by Ron Daly
Advertising on the Internet is a funny enterprise. You can create ads that move, almost like mini-commerical spots. You can make interactive ads that play games with potential customers. You can create wildly inventive ads that use dozens of colors and lots of crazy patterns, because unlike print, there's no premium on how creative you get. More importantly, you never run out of room.
What do I mean by that? Sure, you have to meet file size requirements and format the ad to fit into the seller's ad space. In that sense, you are confined to a certain amount of space. But there's a lot of empty space on the Internet. I mean, a LOT. Have you ever seen the "Million Dollar Homepage"? A while back, a 21-year-old university student in England decided to buy a website and block off one million pixels worth of blank space that he sold for a dollar per pixel. The site was completely sold off in 2006 and all one million pixels are filled up with ads from companies of all shapes and sizes. The 21-year-old student grossed over a million dollars as a result. Quite a way to pay for college, wouldn't you say?
The Internet's "real estate" isn't in danger of disappearing. It's not finite, and it's only as strict or as permitting as the person administrating the website. Recently, a company called Cardlytics began offering ad sales on Electronic Statements, or eStatements. Yes, eStatements, those simple little webpages full of transaction info often come with big batches of white space. Cardlytics has inked deals with Staples, Macy's and even McDonald's to fill them.
That's crazy, you say? Well, Cardlytics offers members and customers the chance to opt-out of the program, and thus far opt-outs have only been around five percent. Which means 95% of the people being offered discount shoes and dollar-off Big Macs are getting the message when they log in to check their money.
Now, here's the million dollar question: What products/services are YOU offering members in their eStatements? Forget giving Mickey-Dees a piece of the pie, why aren't YOU eating any? Setting up ads and banners in eStatements is simple. Our company has been doing it for almost ten years now. The issue is that most credit unions don't even use their statement space to market their own products, let alone sell the space to someone else to use and pay handsomely for.
Above: An example of eStatement banners and targeted marketing info via DigitalMailer's Customer Communication Center
With revenue dropping from low interest rates and declining non-interest income opportunities, maybe it's time we you get started looking at that valuable real estate. If your not going to use it, maybe consider renting your eStatement space. Companies pay to place inserts with your monthly bills and buy interactive ads on your site...they'll pay for this real estate too.
Maybe it's time you got started?
Talk to us about it in the comment section.