Direct Marketing vs. Branding

This article was written by Ted Dhanik

Direct marketers have a need to sell, and a need to do so quickly. Brands concerned with awareness tend to pull value from engaging users on multiple platforms. Which of these goals fits your display advertising campaign?

Conversions

Direct marketing campaigns are decidedly concerned with conversions. In direct marketing, money is constantly spent on display advertising, necessitating a return on investment. Direct ads tend to lead directly to a landing page where the customer can buy or fill out a form to receive something. Good direct marketers focus on listing their benefits in the sales copy, and trying to close the deal as soon as possible.

Engagement

Marketers who are concerned with branding tend to view banner advertising as a means to an end. These types of campaigns may take a customer to a special interest style website set up to promote a service, or a blog post that details something new and exciting that is forthcoming. Because engagement doesn’t necessarily mean conversion, brand awareness is viewed as a long-term objective. The idea is to get the brand on as many pages as possible for the smallest cost.

Clicks versus Views

While the two goals, clicks and views, are similar,  the end results are very different. A page view can help brand awareness if what is on that page can go viral, or if the user stays engaged with the content. Retargeting can be useful to get multiple page views at a lower cost. Both direct and brand marketers are very interested in clicks, which lead to action. Clicks tend to be more valuable, and a lot more expensive. Thus, the ratio of clicks to page views must be tighter for a campaign to be considered successful.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is a sales and direct marketing professional. Ted Dhanik has worked extensively on digital marketing with big brands like MySpace.com. Find out how to increase your conversions when you visit Ted Dhanik.

Why Clocks Might Be What Your Company Needs

By Allied Time

If that headline has you wondering what I could possibly be talking about, I don’t blame you. Doesn’t every company have clocks? Plus everyone has them on their computer, their cell phone, heck, maybe even their wrists!

But I’m not talking about any ordinary kind of clock. I’m talking about the high-tech solutions you can find at Allied Time. I’m talking about the type of clock that allows you greater results from your staff because it provides you with better tracking.

Professional time clocks are so advanced these days you can even use them to verify the right person is signing in. It wasn’t so long ago that people could simply use another person’s card and clock in for them. But nowadays, an advanced time card machine can make this near impossible. Of course, you can also use a tracking system that analyzes fingerprints. No way is someone tricking that!

The clocks themselves are really just the interface though. That’s because there is a ton of software that goes with it. And you can use this software to not only confirm people are working when they’re supposed to, but to monitor for any trends that might be of interest. This will help a lot when it comes to proposing or implementing new technology.

So while there is no shortage of ways you can improve your company, a very affordable and efficient method is by adding the types of clocks that allow you to really see what’s going on.

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Visit Allied Time today for all the time clocks you could ever want (including versions of the fingerprint time clock mentioned above) and any of the information you might need about time card machine options and more.

Running Ad Analysis like a Pro

Written by Ted Dhanik

How well you analyze the performance of an ad will determine how much money you will spend on testing figuring out whether it works or not. Learning what to track is the difference between an amateur and a professional. You will need to use a combination of your own analytics, and any analytics provided to you through your banner advertising network.

Time of Conversion

The first thing you should be aware of is the times of day you are most likely to get a conversion. This is a huge money-making tactic that many newbies overlook. It’s common to think your ads will perform just as well overnight as they did throughout the day. Unfortunately, this may not always be the case. You should review your conversion data and create a spreadsheet that tracks time of day with number of conversions.

Once you’ve run the campaign for a few weeks, you will know which hours of the day will yield the most profits. Up the traffic coming to your placements during those times, and you will stand to gain more conversions.

Source

The more you know about the traffic source, the better. So it’s important that you spend time properly targeting your audience. You should use parameters on your URL to track the campaigns you run, and view your Analytics routinely to see if the traffic numbers from your backend tracking match the numbers reported by your traffic source. Work with your traffic provider to determine the optimal targeting for your campaign, and test these settings in their own ad groups.

Creative

Testing creative for a display advertising campaign can be difficult because it’s hard to find banner ads with data that shows whether they convert well. If you need help hunting for a banner, start with affiliate networks. They host ads in all genres, so you’re bound to find one that will work for you. You can also check some of the potential placements for your ads to see what banners those websites host. Remember, these are not placements from the network itself, only the kinds of placements you would expect to do well on.

Pay attention to which sizes are most prominent, and whether different banners advertising a similar product are competing for space. Look for commonalities like keyword usage and calls to action, then build your own ads from there.

Bio: Ted Dhanik has over fifteen years experience in the direct marketing space. Ted Dhanik routinely offers tips for businesses to expand their leads through display advertising. To sign up for engage:BDR, visit Ted Dhanik online.

