Why are RPMs so good at Raptive right now?

Brynne Brynne Brynne Delerson
Why are RPMs so good at Raptive right now?

This is a top question we’re getting from our creators and publishers at the moment: what’s going on with RPMs and why are they so much better than they were earlier this year or this time last year?

After a challenging economic climate in the first half of the year, where advertiser spending and RPMs lagged compared to 2022 for everyone in the industry—from the biggest platforms to every ad management company—Raptive RPMs are seeing strong gains right now.

Is it just that the economy is doing better, or advertisers have decided to suddenly start spending a lot more?

Spoiler alert: Nope. The lift in RPMs is unique to Raptive!

Raptive RPMs are beating the industry by a lot

Our creators and publishers are seeing strong RPM gains right now—dramatically above and beyond what the rest of the industry is currently seeing—thanks to:

  • improvements we’ve made to our ad code this year
  • bringing on new exclusive demand partners
  • new opportunities coming in through our direct sales team
  • constant personalized behind-the-scenes optimizations

Here at Raptive, the first half of 2023 was an investment in the second half. Our team stayed focused, working for months behind the scenes on some really big projects. In June, we got to see everything begin to pay off in a powerful combination of ad code improvements, direct sales deals, and RPM lifts for our creators!

Now, on average Raptive creators and publishers are seeing RPMs 22.8% higher compared to this time last year—and it’s coming from sources you can’t get anywhere except with Raptive!

We see this in RPMs before and after a site joins Raptive, too. We measure RPM improvements for every site, ranging from the improvement we guarantee to double or even higher increases. It all depends on how optimized the site’s ad monetization was before Raptive, but thanks to our exclusive revenue sources, we can deliver higher RPMs even when a site comes to us already pretty well-monetized by a competitor.

We do a lot of testing and experimentation to make sure every change we make and every new advertising partner we add is good for your revenue. We carefully analyze the revenue difference with every update.

So far, in 2023, we’ve tested hundreds of changes—and the results show that Raptive-exclusive improvements have resulted in 25% more revenue for our creators and publishers above and beyond just seasonal and market trends.

This corresponds nicely to the overall RPM improvements we’re seeing this year compared to last year, meaning that most of the recent increase in RPMs is a direct result of this work.

So, what’s driving higher RPMs for Raptive sites right now?

When you peek behind the scenes, it all comes down to sources unique to Raptive.

Roughly half of your ad revenue comes from the simple act of being able to access major ad exchanges—any good ad management company will help you do this.

The other half of a Raptive site’s revenue comes from things no other ad management company has access to:

  1. Raptive’s industry-leading ad code
  2. Deals from our direct sales team and unique partnerships you can’t get anywhere else
  3. Hands-on customizations and recommendations for each site
Image shows a pie chart sharing how Raptive sites see higher RPMs

1. Our industry-leading ad code drives higher RPMs

You might be surprised at how much goes into creating the code that tells ads what, when, where, why, and how to load—and how much this matters to your bottom line.

Our ad code team develops and tests hundreds of things to find small wins that add up to big wins for your bank account. Typically, an exciting change looks like something that adds 0.1% to 0.25% to your revenue—put enough of those wins together, and you end up with RPMs higher than anywhere else in the industry!

This year, in addition to over 400 of these updates that each made a small but mighty difference, we released some major wins, too.

Flooring improvements: “Flooring,” or setting a minimum CPM you’ll accept to display an ad, is a delicate science. If you set a minimum price that’s too high or too low, you can miss out on revenue. Just like Goldilocks, our ad code team works hard to make sure our flooring strategy is just right—and it boosts RPMs higher for sites that run Raptive ads.

Optimizations to make ads load faster: The team is constantly optimizing the way the ad code loads to maximize ad impressions. Faster ads = more opportunities for visitors to see those ads, while also delivering great performance to advertisers.

2. Our focus on direct sales and unique demand is paying off

Most major media companies make the majority of their advertising revenue through direct advertising—campaigns that are sold to the best brands and advertisers at 3x the CPMs of open exchange auctions.

This year, our sales team has grown massively. We have over 35 people on the sales team with a combined 275 years of digital experience telling the exciting story of Raptive and our creators in a bold new way so we can compete for brand dollars directly with the largest media companies in the world.

I think what we’ve been waiting for is a company like Raptive. Someone that is bringing the creators with destinations together—the connective tissue.

Head of Content for a top 3 ad agency

Our sales team offers brands the exact right “package” they need to reach their goals, and this extra level of customization they can find here leads to huge spending across our creators and publishers. Our sales team recently secured an eight-figure deal exclusive to Raptive sites!

We’ve also integrated multiple new unique, premium demand partners this year, leading to massive combined revenue increases. For example, one partner helps you derive more value from email identity, offering advertisers a privacy-conscious way to reach the right audience. When Google deprecates third-party cookies in 2024, this will help protect your ad revenue and set you miles ahead of sites working with other ad providers.

Human expertise matters

From the very beginning, we’ve always believed that there’s no cookie-cutter approach to ad management. We work with our creators and publishers to understand your site, your readership, and your overall revenue goals to design a completely custom ad layout that helps you get to next.

Our team of ad performance experts (real humans!) help you dial in the optimal settings for your ads with frequent tweaks and optimizations, and they’re always just an email away to talk about what makes the most sense for your business. We’re seeing this consultative approach really driving wins for Raptive sites this year!

As we head into Q4, we’re optimistic that 2023 will see better overall ad spending than 2022—but we’re confident that Raptive creators will see better RPMs here than anywhere else, and we’re not letting up the throttle on improvements.

With RPMs that are 25% higher than they would be without Raptive’s unique demand and optimizations, you can be sure we’re investing the time, expertise, and resources to run the most sophisticated and optimized ads on your site and put the most money in your pocket.

Here’s to a strong Q4 and rest of 2023!

Raptive-Exclusive: If you’re looking for ways to boost RPMs this year, make sure to check out this webinar with our SVP of Performance and EVP of Product. You’ll find easy checklists and lots of other resources to help you make sure you’re taking advantage of all the opportunities for your site!