For webmasters running sites with high traffic, looking at affiliate programs offering a pay per impression commission model may be an excellent way of improving your affiliate revenue without the need of referring any visitors to the program.
An impression is simply one view of an ad, most often a banner ad. The ad is served by the affiliate program itself and contains the affiliate’s own tracking code to monitor the number of views and clicks.
Pay per impression programs measure the amount of impression in thousands, and therefore it is often referred to as pay per mil or pay per mille. The stated commission is what you get per thousand impressions of the banner ad.
The PPM programs work in different ways. Some – if not all – offer banners for you to use, many have pop-ups or pop-unders, often with a different payout from regular banners and text ads.
As with pay per click programs, advertisers using the PPM model are always fighting people who are trying to cheat the system. Even though regular PPS programs fight their share of frauds, PPC and PPM is far more vulnerable to fraud.
This has lead to an extensive arsenal of tools designed only to catch cheaters, making the top PPM – and PPC - affiliate programs very hard to cheat, so don’t even think about trying. They will catch you and your earnings will be lost.
Many PPM affiliate programs are in fact small networks of advertisers promoting their sites thru the PPM program. In many cases, this leaves the publisher with many excellent choices as to which product to promote.
In other cases, the PPM program offers their publishers a rotating banner with ads from various companies within a specific niche. As you are not worried about sending clicks, but rather have as many see the ad as possible, this is a good way of having some variety in advertisement, opposed to one banner people grow tired of seeing.
Yet a different set of pay per impression programs have adverts of a contextual nature. You only need to insert a small affiliate script on your pages to make on-target ads appear. A few of these programs offer you to serve multiple adverts on the same page, thus increasing your affiliate commission.
Paying publishers for impressions, without knowing if you are gaining anything in sales or traffic, is risky. That’s why most PPM programs have very strict rules as to which publishers to accept as affiliates, as well as what traffic is allowed.
In general, these programs do not allow any automated traffic gained from traffic exchanges of any kind. This includes any form of click or hit exchange. If you are caught using these methods of gaining more traffic, you will loose all commission earned so far. There are some PPM programs offering significantly lower commission who allows most sources of traffic, but these commissions are so low it’s not interesting for publishers with generic traffic.
Adding a PPM affiliate program to a site with good traffic can certainly add to your revenue. If you add the code only to pages where you have plenty of visitors, you will soon notice a difference. But, as you are not gaining anything from referring visitors, you shouldn’t place the ad in a prominent spot. Those spots should be used for PPC or PPS programs where you gain from sending more visitors to the affiliate program.