I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Brooklyn-based Pontiflex, which describes itself as “the industry’s leading mobile, email and social acquisition platform.” The real power behind the Pontiflex approach is the ability to capture email and consumer data in an open and transparent way. Advertisers only pay for the actual signups — data from consumers who have chosen to hear from them. Signup ads allow consumers to opt-in to get more information from brands and products that most interest them, without leaving the website or mobile app.
Pontiflex’s approach is to work with advertisers to create compelling reasons for consumers to click the ad and share their email address, social media connection, name and ZIP code with the assurance their information isn’t shared with anyone else besides the company they selected. “We find that if we approach signups in a transparent way, and don’t ask for too much personal information then we see a much higher rate of opt-in signups,” says Arun Krishnan, vice president of marketing. So unlike other pay-per-lead companies, Pontiflex does not resell consumer information, rather they work on behalf of each advertiser to build unique lead lists.
“High accidental clicks are a major issue particularly with mobile advertising,” says Krishnan. “Our estimates show accidental clicks occurring as much as 50 percent of the time creating a great deal of waste.” Because signup ads require action on the part of the consumer, there is no danger of accidental clicking.
Started as a pay-per-lead platform company, Pontiflex has continued to develop an approach to deliver what it calls marketing leads rather than sales leads. Gus Warren, executive vice president of sales and strategic partnerships, points out that “sales leads require consumers to surrender too much information before a relationship can be built. Marketing leads is a way of capturing basic information in exchange for something of value. It is then up to the advertiser to nurture the relationship, allowing them to capture more detailed sales information.”
When developing the signup ad format, one of the primary goals was to help create new revenue opportunities for publishers rather than getting in the way of their display ad units or taking local sales away from the sales force. Krishnan point out that “signup ads work alongside search and display ads as well as in mobile apps. The Pontiflex ad unit delivers top brand advertisers to a site or mobile app, bringing credibility and high eCPM’s in the range of $15 – $101.” Client, Parenting Weekly, used the signup ad program and realized, “this was not displacing any existing digital ad unit, so we are treating this as found money.”
Just as advertisers have migrated from clicks to calls, BIA/Kelsey is now seeing the shift begin from calls to leads. Coming out of our recent ILM:East conference, cost-per-lead and developing significant email and consumer lists were key goals for many of the daily deal and social media sites. Being able to develop a qualified leads list with email addresses and social media connections is vital to reaching a large enough audience to generate sufficient deal flow and conversion rates. Signup ads may become the new model for building highly qualified lead lists using opt-in as the primary driver of delivering relevant ads and building relationships.