How to choose the right banners for affiliate marketing tools?
In most affiliate programs, you are offered a wide variety of banners to place on your site
but very few of them will be effective.
If you can attain a clickthrough rate of 2%, then you are doing very well.
It has been our experience, and this is generally speaking,
that graphically rich banners do not perform as successfully as their simpler counterparts.
The main reason for this is download time.
If a banner is the last thing to load on your page and the banner ad is excessively byte “heavy”,
by the time it has loaded your visitor may already have scrolled down the page – missing it entirely.
Heavy banner ads can also slow down the loading of your pages, or critical elements of your page
and you can lose your visitors altogether!
A graphically rich banner can also confuse the actual message –
the artwork and marketing blurb can be imbalanced.
For these reasons, we suggest that banners you implement be no more that 15kb wherever possible.
Banners that have “extreme” animation, such as rapid flashing,
are also something to consider very carefully.
While these do achieve high clickthrough rates, they are also highly annoying.
If you do decide to implement this form of banner advertising, use it very sparingly.
When selecting any form of graphical advertising, try and keep the theme of your site in mind –
while graphical ads are meant to stand out and catch a visitors eye,
it shouldn’t be to the point that everything else on the page is totally ignored.
Wherever possible, ensure that all banner ads uses a link that opens in a new window.
That way, if a visitor does choose to visit one of your advertisers it is easy for them
to return to your page and review what they actually came to your site for!
Pop ups and pop unders
Many companies, but mostly agencies representing a number of advertisers,
now give their affiliates the options of using pop up and pop under ads.
Our opinion – pop ups are evil.
They annoy visitors and are usually closed before they even have a chance to load.
Go for pop-unders and preferably those that only display once per visit.
Using Text Link Ads.
One of the most successful forms of advertising are text link ads.
They are bandwidth friendly, don’t take up a lot of space
and can be easily implemented into most page layouts.
Good text links ads don’t just scream “buy me!”,
they also offer some information as to why your web site visitor should investigate the offer.
A company should also supply you with very short text links which only state the product or company name.
The reason for this is so that you can implement the links directly
into the content of related articles and reviews.
Articles and product/service reviews
Now, this is where a bit of hard work comes in.
Your regular site visitors will view you as an authority on particular subjects,
so why not write a review on a product or service you are advertising?
This also supplies excellent content for search engine spiders to latch onto.
We have attracted many visitors to our site using what I call “adarticles”.
But there’s a catch……
If you are going to use the adarticle concept to promote products, you need to believe in what you write.
Research the product and company well.
Contact the company and let them know what you are doing and ask for further resources and assistance.
Once you have created the review, send them the link – you may be suprised at the response you get.
The information that you supply to your web site visitors will help them formulate a decision,
so be honest in your sales copy.
If you are successful in this promotion strategy, over time your reviews won’t be seen as hype and bluster,
but as a reliable source of information – everybody wins!
Email advertising as an affiliate marketing tool
Direct promotion via email has boomed over recent years, but has brought with it mountains of spam.
If you intend on using email as a method of advertising products and services,
ensure you stand behind the products you’re promoting and make yourself available to answer any questions.
An effective promotion technique we have found is to combine email with the adarticle strategy.
In our ezine we occasionally put a summary of a product or service,
just enough information to stir the curiosity of our readers.
The summary then contains a link to the adarticle on our site.
The benefit of this is not only that you have a good opportunity to promote the product or service,
but while visitors are on your site they may also look at other sections.
The advertiser benefits through having highly targeted potential clients visit their site.
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