Case Study: PPV Marketers vs. Finch In His Boxers

If this doesn’t get me in the top ten Affbuzz posts of the month, then linkbait never really existed and social media experts can go fuck themselves.

I’m not going to swerve you. This is a real life supercase study. A story of one night this December where yours truly stayed up past his bedtime with a mountain of Pringles, some cheesy wotsits, some scratchy bollocks and a burning desire. An ambition to discover what his peers are up to in the PPV marketing landscape.

It’s normally my policy to not post about lines of work that I’m currently involved with. Well, I’m going to break that here. I’m actively involved with PPV advertising. I’m not going to offer you some tips of how to be successful at it. That would be good blogging. Instead I’m going to explain why some marketers are scratching their heads and munching zero columns for breakfast.

Forget your split testing. De-brief your creative designers. The real acid test for PPV advertising is whether you can impress Finch in his hot pants at 1 in the morning with Vomba software disrupting his usual RedTube routine. I decided to take some time to cruise the Internet, aimlessly, for hours on end.

You could argue that this is what most of us do anyway. But instead, I was hoping to get a feel for the most popular and impressive PPV techniques. I did. But I’d like to share the efforts that failed to impress me.

If you haven’t already downloaded the Vomba toolbar, you can find it here.

Before you go downloading it, let me warn you that by installing Vomba, you are injecting your PC with the very same adware that is usually installed by retards who’ve gone goggly eyed over an animated wallpaper. Media Traffic, one of the biggest PPV networks, uses Vomba to spread the software that inevitably pops up ads and serves your landing pages to the web via contextual advertising.

I installed it on my home computer knowing full well that it had the potential to get right on my tits within about 5 minutes of this case study ending. I’m generally too lazy to get rid of software I no longer need. Which is why my Windows Vista runs like a dinosaur on the ice (and why Macs are better, by the way).

Anyway, having trolled just about every niche website on the net, here are the most common examples of PPV advertising gone wrong.

Failure 1 – “I outsourced my landing page for $35 therefore I don’t need to think of a good title.”

PPV advertising springs a pop-up, right? Depending on how well you’ve optimized your landing page, these pop-ups can take a little while to fully load. Add in to the equation that if your target market is dumb enough to install Vomba, they’re probably dumb enough to be carrying like 40 Trojans and 7 rootkits. It’s probably going to take a while for your masterpiece to load.

The last thing you need is a title bar that says:

Test – PPV Landing Page 4

Now, obviously I was actively scrutinizing these pop-ups to see what I liked and disliked about them. As a passive viewer, I’m not going to wait up to 15 seconds for a pop-up to load if the title is as devoid of a headline as this. If you’re working PPV, you’re involved in INTERRUPTION MARKETING. You need to reach out from the screen, slap your viewer in the face, and force them in to paying attention for longer than it takes to aim and fire on the little X.

An eric generic title like the above barely managed to tickle my balls let alone slap me in the face. Which is a shame because it was actually quite a nice landing page.

Failure 2 – “I can’t be bothered to use CSS. I’ll use a giant fucking image instead.”

I’ve seen some PPV landing pages that must have been over 250kb. I can only imagine the creators were so keen to test the sparkling designs that they opted to skip optimization. You know? The part of PPV marketing that stops you crashing your server?

I’ll keep it nice and simple. If you use a giant image – saved at 100% PNG quality in Photoshop – and then add a few thousand URL/keyword targets…you will absolutely destroy your $6.95/month shared hosting.

It will not survive. You will discover that your unlimited bandwidth isn’t so unlimited after all. This realization will dawn in the space of the 20 minutes that it takes Media Traffic to swallow your initial $200 deposit. You will go running to the Warrior Forum for help. At the end of which, you will have mysteriously adopted a paedophillic avatar and an attitude that 2003 is going to be your big year in Internet Marketing.


Optimize your shit.

Pages will load faster. Bandwidth will drain slower. Because ultimately, let’s be honest – how effective is interruption marketing if the user has 20 seconds to brace for the likely pain in his arse?

Failure 3 – “ is a marketing blog. It’ll work well with my MLM product.”

