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Guidelines for Designing Effective Banner Ads

When creating a banner ad, it’s important to look at it from the viewer’s perspective (your potential customer).

1. Keep the file size to a minimum

Smaller files load faster and it increases the chance of being seen by visitors.

2. Include good copy

Use of graphical elements is good, however, it’s the copy that triggers people to find out more about your product. For a good copy: Keep it short. Keep it simple. You want visitors to look at your ad, get interested, click on it, then find out more info about your product on your website (preferably on a relevant landing page on your site). Don’t try to fit all the benefits of your product into that small space. TIP: Use an eye-catching hook. Think “headline”. Headlines are what trigger people to read the story. Emphasize the benefits of your products more than the features of your products.

3. Use a Call-to-Action

By using a Call-to-Action graphic or text you make it very clear to the visitor what you want them to do. For example: For More Information; Download Info Now; Click Here to Purchase.

4. Animated GIFs

Avoid using photos and photo-like images on animated GIFs. Because of how GIFs work, the photos won’t look as nice and it will just make the file size huge. You will most likely be limited to having just one or two frames for the banner given the file size limits. Animated GIFs are also not compatible with most desktop email readers so users will only see the first frame. Therefore, if a GIF banner ad is used in an e-newsletter the first frame should include the call to action.

5. Link to campaign specific landing page

When people click on the banner, they should be presented with the relevant campaign or information immediately. They do not want to go to your homepage and be forced to hunt for the information that may exist on another page of your site.

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