Banners generate massive sales

Associate Programs Newsletter #142

Banner ads definitely are NOT dead.

Scott Covert has spent three years figuring out how to make banners that work. Now he has spilled the beans on how he does it.


1. Scott Covert's banners generate $1 million in sales
2. Good points in Scott's program outweigh the bad
3. Advertising in this newsletter gets results
4. suspends payout to affiliates
5. Four ways merchants undermine their affiliates
6. If you want a bad reputation, you'll love this
7. Thought for today: What women can do

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1. Scott Covert's banners generate $1 million in sales

Scott Covert was mentioned in awed tones at the latest Boulder Internet marketing conference because of his astounding success using banner advertising.

Scott designs banner ads which achieve click-through rates of 4%, 5%, and even 6% and higher.

He has figured out how to design banner ads that beat the Web's estimated .15% average banner ad click-through rate by 500%, 1000% or more.

"What you don't know about banner advertising might amaze and surprise you," says Scott, who has generated $1 million in sales using banner advertising.

Now he has written a book, "The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine", describing how he does it.

In this new book you'll find:

Actual samples of banners with a click-rate of 4%, 5%, 6% and higher.

How Scott used e-mail follow-up to make more than $10,000 in a single day (This will depend on what you sell, your targeting, etc.) - 2 pages.

How you or your webmaster can make your own banners in 3 minutes even with ZERO artistic ability - 5 pages.

The "Entry Page" success secret - 3 pages.

The "Seven Key Steps" to banner advertising success - 4 pages.

Actual banners made for Scott's clients - 19 pages of examples.

Instant references - Where To Buy Banner Advertising (And How To Do Your Own Advertising Research In Minutes) - 5 pages.

"The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine" will show you how to avoid being banner ad roadkill in the midst of the confusion, disinformation, and general lack of skill among most so-called "expert banner advertising advice."

"Banner advertising is far more powerful than any other form of online promotion I've ever seen," Scott says.

"If you make money buying 10,000 banner impressions, you can go out and buy 50,000, or 200,000, or a million more impressions.

"I haven't seen any form of Internet advertising that can be multiplied and expanded this quickly and easily."

With banner advertising you get very scientific results within a couple of days after your campaign starts. You can compare multiple banners and see which ones do well and which ones need to be replaced or removed.

Scott's clients include Jonathan Mizel, Corey Rudl, Marlon Sanders and (Declan Dunn, Patrick Anderson etc.).

You will quickly learn all the tricks and secrets it's taken Scott three years to figure out, and which are currently generating tens of thousands of dollars a month, in the estimated 45 minutes it will take you to read "The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine".

He shows you how to make banners that give you a lot of traffic, but at the same time, QUALIFIED visitors.

You'll also learn:

How to avoid getting ripped off by advertising managers who tell you that you need to buy 1,000,000 impressions to do a statistically meaningful test. "That's utter nonsense. They're just trying to make a bigger commission," Scott says.

A list of the major ad networks.

How to search for low-cost, highly targeted individual web sites on which to advertise.

Web sites that have lists of sites to advertise on, plus banner ad articles and research results.

How to haggle on price (you can easily save 10, 20 or 50 times the price of "The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine" on a single ad buy if you know what to say to the advertising manager).

Whether it's best to advertise on specific sites, or networks (collections) of sites

How to scope out sites and evaluate how well your banners will probably do based on the type of site, position of the banner, and other make-or-break factors, BEFORE you spend your money.

This is the first and only book of its kind - specifically written about the solid success Scott has had. "No theories, no nonsense. 100% reality."

It's only 66 pages so you can read quickly and start putting what you learn to work.

Scott offers a money-back, no-questions, life-time guarantee.

[UPDATE: Scott has moved on to]

2. Good points in Scott's program outweigh the bad

Scott Covert's two-tier affiliate program for "The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine" pays 25% commission for selling the product and 10% commission when somebody you refer to this program sells the product.

Your first level commission jumps to 43% after (and if) you sell eight books in one month.

Like many affiliate program managers, Scott reserves the right to alter the affiliate program at any time. Unfortunately, he doesn't promise to inform affiliates of changes.

Many affiliates will be upset when they see that he sets cookies for only 24 hours. So if someone you refer to the site thinks about it, returns two days later by remembering the domain name, and buys the book, you won't earn a commission.

However, the program has many good points which I feel outweigh its disadvantages.

Most important of all, "The Banner Advertising Traffic Machine" provides high quality information, tightly written, with a no-nonsense, easy-to-understand style, describing proven techniques. You can feel good about promoting this useful product.

The book provides valuable information which a huge number of people need.

It is modestly priced, so sales should be easy to achieve.

It has a money-back guarantee.

The web site is designed to sell.

It pays a good commission.

You'll also earn a 20% commission if someone clicks on your link and hires Scott to create banner ads for them. That could easily be a $250 commission.

[UPDATE: Scott has moved on to]

3. Advertising in this newsletter gets results

It's nice to receive a letter from a satisfied customer.

I ran an ad for Neil Shearing of in the Associate Programs Newsletter.

Neil was happy with the results. He writes:

"Thanks again for running the ads.

"In December you ran the "Michael Campbell says" ad three times.
"The first ad (bottom place, 7th Dec) drew a blank from 53 visitors.

"The second ad (middle place, 14th Dec) resulted in 8 sales from 119 visitors (conversion rate of 6.7%)

"The third ad (top spot, 21st Dec) resulted in 13 sales from 105 visitors (a conversion rate of 12.4%, or one sale per 8 visitors)!

