All you wanted to know about online advertising (and were afraid to ask) (sic)

The following is some info that I collected from the web. I dont know how to write a copyright disclaimer. - paritosh, 02/18/2000

(And Jalu, you were not as right as you are attractive in a black shirt)


The Cost of Advertising on Web


How to Rate Banner Rates

With all of the advertising methods available to sites, 95% of the sites that accept ads rely on the familiar 468x60 full size banner ad. Overall, the average cost for a full size banner about a $20 CPM, but costs can vary dramatically from site to site. To give you an idea on how CPMs can vary, the following is a summary of an AdRelevance report on the average CPMs for a variety of top categories across the web. Keep in mind that these are averages for the category and costs for special targeting or valuable locations may be significantly higher.

(btw, CPM is Cost Per Thousand (Roman Numeral) impressions. The price paid by an advertiser for a content site displaying their banner 1,000 times. For other jargon refer glossary at end)

$50 to $60 CPM
Computing & Technology
Reference & Education

$40 to $50 CPM
Business & Finance
Shopping & Auctions

$30 to $40 CPM
Comics & Humor
General News
Home & Garden
Society, Politics
Sports & Recreation

$20 to $30 CPM
Kids & Family
Movies & Television
Search Engine
Travel, Regional/Local

$10 to $20 CPM
Yellow/White Pages

Larger volume purchases, longer time commitments and smart negotiations will help you reduce these CPMs significantly...sometimes as much as 40%. Instead of lowering your overall cost, a site may be more willing to offer you bonus impressions or a free sponsorship of an email newsletter. Once you reach an acceptable CPM, negotiating for some of these add-ons can help to lower your overall CPM and provide you with a new ad opportunity to test.

If you are not looking for specific locations or targeting within a site, you can run your banners ROS (run of site) or RON (run of network) for a lower rate. With these generic buys, your banners can appear anywhere on the site wherever there is available space. Front page space and highly targeted areas will always demand a higher CPM. For example, it is not unusual to see $100 CPM on some areas on the CNETs and ZDNets of the world.

Even though almost every ad supported site sells the full size banner ad, less than 20% of them rely on that alone. At least half of these offer several sizes of buttons, usually 120x60 and 88x31. Because of their size and the limited room for your message, it is no surprise that button rates are 1/2 to 1/3 lower than banner rates. It’s also doesn't hurt to send a logo button to a site with your banner ads, since it is not uncommon for them to run it for free if the space hasn't been sold.


The major sites that manage all the online advertising
Online advertising network of over 200 brands

Banner Brokers
Network of 1,500 small to medium-sized Web sites, offering advertising sales solutions for both emerging and mature Web publishers.

A large and diverse network of web publishers.

An online ad sales organization specializing in the individual representation of a select number of Best-of-Breed content web sites and networks.

Provides global interactive advertising solutions
A free advertising network exclusively for educational sites

Response focused advertising solutions.

Helping smaller companies utilize the tools that larger players have successfully used to grow their businesses online.
Online media planning and buying for all types of media.

A network of sites that you can buy on a cost per click basis.

24/7 Media
A top reach network of branded sites in a variety of categories.

The pay-for-results advertising network


Case Studies, Surveys & Reviews on online advertising

DoubleClick's Case Study Center
A handful of interesting case studies from the mecca of online advertising.

GUV's WWW Surveys
Not a dynamic site, but a resource for the GUV surveys results from actual web users.

The place to be if you love stats. A must visit place for anyone looking for data to make a good speech or presentation.

Internet Advertising Bureau
The non-profit organization for the industry, with a lots of good research.

A fantastic weekly critical review of specific banner ads. If you looking for creative ideas, visit here and see what the experts think is good.

NetRatings Reporter
An interesting list of the top advertisers, banners from the Netrating research panel.

Strategies and techniques for web marketers.

NUA Surveys
A European site with excellent resources for online advertising around the workd.


An article about web advertising vs other media


We have all witnessed to relentless attack of "dot com" ads on tv and the radio, but which ones do you really remember when you get back to your PC? Sure there are a few familiar brands that may stand out, but you probably can only remember the shock effects that many of these are using to stand out. Yea, the guy hitting golf balls off the back of another guy's head sticks out to me too, but I can't think of who the advertiser is.

Some of my favorite magazines like Fast Company and Business 2.0 are now so loaded with dot com ads that they are too thick to fit in my laptop bag anymore. Since I rely on my quality time away from the office at home and on airplanes to catch up on this reading, I now have to rip out the articles I like from the magazine before I leave the office.

