Banner advertisement is an essential part of both advertisers’ marketing mix and of publishers’ activities. The fact that your click-through-rates are declining just means you have to be more sophisticated when creating your ads! Wonderful banners not only draw higher CTR (meaning more incoming traffic to your landing page) but also encourage more publishers to run your affiliate program (meaning more users are exposed to your banners, and your brand in the first place).
I’m going to discuss the most important points to consider when designing the right creatives for your affiliate program.
Intrigue them with text - Keep the content short, clear and appealing. It’s a good idea to promote your brand’s core benefit and get users intrigued about your product. Power words such as “Free!” and “New!” can have a powerful impact on users, but make sure you use words that are right for your product. Moreover, make sure you have a big and clear call to action that conveys a sense of urgency. In fact, the call to action is so important that the whole banner should be designed around it and not the other way around.
A picture is worth a thousand words- Images should be used to send a quick and clear message of your product. Use your brand’s different images and be creative! Be careful, however, not to overdo it with too many images and colors in each banner.
Size does matter- Some of the basic sizes include 300X250, 468X60, 728X90, 160X600, 200X200, 336X280, 500X500 (html email creatives) and 110X80 (for Facebook). You should definitely have these but as mentioned before- the more the better, so feel free to create additional sizes such as 250X250, 550X480, 800X440, 234X60, 300X600, 720X300 and 125X125.
Play with formats
- Static banners in GIF or JPG are a basic must, and it’s imperative you have a few to offer!
- Animated banners in Flash or Animated Gif draw much more attention than their static counterparts. Keep in mind they the banners must support clicktags and that Google requires Flash banners to stop after 30 seconds, so you might as well make all your flash banners Google compliant (see full list of restrictions here)
- 500X500 HTML creatives are a must if you’d like email marketers to promote your program. When creating these consider who you want to appear as the sender and what you’d like the subject line to be. To avoid the junk filters beware of words such as “Free” and unnecessary punctuation such as !, $, %.
- Video Banners drive high CTRs as well as high conversion rates because they allow for more info and are highly relevant to the product promoted. 300×250 is probably the best size but 336×280 and 800×440 are great options as well. In any case, try to limit the size to 40kb.
It’s a matter of trust- People need to feel secure when signing up or paying for an online service. A good match between the banners and the landing page reassures people as to the credibility of the site so make sure your banners match your landing page’s look and feel.
Refresh your stock- Banners lose their effectiveness after a few times, and users will then start to ignore them. This is why publishers love new banners. While you’re at it, check what works and what doesn’t, and apply your newfound knowledge in your next batch. Consider implementing some of your publishers’ feedback which you’ll surely be getting.
By implementing these tips you ensure an optimized and well-rounded creative library for your affiliate program. This means you have a better shot at getting great publishers on board, and more users clicking on your ads and making it to your landing page.
Author Shaked Markovitch manages advertiser affiliate programs as a member of the Affiliate Solutions Department at Matomy Market. You can contact her at email@example.com