Back in the day when I was working as a loan broker I was working through Real Estate agents to find new loans to do. Things were going pretty good however, I was not getting as much business out of the Real Estate Agents as I would have liked so I came up with the bright idea to start using email to stay in touch with the agents I was working with. So, I created some nice emails and started sending them out, however nothing really changed. One day as I was talking to a realtor the topic of emails came up and I asked if he liked the ones I was sending and he looked at me like I was crazy. Turns out he did not even know he was receiving them due to the emails going to his junk mail folder. I felt like such an idiot. I knew nothing about email marketing and was just shooting blind and in the end wasted my time because I did not take the time to figure out how to do it right. Now years later I am taking the time to learn the in’s and out’s of email marketing. In this pursuit I read an interesting article about deliverability entitled “10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller and learn the things that I should have figured out a long time ago with my first email-marketing attempt.
I found a couple of the Myths to be somewhat eye opening. The first myth that hit me was “Permission-based marketing messages are delivered to the inbox” What? If someone has given permission to receive an email why would they not get it? It turns out that Stephanie’s company did some digging and found that 20% of legitimate emails in North America do not reach the inbox. That seems like a very high percent to me. She indicated that sender needs to track email delivery and make changes as need and I agree. However should the system used to send out the emails be part of the problem as well? At any rate, 20% should not be overlooked so anything that can be done to improve this should be done.
“My email service provider handles inbox placement for me” was the next myth. Wow–do email service providers do anything? Well, yes, they do a lot and help us understand what happened with reports; well the good ones do at any rate. It comes down to that old saying “Garbage In, Garbage Out”. The service provider works with the data we give them and it is up to the marketer to control the data sourcing, frequency and content.
The last one was not surprising to me, yet it is an important one that can be easily overlooked so I thought it was worth bringing up again. “Changing the content or subject line is a good was to get a block lifted” There are many different factors involved in getting blocked and removing a block. Using a tool like Sender Score provided by Return Path we can see what factors they look at to determine someone’s Sender Score that effects being blocked. They look at things like hostname, other IPS with the same hostname and deliverability risk. Now, this is not to say that content is not important because it is–however being confused as one of the dirty junk mailers because of an IP hostname conflict can really hurt.
Creating great content and having good copy and compelling offers that are relevant to the user are very important to having a good email campaign and doing things right will definitely improve things but you can not forget these other factors that hurt deliverability. The best emails in the world will do no good if they are never seen because they did not go to the inbox of the intend user, just like I faced with my first attempt at email marketing. Learn for my mistakes and look before you leap when trying something out for the first time. I promise it will save you time and money.
“10 Myths For Inbox Deliverability” by Stephanie Miller posted Feb 17, 2010 on Clickz (http://www.clickz.com/clickz/column/1701157/myths-inbox-deliverability)
Banner ads are a subject that, if more people cared about them, would be a hotly debated issue. There are articles all over the web arguing every side of the display ad issue. Some say banner ads are dying, not effective or losing ground, others are saying they are cost effective, gaining a new breath and gaining ground. Some say interactive ads preform best while still others say text ads are the way to go. So what is the right answer to go with? Who, if any, is right? I think it’s a case of everyone is right and wrong all at the same time. The marketers saying interactive ads work best are the ones that have had the best results and most likely put the most effort into interactive ads. The business owner saying banner ads are on the way out probably has tried, spent money and has nothing to show for it thus, believes they don’t work. It all comes down to what is true for that marketer or business is what their experience has been.
Display or banner ads are not good or bad in and of themselves. There is not really any way to say what type is the best. Banner ads are a tool that can be used in many different ways and for many different purposes and they either pay off or fall flat based on the skills of the person using them. Knowing what type of ad to use for the user you are trying to reach is a critical factor in determining success rate. It is like anything else–the more you know and more skills you have the better choices you will make and the better your results will be.
Let me give you a couple examples of what I am talking about here. One of the websites that I use all the time is Pandora. I love that site and when I am working it is generally running in the background just as it is as I write this. Pandora uses banner ads. For the most part they are static ads about things that everyone uses such as cars and groceries and things that most people need or use. They are not targeted to me as an individual, they are very general–like you would find on TV commercials. I don’t know how well they work for Pandora or its advertisers, but they work well enough for companies to keep paying Pandora to advertise there. For me they don’t do anything. I don’t pay any attention to them and I am too cheap to pay to have the ads removed with Pandora’s premium service.