This clutter in traditional media is the topic of a recent Anderson Consulting survey. They surveyed 1500 Internet users about what actually gets them to visit a website, and a significant majority of the participants indicated that web ads are the most effective.
- 25% of web users went to a website after seeing a Banner Ad
- 14% of web users went to a website after seeing a Television Ad
- 4% of web users went to a website after hearing a Radio Ad

This is one of the first studies to indicate that the media spending on traditional media many not be as effective as everyone originally thought. The sights and sounds or a tv ad may be great branding tools, but if they cant stand out from the overwhelming clutter of similar ads, then the benefits are lost.

It is a common point that people are jaded about banner ads, but when used effectively, they can be very successful. Consumers are more responsive when the ads that are relevant to the content of the site they are on. Nobody wants to see an advertisement, but consumers like you and I do want to learn about solutions to our problems, wants and needs. If I'm on a health site to learn about my nagging sore throat, I'd be pretty interested in an ad for a new fast acting throat spray. If I am looking for gift ideas for my boss, and ad that lets me view the descriptions of several bottles of wine right within the banner is a much welcome service.

Basically, the web works because it closes the loop. A consumer can see your ad and react to it immediately. They may or may not make a purchase right away, but they have taken an action to learn more about your company, and they may have left an email address.

Make your banner ads a compelling solution to a problem, want or need, and think carefully about where you place them. The more you can custom your ad to the site you are advertising on, the more successful your campaign will be.


A basic primer for online advertising

1. Banner Exchange Services

Banner services are a great source of free advertising. Basically how it works is, you agree to display a banner on your site, and in return, the banner service displays YOUR banner on other sites. How often your banner gets displayed is usually based on how many times your site displays OTHER banners. Therefore the more traffic that comes to your page, the more times your banner will be displayed on other sites.

Most banner services also include other free services, most notably statistics tracking. This is the best way to keep track of how much traffic your website it getting. You don't have to waste page space putting up one of those little page counters, just login to the banner service and view your statistics.

Probably the most well known banner service is LinkExchange.

If your web site is targeted primarily at women, then you need to check out BannerWomen.
Bannerwomen operates just like other banner programs, but they only display banners on sites whose visitors are primarily female.

If you are interested in targeted advertising, then SmartClicks is for you. SmartClicks works to ensure that your banner is displayed on sites that have the highest possibility of obtaining a visitor. Also provides detailed reporting on what types of site your banner has been displayed on.

There are other banner exchange programs out there that target special interest groups. To see if you need a more focussed banner program, check out Yahoo!s listing of banner programs.

2. Webrings

A web ring is a group of web sites that have a similar focus or attract people of similar interests. Each of the web sites in the webring displays some links to other sites in the ring. The idea is that people will visit one site in the ring and then proceed up and down the ring, visiting other sites in the ring as well and increasing traffic for everyone involved.

I have participated in a few webrings in my time, and I should tell you that the traffic I have received via the ring has been very minimal. One of the problems with the webring system is that the rings usually get way too large to be of any value. There are webrings out there with over 6000 members, so if you are site 4023 the chance of someone who came into the ring at site 1046 browsing all the way down to your site are small.

Another problem is that people have a tendancy to join multiple web rings, and display the web ring links at the bottom of the page in one large group. Most people cannot even tell which web ring they are clicking through.

Finally, for the web ring system to work, it would seem that the best place for the web ring links would be the main index page of the web site you are visiting. However some web ring participants bury the web ring links deep in their site where they are rarely if ever seen. If you were next to one of these sites on the ring, you would probably never gain a hit as a result of your neighbors poor web page design.

Webrings could be an effective tool if used properly, however there is little moderation of webrings and no one to strictly enforce the behavior of some participants. If you are still interested in the web ring concept, check out Webring.Org


3. Clicktrade


ClickTrade is a relatively new program on the web, and it might be something that would be good for your website.

You can participate in ClickTrade as an Advertiser, as an Affiliate, or both. Advertisers pay money to other webmasters for referring visitors to their website, Affiliates direct surfers to other websites in exchange for a small payment.

Lets say that you want to be an Advertiser. You join ClickTrade and give them all the info they need about your page. You then decide how much you want to pay to webmasters who send visitors to your site. Payouts can be as low as one penny and as high as you like. Looking over the program it appears that 5 cents is the average payout rate. Once you are setup, then Affiliates will request to link to your site. You do NOT have to accept the affiliates request. If you do accept, then they put a link on your page asking people to visit your site. If someone clicks on that link, the amount of money you specified as your payout rate is deducted from your account and added to theirs.

