Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who’s Been Clicking On My Ads??

Maybe it’s a case of too many nights reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but as advertisers, publishers, and ad networks, we always want to know who likes and clicks on different types of ads. Some might be too high on the page, some too low, and others, just right.

I recently came across an eMarketer study called "Online Ad Clicker Demographics," that sheds some light on which demographics of web site visitors go for particular ad types. The demographics cover age, income, and visit frequency, as well as their interaction with Text, Right and Top banners, and Video ads -- combined, these four pretty much sum up the majority of online advertising.

It’s definitely interesting to see which market you are going after or that your site caters to should help drive the type of advertising targeted to them. If you have a site that’s predominately younger, it's wise to focus on Video Ads (31% engagement) and the top banner (23% engagement). If you have a more mature crowd (35-55) then Text and Banners would likely be a better performer. Of course, the hardest group to engage are the wealthy and the 65 and older crowd -- numbers drop off considerably for them.

With so many options for advertising available to publishers, data such as this can be a considerable help in laying out your site's advertising strategy in order to optimize revenue. Of course every site is unique, as is the audience, but the same mantra applies: test, test, and test again. We’re in a world with ever increasing options and diverse ways to monetize, so the more data, the better to increase your ROI.

- Gary Kamikawa
VP, Interactive Advertising

Monday, October 27, 2008

WidgetBucks Welcomes Bergstrom as CFO

WidgetBucks today welcomes Jeff Bergstrom as its Chief Financial Officer. Jeff is a long-time veteran of Internet and technology start-ups, where he's managed multi-billion-dollar acquisitions and mergers, facilitated private equity transactions, and navigated business finances during tough macro-economic times. In all, Bergstrom has built and sold three tech and Internet companies resulting in over $2.2B in shareholder value.

As WidgetBucks’ CFO, Jeff is responsible for all things financial, including managing the company’s financial strategy and operations, as well as overseeing and implementing all financial reporting, forecasting and tax functions.

Jeff spent five years at Internet company Go2Net from 1997-2001, and during that time, he helped the company grow to over $110M in annual revenue. He was deeply involved with the purchase and integration of nine companies in two years, and also led the financial team ultimately responsible for the acquisition by InfoSpace for approximately $2.0B. Most recently, he was CFO of The PowerTech Group, a security software products firm that recently sold to a portfolio company of the Audax Group.

Matt Hulett, WidgetBucks CEO and Chairman: "Jeff brings an incredible breadth of financial experience perfectly suited to WidgetBucks. He joins us at just the right time as WidgetBucks embarks on its second year well positioned to reinvigorate online advertising, even during these challenging economic times. Jeff has shown that he knows what it takes to win."

Jeff's appointment is WidgetBucks' second chief officer addition in the last two months: In August, Chief Revenue Officer Kirby Winfield joined the team

Welcome to the team, Jeff.

- Dean

Thursday, October 23, 2008

eMarketer Holiday Report: First, the Good News...

Internet analyst firm eMarketer has just released its annual online holiday sales forecast.

First, the good news. Senior Analyst Jeffrey Grau projects this year's holiday sales (excluding travel) will total $32.1 billion, up 10.1% from 2007.

Now the bad news. While an increase, the 10% is still a far cry from the low-to-mid 20% range online retailers have seen in recent years. Certainly the economy has a big hand in that, which may mean a few pink slips at the North Pole this year.

There's actually more good news in the report for publishers running WidgetBucks shopping widgets on their site and blogs: Shoppers are shifting a larger share of their purchases online rather than heading to mall in an effort to save gas and take advantage of free shipping offers.

This year is significant in another way. Nearly 50% of holiday gift spending among US Internet users will occur online compared to 44% in stores, marking the first time the Web has surpassed the brick-and-mortar as the preferred channel for Internet users to make holiday purchases, according to the eMarketer report. Last year, 70% of US Internet users preferred the store over the Web (22%). Go figure.

So while there's lots of bah-humbug right now around the economy, Santa's still coming and soon it will be ChrismaHanuKwanza Day.

- Dean

Friday, October 17, 2008

WidgetBucks Introduces New Domain/URL Approval Process

Within WidgetBucks, we're constantly looking for ways to increase value to publishers and provide better targeting for advertisers. To that end, WidgetBucks has put in place a new system to more effectively verify web addresses/URLs where publishers and bloggers are placing WidgetBucks ad widgets.