I found an article by about the “Best Preforming Banner Ads of 2011” on Ephealy.com that showed the best ads used for gaming websites. The ads are very visual, have little text some of them don’t really have any calls to action that I could see. Yet these were the ads that worked for the gaming audience. These were placed on gaming websites and other websites used by gamers. They worked because they were of interest to the users of the websites they were put on. The marketers knew their audience.
TrafficVoodoo.com posted a video on Youtube.com called “Banner Ads That Convert Like Crazy And Get Tons Of Traffic” that talked about the banner ads that worked for them. The ads that worked for them all had the following elements in common:
• Text Ads
• Good, Solid Headlines
• Used Red, Black and Navy Blue text
• Clear Calls to Action
• Link Blue underlined text (Click Here)
Now this is in total conflict to the best banner ads for gaming websites, yet this type of banner ads worked so well for TraficVoodoo.com that they posted a video to show potential clients to try to gain new business.
The point is that both of these last two examples worked for the marketers using them because they knew their audiences and figured out what worked best for their needs. They had the knowledge and experience to make it work and work well. It does matter not what type of display ad you like or how much money you throw at it that counts. Using the right ad in the right place for your target market to reach your goals is they way to achieve success. The more you know the better you will do.
“Best Preforming Banner Ads of 2011” posted January 2,2012 on ephealy.com (http://ephealy.com/2012/01/02/best-performing-banner-ads-of-2011/)
“Banner Ads That Convert Like Crazy And Get Tones Of Traffic”, video uploaded July 15, 2010 on Youtube.com (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl8WfV1i71k)
There is no doubt that ads work. They have been in use in marketing since the beginning with flyers, radio, magazine and TV ads to name a few. The online world is not any different. Ads are on every available online real estate they can get on and many people have made millions working with ads. Online ads are now passing that of traditional ads in spending. This fact was posted on an article on Forbes.com entitled “Online Ad Revenues to Pass Print in 2012”. A highlight brought out in the report was “Online Will Pass Print for First Time in 2012: US online advertising spending, which grew 23% to $32.03 billion in 2011, is expected to grow an additional 23.3% to $39.5 billion this year-pushing it ahead of total spending on print newspapers and magazines, according to eMarketer. Print advertising spending is expected to fall to $33.8 billion in 2012 from $36 billion in 2011.”
Now this makes it pretty clear that ads are alive and thriving and are here to for the long run. Online ads are big business and in different ways than most people think. Now major brands are spending money online to grow their business directly but more and more individuals that have nothing to do with the product are marketing the products of others for their own gain. The cyber world is making it easier and faster for these go-getters to take their own bite out of the marketing revenues.
Lets take a look at two ad platforms that work for the advertiser as well and the solo marketer–Google AdSense and Facebook Ads. Both of these ad platforms work in two directions. The first is that both are channels to market a product, service or good online. Advertisers can market their wares to targeted web users with the idea of hitting them with relevant and targeted marketing to the users in a couple of ways. For example, Google AdSense will place your ads on websites that have a similar demographic to the advertisers ad as well as using the user search history to further target the ad. Facebook uses the social network of the user to help influence them by showing them what their friends like. Both of these methods use targeted data to reach and influence users. In this way both platforms help advertisers get their ads out to users with deter chances of being interested in the product or service.
Due to the large reach of both Google and Facebook this can be a very effective way of getting the word out to customers. Also, the pricing for both works in much the same way making it easy to budget. Basically with either platform you have the option of setting budget controls meaning that you can set a daily or campaign max budget to insure that you only spend a set amount. Now with both, you pay for the ad being placed and not on results, meaning that both AdSense and Facebook are garnering impression not conversion. For AdSense, the more traffic a webpage gets the more you pays for having your ad on that page. Because higher traffic means higher costs for the advisers they need to look at the total marketing cost per acquisition to see if it makes financial sense or of the campaign needs to be reworked to get the desired results.
