Banner Ads Fight (Part 2 – Results)
By on Mar 23, 2011

banner ads case study

Welcome back! I am Ryan Seacrest and this is not American Idol (nor am I Ryan Seacrest). For those of you who don’t know what this banner ads case study is about please read this.

The Results:

Mr Green readers voted 43% for banner 4:

plenty of fish animated ad

24% for banner 3:

plenty of fish 728x90 ad 2

19% for banner 2:

plenty of fish standard ad

13% for banner 1:

plenty of fish 110x80 ad

I’m sorry but your votes don’t make the decisions, the wonderful panel of Plenty of Fish users do. Which means that 81% of readers guessed wrong leaving 19% of voters picking the correct ad.

*Side note: Did you know that if all you voters had have taken a wild guess, statically 25% of you should of picked the correct banner.

Before I read out the results, I would just like to say that I feel like an extremely generous guy, ’cause these results are ridonkulous.


Banner 2 – 0.41% CTR,  $0.31 CPC

plenty of fish standard ad

Readers who commented the correct answers in the comments: Harshad, Jonathan Volk, Artur, POF Ben, Josh Todd, Farmer, Krupesh and Stian (Sorry to the 56 others who answered correctly, but the poll doesn’t show names).

Banner 3- 0.13% CTR, $1.25 CPC
Banner 4 – 0.09% CTR, $1.38 CPC
Banner 1 – 0.02% CTR, $2.81 CPC

My Thoughts:

mr green thoughtsThe white space on banner 2 absoultely owned! If you are testing ads like these already, you are missing out. The difference between this ad’s performance and the normal ad layouts is huge. Why do I think banner 2 did so well? I feel that it changes the landscape of POF. POF users must be so used to seeing full colored 728×90 ads, but this banner is just a standard size ad in a 728×90 space. Basically, it’s a banner blindness killer. The big surprise for me was the standard size ad, now that got owned.

Ridiculous Projections:

nerd with calculatorNow let’s say in theory a dating company came with a $100,000 budget looking to run the exact campaign as above. And they knew their average conversion rate of 5% from ad to sale (worth $50).


Banner 1 would have generated $88,967 worth of sales.

plenty of fish 110x80 ad

Banner 2 would have generated $806,451 worth of sales.

plenty of fish standard ad

In all of the case studies I’ve run on this blog, this has generated by far the biggest margin ads.

Hope at least one of you will go out and start doing some testing using this ad layout, it frikin’ rocks. Thanks to all that voted!

Comments (38)

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  1. Wow damn… I was wrong.

    Thanks for another great case study, Mr Green. Please keep 'em comin! 🙂

  2. DarkLink says:

    Thanks, it's really helpful. What about performance of offers that you promoted with this ads? Is it profitable?)

    • mrgreenam says:

      All I will say is there is a reason why this offers gravity is 1 (0 is the lowest, 379 is the highest) on Clickbank.

      It got one sale, totally bombed conversion wise.

      • Aaron says:

        Just started building a Clickbank product myself and had an epiphany: on Clickbank you can bypass the default lander. Just build your own lander and link straight to the credit card page.

        You could always find a new product/offer but I think this could be a good alternative to starting over from scratch. Haven't got around to trying it myself yet, but might be interesting to try…

        • mrgreenam says:

          Nothing like a good old fashion epiphany! That does sound interesting, I'm going to take a look at it too.

        • James says:

          Be careful, as far as I am aware direct linking to the credit card page as an affiliate on Clickbank does not set a cookie

          • Andy says:

            You can drop your affiliate cookie on any pre-sales page. I used the following code on a custom video page I made for a Clickbank product linked directly to the order page:

            <iframe src="; name="presell" align="left" frameborder="no" height="1" scrolling="no" width="1">

            I recommend getting permission from the product owner if you go this route, particularly if you want to show details from the sales letter or even the eBook within your page/video.

  3. Monty says:

    Mr Green, this is absolutely awesome. More of this generous stuff please.

  4. Haha unfortunately you just increased your CPC to $1.30 with all the competition you will get from this post. Awesome find. Awesome share. Thanks!

  5. Martin says:

    Amazing Mr. Green, your blog keeps getting better and better.
    I would've never voted for #2 lol

  6. Killer Info Mr. Green.

    You are a generous fellow!

