It can be difficult to make sense of the acronyms used for online advertising, but whether you choose CPA, CPC, CPL, or CPM advertising, you want to get the most for your money. Here we offer an in-depth look at one of those acronyms—CPM. We tell you what all those other letters stand for, too. But we focus here on CPM advertising, tell you what you should use it for, and review the networks that give you the best return on your investment (ROI) for CPM advertising.
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CPM stands for “cost per mille” or “cost per thousand impressions.” It is an advertising model that measures the cost for reaching 1,000 readers, visitors, viewers or listeners. In digital advertising, an “impression” typically means a single display of an ad on a publisher’s website. With CPM advertising, the advertiser is charged for the “view” even if readers don’t click on the ad.
CPM advertising is commonly used for campaigns that are intended to raise brand awareness. In these types of campaigns, the advertiser’s primary goal is to exhibit the product to existing and potential customers and generate engagement with the brand.
Generally, CPM ads are display ads, because CPM advertising is exclusively about impressions. Therefore, what matters most is the quality of the ad. A good quality ad in a CPM campaign can bring more clicks than a CPC (cost-per-click) campaign with an equal budget.
If the ad is displayed 1000 times the cost will be equal to 1 CPM price. For instance, if a publisher charges $30 per CPM, your ad will be shown 1000 times for $30. If your budget is $30,000, then your ad will be shown 1,000,000 times. However, an advertiser could negotiate a CPM advertising contract for several hundred thousands of impressions or even millions.
CPM rates can range from less than a dollar to hundreds of dollars for 1000 impressions. You might wonder why the range is so wide. It’s because of the differences among the audiences on various websites. Premium sites that offer highly targeted traffic might charge higher CPMs, whereas others with broad audiences might be somewhat cheaper.
If publisher’s website offers a highly engaging, valuable audience with heavy traffic and unique visitors, the CPM model is probably better than CPC. Furthermore, if what you’re after is brand exposure rather than immediate sales, CPM advertising is better.
Below we describe the top CPM affiliate networks that give you the best deals for your money.
Google AdSense requires a minimum payment of $100 at net 30 by check, EFT, Western Union or Rapida.
Their CPM rates vary from $1 to $6 per 1000 impressions, with an average of $2. Moreover, the price of an AdSense ad depends on a publisher’s website. For instance, the rates for advertising on a finance website will be higher than on most other sites.
AdSense publisher revenue is 70%. Google AdSense accepts both small and large websites and has no traffic requirements. However, the website must be at least 3 months old.
Google AdSense displays ads according to the content of the publisher’s website. It is therefore considered a “contextual” ad network.
Their network includes more than 2 million publishers, and they offer both CPM and CPC (cost per click) ads. It can be pretty easy to get started with Google AdSense, as they even give publishers a few lines of HTML to add to their web pages to get them going.
SmartyAds, like Google Adsense, requires a minimum payment of $100 with a payment frequency of net 45 by PayPal or wire transfer.
They are a full-stack programmatic company based in London. The company offers a variety of campaign metrics such as CPM, CPA (cost per action), or CPC. The minimum CPM rate is $0.20 for banner format and $3.00 for video format for 1000 advertising impressions.
The company offers different advertising formats, including display ads in various sizes, videos, mobile ads, and native ads. Plus, you can target your audience based on various factors, whether that’s location, behavior, purchase-based, channel, or site-specific.
Publishers that want to work with SmartyAds must have quality content and fairly steady traffic. They don’t accept sites that are under construction or those with limited audiences, and they reserve the right to reject any site they deem improper or inappropriate.
Propeller Ads, another UK company, requires a minimum payment of $50 when you’re paying by PayPal. If you choose Payoneer, it’s $100, and with wire transfers it’s $500. Their payment frequency is net 10, and you can also pay through EPESE and Webmoney.
The company offers various ad formats such as banners, customs, interstitial, notifications, pop-under and video.
They promise 100% international traffic and the highest CPM possible. Their products include mobile ads, classic banner ads, layer ads, slider ads, and direct ads. Their OnCLick PopUnder ads are popular with entertainment websites that offer music, movies, photos, games, viral content, and downloads.
They deliver ads to more than 100 million users in more than 200 countries, across both web and mobile channels. Propeller Ads provide 700 million daily impressions. They have a network of 6,000 active publishers and more than 100,000 advertisers. Their ads are based solely on impressions, offering $0.30 average CPM rate.
Media.net, a US company, has a minimum payment of $100, with a payment frequency of net 30. They accept payment by PayPal or wire transfer.
A collaboration of Yahoo! and Bing search engines, Media.net applies contextual advertising, meaning they place ads based on the subject matter of the page.
Media.Net offers not only CPM advertising but also CPC, CPA, and RPM (revenue per impression). Publishers’ websites must have high traffic and quality content. Moreover, they require their publishers’ sites to target primarily US, UK, and Canadian audiences, and they require English as the primary language.
The average CPM advertising rate is around $1.15. Media.Net offers a variety of ad styles such as content ads of different sizes, search targeting ads, web bars, and mobile ads.
Criteo, a French company, requires a minimum payment of $150, with payment frequency of net 30 by check, bank transfer, wire transfer, PayPal, or monthly wire.
They are an independent retargeting network that operates globally in 89 countries, with 15 offices worldwide. They partner with more than 13,000 clients and have relationships with more than 17,500 publishers. According to their website, the company served 710 billion ads in 2015 to 1.2 billion monthly users.
They require their publishers to generate at least 100,000 impressions per month. However, they allow publishers to set their own CPM floor, meaning the publisher sets up the minimum cost for any impression.
As a result, Criteo CPM advertising rates are relatively high. They range from around $1 to $5 per 1000 impressions. Criteo works best with blogs and websites focused on traveling, lifestyle, shopping, and so on.
One more interesting feature Criteo offers is behavioral advertising cookies that target visitors based on their web surfing history or previous shopping activities.
Tribal Fusion (Exponential) requires a minimum payment of $50 with a payment frequency of net 45 by check or PayPal. It is a US company.
Tribal Fusion is a premium ad network, and it is difficult to get approval from them. The company requires $5,000 as a minimum investment to start advertising with them. The company offers one of the highest rates for banners—$0.60 plus CPM. The fill rate is up to 75%, but in order to get it, a publisher has to have a huge amount of traffic. Tribal Fusion won’t allow sites hosted on free blogging platforms.
Tribal Fusion requires the publisher to have at least 500,000 unique visitors per month. Their CPM advertising starts at $0.2 and can go all the way up to $10. One significant thing to mention is that Tribal Fusion pays only 55% to publishers, keeping the rest for themselves. They offer a wide range of ad types, including interstitial ads, flash ads, video ads, and more.
We hope we have given you a better understanding of the complex world of online advertising, so that you can choose whether CPM advertising is right for your business.
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