Direct Marketer Launches Cost-Per-Action Ad Network

Direct marketer Impower, a division of offline marketer American List Council, Wednesday announced the launch of its TransAct! cost-per-action online ad network.

With more than 30,000 distribution points — including banner ads, newsletter ads and buttons reaching about 10 million unique users a month — TransAct! is making a bid to be a player in the lucrative online advertising network business, despite competition from established networks — including DoubleClick, Engage and AdForce.

Affiliate networks LinkShare and Commission Junction, which price on a cost-per-action basis, also compete to a degree with TransAct!’s model. Start-up HotSocket is a player in this space, as well.

But TransAct! Vice President Gloria Kohl points to her network’s relationship to Impower — a known player in the database direct marketing industry — as a differentiator, and a value-add.

“TransAct! will get customers for our clients, and Impower’s services will help maintain that customer relationship,” she said.

Besides, she added, there’s really no contest when it comes to delivering massive numbers of hits or clicks — since that’s not her company’s proposition at all.

“We’re not interested in selling impressions, ” Kohl said. “We’re interesting in garnering customers.”

The cost-per-action model has been gaining currency in the industry recently, as the need for measurable results rises with the rises and falls of the stock market. In addition, the risks of such a buy, for the advertiser, is negligible. Meanwhile, the cost-per-click model is falling out of fashion, as studies show that those who click aren’t necessarily those who buy.

TransAct! focuses on delivering customers to its clients, even going so far as to host their “offer pages,” which allow users to complete an action immediately after clicking on an advertisement.

Actions can range from registering users in a database, to couponing, to full-blown e-commerce transactions, with TransAct!’s pricing varying accordingly.

Additionally, TransAct! and rich-media online advertising firm Bluestreak have agreed upon terms of an agreement, enabling end-to-end e-commerce transactions within banner and newsletter ads served on the TransAct! network.

The network is having no trouble finding advertisers, thanks to its pricing model. TransAct!’s roster already includes a wide variety of clients, including BMG Music, Life Minders, MatchLogic, Save the Children, and Excite.

Kohl is thus optimistic on her company’s prospects.

“We are committed to making TransAct! the Web’s premier cost-per-action system for customer acquisition,” she said.

“We have state-of-the-art direct response marketing skills, the latest ad server technology and many leading national marketers, to make this network a showcase for direct response solutions.”

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