A few weeks back I read about Microsoft’s new Live.com Cashback program where users actually get “cash back” (catchy huh) if they make purchases on items of participating partners found through Live searches. Intrigued, I looked a bit more into it and realized that advertising partners get charged on a CPA basis, not a CPC basis. Paying by “action” is the holy grail for all advertisers. If I can only pay when someone makes a purchase I take all of the guesswork out of click through rates and conversion rates for ad programs. It’s virtually impossible to lose money as long as your CPA is less than your COGS (and that action of course is a sale).
So of course I added “sign up for Live.com” to my to-do list. When I finally got to it this afternoon and tried to sign up, it unfortunately looked like a closed beta so I had to fill out a long form and wait to hear back from Microsoft. However, in filling out the survey they asked me what other shopping networks we advertised on:
At which point I realized that we only did Y! and Google on that list (and Amazon, which for some reason isn’t on there). I had looked into a few of the other ones in the past but for one reason or another never pulled the trigger. Many of the ones on that list I hadn’t even heard of. I then went to each site and decided that I’ll sign up Tastefully Driven for all of them except the CNET ones (seemed like too much work).
Thanks for the idea Microsoft. Your reward for triggering this thought and introducing me to these shopping networks is that you’ll be getting a much lower cut of our ad spend.