The Pros and Cons of CPM Banner Advertising

Written by Zac Johnson
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Depending on how well you manage your online advertising, cpm advertising may be a great option for you and your web site. I’m not talking about selling you ad space on a per 1,000 views basis, but having it managed by an outside company like ValueClick Media or CasaleMedia.

When I had over 100,000+ uniques per day going through my myspace resource web site, I was able to generate over $100,000 within a few months using cpm networks to manage my ad space.

However, a lot has changed since then and if you have a website with a lot of traffic in place, you need to have better ad management in place as well. A perfect example of this can be seen through the use of a solution like Finteza.com — which is an advanced webmaster analytics, to assists in project development, but also offers advert zone and payment management options.

No matter what type of website or blog you have, it’s extremely important to make sure you have the necessary stats, analytics reporting and ad campaign management in place. Without these, your site will never meet it’s full earnings potential.

Here are a few pros and cons on why CPM advertising might be good or bad addition for your web business.

PROS:

Instant Advertisers
The continuing mission of having to find advertisers and continually bill or manage ad space sucks. Instead, you can simply place a line of code on your site and ValueClick Media or CasaleMedia will continually serve advertisers on your site as long as you generate traffic. No more “Advertise Here” spots or unpaid advertising.

One Big Monthly Check
Instead of having to deal with multiple advertisers and making sure payments are always on time, you will be sent a check at the end of the month from each of your CPM ad serving networks. I highly recommend joining more then one CPM network, so you can leverage your default ad impressions when they may not be buying 100% of your traffic.

Stress Free and No Ad Testing
It is likely you may be able to sell your advertising for a higher price if you sell directly, but it will also require more work and time. If you have a lot of traffic going through your web site and you have no idea what offers will convert, instead of throwing a bunch of banners on the site for testing, you can just let the CPM advertising networks display advertising for you. As much as you want to make money, so does the ad network, and they will pull out the non-performing ads and replace them with ones that are making money.

CONS:

Lower Payouts
As expected, since you are not selling your advertising space directly, you are going to get a smaller cut. CPM advertising companies usually have a 60/40 or 70/30 revenue split with their partner web sites, but also a much larger advertiser network and budget.

Advertiser Selections
Since advertising is being served by another company, you may not be aware of the advertisers being displayed on your site. While they may always be non-adult and safe for work, you may occasionally come across a competing ad banner or an extremely annoying flashy ad appearing on your sites. (For the advertiser, it’s all about getting the click!)


I’ve Been Using Casale Media and ValueClick Media for Years!

These are just a few of the key points on why you should or should not be using CPM advertising on your web site. I have had great success with both ValueClick Media and CasaleMedia and have been using them for both for many years now. In addition to ValueClick and CasaleMedia, there are a few other CPM advertising networks available like Gorilla Nation, Tribal Fusion and CPX Interactive… but they usually pay much less or only accept premier high traffic niche sites.

For best results, if you are going to use CPM advertising, try setting up a section on your site for CPA offers as well, using text links. Not only will you be getting paid for traffic views, but also any conversions you can pull from your CPA links.

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41 Replies to “The Pros and Cons of CPM Banner Advertising”

  1. Zac:

    What is the miminum number of pageviews a month to get approved at Casale Media or ValueClick? I would imagine that you would need a fairly high traffic site to be approved. But it certainly is an effective way to monetize such a site.

    1. You're right, it is fairly high.

      Somewhere around 1k impressions a day minimum I think.

    2. All of the networks vary… but 1k minimum is usually a safe bet. Though I have seen a few which accept sites with over 3k uniques per month.

  2. Same question…I have a site with decent traffic but I've found many networks require 500k+ pageviews. Not there yet….

  3. For one of my sites that had CPM advertising I put up the CPM ads for a while and then waited a few months to see what ads stayed the longest, i.e. which ads converted the best for the advertiser. Then I killed the CPM ads and put up my own offers. I ended up making a killing and it was on the back of someone elses research. To this day the site has a mix of 20% cpm (free research.) 80% my ads.

  4. Good report Zac. I’ve found that Tribal Fusion usually has the best payouts by far over the other networks. They are also more exclusive and not everyone can get in. Had poor performance with CPX and Realcast the last month, so I’m starting to check out more networks as well right now.

    1. Definitely, I've heard the best things about Tribal, and they are the pickiest… likewise, CPX is the easiest to get accepted into, and also pay the lowest.

  5. “$100,000 within a few months” – Damn that is impressive! I never even tried banner advertising on my site, although it has a high click-thru rate I think it kind of takes away from the value of the site; mind you if it means I was 50k richer each month I suppse I might give it a shot!

  6. Good post. I think if the financial reward is going to be higher by selling advertising direct this is what I would choose. My reasons being that I only have one site which I could monetise with banners and would feel very lazy if I left selling advertising to a third party.

  7. another bad thing is that it gives a bad user experience…Alot oftimes they showup irrelevant ads to some sites and it slows site down…

  8. Sounds good except for the fact that you cant control what they put in the adverts and it sounds like they are very picky, so I suppose this one's not for me…

    1. Depends on how much work you want to do and what type of traffic you have. I would much rather sell direct ads on this site, and would never place cpm ads on the site… but I would hate to manage paid advertising on my other sites… cpm is easier and still makes good money.

      If you are looking for a program to manager ads, try oio publisher.

  9. amazing numbers those. :O true, am a big fan of delegating some of the work to another entity, so that more time's freed up for other things. less cash, but more flexibility to do other stuff.

  10. CPM are very useful when you simply can't be bothered with all the hassle, as you noted the downfall is the middleman takes a cut.

  11. good post. i use to work at Gorilla Nation and they only accept the highest quality sites and traffic in various niche's

  12. I finally understand all these CPM CPC terms and I'm beginning to realize that CPM is the way to go for a publisher. However, if you use CPM methods as an advertiser, it may not turn out too well.

    -Mike

  13. I've always stayed away from CPM advertising. But after reading this post, I might give it a try. I've never even heard of ValueClick Media and CasaleMedia before!

  14. Oh, and by the way, which do you prefer between the two programs? I know you use both, but which one do you like better?

  15. I've had success with Valueclick as a publisher, I like them alot, but not as an advertiser.

  16. well i have been also asked for more than 500k page views what to do in that case??

  17. 100,000 in 4 months is insane with a website. But maybe not to the big guys. We don’t make that in like several years.

  18. I thank you for your useful information on CPM banner advertisements. It is nice to know about the Pros and Cons of CPM banner advertising. This information would be useful for the advertisers in order to monetize their blogs and websites.

  19. To use a cpm network you must have lots of traffic or they won’t accept you. If you are running niche sites and lower traffic websites you are better off with CPA networks or even adsense

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