Customer Acquisition and Online Advertising Technology

From time to time we write about technologies and services that we feel would benefit the Daily Deal industry, its providers, merchants and users. We get about 20 technology companies contacting us every month asking us to help promote them. We turn down almost all of them. First we are not a promotional vehicle. Second, we will certainly highlight and promote a technology or service if we feel that it can truly benefit our industry. Third, we will only select those technologies or services that we feel are worth mentioning, will be around for awhile, have value and have a track record of success.

As such, today we would like to write about and highlight a technology that speaks to the customer acquisition and online advertising needs of Daily Deal providers. Customer acquisition, as those in this industry understand, is expensive and is crucial to generating revenue. The more subscribers one has, the more they can market to them over again, costs per user goes down, revenue increases, etc.. The average cost in Canada to acquire an email subscriber in the Daily Deal space is between $5 and $8. (typically through search engine or CPC advertising) The only ones making money on this model is the advertisee (Google, Facebook, etc). Larger daily deal players have an advantage of marketing to their existing customer base and enticing them to share, provide contests, etc and thus get their customer acquisition costs down to $2.75-$4.5 per subscriber. Some achieve lower, but that is rare.

To put things in perspective, if you really want to start making a profitable go at a Daily Deal business, your database really needs to be over 100,000 subscribers nowadays. At an average cost as described above, well, that’s truly expensive. This is why Deal sites and other online retailers are always searching for more effective ways to accumulate and attract consumers. There is no magic bullet, no secret sauce no guru answers and will immediately drive results. All there is is hard work, testing, persistence and marketing creativity. However, there are technologies and services out there that can help in terms of advertising and acquiring customers. The following is an example of one such technology. I had the chance to go through their product recently and liked how it worked. Here is a summary:

The company is called Okramedia out of Montreal and they supply a solution called Contobox.

What it does: A dynamic advertising Widget that allows advertisers to provide dynamic content based on the customer viewing that page. It also provides the ability of interaction with the user.

Why it’s cool? Content can be dynamic, specific and interactive for the user. Content can be articles, news, case study, PR, ads, sign ups form, deal, etc, all measured.

Extras? It can be leveraged on a CPA basis. A better proposition than expensive CPC or CPM campaigns.

Clients: Alliance, Telus, Scotts, Canada Post, HTC, Enfamil, etc

Media distribution in Canada: Rogers, Bell Media, Mediative, Google, Shaw, etc

Application for the Daily Deal space: A deal can be shown specific to the user (laser hair for women on a woman’s portal, adventure for a man on a car portal for instance). A sign up form can be right there on the widget and the user can sign up immediately..without having to leave their page. Perhaps a PR piece on the merchant could also be displayed.


So what is the difference between a regular ad widget and Contobox from Okramedia.

In short, a regular ad widget, be it static or dynamic, simply sends the user elsewhere. Most likely to a landing page. In comparison, a contobox keeps the user where they are and does not send them away from what they are doing. All content can be displayed within an expanded contobox, enabling the user to take action right there and then. Perhaps the user is looking at a beauty magazine and deal for beauty product or service is displayed. The signup or other content can be displayed to the user right on the contobox making it easier for them to sign up and not be disturbed from what they are presently engaged with.See example below of an expanded view.

Another option: Sponsoring of content through contobox. This is interesting as it allows the advertiser to provide already public content and leverage it through the use of sponsoring the contobox. Here is an example of a contobox that expanded to provide the user with necessary information and the same one that was a sponsored box with aeroplan:


As one can see, there can be creative ways to reach and engage an audience with an advertising technology such as this. Couple this with the ability to leverage CPA campaigns and distribution across Canada and perhaps Okramedia is on to something for the Daily Deal space. Let us know your experience with this if you end up using them.

Look for further technology briefings in future posts.


1 Comment
  1. Interesting post!