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Internet Marketing News Update #249, May 13, 2016

The FTC means business about new native advertising rules
The FTC has obtained a 20-year consent decree as a settlement for the first case brought over a violation of its new native advertising guidelines. Lord & Taylor paid for a fashion publication to run a story on one of its new product lines, and also paid 50 influential fashion commentators to post a picture of themselves on social media wearing a dress from the new line. The central point of the FTC's complaint was that none of these paid relationships was disclosed.
Direct Marketing News

Survey shows teens willing to pay subscriptions to avoid ads
As ad blockers become more prevalent -- one study this year found they were used by 45 million Americans and blocked an estimated $22 billion worth of online ads -- subscription services are becoming more of a necessary tool for Internet publishers. A recent survey found that 56 percent of 14-to-17-year-olds were willing to pay to avoid ads, the highest percentage of any age group. This could be a hopeful sign for the future of online publishing -- or just a sign that teens are free with their parents' money.
Direct Marketing News

Lower ad positioning may be better for paid search results
A study of the impact of Google's removal of ads from the right hand side of search results shows that top placement in the block of paid search ads might not be optimal. Since Google made the change, the cost-per-click for ads in the fourth position of paid search results has decreased, while the click-through rate has gone up.
Search Engine Journal

Revenue growth potential for Facebook remains strong
Analysis by eMarketer projects that 2016 will be the last year of double-digit user growth for Facebook, as the worldwide user growth rate is projected to fall from 11 percent to 9 percent next year. However, eMarketer analysis expects that ad revenue growth need not slow as drastically, since Facebook is still finding new ways to derive revenue from its service.
eMarketer

Apple hits a snag with app searches
With Apple looking to grow the proportion of its revenues from services (as opposed to hardware), it faces an embarrassing problem with its App Store's inability to identify several popular apps. Apps from several prominent providers have been repeatedly excluded from searches, which might seem like a tactical move except that there were also obvious errors such as including iPhone apps in iPad-only search results.
MediaPost News

Mother's Day activity demonstrates distinction between email targeting and blasting
While targeting and customizing are becoming more refined in online marketing, some firms still prefer an indiscriminate approach. A study of Mother's Day e-mail marketing activity by eDataSource found that Rosetta Stone was the volume leader with 5.4 million Mother's Day-themed e-mail pitches sent, but these garnered an open rate of just 4.9%, which is less than half the average of 11.6%. In contrast, the most effective campaigns had over 30% of their e-mails read.
Direct Marketing News

Internet advertising growth remains robust
The Interactive Advertising Bureau reported that US online advertising grew by 20.4 percent in 2015, with mobile advertising leading the way with 66 percent growth for the year.
Direct Marketing News

 
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