The Worst Converting Campaign Of All Time

Did you know that it takes a mighty 12.5 million spam emails just to sell $100 of viagra?

This number was enough to send the cogs of my brain in to a wheelspin. The sheer inefficiency of it all is difficult to comprehend. Admittedly, the majority of viagra emails are handled by botnets that take much of the human labour out of the equation. But this is still a ridiculously inefficient line of business.

To put those numbers in perspective, on any given day, an American viagra pill slinger is more likely to die in a car crash than he is to convert with a single viagra spam email.

As affiliates, we bitch and moan about being scrubbed. But I don’t even want to contemplate how agrieved the poor bastard who just saw his 1/4000000 conversion rate fall to 1/8000000 must feel.

The numbers make you wonder how spamming in the name of viagra pills can ever be worth the effort. These emails show no sign of relenting anytime soon, proving that some businesses are still finding ways to profit from them. And as long as they do, I will still be ignoring hilariously titled emails such as “Make her orga$m by Inflate your pecker

There can’t be too many products that rival viagra in the inefficiency stakes, but this also shows just how meaningless a conversion rate truly is. If a company can stay afloat with such shocking figures, maybe it’s time to spare a second thought for all those traffic sources you dismissed as junk in the past?

Many affiliates spend 100% of their time searching for the best quality traffic, when other much ridiculed traffic sources are actually effective in their own relative terms. I’m not saying you should dust down the botnets and load up your “erection” madlibs, but clearly a business doesn’t have to enjoy the best – or even respectable – conversion rates to succeed.

The best converting campaigns aren’t necessarily the best investments for your business, and are certainly by no means a guarantee of a healthy bottom line.

It hardly matters if you convert at 10% or 1% on an affiliate offer, only that you understand the mechanics of the equation better than your competition. You could be the best sales writer in the world but if you have no understanding of the arbitrage attached to your work, you can never be a successful affiliate marketer.

Our job is primarily to solve mathematical equations while occasionally stroking our own feathers by pretending to give a shit about actual marketing practices (when the tried and tested maths no longer work).

This is why so many affiliates end up in the legal gutter.

Trivial matters such as FTC guidelines are happily tossed to the wayside in an aggressive pursuit of numbers that work in our favour. The viagra spammer is simply an example of pushing the envelope too far. We can laugh at the poor conversion rates, but high traffic at a tiny cost is just another way of playing arbitrage. No better, no worse.

You don’t see too many affiliate blogs bragging “How I Made X/Day With This ABYSMALLY Converting Trick!“, but maybe that’s because most of us are guilty of over-simplifying the maths. There’s no pride in having the best conversion rate if some other sucker is doing thousands more in profit and posting EPCs that crash the system with too many zeros.

The numbers game can be played in many ways. That’s worth remembering if your marketing career has slowed to a halt at the prospect of monetizing $1 clicks on Facebook.

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About the author

Finch
Finch

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.

9 Comments

Leave a comment
  • Well, maybe, but somebody at the end of the chain has to be wanting those lists with the intention of monetizing them. Spam can’t exist purely for the purpose of spam.

  • Effectively organizing your email list can pay great as well.
    Even if you just have partials, people will buy them.
    A great company to look into that can monetize your data is King Monetizer (www.kingmonetizer.com)

  • Efficiency is always key! Even if you can build a whole new list from that spam…. Is it really worth it? Are those email list going to bring you a large portion of traffic/sales???

  • Having the ability to drill down and locate where your best traffic is coming from should help increase your profits on any campaign, unfortunately most only go 2-3 levels deep. I need more info than that to stay on the top of my game.

  • I used to spam back in the day. I had a 100 stacks in my bank spamming. Then I started EWA and now I have 7259 stacks chillin at JP Morgan. Liquid.

  • Spamming doesn’t take us any where! I have received these spam emails what you have mentioned in the blog. I use to delete the emails. If you spam, many readers will delete the email without opening the email.

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