Banner Ads Don't Work, But Non-Banners Do!Written by Ernie West
Make your banner look like text on a page. This is what I call a "non-banner" (close to "no-brainer"). If your banner looks like a banner, it gets ignored. Conventional banner ads only pull less than three percent on average. Why is that? It's because we have learned to ignore advertising. Every day we are bombarded with sales pitches in newspapers, on radio, on television, on highway billboards, and so on. It becomes background noise that we learn to tune out. Something that doesn't appear to be a sales pitch will receive more attention. Intelligent surfers are looking for information. They want to find out about something and be told how their problem can be solved. Do that properly and you will get their click. If you try to entertain them, impress them with graphics or bore them with your company's features, you won't get noticed. Your banner is pretty much a classified ad. And classified ads work when rules of marketing are followed. Make your banner an attractive text ad and it will pull like crazy. Make it look like any other flashy, hyped up banner and it just becomes more of clutter on a site. If your banner will be staying at a permanent home, design it so it looks like it is part of site. Match background color, fonts and layout as much as you can. If your banner is going through a banner exchange, use white as a default color. At very least your text will be highlighted if it lands on
The Secret Methods of Tracking Your AdvertisingWritten by Marc Goldman
When you are placing ads in ezines or posting to newsgroups or leaving your sig file anywhere, you should be tracking effectiveness of your efforts. People have been tracking their advertising efforts since beginning of direct marketing. If you are a fan of tv infomercials, you would have noticed that when payment information is displayed, it always includes a particular Department number or instructs you to call a particular extension number. This tells advertiser where their customers and prospects are coming from. You can easily implement these tricks yourself so that you can determine what most cost effective methods of advertising are for you.
Here is a simple and free way to track your ads. Lets say you are running 3 ads for same product and placing those ads in 3 different ezines. The product is sold from one page on your website called: http://www.yourdomain.com/sales.html
If you had every ad point to that URL, you would never know which ad worked or which ezine brought in sales. Therefore, you could track your ads by doing this:
Place a question mark and some code at end of each URL. For example:
sales?ezine1 sales?ezine2 sales?ezine3
You can make code whatever you want as long as you remember which code you chose for particular ad. Just remember this does not only apply to ezine advertising, you could use this in your discussion forum posts or in your sig file or anywhere else that you choose to promote your site, both online and offline. I suggest keeping a record of which code matches which ad as it can be quite confusing keeping track of all your ads. For example, I use Microsoft Excel to keep a spreadsheet record of all of my advertising efforts.
Your webserver will not recognize question mark (?) code but your server logs will. This is key. People will all end up on same page (sales.html) but your logs will indicate sales that came from each unique ad. This will allow you to make an informed decision about which ezines to continue to place ads in and those that aren't worth your investment of time and money.