RE: Cost-per-Action Advertising

From: John Gaskill <>
Date: Tue 15 May 2001 11:08:16 -0500


>Had many dot-bombs thought about their spending relative
>to the costs of production and distribution, they might
>still be around today.


>Not if they had to rely on cost-per-action to pay the bills.
>Especially not if it's the cut of that they get from interactive
>agencies. How do you think high volume sites GET traffic
>to their sites? No web site generates high traffic just by
>virtue of being on the web. They get traffic by marketing.
>And get the content that it takes to keep the traffic on a
>site long enough to spot ads and click on them?
>CPA also doesn't take into account all the people that go
>to a store looking for a product, see a big shelf of things,
>and pick up one they've seen online because it's
>(now -from being seen) a "known" item - a brand name that
>stands out from all the rest because they saw it repeatedly
>on their favorite web site. IMHO, the only one who benefits
>from cost per click is the advertiser. They get all that brand
>exposure (all the views that weren't clicks) without having
>to pay for it.

If you accept an ad designed to produce an image effect
instead of a direct sale transaction on a cost-per-click
the culprit is you. If the network you signed up with does
not give you veto power over which ads run CPC on your
site, it seems you have a problem.

Any publisher who accepts a cost-per-action deal without
having control over the sale transaction needs to have
his/her head examined.

>What would make sense from the publisher's point of
>view would be an ad rate and extra income if a banner
>was click on and an order placed.

It is unlikely that a publisher can have it both ways
as sad as that may be. Unless you, as a publisher,
offer something people cannot get elsewhere, you are
stuck with the marketplace and whatever condition it is
in. When the market rises, all ships rise with the tide.
But when the tide goes out you must be prepared to run
aground until the tide rises again.

If that means hustling your own advertisers and forsaking
networks, so be it. If that means having some paid
subscribers and some free subscribers, okay. If that
means tweaking your business model to make it work in spite
of market difficulties, welcome to the world of business.

I guess the new economy is a lot like the old economy when
difficult times are dealt from the deck.

Best regards all,


John Gaskill
Beta Testers Wanted
Please sign on at:

Received on Tue May 15 2001 - 11:08:16 CDT


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