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  1. #1
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Talking Text links more effective than flashy banner ads?
    You experienced affiliates are probably chuckling while another newbie finally figures this out (and I'll admit I've read this advice several times in this forum, but just couldn't let go of how cool those banner ads make my site look). Well, "cool" doesn't pay the bills, and so I took a stab last night and replaced a good chunk of prominent banner ads with text links embedded in my product pages that are relative to the products being displayed.

    Normally I get about 5 clicks a day on these pages from banners, which has really been discouraging considering the amount of traffic I'm getting (about 200 unique visitors a day).

    So far this morning after logging in at 5:15 am I already have those 5 clicks generated after only 30 visitors, which to me shouts "WAY MORE EFFECTIVE!" But it's still early and I'll give it another few days to be sure.

    Thanks for all the great tips on this site!

  2. #2
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    I always put myself into my customers' shoes. Wouldn't I prefer text links to banners (if any banners are left after the pop-up and other blockers block 'em)?

    Geno

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Rick - depending on what is around it, we have found that a text link sometimes break up the "blended out" look of a banner rich page. Same thing in print advertising. It depends on the page where the link appear. If the banner can stand out on a page - it is better performing than a banner being buried among a full page of color.

    There are others here who have more experience with this than I do, but from our experience both online and offline I have found this to be true in many cases. Let us know how it goes over the next three days and good luck.
    Join the Spicy Aprons Affiliate program on ShareASale Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/spicyaprons Follow us on Twitter @Spicyaprons

  4. #4
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    I also tried to choose text ads that gave the customer some benefit from clicking the link, such as a coupon code or discount. I have 10 products per page, and I put the text link after the 5th product and outlined with a subtle one-pixel border and white space before and after. We'll see how it goes

  5. #5
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Picture product links with a text link underneath work well.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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  6. #6
    Internet Cowboy
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    The shopper who likes to click on banners is the same shopper who enjoys having the Zango Search Assistant installed on their computer.


  7. #7
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    Many surfers have become "Banner Blind" for a number of reason. I happen to like a combination of both banner and text links.

    I feel as a culture, we are still very much visually stimulated.

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  8. #8
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    It seems to me that animated banners are what mostly what's offered. Animations on a page have always annoyed me personally. Have they proved to be that much better than a still image banner?

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager MINDsprinter's Avatar
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    I think it is all about contrast. Banners seem to me to be effective on pages with a lot of text (think nytimes.com, lots of interesting text, and a few colorful, animated banners)

    However, on a colorful page full of product pictures and banner ads, text links seem like a breath of fresh air for a customer, so (as you've noticed) they work a lot better.

    Plus, think about customer attention span. It takes me a fraction of a second to read a sentence (the typical text link) but it might take me five seconds to view an entire animated banner. The text links get to the point a lot quicker!

    --Jason
    Jason Rosenbaum
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  10. #10
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    On a page with mostly text, use the banner to break it up. Or...don't forget about white space. It can be just as effective. Many years ago a placed an ad in the Denver Post classified. I bought the ad space on top, bottom and both sides and left them white. It made my ad stand out on the otherwise "grey" page. When thumbing through the pages that ad was the first one seen. Response was excellent.
    ~Ernie

  11. #11
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erninator
    On a page with mostly text, use the banner to break it up. Or...don't forget about white space. It can be just as effective.

  12. #12
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Thought I'd follow up on this thread I started a while back.

    I've almost completely abandoned the two sites that I originally started out with (the software download site and the ecoupons site). They were mostly banner farms, and I threw much more money into them than I ever got out of them.

    Since then I've started several other sites and have played around with various combinations of smaller banners with text captions underneath, above, etc, etc. I've used text links embedded in articles, with cloaked links, etc.

    But to be honest, it seems like no matter what I do, the sales just aren't rolling in like I thought they would. I've reached a small threshold of sales and nothing I do seems to break into anything worth the time I'm investing.

    I'm hooked now though. I've put so much energy into the sites, that I can't just back out now :-)

    What's most frustrating and discouraging - especially now as I write this - is seeing clicks but no sales. Clicks from merchants like hostmonster where the commission would be $90 too... especially when I received a few sales the first week with these links but now get nothing (even though the clicks continue to roll in a few a day).

    It's hard to continue to have faith in this click and order tracking system. I mean, what's to stop hostmonster from completely screwing me over? I'd really never know.

    How do you all deal with these frustrations and concerns? How do you maintain your sanity?

  13. #13
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Great questions, Rick. Let me ask you a couple...

    Do you check the EPC stats for the merchants you sign up with?

    Are you sure you're signed up with clean merchants?

    Are you trying to monetize content sites? Those EPCs (personal) will be much lower.

    Are you preselling at all?

    All important things to consider when clickers don't turn into buyers...
    Kevin Webster
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  14. #14
    Full Member RickPlmr's Avatar
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    Sorry for the late reply, but I took the family inner tubing on Mt Hood yesterday for a badly needed break from all this.

    Those were thought-provoking questions - thanks!

    I'm going to be giving the pre-selling concept a much closer look, and have already started creating a few spin-off articles for topics that I'm currently only advertising.

    Reputable merchants eh? ;-)

    Circuit City rejected my first order within a couple days because they claimed the customer returned the product. Ha! They returned it before they even received it? Pretty impressive turn around time on that one - yeah, right.

    Wirefly didn't track an order yesterday (made from a friend, so I knew he had ordered a new cell phone since he asked me for the link and then emailed me afterwards).

    American Lending rejected an order claiming "unqualified lead".

    There must be a hundred reasons to disqualify an order so that merchants can pocket more money!

  15. #15
    ABW Ambassador darkstar7's Avatar
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    Text ads are more effective. It you look at the usual text ad it contains information wanted by most shoppers. But I've found that a well placed banner ad can be effective in drawing the eye to an important offer or announcement. Yet it you overuse banners they can detract from your page's design and lose effectiveness.
    Luke
    Have you promoted your brand name today?

  16. #16
    Classic Rocker Mack's Avatar
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    Things like the adblock toolbar and adaware plus keep me from seeing any banners at all. I do still see some text links.

  17. #17
    Member SLAPPA's Avatar
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    Excellent posts Rick!

    I think the consensus here is that:

    1. Text links perform better than banners when it comes to clickthroughs
    2. Contrast (link/text color, whitespace, image w/link) further improves the clickthrough rate on text links
    3. Pre-selling will boost conversion rates on those increased clicks

    Quote Originally Posted by RickPlmr
    I'm hooked now though. I've put so much energy into the sites, that I can't just back out now :-)
    Try some PPC for the products you want to promote to see if they even convert before you put in all the work building a site around them. Even if you lose money because the PPC clicks are expensive, ateast you'll have an idea of how the products perform.

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