Tag Archives: Advertising

Advertising Using PPC Search Engines

Internet technology offers vast opportunities to promote your business with virtually no advertising borders, and you can find countless sources online directing you towards budget marketing via pay-per-click search engines for maximum effectiveness in the information age.

Enterprising people know all the benefits of optimizing their online advertising, and because of this fact the ‘pay-per-click’ (PPC) technique has been developed to meet the need. PPC is certainly at the cutting edge of Internet advertising today, because you ‘bid’ or budget on the exact amount you want to put into your advertising campaign, giving you the choice to state just how much you’ll pay each time someone clicks on your ad.

For instance, if you bid five cents a click, that’s how little you’ll pay for your advertising – and you’ll only have to pay that five cents each time a consumer clicks on your ad! Budget marketing via pay-per-click search engines should encompass the following integral steps of creating, optimizing and managing your advertising campaign or ‘sponsored search’ on the most widely used search engines including Google, Yahoo, MSN, Earthlink, American Online, Ask Jeeves and CNN.com – just to name a famous few!

The most widely touted benefit of budget marketing via pay-per-click search engines is that it delivers your product information and your web site to the very consumers online who are searching for such products, be it business, science or technology-related, trips and travel, car buying, entertainment ideas or wedding planning! Your business specifically reaches those already interested in knowing more, and enthusiasts of budget marketing via pay-per-click search engines will tell you that no other advertising medium can give you that kind of bang for your advertising buck.

Other pluses of budgeting via PPC are that your ad can be targeted to regions you specify, whether you want the entire world to know, or just focus on your local area at the moment. Your ad can also be tracked towards search engines that receive the highest amount of keywords specific to the product or service on your website. Whether you have a home based business or you’ve just been appointed Director of a countrywide multi-national, your business will benefit from budget marketing via pay-per-click search engines. Seek out experts who will

Integrating Advertising into Your Web Design

If you are going to be placing ads on your website, you’ll want to put some thought into how you’ll integrate them. Poor integration of ads into your website will cause visitors to click away fast. Successful integration of ads into your site can be highly profitable. Before I show you where to position ads, I want to mention a few important points about ads.

1. Ratio of ads to content

How many ads should you place on your website? There is an optimum ratio of ads to content. If your website has too high a proportion of advertising relative to content, the traffic on your website will suffer and you will lose money. If your website has too low a portion of advertising relative to content, the sales on your website will suffer and you will lose money.

What is the optimum ratio of ads to content? I can’t point to any studies, but I feel the optimum ratio is somewhere around 20 to 25 percent ads relative to content. Go much above that ratio and, despite more ads, the revenue from your site goes down. But, there are ways to exceed that ratio and still make more money.

Ads as a service

Advertisements can provide useful information, as well as content. In that case, the ads become content. Here’s an example. Rather than post ads that pay you the highest commission, post ads that provide the best value to the visitors to your website. These are ads where the value is so good you might respond to the ad yourself. This type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

Another example is ads for gifts around the holidays. People expect and are not turned off by an increase in ads around the holidays. Finding gifts for everyone on your list is difficult work, and people appreciate gift ideas. Again, this type of ad is more of a service than an advertisement.

You can safely exceed the normal ratio of ads to content if you hide the ads in the content. An example of this is product “reviews”. For example, computer magazines are almost 100 percent advertising posing as product reviews.

2. Repetition of ads and ad management

I have seen websites that display the exact same banner on every page. If I didn’t respond to the banner on the first page, what makes them think I will repond to it on the second, third … hundredth page?

Displaying the same banner on every page of your website is annoying to your website’s visitors, and a money losing propostion for you. Keep your ads fresh. Ads are boring enough without repeating the same ad over and over. Display a variety of ads, and use an ad management system. An example of an ad management system is a banner rotator.

3. Ad type relative to response rate

I have heard claims that text ads receive the highest reponse. I’m sure these results are not related to whether the ad is text or graphics, but more likely related to the fact that text ads are usually placed in the more responsive areas of a webpage. All thing being equal, a graphic ad will always get better response than a text ad.

A graphic ad will get higher response than a text ad, and an animated graphic ad will get higher response than a static graphic ad. But animation can be taken to an extreme. Some types of animation are annoying and not only does the ad get a low response, but it also causes visitors to click away from your website.

