Re: Overture effectiveness -- not

From: Rob Frankel <>
Date: Mon 04 Mar 2002 10:49:15 -0600

Jim Novo wrote:

>I have a client who makes $25 in profits for every $1 she
>spends on Overture ads. Try telling her Overture is
>"over-rated." She loves it, because when she has too many
>sales, she cuts back on her bids until she catches up on
>making product (handmade jewelry). She controls supply /
>demand in real time with her bids.

I think that's great! That's also why I laid a heavy YMMV
on my statement. Mine was not a pronouncement applicable
to all players. Far from it. What I was pointing out was
that Overture is no panacea and is some cases, is worse
when it comes to generating qualified traffic. Not for
your client, but certainly for us.

>In your test, you are essentially saying that the audience
>created at your site when you were using Overture must have
>been of lower quality, because your advertisers got less
>click through. I see the gross numbers "with Overture" are
>about 1/3 of that "without Overture", meaning your "natural
>traffic" must have picked up quite a bit after the Overture

I know that's how it looks. Actually, these are side by side
numbers, over the same time period, as controlled as a
sampling gets. I have no axe to grind with Overture,
especially if it works for you.

>Forgive me, but when you are regenerating natural
>traffic that is already targeted, you are going to get
>higher click rates than when you are dragging traffic
>in off the street. I think you're seeing a natural effect,
>not the results of a test.

FYI, we track EVERYTHING and the traffic we got from Overture
was definitely not repeating.

>It may be your assumption is true, that the traffic
>generated from Overture was of poor quality, but then we
>have to go to the keywords and creative. Apparently, the
>keywords you were using are too broad or the copy not
>specific. For every site I have ever worked on, whatever
>it is you want visitors to do, the visitors coming from
>Overture do more of it. This does *not* include clicking
>on ads, which I have never been involved with.

That could be true. The same test partner who insisted on
Overture, also bought up a lot of keywords and ran the site
description past us. Perhaps we're not keyword/description
wizards, but they were pretty good when passed by our team.
If you got to the site, you can see that there aren't too
many permutations. I agree with you, though, in that the
text partner was still into the "high volume traffic" thing,
which is always a mistake.

>Assuming you had awesome keyword selection and killer
>creative, your conclusion then is "Visitors from Overture
>click on less ads at the landing site", not "Overture is
>over-rated" I suggest what you are seeing is behavioral
>and has nothing to do with Overture - after all, they just
>clicked on an ad. Now you want them to click another?

It really does work that way, Jim. This month, our CTR's a
ranging between -- if you can believe it -- 4% and 9%.
Even I don't believe it, but it's true. So yeah, they're

>Your natural recurring traffic is much more likely to do
>this than traffic you drag in off the street.

Ordinarily, yes.. But is a different breed
of animal. I'm not sure that recurring clicks more. In
fact, I suspect it's the opposite.

>Rob, I love ya, I really do. Everything you say about
>branding makes sense to me. You know that world, and you
>know how to make it work. But when you start dissing my
>side of town, I gotta stand up for the people that live
>there. Each approach, branding or direct, has value as
>long as it is executed according to the parameters that
>define best practices for the approach. And when we do
>testing, we need to be very clear about exactly what is
>being measured and how.

Nah, I hope you realize I wasn't dissing anyone. That's
why I tried reeeeeeeally hard just to drop off the numbers
and get viewpoints like yours, which have truly added some

I also learned that if I get another partner who insists
on Overture, I won't make a move unless I hire Jim Novo first.

Rob Frankel

Big Time Branding (SM)
Revenue-generating Branded Communities:
Get FrankelTips delivered every Monday!
1-888-ROBFRANKEL * 818-990-8623

Received on Mon Mar 04 2002 - 10:49:15 CST


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