Everything Promo-old is New Again?

logo_eprize.gifAllowing advertiser clients to pay based on specific action and demographic criteria is not exactly a new pricing method of lead generation services. The integration of templated sweepstake type promotions with lead gen campaigns isn’t so new either. Somehow these offerings are big news, though, at least as far as The Wall Street Journal is concerned. The paper reports today on ePrize’s new Caffeine product which is tailored to smaller business clients than the company typically serves.

Like other promotions and sweepstakes services, Caffeine, lets advertisers run promotions “without having to pay for the prizes or do the legal legwork needed to operate the contests….Unlike the traditional pay-per-click model, small firms using Caffeine don’t pay a dime until a visitor clicks on the promotion and registers by providing identifying details, including an email address, that the business can then use in marketing and research efforts…. Businesses pay Caffeine $1 for every qualified customer lead and 15 cents per repeat visitor, though they can implement restrictions.”

What a concept.

ePrize is one of many service firms hoping to grab the mom-and-pop shops, smalltime business people and others in the long-tail advertiser ranks moving steadily online. So, they’ve built a less-customizable, more templated version of their older offering in the hopes of tapping into the growing market.

The company also has aligned with partners including localbiznow.com, and apparently “is in talks with Yahoo Inc. about a possible alliance where Yahoo will include Caffeine as an option for businesses buying keywords for Yahoo’s search-engine advertising.”

Makes sense, considering many small businesses start with SEM when spending online.

OK, I hate to pan a paper I’ve read religiously for years, and subscribe to. It’s just that, even though the fact that Caffeine is designed to reach smaller advertisers may be new for ePrize, the structure of the offering, payment method, etc. are pretty old hat in the world of lead gen.

The Journal states ePrize is “seeking to capitalize on a growing online movement toward pay-per-action advertising.” Sure, search advertising, which garners a huge chunk of online ad dollars is primarily based on CPC, but the notion that cost- or pay-per-action advertising is something new is a tad naïve.

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