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Thursday, August 21, 2003

Overture's Conversion Counter -- Too Good To Be True?

Following up on recent reports about Overture's integration of the Keylime ROI tracking, I spoke with Todd Daum of Overture after his session at Search Engine Strategies on Tuesday, and asked him for an update.

He said the rollout would happen in three stages, with the newly announced Conversion Counter feature up first. Conversion Counter allows you to track conversions of five types of actions after users click on your paid listings:

1. Sales
2. Newsletter sign-ups
3. Subscriptions
4. Sales leads
5. Other

All you have to do is stick a small piece of JavaScript code on the appropriate landing page, and Overture does the tracking. Pretty cool, eh? Yes, except, here's a big detail that no one mentioned in San Jose, straight from the info page about Conversion Counter:

"Track your conversions for FREE for a limited-time."

Hmm, that's a bit of a shock to me. Like many others, I was under the impression that this would be a free feature that would differentiate Overture from Google and other PPC players, but I guess I was being a bit naive. Sure, Overture has no obligation to make this valuable feature free of charge, but it seems misleading to not ever point out that it would be free for a limited time. Nope you gotta read the fine print to learn that. And once again, the fine print ruins the party...

UPDATE:

After deciding to try out the new Conversion Counter feature, I came upon the Terms of Service page, which I paid very close attention to, noting that this is where they will try to get you on the "limited free time" thing. And, I was right:

"4. PAYMENT: Upon 30 days written notice by Overture, you agree to pay Overture a service fee in United States dollars in an amount not to exceed $49.95 per month (“Service Fee”) in connection with your web site(s), pursuant to the terms of the Payment Plan you selected (as such payment plan may be amended or modified by Overture from time to time), including, if any, all applicable taxes, in accordance with the billing terms in effect at the time the Service Fee becomes payable. "

So, there you have it, folks. It'll run you 50 bucks a month to use this feature, which seems to be a higher cost than similar services like ConversionRuler, which offer more functionality for less money.

Posted by Cory Kleinschmidt




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