Tips for Creating a Marketable Website (Series: Part 5 of 5) – Guest blog by Prosper’s Ethan Willis and Randy Garn

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Tip 5: Harness the Power of Pop-Ups & Banners


Pop-ups became a faddish advertisement in the late 1990s, leading to an explosive use of pop-ups and subsequent consumer rebellion. Anti–pop-up software is now commonplace, but the most profitable advertisements (those that lead to sales or another desirable income) are pop-ups. So how do you reconcile the consumers’ disgust for pop-ups and the pop-ups blatant success? The answer resides in how you place your pop-ups. Pop-ups that appear in a different window can be easily ignored or blocked. Perhaps the most successful pop-ups are placed on your own Web site advertising a special, a sale, or a new product. These pop-ups can appear when a consumer enters your Web site or leaves it. However obvious this may be, place pop-ups in Web sites that are related to your product. Do not try to sell sky diving gear on a Baby Gap site. Finally, look into upcoming software, such as WhenU, that is placing price comparison pop-ups on competitors’ sites. Although such software is fairly new on the market, those that have used it have found that such pop-ups were much more profitable.

Banners have generally been considered a customer acquisition tool. However, recent research suggests that 12 to 15 percent of clicks on a banner come from return customers. The downside of banners is that many of them are not targeted to a specific audience: they are meant to catch a broad array of consumers. Yet by using rich media (something more than just plain stationary text), banners can be a profitable form of advertisement that can create customer retention.

When determining your advertising strategy, look at all the advertising methods available to you and figure out which one would most likely fit your targeted demographic.



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