4specs is an Internet-based library service for specifiers, architects, engineers and others in the construction industry. 4specs organizes the building product manufacturer's website just as a librarian organizes 3-ring binders in the design office. You can also think of 4specs as a specialized search engine or directory of manufacturers of construction products. Each manufacturer's link goes directly to their website.
Free basic listings:
Free enhanced listings with a 15 word description:
Showcase listings with image, icons and longer descriptions:
(an Owens Corning company) Thermafiber RainBarrier® Mineral Wool Continuous Insulation provides energy saving R-values of 4.2 per inch of thickness. RainBarrier is non-combustible, water repellent and 40-60% less expensive than rigid foam per square foot. Mineral wool is easy to fabricate and install in masonry applications. It is also compatible with all air/vapor barrier systems.
To help you understand a little bit more on how referrals work in 4specs, it is important to remember that our target audience is specifiers and architects. Specifers and architects rarely phone or email manufacturers and they are not purchasing materials. They add the products to their designs and write the specs for projects to be bid in the future. You want to be included in that design and specification. That is why you, the manufacturer, want to be seen and referred from 4specs.
In 2011 we asked our advertisers with Google Analytics to provide us with their "All Traffic Sources" report. For 60 of the 86 responding companies, 4specs was in the top 8 referrers overall to their website. Typically Google, Bing, Yahoo and direct referrals were in the top 5. You can see the survey results here:
An independent research survey was conducted for 4specs in 2006 by Verified Audit Circulation. This was a survey of all 1,081 CSI (Construction Specifications Institute) Certified Construction Specifiers and members of SCIP (Specification Consultants in Independent Practice). A total of 285 telephone surveys were completed (26.4% of the population). While this survey is 10 years old, the specifier community does not change that much each year.
The 4specs annual advertising costs are based on our performance for your website. The Internet has made this Pay per click (PPC) advertising model possible. Among PPC providers, Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing, and Microsoft adCenter are the three largest network operators, and all three operate under a bid-based model typically charged to a credit card. 4specs is a highly-targeted website with a flat-rate per referral model and an annual invoice.
Our ad rates are set on a forward-looking per-referral-to-your-website basis. We track the outbound referrals and report to you each month by email. You can validate our performance with your website analytics, including Google Analytics.
Our ad program is invoiced on an annual basis and there are no additional charges for overages. If we overestimate the expected number of referrals, we will extend the ads, and if we underestimated, you receive the additional referrals at no additional cost. Renewal will be determined by the prior year's performance. 80% of the advertisers renew every year. There are no contracts or multi-year agreements.
Performance is highly variable, depending on the sections the company is listed in and how well known the company is. We have a section by section estimate of what we think a typical advertiser will receive from that section. You can add all your sections together and form an estimate of your ad rates. We will also review the sections with you and can add sections as appropriate.
Estimate by section of expected advertiser performance (Updated to January 2016)
Advertisers with multiple companies and urls are added together to determine the expected referral rate and ad rate. We typically do not provide multiple links into a website for different sections.
The showcase listings typically appear twice - once on top with the advertisers and again on the bottom with all the listings for the section. You can see examples of showcase listings used on 4specs:
Showcase listing examples
Links for each building product manufacturer go to the top of their website or single target page; we do not provide multiple product links to different sections. The link is typically the company name, not a product name.
Image - maximum size is 160 pixels wide x 144 pixels high and a jpg or non-animated gif or png. We recommend different images and descriptions for each section, targeted to that section. We can resize photos or existing images, or you can provide finished artwork. Images are typically compressed to 5-6,000 bytes. We use Photoshop Elements and generally save for the web - jpg medium or 30%.
Text - 55 words is the typical maximum length. Our hard limit is not going onto the 7th line. We recommend against the words manufacturer and superlatives such as world class and premier. While I understand the use of trademark and register notations, I find they slow down reading and are not useful to our user and I recommend against using them. [edited 4/14/2016]
Icons are used to indicate what information is available on the website link. 4specs does not develop or host the design information. The information must be available for download with no registration required. We have many friends in the industry that can help you develop specs or CAD and BIM info.
Specs Icon - - This icon indicates that the website has a CSI-formatted three-part specification available online in an editable form - typically a Word or rtf document, PDFs do not qualify for the icon.
CAD Icon - - This icon indicates that the website has CAD details available - typically in a dwg or dxf file.
BIM Icon - - This icon indicates that the website has BIM objects available - typically an rta file for Revit or a Sketch-up file.
If you email the text back to me in a word document and attach the images, it makes it simpler for me. I can resize the images if needed. It is very helpful to label the images with the section number if there are multiple images - yourco_09-9100.jpg for example.
Email them to:
Colin Gilboy - Publisher - 800-369-8008 or 435-654-5775 in Utah - Email:
Last Update: October 21, 2016