One day it happened. Somebody took a chance. Do you remember where you saw your first odd sized banner? The first time I ever saw a non-standard issue banner on a webmaster-based site was on an anime link trade site back in late ’99. At first I thought somebody screwed up, some new webmaster had just done it wrong. Well, he’d actually done something quite right. The odd-sized banner caught the attention of the surfers like nothing else had in a long time.
It turned out that my traffic was clicking on his reciprocal link quicker and more often than they were clicking on sponsor advertising banners! When I first saw the results of this in my out-stats I couldn’t believe it. And I wasn’t the only one that had noticed; other webmasters were seeing the same thing and were experimenting around with odd-sized buttons for their trades as well! The funky sized banner really did the trick!
The affiliate programs didn’t miss a beat. Traffic Cash Gold, Max Cash – all the big ones of that era – soon were turning out odd-sized banners and buttons at the requests of their webmasters and conversions were jumping! Things were moving at warp speed, beyond the standard 120×60 or 468×60, and simple changes between horizontal and vertical – banners were now available in a whole new pixel dimension! This may sound strange to some of the newer webmasters to the industry, but back then it was nothing short of revolutionary. It was as if a door had suddenly opened to a whole new world filled with new ideas, new opportunities and new ways to do things – that “ah-ha” moment we all hope to experience.
The odd-sized banner is commonplace now, but it truly was an exciting new option just a few years ago. New trends, new possibilities and new technologies will come available at various stages of the game. Some will work – and some will just fizzle out. But trying new things is important – who knows? That new technique might be just the thing to double your conversions or help you to reach your perfect audience! Testing out the waters and riding that new wave is definitely a journey worth taking for any online marketing situation. Don’t let your sites – or your programs – stagnate. Keep them growing, changing evolving and moving with the flow of the surfing tide…
Finding What Works… And What Doesn’t!
Of course there’s a lot of trial and error involved. Usually, if we’re being honest, there are a lot of trials and a heck of a lot of error. The adult industry has been at the forefront of advertising and marketing innovation since the dawn of the ‘Net. From the pop-up to the pop-under, the full-page ad and the odd-sized banner – and everything in between, the adult online industry has either been instrumental in its development or simply packaged it in a more productive way. Flash advertising, the overlay ads – blinking banners that persuade users to click them just-to-make-them-stop, dancing monkeys, fake-out drop down menus and oh so much more. We’ve invented, improved, manipulated and abused just about every innovative marketing strategy imagined.
That being said, not everything works. And not just in general, the old “what works for me, might not work for you” adage of the Golden Days of the ‘Net still holds true today – it’s not just good newbie advice! Finding that special formula that literally “clicks” with your traffic is the ultimate goal of any online entrepreneur. You don’t necessarily need to drop a load of cash to find that perfect match, but you will have to keep an open mind and try new things. Remember – you aren’t building these ads for YOU – you are building them for your customers. Know your customers and you will be able to find the perfect approach and solution.