P. Edronkin

When should you test your banners? (II).

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When you come up with a brand new design of untested effectiveness, it is usually better to minimise your investment risks by making some prototype runs at small scale. These should begin being untargeted in their nature in order to test the banner's 'vegetative' effectiveness.

It is axiomatic that if a banner has no untargeted effectiveness, it would be much too risky to put it to work in a targeted and more expensive advertising environment. In other words, if your banner does not work in a run-of-the-site environment, at least marginally, you should not risk your time, efforts and money trying to run it in a highly targeted environment.

Of course, there are a few exceptions, such as when a banner presents a very specific item or service, which within an equally specific environment could work. For example, if you want to sell camouflage clothes for hunters, soldiers, etc. a banner that says 'camo clothes' could work on a page which explicitly refers to the topic, despite the fact that in an untargeted environment it might pull less than what is acceptable. However, these are exceptions.

For most cases, you should take into account that any given banner should show a response rate of no less that 1% in an untargeted environment before being adapted to run as targeted. Otherwise, you risk wasting your money.

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