The Nuts and Bolts of: Impressions, Clicks and Free

Lets jump right in and start with Impressions (CPM–cost per thousand) and Clicks (CPC–cost per click). If you are going to run an ad on something like Facebook, Goodreads, Linkedin or Google, you will have to decide do you want to pay for your ad based on a cost per 1000 times your ad is seen on a computer screen or cost per every time someone clicks on your ad.

The key to deciding which way to go is based on a couple of factors.

  • Are you using the ad to build your on-line Internet presence and brand?
  • Are you trying to drive traffic to your site? Your Fan Page?
  • Are you trying to sell a specific product from a specific site?

Also, you need to look at what your CTR of your ad will be. What is CTR? CTR is your Click Through Rate and it is the percentage rate at which people click on your ad. So, if you ad is seen by 100 people but only one person clicked on it, then your CTR is 1%. FYI, I lost Bob at hello.

The question is which way, CPM or CPC is the most cost effective? This all depends on the CTR percentage. The higher the CTR, the lower the cost per click. If you have a low CTR, you are better going with pay per impressions because those clicks will cost you less. Follow?

How do you find out? When you fill out the information for your ad for the very first time, the CTR will be estimated. Once your ad has run for a short period of time, the CTR will be calculated and you will have a better idea of how many times customers are actually clicking on your ad.

We recommend going with a CPM ad to start with for at least a full month. What is great is you can set a lifetime budget or a daily budget. We use a daily budget and adjust each month according to our ad needs and current advertising budget. This way we can feature new releases, free promotions and specials we have on our website. We have at least 10 different ads going on at any given time for all of our authors.

Your budget, depending on the venue can be as low as a $1.00 per day (would need to be CPM) or as high as $100.00 a day or higher. You could set a “lifetime” budget, meaning once you hit say $500.00 for your ad, the ad ends.

$4.99 on Amazon

I just looked a Facebook Ad we are running for DHC and the CTR rate is .01%. We are paying about .20 per click with a campaign ad reach so far of 109,099, meaning that the DHC ad has been seen on that many computer screens. I just checked to see what it would cost if I changed to pay per click and it would be about 2.56 (the lowest bid available for that ad).

To put this more in perspective, since the beginning of February, we have had 6 clicks. If I were to switch to CPC, I would be paying approximately $2.56 per click. But by leaving it at CPM, I’m paying only about .20 per click, but I’m reaching visually about the same number of computer screens.

The argument we’ve hard for going with CPC is you ONLY pay per click, where with CPM you are paying just to have your ad seen. My marketing background dictates that ad seen is an impression of Bob Mayer, Duty, Honor, Country on your brain. Each time we impress that on your brain we increase our changes of you buying the book…. if you click, it’s icing on the cake.

Running ads through Impressions over Clicks is the better marketing plan for most authors. It’s all about building a presence and getting your name, your book, in front of your readers.

So, that brings me to FREE.

Interesting results so far with participating in the KDP select. The results are a little mixed. We had great results running both Atlantis and Jane Doe’s Return for FREE for 5 consecutive days. Both book had record sales AFTER the free promotion was over. Jen saw a 600% increase from December 2011 to January 2012. We will have to see if this continues. Both are off to a little slower start this month, but have more than doubled their lending numbers in the Amazon Prime program, meaning we are attracting readers.  Of more importance, is the other books in the Atlantis series have picked up sales along with Bob’s other titles.  Jen also saw an increase in sales of Rekindled. Free is very valuable when you have multiple titles.

FREE 1-3 February

102 Solutions is free. We are finding so far that free is not as effective for non-fiction books. We believe this is due to consumer thought/buying process. A fiction book, well, you might read it, even if its not your usual read. A non-fiction book, if it’s not something you want to know about, you probably won’t even bother with free. With that said, it has still been worth it since its overall ranking went from 254,318 to 18,082 and hit #11 in Authorship in the Paid Kindle the week after the sale.

And yes, we ran Facebook and Goodreads ads during the free periods.

$2.99 on Amazon

2.99 on Amazon

We will be rolling the majority of our books through it as part of our overall marketing plan for 2012.  Our Free titles coming up are 4-5 Feb, Black Ops the Gate and 6-7 Black Ops The Line. We also just re-released Eternity Base in the Green Beret Series and that will be free 6-8 Feb. If you are looking for a great Valentine Day read for yourself or for a gift, The Templar’s Seduction by Mary Reed McCall will be free 14 February.

Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!

About Jen Talty

Publishing Consultant, Author of Romantic Suspense and Co-Creator of Cool Gus Publishing with NY Times Best-Selling Author Bob Mayer.

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Promotion and the Writer, Write It forward and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Made sense to me, but then I’ve been in marketing and PR for the last 15 years (the evil day job). While the numbers can stun the mind, I have to say that it is refreshing to see a post laying out the details like this. Rare and beyond value, a phrase that I’ve come to associate with WDW. It’s why I stop by and always read here. Besides the fact that I just like the WDW approach to the world. Thanks for teaching us how to think like leaders.

  2. Duh. Make it free and run a FB ad at the same time.

    I made it free and put a Posting on the Book page, but didn’t run an ad.

    Again, Duh.

    Thanks for the clarity. Next time I’ll get it right.

    Phil Rink
    Jimi & Isaac Books

  3. Thanks again for the good advice and cutting through all the hype to the substance.

  4. I’m pretty big on building a Marketing Presence over driving traffic, though Twitter is great for driving traffic to blogs and interesting articles. Authors have such a great opportunity now with marketing, it just a matter of making sure your name, book, etc has “discoverability”. I love that word.

  5. Coming from the world of PPC advertising (and the bounty of acronyms that go with it) I have to say, this explanation is well done!

  6. My head hurts, too. And I’m sure I don’t get it! (I think you lost me right after Bob). But, I greatly appreciate the paragraph in the middle that starts with “We recommend”. Until I get further into the details of this author marketing job — I like the bottom line recommendations best. In a few months when I want more of an explanation for the numbers I’m seeing, I’ll come back to this for the whys behind it all. Thanks, Jen!

  7. Makes a lot of sense (though I don’t claim to be a traditionall “technical” person). I think there’s a lot to be said for recognition (of a cover, a title, an author’s name) leading to “discoverability”. I like that word too. :) Thanks for the breakdown, Jen. You make the whole concept much easier to understand.

  8. I find myself somewhere btween Bob and Jen and probably closer to Bob. As somenoe posted here, I’ll revisit when I have a little more knowledge under my belt.

  9. Jen, the CPM vs CPC debate is one that should factor in a few other variables too.

    1. Where the ad appears – ie, whether it is higher or lower on the sidebar (there is some suggestion that CPC is favoured by FB and whether the ad is placed in FB apps (CPM is) ie crap traffic.

    2. Split-testing your ads – run the same ad as CPM and CPC and compare the total cost and CTR. You may be surprised that often times CPC will beat CPM on both accounts as well as on total impressions.

    3. Split-testing ads again but this time by running 20 versions (either as CPM or CPC) with different titles, copy and images. This sets up a more vigorous A/B testing model and yields very usable data.

    4. Niche – ie, working very hard to drill down to your demographic in an attempt to lower cost and increase CTR.

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