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  1. #1
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Merchants: Do you really think you have enough banners?
    Here is an issue that comes up a lot in the course of an affiliate's work day; I'm not just speaking for myself here.

    Many times an affiliate needs to fill an ad spot with a relevant merchant's ad, and has to pass over some logical choices because the merchant does not have a banner available that fits in the spot that they need to fill. Just today, while working on one website, I had to pass over no less than a dozen merchants because they did not have banners in sizes that were needed.

    These are some of the "must-have" banner sizes. If you don't have banners available in every one of these sizes, you are losing exposure on affiliate's sites.

    Edited to add sizes from posts below:
    88x31
    125x125

    120x60
    120x90
    120x240
    120x600
    160x600
    234x60
    468x60
    250x250
    300x250
    728x90
    Last edited by loxly; January 9th, 2010 at 01:13 PM. Reason: added two sizes
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador meadowmufn's Avatar
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    Don't forget 88x31. In the past few days, I've found a few merchants whose smallest banner sizes were 234x60, which was way too big for the spot I wanted to fill.
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  3. #3
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    Where's the love for the 125 x 125

  4. #4
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Don't forget 88x31. In the past few days, I've found a few merchants whose smallest banner sizes were 234x60, which was way too big for the spot I wanted to fill.
    Don't you love it when you ask for a 88x31 and they ask back if you did a typo. This should be in their "network welcome kit" to have this one.


  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    Too many merchants
    a) don't have a complete array of sizes (!!)
    b) have old outdated "Specials" in banners
    c) have only blinky-jumpy banners - and
    some even add phone numbers to banners...grrrr.

  6. #6
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    Amen to all of that!

    If you don't have 150x150, then at least offer 125x125!

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    I fully agree!!! I have signed up for merchants and then discoved they do not have banners I can use so I have to ask which delays me with posting their links.

    ALSO if the merchant offer Free Shipping in the US but no where else make sure you have some banners created that DOES NOT have Free shipping on them!!!

  8. #8
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Where's the love for the 125 x 125
    With our banner "usage' we are seeing the 468x60 being use the most, then the 250x300 and the skyscrapers. They are followed with the 88x31 and 125x125 sizes. The others seem to be used very little.

    As an additional note, the small-sized search form we offer is used a LOT and is a very good converter.
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  9. #9
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    Where's the love for the 125 x 125
    LOL ooops, my bad
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  10. #10
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    the small-sized search form we offer is used a LOT and is a very good converter
    Will concur with that. "Search box banners" have always been a very strong converter. Note to merchants: these types of links are practically guaranteed to get premium placement on affiliate's sites; right in the customer's face, as opposed to bottom corners of pages.
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  12. #11
    Full Member lintlin's Avatar
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    I concur!

  13. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Since a lot of merchants also ask why we need so many sizes, it would help if you the affiliate would *ask* for the sizes that you need when you come across a need for them. There are a lot of different sizes being used in new ways on blogs etc, but there are also the affiliates out their saying "we never use banners". So when those threads come up in searches it is difficult to get a merchant to contract for those banners.

    So, please please please don't hesitate to ask a merchant to create you a specific banner size or type. Most just don't know they will be used. Also since most banners are used in conjunction with text links, the banners themselves don't show clicks where the text links do. Making the merchant feel that banners are a waste.
    Deborah Carney
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  15. #13
    http and a telephoto
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    David, I am going to move this to Merchant Best Practices and sticky it.

  16. #14
    ABW Ambassador kse's Avatar
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    Well if this is going to bee added to the Merchant Best Practices then I want to included the following (from my point of view)

    1) If you Have "Free Shipping" on all of your banners but charge for shipping outside of the US then offer banners that do not have Free Shipping on them (Stated above)

    2) Do NOT include your URL on your Banner

    3) Do NOT include your phone number on the Banner (Yes I seen this)

    4) Make them look Clean and Professional
    MERCHANTS: Start showing your coupons directly on your site, that way your shoppers will stop leaving your site looking for them!! If not then remove your Coupon Box!!

  17. #15
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    it would help if you the affiliate would *ask* for the sizes that you need when you come across a need for them.
    Even if some merchants are responsive to requests like this, it would be terribly unproductive to put a project on hold - while you're in the middle of it - to play PM or Email or Phone tag with god knows how many AM's for god knows how many days. And practically no merchant has a monopoly on what they sell; in most cases their competition has the right sizes available. So for productivity's sake, the competitor got the exposure that the affiliate was trying to give. "Snooze, you lose" to the merchant who did not bother to do the most basic of tasks when setting up their program.

    Most just don't know they will be used.
    If this is the case, they are simply not qualified for the position that they are employed in... a "Marketing Manager"? These are and have been common, standard banner sizes for a very long time. The best analogy I can think of for this is a pizza parlor manager who doesn't bother to keep sliced mushrooms or pepperoni on hand.
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  18. #16
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    You could just start here - http://www.iab.net/iab_products_and_...1421/1443/1452

    Which will probably cover 90%+ of what affiliates are looking for.

