Advertising FAQ

Welcome to the ZATZ FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page for our advertisers. Take some time to read the questions answered herein. If you don't find the answer to your question, don't hesitate to call us at 321-722-4620 or send us an email to

Why should I consider text ads? Aren't graphics and pictures more compelling?

Uh, no. Especially since people who read ZATZ publications are here to read.

Way back 2001, the Center for Media Research coined the phrase "banner blindness". This term came from a study of Internet viewing habits that found those who were on a page in order to find another page/image click on graphical banners less. In 2000, the Poynter Institute studied surfer eye-tracking habits. They found that when users first look at a web page, 22% notice graphics while 78% notice text. Studies have shown that text ads have a higher CTR (click-thru ratio) than their photogenic counterparts. Surfers can develop brand recognition of a sponsor through image ads but when it comes to clicks, text wins out.

That's why our email ads work with both a graphic and text. The text is the meat that sells, the graphic catches the attention. Want more proof? Text ads in the online magazines outperform (in terms of click-through) banners generally 3-to-1 or better.

So why do we offer banners? The answer is simple. Some of our customers demand them. They do work; it's just that text works better.

What are ad subscriptions?

Here at ZATZ, we offer a special advertising subscription program. With an ad subscription, you're signed up automatically for the next month's ads and we bill you for that month's ads on the 20th of the preceding month. You can cancel anytime, as long as you cancel by the 10th of the preceding month.

Ad subscriptions have some important benefits, both to you and us:

  • It makes it much easier for us to do billing and account management, which reduces time and cost;
  • We're able to pass along those cost savings to you, offering subscription holders discounts and premiums;
  • It saves you time as well, because you don't have to go through all the ad signup paperwork each month;
  • You get price protection; as long as you hold your subscription, that price is locked in, regardless of whether we raise our base rates.

It's really the best approach because you get our most favorable rate, and because you can cancel your run at any time, you also have maximum flexibility.

We strongly recommend all serious advertisers get themselves on a regular subscription program.

I want to get a text ad with graphic, but don't have a graphic. What do I do?

We'll design the graphic for free, as part of your ad purchase. We've got a huge library of art and loads of ad production experience, so rest assured you'll have a graphic ad, if you want one.

There is one restriction: please don't make a pain of yourself. This free design service works if we can spend a few minutes chatting or emailing, sending you a graphic, and maybe making a minor change. If you don't make it a major project, we're able to keep it free for you.

What's this 15 minute Ad Clinic I keep hearing about?

When you schedule an ad clinic, you'll get to spend 15 minutes or so in consultation with ZATZ editor-in-chief David Gewirtz as he discusses your ad, your strategy, and the destination Web site your ad points to. He'll help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your ad, where there might be problems, and how you can improve it. He's not going to redo your ad, set your ad strategy, or plan your launch. But he will help you tighten your presentation and answer any questions you have about how to be successful as an online advertiser.

We limit the time period to 15 minutes in part because, as our founder and the boss, David's schedule is so tight and in part so you and he are able to focus in on the most important elements of your ad presentation. Since his time is so valuable, by limiting the session time to the most important discussion, we're able to keep these sessions free.

Obviously, we recommend you schedule this clinic prior to launching your product, but even if your product is already shipping, David can often help make your ad more of a success.

The ad clinics are free for a variety of reasons. First, and most important, David finds them to be fun; especially working with new businesses and helping them grow. Second, it's our mission to help you build your business and we've got a resource in David, so we want to make him available.

How do I create landing pages that convert a higher percentage of visitors?

Here's a great article that addresses just that question:

Do you support third-party ad serving?

One of the most common questions we used to get is whether we support third-party ad serving. Interestingly, in the past year or so, this question has become much less common.

Third-party ad serving is when one company serves content (like in the ZATZ magazines) but another serves the ads inside the content. As a result, for a reader to see a given page of content, data is assembled both from the content provider and the ad-serving service provider.

We are not fans of third-party ad serving and for the moment, do not support it. There are some very good reasons why we're a bit paranoid about this type of service. Basically, the big reason is once we allow content to be served from another server, we no longer control the full user experience. But it's more than that. It's also a big reliability issue.

Some third-party ad servers serve more than just chunks of HTML and .GIF files. Some serve Java applications, those incredibly annoying pop-ups, and other plug-ins, making downloads considerably longer and often crashing Web pages. There was a time when you couldn't go to certain sites without your browser freezing.

Some ad servers hijack pages, forcing interstitial ads that the publication had no plans for. And some change the ads mid-stream, so while we might have approved one ad, another is served that we've never seen (this is a problem because our license agreements with Palm and Microsoft require us to check out all ads).

But there's even yet another reason to avoid third-party ad serving. Consumers are getting ticked off. Most third-party service companies "profile" their users. As a result, they know if you went to one site to read about something, then another to buy something. Civil action groups are protesting this as a privacy violation and we tend to agree.

Will we eventually allow third-party ad serving and embedded HTML? Honestly, we don't know. We're driven by customer pressure as much as the next company. Our guess is if we go in that direction, we'll partner with a few big service companies and test the heck out of their services before we let them go online.

How come you don't put trademark and registered trademark symbols in text ads and emails?

We acknowledge trademarks in our masthead, which is what most magazines do. Obviously, in banners, advertisers are most welcome to include trademark, service mark, or registered trademark symbols in the graphic of the ad.

The reason we don't include this in text ads is that the various trademark symbols render very inconsistently across browsers and browser versions (in particular, we've seen problems with Netscape vs. IE on many user machines). So we don't render to the actual symbol.

Since we send our Weekly Updates out in HTML format, and to be consistent across all email clients, we tend to avoid the use of special symbols.

Clearly, though we could use just the ASCII letters TM or (R), we find that they look pretty poor inline in the text of the ad. Since we're already acknowledging trademarks, we just don't advise doing it this way. Of course, if it's super-important to you for us to include trademark dress, let us know and we'll get creative.

Can I use my own suppression list?

Yes, in certain cases. If you're buying an ad in one of our Weekly Updates, then it's not appropriate to use your suppression list on the Weekly Update readership list. Readers voluntarily subscribe to our magazines with a triple opt-in process and they're getting a lot more information than just your ad.

On the other hand, if you're doing a dedicated personal email blast mailing, and the content being mailed is solely your material, then a suppression list is perfectly reasonable.

To apply your list, we actually have to create a duplicate of our primary subscriber list and remove all the entries from your suppression list that exist in that duplicate list. We then send the email to that specially-created reduced readership list.

There is considerable manual database engineering work required to apply a suppression list and that's why we charge a setup fee per application of a suppression list to our readership lists.