Examples of annoying animated ads are banners that flash or jiggle or do something else that distracts the visitor so they can’t read the webpage content. Those visitors that don’t click away will scroll the webpage so this type of ad goes off screen while they try to read the webpage.

A secret few advertising designers know is that the graphic that will get the most attention is a picture of a human face. People are genetically predisposed to look at a human face in their view area. Try it yourself while you’re browsing the web. If a webpage has a human face on it, that’s the first thing you will look at.

Where to position ads on your webpage

To discuss where to place ads on a webpage, we need to divide a page into five sections as listed below.

  1. Header
  2. Footer
  3. Left Margin
  4. Right Margin
  5. Center column

Note: There is a sixth area of the webpage which is the popup window. There are many forms of popup windows; pop-over, pop-under, delayed, and exit. The polite way to use popup windows is the self-closing popup window. Because of popup window blockers, popup windows are much less effective today, and, from my own experience, when I tried using popup windows, the page views on my website dropped by 50 percent.

The most common position to place advertising banners is in the header section of a webpage. Web users have programmed themselves to ignore banners in this position. The response rate of banners in the header section of webpages has dropped to something like .0001 percent. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) has tried to overcome this problem by defining giant (what I call “battleship size”) banners. I don’t know of any studies that show this works.

Using banners in the head section of your webpage is a waste of processor time, but most webpages still use them. Making a sale this way is a long shot. Banners in the footer section of a webpage are even less responsive.

Actually Web users have programmed themselves to ignore all advertising on the web. However, from my own experience, you can get some response from ads in the left and right margins of a webpage. Most websites are designed with the menu in the left margin and possibly ads in the right margin. This means if the user has a low resolution display, depending upon the width of the webpage, the advertising may be off the screen.

Place your menu in the right margin and use the left margin for advertising. This places the user with a low resolution display in the positon of having to scroll to view the menu. Too bad. They should get a bigger display. Website revenue comes first.

The most responsive position to put your ads is in the center column of the webpage along with the content. As visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they come upon the ad. It’s unavoidable.

If you imagine the center column of your webpage divided into three parts; top, middle, and bottom, the most responsive position for your ad will be right in the middle. As the visitors are reading the article on the webpage, they are forced to look at the ad as they continue to the lower part of the article. This might be a little annoying to the reader, but let’s hope your content is worth that slight annoyance.

I would recommend placing your ad at the bottom of the center column. As visitors read the article on the webpage, they end up looking at your ad. This is almost as effective as placing the ad in the middle of the column, and a lot less annoying to the reader.

As you can see, how you integrate advertising into your webpages has a major impact on your ability to produce revenue from your website. Poor ad integration will cause visitors to click away. Proper integration can make your website highly profitable. But, ad positon is not the only determining factor, don’t forget the ratio of ads to content, ad management, and ad type relative to response rate.

Advertising Costs Getting Too High?

Everyone knows that advertising is essential to growing a business. One problem that small business owners have always faced is the high cost of marketing. Most, however don’t realize that there is an effective way to reduce the cost of your advertising while – at the same time – increasing its reach.

Advertising co-ops are nothing new. Usually they are a “perk” offered by major manufacturers to encourage retailers to promote their products. Because the retailer has direct access to customers that would want to buy certain products, it only makes sense that they should do joint advertising. You’ve seen it – McDonalds mentioning Coke in their commercials, Dell stating that you get a free Epson printer with purchase and so on.

The retailer doesn’t make the product the manufacturer is providing, but it IS a great match with what they DO offer. Nobody would want to eat a Big Mac without something to drink, and a computer wouldn’t do a lot of good without a printer.

Now you can use this same strategy to create your own advertising co-op to increase the reach of your ads and drastically reduce the cost, too.


— How It Works

Generally speaking, the cost of any advertisements (bulk emailings, ezine ads, banners, newspaper, etc.) would be split equally between all participants. If you and two associates decide to purchase a solo ad, you would each receive equal mentions in the ad and you would each pay equal portions of the cost.

So if the solo ad were going to a list of 200,000 and cost $150, each of the three would pay $50. You get to reach 200,000 people for 1/3 the cost you would have normally paid. And, because this ad relates you to other types of businesses, you actually expand your advertising reach.


