Driving Customer-Acquisition Traffic
A few years ago, portals, content plays and other ad-supported sites proliferated. Today, another silver lining to the dot-com bust is that it's easier to decide where to spend your advertising dollars. Put your online ad budget where it counts.
"It's critical to take full advantage of capturing people when they're in a buying mode," explains Tifft. "You can capture perfectly when they have the propensity to buy. It's very difficult to target this based on demographic data or other behavior. The best way to succeed is to find people when they self-select."
His advice: Look for sites with buyers at the beginning of the buying cycle. Shopping portals like Yahoo! Shopping are pricey, but since Yahoo! has a 44-percent reach among all Internet consumers, according to Nielson/NetRatings, the price may be a bargain if you can capture browsers the moment they become buyers.
Response rates have dropped, but so have CPMs. Says Court Cunningham, vice president and general manager of DARTmail at DoubleClick, "Everything works at the right price. Any response is decent if you're paying the right price."
One way to boost response is through innovative creative using interactivity. Says Tifft, "Even with the Internet's incredible penetration, users who are on it even a short time tend to behave like early-adopters. And what early-adopters like is the 'new.'"
Pop-ups, pop-unders, Flash technologies, any sort of animation—the clicks will come for awhile, but continue experimenting. "Any new technology will perform, but then performance will drop," warns Tifft. "Pop-ups have dropped, but then they have two issues. One, it may be difficult to place your ad. Two, people see pop-ups the way they see blow-in cards in magazines. Everyone says they hate them, but they still perform at three to four times the rate of a standard ad."