Sunday, September 19, 2004

Adhearus Changes the Rules with its Affilate Advertising Program!

Financing top ranking search engine and high traffic sites can benefit from featuring pay-per-click advertising from Google and Adhearus on their web properties.

Adhearus has changed its policy to double pay-per-click for affiliates. What happens is once someone clicks on an ad on your site they are taken to a landing page with gives them more information about your business. Then if they are still interested and continue on to visit the advertisers site you get paid. In Google's program you get paid whenever someone clicks on an ad on your site. The double click policy favors advertisers who can now get pre-qualified site visitors at the publisher's expense. This is the response I sent to Adhearus upon hearing about this new policy.

My Response Below...

I have been featuring your ads on my site with poor results. Needless to say Google is much more profitable. Now you want to change the click-thru process to qualify the leads to the ad sponsors.

This is not fair, plus you are putting yourself on a slippery slope. This is why.

Your ads will not experience the click through rates of Google ads because they are image ads and not contextual. Link ads are more effective on the web because they are what makes the web work.

Surfing the web by links is the Internet's first killer app.

Secondly since the click through rates for graphic advertising like banners and skyscrapers are below 0.5% in comparison to text link ads (about 2% or 3%) in most industries it is common knowledge that graphic ads are not good for direct response.

But graphic ads are great for branding. Many companies will now use your advertising as free branding and therefore you and I will get paid less, or not a all for our ad inventory. This is what you are doing with letting advertisers get a click from our site and then getting free exposure to a landing page with a description.

Now these advertisers are getting double brand exposure for free.

And I am footing the bill for free double branding for your advertisers. If your advertisers can't convert people from the click-throughs that is their problem. I shouldn't have to provide them free double brand exposure!

First of all only 1% - 3% of site visitors will ever become customers for any business, the first time landing on their sites (and these are ideal numbers from any direct marketing). Your advertisers should know this plus they should be offering something for free to cultivate these site visitors into eventual customers over time.

Why should we publishers have to offer free advertising inventory to advertisers who don't understand the Internet sales process. This is why I only put your ads on a few of my pages. First I want to see if I'll ever get paid. Second policies that you are employing are potentially abusive.

Can you imagine a company that decides to use your program as a cheap way to get free double exposure image and brand advertising all over the Internet. They could make their company logo a major brand visible all over the Internet without paying any money to your or me.

I raise these questions because my background is in media and advertising. Many of your other publishers may not be familiar with branding and image advertising. Therefore they may not understand the potential problems with your new system.

If you are a technical or customer service person who first reads this can you pass my comments on to the marketing department. Hopefully the can understand the full ramifications of what I am talking about.

If your ads continue to perform poorly, especially with this new system I will pull them off of the few pages that they are on. Everybody knows in advertising the role of the publisher is to provide visibility for the advertiser, it is not our responsibility to convert the site visitor into a customer. If they can't do it I shouldn't have to give them free ad inventory.