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$10 per Click! Google AdWords Advertiser Reveals It All

Adsense campaignMike Arrington's TechCrunch site runs a 160x600 long skyscraper Adsense Ad in the right sidebar somewhere below the main pagefold., an email marketing software company, recently ran a creative site-targeted Adsense campaign on TechCrunch with the text "TechCrunch Should Review IntelliContact 4."

As you probably know, Site-targeted ads are CPM (cost per mile) ads meaning the advertiser pays each time an ad is served irrespective of the clicks.

What's surprising here is that the advertiser has disclosed the actual performance of his ad-campaign on TechCrunch. Here's a summary:

Number of Ad Impression served in one day: ~128k

Number of Clicks Generated: 64 clicks (Click-Through Rate - 0.04%)

Total Cost of Campaign: ~$665 (Effective CPM: $5.2)

As there were just 64 clicks from the 128K ad impressions, the cost of a single click worked out to be $10. And out of the "64 visitors" from TechCrunch, just one of them cared to sign up for a trial version of his service.

What may be the reasons behind this poor conversion ratio ? Skyscrapers, that too below the fold, generally don't perform so well. The other factor could be the Adsense Wallpaper Effect when most of your site traffic comprises of return visitors.

Related Reading: What it takes to Advertise on Popular Websites

Update: Tim Geisenheimer calls their campaign a success:
I think there's an important consideration that you're neglecting. Was IntelliContact engaging in an acquisitions campaign or were they using this particular placement to generate buzz? I think the words chosen indicate that they viewed this particular placement as a way to create buzz and hopefully attract Arrington's attention directly.

If this was the case, then they should consider the campaign successful as Arrington posted about them on TechCrunch and other bloggers (such as yourself) have given them attention as well.
Tim compludes that, considering these factors, "judging the success of the campaign based on your CPC calculations is misleading and fails to confer proper importance on less tangible variables."