CPR CPA CTR... what does it all mean? What it means is dollars "out" of your pocket instead of "in" to your pocket. Advertising dollars are gaining in value, meaning the regular advertiser now gets MORE for his dollar than he did a few years back.
An advertiser used to pay for "impressions",meaning everytime his ad showed on a web page it was counted as an impression. He would buy 1000 to 100000 impressions for his ad. Ad rates depended upon the web site. Educational sites could get a higher CPM rate, (cost per thousand impressions), than a site selling laundry detergent.
Things have changed somewhat... Now they want to buy CPA ads, (cost per action), meaning they want to pay per "action". An "action" is not considered a click. If they place an ad on your site, it doesn't matter if it gets 10000 impressions or 50000 impressions. It doesn't matter if it gets 1000 clicks. They are ONLY going to pay you if someone actually clicks on the link AND buys whatever they are selling on their site. Sounds great huh?
The other great ad inventory they want to purchase is the CTR offer. This is for "click through rate". That means their ad can again show 10000 times or 50000 times. It doesn't matter. They are only going to pay you if someone actually clicks on their ad. Another yummy prospect huh?
What is going on here? Are we so desperate for ads that we will allow someone to use our web pages to flaunt their products for free and only get paid if someone clicks their ad or acually signs up for something they are selling? What is wrong with this picture, people?
Let's see.... I want to rent a new business building, but I have informed the landlord that even though I will be taking up their "prime space", I will only be paying partial rent on customers who actually buy something. It doesn't matter if I have a crummy storefront, a disorganized shelving system, or an unmanageble way to navigate about the store. I am still only going to pay them for their prime spot IF I actually get a sale out of the building. Now this sounds more to my liking!
Also, I am going to be contacting some National Newspapers. I want to place an ad on their "front" page along with some other ads in the rest of the newspaper. I am going to inform the newsletter that I don't care if they have 100,000 subscribers who will see the ad. I am only going to pay "IF" someone actually uses the ad and buys my product. Now hurry up and get my ad placed on the front page of your newspaper!
Let's wake up ladies!
As long as you keep accepting advertising on these terms, you are going to be giving away your "prime business space" and your "front page space" to some clever marketing agent who just saw a new victim when he landed at your site.
I would LOVE to see these guys try to pull this stuff in the real world! H-E-L-L-O... This may be a virtual world, but it still takes "real" people to read your ads and real people to buy your products.
Maybe you advertisers only want to pay on a click through rate or a click per action rate because your ad might stink or it's in a "testing" phase. In the meantime they get to be your guinea pig while you test around to see which ads got the best performance as you showed the ad millions of times but only had to pay for actual clicks on your ad. What a deal you got!
I think I'll make up the blandest ad I can find, but make sure the words "Digital Women" are in it because I just want people to remember the name. I don't care if they click or not because I am just after brand recognition at the moment. Then I won't have to pay anything to the poor sap that showed my ad 500,000 times but I can still get the brand recognition that I need to succeed at my present goal, which is just making sure my "name" is seen around the world on lots of people's web sites.
This article is not meant to sound bitter. It is meant to open your eyes to what is being handed to you like it's something special. It's not special and they couldn't pass this off in a real newspaper or a real magazine or a real business development mall or shopping mall.
Stop being a victim to these guys. If they offer a CPA or CTR send them out the same door they came through. Wise up! That is your prime advertising space. Stop "giving" it away.
What are your best options if:
- You accept advertising
- You buy advertising
If you "accept" advertising, make sure you offer a flat rate for your prime space. You can offer a CPM which is a cost per thousand impressions, or you can offer a flat monthly rate based on how many impressions they can get in 30 days.
Your rates should be in line with what your site offers as content. Adres has a chart but I think it is a couple of years old. You can check out the CPM rates there. When you hit the site, look to the right for a link to "sample rates": http://adres.internet.com/adrates/article/0,1401,,00.html
Have a clear ad rates page set up. We suggest using an advertising agency to sell ads for you. They know all the ad terms and communicate better with those who buy ads. One great place we know that specializes in advertising for women is the Queen of Pizzazz. You can find that advertising agency here: http://www.thequeenofpizzazz.com
If you "buy" advertising, make sure you have a budget in place before you start looking. Also you will need to have several different ads to try at different places. If you don't do some sort of ad tracking or some sort of program in place where you can see which of your ads did the best then you will be wasting valuable ad dollars.
Again we suggest using an ad agency that will do all that for you. The above site also offers the service of buying ad space for you. Try them out.
To sum up...
- Educate yourself to the ad terms being used today.
- Don't accept every offer that comes along. Check to see if it right for you.
- Target your ad space. Don't sell space to a tire manufacturer if you sell diapers on your web site.
- Target your own ads to sites who compliment what you are selling.
- Remember that if you choose to go with someone like Google's adsense, that the MINUTE someone clicks on their ad, you just made a few cents and ALSO just lost your web site visitor as they don't let the ad open up in a new window for you.
Rebecca Game is the owner/founder of Digital-Women.com an international online community for women in business. If you are a "woman with her modem running..." come join us!