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Simplifying Online Advertising Options

By: Mary Blackmon
Posted: June 24, 2008, from the February 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 5 of 6

Click-thrus (the term for driving traffic to your site) generally are similar to the responses of direct marketing. When banner ads first were created and sold by Wired, the responses were around 15%. I worked for the publication at that time, and banners were the “new” thing. Now, they are commonplace, and 1% is about the industry average. In fact, on some sites, it even may be lower. Are you depressed yet? Don’t be! Industry studies show that those ads have a huge impact on the branding of a company and actually increase the intent to purchase, as well as strengthen the brand familiarity of a company. This provides an even longer-term positive impact.

Hint: Pop-up ads are annoying. Don’t advertise on them unless you want to risk alienating your clients.

Hint: Give people a reason to click. Provide a compelling incentive, such as a chance to win a prize, for potential clients to take the time to do so.

Link shares. Swap links with other companies that are complementary but not competitive. How? E-mail them. Call them. But if the company is much bigger than yours, it may require a little persistence on your part. Perhaps even offer a complimentary spa treatment. This incentive probably will work wonders for overworked webmasters.

E-mail. E-mail advertising is great when executed tactfully and considerately. Keep in mind, however, that e-mail lists are not all the same. Some have been generated by people who didn’t know they were giving their e-mail addresses, or from names that have been sold by a company to another marketing company and then to you. This is an illegal practice defined by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, established by the Federal Trade Commission. Work with a reputable business with whom you have a rapport and that displays ethical behavior. And make sure to ask the question “How did you get your list?”