Christine Shaw
Senior Vice President, Technology Group

...each time a user logs on and sees the same old banner, the effectiveness diminishes much faster than in traditional print advertising...
Additional Resources
  • Lifting Response

  • 10 Tips to More Effective Banners

  • Top 10 Banner Advertising Tips

  • Banner Ad Segmentation
  • Avoiding “Banner Burnout”
    by Christine Shaw
    March 17th, 2008
    This post is filed under the following categories:
    Advertising, Metrics
    You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

    “Banner Burnout” is the term used to describe a banner ad that is no longer effective in getting users to click through. Generally, this happens when users have been exposed to the same message too many times or for a prolonged period of time, and tune it out.

    We sometimes hear from our customers, “I’m getting a poor click-through rate (CTR) on my banner ad. Why?” And, what’s interesting, especially in B2B advertising (vs. the consumer side, which reports great results), is that we don’t often see effective use of online creative that is kept “fresh” and continues to get attention. How do we fix that?

    Here are some specific things you can do to ensure your banner advertising is continually working for you:

    • Submit multiple versions of your creative (3-6 versions recommended).

    The average person is exposed to more than 2,000 advertising messages each day. Most B2B sites have “stickiness” or repeat visitors. Therefore, if users see the same old banner each time they log on, the effectiveness diminishes much faster than in traditional print advertising. Ad server technology will recognize each user’s IP address (unless cookies are deleted) and serve up a “fresh” version of your creative, ensuring maximal impact of every impression.

    • Have a clear “Call to Action”.

    This point can’t be emphasized enough. Determine what you want your ad to accomplish, and what you want your users to do as a result of viewing your ad (your offer). For example, if you are offering a “Free Demo” or a “Free Catalogue,” be sure the call to action is prominently displayed and is clear to the user.

    • Deliver on your promise!

    If your call to action is a “Free Catalogue,” be sure to have a landing page specific to the offer that contains a simple form that’s easy to fill out so visitors can actually get the free catalogue without a lot of effort. Many advertisers make the mistake of funneling all traffic through their home page and most users won’t have the patience to navigate the site to find the free catalogue or search for whatever your offer was.

    • Test your creative.

    Create several versions of your ad using different calls to action or phrases and serve them to the same audience to determine what works best. If something isn’t working, don’t use it!

    • Use rich media.

    Research has proven that the use of rich media (video, flash, etc.) in banner ads increases click through by as much as 44%. With high speed Internet access so prevalent, don’t be afraid to leverage these visually compelling technologies.

    • Measure. Measure. Measure.

    The only way to determine the effectiveness of your banner creative is to measure the results. The beauty of online advertising is the wealth of metrics available to support your decisions. Watch your banner click-through rate closely to head off banner burnout before it happens.

    Be sure to measure not only the clicks on your banner but also what happens after users click through to your website. Do they do what you want them to do? Do they register, download a PDF, or make a purchase? Is that what you hoped they’d do? Look at how you can make improvements to their experience to facilitate them doing exactly what you intend.

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    3 Responses to “Avoiding “Banner Burnout””

    1. Chrissy Shields Says:

      This looks like it could be a great monthly resource that I will look forward to reviewing. I have passed it on to my coworkers and some clients.

      Suggestions, as a media director, I am always looking for research to compare the various media for value (ei - print vs banner, online video vs banners vs eNewsletters). Will you be doing this kind of research or can you post existing reports you have?

      Chrissy Shields
      VP - Media Director
      Paige Group

    2. Scott Says:

      Maybe have an understanding that a graphic designer or web designer is a great investment to your company’s growth as well as your sales.

    3. Kim Abair Says:

      This an excellent resource. Thank you for having the insight to create a tool that advertisers can use to improve their marketing programs.

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