Shock Marketing Tactics For PPV Profits
Case Study: PPV Marketers vs. Finch In His Boxers

Shock Marketing Tactics For PPV Profits

PPV tactics

Now, I jacked this graph from a Google image search, and it’s satire rather than actual data. But it’s pretty much true, right? People find it hard not to pay attention to scenes that jump out of their mundane lives and slap them in the face.

Since moving in to PPV advertising, I’ve tried several different approaches to varying degrees of success. I’ve tried informational adverts, humour to capture attention, and the subject of this post – shock marketing. While it’s not suitable for all offers, shock marketing is something that naturally integrates very well with PPV. When you’re dealing with interruption marketing, or springing pop-ups on a user who is otherwise engaged, you really need to have an ace up your sleeve to tear them away from whatever they’re expecting to see on the page they’ve clicked through to.

Many people fail to drive a sufficient CTR with their PPV creatives simply because they try to be too cute. They’ve been raised with conventional marketing wisdom that says that if you explain the right benefits to the right user, you’ll enjoy eventual success. While that’s true to an extent, the nature of pop-up and pop-under display adverts is intrusive.

You could be slinging Vodka to an alcoholic and there’s still a good chance that he’ll give you the cold shoulder. Maybe ten years ago you’d enjoy an easier ride. Unfortunately people are naturally inclined to turn a blind eye to advertisements these days. That’s unless they see something so outrageous or so targeted to their needs that they can find the reason to put aside whatever they were doing before.

When I approach my PPV campaigns, I always do so with the same mindset: “How can I make the user stop and stare?”

Research shows, from a number of sources I truly can’t be bothered to dig out, that you have a matter of split seconds to grab the user’s attention. Miss the boat and you’ve paid to be forgotten.

Picture your target audience. Can you honestly see these users pissing themselves in excitement at the thought of what the next 750×550 might bring?

Well, the way I see it, if you want people to catch a message on a highway billboard, you’re going to have more luck if a car has just been trashed in to the support beams. People will stop and stare.

One of the offers I wanted to test out was an auto insurance quote form. There are some great insurance lead gen opportunities, and PPV is a brilliant way of making your living with them.

The problems with auto insurance offers are pretty well documented. Most affiliates are priced out of the PPC space due to advertisers with budgets the size of Texas. The cost efficient platforms to market these offers are PPV and social media networks like Facebook. But it’s not easy to get the average floating surfer to pay attention to an auto insurance offer.

Unless you’re extremely targeted or extremely relevant, it’s going to be hard to interest people with a subject like insurance. I would personally enjoy crunching my balls against my desk more than I would being distracted from my Facebook photo creeping by a loose promise of cheaper car insurance. That’s just me.

I decided to use PPV to target several Chevrolet related websites. I was looking for users who were actively looking to buy a new or used Chevrolet. I can’t remember why I chose this brand. It was something to do with it being the most crashed vehicle in a certain state for three years running. I can’t remember.

As most PPV experts will tell you, you’re going to enjoy a lot more success if you target your traffic source and then try to match it to an offer that fits the demographics. By settling on this Chevrolet crowd, I already had an excellent idea of what my target audience was hoping to see.

It would be very easy to put together a basic creative with a few bullet points and a strapline like “Best Insurance Offer For Your New Chevrolet” or whatever. This will often be successful, but it wasn’t shocking enough – in my eyes – to draw the number of clicks that would be necessary to keep the campaign profitable.

Instead I ventured back to Google Image Search and retrieved a pretty horrific image of a crushed Chevrolet, the result of a high speed car crash. When you have eye-catching provocative imagery, it becomes so much easier to pull the user’s attention off the page. I split tested several different titles and while I’m not going to out my own techniques for driving an image like this home, it goes without saying that bolder is better.

If the aim of your campaign translates in to shocking the user, there are no shortage of directions you can take to get the job done.

How about dating? It struck me just how many advertisements choose to depict stunning women and the guarantee that you could date one of them. But what is the shocking opposite? Well let’s just say the search term “unhappy middle aged man with fat ass ugly beach whale” might have taken a Googling last month.

Got a work from home offer? Pick the ugliest face you can physically stand to look at. Paint it with the tagline “This man needed an excuse to work from home…” Maybe you can see what I’m getting at here. Sometimes being all cute with the benefits of the product simply isn’t good enough for distracting a user. Forget your marketing degree – if you’re one of the 0.06% of readers to actually have one – so much PPV success hinges on being calculating, nasty, and very aggressive. Any attention is good attention. The worst thing that can happen is for somebody to ignore your ad.

It’s possible to get away with shock marketing tactics using traffic sources like Facebook too. But everybody knows that a Facebook intern has the kind of threshold to provocative imagery that a baby has to it’s first tooth. You’re not gonna get very far before some bitch is crying about it. I use PPV for my most aggressive marketing campaigns, simply because there’s not much you can’t get away with.

I would recommend taking a look at your offer and working backwards. Often the best way to come up with an ad creative is to take the single biggest lure of the offer and dump it on it’s head.

Want To Meet Hot Single Girls?
Or how about…
Want To Be Scouting For Beach Whales At Fifty? (Well, you better join now then….)

Want Cheaper Life Insurance?
Or how about…
Want Little Baby Jack To Give Up His Dreams Because You Died And Left Him Nothing?

The push is often greater than the pull.

You’re probably beginning to see why I resent the industry I work in, but that’s just the way it goes. You’ve gotta take advantage of fears and dreams. Shock your audience in to taking action and stop being so nice.

Recommended This Week:

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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 – “FinchSells.com 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.

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