"The overall stats for December are 21 sales from 277 visitors, a conversion rate of 7.6%.

"Your newsletter has some phenomenal advertising revenue potential!"

If you want to advertise in this newsletter, send a blank email to
classads AT
for details.

Here's the ad which achieved those good results...

...learn from the Internet Experts.
(that's why you're reading Allan's newsletter, right?)
So when "Nothing But Net" author Michael Campbell says
" this before you buy anything else"... may want to click...

4. suspends payout to affiliates

Myspace is short of cash and has suspended payments to affiliates.

Affiliate Lee Miller of wrote to Myspace asking why he hadn't been paid the money he is owed, about US$100.

Chris Palumbo of Myspace replied:

"I met with our CEO (Richard Aaron) to discuss payments, and here's where we stand: we acknowledge that we owe you monies, and have every intention of paying our obligation in full, but are not in a position to pay you at this time. Myspace is financially sound for operational purposes and is not near failure. Our company survival depends on our limiting cash outflow temporarily, while we obtain additional funding.

"We have engaged an investment group to raise $15 million for us, and we expect to achieve this in Q1 (Jan/Feb). Once we've raised the money for that round, we will pay you in full. There has been strong interest from investors, and one of our weaker competitors has just raised $20MM. So, we anticipate that we will be able to complete the upcoming round of financing and pay you off in full.

"I regret having to deliver this unpleasant news, and it comes with my sincere apologies. I hope we can maintain a relationship during this period."

Let's hope Myspace keeps all its affiliates fully informed.

Lee says he feels a bit cheated.

"It's interesting to note that I was not sent this e-mail until I actually asked for an explanation, nor does it say anywhere on their site about the current financial position of the company to would-be affiliates who are intending to join!"

Here's the Myspace affiliate page:

Founded in 1999, Myspace is a privately held company offering businesses and consumers a variety of services to securely store, organize, share and distribute their information using a "virtual hard drive".

It uses a number of alternative URLs such as and

Lee suggests an alternative would be to sign up with a similar program, Xdrive, which is operated through Be Free.

[UPDATE: BeFree is now part of is now totally different and has new owners.]

5. Four ways merchants undermine their affiliates

The message board has been busy recently with complaints about merchants who don't appear to have affiliates' interests at heart - and some interesting discussions on how to create the perfect affiliate program.

Here are four ways affiliate merchants undermine the good work their affiliates do:

Most merchants give affiliates "branding" banners and logos which are emblazoned with the merchant's name. The visitor sees the banners, remembers the message and the merchant's name and types it into a browser at a later date - the affiliate isn't rewarded.

Merchants use interstitials or pop-ups which divert traffic to another product on which the affiliate does not earn a commission.

Merchants publish banner ads or other types of ads on the page to which the affiliate is sending traffic. Result: the visitor may buy something which doesn't earn the affiliate a commission, and then disappear.

Merchants prominently display 800 phone numbers which don't include the affiliate's code. Result: Sales on which the affiliate doesn't earn a commission. (Ideally, the code should be displayed as an extension number, so the affiliate still earns the commission. It can be done.)

Even good affiliate program managers use these tactics. Corey Rudl used pop-ups for several months, Declan Dunn often has a small ad on the top right - a powerful position - of his pages, several merchants display phone numbers, and just about every merchant uses "branding" banners.

Marlon Sanders is one of the few merchants I can think of who doesn't use at least one of these tactics. (He uses a pop-up, but only as the visitor is LEAVING, and only to try to sell another of his products.)

By the way, Marlon must be testing a new product - I recently achieved four sales of a product I've never heard of. That sort of thing happens when he does a test promotion to a section of his list - and people who have previously gone to his site through my link and been cookied now buy the new product. So Marlon does the work to achieve the sale, but pays the affiliate a commission. Marlon looks after his affiliates because he knows that in the long run that's the most successful way to run an affiliate program.

If merchants really care about treating their affiliates as business associates, they will ensure that traffic sent by the hard-working affiliate arrives on a page which is aimed simply at maximizing sales or sign-ups - and that the affiliate is rewarded for ALL those sales. That's fair.

Although some merchants annoy me in various ways I stick with the ones where I'm achieving satisfactory SALES. In the end, what matters is the conversion rate at the merchant's site.

Marlon achieves high conversion rates by using a variety of techniques, including offering the visitor no distractions whatsoever.

For good examples, see:

I wish all affiliate merchants would do that.

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6. If you want a bad reputation, you'll love this

My criticism of last week struck a chord with Trevor Rieger of

Trevor found several similar money-making sites. They're listed at:

The site says:

"We offer programs that are based on sending traffic using blind links, text links, search boxes, circle jerks, 404 pages, popup consoles, home page redirects, back button manipulation, exit or entrance traffic or a combination of any or all of the above."

In other words, if you want to deceive your visitors, these people won't mind at all.

"Nope. I didn't sign up either," says Trevor.

[UPDATE, October, 2002:
This item has been edited and a name deleted. The person who was originally named denies ever owning, saying, "...we did the hosting and our attorney team managed the trust for the company that owned it..." The site now has new owners.]

7. Thought for today: What women can do

"Women are expected to do twice as much as men in half the time and for no credit. Fortunately this isn't difficult." - Charlotte Whitton.

All the best

Allan Gardyne

January 4, 2001

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