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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Merchants, please cover the basics
    Maybe this belongs in newbie FAQs or something, but this has been nagging at me for some time, so here goes.

    We don't use much in the way of creatives when it comes to affiliate marketing, but it does amaze me how many merchants are not providing standard-size units for affiliates. Why does this matter? Well, I don't know, maybe it doesn't, but let me pass on a non-AM anecdote that illustrates why I think it is important.

    We received an RFP from a huge national company looking to place its message in mid-sized to larger markets. They laid out a broad range of possibilities and we crafted a pretty neat package (which garnered a nice chunk of change, I might add). We tried to extend the proposal to some of our other Web properties, but they couldn't get in the game. Why? They didn't have the appropriate standard ad unit sizes on their site. The company in question said that 468x60s (which our other sites offered) were fine as "value add" but that they wouldn't be factored in as far as price. Other units (120 x 240s, tiles, buttons, etc.) would not be considered.

    This is not an isolated incident, but an illustration, one that probably cost at least two of our sites five figures worth of revenue.

    With that in mind, I respectfully suggest that merchants, at the very, very bare minimum have at least one creative in each of these sizes (I know the IAB has their standards and I know that the mention of that outfit might send Mike & Charlie into an adwhore-laced tirade, but ...):
    728 x 90 leaderboards
    120 x 600 skyscrapers (the IAB says that 160 x 600 units are preferred, but our experience has been that 120 x 600s are more often requested)
    300 x 250
    468 x 60

    I know that many folks will react with "I never use (insert size here) on my sites." That's fine. Everyone has their preferences, but these sizes are pretty standard.

    I have a feeling I'm going to get flamed for this, but it's been a while since I've been torched here, so there it is!

  2. #2
    Affiliate Manager PaulS's Avatar
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    No flaming from me... I get what you're saying, but (at least in CJ) it doesn't make sense to go with the more unusual sizes, unless specifically requested.

    If CJ allowed for more than 20 banners, some of these could be dealt with in the system... but, alas, no.

    Therefore, as a merchant, I usually post the most generic sizes (468 x 60, 125 x 125, etc), but offer to create other sizes as needed / requested. I can't always turn them around same day, but we do our best to respond as quickly as possible to banner requests.

    IMHO, if you're going to create a 120 x 600 skyscraper for a publisher, it should - at least - be tailored toward that site.

    For example, if we were dealing with the Brushstrokes program, you may prefer a Monet-centric 120 x 600 than a generic Brushstrokes. Or a coupon-site would prefer a coupon-version.

    Or a site might want one centred completely around the signed limited editions.

    Anyway... my point is, once you go beyond the usual, I say you should be more customized. Why take up 120 x 600 pixels worth of space of someone's site without at least giving some thought the relevance in regards to the site?

    JMHO

    Paul

  3. #3
    Internet Cowboy
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    I think there are some misconceptions that the standard size banners are targetted by the ad blocking apps. To the best of my knowledge, it is not the size of the creative that is targetted rather the size being listed in the image properties. I have done some testing with image links that include width="468" height="60" and when this was included they did not show up. I removed these attributes from the img statement and they showed up.
    Making odd size banners does not help, but instead they need to remove the attributes from their code, even if it makes the code noncompliant. Would you rather have compliant banners that are blocked or noncompliant banners that show?


  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Another standard size that many sites use is 88x31.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Exclamation
    Quote Originally Posted by PaulS
    it doesn't make sense to go with the more unusual sizes, unless specifically requested.
    That's part of what I'm saying - 120x600 isn't unusual.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Another standard size that many sites use is 88x31.
    That size has never been mentioned as part of an RFP here and the agencies and companies we've dealt with have never made it part of their offerings. So, at least for those advertisers, that size creative must not hold much, if any, value.

  7. #7
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phillyburbs
    With that in mind, I respectfully suggest that merchants, at the very, very bare minimum have at least one creative in each of these sizes (I know the IAB has their standards and I know that the mention of that outfit might send Mike & Charlie into an adwhore-laced tirade, but ...):
    728 x 90 leaderboards
    120 x 600 skyscrapers (the IAB says that 160 x 600 units are preferred, but our experience has been that 120 x 600s are more often requested)
    300 x 250
    468 x 60


    I have a feeling I'm going to get flamed for this, but it's been a while since I've been torched here, so there it is!
    Mike & Charlie have no Adwhore tirades when it comes to suggesting merchants offer a huge choice of both standard and off code sized banners.

    www.suspenders.com/banners.htm Be sure to mix animated and non animated versions.
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

    "What have you done today to put real value into a referral click...from a shoppers viewpoint!"