— Getting Started

So who would be qualified to enter into an ad co-op with you? It depends on the nature of your business. Think of others that reach your same target customer and make a list. If you design Web sites, you might approach hosting companies, graphic artists, copywriters or programmers. If your business is landscaping, you could invite yard maintenance companies to join you.

Once you have a list of one or more business types, think of current associates you know who belong to those groups. Also, ask others if they know of any reliable businesses that fall into the categories you’ve outlined.

— Making the Approach

When you have a list of businesses to approach, simply write or email them with your offer. Be sure to point out the benefits such as:

* a win-win situation
* reduced cost of advertising
* expanded reach of advertising
* larger, more prominent ads for a fraction of the cost

Also, be sure to ask about the advertising outlets these businesses currently use. You will likely find new avenues that lead to greater exposure.

— Finalizing the Deal

You’ll need to work out payment arrangements with your partners prior to placing the ad(s). The best way I have found to handle the finances is for each party to pay me for their portion of the cost with a credit card. I then place the ad order with MY credit card. This way, you are assured of receiving the dollar amount due to you; and your partners have the assurance that – should you default on your end of the deal – they have recourse for getting their money back.

Working in cooperation with other businesses can lead to tremendous successes with advertising. When like-minded companies pool their resources to reach one target audience, the impact is doubled while the cost is reduced by at least half. That’s the best advertising bargain around today!

Advertising “Click Fraud” Rampant Online?

“Pay-per-click,” by far the most popular form of online advertising, recently came under fire as charges of rampant “click fraud” gather steam on the Web.

Google and Yahoo! earn the majority of their money through sales of advertising to tens-of-thousands of online merchants, companies, and professional.

In fact, some estimate that 99% of all Google’s revenue comes from advertising sales. Unfortunately, allegations of click fraud may well rain on Google’s otherwise sunny parade and cause a whole scale revamping of current online advertising practices.

Pay-per-click advertising does exactly what it sounds: advertisers pay for each click on their ad, usually mixed in among search engine results or displayed on relevant websites.

“Click fraud” occurs when, for whatever reason, an ad gets clicked by someone or something (usually an automated “bot” that simulates clicks) with no intention of ever buying anything from the advertiser.

The sole intention of click fraud is to simply drain an advertiser’s budget and leave them with nothing to show but an empty wallet.

Who commits click fraud?

Usually an unscrupulous competitor who wants to break a rival’s bank, online “vandals” who get their kicks causing other people grief, or search engine advertising affiliates who want to earn fat commissions by racking up piles of bogus clicks.

Regardless of who does it or why, click fraud appears to be a growing problem search engines hope stays under their advertising clients’ radar.

This problem isn’t exactly news to the search engine giants.

In fact, on page 60 of their 3rd quarter Report for 2004, Google admits that they have “regularly refunded revenue” to advertisers that was “attributed to click-through fraud.”

Google further states that if they don’t find a way to deal with this problem “these types of fraudulent activities could hurt our brand.”

Bottom line for Google and Yahoo! (which owns Overture, the Web’s largest pay-per-click search engine): as word of click fraud spreads across the Web, they must act quickly to calm the nerves of advertisers who could well abandon them over doubts about the veracity of their advertising charges.

The search engines all claim to carry measures that identify and detect click fraud, but details about how they do it and to what extent remain sketchy.

They claim revealing details about security would compromise their efforts and give the perpetrators a leg up on circumventing their defenses.

This sounds good, but affords little comfort to advertisers who feel caught between losing out on their best traffic sources and paying for advertising that won’t result in revenue.

One way to protect your business against click fraud is to closely monitor your website statistics.

Look for an unusually high number or regular pattern of clicks from the same IP address.

If you need help, enlist the aid of your hosting provider to aid you in spotting suspicious trends in your website traffic.

Also, a number of services such as ClickSentinel.com have sprung up online to help advertisers spot and quickly analyze and compile the data necessary to effectively dispute fraudulent click charges with the search engines.

Three Proven Steps to Improve Your Home Business Advertising

Newspaper advertising is a tremendous source of new business that for so many businesses doesn’t ever reach its true potential. These 3 steps will help you change that forever!

