Banner ad = Bad idea

Sometimes knowing what not to do is more important than figuring out what you should do. I suggest you place banner ads in the "things I shouldn't do" category of your brain. Banner ads were a great way for websites to make money several years ago...meaning that both the website hosting the banner ad and the advertiser saw a benefit. In recent years, however, banner ads are generally disregared at best and just plain old annoying at worst. In fact banner ads were a motivating factor for me to drop my long-held Hotmail email account. I was getting sick and tired of flashing mortgage ads everytime I checked my email. Now I use Gmail, but I digress...

In Seth Godin's book, Purple Cow, he discusses the ineffectiveness of banner ads. He was even blogging about this back in 2003...which should tell you how much further out of date and ineffective banner ads are today. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people still spending money on these, but if you are a church or ministry you undoubtedly have a measure of stewardship for which you are held accountable. If that is the case and you're currently spending money on banner ads take a hard look at their effectiveness. If you have no doubt that it's driving people to your site then stick with it...you're one of the lucky ones. If your tests show that the banner ads really aren't working then drop them immediately and take the money to pay someone overtime to jumpstart your web 2.0 strategy.

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