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Old 11-04-2004, 10:10 PM   #1
thegauntlet
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Default A tip to higher CPM's

This was passed down to me from a ad rep I befriended last year. She said to never run ROI/ROS ads and you can tell 90% of the ad companies you want to only run I/O (insertion orders). These are much higher paying targeted ads. I gave it a try and told every ad company their rates were too low and if they want ads on my site they can pitch each individual ad campaign to me. About 2-3 months later, I began getting I/O's from some of the ad companies. I have this deal in place with about 10 ad companies. Some of the bigger ones like Fast Click and TF didn't comply, but you'd be surprised how many did. I obviously don't have a 100% fill rate either, but between my inhouse sales, and I/O's I get pretty good rates...nothing under $1.50 ecpm.

You do need to have a well established, marketable site though that generates a lot of traffic. Also some ROI ad companies are still needed for other countries as I have only had IO's for US, UK, and Canada and 95% of all IO's are US. I did need to run my own adserver also to target and cap the campaigns. This month I have 1 I/O for $4.50 ecpm on banners with a 3:24 cap but they want 87k ads a day US only. PHPAdsNew works great for this. After those 3 ads, I then have some smaller I/O's and some house ad sales. But after 11 banners in 24 hours, i do have to resort to 'filler' ads or whatever an adcompany sends me. Has anyone else tried this or had any success stories? The best people in the world to befriend are the people in sales at the ad companies.
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Old 11-05-2004, 01:39 PM   #2
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What kind of traffic are you doing monthly and what category/subject does your site pertain to? Is your traffic US based?
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Old 11-05-2004, 10:38 PM   #3
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My site is heavy metal site and goes in the Entertainment:Music category with most ad companies. The site eats up 4M ads a month currently and I need it to hit 5M by Jan 1, 2005 as I am planning on booking more ads and raising my rates at the same time. I would like to make this my day job soon.
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Old 11-06-2004, 01:10 AM   #4
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While I can't quite place my finger on which forum they were posted to, I certainly remember reading some posts by you several years back (around 2000-2001 if I recall correctly). I found your posts on monetizing your site back then to be rather informative and I'm sure you those who rely on ads as their primary source of revenue on this forum could learn a good bit from you
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:27 PM   #5
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Another bit of advice I have is finding out how much your pageviews are worth. If you have 100,000 pageviews a day, and make $500 per day, then each page is worth .005 cents or about a $5 CPM per page. One thing I try to do is just this. I want $5 CPM on each page. I could place a popunder on each page, but that would have a negative effect. So i try to limit to 1 pop/1 layer/ or 1 interstital per visit. Those are $5, but not every visitor sees them, so then banners come in. When all is said and done, if I have done everything right, all I need to worry about is traffic and the $ will be there. This is also helpful for keyword/CPC buying. I'm not going to pay more than my average page rate.
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Old 11-07-2004, 09:44 PM   #6
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I've gotten a few emails on how I go about finding advertisers. The best way is look for companies already advertising. Find out who is advertising on your competitions sites. Contact the advertisers and inform them you are running ads at a discount from your rate card (you must have a rate card and list prices 50% higher than what you actually charge and list many ad packages and make it simple for the novice ad buyer to understand. Lots of companies don't know CPM, CPC, etc. they want to pay $500 for 1 month period). Many times you'll also get companies that see your rate card and agree to the terms and costs in them.

Have a newsletter and send out monthly to past and potential adbuyers. Let them know whats going on with your site, offer an incentive to buy ads. I frequently use the 'book 3 months now, get $100 off'. 90% of the ads I sell are from sending a newsletter to adbuyers with companies and I generally get a response within 3-5 days, so send it out on Sunday or Monday so it doesn't get lost in the shuffle.

Pick up a magazine and see who is advertising in them. If they are spending money on magazine ads, they have a decent ad budget. Don't be afraid to go after the smaller ads. They are the easiest to book in my opinion.

I have mentioned it before, have a relationship with adreps at the companies like Fast Click, Burst, Casale, etc. There have been so many times when I'll just drop them an email for no apparent reason and they'll take a look at my site again, make a cooment, and a few days later i'll have a nice targeted campaign. 3 weeks ago I msg'd the media buyer for a ad company I use as I heard they did a big targeted buy and my site wasn't included. After 3 mins of BS'ing, I was included in the campaign...and extra $2500 Net for me.

I'll post some more things as I think of them...been up since 2am and am tired...but the Simpsons season premiere is on soon.
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:05 PM   #7
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I've found it very hard to get a good rate (often less or at the same rates are tier 1 or 2 networks) in past experiences. With all due respect, I find it hard to believe that your target audience, heavy metal, is receiving a $5.00 CPM. If it is, more power to you, but since it is not a key demographic for most advertisers, it does raise questions in my mind. But I could be wrong, as I am not a 100% sure as to the heavy metal demographic.
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Old 11-08-2004, 02:49 PM   #8
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A very interesting thread full of great tips. A few thoughts about selling your own adverts which are not directed at any single geek

Introduction: Weather you are attempting a "blend" which means your own sales of adverts along side a Network or attemting to convert your entire revenue stream to your own advert sales, most folks just don't get it. They often don't have the necessary foundation in place so they fail.

