Saturday, August 21, 2010

chitika secrets

When Chitika brought out its eMiniMalls, I thought they were great. I loved the tabs. I loved the images. I loved the amount of information they were able to squeeze into each unit. And I certainly loved the revenues.
Chitika didn’t replace AdSense units across all my sites — I haven’t come across anything that can do that yet — but on the pages that talked about products, they did very well and provided a nice additional income.

On those sites, I found it very useful to mix my ad systems so that I was making money with AdSense, with affiliate units, with CPM banners and with Chitika’s eMiniMalls too.
But eMiniMalls weren’t perfect. On pages that didn’t talk about products, the units were largely ignored. I tended only to use them on product pages.
And it turns out that advertisers weren’t completely happy with them either.
Even though they were generating plenty of clicks, those clicks weren’t producing large numbers of sales. So the advertisers told Chitika that they wanted more. They told Chitika that they didn’t just want clickthroughs of at least 2 percent; they wanted conversion rates of at least 2 percent.

Now, that’s some tall order. Chitika has no control over what users do once they’ve clicked the ad. It’s not the ad system’s job to persuade users to buy. All a good ad system can do is serve ads that match users’ needs and make the units look appealing.
Chitika’s eMiniMalls were doing that very well.
But faced with the loss of advertisers unhappy at paying for leads that didn’t convert, Chitika was forced to do a little re-thinking.
The company came up with a unique solution.
It created Premium ads — units designed to appear only to a fraction of a website’s users: those who reached the site through a search engine; and those who are based in the United States or Canada.