During my little case study, I visited my own site to see if anybody had plugged it in as a URL target. Sure enough, they had. It was being targeted with a pyramid scheme business opportunity offer.

I pray for the work I’ve done on my brand that an MLM offer would convert like a crack whore at a lemonade stand when pitched at my regular visitors.

Many PPV marketers paint a picture of a niche with broad strokes that capture too many unrelated demographics. If you’re a wizard at optimization then it’s really not a problem because you’ll soon be filtering out the dead wood. But the viability of doing so is determined by how much money you can afford to blow before you see profitability.

I have never chosen to add thousands of URL targets to a new PPV campaign. I prefer to do my research and build small blocks of highly targeted matches. It all comes down to understanding your demographics.

You only need to look at the weight loss niche to see how fragmented the market can be. An Acai Force Max LP is not going to see the same level of success if you’re simply scraping every URL under the sun for weight loss. You will lose money on page views that are never going to lead to conversions. Because some fat bitches don’t want to get ripped, they just want to fit through the front door. See what I mean?

Understand your demographics and filter your URL lists accordingly.

Alternatively, optimize like a badass and forget everything I just said.

Failure 4 – “People care about what I have to say.”

It blows my mind how many PPV marketers serve up small novellas of useless information just to get an email opt-in.

I’ve written several posts about the need to sell product benefits rather than features. The game gets that little bit tougher when you have a method of advertising that is seen as a distraction by the majority of users. Stick to a bold eye catching title, maybe list a few bullet points. Say what needs to be said before the user has time to pull eyeballs from the page. It HAS to be brutally to the point.

Don’t waste the critical top left hand part of the page on a logo or fancy image. One of the key errors of judgment in PPV marketing, in my opinion, is designing for a creative to be digested like any other webpage. Forget whatever architectural layout recommendations you read on Sitepoint. Your page does not have to be flexible. It has to put the right message in the right place. And the right place will nearly always be in the user’s face.

It was hard for me to judge the effectiveness of some landing pages when I was personally scrutinizing them in a way that a regular user wouldn’t. But I can safely say through my own split testing that the majority of Vomba’s user base are not going to stick around in the hope that you might have something to say further down the page.

Law number one of Interruption Marketing: Shut the fuck up and get to the point.

Failure 5 – “My offer only accepts 21-25 year old females lol what’s the worst that could happen?

So your dating link only converts on females between a set age range. You decide to try that shit on a fashion forum anyway. You’re a retard.

The end.

About the author


A 29 year old high school dropout (slash academic failure) who sold his soul to make money from the Internet. This blog follows the successes, fuck-ups and ball gags of my career in affiliate marketing.


Leave a comment
  • That was one of the best articles that I have read this month, and very amusing too! I would sure hope that if a targetted MMO offer landed my way (which I’m sure they have, just haven’t checked) it would be a big winner for the marketer. I never really thought of it that way before reading, so thanks for pointing that out 🙂

  • Good points. And useful. I might have made all of these mistakes at the same time if I hadn’t read this. I opened up a few PPV accounts a few months ago….including the aforementioned $200 sitting in my MediaTraffic account. Need to start messing around with it a bit. Thanks for the post Finch!

  • Hey dude, informative article, and oh-so-true. Thought you might be interested in a piece I just published on my site regarding doing PPV/CPV research using virtualization software, so you don’t get raped by adware on your primary OS.

  • Great post Finch, I just opened a MediaTraffic account, and after using one big image in a landing page, I remembered you had a post about this exact thing. I’ve optimized the image, hosted it on S3, and use a tiny (168 byte) page. Any thoughts on using Amazon S3 as a fast image host? It seems quick (172 ms load time for the image on a fast broadband connection), and I know it’s cheap.

    I used S3Fox, according to CodingHorror’s post here:

  • I suggest Yahoo Small Business Web Hosting. Management of one’s internet website at Yahoo! is really a breeze because of their web hosting manage panel. Every thing from setting up email accounts, acquiring monthly web site statistics, to web site development and maintenance can be simply controlled making use of one standardized interface.

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