Review of Bannerconnect
Updated - 17/03/2008
Go to www.bannerconnect.net
As its name implies, Bannerconnect is an advertising network that focuses solely on the distribution of advertising banners. More specifically, it seems like all of the advertising served by Bannerconnect are Flash-based banners, rather than static images or animated GIFs. These are arguably more effective for certain types of advertisers, and as such, these banners could prove to be more lucrative for publishers as well.
Just because Bannerconnect focuses on the Flash banner type of ad creatives does not mean that they are not versatile. It’s actually quite the contrary, because the banners can be served based on all three major forms of advertising: CPC, CPM and CPA. This added versatility works well for both the publisher and the advertiser.
Bannerconnect says that their service will work well, regardless of whether a publisher’s websites focus on a single interest group or whether these websites have a more general appeal. Their goal is to help publishers “earn the highest amount possible for their traffic.” The main service offered by Bannerconnect is the provision of advertising banners and these are largely Flash-based. They say that they provide 100% worldwide traffic coverage on all content channels and types.
There are three other services offered by Bannerconnect:
- Page Shield protects your pages from all substandard creatives. This ensures that your site is not filled with malware or ads with deceiving or disturbing ad creatives. Bannerconnect also makes an effort to minimize the number of “seizure-inducing” ad creatives.
- AdMatch is a service that tries its best to match ad creatives with publishers in the Bannerconnect network. Their dedicated sales team seeks out the most exclusive and lucrative ad campaigns available and then they match these campaigns with suitable websites.
- CPM Guard is there to help Bannerconnect maintain the highest eCPM for European and international traffic in the market. This is comprised of “personal care and coaching”, advising publishers on how to maintain high CTR performance.
The control panel of Bannerconnect appears to be reasonably intuitive at first glance and it is not overly cluttered, making it easier to see what a publisher can and cannot do at any given time. Diving further into the administration area raises a little bit of confusion. For example, it is not immediately obvious where a publisher should go to get the ad implementation code. This is something that should be available to the publisher from the main control panel page.
The control panel is broken up into four main tabs.
- Reporting: This is the tab that is first shown to the publisher when he logs into his account. The reporting dashboard displays three highlighted graphs. These are for revenue, impression activity in the last 7 days, and impression activity yesterday. More specific reports can be generated using the revenue report sub-section. From here, publishers can set a series of parameters for a report including the date range, which metrics to measure (impressions, CTR, currency, ROI, etc.), order, size, and country group.
- My account: This is further broken down into three sub-sections. The first – manage/billing – describes the websites that are already associated with the account and basic information about the account manager, mailing address, and payment currency. The second sub-section adjusts account settings like the username and password. The third sub-section is for billing information.
- Tags: Although it may not sound like it, this is the tab used for generating the ad code. Publishers can choose between banners and pops/floating ads. The ad code can be generated using the basic wizard or, by clicking on the “show advanced settings” link near the top, publishers can further stipulate additional settings like the banning of flash ads, setting query strings, and choosing between iframe and script tags.
- Support: In order to minimize the number of support emails they receive, the first page that a publisher sees in this tab is the FAQ. This answers common questions like when payment is sent out, why a publisher didn’t receive payment, and why the advertisements may not be showing.
This control panel configuration is reasonably effective, because the four tabs are visible on all pages. This makes it easy for the publisher to navigate to whichever section they’d like at any given time. The font is a little small, so it may be advisable to increase the size for greater legibility.
As described above, the main type of advertising served by Bannerconnect is the Flash-based ad banner. These are available in five common sizes: 120 x 600, 160 x 600, 300x 250, 468 x 60, and 728 x 90. Interestingly, there are also two options that include two ad sizes each. Presumably, the higher paying ad will display between the two formats. These two dual banner size ad options are 120 x 600 with 160 x 600, and 468 x 60 with 728 x 90.
The ad banners are almost always animated with Flash, but they do not appear to give out any sound – like some of those popular smiley-pack advertisements – nor do they have too much flashing or blinking. These types of banner ads are likely most effective on websites with a fair bit of color and “personality”, rather than the more drab layouts that may be found on certain blogs.
In addition to the ad banners, Bannerconnect says that they also offer pop-unders, popups, floating ads, interstitials, and pre-pops. In practice, however, all of these ad types brought up an error code. Bannerconnect is either still ironing out the kinks or they have not yet attracted advertisers for these advertising types.
The publisher signup form for Bannerconnect consists of a single page. There are four sections to this signup form. The first asks for basic contact information, including a regular mailing address and email address. The second asks for website information. The only required pieces of information are the primary URL and the number of monthly impressions. There does not appear to be a minimum traffic level required for acceptance into Bannerconnect. The third section asks for billing information. Publishers can either provide their PayPal or details for a bank wire transfer. The final section is for any additional comments.
According to Bannerconnect, applicants will receive either approval or disapproval within 48 hours of registration, but in practice, the approval email – providing a username and temporary password – was received in less than 12 hours from registration.
Payment from Bannerconnect works on a net-60 model, meaning that payment for the month of January will be issued during the first week of April. All payments are made either via PayPal or bank wire transfer with a minimum threshold of $30.
Bannerconnect does not have a referral program at this time, but they plan on setting up one later on in 2008. No further details have been released at this time.
Access to the support team at Bannerconnect is available directly from a contact form within the control panel. After sending a query, publishers should expect a reply within one business day. Bannerconnect says that most responses are handled in less time than that. In practice, a reply was received within 12 hours.
For publishers who would like to implement Flash-based ad banners on their websites, but do not want the loud and flashy banners that are typically served by other related networks, Bannerconnect may be a reasonable solution. They pay based on cost-per-click, cost-per-impression, and cost-per-action, so this versatility can help to increase payouts as well.
Between the vertical skyscrapers, the standard rectangles, and the horizontal banners, publishers also have a fair number of options when it comes to ad sizes as well. While the control panel points towards other alternatives like interstitials, these did not appear to work in practice. Furthermore, the net-60 payment model could be frustrating for publishers who want to be paid sooner.
As it stands, Bannerconnect serves up some rather attractive ad creatives and the implementation and optimization of these advertisements appears to be quite good. Pageshield, the service that blocks substandard ad creatives, is great for peace of mind too.