Advertising Your RPG: Banner Ads

Back in February we launched the 6d6 Core + Outbreak! bundle on RPG Now. One of the things RPG Now / Drive Thru RPG does very well is to provide tools for promoting your products and that includes banner ads. These are paid for by Promotion Points (PP) which are earnt through adding products to the system. We spent a chunk of ours and signed up for 20,000 page impressions.

Which Did Best?

We ran three different adverts in the same style, one of which did 25% worse than the other two.

BannerAdds.png

  • Free-To-Read because buying a RPG Shouldn’t be a leap in the dark – 198 Clicks, 0.99% Ratio
  • A game for gamers (and their husbands) – 195 Clicks, 0.98% Ratio
  • Because gaming is about stories, not memorizing 300 page rule books – 147 Clicks, 0.74% Ratio

Unfortunately RPG Now doesn’t tell you how many sales arouse from the those clicks so we have no conversation rate data. Passed experience with adverts in other markets suggest that less than 5% of clicks will convert to a sale and that number is probably lower than 1%. (If that sounds low, think about the number times you have clicked on an advert and then purchased the product – it’s not very often is it?). So these adverts maybe contributed between five and 25 sales but I suspect the real number is one or two based on when the bulk of our 41 sales occurred.

Better By Design

As the adverts were effectively free and exposed hundreds, maybe thousands, of gamers to the existence of 6d6 (the first step in marketing), the lack of sales is not a real concern but could we have done better?

One problem with assessing this is the lack of data on how other people’s RPG Now banner ads perform. Are my figures high or low?

The only clue is with 6d6’s previous product launches on RPG Now, Mince Pies & Murder. We ran a single banner ad for 40,000 page impressions compared to three ads with 20,000 each.

BannerMPM.png

With 1059 Clicks, a ratio of 2.65% this advert was more than twice as successful than the best of the three bundle adverts but why?

There is no way of knowing for certain but I suspect it comes down to two things: The inclusion of a strong image and the quote from a player. The image is distinctive and evocative, even when small the human form and the splash of blood are recognisable. I think it stimulates the viewer’s interest.

Marketeers have known for hundreds of years that comments and quotes from product users are highly effective tools. Which is why theatres, games, books as well as countless web sites selling get-rich-quick-schemes or miracle weight loss programmes use them liberally. Even though everyone knows that the quote on our advert could of been made-up or given by a good friend of 6d6 (it wasn’t), the quote still has power.

Next Time

We will be launching more products on RPG Now over the coming weeks and months which will mean more adverts. We will apply the lessons learnt from this release to the next lot and report back on how they perform.

2 comments

  1. I think you’re missing something important here. Yes the little image probably helped, and maybe the quote did a little too(although I wonder if either had quite as much to do with the overall ‘clicks’ as you seem to think), but what piqued my interest much, MUCH more than either of the aforementioned was quite simply the title. It is just that little bit off-kilter to make me wonder what it’s about without being too way out there to make me just scroll on past.

    …or I may just be the odd-one-out here.

    1. Good point.

      I’ve been running / selling Mince Pies & Murder for over a year so it seems perfectly normal to me.

      That, along with the image and the quote, all combine to trigger to push the “I Must Find Out More” button in people’s heads.

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