Traffic Diary #6: Arcamax Email Advertising

I recently got involved with email marketing and specifically the promotion of CPA offers to see if I could make a decent amount of money while building a targeted list.  One of the places that I decided to buy ezine ad space was at  The basically offer four different categories of advertising:

  1. Email newsletter sponsorships
  2. Solo email list rental
  3. Website display
  4. Co-registration

I decided to try their “email newsletter sponsorship” for the top sponsor position in their Freesites newsletter.  The newsletter goes out to 890,000 readers, but I wanted to only test half the list so they charged me $450 USD instead of the usual $825.  I was promoting a free coupon toolbar offer and the payout was $4.00 for every qualified install.

The ad specs allowed me up to 10  limes and 60 characters per line.  Since Arcamax gave me A/B split testing, I submitted the following two ads:

Ad #1

“Print Free Coupons Right From Your Computer!”

Save big on everything from groceries to gadgets with
new coupons every day. Get promo codes for instant
online savings, plus lots of other freebies!

Click Here To Start…

Ad #2

“Print Free Coupons Right From Your Computer!”

Discover how you can save big on everything from groceries
to gadgets with new coupons every day. You get promo codes
for instant online savings, plus lots of other freebies.

Just download the Coupon toolbar directly to your computer
and start saving. No registration is required and it is
completely free.

Click Here To Download Your Coupon Toolbar

I did not send the traffic directly to the CPA offer. I sent it to the following squeeze page:

The results were:

1,524 clicks

463 optins

72 leads @ $4 = $288 revenue

So I took a front-end loss on the ad of $162.

Here is a list of where I could have improved this ad campaign.

1. Negotiate the $450 cost down to at least $375 – If you don’t ask, you will never get. It is common to negotiate rates on ezine advertisements according to some friends I had spoken to after the ad ran.  I am sure that if I has just asked I would not have paid the full $450 price for a mailing to half the list.

2. Split test the squeeze page – This is a no-brainer. For some reason I had assumed that I had set up the split-test, but soon realized that I hadn’t created a variation to test against the control squeeze page.  If I had been monitoring this test when it was running, I could have improved the conversions and probably generated over 500 opt-ins.

Generating a higher opt-in rate was absolutely crucial because the prospects did not see the download toolbar offer until after they had opted into the list.

The end goal of any paid list-building exercise should be to at least breakeven on the front-end.  If you can achieve this, then you are basically building a list for free.

The important thing to remember when building a list from various sources of traffic is to track where the traffic came from.  All 463 opt-ins were marked with the tracking code “arca”, so I will now be able to track any future revenues from future promotions back to this original promo.  With 463 targeted opt-ins, I don’t think it will take long to make up the $162 shortfall. 🙂

Please share your comments or questions on this test!




  1. Great stuff as always Gauher! Love the case study. Basically, you lose money but you have 463 targeted opt-ins as an asset. Not bad. 🙂



  2. Hi Royce,

    Yup! I have built out my back-end autoresponder funnel, so it is now all about just hitting them with right offer. I have all the arcamax subscribers marked, so I can see just how much money I will make on the backend now.

  3. Great case study Gauher. There’s nothing better than showcasing real world results like that, you can learn a lot from that. I love the simplicity of that opt in page, a lot of guys make it so much more difficult in their heads instead of taking action, seeing results, and learning from the data.

  4. Hey Pablo,

    You are right. I didn’t want to over complicate things on the squeeze page. It is much better to leave it simple. I just wished that I had put a split-test in place. Doh!

  5. Mauricio Rios

    1524 clicks minus 463 optins, there’s 1061 clicks lost that you could have recycled using a exit pop-up with the original offer itself to recoup some of the $162 “lost”. At a conversion rate of 3.8% on your 1061 non-optin clicks you could brake even.

  6. Adam

    Nice case study.

    Did you use single opt-in or double opt-in?

    How about using pre-population for the emails – not sure If It can be used with this type of traffic – I would of thought it was possible

  7. Deep Sharma

    Hi Gauher,
    Have you ever tested their Solo email list rental, they say they have a rabid subscribers of 3.3m and cost around 3.5k to send a solo to all. If anythings you could share would be highly helpful.


  8. Hi Deep,
    Nope, haven’t tried it yet. Sounds interesting.

  9. wow thats a badass case study!!! I really appreciate that. I subscribed to you Gauher. Awesome stuff. It’s time to make some money lol

  10. Menza

    Which coupon offer is this. thanks

  11. it has been more better if it has been posted on targeted mailer list, esp for people looking for coupons.

  12. Menza: Coupon Alert

    Pankaj: Unfortunately they did not have a targeted ONLY coupon seekers list.

  13. Nice research, Gauher. Whether this study case work for amazon affiliate program especially for gift like fathers day, etc?

  14. I signed up as a member of the imstealth membership site.
    I also spent the entire afternoon reading the SiteScout information pages on setting up display ads, that you recommended today. I would love it if you had an idea for us to try everyday.
    I am going to give this adsite a try because of the capabilites of narrowing down the demographics to the zip code. Owning a Real Estate office I am looking for buyers and sellers for leads in specific zips. Nice Research Thanks

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