It’s been a while since I actively ran an online banner ad campaign. Mostly I help companies get started in search engine marketing (pay-per-click first, then SEO), then email and affiliate marketing, and at the end of my list of tactics is online banner ads. They always seem to underperform the other tactics, at least until you find the perfect combination of creative, landing pages, offers, and sites that perform well. This can take months if not years, and it requires constant testing.
I remember sending one of my marketers to a conference where Seth Godin spoke. He said if you’re not testing 5 new banners per day, you’re not doing your job. What we learned was that little tweaks could make a big difference. When we finally stumbled on the perfect wording and creative that worked extremely well, we were able to profit from it for years with only slight modifications. But finding banners that generate enough clicks, and landing pages from banner traffic that converts, is extremely difficult.
Advertising.com just released a study that reinforces the need to test color, size, and most importantly, use calls to action in online ads.