"Text ads regularly outdraw the banner ads, sometimes by huge margins."
Banner ads, if done right, can still be effective advertising tools. I just saw a presentation by Intel that used a very creative flash piece in a large banner ad that drew a huge response. So this isn't an article claiming the death of banners ads.
But I've found something very interesting when running digital campaigns that mix banner ads with text ads. Text ads draw anywhere from 6 to 10 times more than banners ads in certain campaigns.
Email newsletters are big in one industry I serve quite a bit, semiconductor equipment and materials. These are double opt-in, very targeted e-newsletters with highly technical content produced by trade publications. When you find the right audience, they work great.
One newsletter runs a combination of banner and text ads for a flat rate. You supply 3 banner ads and 3 text ads with a small graphic, usually about 70 by 70 pixels, and they will randomly run those 6 ads throughout the month.
When I get the tracking report back after the month has been completed, the text ads regularly outdraw the banner ads, sometimes by huge margins. (Text ads in this case are embedded right into the news section of the newsletter. They typically have a headline and about 50 or so words of copy along with that graphic). The text ads actually look like news stories in these newsletters. I guess that's the point, right? Duh.
Banners ads, even with flash, can become like a picture frame. People love to look at the picture (in this case, the news), but they don't necessarily notice the frame. So when you're looking for new, creative ways to drive readers to your web site, ask for a text ad.
If you want to know the key to writing those 50 words so your click through rates climb, give me a call.