Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Creating HTML or AD

by Donna Peterson

We are all looking for different ways to attract our Target audience to our ads or to get them to respond to an email blast.

Before you get started, you have to have a clear picture of the following, so you can have a successful campaign.

Whom are you trying to reach? - Whether it is Biopharmaceutical Manufacturers or Dog Lovers, the advertisements must have a different feel/tone.

Think about what is the purpose of the promotion? Brand Awareness, Lead Generation . . .

What feel do you want the piece to have? – General, Knowledgeable, or Expert with a tone that is Neutral, Confident, or Joyful.

Over the years I have worked with several companies, and 3 DO NOTS stand out -

1) Do not use an image for the background

Recently I was working with an Industrial coffee equipment manufacturer, and they were trying to sell their equipment. The creative team got very excited about the project, maybe too much coffee, and dove into designing. They had a stock image as the background - two mitten hands holding a coffee cup.



They, however, forgot to follow what I feel is the most crucial criterion - keep the promotion Simple and Clean. It makes it easier for people to understand what you are promoting and how to respond.

Next time you are creating an Ad or HTML, think Minimal.

Less Copy – Do not feel you have to fill the whole space to get your money's worth. Less is More

  • 1 or 2 fonts
  • White space is your friend.
  • Simple photography


2) Don't be fancy with your Font 

Think about your audience and the tone you would like your message to have. Fonts can dictate the feel of your promotion. The coffee promotion I mentioned above used a Script Font that was white or hot pink overlaid on the Image.

  • Script Fonts are hard to read and give a feeling of beautiful, delicate, relaxed, which was not correct for this promotion. – Sans Serif Fonts are a much better choice for a B2B message because they are effortless to read and digest. – My go-to Font is Arial. 
  • Size – At the MarketingProf B2B Forum, the expert panel said that the Font used should be at least 16px so that people do not have to enlarge when trying to view it on their phones.
  • Mixed Case letters are easier to read – People sometimes take all caps as yelling.
  • Medium weight fonts are most comfortable to read, but the Bold fonts convey power and masculinity. Use Bold in the header and then have the body be a mix.
  • Color - White lettering, on a dark background, can be stressful on the eye, so replace white with a light gray to make the piece easy on the eyes. 



3) Do not fill your HTML or AD up with images.

On the coffee promotion, they were putting six images in a row, so they looked like thumbnails, and you could not identify the equipment.   

Select a few images that are the most important to the message you are trying to convey to the specific audience.- Example: My business auction clients will select pictures of the asset that has the highest value.  Have these images be prominent at the top of the HTML and centered on an Ad. Make sure you - 

There is no point in having many images that are unidentifiable and distracting to the eye.  The photos are significant because our brains have visual processing. 



You must have a prominent Call-to-Action so that the reader knows what action to take – Register for Auction, Claim Discount, Free Trial, Call Today, View our Website . . .


So are you wondering what happened with the Coffee promotion - Luckily we stepped in and gave our suggestions so that the creative team could go back and create a responsive piece   -

  • That was easy to read
  • Showcase the most important equipment
  • Reflects the offer and gave a feel that was appropriate for the audience they were trying to reach.

 The promotion yielded a good response using External sources -  The HTML had a 27.13% Open rate and 2.73% Click rate.


You do not have the reader's attention for too long, so make it as simple as possible for them to figure out what you have and what action to take. Don't make these three mistakes.

Happy Promoting.

If you would like assistance, please feel free to give me a call to discuss your next project.


Donna A. Peterson

Email: dpeterson@worldinnovators.com

Phone: 860-210-8088


Topics: B2B Marketing, Creative, b2b company, successful marketing campaign, campaign strategy, marketingfailure, directmarketing, innovative marketing

Donna Peterson

Written by Donna Peterson

Donna Peterson is a visionary in the world of marketing and business relationships. With over three decades of experience in B2B Marketing, Donna has become a trusted advisor and mentor to countless companies.

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