How to Design Banners Like the Pros

Written by Ted Dhanik

Veterans of the Web know that banner advertising is one of the most prevalent forms of outreach currently in existence on the Web. The pop-up ad, the in-content banner and the margins are all common places to see advertising on some of the most popular sites around the Web. Before you open a new canvas in Photoshop, be sure to read some of these tips pros use to make their ads more clickable.

Ad Sizes

The display advertising network that you use will have restrictions on the ad sizes you can feature, although they may not tell you this upfront. Some networks include helpful messages about the acceptable size of a banner, but you should always ask a representative which size performs best on their network. Aside from the actual pixel length and width of the ad, there may be restrictions on the usage of video in the ad, or a recommendation on file size.

Adhere to these restrictions as closely as you can. Keeping your file size low helps increase load times, and having fewer frames of a flash banner increases the speed of your messaging.

Clear Copy

Too often, marketers are tempted to use a lot of flowery language to try to explain away any possible objections to a product. The mantra to “tell your story” is taken all too literally, with long and irrelevant narratives.

To be clear, the average attention span of a user is less than ten seconds, so your copy must have a laser-like focus. Copywriting is a bit like writing a haiku, except you can make a ton of money off of the right ad. Except to say that testing is the norm, there isn’t really a set of clear instructions to provide on copywriting. Review some of your competitors before you sit down to write and see if you notice any trends in their copywriting.

Strong Enticement

The call to action is the statement on your page that drives users to action. It asks them to buy something, sign up for something or subscribe to something. The wording here is extremely important because it is the first step towards conversion. A traditional button that says “Click Here” is the norm, but there will be different designs to fit every sales proposition.

The best calls to action clearly lay out what the user needs to do in order to reap the benefits of your ad, and in some ways, they rely heavily on the copy that precedes them. Spend time refining this aspect, helping your copy and call to action flow seamlessly together.

Unity of Design

When a user clicks your banner, he should end up at a landing page that matches the proposition proposed in your ad. When offering a free report, your landing page should help push the customer to that report as soon as possible. Everything else is secondary to the objective you stated in your ad. Therefore, put extensive time into crafting a landing page that satisfies the user’s needs in the fewest possible steps.

Bio: Ted Dhanik is the president and co-founder of engage:BDR. With over fifteen years of experience in the sales and direct marketing space, Ted Dhanik is poised to help businesses succeed through online lead generation. Learn how direct marketing can expand your business by visiting Ted Dhanik online.

Four Signs Your Ads Won’t Work

Written by Ted Dhanik.

Wondering why your biz-op banner advertising isn’t driving people toward work at home bliss? Well, it could be for a number of reasons. Pinpointing the one reason that truly makes a difference is what separates smart marketers from the rest of the pack. These tips look at the dead-giveaways and red flags that should signal the death of your ad. If you see these warning signs, make changes or abandon ship!

Disconnect

The first sign to look for is whether there is a disconnect between your copy and your landing page. A disconnect refers to anything that doesn’t match between your ad and your landing page, for example, a banner with a woman that goes to a landing page with a man. This simple change can have a dramatic effect on your campaigns and conversion rates. Missing a word or using a different slogan can have a huge impact on sales, so make sure your pages match your ads. You should also incorporate the keywords for your ad into your targeting, including copy that mentions those keywords on the ad and landing page.

Value Proposition

The value proposition is everything, and if you’re not supplying your users with something valuable, you’re losing them. A free report can suffice, but think about what you can offer customers that would be most valuable. For instance, if a biz-op offer could take the customer to a list of jobs he can apply for after sign up, then the customer is more motivated to complete the action. Incentivizing your signups is not unethical, and these ads are most effective when there is something real and useful at stake.

Aesthetics

The way your ad looks can also impact conversion. Colors, pictures and cluttered text can all have measurable impacts on your final results. Try to identify banners that match the colors on the landing page, or that match the colors of a brand. When searching for pictures, always try to use people that are wearing or interacting with your products. Failing that, use pictures that evoke the proper emotions that you are looking for.

Placement is Wrong

The placement is the toughest part of display advertising because it can be difficult to pinpoint why a placement is or is not working. Try the broadest approach possible, targeting many placements and dropping the ones that have the highest CPAs. Be sure to give your campaign enough of a financial boost so you can get traffic to your placements. It’s difficult to tell if a placement is working if you have no measurable results to compare it to.


Ted Dhanik has been a thought leader in the sales and direct marketing space for fifteen years. Ted Dhanik is also the co-founder and president of engage:BDR. To find out how engage:BDR can help improve your campaigns, visit Ted Dhanik online.