To take home the most money for the ads on your site, you need to be earning from both open market programmatic advertising and direct-sold advertising campaigns.
Any ad management company can help you connect to programmatic advertising. Still, fewer companies are set up with an equally strong focus on sales, leaving money on the table for publishers.
Our advertiser sales team has spent years building relationships that connect advertisers with our community of vetted, high-quality publishers. This large (and growing!) team of sales experts focuses on telling the stories of AdThrive publishers to ad agencies and buyers. So they steer as much of their advertising budget to our publishers as possible.
We do this in three main ways:
- Bringing our family of sites to life for advertisers, aka featuring the types of content their ads can run alongside, what audiences they can reach, and what makes consumers so engaged in this content.
- Showcasing the ad formats advertisers can run on AdThrive sites and what sort of performance benchmarks they can expect.
- Building great relationships with advertisers over the years and delivering proven results. It’s what continues to drive partners to want to work with us time and time again!
This is no small effort — we get as creative and specific as possible to win over advertisers and deliver amazing performance.
And, why do we do it?
Because these deals are a win for advertisers and a win for AdThrive publishers!
Our sales team brings in higher ad spending for AdThrive publishers
As a result, advertisers are willing to pay more than they would in the open exchange because these campaigns provide better results for advertisers.
Most campaigns we sell directly to an advertiser pay publishers two to three times more than a typical ad.
Direct campaigns influence higher spending across the open market, too
In addition to this significant direct impact, there are other benefits you might not see on the surface.
Ad buyers bid on ad impressions on your site without knowing exactly what it will take to win. They bid what they think will work best for their business but also win the impression.
Direct campaigns running on your site send a signal to ad buyers about how much they need to pay for the impression to win it. We call this a “win rate” curve.
When advertisers place bids on the open exchange, they use algorithms to identify what they should bid for a given site and a given site visitor. It’s harder to win ad impressions on sites running high-paying direct sales deals, so the algorithms learn to bid higher for those sites in general.
The more bids you have at higher price points (bid density), the higher the bid prices for all of your ad inventory.
The direct campaigns our sales team sets up mean every advertiser spends more to show ads on your site!
Direct campaigns get AdThrive publisher on Allow Lists and off Block Lists
Another ‘behind the scenes’ benefit:
Our sales team’s marketing to build more direct partnerships also helps us market publishers for open exchange spending.
Many advertisers prefer to run their open market buys on a more curated version of the web (versus the whole wide web) in the interest of brand safety. They want to make sure their ads run on original, quality content appropriate for their brand.
The code words for this are “Allow Lists” — where a buyer only runs ads on the sites included in that list — and “Block Lists” — where a buyer will run ads anywhere except the sites on that list.
When we set up a new ad campaign with advertisers, we share a list of AdThrive sites, so advertisers know exactly where they will be running. And advertisers often carry this list forward to every part of their media program, including their open exchange spending — not just the budget allocated specifically to AdThrive.
Working together with an advertiser not only gives us a chance to add sites to Allow Lists, but in the rare cases where AdThrive sites are inadvertently caught up in Block Lists, we can often work with our partners to remove those blocks.
That means our sales team’s work unlocks more opportunities for you to earn across the board!
How much do sales add to your RPM?
So, you’re probably wondering how much these advertiser deals add to your RPM today.
There are definitely a lot of factors that play into that, from the viewability of ad placements on your site, to how many pageviews you have in the US (although we do set up deals in other countries too!), to whether you’ve opted into all our premium video and high-impact ad formats.
Sales campaigns ebb and flow, just like open-market spending.
If an advertiser has a short “flight” — say they’re marketing a new product launch for one month only — RPMs could look great for that month because direct advertisers spent much more than usual for that time period.
For example, we just saw this happen in February when a large tech company spent tons of money to promote a new release over a 2-week period. While baseline RPMs rose throughout the month, this spike in direct spending in the middle of the month meant RPMs were lower right after the campaign ended.
Super-strong sales one month might even make RPMs look worse the next month, or even comparing a year down the road because there’s not always a pattern to a windfall when it comes to direct advertiser programs.
Taking a typical month and a typical publisher (and yes, I know that’s a misnomer because you are all extraordinary!), our sales efforts raise display and video RPMs by double-digit percentage points.
But that’s just a starting point…
In 2021, we’re making big investments to expand the AdThrive sales team to prepare for a future without third-party cookies, so advertiser spending that is 100% unique to AdThrive publishers will only continue to grow!