You’re about to find out the mistakes that your competitors keep on making, and to start using techniques proven to grab your prospect’s attention and draw out responses that turn your ad into the ‘customer producer’ you always knew it should be.

Small Business Realities

All business owners want to increase sales, generate more customers, and make more money. Yet few take the necessary actions to do so. Providing a quality product or service is simply not enough.

Many business owners think they need to set an advertising budget, send out a few sales letters, put a few coupons in the local circular, run a newspaper ad, hand out flyers, and do a bunch of other things ‘trying to get their name out there’.

The problem is… a small business that uses that approach wastes a lot of potential. Spending money on this type of exposure is known as advertising. The goal of advertising is to establish a brand name, build an image, and achieve top of the mind awareness. These are some fancy terms taught in business school, but unfortunately they steer everyone in the wrong direction.

You see, small businesses aren’t supposed to advertise. Advertising is all about repeating exposures and building an image. Think about all of the many McDonalds commercials you see on television in a week. That’s ‘high frequency’. Don’t they all seem to show a feeling of friendship, eating happily with family (“we love to see you smile”)? That’s image.

Do you think they intend to get you up out of your seat and go to your local McDonalds right as you’re watching the commercial? Not really. OK, they hope you might, but that’s not what they intend. They are paying to have you see their message so many times that when you are ready to buy their product you will remember them and go there. Now,let’s get to work on your steps to advertising success.

Proven Step #1

So what method will work for your business? It’s called direct response marketing. Here’s an example. Have you ever bought anything after watching an infomercial? Even if you haven’t, infomercials work, they make a lot of people a lot of money. It might surprise you, infomercials are not advertising – they don’t try to build an image or get you to remember a brand, the products aren’t even sold in stores!!

What do they do?

** They take a receptive audience.

** They get them excitedly to pick up the phone and buy. They create action!

This is why most newspaper ads don’t deliver big results. Most newspaper advertisers choose the commercial, but you want the infomercial. Your one and only goal in newspaper advertising is to create action.

In the usual types of Newspaper Directory ads you’re dealing with very targeted prospects. These are people looking up your company type and ready to call you. That’s the beauty and the curse of Newspaper Directory ads. The beauty is prospects can find you easily, the curse is that your competitors are right there with you!!

So how do we get them to pick up the phone and dial your number?

Use direct marketing…which is:

** Directly target a group of people who are in the market for your product or service.

** Offer them what it is they want.

** Generate a response by forcing them to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #2

Your competitors probably waste a lot of money because they’re charged for people who will never even consider their offer. There is a definite and specific market for your service and these are the only people that you should aim your offer to.

For example, if you repair dental equipment you want to market your service to dentists, oral surgeons, etc.. But it’s not generally that easy.

Consider a Home Cleaning Service in a suburb of Cleveland that advertises in the Cleveland Plain Dealer due to the tremendous readership. If 75% of the cleaning company’s clients and target prospects are 3 person families and larger, with incomes of $100,000 per year, living in suburbs A, B and C., they’ve wasted a big chunk of money. Here’s why.

They just spent a lot of money for an ad that will be seen by college students, low-income families, and others that would never consider using their services anyway. Their high percentage prospects make up only a small readership of that paper. Who knows what percentage of those people will see the ad?

Maybe there’s a magazine or community mailer that caters to middle/upper class families in a county neighboring Cleveland or in one of the many suburbs. Sure, maybe the readership is nowhere near as large but the lower cost and targeted readership will generate a much greater return on the company’s investment.

A mailing list of 3-person households and larger with incomes above $100,000, who moved to such-n-such city or county within the last year can be purchased. Direct marketing targets the people most likely to respond to your offer.

Proven Step #3

Most advertising has no offer. And so the prospect has no incentive to respond right now. Direct response always tries to get a response by offering something of value to your prospect right now.

Using the home cleaning service in the example above, you could offer a free hour of cleaning, 20% off the first job, a free pack of sponges and a bottle of Simply Green or anything of value that will cause a person to act.

Since the offer is subject to your terms, you set a date when the offer expires, a number they have to call, a letter that they must bring in, a form that they must fill out.

So, at the end of your promotion you know exactly how much was spent reaching how many people. Also, you will know how many people responded and how much business was generated.

