Thursday, December 01, 2005

Cheapflights hits pay-per-click landmark has broken the £1 barrier in its pay per click advertising as the cost of online marketing continues to rise.
Chief executive David Soskin said a call centre from a "traditional industry player" has stumped up £1 per lead for a month. He described the cost as a "landmark."
It will guarantee the unnamed company top listing on cheapflights’ website.
"They are a very effective call centre at cross selling," said Soskin. "It’s hard for agents to make money. To survive it’s important to sell hotels, insurance and car hire in addition to flights."
Cheapflights operates a two-tier pricing system with sponsored premium listings - which ensure a top listing on the page - generally costing between 40p and 60p per click with standard rates charged at 23p.
"We get huge volumes of traffic and have very good conversions rates so companies want to work with us," said Soskin.
He declined to reveal what the conversion success is, adding it was tough getting accurate information from advertisers.
"They are worried that if they tell me their conversions from cheapflights, the price per click would go up," said Soskin.
He added: "Obviously, the holy grail for travel companies is for people to go direct to their websites and not have to pay companies like cheapflights. But this is the real world. It just isn’t going to happen."
Meanwhile, the site has just completed a revamp with standard listings now in departure date order and with a reference number for customers to quote to advertisers. A ‘book-by’ date has also been added.
"Previously it was a bit random and contained industry jargon which may have baffled some consumers," said Soskin. "We want customers to have a good experience on the site."

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