Where does this obsession come from?
The other day, one of our newer staff members asked me why I’m such a screenshot addict. What’s the benefit to collecting all these images, many of which I may never use?
It was only when I opened my Yahoo! page yesterday that it hit me. The banner was right there, where it’s been for awhile. Even though I never clicked, there is a value in those impressions. What triggered my memory was that little stick drawing guy in the SnagIt banner.
I can remember, as early as 1996, taking screenshots for marketing purposes. Back then, I was working with a telecom company that was selling voice-over-Internet products, and I was helping to manage the banners we bought on Yahoo!, Excite, Altavista, landing pages, and so on. The top-performing banner — no matter what we offered or how creative we were — was this little stick figure smiley-face guy with a simple offer. (By the way, I’m still shocked today at how good this company was at measuring stuff back then. It probably helped fuel my passion for web analytics. I could tell you by the keyword on any of the engines, for any date range, for a particular version of a banner we ran, how many minutes people used our product to call Argentina.)
But I digress. What did I do with the screenshots?
I used to take screenshots of every page where I could find our banners. Then I would save them to compare with the following week’s/month’s metrics. I’d analyze them to see if any other elements on the page were enhancing or detracting from the ability of the banner to get the click-though. Sometimes it was a search result that influenced the conversion. I’ve been collecting screenshots ever since.
For as long as I can recall, I’ve been a fan of TechSmith’s SnagIt (and later, Camtasia for video) for Windows. Now that we’ve switched the company to Mac, we’re using SnapZ Pro X, as well as TechSmith’s newly released Jing Project. (Thanks, guys. Please keep those Mac products coming!)
What can you do with screenshots?
1. Chronicle all of your online advertising efforts and use the screenshots to analyze any interactions with your success metrics.
2. Keep a running history of changes to your content, or a competitor’s (i.e., see what changes/tests have been performed).
3. Use them in presentations when reporting on web analytics for a particular ad creative or page.
4. Use them to figure out what to test next in your landing page optimization efforts
5. Impress your friends with your collection that contains an original Amazon screenshot.
Are you a fellow screenshot addict? Want to be? If so, come join my FaceBook group.