Datran Media Launches E-Mail Ad Exchange

Datran Media is taking a page from Google’s playbook and the new crop of ad exchanges, and launching a real-time market exchange for cost per acquisition e-mail campaigns.

Through the exchange, publishers offer up ad space in their distributed e-mails, including newsletters and catalogs, and connect with marketers that bid to run ads in those e-mails.

Standing for Datran Media’s Exchange Online, EO allows publishers and advertisers to manage their bids for placement, calculate ad performance, and compete for media in a similar system to paid search campaigns. Datran tracks click-throughs, conversion rates and other actions.

“It’s really a Google-style bid driven marketplace,” said Sean O’Neal, chief marketing officer for Datran Media. “We’re now providing our advertisers the same type of tool set to manage their campaigns through the e-mail channel. Ultimately the same way as in paid search, best performing offers rise to the top and get the most media distribution. And the worst performing fall to the bottom and get the least distribution.”

The system also allows users to see how their response and conversion rates would vary if they improved the creative or landing page.

Publishers on EO will be able to use Datran Media’s list management services, as well as monetize remnant inventory through its StormPost e-mail delivery platform, and have access to Datran’s NetMargin affiliate marketing network.

Datran intends for the exchange to provide advertisers and publishers with a greater level of transparency in how e-mail marketing campaigns perform, and how they can be adjusted, O’Neal said.

“Normally if you’re a cost per acquisition advertiser in the e-mail channel you are going to run your offer to a publisher and pay them for each acquisition. But there is no transparency,” he said. “Now we’re showing them everything. Here is how your ad response rates compared to other advertisers in your category. Here is how the conversation rate compares, and here is how your ranking compares to other advertisers and would be affected if you changed your bid or payout.”

Datran has been testing the system with the help of both IAC/InterActiveCorp and ValueClick and will officially launch EO at this week’s Ad:Tech event in San Francisco.

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