Q: What's to prevent my competition from running up my advertising charges by sitting at his desk all day entering my zip code into the "Change Location" box on the Offers page and clicking "Go"?
A: First of all, when your competition finds out you're participating in the Local Market Offers Program, he's much more likely to sign up for the program himself, and as quickly as possible, than sit around all day clicking "Go." But even if that doesn't happen, our software has been designed so that advertisers are not charged for multiple clicks from the same computer.
Q: Is my account charged for offer delivery when my offer first comes up on the shopper's computer screen, or only if the shopper clicks on it and sees my full-page ad, or clicks for more details and goes to my website?
A: Your account is charged when the offer first comes up. The reason is that this display includes your offer headline, a detailed description of your offer, contact information, and feature enhancements such as a link to your website and a Google map of your location—in other words, most of the important information about you and your offer—without the shopper ever clicking on your listing and bringing up the full-page ad or going to your website. The ad provides additional exposure, and allows a coupon to be printed for bringing into the store, but is not really necessary for the delivery of your offer.
Q: How do I know how much to budget; that is, how many offer deliveries I can expect in my market area each month?
A: At this point, we don't know how many shoppers will use this service each month in each area, but our web-traffic statistics suggest an average of about 80 shoppers per month per one million inhabitants, with a great deal of variation from city to city. However, the uncertainty really doesn't matter, because if you estimate too low and your budget is used up too early in the month, you'll receive an e-mail alert allowing you to raise your budget to continue offer delivery if you wish, or to leave the budget alone and discontinue delivery until the following month. On the other hand, if you estimate too high, there's no harm done—you're charged only for the actual number of offers delivered. To avoid having to adjust your budget during the month, we suggest setting your budget at the highest amount you feel comfortable spending.
Q: This program sounds something like Google Adwords, but more expensive. Is that true?
A: The Local Market Offers (LMO) program is like Google Adwords to the extent that both are "pay-per-click" advertising systems that allow you to set your own budget, but in other ways they are quite different. LMO is more likely than Adwords to produce qualified, serious piano shoppers for several reasons: first, because shoppers are likely to encounter the LMO further along the path toward acquiring a piano than their encounter with Adwords; second, because shoppers' interaction with LMO is richer and more complex than that with Adwords; and third, because many, if not most, shoppers who interact with LMO are reading or have just read the Piano Buyer publication; all of which provides evidence of the greater seriousness and immediacy of shoppers' intentions. (In fact, some advertisers report receiving a large number of frivolous responses through Adwords.) LMO gives you greater flexibility and precision than Adwords in choosing the geographic area over which your offer will be distributed, and gives shoppers much more information than does Adwords about your business and your offer (full-page ad, detailed offer description, numerous available features, etc.). Unlike Adwords, the LMO program does not require you to constantly create and test numerous search terms and compete with other businesses for their use. And if you do find effective search terms for Adwords, it's likely that others are also bidding on them, which can drive up Adwords' price until it's just as high as or higher than the LMO price. We feel that, on balance, the precision-targeted nature of the LMO program, its richer experience for the shopper, and its easier implementation, more than make up for the fact that its "per-click" cost is often greater than that of Adwords. Finally, while some shoppers may come to you via Adwords, many others will read Piano Buyer without ever having responded to an Adwords ad.
Q: Are there any charges besides the fee per delivered offer?
A: No. There are no minimum fees, setup fees, or any other fees besides the fee per delivered offer stated in the price schedule.