This week, the company announced the integration of branded travel planning, mapping, and business search capabilities into its email and calendaring application--a viable cost-per-action model for online advertising.
"We've answered the question of how to monetize an email application without using banner ads or keyword-based text ads," said President and CEO, David Koretz.
Called "Featuretisements," the model is based on embedding a function directly into the existing software, allowing users to access it without interrupting their workflow. Business travelers, for example, enter a keyword such as "flights" while working in their calendar, to access the Orbitz travel planning interface. Orbitz searches for available flights, then BlueTie displays the options that match the search's date and time criteria directly in the calendar.
Advertisers like Mapquest and Business.com will receive exclusive access to the small businesses that comprise the bulk of the reported 3.5 million users of BlueTie's email application. And unlike CPM or CPC ad models, BlueTie's partners pay only when their services actually generate revenue--a factor that Koretz said ensures that "advertisers are hyper-interested in ensuring that the user experience is great."
Software developers from all parties spent months working together to ensure a fluid, non-intrusive interface that felt like a "feature and not an advertisement," said Koretz. BlueTie has plans to announce partnerships with entertainment and restaurant service providers in the coming months, adding to the enhanced services that they offer to clients such as Wet Planet Beverages, makers of Jolt soda.