Banner ads can’t carry on online campaign like they used to, but millions of websites with billions of combined daily impressions still reserve key real-estate for these web-billboards. In other words, the reach they provide is extensive even if their efficacy has waned.
I honestly hadn’t looked much at resort banner ads for a while so I spent some time last week browsing the web and clicking on the resort ads I came across. In the end, I learned three simple lessons to apply to ski banner ad campaigns going forward.
Lesson 1: Test, Test, Test (Breckenridge)
It’s pretty clear what you should have seen (a headline, descriptive paragraph and booking form), but due to was some error in the link, all I got was a red message telling me that my request couldn’t be processed. I can only imagine how many other clickers saw this same message (if anyone from Breck reads this, here’s the link).
Everything was setup for success but a typo in the URL or change in the destination page’s URL broke the system. The lesson? Test, test, test both before and after an ad goes live.
Lesson 2: Don’t Make Me Search (Gore)
The offer was enticing, “Ski & Stay from $67”. The problem was that the landing page didn’t show prices anywhere but rather a long list of available packages. I saw this with other ads as well. If I click on an offer that says “X”, the landing page better welcome me with info on how to take advantage of that same offer. The back button is easier to click than 6 different links on your site.
Lesson #3: Someone’s Got Their Stuff Together (Northstar)
A lot of CMS’s simply don’t allow the styling and layout control you need to make a solid sales page. That’s why I love what Northstar did with their custom landing page. It has the same basic feel of the main site but has no main nav and no sidebar to get in the way. The message matches the wording on the ad exactly and moves me right into the next step of the funnel. The page also provides some very helpful info (like what my room would look like at this price) that I simply didn’t see on other pages. No searching to find the offer I clicked on, no clunky formatting to work around to sell me on the package, just a simple offer, the right info, and a clean, clutter-free layout. Well done.
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