As an affiliate, you request paid links from advertisers. If they accept, then you place a link on your page and when people click on it, you get paid.

ClickTrade is NOT a get rich quick scam. You will NOT get rich off of ClickTrade, so don't even bother trying.

However, ClickTrade is an excellent program to either get visitors to come to your site, or as an affiliate you can earn a few pennies a day to help cover the cost of maintaining YOUR website.

Advertisers remember that you do NOT have to agree to pay any site that requests to link to you. When someone on ClickTrade requests a paid link, make sure that you review their site to make sure it has actual content. There were at one time a lot of "ClickTrade Malls", where people would have a web page set up with nothing but links to a hundred or so ClickTrade advertisers. This practice has been pretty much eliminated thanks to the people at ClickTrade.


4. Bulk email advertising


Do I Want To Protect My Businesses Reputation?

      If you do, then Internet Bulk Email advertising is not for you. Internet users absolutely HATE getting junk email, some of them even to the point of getting hostile about it. Sending out a mass emailing is a good way to quickly stir up bad feelings about your business, and lose a LOT of potential customers that might have come to you had they ran across your business through a more legitimate form of advertising.

Can I Really Make Money With Bulk Email?

       A little, but you won't build any sort of repeat business unless you constantly are sending out bulk email, which is a good way to get into trouble. The day that your mailing goes out your web page or 800# will be flooded, but the business will quickly die down again, and then you will be forced to resort to legitimate advertising, after having invested your money in bulk email software and mailing lists.

Trouble? What Kind Of Trouble?

       It takes a lot of work to build a website to promote your business, it would really suck to have it ripped right out from underneath you, wouldn't it? If you resort to advertising your web site via bulk email (or Spam) then you can expect to have this happen. Most ISP's (Internet Service Providers) are strongly against Spam, and will terminate any users who are caught doing so.
    Click here for a recent example of what kind of trouble awaits those who spam.

What If I Find An ISP Who Supports Spam?

       There are a few ISPs out there who are known as Spamhaus's, or Spam - Friendly ISP's. They allow their customers to do what they please with their web site and will brush off any complaints of abuse or spam by their clients. These type's of ISP's regularly host web sites for pyramid scams or porno sites, if you want to be grouped in with that category, go right ahead.
What Other Kind Of Trouble Can I Get Into Using Spam?

        Most bulk email software that you will buy today is labeled as being "stealth" software. This means that they falsify portions of the message so that it is difficult to tell where the mail originated from. They try to hide their tracks to prevent themselves from being kicked off their ISP's. This rarely works, and severely damages the reputation of your business in the eyes of Internet Administrators everywhere.
        Sometimes, the bulk email software will try and make it appear as if your email is coming from AOL, Hotmail, Juno, or some other legitimate site. This can get you into legal trouble, and some places are taking firm action, such as AOL, against such activity.

Will I Get Caught If I Use Bulk Email (Spam)?

        The climate on the internet is very Anti-Spam right now. There are entire anti-spam groups out there headed by people who can track your email back to the source no matter how hard you try to disguise it. The more people your mail goes out to, the more Anti-Spam people you will have on your tracks, and they will dog you until your site or your email has been terminated. It's just not worth it anymore.

Why Are Other People Doing It Then?

        Because they are being scammed by the people who write the bulkmail software and the people who compile the mailing lists. Everyone who wants to start a business to make money is at risk from slick marketers such as spammers. They will tell you about how your email advertisement will reach millions of people for very little money, and how much money you will make from products sold through that advertisement. Think about this, if you chose 1,000,000 million email addresses at random from the internet, how many of those addresses would be :

                - An account set up for someones child?

                - A dead, unused, or forgotten account?

                - Set up to block email spam?

                - Addresses not for people, but for other computers or automated machines?

                - Completely made up?

         That's right, out of the 1,000,000 email addresses that you just paid $300 for, only a fraction of them actually go to someone who would even consider buying your product or looking at your page. When you buy email address listings, you can never be sure how many of the addresses you are buying are even valid.

         The only way to make real money through bulk emailing is by selling mailing lists or bulk email software!

YOU Are Better Than This!

         Your company means a lot to you! DON'T put it at risk by using bulk email! DON'T ruin your business reputation! DON'T let yourself be scammed by bulk email purveyors!

