How I Dealt With Banner Blindness When Buying 327,996,501 Impressions

You launch a campaign, it gets a nice 1.5% CTR and then in 2 days it’s half that. “What is going on?”,  you ask yourself. This is a phenomenon called “banner blindness” and it means that people have seen your banner so many times that they are “blind” to it. How can you stop this? I will explain the strategy I used on a high volume campaign that ran for a few months, til the offer got paused.

It’s not a question of if banner blindness hits, it’s just when. The best way to solve this is to deal with it before it occurs and has devastating effects. You will notice many posts about banner blindness if you google them, and how to avoid it by “mixing it up”. I will try to be more exact in the steps I took, which you can try to replicate for your campaigns. Let’s dig into it!

This campaign had 327,996,501 impressions on Go2Mobi, and kept running for several months. It is actually the same campaign I talk about in this case study.

The offer was a popular battery saver app and after just ONE day of good CTR on my best banners, second day just blasted me with only around 60% that CTR. My click price increased, and even with the same conversion rate, my campaign showed struggles. I tried renewing banners chaotically, and it helped, but this strategy had 2 big issues:

1. I had no idea when to renew and what.

2. It took almost 100% of my time so I couldn’t work on anything else.

This is the strategy that crystallized after a few weeks of chaos.

DAILY:

1. Cut the worst performing banners til only the most successful is left. With so many daily impressions, it usually took 1 day to find the best banner in a batch.

2. Create 5 variations of this winning banners and upload.

THURSDAY:

1. Create 5 complete new designs with the same headline for the banners and add them to the campaign.

2. Create 5 new designs with DIFFERENT headline for the banners and add them to the campaign.

You have to also mix in some new headlines and very different designs. Less often than smaller variations but YOU HAVE TO if you want your campaign to not die out in less than a month. You will find better ones than your initial profitable banners. My advice is to start out saying the same thing with different words. Creativity will start flowing from that point on.

FRIDAY/PRE-WEEKEND:

1. Upload 10 variations of the best performing banner.

On the weekend, you cannot renew banners on Go2Mobi (similar on many other platforms) so you should have more than the usual amount in the test.

One variable you can play around with is the weight of each banner. What is the weight you ask? In Go2Mobi there’s the option to show a banner more frequently than another. This is called the “weight”. In some cases you may want to put a smaller weight for the very different banners, in case you are not there to cut them when you reach a statistically significant sample, with negative results for them. This means that failed tests will have less of a negative impact on the overall performance of your campaign.

The idea for my plan was the following: We know what works, so we want to play around with colours and design elements. We also want to test out new things once in awhile so if our angle and general design is also performing worse, we know we tested new things too. Finally, once you cannot renew daily, significantly increase the number of variations being tested.

Depending on the nature of your traffic source, maybe you have to renew less often. As long as you have a strategy prepared, you can wait before the first renewal, to see the fluctuation in the first 2-3 days once the campaign is profitable. Then start right away with a clear strategy.

I used to do this task myself. The banners took a significant portion of my time, even when having a plan, but I learned what exactly I would tell a designer to do. It was only towards the end of this campaign that I hired a great designer and now he follows this process for our banner campaigns. I’m glad to say he does a much better job than me at creating new designs and concepts. If most your traffic is from banners, a good designer who can pump out banners daily is a great investment.

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Emanuel Cinca, aka Manu

My story starts in Lipova, Romania, a town of about 10,000 inhabitants, where I was born in a working class family. Growing up in a family that had a shaky financial base and relied solely on month to month wages, and sometimes on short term loans from friends, I knew that I a) didn’t want to get a regular job EVER, and b) I want to have true financial independence.

Fast forward to my high school days, I got admitted into the number one high school of Arad county, “Moise Nicoara” National College. Don’t ask me why they call it a college, that’s just the translation from Romanian. I had a passion for technology and computers, so it seemed natural that I wanted to get into the so called informatics class.

The 4 years here taught me that:

1. Where you come from has little to no impact on your ability to learn, your skills and their value

2. Being number one high school is overrated

3. In the standard educational system, you are not allowed to excel at something, until you have proven to be above average at everything else.

4. Grades are an extremely flawed measurement of someone’s skills

5. I know myself better than anyone else, so I should make my decisions, not anyone else, and I should be OK with the consequences.

These learnings will be reflected in some of my posts here.

After high school, I quit University after 2 months in… TWICE! One time I quit Computers and Information Technology, and the second time I quit Business Administration.

During these years I also developed a passion for poker. I was a content producer at the world’s biggest online poker school for 2 years, and I wrote a book with a Maths professor from Nottingham and TT, who also blogs here. The book is called The Education of a Modern Poker Player.

I moved to Vienna in 2013, at TT’s initiative, and had several failed ventures together, all leading up to what is now Adefy.

I have a keen interest in psychology and in data, which makes performance marketing such a great industry for me. I blog about these topics, sometimes adding education, personal development, and management to the mix.

Interested in: Psychology. Marketing. Management. Investing. Startups. Entrepreneurship.

Hobbies: Reading. Fitness. Football. Travelling.

Connect with me:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emanuelcinca

Twitter: https://twitter.com/manu_adefy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emanuel.cinca.35

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