For Real Networks, Low CPCs but Less Traffic with Sendori

logo_sendori.gifFollowing a second round of funding in November, third party domain redirect marketplace Sendori recently enabled phrase and exact match options in its auction-based system. When advertisers win bids on generic domains, the system redirects users that have directly-navigated to that domain to advertiser sites. Direct navigation occurs when a user enters a URL into a browser window. For instance, a user who directly-navigates to CreditCardDeals.com might be redirected to a Visa offer landing page through the Sendori system.

With the new exact match capability, advertisers can restrict redirects to a specific set of domains rather than a broader collection including similar URLs. An auto insurance advertiser might choose only to have redirects take place when a user enters NewYorkCarInsurance.com, but not the more generic CarInsurance.com.

Sendori President and CEO Ofer Ronen believes the new matching option makes for “more ways to optimize campaigns.”

According to Ronen, the company has worked with over 72,000 advertisers, most of which are lead gen or direct response oriented. “They’re looking for ROI…. It’s less for branding,” he told me during a talk late last year.

Real has been using the system to promote its casual game destinations since late September. In this case, Real uses search advertising — and now Sendori — for performance-based campaigns, unlike big brands like Procter & Gamble or Coke that may be willing to pay relatively high rates for search ads to drive traffic to branded entertainment and game destinations for branding purposes.

For Real, the amount of traffic coming in through Sendori is much less than from Google, John Marini, online marketing manager at Real, told me recently. “It’s incremental gain, but it’s not a ton of traffic,” he said, noting Google paid search ads drive around 40,000 users per day into Real games, while Sendori drives “more like in the hundreds.”

Still, the low CPC rates make up for it. “[Sendori is] kind of a boon for us since we can drive traffic in at a lower CPC,” he added.

Marini does wonder about the effect of the domain redirection service on users. For instance, if a generic game domain redirects to RealArcade.com one day and one of Coca-Cola’s free games the next, “there’s inconsistency,” from the user’s perspective, he said. “I think the user intent is slightly different than search,” he continued.

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