Click-through rates for most standard online image ads have languished at less than one or two percent for years, but some ads placed in RSS feeds are garnering much higher CTR. The "Pheed Read Spring 2006" report released today by RSS and blog marketing firm Pheedo shows that the average CTR of "standalone" RSS ads is 2.76 percent, while "inline" RSS ads, or ads within an individual feed post, are getting a .45 percent CTR. The quarterly study looks at RSS ad and content CTR and how those rates are affected by position, frequency and feed content vertical.

According to Pheedo's December 2005 report, standalone RSS ads grabbed an average 7.99 percent CTR and inline feed ads got a .85 percent CTR on average. In the new study, these rates dropped 65 percent and 47 percent, respectively. The company believes that feed ad CTR will continue to normalize; however, Pheedo VP of Marketing Bill Flitter predicted, "I think it will be a much, much less significant drop going into the next quarter."

Ad frequency is a factor. Publishers that placed inline ads within every post saw an average 1.75 percent CTR. That number fluctuated as ads were staggered between every second and third post, and so on. Relatively higher click-through rates came from ads placed in every fifth post (1.56 percent), and every tenth post (1.09 percent).

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