We are pleased to announce that AdvertPro version 3.0 has been released!
AdvertServe users have already been upgraded -- please continue reading on to find out more about the new features and improvements.
AdvertPro users can obtain the update by visiting our download site or requesting an update installation if you prefer to have us install the update. Remember, you'll need to have an up to date support contract to receive this update, so renew today!
Stay tuned to our blog for the next week or two as we'll be releasing new tutorials on here as fast as we can write them to get you up to speed with the new features.
Crawlers, Lightboxes, Overlays, Page Peels and Wallpapers
Not only have we added all of these wonderful new types of rich media ads, but we've made it dead simple to get them up and running. Crawlers, lightboxes and full page overlays are effects that you can enable when generating a banner zone code. This means that you can simply set up the creatives as graphic banners, Flash banners or even HTML banners for your third-party ads, enable the effect you want and the ad server takes care of the rest! Page peels and wallpapers are just as easy. You just upload the JPG, GIF or PNG files and drop a zone code into the bottom of your pages. One great thing about all of these new media types is that they can easily compliment any web site to increase your revenue without changing your page content or site layout.
Responsive Web Sites
Already have a responsive web site or thinking about making a mobile version of your web site? We have added support for making your zones responsive to tablets and mobile phones. How it works is, say you have a 970x90 banner zone that you want to show to desktop visitors. You can set that zone to substitute an alternate 728x90 zone for your tablet visitors and for mobile phone users you can have an alternate 320x50 zone. This greatly improves your sites usability on those devices resulting in a better user experience and more time spent on your web sites.
Work Smarter and Faster
We've refreshed the control panel with more modern and larger fonts that better suit today's high resolution screens. It's easier on the eyes too. Of course that's not all, no, we've also improved searching to automatically search all common fields instead of making you fiddle around selecting the field you want to search in. Tired of hunting for campaigns or zones when making assignments or trying to generate reports? We've added instant search by ID# or name to those as well! Plus we've made it possible to generate code and reports with a single click right from the campaign/media/zone listings or when you're editing any of those items. They pop up in a lightbox so when you close them you are back to exactly where you left off!
New Home Screen
The new home screen allows you to see everything that's happening in one place. You have an overview of your daily/hourly traffic just like before, possibly a list of troubled campaigns that aren't meeting their goals, a list of campaigns that will be ending soon with progress indicators, a list of campaigns that ended recently and finally a performance review of your best and worst performing campaigns, media and zones. Plus the home screen is highly configurable through your user account preferences (that's new too) so you can tweak it to suit your needs. We've also added a neat little message center to the home screen where you can optionally share messages such as special offers with your advertisers and publishers. We also make your life easier by letting you format these messages with Markdown syntax which is quite nice.
Recent Activity E-mails
While the new home screen is great and informative it still requires you to log in to keep an eye on things. Well, in fact, we have an answer for that too. You're able to set up a daily, weekly, bi-weekly or monthly e-mail in your account preferences to have it sent to you! It's possible to send these e-mails to advertisers and publishers too. They will certainly appreciate getting a single e-mail for all of their campaigns if you currently send them individual campaign alerts.
Huge Reporting Improvements
Selecting date ranges for reports sucked bad before. We admit it. To remedy this problem we've made it possible to select common date ranges like today, yesterday, this week, last 7 days, last week, last 14 days, this month, last 30 days, last month, this quarter, last 90 days and last quarter with a single click! It is also possible to export reports right from the report wizards now. This is actually pretty awesome for doing month-to-month comparisons. For example, select this month and export to HTML and when you generate the report it will open in a new tab. Then select last month and generate the report again. Now you'll have a report for this month and last month open in two tabs side-by-side without leaving the report wizard! Oh, yeah, we also tweaked our SQL queries so most reports are 2-3 times as fast now :)
Our new HTML5 charts are simply amazing. They not only allow you to visualize data better but they also support toggling fields on and off (i.e. you can hide clicks or actions) and they also support date range zooming by clicking and dragging to highlight a section of the chart. Have the geographic targeting add-ons? Hold on to your socks because we've added map overlay charts to those reports!