    We should see a ton of white space popping up on POF soon.

    Thanks Again!

  7. Chris says:

    Jaw drops in shock.. wow never would have guess but it makes sense after yer breakdown.. great test!

  8. Dan says:

    Hah, I was right. I voted #2, and scrolled down and saw that a lot of people picked #4, and so I thought I was wrong, but apparently not. All that white space made me think people would only be concentrated on that one ad.

    Great post. Do you think you could profit if you find another offer?

    • mrgreenam says:

      No doubt, this ad didn't have an especially high ctr because of the certain niche I targeted. I only used 4 images and one ad copy, this is only a start.

      With maximum $0.31 clicks, profit is not far away.

  9. Aff Gossip says:

    Amazing. Great case study.

    How many impressions did these ads get?

  10. Liam says:

    The interesting phenomenon for me is that the majority of marketers are excellent at picking the losing format, whether we're talking banner ads, button, calls to action, etc.

  11. Awesome info Lorenzo. Another great example of why testing is so important. Plenty of marketers will just roll out the ad concept they think will be the most effective and never bother to test any other ideas. Then, when it isn't profitable, they shut it down and move on to another offer. This case study illustrates how important testing a variety of concepts is to finding the one that works best. In this case, the vast majority of marketers who voted were wrong about which concept would perform the best. Only through testing did you discover that 80% of voters picked the wrong campaigns. I hope any of your readers who weren't already sold on the value of testing will learn from this example.

  12. FINALLY! I freaking guessed one of these right.. I tend to be way off on your case studies..

  13. Jonathan Volk says:

    Great post and case study. Those are some amazing results!

  14. Colorfast says:

    I knew it would be number 2 because I have been using this tactic forever on POF with these same results. Thanks for outing my swag! Here come the CTR drops and rising CPCs, lol. Oh well it's part of the game

  15. BigWill says:

    This reason this ad got more clicks is because it looked like in-house content… Due to the border being removed..

  16. Edd says:

    Amazing case study. I probably would not have guessed it right.

  17. Farmer says:

    woot! I win!

  18. imkazu says:

    nice how you got a clear winner … less is more it seems in this case !

    • mrgreenam says:

      Yes, it would be interesting to test the winning ad without the image…But I don't think that's within the terms of POF.

  19. mrgreenam says:

    Cheers for the idea!

  20. Chris says:

    I tried this and saw amazing CTR but horrible conversion rates compared to the standard ads. I'm guessing I got a lot of "curiosity clicks" from people who just thought the ad looked weird. Terrible, terrible CR. Anyone else have this problem?

    • mrgreenam says:

      You're saying that you had the exact same ad copy and image for both ad sizes? So the only difference was white space on either side of the ad in comparison to two seeing two other standard ads. That's very odd.

      I'd would also like to hear other opinions.

      By the way for all it's worth the sale I got was from the winning banner.

      • Chris says:

        Yes, I basically took a standard 110×80 ad I'd been running and put it in a 728×90 banner. CTR went up 5x but CR went down 10x. It could have been a fluke but I ran it through several hundred clicks so I'm thinking not. I'll try it again though because the CTR was pretty amazing.

  21. This case study is amazing in that you have done a great job keeping ti simple foe everyone to follow. Testing is crucial and this is what truly separates the good from the great.

  22. Stian says:

    Great case study. And wow I was correct for once 🙂

  23. Freddy says:

    MMmmmm…. I dont understand. What fills the space left and right of the 468 banner? The fact that you found such a huge difference between ads that are so similar is strange.

    Is it not white space regardless on the left and right?

    Thanks again for taking the time to put all these images and numbers on your blog!

  24. affness says:

    how do you get around the disapproval for the ads looking like POF? anything i try similar to these gets denied for looking similar to POF and not having action such as "sign up" or "register"

  25. Picked the right banner here, now what?

    Jokes a part, here's what happened:

    1) Banner 4: Alternating images+image with couple = FAIL
    2) Banner 3: Image with couple+2 banners, too much choice = double Fail
    3) Banner 2: The right ad (no more couples) + no border = ad not looking like an AD = EPIC WIN

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