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  1. #1
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    When does a merchant have TOO many banners?
    While reading Geno's book, he suggests making deep links instead of only focusing on the home page. Trying to follow this extremely helpful tip, I made about 100 text links that go to my home page, main menu pages, individual product pages, and affiliate exclusive coupon landing pages.

    Now I'm moving onto banners and started out with the 88x31 size then have been moving up by size. There are banners linking to everything besides individual products pages. Even though I am only halfway through the standard banner sizes, there are already almost 100 banners.

    In an effort to make banners of all designs and sizes linking to different pages as well as an assortment of static and animated banners, by the time I finish that would be over 300 banners- if I completely ignored making banners linking to different products (and over 1,000 if I created product banners as well).

    Obviously this is way too much. How can I offer all sizes, styles, animated and static, deep linking, and shallow linking without going completely overboard? When does it get to the point that a merchant has too many banners?


  2. #2
    Outsourced Program Manager Affiliate Eagle's Avatar
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    Hello,

    From my experience I try to add a hand full of banners and text links on an ongoing basis. I consider the time of year/season we are in and what might apply and help an affiliate better market our merchant products. I even go as far as looking for affiliates who have a graphic design background to help us with our creatives so they design more favorable banners.

    I would agree that you've probably done too many, however I dont think you can really put a limit on the amount of tools you offer your affiliate partners.

    BTW

    If you want me to recommend to you our creatives person, please let me know by emailing me at emilio@andyrodriguez.com
    Emilio Yepez
    Affiliate Program Manager
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  3. #3
    Merchant & ABW Ambassador
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    Ash,

    Seen quite a lot of your posting very recently. I did not know that you are a merchant until I searched through some of them on ABW. Till now, I am not sure what your vertical is.

    Here is my suggestion:
    As opposed to creating every size and every imaginable banner size, do a search on ABW. I think Geno, or Greg and maybe myself have done a poll on ABW to ask about the most popular banner size. Sorry, old age getting to me and i can't remember who.

    It is also critical to know that some banners size works well for some verticals while some might not. Essentially, you want to poll your affiliates as they know your vertical best.

    You do not need banners for all of your products (if you have lots of products), just start with your popular products. If you put all banners in the affiliate interface, you will just confuse them and in most cases, affiliates will rely on you to tell them what is hot and what is not. Also, what you want to do is also to open the channels of communications and let your affiliates know that you can turn around a banner on a short notice. I.e. they see you have 88*31 banners for xyz product, they like it but they do not see a way to ask you for a 468*60 banner. Open the channel of communication and help them help you.

    Just a side note, banners are nice but when I was managing 2 programs on linkshare, most of the sales came from non-banner links. This holds true for most aff prog.

    Shoot me an email if you need help. It's in my sig.

  4. #4
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what network you're on, but most networks don't organize their links very well so having too many can be a problem as it'll take longer to for affiliates to find what they want.

    Some networks (like SAS) let affiliates easily create their own links, which makes things much, much easier for affiliates. Some networks only do this as an option so make sure it's enabled and/or clearly documented so that affiliates can build their own links.

    Make your main homepage/logo banner in a wide variety of sizes, but most of your other links should be fine with just a 468x60 (or even just a text link).
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  5. #5
    http and a telephoto
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    Well, the opinions I see here already are against the past research that has been done I am insisting that my merchants make their banners in all the requested sizes, and then the trick is to organize them by category so that affiliates can find what they are looking for without having to scroll through the whole page.

    And even though most sales are through text links, a program without banners gets slammed pretty quickly with requests for banners. And some programs are more visual than others and do require banners instead of just text links.

    Personally I like product links (with images) and text links. But as an AM I get constant requests for banners, so they are a necessary evil. Organization within the network can be a challenge, but don't let that keep you from giving out what your affiliates need. In another thread an affiliate specifically requested that merchants create text links to all their categories. We have done just that. Now to make them so the affiliates can easily find them.

    And yes, you need deep links and not just home page links.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador
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    Couple things:

    http://www.iab.net/standards/adunits.asp

    http://forum.abestweb.com/poll.php?d...lts&pollid=630

    These seem to be the most popular according to that poll:

    468 X 60 Full Horizontal Banner
    125 X 125 Square Banner
    120 X 60 Button
    88 X 31 Micro button
    120 X 600 Skyscraper
    234 X 60 Half Banner
    120 X 90 Button

  7. #7
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Emilio-ARC
    If you want me to recommend to you our creatives person, please let me know by emailing me at emilio@andyrodriguez.com
    I might just take you up on that! I saved your email to my list of contacts. When the times comes, I would love to outsource the task of making creatives. Right now I'm still a one-man show but would love to hire someone from ABW eventually instead of having to find some random design team through a Google search. It will probably be a little while before I can afford to outsource but once I really get going it will be a necessity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    I did not know that you are a merchant until I searched through some of them on ABW. Till now, I am not sure what your vertical is.
    I've been/was an affiliate for a couple of years and have been a business owner since 2004. Just getting to the point where I am ready to expand through the internet as well. I launched my website to the public about 6 months ago. Before that I focused mainly on "brick and mortar" retail locations but would like to expand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Ewe
    As opposed to creating every size and every imaginable banner size, do a search on ABW. I think Geno, or Greg and maybe myself have done a poll on ABW to ask about the most popular banner size.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trust
    These seem to be the most popular according to that poll:
    I know what sizes to make (thanks to the folks of ABW and Geno's book). I am only focusing on standard sizes for now and will simply leave any irregular sizes on a custom request basis.

