Acquiring Traffic

Five Terrible Franchising Display Ads and One That Worked

Eli Robinson
Friday, October 17 2014

For those of you who have been in the internet game for a long time, you know way more than I do about display ads. It seems that as long as people have been clicking around the internet, there have been advertisements ready to meet them. Anyone remember when banner ads used to look something like this?

Old School Banner Ad on Alta Vista

Hey, come to think of it...the ads themselves don't look that different than they do today!

(If you want to speak with us about banner ads, shoot us a note.)

Anyway, recently FranchiseHelp ran a test with six different display ads. We were looking to see which one performed the best in terms of click through rate and then eventually conversion rate.  To make this a bit more fun, I'll start by simply listing all six ads and letting you guess which one was this winner.

Sample Affordable Franchise Banner Ad

Sample Fire Your Boss Franchise Banner Ad

Sample Self Employment Franchise Banner Ad

Sample Job Search Franchise Banner Ad

Sample Sunday Blues Franchise Banner Ad

Sample Why Work Franchise Banner Ad

Alrighty....time to log your guesses! What was the winner?

Ok. Time's up.

Click here to see which one won >> (You didn't think I'd just let you scroll down to see it, did you?)

So let's talk for a second why that one won...

  1. That was the only banner ad where the clicker actually got something of value. It may be subtle, but we all know the pain of searching for a new job. By clicking that ad, someone gets the benefit of knowing that FranchiseHelp is going to actually help cure one of their life's issues. The other five ads mostly center on franchising or the benefits of franchising rather than providing value to the person who's clicking.

  2. The text is simple and self-explanatory. Rather than using A LOT of characters, like we do in the Sunday Blues or Affordability ads, the word count is low. Also, compared to the Fire Your Boss and Job Search ads, what the text means is incredibly easy to understand. What does "fire your boss" actually mean? I don't even know and I made the ad!

  3. There's a clear CTA -- "Start Now." In ads 1, 2, 5, and 6, it's up to the viewer to discern what to do. There's no clear call to action to click. However, ads 3 and 4 are very clear in their instruction to the viewer. START NOW!

Are these three things the recipes for every single banner ad? No. but they certainly help. As you think about what types of ads are going to work for your brand, make sure to think about what action you want people to take and what's in it for them. If the banner said "If you click here, there's a 100% chance you will get $1,000,000" I bet you'd have a click-through rate through the roof!