ADVERTISING THAT CLICKS,
by By J. R. Beach of Business-opp.com
We rarely reach a web site these days that doesn't carry banner
advertising. These mini-billboards have become so common, in fact,
that many computer users have "learned how to ignore them", says
Jim Sterne, author of Internet marketing and advertising books. The
average click rate on a banner ad these days is .0025 (1/4 of one
percent), Sterne says. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use banner
advertising, but it can’t be your sole method of attracting traffic
to your site, because you just won’t get what you might expect. In
fact, to make banners as effective as possible you have to do more
to capture attention.
But while you’re making your banner unique and noticeable, you
should remember one basic premise says Sterne, author of What Makes
People Click: Advertising on the Internet. "Click here works."
"I once thought such a simple command was insulting, but the numbers
don’t lie. Banner ads that carry ‘click here’ receive substantially
greater visits," he said.
Changing subjects, Sterne shared these marketing tips at a recent
seminar in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:
**Web site design. Include content that addresses customer needs and
interests. "It’s not about what you want to tell people, it’s about
what THEY want to see," Sterne said. Effective design revolves around
easy navigation, interactivity and feedback. Be creative, but don’t
try to be too hip or cute Sterne advises. "No big graphics. They take
too long to come up on a web site. When possible, use a ‘text only’
button for people who just want the information fast."
**Give visitors choices. By offering a choice of clicking for
information or allowing readers to type in an e-mail address for
information to be sent to them, companies don’t lose a potential,
but busy, customer. "A really solid marketing technique," Sterne said.
**Content matching. Place your advertising on sites that fit your
product or service. If our business sells fishing equipment you might
advertise in Field & Stream. It’s no different on the web. Find the
place you’re likely to capture readers.
**Psychographic targeting. Sterne told of how Alta Vista creates
a profile that tracks what a user looks at and then can direct
advertising toward his or her interests. "They don’t know who you
are or where you are, only what you’re interested in," Sterne said.
**Signature files. A subtle way to advertise is to include a
"signature" on your e-mail messages. Known as a "Sig File", it
looks something like a business card with your company’s name,
slogan and contact information. Most e-mail programs allow you to
design and easily insert a sig file in all outgoing messages.
**Gather Feedback. Sterne pointed out that Ragu’s site, www.eat.com,
asks consumers questions about its sauces and other products. Rather
than being invasive, the survey gives people a chance to give their
opinions. The response has been overwhelming, Sterne said. It goes
without saying that you should collect these consumers’ e-mail
addresses and continue to follow-up.
What some companies don’t anticipate when they solicit feedback is
that they also will get complaints. That shouldn’t be a deterrent.
"If you can get customers to complain to you, you not only have an
opportunity to correct the situation, you can build better products,"
Mr. Beach is a corporate marketing veteran and netrepreneur who has
taught marketing classes at the university level. His company,
BUSINESS-OPP.COM, specializes in locating scam-free and guaranteed
business opportunities on the internet. To see his recommended
opportunities and get free marketing reports, free advertising
resources, free website and e-zine subscriptions, visit
< http://www.business-opp.com >