But What About The First Amendment?

         I have to pay for my email box. ISP's have to pay for their servers and internet connection lines. It costs me money to read your advertising, so you do NOT have the right to send me email, and you do not have the right to use other peoples computers in a manner of which they do not approve.


5. Some books on online advert (from

Online Marketing Handbook: How to Promote, Advertise and Sell Your Products and Services on the Internet
Daniel S. Janal Price: $29.95 
Available: Ships 1-2 weeks 
Format: Paperback, 98th ed., 464pp.
ISBN: 0471293105
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Pub. Date: February  1998
Edition Desc: 1998 ED

Internet World Guide to One-to-One Web Marketing 
Cliff Allen Deborah Kani Beth Yaeckel Price: $23.99
Retail Price: $29.99
You Save:
$6.00 (20%)  
In-Stock: Ships within 24 hours 
Format: Paperback, 386pp.
ISBN: 0471251666
Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Pub. Date: March  1998


The Internet Advertising Glossary


Advertising Network: A group of Web sites which share a common banner server. Typically a sales organization which manages the commerce and reporting. An ad network has the ability to deliver unique combinations of targeted audiences because they serve your banner or ad across multiple sites. [Source: 1]

Affinity Group: A group of people with common interests. A special interest group identified for purposes of targeting specific ads. [Source: 1]

Agents: 1. Representatives who broker Web advertising space. 2. Software programs (spiders). [Source: 1]

Animated GIF: An animation created by combining multiple GIF images into one file. The result is multiple images, displayed one after another, that give the appearance of movement. Very useful for attracting/distracting Web surfers.
[Source: 1]

Backbone: The primary conduit of electronic traffic in a network. Frequently used to describe the major information arteries between networks around the world. [Source: 1]

Bandwidth: The amount of information that can be transmitted over communications lines at one time. The higher the bandwidth, the faster the Web page loads. Limited bandwidth is the main reason for keeping pictures small. Just as it seems we will never have fast enough computers, it feels like we will never have enough bandwidth. The amount of research and development money being thrown at this problem should yield surprising results before long. [Source: 1]

Banner: Typically a rectangular graphic element which acts as an advertisement on the Web and entices the viewer to click on it for further information, typically on the advertiser's Web site. [Source: 1]

Banner Network: See Advertising Network above.

Cache: A file on the client computer that stores temporary text and graphics for display in the browser. This speeds page viewing when you hit the Back button. Institutional cache helps speed viewing when many people use a common gateway to look at the same pages on the Internet. [More info] [Source: 1]

Clickstreams: The electronic path a user takes while navigating from site to site, and within site, from page to page. [Source: 1]

ClickThrough: The act of clicking on a banner or other ad, which takes the user through to the advertiseršs Web site. Used as a counter point to impressions to judge the response-inducing power of the banner. [Source: 1]

ClickThrough Rate (CTR): The response rate of an online advertisement, typically expressed as a percentage and calculated by taking the number of clickthroughs the ad received, dividing that number by the number of impressions and multiplying by 100 to obtain a percentage:

Example: 20 clicks / 1,000 impressions = .02 x 100 = 2% CTR [Source: 3]

CPA: Cost Per Action. The price paid by an advertiser for each "action" that a content site delivers. "Action" may be a sale, a lead, a successful form fill-out, a download of a software program or an e-commerce sale of a product. Both the action, price and terms of a CPA purchase are mutally agreed upon by the advertiser and content site and such a purchase typically involves a back end tracking system provided by the advertiser that allows the content site to view clicks and actions every 24 hours if they choose to do so. [Source: 3]

CPC: Cost Per Click. The price paid by an advertiser to a content site. When buying on a Cost Per Click model, the advertiser and content site have mutually agreed that the content site will continue to display the advertiser's ad creative until X number of clicks have been delivered - the amount purchased. This pricing model typically ranges between 10 cents CPC up to $2 CPC and as with other forms of online advertising, is dependent on content, audience reached and targeted delivery - Untargeted being lower priced, targeted to an affluent audience being at the high end of the rate scale. [Source: 3]

CPM: Cost Per Thousand (Roman Numeral) impressions. The price paid by an advertiser for a content site displaying their banner 1,000 times. [Source: 1]

CPS: Cost Per Sale. The price paid by an advertiser to a content site for each sale that results from a visitor who is referred from the content site to the advertiser's site. This type of buying model is typically tracked with cookies, where the cookie is offered on the content site and read on the advertiser's site at the success page after successful completion of one transaction/sale. Typical rates/bounties range between 5% and 25% of the retail price of the product or service being sold. See also CPA above. [Source: 3]