Now let’s look at some of the differences between the two platforms. The biggest difference between the two that I can see is how the traffic is driven to the ad. AdSense is powered by Google, a very large search engine, and has a lot of data and users to draw from. Website owners can sign up with AdSense and become part of the network that ads are displayed on, so the network is constantly growing and anyone can take part of the system. With Facebook ads, all parties have to be members of Facebook in order to have anything to do with the ads. In this manner AdSense has a larger pool of users to draw from than Facebook and Facebook has the power of the users social network to influence them.
Both platforms have to find ways to work with mobile devices. A good share of the Facebook users connects so via a mobile device and not on a desktop. When using Facebook on a desktop the users sees ads placed on the right side of the screen much like on a Google search thus making the ads highly visible and in a expected place. On mobile devices Facebook does not show the ads in that manner. On smart phone applications the ads get moved into the news stream along with everything else and is very easy to skip over. For me at least, I don’t really see the ads in my news stream and I just visually skip over them. It is going to be interesting to see how these two marketing platforms cope with growing number of mobile users.
Another major difference with two platforms is that of making money. Now with both the idea is to get users to click on the ad and take the desired action, however with AdSense you have the option of making money. Website owners can monetize the traffic the website generates by having Google AdSense advertisers place ads on their websites. That’s right, you can get paid to have ads placed on a website that you may own. In fact there are some that make a lot of money doing just that. Take bloggers for one. If you have a popular blog you can place ads on that blog and get paid to do that. Facebook does not have a clear way to make money using their ad service. Google AdSense openly advertises this moneymaking avenue to anyone wanting to listen. I could find no such program with Facebook.
In the end both platforms have their place in a good marketing campaign but like all things the more you know about how they work and how to write good ads are critical things to know to achieve success.
Online Ad Revenues to Pass Print in 2012, by Robert Hof 01/19/2012 (http://www.forbes.com/sites/roberthof/2012/01/19/online-ad-revenues-to-pass-print-in-2012/ )
Banner ads, like any other channel used for digital marketing today need to be approached with the end-user in mind. It is just like any other marketing campaign. You need to make sure you have a few things in place before you have the media go live. Below are a few thoughts on components that will help any banner ad seize the moment and achieve success.
To start you, need to have the product, service or promotion in place and know what your target audience is and what makes them tick. Many factors can be looked at to make your determination such as demographics, buyer personas, competition and need of the product to name a few. It is also a good idea to set out goals and budgets for the campaign.
Another step is to come up with the ad copy or concepts. Marketers us many different processes to come up with their ideas, so let yourself go here. Banner ads take advantage of impulse shoppers and those ready to make the purchase in their own buying cycle. This should be taken into consideration in your ad copy. In a post on the Marcus Letter website they suggested 7 elements of a good ad. They are as follows:
• Promise of Benefit
If you touch on all of these elements for your ad copy and keep your audience in mind, then you have a better chance of have good ad copy. If the copy does not resonate with the end-user then what’s the point?
Next comes the design and actual creation of the banner. This is the stage where you have to balance ad content with technology. Technology can take the spotlight if you let it and these two need to work together to get the message across. In a slide presentation by Soap Creative, they talk about the fact that interactive ads are 63% more effective so having a rich media banner is a good idea to employ for a greater chance of success. Interactivity is one of the six foundations for Great Digital Creative that is posted in the slides. The rest are:
• Interactive – 63% more effective
Other things to consider when using banner ads are: which websites to display on, what type of traffic and volume of traffic those websites get, how you’re going to drive traffic to your ad and of course you need to test the effectiveness of the banner and make changes as needed. It is also advised to consult or use a professional to help you reach your goals if you are not one.
To conclude, to give yourself the best chances of success you need to make sure that you know product and target audience well, have good copy, use dynamic design balanced with technology. It is when these elements come together that banner ad magic happens. Miss one and you might miss the show altogether.
WRITE THE AD, I PRAY YOU-Trippingly On The Tongue – posted on the Marcus Letter (http://www.marcusletter.com/writead.htm)
“AdAge Digital 2010 6 Foundations of Great Digital Creative” by Soap Creative on Apr 15, 2010 – (http://www.slideshare.net/soapcreative/adage-digital-2010-6-foundations-of-great-digital-creative?from=ss_embed)