Is Microsoft's Live Search Cashback Service Good for Advertisers?
By now, you probably have all heard about Microsoft Corp.'s new service, Microsoft Live Search cashback.
In case you haven't, the service will offer ad-funded cash rebates to customers who find and purchase products.
According to a Microsoft press release, "the Live Search cashback product portfolio includes more than 10 million product offers from more than 700 merchants, including more than 13 of the top 40 U.S. retailers."
Live Search cashback, according to Microsoft, "helps merchants maximize their advertising investments and drive more sales by providing consumers with an added incentive to buy — a cash rebate. Participating merchants choose to pay Microsoft a [cost-per-acquisition] fee each time a customer completes a sale through Live Search cashback. The fee is a percentage of the retail price, and when that transaction is complete, Microsoft returns that fee to the consumer in the form of a cash rebate."
However, the current cost-per-click model charges advertisers for every click on a sponsored link associated with certain keywords, whether or not the potential customer makes a purchase.
But, not to worry, according to Microsoft: In the press release, the software behemoth said the CPA model gives advertisers a more precise return on their advertising investment, and is currently being deployed on a relatively limited basis.
"The CPC and CPA search advertising models represent the most targeted advertising approaches available today, but there is still room for improvement," the company said.
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