3 Principles For Successful Online Ad Campaigns

I’d like to share 3 principles for online advertising that I frequently see marketers (especially new marketers) get wrong. Let’s jump right in:

1 – Create & Test Ads That Are Radically Different From One Another

It is important to create and test ads that are as different as possible from one another. There are two reasons for this:

  • Reason #1: Small differences from one ad to the next usually mean small differences in how they perform. Big, dramatic differences from one ad to the next frequently result in big, dramatic differences in how they perform. If you want the increase the chances of hitting a home run with one of your ads, go for big differences.
  • Reason #2: When have a big performance difference between your ads, it will take less time, and a smaller budget, to determine the best performing ad.

Example A: Let’s say you’ve split-tested two similar-looking ads. After 10,000 impressions for each of them, Ad A has received 85 clicks, and Ad B has received 90 clicks. Which is the best performing ad in terms of CTR? The answer is: You don’t know – the numbers are too close to make any conclusions! You’re going to need to spend a lot more time (and money) running the ads to get statistically significant data.

Example B: Let’s say that your ads looked radically different from each other and therefore got very different CTRs. After 10,000 impressions each, Ad A has received 30 clicks, and Ad B has received 170 clicks. In this scenario Ad B is the clear winner in terms of CTR. Ad B also got a high CTR that you would likely never have gotten if you had only tested a few subtle variations on Ad A.

There IS a time to test smaller tweaks to your ads. The time is after you have already determined a high performing ad and want to improve it even further. But don’t miss out on your chance to discover that high performing ad in the first place!

2 – Beautiful Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better!

Ugly and unprofessional looking ads frequently perform better than beautiful professional-looking ads.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why ugly ads work well; mine is that they stand out more. “Banner blindness” kicks in when your banners look too much like all the other banners that people are constantly seeing.

I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen an ad that looks like it was designed in MS Paint by a 5 year old outperform a slick professional ad that looks like it was designed by Michelangelo.

New affiliate marketers sometimes get discouraged because they can’t design ads that look as good as the ones provide by a merchant. Don’t worry about looks; worry about performance. And don’t assume anything about how your ads will perform – test them to find out – you’ll be surprised at how hard it is to predict which ones will perform best.

3 – Click Through Rates Matter… But Conversion Rates Matter More

There seems to be an undue obsession with CTRs among many internet marketers.

The CTRs of your ads certainly ARE important. Ads with higher CTRs generate more traffic and can also mean lower CPCs (depending on your ad network). But CTRs are not the most important statistic to look at.

Example:

Say that you’re split testing two ads…

  • Ad A has a 1% CTR and a CPC of $0.50.
  • Ad B has a 2% CTR and a CPC of $0.25.

You’re paying half as much per click for Ad B so at first glance it looks like Ad B is better, and it might be. But it also might not be. If you look at your conversion rates you might see that Ad B has a 1% conversion rate (per click) whereas Ad A has a 5% conversion rate (per click).

Let’s look at the math. Say you spend $100 on clicks for each ad:

  • Ad A (CPC $0.50) gets 200 clicks from the $100. With its 5% conversion rate, Ad A generates 10 conversions from its 200 clicks.
  • Ad B (CPC $0.25) gets 400 clicks from the $100. With its 1% conversion rate, Ad A generates 4 conversions from its 400 clicks.

Do you see what happened? You spent $100 on each ad, and Ad A got more conversions even though it had a lower CTR.

Conversions (not CTR) are what ultimately determine your return on investment, and that’s what really matters!

Wrapping Up

Remember the internet marketer’s mantra: Test, test, test! Constantly testing new ads and optimizing your campaigns is the only way to lasting success.

To view case studies from campaigns that other internet marketers have run, check out AdChop.com. AdChop shares case studies from a variety of sources, including campaigns that promoted Clickbank products.

Justin Clark is an affiliate marketer who runs AdChop.com, a growing collection of internet marketing case studies.


31 thoughts on “3 Principles For Successful Online Ad Campaigns”

  1. SuperDomainscom says:

    Beautiful does not mean better. That’s the hard truth.

  2. Chris Kent says:

    Nice points. I would agree generally. Especially on pt2 I know that some people use graphical banners that look like hand-written text and they work very well.

    I disagree slightly on no.1. I think you should test totally different things and then choose the best performing one and create variations that are only slightly different and then drill down.

  3. Tu Michael says:

    “Beautiful Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Better” i really agree wt this point.many bloggers create fancy and fashy ad but not so effective

  4. boss says:

    want the increase the chances of hitting a home run with one of your ads, go for big differences.

    http://www.songs7.com

  5. zeus says:

    John

    I first found out who you were when I first read your book. You’ve helped me create a website that has valuable information for my readers and wanted to thank you.

  6. HiepNguyen says:

    I’ve vote for Ad 3 . Very useful, thanks for your sharing!

  7. I’ve made money with ads that were not that pretty. Testing is key for many reasons. The only way to succeed is to learn from your failures.

  8. Kenny Boger says:

    Thank you so much . very valuable lesson to me. Trying to make a nice ad for a few days, after reading this article it changed my mind about using beautiful ads.

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  10. fas says:

    That is some maths!

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  12. Thanks for breaking it down John. I know it’s a bit more complex when tested out but at least, it isn’t as intimidating as other marketers make it look. Testing is the key. Thanks for taking the time to teach us this stuff.

  13. The difficult part is balancing how many variables to test versus how much you have to spend to test all those permutations at one time. If you wait to test different variables and permutations of ads/landing pages in different batches, time is now an issue. I think the key is to test the high impact variables, and leave the ones with diminishing marginal value to later.

    Thanks for the post!

    -Tom

  14. IMAC says:

    Good advises. Isn’t it called the A/B Testing?

  15. IMAC says:

    Good advises. Isn’t it called the A/B Testing?

  16. Rajib Kumar says:

    Nice tips for ad campaigns. Thanks for share.

  17. Rajib Kumar says:

    Nice tips for ad campaigns. Thanks for share..

  18. Thanan says:

    Good tips. Someone have to read it.

  19. Joseph says:

    Thanks for breaking things down for new folks. Certainly some good advice here.

  20. lamborghini says:

    Hmm. Interesting tips. For sure going to follow them!

  21. Dess71 says:

    Paid ads is interesting but I lost money there and never looked back. I think I need to have lots of budget to get started because it involves testing. How I wish if I succeed there.

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  23. demotivators says:

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  24. demotivators says:

    Remember the internet marketer’s mantra: Test, test, test!

  25. demotivators says:

    Remember the internet marketer’s mantra: Test, test, test! We have to do it )))

  26. demotivators says:

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  27. All of the above are great information and I got many things to learn here.

    Yes, this is very important to remember why we make ads – the answer is for promotion and why we promote – to get business… So in the end how much business we are getting matters the most!

    Please keep sharing more on this, thanks.

  28. All of the above are great information and I got many things to learn here.

    Yes, this is very important to remember why we make ads – the answer is for promotion and why we promote – to get business… So in the end how much business we are getting matters the most!

    Please keep sharing more on this, thanks.

    Email Marketing Services

  29. All of the above are great information and I got many things to learn here.

    Yes, this is very important to remember why we make ads – the answer is for promotion and why we promote – to get business… So in the end how much business we are getting matters the most!

    Please keep sharing more on this, thanks.

  30. ramiszaro says:

    This is really an interesting tips thank you for your share

  31. Americas News Now says:

    Thx. Great info John Chow dot Com !

Comments are closed.