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  20. #17
    http and a telephoto
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    David, not arguing with you but many merchants give big push back to making banners in all those sizes and want to know they are going to be used. It has nothing to do with being a bad "Marketing Manager" it has to do with perception. There are more threads that say "banner advertising doesn't work" than there are threads that say "we need every size you can think of".

    And the banner sizes of today are different than the standard set of even a year ago.

    We get plenty of requests for banners of sizes that we don't have, and when requested they get done quickly. I'm sure it is the same for many merchants with tight budgets when they get started. When they don't see the existing banners getting clicks they aren't inclined to pay to have even more made *unless* they know they will be used.

    This is a great thread to have so that merchants can *understand* what affiliates want and *need*.

    In my position as an OPM I can tell merchants what they should have, but it is up to them to decide what they are going to pay for.
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  21. #18
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Good discussion about IAB sizes here: http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=120675

    Generally launch a program with a dozen banners with several 468x60, 125x125. Always include an 88x31 as it is used as a button banner on category pages for shopping sites. Without it you don't get listed.

    When we receive a request for a size that we don't have I push it to design. Generally get it back in a few days but it can take a few weeks if there are projects in the pipeline. We could start a thread on defining the standard banners for a program similar to the datafeed standard thread of several years ago. That said, it doesn't make sense for a start-up or in-house program to make 3 dozen banner sizes.

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  23. #19
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Hamrick
    We could start a thread on defining the standard banners for a program similar to the datafeed standard thread of several years ago.
    That's what this thread is. A place for affiliates to let merchants know what they want/need in banners. We can't define a standard, but we can define some Best Practices.
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  24. #20
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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  25. #21
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Just to reiterate my main point... and of course some sizes would hardly get used at all, BUT... if it's an established "standard" size, then somewhere along the line, somebody is going to have a spot to fill with that size. And if you don't have it readily available when needed, and you dont have a virtual monopoly on the products you sell, then one of your competitors is going to get the exposure that somebody *tried* to give to you first.

    There are some merchants who have very strong conversion rates, and whose affiliate programs are very successful even though the only promo tools they have available are a couple of 468x60 banners. But they're literally throwing tens of thousands (or more, over the long haul) of dollars in sales away by not investing a paltry $50 to $150 or so to have a designer whip up a handful of banners in a variety of sizes.
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  26. #22
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Most affiliates who don't find the size they want WON'T ask. They'll just move on to the next merchant.
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  27. #23
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    Well, one of the things we try to promote here on ABW is open communication between affiliates and merchants and those people that manage them, this seems to me to be something that the affiliate could use to open a dialog with a merchant they would like to work with. And the response from the merchant would indicate to the affiliate whether that relationship is worth pursuing.

    Aside from sizes there are big differences between what one affiliate would want on a particular size banner and what another affiliate would want on the same size banner. I would think that any merchant would appreciate a note asking for a graphic in a specific size for a specific category or product line instead of just being overlooked because they didn't think an affiliate would want a banner for that particular thing.

    I'm with all of you, I try to get my merchants to have banners in all sizes, in sets, for all the major categories. Sometimes they comply, sometimes they don't, some really don't understand the concept no matter how much I explain it.

    BTW, banners are a bit more than $150 a set. A full set of the 12 sizes listed in David's opening post would cost from $300 to $600, and there are additional sizes in the IAB recommendations. Multiply that by any number of categories and you have quite a chunk of cash that I need to justify to my clients to spend.

    Having this discussion to point merchants to will be very handy, I'm glad the topic is being discussed, just like the datafeed issues. Most merchants have no clue what banners or any creatives or feeds are used for. And they want to see them in action before they commit to creating them. Hearing directly from affiliates makes a huge difference.

    Even merchants with big budgets balk at creating things that they are unsure of how they will be used. They need convincing. "Affiliates need this because they want to do _____" is much more effective than "Affiliates want it."
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  28. #24
    ABW Ambassador Lanadili's Avatar
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    Back years ago when I first started creating my website, I soon realized that a LOT of the banners that my merchants had didn't quite fit my site like I wanted. Not that they didn't have a lot of banners and sizes - they just didn't have any that I felt would look good on my site. So I emailed them and asked if they could create a custom banner that would fit my site, gave them the size and details for the banner, etc. They gladly agreed, and to this day I average 20% of all my sales through those custom banners.

    This was a win-win situation for both of us. They customize banners for my site, and they get more traffic/sales because of this.

    Bottom line is if you have a merchant that has banner sizes that doesn't fit well for your site, just ask them to make you some. This is also a great way to get to know your merchants better.

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  30. #25
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    A full set of the 12 sizes listed in David's opening post would cost from $300 to $600, and there are additional sizes in the IAB recommendations.
    Depends on where you go to get the work done. Graphic design has always been a "price gouge" industry that caters to those who are either too lazy or too time-strapped to do the legwork of finding a cost-effective source for the work. If you look in the right places, you can get top quality work done on a set like this for somewhere in the range of $30 to $60. That beats the heck out of paying $300+ for an easy one-hour project.
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