March 11, 2010, 12:00 AM

Travel agency Thomas Cook finds an escape from excessive online ad fees

Clients such as Thomas Cook and multichannel women’s fashion and home furnishings retailer Laura Ashley are using TagMan to track the effectiveness of online ads, including natural and paid search, affiliates and display ads, TagMan says.

Travel agency Thomas Cook is using TagMan, a system for managing the tracking tags tied to online ads, to track the performance of multiple ad campaigns.

The travel agency says it has been able to save 25% of its affiliate ad commissions by using TagMan to identify which affiliates were actually sending it online customers. Before improving how it managed the online tags placed on its web site to track the ad sources behind referred customers, Thomas Cook often paid duplicate commissions when a customer arrived at its web site after having clicked links from two or more affiliate sites as well as links from banner ads or paid search ads, says Dane Higgins, head of performance, optimization and personalization for Thomas Cook.

“Not only can I now accurately identify which channel delivers the last click in any user journey and pay commission appropriately, I am able to understand more clearly the path those users typically take and plan my ongoing marketing spend and activity better,” Higgins says.

Thomas Cook placed a TagMan tag on the “Thank You” page on its site that greets customers after they complete an online purchase. Other ad-tracking tags that had been placed separately on the page to track customer activity were placed inside the TagMan tag system, which enables Thomas Cook to produce reports showing a customer’s click path to a sale and identify which ad source was responsible for the link that delivered a customer to

The TagMan system is designed so that a single TagMan tag can be installed on any web page to encompass all of the page’s ad-tracking tags. The TagMan system allows users to add, edit or remove tracking tags via a web browser.

Other TagMan clients include digital ad agency Didit and multichannel retailer Laura Ashley, which just signed on this month.

TagMan, which has offices in New York and London and was founded in 2004, received $1.3 million in its first round of external funding last month from a group of investors led by Cambridge Angels and the London Business School E100. Cambridge Angels investors include John Taysom, whose other early-stage investments have included Yahoo Inc., and

TagMan had previously raised $800,000 from friends and employees.



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