    This is what I have so far in regards to text links and banner ads. I had the 120x600 and 160x600 banners done but took them down this afternoon and am in the process of redoing them since they looked like poop in a scoop. There are still some other ones listed on the banner page I want to redo and the other ones I am also making are what the green bars at the bottom are for. The 468's and 234's are also done but not uploaded yet on the banner page above.

    (Ignore the intro paragraphs where it says the working codes are on SAS. The two pages listed above are not linked to from the rest of my site yet since I'm trying to get everything done before I launch with SAS. It's just there so it will be done when I'm ready to go.)

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    I'm not sure what network you're on, but most networks don't organize their links very well so having too many can be a problem as it'll take longer to for affiliates to find what they want.
    I was with CG but after the things I learned on ABW from the members and after learning about parasites, I killed that and will be launching exclusively with SAS. It didn't seem like there was a good organization system to me either on SAS which is why I made two pages on my website (mentioned above in response to Eric) so the affiliates could see everything in one shot.

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelColey
    Some networks (like SAS) let affiliates easily create their own links, which makes things much, much easier for affiliates. Some networks only do this as an option so make sure it's enabled and/or clearly documented so that affiliates can build their own links.
    I put that in the intro on the quick glance pages that the affiliates are more than welcome to either make their own text links or ask me for assistance if they don't know how. Thank you very much. I'm glad to know SAS has these features available.

    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    And even though most sales are through text links, a program without banners gets slammed pretty quickly with requests for banners.
    Exactly. Being an affiliate as well, one of my pet peeves is a lack of banners which is why I am trying to avoid the issue now. It's not a big deal if they are willing to make them upon request but I get angry (and have been known to even drop merchants) who never respond to banner requests. Not sure why some merchants only have one or two banners. It is extremely frustrating.

    Two tons of thanks to everyone. I'll keep working on different sizes and will have some templates ready for each size that way when someone makes a specific request they will be available immediately.

  8. #8
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    I thought you were on SAS, but I couldn't remember.

    Yeah, the link organization is pretty bad. I have some suggestions regarding that, which I'm going to make to Brian at ThinkTank next week.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  9. #9
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Trust, you reading my hard drive because those are the exact ones I create. Probably got that here. We usually start with a dozen total maybe a second set if we want to use a secondary USP.

    I make about 20 text links too, try to cover the best keywords for motivation to buy. Then, when talking to affiliates that are producing we make product links or custom banners.

    If you try to cover every possible angle you will drive yourself nuts. Talk monthly with your top affiliates and always end the discussion with "do you need anything?" They will guide you.

  10. #10
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    And an afterthought- do data feeds help in reference to this? I spent all last night reorganizing my data feeds into categories after learning that was a major affiliate pet peeve to have no categories. Does anything in the data feeds serve as "link aids?" Sorry, if it's a stupid question. I've never worked with DF's before.

  11. #11
    The "other" left wing davidh's Avatar
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    Better too many than not enough. All sizes, and a variety of color schemes as well. Almost every day I have to dig for links for "other" merchants instead of the one I wanted to put a link up for, because they either did not have the right size for where I wanted to put it, or because the color scheme would make my site look like Ecomcity was messing with it.
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  12. #12
    http and a telephoto
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    Quote Originally Posted by lookingfortips
    And an afterthought- do data feeds help in reference to this? I spent all last night reorganizing my data feeds into categories after learning that was a major affiliate pet peeve to have no categories. Does anything in the data feeds serve as "link aids?" Sorry, if it's a stupid question. I've never worked with DF's before.
    Datafeeds make product linking and Make A Page available, plus give you the ability to be in PopShops. All very useful to affiliates. Your feed needs to have good, unique info in it about your products so that the content that goes on affiliate pages is useful to them. Titles, descriptions, keywords etc are all things that affiliates can use to make pages, links and blog posts with.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  13. #13
    Member lookingfortips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by loxly
    Datafeeds make product linking and Make A Page available, plus give you the ability to be in PopShops. All very useful to affiliates. Your feed needs to have good, unique info in it about your products so that the content that goes on affiliate pages is useful to them. Titles, descriptions, keywords etc are all things that affiliates can use to make pages, links and blog posts with.
    Thank you so much! I did the rest except for keywords but I will most certainly add those ASAP.

  14. #14
    OPM and Moderator Chuck Hamrick's Avatar
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    Datafeeders are a certain breed of affiliate who if you can get them on your program can do wonders.

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