Most of your competitors don’t do this little analysis! They repeat campaigns that cost more than they bring in. So they are forced to set advertising budgets that limit the amount of advertising they can run each year.

But, if every one of your promotions cost you $55 and brought in $225 in business, why would you need a budget? Wouldn’t you just keep repeating the promotion over and over?

Your goal should be to repeat and improve what works for you. If you do, you will not need a budget and you will be able to predict what kinds of repeat and new business each promotion will generate.

There is no such thing as Free Advertising!

There is no such thing as Free Advertising.

Yep, you read right. There is NO such thing as FREE Advertising. The only kind of advertising you can get is inexpensive or expensive, good or bad, but you can’t get FREE advertising.

Why do we say there’s no such thing as FREE advertising?

Because you’re advertising is paid for with either time or money. You either pay someone for advertising OR you take your time putting advertising up.

Whichever way, you’re paying for your advertising. There are some things you need to consider when advertising, whether you’re paying in time or money.

Groups Advertising – Is the group active? Do the group rules allow advertising? Is the group targeted to your target audience?

Signature Lines Exchanges – Does the other business compliment yours? Are they in different groups than what your in so you get more exposure.

Link Exchanges – Make sure the site has traffic; one way to find out is to ask. Make sure the site compliments your product. Make sure it has a Google ranking of at least a 3. Does the site target your audience?

Site Advertising – What are the site stats? Ask the Webmaster if you can’t find it on the site. Check Google page ranking. Check to see if the site is updated with new information regularly. Does the site target your audience? Does the site compliment your product?

Ezine Advertising – Again ask for the stats, don’t just ask how many subscribers they have. Ask how many are reading their newsletter. Make sure the ezine is geared towards your targeted audience.

We keep coming back to the check this and check that because you want to make sure that ezine or site is worth your payment, rather it be in money or time; because our time is valuable too.

So be selective in how you spend your time, just as you would in spending your money, when advertising your business.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising & Search Engine Optimization

There are pro’s & con’s to both Pay-Per-Click advertising and optimizing for natural search engine traffic.

PPC advertising has many great benefits. First of all, you get your traffic going quickly. I have used this advantage many times. I test new products and even new websites through PPC advertising before making a decision to promote or scrap my new website or product idea.

I am a firm believer in testing new products before throwing large amounts of money into advertising. PPC advertising is a great way to do this. For example, with Google’s Adwords program, you can post your ad, pay a $5 sign-up fee and have highly targeted traffic to your website within an hour. How is that for efficiency?

Also, you can moniter your click charges and stop them before they get too expensive. By the time you have spent your budget on clicks, you should have a pretty good idea of how successful your product is going to be.

I think of PPC advertising as being the most useful when starting a new business or product. WIth PPC advertising, you can quickly and efficiently find out which keywords you need to target and which products are the most popular.

Once that testing period is over, however, it’s time to look into Search Engine Optimization. PPC advertising can be very expensive, costing hundreds, even thousands a month in advertising costs. Once you know what keywords to target, it’s time to put together a plan on how you are going to optimize your website. The drawbacks to search engine optimization is that it requires a lengthy amount of time to get your site to rank high with your keywords. That is why I suggest using this method after the testing period is over, when you already know your business will be profitable.

Search Engine Optimization is definately a slow way to get your website traffic if you plan on not using PPC traffic. It could be a long, expensive road before you even begin selling your product. Search engines can take months, even years to start pulling up high with the search engines. But, natural search engine traffic is definately the best long term way to get the majority of your traffic.

When getting your site to start pulling up in SE natural listings there are 2 main things that need to be done:

  1. Add Content
  2. Add Backlinks

Search engine traffic requires you to submit your site to many different search engines and wait, maybe even months for them to spider your website.

I have had much better luck with another route. You can pay a fee to have your website listed in a very high ranking directory like www.dmoz.com (free), www.yahoo.com‘s directory ($299) or another website where your link is on a page that has a page ranking of 4,5,6 or higher. The sites I mentioned above have rankings of 8 or 9. When you have your link on a site with that high of a ranking, the search engines are spidering those sites constantly and will find your website and spider it very quickly. Not only will they find it quickly but because you are linked to a high ranking site, you will also rank higher with the SE.

