Fourth, think of a good graphic that encapsulates and complements your headline. Something visually powerful. Notable personalities or images that convey emotions work best (greed, fear, love, hate, vanity, etc.).
Fifth, have a clear call to action in your creative, such as "sound off now" or "take action now." Get people excited about the poll they are about to take. Your creative can be a banner ad, text ad, e-newsletter sponsorship or a dedicated e-mail. Some formats may work better than others, so test them all in low-cost platforms like targeted blogs (blogads.com is a great network of blogs that supports cost-effective advertising).
Sixth, make sure your poll runs on websites/blogs that fit the subject matter of the poll. When you do your media buy, pick sites that the audience is going to respond to. If your poll headline is about an election, consider political sites (on both party sides), news sites (broadcast and cable), political or news blogs, etc.
Finally, make sure you have a good reporting system to capture the e-mails and segment by promotional effort and website where the ad appeared (for analysis). Store poll results and chart answer choices via pie chart. And don't forget to send the poll results to the prospects!
Wendy Montes de Oca is president of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based online marketing services consultancy Precision Marketing and Media. She has nearly 20 years of experience, working for top publishers and Fortune 500 companies, and can be reached at email@example.com.
Often referred to as the "marketing maven" by industry peers, Wendy Montes de Oca, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience in marketing, media, and publishing with expertise in multichannel, direct response, and Web marketing. Wendy has generated more than $150 million in total revenues for Fortune 500 companies, top publishers, consulting clients, and her own firm, Precision Marketing and Media, LLC. She is the creator of the groundbreaking SONAR Content Distribution Model and author of the best-selling book Content Is Cash: Leveraging Great Content and the Web for Increased Traffic, Sales, Leads and Buzz [Que Publishing, Paperback].