BoostCTR snags $8M to boost ad optimization sales

BoostCTR, the company that pairs fancy shmancy algorithms with old-fashioned copy writing skills to drive ad optimization now has $8 million in Series B funding.

The name of the game for BoostCTR is to bring quality, targeted ads to advertisers using a pool of 1,000 freelance copy writers and providing customers — the advertisers themselves — and those copy writers with a data-driven feedback loop to help  guide creation of the most effective ads.

BoostCTR competes with companies like DataPop and Adchemy which use machine learning to automate key word selection etc. What BoostCTR brings to the party is a combination of technology and human talent, said Battery General Partner Brian O’Malley, who joined the BoostCTR board.

O’Malley told me this is no sweat shop — talent can make between $25 and $60 per hour. The goal for the new funding is to first beef up BoostCTR’s sales staff. “Job number 2” is to put all that interesting data to work. “We find things like, using the word ‘nationwide’ in an ad, it performs badly. But if you use “in your area” it performs really well. That’s the kind of input that can help copy writers write ads that do better and in turn make more money from them, he said.

BoostCTR claims customers including the Home Shopping Network, Vitamin Shoppe and CafePress as well as major (but unnamed) retailers and insurance companies. Pricing for the SaaS service — which utilizes an open-source database plus Tableau and some custom software for analytics —  ranges from $10,000 to $1 million per year

The Series B round, led by Battery Partners with existing backers Javelin Venture Partners and Western Technology Investment, brings the total funding for the San Francisco-based company to about $12 million.

Lots of companies are drawing on crowd sourcing to cut the costs of jobs that need to be done, farming out work to the lowest bidders in a race to the bottom. BoostCTR appears to rely on a smallish talent pool where individuals can earn reasonable money — speaking as a writer, I find that refreshing.