July 31, 2008 08:00 ET

Raising the IQ of Widget Marketing

ST. CLOUD, MN--(Marketwire - July 31, 2008) - The allure of the web widget is simple and seductive -- the power of technology connecting millions of users with a marketer's brand. Unfortunately, beneath the luster of massive scale widget marketing lies a costly truth some marketers aren't prepared to face: depleted budgets with no intelligent ROI because of costly distribution fees.

BrandWeek reports that installation or engagement fees can range from $1 to $5 per widget install. According to comScore, nearly 148 million U.S. Internet users viewed widgets in November 2007, representing 81 percent of the total Internet audience. widgets had the widest audience, reaching more than 57 million Internet users. ranked second with 39.2 million viewers. had the sixth widest widget-viewing audience with more than 19 million viewers. Translation for interactive marketers: These numbers can add up to real cash quickly and drain most marketing budgets.

Internet marketing agency W3i, who has earned a reputation as a Silicon Valley-like company in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, is raising the IQ of widget marketing. Founded in 2000, the Minnesota company built its profitable legacy by giving away high-demand downloads for free through an ad-supported business model. Through and other websites, W3i distributes over 4 million downloads each month. With just 60 employees, 2007 gross sales were $27 million.

Recognizing the opportunity and fear in the marketplace among widget marketers, W3i created a clever way to offset user acquisition and maintenance costs by layering on an additional, ad-supported revenue stream during the download process through a proprietary installation system they developed, aptly called, "Install IQ."

The way the system works is simple and user-friendly. In short, Install IQ bundles the primary widget download with other high-demand software -- like the Yahoo! Toolbar and the Weatherbug Desktop widget. If a user accepts one of these optional offers during the install, the widget marketer makes money -- up to $1 in most cases. To prevent inadvertent installs, Install IQ deploys a unique download manager that allows the user to pause or cancel at any time.

The intelligence inside W3i's unique installation system continues to impress by allowing for customization, optimization, and suppression. Marketers can leverage their brand equity throughout the entire installation process with images and text. The bundled software offered during installation can be optimized for target marketing. And if the software is already installed on the user's desktop, Install IQ suppresses the offer and suggests an alternative download. Finally, in an age when best practices in privacy on the Web are carefully monitored, Install IQ holds up under scrutiny by being the first installation system to receive certification in the TRUSTe Trusted Download program.

A number of desktop widget marketers are currently using Install IQ and taking advantage of the high-volume rates W3i has negotiated with top industry partners who are part of W3i's Download Network.

Case Study #1

An audio and multimedia player deploying Install IQ generated $86,280 in revenue during the first month of use. After achieving such phenomenal success, the online marketing firm representing the software added a dozen more applications to W3i's installation process.

Case Study #2

A social networking profile editor using Install IQ's optimization feature increased EPC rates by 33%, install rates by 44%, and CTR rates by 16%, resulting in a 34% increase in revenue.

Case Study #3

A utility software application that speeds up PC performance earned $263,089 over the course of ten months using Install IQ.


With Install IQ, clients of W3i are monetizing their desktop widget channel in an unprecedented fashion, generating meaningful revenue with minimal drain on their internal resources because nearly all of the set up and on-going maintenance is performed by W3i staff. Install IQ also works with any type of downloadable digital content like music, video, and games. With such a unique opportunity now available in so many flavors, you can take the fear out of widget marketing and embrace the future of software downloads.

For more information about increasing your revenue using Install IQ, click here.

About W3i:

W3i, owner of, delivers proven, integrated desktop marketing and mobile marketing solutions. With offers and services tested and optimized on over 15 million unique users each month and over 4 million downloads, W3i can increase your revenue from digital content or provide a receptive consumer base for customized, targeted marketing programs. Solutions include: software marketing for shareware and freeware, software bundling and ad-supported installations. The three Weber brothers, owners of W3i, are recent winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2006 Award in the Minnesota and Dakotas region. To learn more about W3i, visit

Contact Information

  • Press Contact:
    Deborah Manthei
    W3i Holdings, LLC
    Email Contact