When you make a banner, the design of your banner is an important part of turning your campaign into a success. Good banner design will attract your audience and engage them. This might seem obvious, but in practice, we see a lot of mistakes that can easily be prevented. Below are four best practices to make a banner effective.

1. Size does matter

For each campaign, you use several banner sizes. These sizes dictate the way your banner is designed. Make sure you customize your banner to these different sizes and shapes, in practice this is often forgotten. A rectangle or a square requires a different approach towards its design. This starts with the size of your font: it should be 10pt or more to keep it readable, and some fonts aren’t suitable for small sizes and rectangles, for example, the script fonts. Also, check for hyphenation with every single format.

When it comes to images the following applies: crop and resize your images properly rather than just stretching them to fit into the space of your banner. You want to avoid the warped “funhouse mirror” images (pixelation). You don’t want your image size to be too big either, because the load speed of the banner will be too slow. In general the best practice is to use 750x750px for background use images of and 150x150px for product images.

2. Contrast is king

Contrast is a huge part of a well-designed banner. Our eyes love contrast. Designs with strong contrast attract, interest, and help viewers make sense of the banner. By making smart use of contrast within your banners you can grab and steer the attention of your audience to the parts that are most important. For example, the current promotion or a Call To Action (CTA) button.

If you use colors to enhance contrast, ensure you use colors that are far apart on the color scale. This also helps people who are colorblind. Also, play around with the saturation to enhance contrast. A way to test this is to convert your design to black and white. This will help you see if there is enough contrast in the design. Rule of thumb: lighter text means dark background and vice versa. Not enough contrast between the background image and the text? Use a drop shadow behind your text.

3. Don't shoot the messenger

The main message, the goal of your banner, should be communicated in the last slide of your banner. Every banner runs for thirty seconds. When it ends, a static image remains. This is your last slide. If you communicate the main goal of your advertisement in the first slides your audience might miss it. Use the first slides to support the last one, for example, with product images or supportive text.

4. Action speaks louder than words

The 'Call To Action' button is often one of the most effective ways to persuade your audience to click on your banner. A few simple tips and tricks:

  • Think about what you want from your customer. Do you want them to buy, subscribe, try your free product? The answer is the text for your CTA button. Keep it clear (sign up) and reflect a sense of urgency (order now). Three words max.
  • It should be easy to find. Avoid clutter by allowing some white space or by creating a clean border.
  • Use a graphic element like an arrow or an icon to point out to your viewers that it’s a CTA.
  • Animations can enhance a CTA. Viewers like visual feedback on what is clickable in a banner.
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