Automatic Third-Party Click Tracking
For customers that deal with third-party tags from Atlas and DoubleClick on a regular basis this is probably going to be the greatest thing we've ever given to you. You no longer need to insert our %%CLICKLINK%% or %%CLICKTAG%% macros into any third-party ads. Just copy and paste their tags in exactly as you received them and we'll now add them for you! Speaking of DoubleClick, you know how those old lunatics expect you to remember to copy their tags out of Excel spreadsheets in a special way or else the tags get all messed up? Yeah, we hate them for that too. We've got your back though because if you copy the tags wrong we'll now detect that and fix them for you!
Third-Party Pixel Support
Speaking of third-party ad servers, it's been a growing trend that we're noticing lately that advertisers want to send you Flash .swf files or plain old .gif or .jpg files and have you serve them along with a third-party tracking pixel. If you've ever had to set one of these up you know how painful of a process it can be, especially with Flash banners! Thankfully we've now added fields to every media type where you can simply enter those third-party tracking pixels taking all of the pain away like good doctors.
Testing Made Easy
Ever put a Flash banner or a third-party ad online and it didn't track clicks? We're happy to proclaim that suffering embarrassment and potentially lost profits from that is a thing of the past. When you preview a media and click on it we now tell you if the click was tracked so you can rest easy knowing it's working.
What's always made retargeting difficult to implement is that it's a serious bit of trouble to get advertisers and publishers to place retargeting pixels all over the place. Somebody should really make it possible to do retargeting without any of those stupid pixels. Well, umm, actually that's just what we've done! You're now able to tag a visitor with a segment or multiple segments automatically when they view, click or perform an action on a campaign. This is a great way to rapidly build up user profiles for retargeting them with related campaigns! On a less exciting note, since we've already established that pixels suck, if you still insist on using them we've added support for third-party piggyback pixels as well as the option to attach multiple segments to a single retargeting pixel.
Time Zone Targeting
Premium geographic add-on users only, but you'll notice that we've now made it possible to target and report by time zone.
Flash 10 and ActionScript 3
We're now recommending that you use Flash 10 and ActionScript 3 for your Flash banners (code and tutorial can be found here), but of course we're still supporting Flash 9 with ActionScript 2 as well as any previously supported versions.
Flash Malware Scanning
AdvertServe users only, but in addition to checking the clickTAG in a Flash .swf file we will now scan it for malware too at no additional cost. The $0.99 per file fee still applies. Incidentally, you can now disable the prompt about checking .swf files when you upload them by changing your user account preferences. Instead, simply preview your Flash banner media and if we don't verify the click tracking is working you can run the clickTAG repair tool with a single click from there. This way you can save yourself $0.99 for .swf files that already work correctly!
Do Not Track Support
We've added optional support for Do Not Track, which if you choose to enable it will opt visitors out of profiling and retargeting if they've enabled the Do Not Track option in their browser.
Don't use Actions?
If you're not using action tracking you'd probably rather not see them in your reports right? Well, in fact, now you can hide them. To do accomplish this we've added an option in the user account preferences to hide empty fields from the reports.
Support for MariaDB
AdvertPro users only, but we are now officially supporting deployment of AdvertPro users with MariaDB provided that you use the MyISAM storage engine (others may be supported at a future date).
Support for TokuDB
AdvertPro users only, but we've saved one of the best for last if you're having MySQL growing pains. TokuDB is an amazing new storage engine for MySQL that uses fractal tree indexing and is capable of handling terabytes of data. It also uses compression and will reduce the size of your database by at least a factor of ten. Since it sorts data on disk by primary key you can also eliminate all of the secondary indexes on your statistics tables, which greatly reduces write overhead so your reports get updated faster. Plus, as a bonus, if you have a MySQL slave you'll really be quite pleased with TokuDB since it eliminates the dreaded slave lag problem!
We'd love to hear from you. Seriously, don't hesitate to contact support if you have questions about any of the new features and improvements.