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!