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NONE: ONLINE-ADS>> Re: HealthGate Guarantees click-rate

ONLINE-ADS>> Re: HealthGate Guarantees click-rate

Varun Arora (varora_at_giasbm01.vsnl.net.in)
Fri, 27 Sep 1996 10:00:34 +0530

Bob Wyman <bobwyman_at_healthgate.com> asked for comments on his site's
advertiser plan...

> 1. HealthGate will "guarantee" click-through rates. When we sell an
> ad, part of our agreement with the advertiser will be a "minimum
> click-through rate." Once an ad is posted, we will monitor the
> click-through rate and will remove the ad if it falls below the
> guaranteed minimum click-through rate. The advertiser will then be
> notified and given the opportunity to send us a new ad which would

It involves more work but you might want to consider designing
"click-through" ads yourself. You would, of course, need to understand what the
product's advantages are, and the concerned brand's USP. You might also want to
see examples of their regular (read: print) advertising and their
competitors' advertising, all of which would require time and effort. The reason I'm
saying this is that I strongly believe most ad agencies still have little or no
clue about designing *effective* banners, *optimised* for the online medium.

That is certainly the case here in India and, I strongly suspect, in
other parts of the world too.

> 3. HealthGate will monitor and publish to advertisers the
> "click-through rates" that we experience on the various spots on our
> site. Our ad rates will be partially tied to these rates -- i.e. our
> rates will be tied to a spot's proven yield. Of course, this
> policy will ensure that we only show "effective" ads since weak ads
> will tend to decrease the value of our spots.

Now *this* I find completely ridiculous. While it can be said that the
covers of
magazines, newspapers, etc., are most effective in terms of eyeballs,
click-throughs are a different story altogether. The effectiveness of a
click-through depends ENTIRELY on the promise of the product, it's
relevance to the audience, and the design of the ad itself. "Spot's
yield"
makes no sense. A spot effective for one ad may be totally ineffective
for
another.

> 4. HealthGate will aggressively invest in tools and technologies to
> help our advertisers more effectively target our users as well as
> monitor results. For instance:
> a) HealthGate will permit advertisers to link their ads to specific
> keywords which appear in user queries to our medical information

Which takes us back to the earlier debate on the ethics of doing so. To
be perfectly honest, I think it's a good idea. Our job is to help the
client achieve his objectives, and not to pontificate about ethics. In short,
this could be effective. We're planning something similar, in a Yellow Pages
environment.

[On a different note, is there anyone here who thinks that yellow pages,
in print
form, will continue to be a success in around five years? Why?]

> b) HealthGate will soon allow advertisers the option of limited
> geographic targetting. We'll allow advertisers to specify whether
> their ads should be shown to: US sites only, Non-US sites only, or
> any site in the world.

This, too, isn't quite as simple as you might think. Even non-US domains
can have a simple .com / .org / .net, wiithout the need for a country
identifier. It is technically possible, and several people have done it.
We, for example, have registered ourselves with InterNIC as
www.indiawatch.org since we know that the majority of our users will come from the US and
will entirely forget about the .in suffix (the address registered with APNIC,
the body for this region, is http://www.indiawatch.org.in ). Which brings me
back to the point: there IS going to be wastage (though nominal) - be
prepared for it.

Finally, on the basic issue of whether I am in favour of click-throughs,
the answer is YES, provided my company has creative control over the ad., and
provided the ad
has sufficient "fit" with the page/s on which it is carried.

Regards to all,

- Varun.

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