Easy formula for banner ad design

Create banner ads that get results by using an easy formula for banner ad design.

airplane dragging a banner

The goal of an effective banner ad is to get a qualified click on your ad. Creating banner ads that get results is easy using a formula developed by MarketingExperiments.com:

ea = 2at + i + as

This formula for creating an effective ad (ea) is based on three objectives: attracting attention (at), generating interest (i), and asking for the click (as).

Attract attention:

In order to attract attention, your ad should stand out from the page and other ads on the page. This can be achieved through a difference in one or more of the following:

  • Size: Larger ads have more visibility.
  • Shape: A unique shape or irregular edge can help your banner ad stand out.
  • Color: Make sure the colors used in your banner ad are different from other banners and the overall page color.
  • Motion: Consider animating an image (not text) in your banner ad.
  • Position: Be sure your ad is in a prominent spot on the page to get better results.

Getting attention is the most important part of successful banner ad design, so it’s multiplied by two in the equation above. But use these attention-getting tactics judiciously: If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.

Generate interest:

Once you have someone’s attention, you need to build interest to make your customer decide to click on your ad. Your ad needs to answer the question for your ideal customer, “Why should I click on your ad instead of doing something else?” Your value proposition and the interest it generates depend on the following:

  • Appeal: Your offer should be attractive to your customers.
  • Exclusivity: You should offer something no one else offers or for a limited time.
  • Credibility: Any claims you make and images you include should be understandable and believable.
  • Clarity: Be clear and concise so your customers can understand your offer.

Ask for the click:

Make sure that it’s clear what you want your ideal customer to do when they see your ad, and match the “ask” to optimize the number of qualified clicks:

  • Implied or direct ask: Decide whether your customer would respond better to a direct ask, such as “Order Now,” or to a more subtle ask, such as “Learn more.”
  • Decision stage of viewer: Match your offer to where the customer is in the sales cycle. Someone just starting to learn about your offer might be more interested in a brief introduction to your product, while a late-stage buyer might be willing to watch a 15-minute product demo.
  • Tone: Match the tone of your request to your audience and what you’re asking them to do once they click.
  • Level of authentic urgency: Your statement of urgency should be honest. Say “While supplies last” if you have a limited supply, or add a deadline if the offer will run out after a certain date, but don’t include misleading or dishonest information about your offer.

You can learn more about this easy formula by watching the MarketingExperiments.com webinar on Banner Ad Design.

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