Widemile's browser-based platform is designed to help online marketers improve campaign performance by testing and optimizing landing pages and other sites. The company's technology can test multiple variations of a site in order to drive higher conversion rates.
Among the digital agencies and marketing firms that plan to use Widemile's new application, still in beta, are Ascentium, Avenue A|Razorfish, Closed Loop Marketing, DDB in Seattle, Portent Interactive, TMP Directional Marketing and Stratigent.
"The big news here is that starting today we are enabling thousands of agencies to extend their services and offerings to include sophisticated optimization and testing," said Widemile CEO Robert Bergquist. Until now, the company has provided its services directly to Web publishers and other clients including Microsoft, SmartSheet.com, The Weather Channel Interactive and Charter Communications.
By adopting Widemile's platform, Ian Lurie, president of Portent Interactive, said the agency doesn't have to worry about overlapping efforts with outside optimization firms. "There's no concern about anyone stepping on anyone else's toes," he said.
The initial agencies signing up with Widemile are entitled to use its technology and one project for free before paying normal fees. They are also required to commit two marketing staff to training on the Widemile system.
While gains from Widemile's optimization software vary according to industry, Bergquist said a 30% increase in conversion rates is typical and a doubling of rates is not uncommon. And with a recession looming, if not already here, he emphasized the premium that will be placed on efficient ad buys. "The best thing to do is make existing ad budgets more effective and productive," Bergquist said.
For his part, Lurie noted the ability to be able to test a wide spectrum of site variations in a matter of days rather than weeks or months. "Instead of testing forever just to get a site out there, we can put it out there and use customers as the focus group," he said.
In addition to testing, the Widemile system includes a range of reporting and client management capabilities in a browser-based dashboard to track performance and interactivity. The platform is also designed to be compatible with other third-party applications and services used by marketers and agencies.
Last September, Widemile closed $4 million in convertible debt financing from existing investors. The company announced the new version of its platform at the Search Engine Strategies conference in New York.