We have now implemented a process where new publishers will be able to submit multiple URLs/domains at the time of registration. For existing publishers, the immediate and longer-term impact is also detailed below. Again, this process will enable us to provide better targeted advertising that will, in turn, create better value for you as a publisher:

New publishers: When signing up with WidgetBucks, new publishers can now submit between one and five URLs/domains, each of which WidgetBucks support team will approve or decline. So it is quite possible that a publisher would be approved by WidgetBucks, but particular domains would not.

When publishers are notified via email of their approval as a WidgetBucks' publisher, they will also be told which domains were approved and/or denied. They will then be able use the pull-down menu of the approved URLs they entered on the registration page.

Existing publishers: By and large, existing publishers should not have to take immediate action -- only to the extent that you want to place more WidgetBucks ad widgets on
additional URLs. Those publishers already signed up and approved by WidgetBucks will see one of two things as they want to edit and create new widgets:
1) Create new/edit widgets: Publishers will have a pre-populated pull-down of URLs that they have already associated with the widgets they've created (see screen shot above)
2) New URL(s)/domain(s): existing users who want to add URLs to their list can do so by submitting them for approval via the “My Account” tab. Once URLs have been vetted, publishers will be notified via email as to whether the submissions were approved or declined. At this time, there is no cap on the number of URLs for existing publishers. (see screen shot below)

Over time, we will be reviewing all existing publishers' URLs. If particular sites or domains are questionable based on our Terms of Service, we may be in contacting you directly about it.

If you experience issues with this process, the WidgetBucks support url is support [at] widgetbucks [dot] com.

- Dean

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Here & There, Part Deux: More Local, Travel Ad Widget Sizes Now Available

Starting today, publishers now have access to more sizes and versions of the recently-launched local and travel ad widgets from WidgetBucks. The new sizes can be found when creating or editing an ad widget on the MyWidget page:
Three additional sizes have been added, including a blog sidebar (160x300), medium rectangle (300x250) and leaderboard (728x90), all complementing the original 160x600 size. Across each of the sizes, these geographically-targeted, animated ad widgets show users relevant real-time content such as weather, gas prices, top businesses, restaurants and more.

We've also released a variety of versions and sizes specific to the interactive travel search widget. The original size available -- a leaderboard (728x90) -- expands down the page as a site visitor rolls over the ad. Publishers can now elect the same size widget to expand up the page upon rollover. Similarly, we have created two additional new sizes -- wide skyscraper (160x600) and medium rectangle (300x250) -- each of which expands left or right of the original ad window, depending on publisher preference.

An important note about these left and right expanding ad widgets: Please ensure that the widget you select expands in the appropriate direction for its page placement, and know that some templates on sites such as Blogger do not support expanding widgets.

These widgets show real-time travel deals to multiple destinations based on a user's origin. Along with the interactive travel search widget, other travel ads exist for hot deals, as well as destination and origin-based deals.

We encourage publishers to give these new widgets a try. Like our shopping widgets, they are engaging, graphically-pleasing ads and easy to load into your page.

- Dean

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WidgetBucks August Payments Have Been Sent

PayPalWidgetBucks payments for August have been distributed via PayPal and check. As always, we encourage you, if at all possible, to switch to PayPal. It's faster than mail, more secure and there's no fee when receiving the money.

- Dean

Friday, October 3, 2008

WidgetBucks Celebrates First Anniversary With $25 Sign-Up Bonus

They say that time flies when you're having fun -- and in a flash, WidgetBucks has just completed its first year. To celebrate our first anniversary, we're reinstating our sign-up bonus that we offered during the first three months for all new publishers: $25 bonus when your account reaches $50.

We're letting this run throughout the month of October, but the sooner new publishers and bloggers get in, the faster they can begin using our recently launched new travel and local ad widgets, along with our shopping ads.

What a first year it's been: tremendous growth, constant innovation, exciting prospects for next year, and yes, even our share of growing pains. We'd like to thank all of our publishers who have helped (and been patient at times) make WidgetBucks the fastest growing ad network on the Internet during our first year, going from launch to 1.5 Billion impressions a month.

If you are an existing publisher, be sure to send any referrals to this special, anniversary link -- -- during October so you can get 5% of their earnings for the next 12 months. Read more about our referral program here.

Thanks again to all WidgetBucks publishers!

- Dean