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  1. #1
    ABW Ambassador
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    Merchant banners with their URL - no thanks
    I don't like them at all, not one little bit. It was just graphically emphasized by seeing a 468x60 banner with a merchant's full URL - including the www.

    Banners can have the name of the site - for branding it's ok, it's understandable. But not the url (for type-in traffic), that's not OK.

  2. #2
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    Lightbulb
    I hate them too. It shows the advertising mindset and sometimes points to clueless merchants.

    One wonders if some of them think they are getting away with something.



    I've been known to remove urls from ALT tags.



    hehehehehehe

  3. #3
    AM Navigator Geno Prussakov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    I don't like them at all, not one little bit...
    Great point, WW. Great one to add to http://forum.abestweb.com/showthread.php?t=79787 .

    Geno

    PS: BTW, I'm in Calabasas now (for those of you that don't know, WW lives in Calabasas, which is a part of the Greater of L.A.). Going to Latigo Kid in Agoura tonight... L.A. is as beautiful as ever!

  4. #4
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    Good point. Although I almost never use banners. They just don't convert for me the way product and text links do.

  5. #5
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Let me add my 2 cents.

    I think too many of us rely on the merchant to give us banners, I think if we created our own and were a bit more unique we wouldn't worry s much.

  6. #6
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    It may seem amazing, but some people prefer banners with the merchant name in 'em. I've seen quite a few sites using my GoodBulbs Logo banner and its variants.

    I'll take a look and see which banners actually perform the best:

    *Checks SAS Merchant-side stats*

    Text links, as expected, draw more hits AND convert way better.
    What may be a surprise, though, is the fact that the one that says "GoodBulbs.com" is THE winner by a huge margin! (Not enough people are using "Click Here" to know how well it can do [which is too bad, considering that on my aff sites, "click here" is usually even better than MerchantName].)

    As for graphics/banners, the one *with* the URL (the Logo, same as on the site at the time of this writing) has the best conversion ratio. The CR on it is more than twice that of the 2nd-place banner. But, it got half the clicks. Since the CR is *more* than 2x the next one, though, running it should still bring slightly more sales overall if the trend holds.

    Does it cause type-ins? Beats me...I've no way to know where the type-ins come from. But I really doubt that most people would bother to type in, what they can just click. It's human nature to take the easiest route.

    Now that I looked at those stats, I won't be quick to diss "MerchantURL" banners as an aff anymore! But before I get gung-ho about it, I'd have to test (on my aff sites) across several merchants in multiple categories. It could be that what I'm seeing in my GoodBulbs stats is a category-specific phenomenon.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  7. #7
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Lily
    Good point. Although I almost never use banners. They just don't convert for me the way product and text links do.
    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Let me add my 2 cents.

    I think too many of us rely on the merchant to give us banners, I think if we created our own and were a bit more unique we wouldn't worry s much.
    I couldn't agree more with both of these points.

    I find it really frustrating when I can't find a generic text link, let alone category or product links. I always look for generic text links first. Banners don't convert, and I hate to encourage more of the lame marketing-speak text ads by rewriting the link text for my use, and then converting on the ad ID...

    Admittedly, my own banners are crap (I'll make better ones soon), but as a long time affiliate launching a new program, text links pointing directly to product categories (why don't more programs do this?), and a product datafeed seemed to offer a lot more flexibility to affiliates that might take a more active roll in marketing the program.

    Another point I think is important to consider is that the commission offered isn't always a reflection of the value of the sale to the merchant. It may also be based on the additional value of customer acquisition, branding, etc. I'm not saying I'd put up a 1-800-BUY-PANTS banner, but I don't think the merchant is necessarily clueless or trying to cheat affiliates by offering the banner.

    If SaS offered the tools, I'd avoid banners altogether, and just upload a huge pile of high-res images and let affiliates run with 'em. They're all marketers after all, and likely to do a pretty good job of it.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  8. #8
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    I think a lot of merchants, especially smaller ones, really aren't trying to pull anything at all, that they just haven't realized it.

  9. #9
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    I saw a banner for an SAS merchant with an 800 number on it, and emailed the merchant about it.

    It was last week sometime, and now I can't remember who it was...
    Kevin Webster
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  10. #10
    Moderator Nabz's Avatar
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    I also hate it and try not to use such banner. btw, I don't remember when I last time used a banner link , As I mostly work on text link, they convert more :d

  11. #11
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webworker
    I think a lot of merchants, especially smaller ones, really aren't trying to pull anything at all, that they just haven't realized it.
    Maybe some affiliates "just haven't realized" that people are more likely to buy when banners and text links let them know where they are going.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  12. #12
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    See your point Leader. Far different then my 800 number scenario. Given the choice between clicking and typing, what do we guess most consumers would do?
    Kevin Webster
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  13. #13
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I figured for clicking in my first post in this thread.

    I'll stay with that reasoned guess. It's more effort to type. And, I don't think most visitors would see any benefit in typing to get to the same place the banner says it will take them. What would be the point (from Ms. Average Jane's perspective)?
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  14. #14
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    I most often type the merchant's name within the text so there's no mistaking it's not a merchant site they're on - and even sometimes include the .com I think it's the www. part that bothers me more than anything else, it just looks too obvious and too much like type-in bait.

    I do get sales from banner clicks, but when they're up they're on the same page as the merchant's description and/or products, off to the side. It might sometimes be easier for visitors to click on the banner because it's bigger..

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    I suppose it could be type-in bait with the "www" included...but I'd look at the overall impression I got from the merchant in this case.

    Usually if a merchant's going to be tricky and is trying to avoid paying commish, there are other signs also present (the massive 800 number, "call for price," popups at the checkout, and other things designed to circumvent having to pay commissions).

    So if they just had the "www"-ed banners without any of that other crap, I probably wouldn't think that in itself was a scam sign. One legit-intent thing I can see causing this, is if the merchant just uses the same banners in their aff program, that they use for CPM ads. CPM ads are for branding--but I think some merchants are just too busy NOT wanting to have to come up with a whole new set of banners, that they don't even think of that when they decide "hey, I'll just upload this set I've already got! There, that's taken care of!"

    *Hates to make banners, and only does it because I've seen how they get "stale" and ignored after a while*
    Last edited by Leader; January 26th, 2007 at 07:31 AM.
    There is no knowledge that is not power. ~Hemingway

  16. #16
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    I want branding for my site, not theirs. I want banners for "what," not "who."

  17. #17
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Merchant banners should be designed to clearly communicate what's to be expected at the end of a click.... to filter out "lookie loo", tricked or confused traffic. On the Google PPCSE content network for my merchant, the banner's have 3 times the CTR (clicks per impression) as the text links. Haven't changed the original banners since 1998, with additions as needed. All work for CPM -PPCSE - Slotting fees and affiliates... www.suspenders.com/banners.htm
    Webmaster's... Mike and Charlie

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

  18. #18
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    I agree that somer merchants just do not think as an affiliate. I don't beieve there is any real intent.. its just a lack of knowledge of the industry.

  19. #19
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I guess there should be a guide somewhere

    Banners with URLs and Numbers are OK for CPM programs

    Banners with URLs and Numbers are NOT OK for CPC and CPA programs.

  20. #20
    Newbie NewBadStyle's Avatar
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    as someone who was once an affiliate marketer and am now a merchant i can say that i never even thought about doing it - and i don't do it now, and it never crossed my mind.
    What a great world we would have if every merchant spent some time as an affiliate.
    And realize its not "us vs them" that we're all working together.
    But bla bla you will hear me say this all the time.

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