When looking for backlinks, focus on sites with content related to yours and high page rankings of 4 or higher.

As for content on your site, try to include about 200-500 words of content or text on most of the pages of your site. Text makes your site bulkier. Make sure to integrate all of the keywords you want to target within the content of your site. Don’t worry about cramming the same keywords in over and over. Search engines may possibly even blacklist your site for keyword stuffing, if you try to do that.

There is a lot to know about Search Engine Optimization but, those are the 2 main factors when getting started.

In summary, when starting out, I suggest using PPC advertising for testing products and keywords. Spend time optimizing your site for search engine traffic after you have tested your products and keywords.

Seven Ways to Waste Your Money on Yellow Pages Advertising

Each year there is a Yellow Pages arms race where competitors in each category are encouraged to out spend each other. There is only one winner in this arms race, and it is not you! Too many advertisers waste their money on Yellow Pages advertising without first considering their marketing strategy. Here are seven ways you can waste your money.

1. Attempting to outspend your competitor
As soon as Yellow Pages has convinced you to increase the prominence of your ad, they get your competitors to match or outbid you. This becomes an annual auction, with some categories containing pages of half and full page ads. A buyer can be overwhelmed with choice and may make their decision before they even get to your ad. Priority in listing is given to those who have advertised the longest in a category for a given ad size. You can only get closer to the front by upsizing your ad or if someone else closer to the front ceases advertising.

2. Putting all your eggs in the Yellow Pages basket

An advertising decision is something you should only make after you have developed a marketing strategy. Many businesses rush into advertising in the Yellow Pages, just because that’s what everyone else does. You don’t become a leader by following the herd. You need to consider your payback for your investment in this marketing channel. Ask your Yellow Pages consultant how many leads a particular size ad generates in your category. Then ask yourself how many of these leads will you convert into sales, and then decide whether this is a good investment.

3. Engaging in destructive Head to Head Competition
When you advertise in the Yellow Pages, not only can potential customers see your ad and your offer, so can your competitors. This can result in price competition that can turn your product or service into a commodity. Yellow Pages make comparison shopping easy for buyers and market research easy for competitors.

4. Spending too much on prominence

When spending on a Yellow Pages ad, you can invest in size and colour. Size is important, but what you put in the ad, your copy, is far more important. It is better to go down a size and spend the money you save on a copywriter. Good copy can generate up to 20 times the response as poor copy. Colour is also important, but not as important as size, so go up a size rather than go to colour, which is expensive for its return. If your category is cluttered with large ads, investing in your copy is essential.

5. Relying on Yellow Pages free design service

Ad design is important. Yellow Pages do offer a free design service, but its worth what you pay. The typical design is done in 15 minutes. As they are designing tens of thousands of ads you can’t really expect any special attention- especially as there is no charge for the service! When they design your ad, they will appeal to your vanity rather than to your customers. So they will put “Joe’s Plumbing” in the headline. But buyers don’t care who Joe is, and are far more interested in why they should use Joe. This requires some marketing analysis of your points of difference and ultimate service benefits, which won’t happen in 15 minutes!

6. Putting your ad in the wrong category

If you are a plumber, the decision of where to place your ad is easy. But if your business is in a fairly specialized market such as oil refinery plumbing, there probably isn’t a good category for you. In fact, for many B2B businesses Yellow Pages is a poor marketing tool. Ask yourself the question, where would a buyer look to find out about your business- it might not even be in the Yellow Pages.

7. Depending on old technology advertising

Every year internet advertising increases, with less being spent on print advertising. Yellow Pages is now available online and for certain businesses this is a better option, particularly with a link to their website. When being sold paper Yellow Pages ads, you may be offered complimentary online advertising. However, unless your ad is near the front, you will be invisible to buyers who rarely will browse further than three pages. It is also worth paying for a link to your website.

The Yellow Pages consultants are on commission to sell you advertising. They only interested in getting you to spend as much as possible, not on providing the best marketing solution for your business. Advertising is not the same as marketing! Good marketing advice on whether and how you should advertise is money well spent. Not only can this increase sales, but it can save you thousands of dollars in advertising.

