The most effective way of producing low cost, high quality traffic for your website is through search engine optimization. To learn more about alternate methods, read this page.
Banner advertising is the classic internet advertising model. You can buy a banner spot on somebody else's site, if you think that site receives traffic that would respond well to your pitch. You can usually buy per impressions, meaning you pay a fee corresponding to the number of times your ad is shown on a page. A second model is emerging recently, based around pay-for-performance, where the advertiser only pays when he receives a click, but can often pay quite a bit for that click.
Banner advertising can be a great way to put a new product in front of lots of people. It can also be very expensive, and it can also be very ineffective. As the internet has evolved people have become aware that banners are advertisements, and they quickly develop 'banner blindness', where they automatically ignore anything that looks like an ad. Kind of like developing a habit of getting up to do something else when television commercials interrupt your show. If you're getting into banner advertising to produce your traffic, be vigilant about monitoring your return on investment.
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. The concept is the same as paying per click for banner advertisements, but the term PPC has been adopted by a new type of search engine, that only lists advertisements. If you were to go to overture.com and do a search, what is listed are paid ads, ordered as per how much the advertisers are willing to pay per click for each search term.
This model would have failed flat on its face if it weren't for some quick thinking executives. The problem was, everyone wanted the traffic because it was typed in traffic from real searchers, the most valuable traffic in the world, just like search engine traffic, except, nobody actually went to overture.com to do their searches. They stick with yahoo.com and google.com and a handful of others. So what did overture do? They paid yahoo to have the first three listings on any commercial search be overture paid listings, that cost per click for the advertisers, while overture gets a cut, and yahoo gets a cut or a flat fee. This way, overtures ads are seen by millions of real search engine users. The model is working, overture has grown in leaps and bounds.
PPC engine traffic can be the perfect way to generate traffic initially for a web-site. If your product or market is the right kind, it might even be considered a decent way of generating all of your traffic, but most experts agree, you should use it until you can generate free traffic from the search engines through your own search engine optimization work. At that point, the paid traffic will lose its luster for you, and you'll likely want to concentrate on increasing your free traffic by doing more SEO.
Opt in email is commercial email that is not spam. Spam is, by definition, unsolicited. Opt-in means that the person receiving the email opted to be included in such promotions, and are therefore a more targeted customer. These can be very valuable if you market to specific niche areas, and can find good companies offering email lists for your target audience.
Just remember, every email database is different, so failing with one list might not mean failing with another list. Email lists like this are usually 'rented' for a mailing, and are rarely 'sold', such that you can own the email lists and re-mail them yourself as much as you wish. If they are sold, they are likely not opt-in addresses, and as such, are less valuable.
Directories such as the open directory project (DMOZ) or the Yahoo directory are examples of human moderated website favorites lists. Broken logically into topic and subtopic, the directory offers a more intuitive way for surfers to find informative web-sites. To get your site listed, it has to be of high quality (especially for DMOZ) or you have to pay a fee (about 300 dollars at yahoo).
When doing search engine optimization for your sites, it is essential to get links pointed to your site from relevant destinations. Yahoo and Dmoz are good places to start looking for a good quality link.
AFFILIATE TIP OF THE WEEK
Beware 'net' payout programs that deduct all sorts of expenses from the Gross profit before you get your cut. Demand to see the deductions itemized.