I’m sure most of you have heard about the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment, where kids were given a choice: one marshmallow now, or two if they held off eating the one in front of them for fifteen minutes. Here’s a link to the article if you want to read more about this: http://nicholasgrimshawe.com/marsh
The test studied delayed gratification so you may wonder what all this must do with safelist.
99% or higher, of people clicking on your safelist ad are looking for the first marshmallow. The marshmallow in this case is the credit link to your website where they can collect their credit reward the moment the timer runs out. They really don’t care much about what you’ve crafted to get them to click to see your ad, they just want the link.
This fact brings up the first mistake that people make with their safelist ad.
Making Your Ad Too Long
This is a sin of the highest order of magnitude.
You are wasting valuable time and energy, let alone the accumulated frustration of crafting beautiful designed letters or graphics ahead of that all-important click on the credit link.
I advertise on at least 50 safelists. That means I need to feed this credit monster. I don’t have time to read these long, lovely, thought out, and detailed letters. I’m just scanning for the link. If you are honest, that’s exactly what you are doing to.
The biggest sin, is making me search for that link. With the use of Gmail, you can cruise through 50 links in no time at all. (In another article, I will show you how I do this.) If I have to scroll, I delete the ad instead, and I never go to your web-page, and you wonder why you don’t get much traffic.
Keep it short, and make sure the link doesn’t drop below the fold of the page causing the reader to have to scroll down.
I agree you have an amazing talent to craft beautiful SEO’ed ads. Use this talent wisely by spending that time on web-page content or content for your blog.
Remember you’re not Stanford doing research. You want the kid to get the marshmallow (the credit link) fast before they go charging off after your competitor’s marshmallow.
Keep it short, give them the link as soon as possible.
The second mistake people make with their Safelist ads.
Not sending your audience to a personalized landing page with a lead magnet
If you are doing anything else but sending people to a personalized landing page with an attractive lead magnet, you are committing a sin or the highest order of magnitude.
You do safelist marketing for one reason and one reason only: To build your list.
Sending people to a traffic exchange, another safelist, or other type of program, is building a list for someone else. What they can leverage from that name is 100 times more than the meager access most sites give you to your referral.
There are exceptions, but not many. Click here to get my short list of recommended programs that give you full access to your referrals. Once again do not use that list as sites to advertise on safelist or traffic exchanges.
Back to the Stanford Experiment.
Some kids could delay instant gratification and hold out for the two marshmallows. Here’s where you need to resist the first marshmallow offered, those made for you, stunning looking, splash pages that are easy to put into a rotator and use for your safelist marketing.
Don’t yield to temptation; resist. Learn how to build your list and create personalized landing pages that capture a name and email into your own list. That way you get to eat a whole bag of marshmallows down the road.
The third mistake safelist marketers make.
Not using your photo, name and contact info.
This is a sin …you got it…of the highest order of magnitude.
Now let me clarify. Some safelists don’t allow HTML ads, and that means using your photo isn’t possible.
That’s why I create two versions of any ad I’m creating for safelists. The HTML ad includes my picture. It’s usually the first thing you see. My name is there as prominently as I can make it, and finally a “Skype me at nicknick90” sometimes I include my Twitter @ngrimshawe.
The non-HTML ad has all the same elements except my picture.
Why? People are scanning your ad for the credit link. Not much will register about the ad, but the picture and name, the more it’s seen the more it sticks. Then when they click the link and they again see your face (Hint…your photo and name should be on your landing page), when they click through to your website, or landing page that image and name are subconsciously reinforced.
Soon they can’t help but notice your picture and your name more and more often.
That’s the start of branding.
When that happens, watch out Stanford. You get bags of marshmallows with your own photo and name on them.
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