Pro Tutorials – Creating High CTR Banners

The post below is ripped directly (with permission) from PPV Playbook forums. I keep telling people that PPV Playbook is good shit and tutorials like this from its members are the reason why. It’s one of the best tutorials I’ve ever seen.

The wicked ginger Papa Groomez authored this wonderful article. He doesn’t do much with his website but you can follow him on on the twitter.


Click images to enlarge them

It’s been a while since I’ve started a thread on here and shared some info with everyone. This is geared to newer marketers, but if you are an experienced know-it-all that wants some laughs, keep reading.

I was just responding to a thread started by someone that now seems to have been deleted. It was a very broad question on making high ctr banners.

After typing my response and making 6 banners to show examples, I was a little perturbed that the thread was gone so I’m going to post my work here.

A lot of us already know that there is no secret to getting high ctr on banners (or anything for that matter ie landers, text ads, ctas, popups). It’s just a lot of speculating (at first) at what we think will work and then gathering data and going from there. As marketers, it’s important to test.

I remember when I didn’t know what a landing page looked like when I first started in this business. I looked everywhere to find the answer. I realize now that it was a dumb question but I really had no concept of what a landing page was. Conversely, it’s easy to look at a virgin marketer asking questions like this and scoffing at them. I’ll speculate and say that 80% of the time, they really aren’t trolling and have no clue, no direction and no guidance on where to go from here.


So, here’s how to make high CTR banners:

Let’s say you have a 728×90 leaderboard

Chances are, that banner is going to have a low ctr, but not necessarily. It always depends on your audience or who you are marketing to. They are the ones that decide the ctr of a banner. Always make multiple versions to see what works and what doesn’t and go from there.

However, there are a few things you should do when making multiple versions.

#1 Add Call to Action

First, address your call to action. Can you drive more attention to it? Sure, let’s make it look like a link. There are many ways to drive attention to your call to action. You can make it a button, render it to look like a link (like we did here), change the text etc…

#2 Add Images

Secondly, we can add images. Maybe if we put a cute pic of a bear saying something, our audience will respond with a higher CTR.

#3 Make the Image Pop (Split test it!)

If we see a rise in CTR, we know we’re on to something. There bear is doing the job. Let’s keep playing with the image. One trick I like to do is make a false border. It’s nothing more than putting an image in front of a border to make it “pop out” to the visitor.

#4 Animate!

Animation is another way to drive up CTR. Feast your eyes on this delayed animation banner. This works very well when annoying the viewer with ugly colors, animating the cta, or using it with ad text.

#5 Tweening for Better Animation

If that’s not enough, you can play with tweening your banners. In photoshop this is a fun way to make fluid animation within your ads. It can work to increase your CTR, but it doesn’t necessarily mean more ROI. Always test.

(Editors note: Tweening is very easy in Photoshop- just look up some tutorials. Be aware! It adds significant file-size versus something that is a simple on-off blink!)

Hope that gives you some help. Just make many variations with these tips in mind and you’ll find your gems. For more info, Ryan has some other tips on this blog: Tips for Massive CTR and there is another good thread on animation here on PPVPlaybook.

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  • token that pedobear?

    • Lol Pedobear ftw

    • looks like it.

      Very nice tut. I wonder if tweening is easier to do now in photoshop. I haven’t done it in years.

  • groomez

    indeed, pedobear droppin’ knowledge

  • Eriii

    I like this post a lot. It is true that with a little tweeking you are able to turn a campaign profitable. But I guess it also really depends on the target audience and site the ad is running on. I feel that sometimes simple text ads do not perform so well on certain sites that have heavy images and video content. What do you think?

  • Nice trick with the false border, not something I’ve tried before. But then, Pedobear has a lot more “pop” than the average skank with her tits out that I tend to use.

  • Carl

    This tutorial is what made me join ppvplaybook. Thanks for sharing!

  • Chris

    I’m still a landing page virgin :( and the worst part is I have about $150 000 of stock images and vectors for every niche imaginable. That’s like being a virgin with a 10″ dick! I only have $1500 in the bank and I’m waiting to save $2000 to start CPA.. right now I’m doing SEO -> CPS which is lame but makes me 500-600 per week so it should help fund my learning curve when I start CPA in the next couple weeks.

    Nice post,


  • nice tips.. but what can you do when you want to create a small banner, like 125×125? there you don’t have enough space to place a very catchy image, a call to action that has more than 5 words… how can you make the users click it?

  • I would be so interested to see what sort of conversions you got from that last banner. :P