Recently there has been increasing commentary in the affiliate community about post impression (PI)/post view (PV) tracking. As Commission Junction works across Europe, this business model is not new to us. After careful consideration we’ve developed the technology and programme quality positioning to get the best out of what can be a useful publisher business model.
For starters (and the sake of clarity), it is against our network rules for publishers to drop click cookies without a user initiated action; in short, force clicks. In many cases, forced clicks can cause a poor user experience. In my opinion, it almost always leads to the overwriting of other affiliate’s cookies. With that in mind, how is PI/PV different?
PI/PV, if done right, does not force a click cookie. But a cookie is dropped on the impression. The impression cookie can help reward action that might not be otherwise credited. This could be of particular concern to content sites or other models at the top of the click stream funnel.
That might sound ok at face value, but what happens when the impression cookie runs into the click cookie from another publisher? For CJ, its simple, the click cookie would win. The impression cookie is there to make sure the merchant is taking advantage of all the gaps that normal click based transaction correlation might miss, not create duplication of payouts or overwritten click cookies.
Why would merchants want to do this? As many PI/PV publishers buy on large portal sites and other tier one websites, the merchant gets access to spare inventory without having to pay tenancy or CPM rates; they only have to pay if a sale happens (and that sale happens in the absence of competing click cookies). Also, in many cases the PI/PV publishers will accept a lower payout to run a campaign in this manner, although that depends on the agreed commercials for each party.
The debate around the value of PI/PV will not go away overnight and could become more controversial if approached inappropriately. If done right, it provides advertisers with additional inventory at a new payment metric. It also provides publishers with opportunity to monetise unsold inventory.
Finally, as a network we’ve developed the technology to do this fairly and with scale. If you are interested in how it could work, please drop us a line.