Cookies: Client-side text file that is used by Web servers to store information about the site visitor and visitor behavior. Information pertaining to a site can only be read by the side that wrote the information. Used to identify repeat visitors and track visitor behavior. [More info] [Source: 1]

Copy: The printed text or spoken words in an advertisement. [Source: 1]

Creative: The concept, design, and artwork that go into a given ad. [Source: 1]

Demographics: Common characteristics that allow for population segmentation. Typical demographic data points include age, gender, postal code, and income.
[Source: 1]

Effective Frequency: The number of times an ad should be shown to one person to realize the highest impact of the ad without wasting impressions on that individual. [Source: 1]

Effective Reach: The number of people who will see an ad the most effective number of times. The most effective frequency. [Source: 1]

Elasticity: The relationship between a change in advertising budget and a supposedly connected change in revenues. [Source: 1]

Exposures: See Impression

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions. A list of the most common inquiries on a given subject. [Source: 1]

Frequency: The number of times a given person will see an ad in a given time period. [Source: 1]

GIF: Graphical Interchange Format. The most common file compression format for banner ads and most other pictures on the Web. [Source: 1]

Gross Exposures/Gross Impressions: The total number of times an ad is shown, including duplicate showings to the same person. [Source: 1]

Hits: Every time a file is sent by a server, be it text, graphic, video, and so on, it is recorded as a hit. Not a reliable gauge to compare different sites, as one page with five graphic elements will register six hits when viewed, while a page with no graphics will only register one hit. [Source: 1]

Impression: The Opportunity To See (OTS) a banner or other ad by a surfer. When a page that includes a banner is viewed, it is considered an impression. [Source: 1]

Interstitial Ads: Web pages that pop up between what the viewer is looking at and what they are expecting to get. More like a TV commercial than anything else on the Web (at the moment). [Source: 1]

Inventory: The amount of available space for banners on a Web site that can be delivered in a given time period. Also known as the amount of gross impressions per month (or clicks if the publishers is selling on a Cost Per Click rate model) available for sale to advertisers by a Web publisher. [Source: 3]

IP Address: Internet Protocal Address - a unique number assigned to every computer on the Internet, even if only temporarily. [Source:1]

Link: A hypertext connection between two documents, image maps, graphics, and the like. [Source: 1]

Newsgroup: An electronic bulletin board open to everybody and divided into tens of thousands of subjects. Only a handful of newsgroups permit the posting of advertising. [Source: 1]

Opportunity To See (OTS): A pageview is an OTS, but not necessarily an impression. The page can be downloaded but if the banner is located at the bottom of the page and the visitor does not scroll down, the banner is not seen. [Source: 1]

Pageview: When a Web page is requested by somebody through a browser. Pageviews are often used to track the number of impressions a banner gets. [Source: 1]

Proxy: A proxy server acts as a cache file for an organization. It is also used where firewalls protect the internal network from the external Internet, while continuing to serve Web pages from the inside.
[Source: 1]

Psychographics: Common psychological characteristics that allow for population segmentation. Typical psychographic data points include opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about various aspects relating to lifestyle and purchasing behavior. [Source: 1]

Push: While email is the quintessential "push" technology, the phrase refers to tools that send information to a user's browser rather than wait for the viewer to reach into the Web and "pull" the information. Primary examples are PointCast, BackWeb, and Marimba. [Source: 1]

Reach: The total number of people who will see a given ad. [Source: 1]

Sell-Through Rate: The percentage of banner or other ads sold as opposed to traded or bartered in an ad network. [Source: 1]

Session: A completed visit to a Web site by a surfer/viewer/visitor. A session can start at the home page and last anywhere from mere moments to hours, depending on the interest the visitor has in the information, games, and so on, at the site. [Source: 1]

Spam: Originally posting an ad to multiple newsgroups, now used to describe unsolicited email advertising. Named after a skit by Monty Python, spam is one marketing and advertising technique to avoid at all costs. [Source: 1]

Traffic: The number and types of people who come to a Web site. Measured in many different ways. [Source: 1]

URL: Uniform Resource Locator. The address of any particular page on the World Wide Web, seen as . [Source: 1]

Universe: The total population in a given market segment used as the baseline from which reach, frequency, and response figures are calculated. [Source: 1]