Don't Blame the MessengerWritten by Bob Osgoodby
I recently had a call from a fellow in Scotland and taking into account time difference, it was about 2PM there. He called to complain that ad he placed with us two weeks ago, hadn't produced any leads. While he was venting, I looked up ad he had submitted.
He was in an affiliate program, and they provide a personalized web site, which not only gives information about program, but also tracks leads. He didn't include web site in his ad, and his only method of contact was by email. The ad he originally submitted was full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, which we had cleaned up prior to posting.
As he slurred his way through conversation, I realized that he probably had a very long liquid lunch, and when I tried to explain what he needed to do, he called me a "con artist" and hung up.
Now is this to be expected if you provide web space, or run an ezine which allows advertising? Not usually, but as in real life, there are people like this on web. Ad space in an ezine or on a web site, is just that - space, and web has no magic. If you write a bad ad, you will not get responses. The same ad in a print publication, such as a newspaper or magazine, would yield same results. You can't blame messenger, in this case space provider, if your ad doesn't produce.
Many people have fantastic results with this type of advertising, and they all have a few things in common. They are selling a quality product at a reasonable price, and have taken time to develop a good ad. They also realize that only purpose of ad is to get someone to request more information. They all have a web site that gives complete details, and where they make actual sale.
Just having a quality product or program at a reasonable price is not only thing you need. You must advertise it in an intelligent manner. The ad you place is referred to as "tease". If this is done properly, it gets you to next step in sales process, and that is "education" stage. People want information about product or service they are about to buy.
Banner AdsWritten by Bob Osgoodby
When Internet Advertising was in its infancy, banner ads quickly became a major player. Statistics were readily available, and they allowed campaigns to be planned, evaluated, and changed within a matter of days instead of weeks.
Businesses developed with sole purpose of managing and distributing these ads. Click-thru rates were developed, and people starting placing banner ads on their web pages. Three basic plans ultimately evolved. The first was basically a "swap arrangement" where people simply traded banner ads with one another. This was difficult to manage and people usually kept these swaps buried in some remote corner of their web site. The resultant traffic they generated was minimal to say least.
The next iteration, promised a bit more as they actually tracked click-thrus, and for each one you got for them, they would put your ad up for a like number. When that turned into a business, they typically traded on a two for one basis. They would give you one exposure for each two you generated. Others actually paid for click-thrus instead of making trades, but very few people retired on income generated that way. Some actually sold banner ads on their web sites, and while that was viable in early days, it is of questionable value today.
A third method uses banner ads on your web site, either for affiliate programs you might be involved with, or to allow someone to easily navigate about your site. This will probably be sole survivor in saga of banner ads. Now that medium has matured and novelty has worn off, click-thru rates will continue to drop. Trading banner ads is a thing of past, and all but gone. People realize that banner ads take away from primary message they are trying to get across on their web site.
Careful banner placement however, can still be a valuable player in your advertising campaign, but they must be used wisely. We've all seen web sites with indiscriminate use of banner ads, and this should be avoided. Sometimes it's almost impossible to determine what site is all about because of all home page ads that are displayed.