Performance Based Ads - Monetizing Excess Ad Inventory (Idea)

I finally launched CompVersions, after 10 months of learning Rails, jQuery, and everything else I needed to build the app.

I thought that would be the hard part, but boy was I wrong. It seems sales and marketing is much harder than I thought it would be.

*brief aside* I think there is a shortage of posts about ‘How to get your first 100 paying customers’. *end aside*

One of the many things I have been trying is approaching folks (blogs, ad networks, etc.) to find out if they are interested in doing performance based ads. Where, if they have excess inventory, I am prepared to give them X% of the revenues for every paying customer - for the first few months.

I thought something like this would be a no-brainer - because excess inventory is space that is not being sold, the potential upside of a successful campaign could be much more lucrative than a flat rate, once momentum gets going there is potential for long-term (relatively stable) revenues.

But for some reason I am not seeing the uptake that I would have liked.

Am I missing something here ?

It seems that this could be an interesting idea for someone to run with. Either have an ad network where the majority of the inventory is based on revenue share, because it shows the advertiser that you’re incentives are properly aligned - you don’t get paid for just show impressions - you get paid when they get paid. Or, some variation of that, that involves auctioning/bidding between fixed rate inventory and performance based.

I know this doesn’t work in every situation, and for every product, but I imagine it could work for many - especially for startups.

If anyone runs a design/photography blog, that wants to put their ad inventory where their mouth is (i.e. get paid when you perform), please get in touch.

If I am missing something that could potentially make the value proposition for potential publishers more enticing, please feel free to let me know in the comments.


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