  8. #8
    Affiliate Manager Xcelsius Affiliates's Avatar
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    Thanks for the refreshing post Karl. Requests like this are exactly what merchants need to hear, at least those that are trying their best to make every affiliate happy and successful.

    UncleScooter, it's been my understanding that Internet security programs such as Norton target not only the banner dimensions, but the location from which they are served (i.e. they target CJ, Linkshare links more than indi links) This places the greatest amount of risk on network programs that are serving standard banner sizes to their affiliates. Seems the best alternative is to serve the banners internally, and adjust the attributes as you suggest.

    Mike & Charlie, in your opinion, would the average affiliate be intimidated if their merchant partner offered a links page similar to the Suspenders.com page? In my experience, the most effective way to communicate new links and landing pages to affiliate is "make it short and sweet." Most of the feedback I've received reinforces this stance. The Suspenders link page seems to run the risk of "information overload," IMO. Thoughts?

  9. #9
    Plazan Merchant Neil's Avatar
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    MIKE.
    i only clicked on that link in the hope of seeing some suspenders.
    you really are a tease
    Find us at shareasale.com 12% commission
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  10. #10
    Affiliate Manager Xcelsius Affiliates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil
    MIKE.
    i only clicked on that link in the hope of seeing some suspenders.
    you really are a tease
    Scroll down... they're there! And some darn good looking ones too I might add!

  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Another basic I'd like covered is the ability to link to any merchant page via an affiliate link, including search pages - in fact, especially search pages. The best performing links on any of my sites have always been those that I build individually on my highest traffic pages. Then I can send prospective buyers to the best possible merchant landing page and not just the home page or what they think is the most appropriate page.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecomcity
    Mike & Charlie have no Adwhore tirades when it comes to suggesting merchants offer a huge choice of both standard and off code sized banners.

    www.suspenders.com/banners.htm Be sure to mix animated and non animated versions.
    Mike:

    You never cease to surprise me!

  13. #13
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    "If CJ allowed for more than 20 banners, some of these could be dealt with in the system"

    Are you talking about 20 different size or 20 banners period? I see a lot of merchants with more than 20 banners. Also while they're in the creative getting new banners, clean out all the expired creative, one of my major annoyances.

  14. #14
    Full Member ADesertRose's Avatar
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    IMHO...I tend to use the merchants who offer the size ads I need without me having to ask them to please make me an 88x31 for example...it just goes towards ease of use and less work I have to do to get creatives that fit into my site.
    I personally prefer 120x600 to the wider for my site but that is not always the case for others...so basically, why not go the little extra to accomodate the people pushing your products? At least one of each "standard" or commonly used size is nice to see.

  15. #15
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ADesertRose
    IMHO...I tend to use the merchants who offer the size ads I need without me having to ask them to please make me an 88x31 for example...it just goes towards ease of use and less work I have to do to get creatives that fit into my site.
    I personally prefer 120x600 to the wider for my site but that is not always the case for others...so basically, why not go the little extra to accomodate the people pushing your products? At least one of each "standard" or commonly used size is nice to see.
    might as well come up with a few different color combinations, too. it is too easy to clash with a background or nearby color.

  16. #16
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Another standard size that many sites use is 88x31.
    I should point out that 88x31 is seldom used for advertising. It's almost aways as a replacement for the merchant's name or in addition to their name, on sites that work with a lot of merchants: Directories, malls, coupon sites, etc.
    Michael Coley
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  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador phillyburbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herb ԿԬ
    might as well come up with a few different color combinations, too. it is too easy to clash with a background or nearby color.
    Maybe, though that doesn't matter that much to me.

    To the point, though, get the basics covered, THEN worry about details like colors, etc. We're working on a non-phillyBurbs Web product and are looking for some inventory to rotate through that product until we have CPM advertisers. I went through a dozen or so merchants whose products would fit the demographic PERFECTLY, but they won't be on the site when it goes live because they didn't have ANY creatives that fit the sizes we'll be using.

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Also, I'm pretty sure CJ will increase the number of banners and other links if you ask nicely and spend enough money. It does seem like a ridiculously small number to start with.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  19. #19
    Affiliate Manager
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    Yes, that's true, we are able to get more banners from CJ when you ask, but they cut us off at 36. That seems to be the limit we can't get past. Just submit an issue and they'll give you more. (in throry!)
    Matt Sampson
    Affiliadd Development Manager

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  20. #20
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    That's ridiculous. There's no reason to have such a small limit.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager
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    I agree Michael - it drives me nuts!
    Matt Sampson
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  22. #22
    Moderator BurgerBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Another standard size that many sites use is 88x31.
    And we also use 120x60.

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