Before making a decision on Yellow Pages advertising, you should consider all your marketing channels, and make decisions on how much you invest in each dependent on their ability to attract leads. Having determined how much you will invest in Yellow Pages, do some market analysis and invest in your ad copy. This is particularly important for larger ad sizes. Yellow Pages advertising can be rewarding, but should only be considered as just one part of your overall marketing strategy.

Eight Steps to Increase Your Newsletter Advertising Revenue

As the newsletter market becomes increasingly more competitive, it’s important to follow several key steps in your pursuit of potential advertisers. Simple steps such as providing basic information and practicing timely follow-up can contribute to the success of your overall advertising revenue.

Follow these tips to quickly boost your advertising revenues.

1. Contact Information – Always place contact information toward bottom of your emails and articles. Include Company Name, Contact Name, Tel, URL, Email, Fax, and Address. Buyers prefer to purchase ad space from companies and individuals that are easy to contact and have a physical location.

2. Target market – List your target market and demographics. If you have not yet performed a survey of your subscribers, then list your perceived target market. To gain actual demographics, email your subscribers a simple survey. This allows you to not only learn about your subscribers, but will also aid in efforts to increase subscriber base. A survey will also help you to develop editorial content geared towards your readers main concerns or interests.

3. Subscriber Numbers – Numbers are important when considering an ad purchase. Don’t hesitate to list the number of subscribers to your newsletter as well as the average monthly percentage of growth rate.

4. Follow Up – This may be one of the most valuable steps in increasing advertising revenue. After a sale, be sure to communicate with your advertiser. It’s a lot easier to re-sell ad space than find a new ad buyer. If the advertising run is a one-issue purchase, email the advertiser the day before the newsletter goes out to remind the advertiser when it’s scheduled to run. Then telephone or email the advertiser after the ad run to learn of the effectiveness. If the advertiser is happy, resell them on the spot for a longer term. If the advertiser was unhappy with the results, ask “why” and then encourage them to buy another advertisement at a discounted rate. If the advertiser decides to purchase another run, be sure they make changes their ad copy. The effectiveness of the ad often depends on the ad copy itself.

If Advertisement is run for multiple months or issues, email the advertiser weekly asking their feedback. Telephone your advertiser once per month. Also, you should always email the advertiser to inform them of an approaching renewal time and attempt to renew their run. If there is no answer, call two or three days later and try to sell over phone.

5. URL Tracking – Have advertisers create a tracking URL to verify advertising was included and allowing analysis of the gains achieved from ad placement.

6. Credit Cards – Allow advertisers to purchase ad space with credit cards. It is inexpensive and presents a very professional organization. Better yet, it is easier to re-sell as the advertiser only needs to say YES. The easier you make it to buy the more sales you’ll make.

7. Partnerships – Increase the size of your advertising offerings by partnering advertising sales with similar newsletters and Ezines. Partnering allows you and partners to collectively sell advertising space. The larger subscriber base will attract larger advertising buyers. Provide a 15% commission to the selling party, which could be you or your partner(s). This works well for newsletters with under 10,000 subscribers.

8. Ad Networks – List your ad offerings with one or more Ad Networks. Gain a professional sales force with extensive resources to sell your space. Realize, you will earn less per subscriber, but you will most likely sell-out your advertising space. This also allows you to concentrate on marketing and content which is usually the main interest. Also, many Ad Networks do not require exclusives, so you can continue to sell your own space with an assurance that advertising sales will occur for every issue.

Follow these eight easy steps and you’ll quickly see an increase in advertising revenue. Good Luck!

Online Advertising Traffic and the First Law of Web Surfing

You won’t read about this phenomenon in books or articles on general principles of advertising or direct marketing. In fact, traditional advertising professionals and direct marketers often create only so-so online advertising campaigns simply because they’ve never heard of this phenomenon, even though it’s essentially the first law of human web surfing behavior.

How to convert your online advertising traffic into customersReady to find out what that all-important first law of web surfing is? Prepare to be not very amazed. You see, everyone who surfs the web already knows about this phenomenon of human behavior because we all do it–even you.

So here it is, the first law of human web surfing behavior, which you absolutely must take into account when marketing your website: While surfing the web, almost everyone will hit the “back” button if they think there’s a chance–even a small chance– they’ve come to the wrong web page.

