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Red_CurlyC035.gif (995 bytes) My Yahoo banner ad

In February of this year, I decided to try running a banner ad at a major search engine. Why not go right to the top, I figured. I called Yahoo! and asked them what it would take to get a banner ad placed at their site. It was a breeze -- all I needed was a good banner and a minimum of a thousand bucks.

So, I spent a few hundred dollars having a couple nice rotating banners designed. Then, after speaking with their sales rep I settled on some keyword banner advertising. The banners ran for the entire month of February.

I was lucky enough to secure great keywords such as "home business", "business opportunities" and "online marketing" so when someone typed these keywords, my banner would pop up.

Cost: $1500

The results? After the campaign was over, I spoke to the sales rep and she said I had achieved a very good click-thru rate of about 8%. That is, for every thousand times my banner was displayed, I had about 80 people visit my site. Or, for the roughly 28,000 times my banner popped up, I achieved a total of just under 2300 visitors.

Now, since these stats were new to me, I did not have anything to compare them to. So, I did what any business owner would do. I added up my sales and the total of new gazette subscribers (possible future sales) this campaign brought me.

My monthly sales were up by about 7%, or $1200 -- just under the total I spent in the campaign. I also received about 220 new gazette subscribers who reported finding me through my Yahoo! banner. Naturally, many of these would result in sales eventually as well.

My rating on a scale from 1 to 5: (3)

Although I would do it again, I had expected a bit more action. It certainly wasn't a waste of money, but when I went a step further and figured out that I paid about 65 cents per visitor I didn't rush right out and renew. My suspicion is that "branding" would be the best type of campaign for this advertising medium. I'm a little too small for that.

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