Advertisers often ask their SmartBrief account management team how to get the most out of their ad buys. What images should I use? How much copy should I include? What's the most effective call-to-action? How many times can I show the same ad to an audience before fatigue sets in?
These questions can be hard to answer, but past performance data can offer some insights into how best to approach ad creation and campaign management.
SmartBrief serves roughly 3,000 unique ad creatives across its network each month. To help guide our advertisers in the ad creation process, we compiled more than a year's worth of data (and thousands of creatives) to bring you our Advertising Media Kit. We’ve included a few of our favorite findings below.
1 – USE AN IMAGE
Determining what "type" of image drives strong performance is nearly impossible. However, it is clear that the presence of an image - any image - is a good thing. SmartBrief has two standard text units – one that features a 180x150 ad image (rectangle text ad) and one that does not (outline ad). When comparing performance between the two ad formats, we found that versions featuring an image performed nearly 50% better than those that did not.
Our advice? Always use an image! Grab the reader’s attention by utilizing bright colors and people’s faces.
2 – MAKE IT COUNT
We found a significant relationship between ad copy length and click through rate (CTR). As the ad copy length increased, generally, so did the CTR. SmartBrief specs recommend 40 characters for the headline and 250 characters for the copy. However, the average SmartBrief ad has only 35.2 characters in the headline and 232.7 characters in the copy.
Our advice? While most advertisers fall short of the recommended character counts, we suggest making the most of the space available to you. Share with the reader as much valuable information as the space allows.
3 – KEEP IT FRESH
Content can often go stale if not refreshed frequently. For sponsorship placements, we found that creative fatigue can set in quickly. For each successive run of the same creative to the same audience, performance can drop 10 to 20%.
Our advice? Start with rotating 2 to 3 creative versions in your campaign. Be sure to replace the low performers with something new after a few runs.
Alex Pavelich is an analyst on SmartBrief's product marketing team, and a former account manager on our advertising operations team. In her current role, she tracks performance trends for all content and advertising products.