you ever create. Branding your banner can
be accomplished by doing nothing more that placing your product
or company logo on one of the screens in the animation process,
or simply giving the name of your company, or domain name, or
a picture of your product. With average click through
responses in the 1-2% range, why waste 98% of the impressions by
not telling the viewer who you are or what your product is?
Off line advertisers have known for decades the power of branding,
and with properly designed banners you can accomplish both
direct response advertising and branding
simultaneously. With branding you can get your name, your
product name, continually in front of your prospects, even if they
don't "click" on.
7. Don't get hung up on hosting banners on your site for
fear that you'll lose a visitor. Listen, they're going to
leave anyways. If they're interested in your site they'll
stick with it until their interest is totally
satisfied. If not, you're going to lose them in any
event, so you may as well get some mileage out of those
8. Do not try to qualify your visitor. In other words,
let the site do the qualifying and selling job for you.
After all the name of the game is to get each and every unique new
visitor to your site as possible, thus leveraging credits due you
should you belong to a banner exchange.
9. When building your five to ten word static banner, or
five to seven words first screen animated banner copy, rely on
these themes. Fear, curiosity, humor, the big promise.
Example, Warning, you must see this before you purchase xxx; never
worry about losing xxx again, learn the secrets of cashing in on
xxx, do you know how to xxx? As an aside, a warning
banner is an enormously powerful approach. Many off
line yellow pages publishers will not even allow them because the
other advertisers complain about the unfair advantage such an ad
delivers. Try one.
10. The number one drawing card in banner advertising is the
use of the word FREE. Put your creative talents to task
here. Write a free report that solves a problem, and post it
at your site. Offer a free drawing, free subscription to a
e-zine. Free advertising, free trial offer, free download for
software, etc., etc.
11. Never assume your viewer knows what to do next.
Always, in one or more places, insert the words click here, or,
click here now, or show a drop down box with a click arrow
12. When appropriate to your marketing campaign, buy click
throughs and not impressions. With click through purchases
you can lock in on the cost of each unique new visitor.
Purchasing click throughs helps to eliminate concern over rigorous
and ongoing testing and new banner design and creation concerns,
as well as the arduous task of ongoing meaning daily,
monitoring of each of your banner's effectiveness. When
purchasing click throughs and paying only for those new visitors,
all of those issues become someone else's problem. Http://www.Bannerco-op.com
offers an excellent click through program.
13. Targeting. If you are a niche market advertiser, or
a local or regional advertiser, targeting is vital to the
success of your banner campaign. You'll want to very
carefully select sites or work with an ad agency that offers the
opportunity to reach those prospects who are the most likely to be
interested in your product or service. On the surface,
purchasing targeted impressions is more costly, however, it
represents the best way to reach your audience. If you're
selling automobiles in southeast Florida, it makes no sense to
place your banner into a national network where only a fraction of
the audience would have any interest. Instead you'll want to
target web sites serving the community you service,
including Chamber of Commerces, newspapers, radio stations,
television stations, and other local and regional businesses
serving the same geography.
14. Test, test, and test some more. Once you've got the
perfect banner working, design another one because sooner or later
even the best banner runs out of steam. It's generally
accepted that after a prospect sees a banner for the third or
fourth time, the likelihood of a click through plummets.
When testing, always test the next new design on the same site or
on the same network, so you are indeed comparing apples to
apples. Testing is a continual ongoing, dynamic
process. Review your stat pages on a daily basis and be
prepared to act quickly when results begin to lag. Remember
the three most critical elements of your banner. First the
copy, next the color, and next the graphics. Once a successful banner
has been created, tweaking and modifying these elements can keep
it alive and producing strong click- throughs for many months.
Michael T. Glaspie is the founding director of http://www.Bannerco-op.com
and as a seasoned Direct Marketer publishes "How to Sell Anything
to Anyone, Anytime" a free e-zine available at http://www.mysiteinc.com/mglaspie
and he may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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