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                                              Customer Preferences in Online Advertising-Part 2 of 3
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By: Karon Thackston


In part one of this series, we discussed the fact that
studies show information leads over entertainment. We
discovered that Web site visitors are primarily looking
for information, and therefore, ads should be more

The second of the three discoveries in the Jupiter
Communications ( survey that I will
comment on is the discovery that some online advertising
is seen as an extreme annoyance. Let's be sure your
ads aren't included in that group.

What They Hate
No one likes to be bombarded with advertising. We all
see it everywhere we go. It's on television, the radio,
billboards, and even grocery story carts for goodness
sake. However, online advertising is viewed as the
most aggressive.

Jupiter found that 49% of those surveyed said online
advertising was the most intrusive of all. Many were
willing to tolerate ads in broadcast or print media,
probably due to the fact that they could leave the room,
change the station or turn the page. However, online
ads hold an extremely negative reputation.

From my experience, this is most likely due to the fact
that online ads often have a "used car dealer" air to them.
I have seen many that look like they're all produced from
the same template.

These ads promise the sun, the moon and the stars.
They scream about why you simply must buy the product
or service. Then, to make it worse, the site captures your
email address and you receive hundreds of email
advertisements via an autoresponder that apparently has
no end.

The Worst Possible Ads
The worst offender is pop-up ads. These are the
advertisements that pop onto the screen as you click
through a Web site. They advertise specials or offer
subscriptions to Ezines, etc. Once thought to be a
tremendous sales tool, these ads have become
increasingly offensive.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of those in the Jupiter survey
viewed pop-up ads negatively. Almost 25% found them
so annoying they would completely avoid sites that used
them. That's a powerful statistic. Can you afford to have
25% of your Web site traffic never return simply because
you employ pop-up ads?

What We Can Do To Make It Better
So, now that we know what our site visitors hate, how
can we adjust our advertising in order to please them
(and make them buy)?

Here are some recommendations to consider when
creating your next piece of advertising:

1.Don't do "anything and everything" to get the
buyer's attention. Everyone that comes to your site
isn't going to buy. The harder you try to get their
attention and force them to read your ad, the harder
they will try to escape.

2.Remember from Part 1 in this series, site
visitors are looking for information primarily. Include
your ad along with other, useful information. Perhaps
you might try offering a free report or article that
provides information the visitor can use. At the bottom,
insert an advertisement for a product or service you
offer that can help them further.

3.Don't use pop-up ads.

4.Keep your target audience in mind. Business
people aren't going to have the time or inclination to
participate in game-type ads. On the other hand,
teenagers love them. If your target group is younger
people, games might be the thing for you. Design
your ad to meet the preferences of your target

Using these suggestions will help your ads be more
readily received - instead of avoided at all costs!

In Part 3, the final article in this series, we'll look at the
behavioral aspect of online advertising and discover
what characteristics and traits should be kept in mind.

About the Author

Karon is Owner and President of KT & Associates who offers
targeted copywriting, copy editing & ghostwriting services.
Subscribe to KT & Associates' Ezine "Business Essentials" at or visit her site at

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