The corollary to this law of web surfing behavior: Anyone who clicks through to your site via an online advertising link needs to know they’ve arrived at the right place as soon as they get there.

Immediately. Within a second. From a click glance. Without having to read anything. The average human attention span on the web has been measured at eight seconds, and you’ll have already lost a few seconds while the page downloaded.

The Key(word) to Converting Advertisement-Clickers into CustomersHow do you make absolutely sure visitors feel like they’ve arrived in the right place?

Make the title and first heading of your landing page (the page on which a visitor “lands” after clicking on an advertisement) the same as the headline of the advertisement that brought your visitor there. If the landing page links to a banner (image) advertisement, use the same pictures and color scheme as the advertisement.

The landing page absolutely must immediately remind the visitor of the advertisement.

The advertisements, in turn, must flow logically from the keywords they are targeting. Even if your advertisements are appearing on websites rather than search engine results, you need to be thinking in terms of the keywords people are using to search for your product in order to speak the language of your prospective customers.

That’s why it is very important both your advertisement and landing page incorporate the target keyword prominently, in headings as well as the page body. That’s also why it’s so important you don’t send your visitors from online advertising to your homepage–it’s unlikely you could optimize your homepage for all your possible advertisements. Visitors who arrive via advertising need to land on a special “landing page,” or they may crash and leave your site.

Conversions: your advertising campaign’s goal But what happens once visitors land on your site and decide to stay more than ten seconds? It’s no use if they just hang around. They need to convert.

Important definition: In online advertising parlance, saying a website visitor “converts,” means he or she has taken a desired action toward becoming a customer, either 1) buying something or 2) contacting you for more information, thereby becoming a lead.

The percentage of visitors who convert out of the total number of visitors who arrive at your page is the conversion rate. Your goal is to get this rate as high possible. You do that by finding the right message to display on your landing page, and also by targeting the advertising so you are getting visitors who are most likely to convert.

In order to get your visitors to convert once they arrive, you need to make sure they have a clear path to conversion from the landing page. The simpler the path, the better–a winding road might lose some potential customers. This conversion path could be as simple as a “buy now” button or a contact form, or as complex as a multi-step shopping cart with required registration with required email confirmation to scare away those who are not truly devoted buyers.

Targeting your trafficWhat you show visitors who arrive at your site is only half the equation. The visitors themselves are the other. As with everything in life, you can’t convert a sow’s ear into a silk purse. In this case, the sow’s ear is paid traffic that is not targeted, or is coming from popunders or other forced viewing, or is just plain faked (there is software specifically designed to emulate human visitors so fraudsters can sell the “traffic”).

Even in the best of cases, some traffic converts better than others. Generally speaking, visitors who are looking for you are the likeliest to convert, so conversion rates tend to be highest from advertising on search engines. Conversion rates tend to be lower from advertising on websites (so-called “content” or “contextual” advertising).

Conversion rates are lower still on advertising on website popups, and lowest of all on so-called adware (programs that display popups on a user’s computer; the people who sell this advertising often label it “targeted traffic”). Sending emails that consist of nothing but your advertisement, even if you’ve skirted the legal definition of spam, is not worth the bad will and damage to your brand.

Preaching to non-converting online advertising trafficA significant percentage of visitors, maybe a majority, will never just click “buy now.” How do you reach them?

Many people simply will never make a purchase without speaking to a salesperson first. For them, provide a convenient contact form, as well as a live chat option–if you can afford the time and expense–your email, and a telephone number. A telephone number is especially important since there are some visitors who will never convert without hearing the voice of someone on your end.

For visitors who are not ready to convert immediately, you should have informational articles, “about us” pages or FAQs ready to help them make up their minds.

For visitors who simply will not be ready to convert today, give a reason to bookmark your page. Good articles. A special offer. A newsletter to sign up for. Free advice.

Just make sure you don’t place these alternative non-converting options in too prominent a position, or you’ll risk distracting prospective customers. A few paragraphs up from the very bottom of the page is a good place to catch people who are interested in you enough to read the entire page, but still haven’t converted. The very bottom of the page should be reserved for a conversion option for all the prospective customers accustomed to scrolling to the bottom of the page to get a quick overview.

After all, if you want your visitors from online advertising traffic to convert into customers, shouldn’t you at least make it easy for them?