Follow the Leads

San Francisco-based Aptimus runs an ad network that provides sales leads for its clients, which include Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and several educational institutions. The company's primary technology, Dynamic Revenue Optimization, is designed to consistently move advertiser offers to Web sites that generate the most qualified leads. Aptimus CEO Tim Choate compares it to building a giant system to capture permission slips for contacting consumers interested in an offer.

The company generated around $15 million in revenue in 2005 after a restructuring that forced it to cancel relationships with several publishers due to spiraling cost-per-thousand prices. Most of the company's publisher deals now are based on a revenue-sharing model, typically a 50-50 split. Choate says he's not worried about competition from search and cost-per-click-based programs offered by Google or Yahoo! "I think it's more likely that we would add cost-per-click than Google would add cost-per-lead. It's a fundamentally different approach," he says.

Former AskJeeves CEO Rob Wrubel joined Aptimus as president last fall.

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