Tracking Publication Performance Results

MediaBids publications’ results come from several sources of raw data sets.  On a monthly basis, we collect the reports from the various places, align the data, reformat it, clean it up, and tally the results before uploading the final monthly results to our site for publishers.

What kinds of results are there?

We have three types of campaigns, but they can be a mixture as well. 

              Per Call – paid on the phone calls

              Per Sale- paid on verified sales

              Per Lead- paid on collected customer contact information

Per call campaigns, our most popular type, base the payable result on call criteria.  Typical call criteria are: call length, calls during business hours, calls within a region or zip code, and or calls that press a number to reach an operator.  Most advertisers want a caller to be on the line for one to two minutes before they consider the caller legitimate.  The Invoca platform allows us to disqualify calls which fall outside of the advertiser’s call center hours, but not all require that feature if they are collecting the callers’ numbers and calling them back.  Calls can also be qualified by a key pressed zip code or simply by the caller’s the area code, and or their exchange.   Phone numbers consist of 4 parts:  the 1-digit country code, a 3-digit area code and 3-digit central office or exchange code and a 4-digit subscriber or extension number.

Per Sale campaigns are actual sales.  Sales are determined by the advertiser and we receive monthly reports of sales for our publications.  Some of these will be set on a percentage of the sale and others are a flat rate.

Per lead campaigns are those where a customer’s details are collected during a call or via a landing page.  These are Web Leads and Post Backs.  Some advertisers use URLs/QR codes in their ads which send readers to an online lead form which collects their information on behalf of an advertiser, and then that lead information is automatically sent to the advertiser as raw data.  Those lead forms are part of the backend of the Mediabids.com system. We built and house many of the lead forms in the ads, while other leads are gathered and stored on the advertiser’s site, which then sends us as a post -back notification of a lead conversion.

Some campaigns use some deeper tech and robots listen to calls for key words that trigger a “sale”.  These are called Signals.  We use these on Omaha Steaks and on Physicians Mutual Dental.  HIPPA laws prevent recording calls for some campaigns, like the dental campaign, which is why robot ears are a fitting option for counting calls where a person took the step to sign up for the insurance.

When are final reports ready/available?

Monthly reports are available on about the 3rd business day of the month. Sometimes we run into obstacles like a big advertiser running late with their reporting to us.  Rather than report incomplete results, then report stragglers as they come in, we wait to send one complete report.  When they are complete, an automatic email is sent to all publications with active ads. 

What’s in the monthly report?

The emailed report will show you top performers and the total due to you, but if you want more information, you can hit the link in the email to the full report or log on to your account to see how much each of your active ads generated.  The reports are downloadable to excel as well.  Full reports show the monthly total, each active ad, how many qualifying responses it had and the total amount generated for each ad.

Why are my weekly totals not matching this monthly report?

Publications are emailed weekly automated traffic reports for their ads.  The automated reports give call counts and result counts for basic pay per call campaigns.  The weekly reports do not however take into account the per sale results or web-based results.  They also do not take into account the hiccups that come from phone numbers being hit with the latest SPAM.  Your monthly reports contain final payable total results. 

How do you know what calls are for my publication?

Your ads contain unique identifiers, mostly phone numbers and in some cases URLs and they are procured just for your publication.  We rent each phone number for the publications and the URLs are given unique codes from our advertisers.  These are both tracked back to your publication.  We rent phone numbers in bulk from the Invoca platform, which was somewhat recently bought by Salesforce.  The Invoca platform is integrated via API with our own custom platform which is a continually evolving system established more than 20 years ago by our inhouse developers lead by our forever CTO John Carril. Much like Invoca, our technology grows and reacts to the ever-changing requirements of the industry as a whole. . 

What is done about junk calls or SPAM, does it affect my results?

The leads are the easiest place to spot spammers.  It’s unclear what they get out of it, but you can always count on some bot or person submitting a bunch of leads with details like:rcvbe7632rwihngdvm.  Our technology inspects incoming leads requests for a variety of indicators and filters most SPAM/BOT generated leads before they even enter our system. However, the few that manage to slip by our defenses are then hand removed.  The calls that are spam are blocked by a few methods.  Some have an IVR which requires callers to press a random number to reach an operator, another asks for a zip code, and many spam calls only last 21 seconds so they never reach the qualifying call length.  There are from time to time, publications that attempt to rack up results illegitimately too.  We don’t want to give anyone ideas, but we’ve seen and delt with some sketchy people.  They are quickly delt with and removed from our system.  For all the legitimate calls, the tech built into Invoca automatically tags a call as payable if it meets the criteria as a result.  Criteria like: call length, did they press1, are they calling within the region, did they call during business hours, have they called in the past 30 days and already qualified as payable.  When the automatic spam blockers are breached, we look closer and may listen to the recorded calls. 

What details about a call are collected by the call platform?

Call Start TimeTime stamp for the time of call EST
Call Record IDUnique call id
SourceThe phone number in the ad
Promo Number DescriptionYour Ad number in our system
Original PublisherYour publication
Original Publisher ID (From Network)Your publication’s ID in our system
Call Segment PathAdvertiser
Final CampaignAdvertiser’s preferred end point for your call, can be by region or by type of ad (classified vs display
Total KeyPressesWhat numbers did the person press during the IVR process
Destination Phone NumberWhere the call is connecting to
Total DurationHow long the person was on the line total
Total Connected DurationHow long the person was on the line and connected to the system
Total IVR DurationHow long a person waits in an IVR to get to an operator
PaidAmount you get paid for the call
Payout ConditionsThis tells us which qualifiers were not hit to make a call payable
CityCity
RegionState/Provence
Repeat CallerThis is how we know if the caller has called in the past
Caller IDThe caller’s number
Phone TypeCell or landline
Signal NamesThis is where custom signal can be added to automatically tag a call based on what robots hear on the call
End of Call ReasonSometimes a caller hangs up, sometimes the call center does
RecordingA recording of the call, if applicable.

What kind of information can MediaBids derive from the data?

We have a great deal of information at our fingertips.  Advertisers have access to all their call data.  Publications can see how many calls they have had and how many converted to a payable result.  But if you look at that long list of attributes we have for phone calls, and then add to that the list of attributes we have about publications, there really is quite a bit of data we work with.  Publication attributes include things like: circulation, location, distribution, format and frequency.  But there are also attributes for the individual ads you request like: size, color, start date, ad type (classified, display).  On the advertiser side, attributes are things like: category or audience and industry.

Most publications have multiple versions of an ad and run what works for their space.  Because we do not stipulate when or how often a publication should run an ad, some statistics can become best guesses.  For instance we can guess that a publication ran an ad on a day where their phone number had call activity.  But depending on the ad and the publication, running an ad doesn’t necessarily mean calls are generated.  We also do not know which size/color ad a publication ended up running. 

We all depend on publications having a strong presence in their communities.  We depend on readers being compelled to take action by calling an ad they are interested in.  MediaBids constantly works to ensure that advertisers are doing their part to hook readers and pay top rates for the business brought their way.

Not already registered with MediaBids? We’d love to work with you! Reach us at Mediabids.com, info@mediabids.com or call 860-379-9602.

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