Review Information Last Updated on: September 9th, 2016
BuySellAds is a marketplace where publishers and advertisers come to meet. Publishers list their available inventory and CPM for each ad zone, then receive placement requests from interested advertisers. After approving creative, the advertisements begin running immediately. While there is a bit more work and wait time involved in getting ads up and running on your site, as opposed to other display ad networks such as Google AdSense or Media.net, overall BuySellAds is a great alternative ad network, offering a great level of control over ad placements and creative approval.
BuySellAds Tech Implementation Rating: 3 out of 5.
BuySellAds Publisher Reporting & Admin Control Panel Rating: 5 out of 5.
BuySellAds Payment Rating: 5 out of 5.
BuySellAds Account Help Rating: 4 out of 5.
BuySellAds offers a valuable marketplace where advertisers and publishers can come together. For publishers, BuySellAds is a very good alternative or supplement to more popular ad networks such as Google AdSense or Media.net. While getting up and running with live ads can take a day or more, once the ads are up, they monetize well and are very easy to manage.
While BuySellAds seems to specialize in traditional display advertising, they offer so much more. In addition to traditional desktop display advertising, publishers can also sell mobile website display ads, mobile app display ads, RSS feed text ads, desktop app ads, email newsletter sponsorship, and sponsored Tweets through the BSA marketplace, all while maintaining price control and creative approval.
We mainly reviewed the traditional desktop display advertising option. To get started with BuySellAds, you’ll first need to get your property (website) approved. After being approved, you can set up inventory that is available to sell to potential advertisers.
In our tests, we set up a 728×90 leaderboard inventory, with a CPM of $1.00. We set a low CPM rate to make sure we got some advertisers to bite. And bite they did. Within a day, we had several advertisers vying to display their leaderboard on our site. (We currently have a waiting list of 5 advertisers, as we were able to sell out.)
Seeing that we sold out so quickly at $1.00, I have since been able to double the CPM to $2.00; although, the advertisers who purchased at $1.00 are still locked in at that price for their current campaign runs. Once you get advertisers in the door, you will have 24 hours to approve their creative. Once creative is approved, the ad units will begin running immediately, provided the HTML code is installed on your site properly.
Note that the CPM rates that a publisher sets for each inventory item are gross amounts. The publisher will only receive the net amount (75%) after BSA takes their 25% cut, which unfortunately is not explicitly stated on any of the set-up pages, but is mentioned in the email that BSA sends once an ad unit is sold.
After getting ads up and running on your site, you’ll want to log in regularly to check on reporting and to approve any new creatives that may be proposed. The BSA reporting is very solid, offering data on a number of relevant metrics, including impressions remaining, price, clicks, impressions served, and CTR for each individual advertiser.
The earnings report displays total ad impressions, clicks, CTR, eCPM, and estimated earnings for each date within any specified time range. From the control panel, it is very easy to adjust current site inventory (e.g., to revise CPM rates or placement location) and add new inventory, in addition to pulling up reporting metrics or editing account settings.
But in addition to these control panel features which are more or less standard across all ad networks, BSA offers a mini suite of ad selling tools. One such tool is the ability to send a customized insertion order, or proposal, to certain advertisers. Creating proposals may be a slick feature for some publishers who are trying to sell direct, but need help managing inventory and are not worried about allowing BSA to take a cut on their ad sales. (Here is an example ad proposal that we could send to this mock advertiser: http://buysellads.com/buy/proposal/t/5ba4dc994d9db41e3c3eab434150921d.)
From the proposal page, the advertiser can immediately purchase the ad by uploading creative and submitting payment, taking a lot of the administrative work out of the publisher’s hands and putting his mind at ease.
BSA also offers publishers the ability to create discount codes, which work in conjunction with the proposals to further entice advertisers to buy inventory. Getting a 25% “discount” on a certain ad zone, for example, may sweeten the deal for certain advertisers, enough to convince them to make a purchase.
So BSA is more than your typical ad network: they offer a range of tools to help sell ads, can manage inventory and trafficking, handle payment, and present your inventory on their marketplace for advertisers to purchase. While there is a steeper learning curve and a more legwork involved in getting set up with BSA as opposed to a more traditional display ad network such as Google AdSense or Media.net, the level of control that the publisher has and the ability to sell on his terms is a big plus.
Overall, BSA offers a solid product and is definitely worth checking out. Especially for anyone ready to move from Google AdSense to the goal of selling directly, BSA may be a good stepping stone toward that goal.