It's kinda like building a house so the foundation needs to be in place:

1. Get yourslef a DBA (Business Name) and open a business checking account

2. Get yourself a business phone and stick an answering machine on it

3. Get yourself an advertiser friendly script to manage the adverts and install same

4. Make a "Media Kit" which normally includes a "Rate Card"

5. Make sure that your Whois data accurately reflects your business name and valid contact data.

IMHO, don't even bother trying to sell adverts untill all of the above is in place. You have exactly one chance and about 120 seconds to grab the attention of a potential advertiser who are significantly smarter today (thankfully) then they ever were in the boom days.

I'm not inferring that monetizing your site in this fashion is for everyone BUT I'm also not surprised when I see an "exception" to the rule in a given space Don't let folks disuade you if you honestly feel that the quality, mainstream focus, and traffic numbers to your site provide you with a reasonable chance of success and steps 1-5 are already in place. Don't be reluctant to do this even if none of your competition has tried.

Good luck to all
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:58 PM   #9
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A $5 cpm is very atainable, and I say this regardless of your target audience. Although when I stated I look for a $5 CPM, I was speaking about entire page. So if you have a $3 pop, and 2 $1.50 banners, thats $5. For my site, the adrates start at $2.50 CPM. If they want to target, another .50 cpm.

This won't apply to everyone directly, and I was going to get into it a little later when I have better #'s and a better idea how well it works, but I have some front page ads I sell for $25 CPM. I have other ads I sell for $10 CPM. You need to just stop thinking like an ad company who sells the same ad to 30,000 sites and start thinking like a site owner who sells ads for your site. I just began selling in Oct some templated flash ads. I have several designs so they don't look like a cookie cutter. But they include the artists logo, and then have various buttons on the ad for tourdates, bio, stream and audio file, etc. Record label eat this up...and yes at $10 CPM. The best part is, most people don't even click the link to leave my site, they get most the info from the banner and listen to the songs from the banner too. Although I don't see something like this working for every type of site, it shows the money is there.
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Old 11-08-2004, 04:32 PM   #10
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Great stuff thegauntlet.

I tried selling my own ads for two months and failed because I wasn't experienced enough or prepared mentally. I also wasn't aggressive enough because I was too busy operating the site, family, full time job, etc....

Fast forward two years later: We just hired our first employee and he will be helping me carry the weight so I can focus on the marketing and sales aspects.

Its a coincidence for me that you have created this topic because I have been planning to try the sales thing again and your tips are really inspiring me.

But I have a bunch of questions:

What do you say when you approach a newby internet advertiser and he says, "Where's the value? How do I know if my advertisments are effective or not? ROI?"

Do you try and sell the branding value (via geo-targeting to state or country)? How do you persuade the advertiser that click-through is not the only measurement of success? Unfortunately I do not have the resources of Doubleclick or Tacoda (behavioral targeting). My tools are my web site with respectable traffic and phpadsnew with geo-targeting.

BTW your site is cool. Waiting for the new Hopesfall
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Old 11-08-2004, 05:27 PM   #11
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Hopesfall rules!

Now that I lost my train of thought...

You are right in that the value cannot often be measured by CTR in an ad campaign. It would be like reading a print ad and cutting it out and posting on the refrigerator. It will depend on the client though whether they need a high CTR or need name recognition. When record labels advertise with me, they are just trying to make the public aware of tour X or album Y. They don't care about clicks and 90% just send the people who do click to the labels main page, even if they sell albums direct to the public. On the other hand, a lot of times i'll get artists who are poor and want every bit of value from their ads. They measure performance not in clicks, but by sales and mp3 plays on the mp3 hosting sites. I do explain to them that a 2% CTR is good. I think they always expect 20%. I also let them know that their marketing shouldn't just end at my site. They should do what the big guys with publicists do and send out news and press releases. Make sure the site is navigatable too. This will insure they get bang for their buck.

As for what I tell them, I let them know my average CTR for targeted campaigns and I give them tips to improve them, like fast loading banners. The net is a new medium for a lot of people. For me, it hasn't been too much of a problem. The value comes in name recognition. If you advertise on TV, you don't complain to NBC that customers are coming into your store, but aren't buying anything. Same way for net ads. I can get you traffic if you follow my banner ad guidelines for file size and appeal, but the rest is up to you. The traffic I send will be these demographics which is what you are looking for.

I rarely mention the geo-targeting. I usually just automatically target it to north america as they are tours or albums being mentions in the ads and have different release dates abroad. It really doesn't take anything to do on my end to geo-target a campaign. I think I list it on my rate card as an added fee, but i'll never let it get in the way of a sale.
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Old 11-08-2004, 07:45 PM   #12
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Thank you, thegauntlet, Steve and others for your insight. I have found it very helpful.
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:27 AM   #13
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Those are great responses or sales "scripts". I am saving this thread.

I run an automotive site (360k uniques/6 million page views) and I would like to approach car dealerships for advertising but many times they are only interested in local exposure. This is where the geo-targeting brings value and why I'm keen to promote it.

Eventually I would like to have hundreds of my own advertisers and gradually pull away from ad networks and intrusive ads because I feel they compromise the quality of my site and hurt our traffic potential.

Things on my checklist

-dust off and revise the media kit
-create my own promotional banners
-build a new sales page & faq

Big thanks thegauntlet! You've really given me some inspiration.
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Old 11-15-2004, 04:54 AM   #14
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What a thread! Having $5 CPM on a heavy metal site is a great achievement, respect! I'm running heavy metal site for 5 years and now it is visited by 50K uniques daily, but it never was a real source of income for me (although, I was lucky to get accepted into FastClick 3 years ago ). Anyway, TheGauntlet, your tips are very inspirational and maybe I'll try to follow them.
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