Aptimus Adds Targeting, Testing Tools

Lead-generation network Aptimus has added behavioral and demographic targeting and testing to its ad network, along with a real-time phone number verification service.

The tools aim to give advertisers an improved means to target messages within audience segments, by combining behavioral and contextual elements, and testing offers constantly to find which ones work best in each situation, Rob Wrubel, president of Aptimus, told ClickZ News.

“Aptimus provides a highly targeted way of presenting offers to consumers, and of using our technology to locate valuable leads for the advertiser. But it’s also a way of using an optimization and targeting platform that presents the most valuable offer to the consumer at that point in time, on that particular site,” Wrubel said.

Aptimus’ network is made up of more than 150 sites in 14 vertical segments. Publishers in the network display a page with offers from Aptimus’ advertisers at points of active participation, such as after a user has registered for the site, opted in for an email newsletter, or completed a transaction.

The targeting tools also allow advertisers to test different creatives by simultaneously running different versions of an offer, with each version targeted at different demographic groups. On the publisher side, Aptimus enables testing of the presentation of the offers on the page. Advertisers can test 50 placements and 50 different creative implementations, and start getting results within hours, Wrubel said.

“The key to our system is the constant testing,” Lance Nelson, VP of technology at Aptimus, told ClickZ News. “We let advertisers narrowly focus on who the consumer is, to push offers that make sense in small segments. The testing allows them to craft offers that perform best in those areas.”

Previously, Aptimus had targeted offers by user demographics like age and gender. The company has added more in-depth demographic targeting, geo-targeting, and targeted based on the day and hour of the visit. It has also added more depth to targeting based on the vertical category of the site.

Aptimus also launched Call Confirm, an automated data validation process for phone numbers. The service ensures that phone numbers provided by users are valid, and that the user is indeed interested in getting a call from the advertiser before sending that data along to the advertiser.

When a user submits a phone number on the lead-gen form, an automated service calls the number to make sure it is a real number, and to give the user a second chance to “opt in” to request a call from the advertiser. If there is no answer, or the call is answered by voicemail, the number is passed to the advertiser as a valid number, with that detail appended to allow the advertiser to decide how to treat it. If the person answering the phone indicates they do not want to be called, the number never gets sent on to the advertiser.

The service is most attractive to advertisers with a high-consideration product or service, who want to close a sale with a phone call, or ones with local distributors that would be the ones to close a deal, Wrubel said. Current advertisers that will use Call Confirm fall into verticals like online education, financial services, pharmaceutical, travel, and automobile dealers, he said.

The service is especially useful for cell phones, which often cannot be checked against the same databases used to validate land lines, Nelson said.

Call Confirm is one of many validation tools that Aptimus uses to filter users according to advertiser requirements. For some financial services clients, for example, Aptimus will ensure that the requested loan amount, value of the house or vehicle, and other factors fit the lender’s criteria before forwarding the lead.

“If you’re going to have a call center call someone at home, you want to make sure it’s a valid number, and make sure they really are interested in the offer,” Wrubel said. “It helps the advertiser reach a higher-quality lead.”

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