The Ugly Conversion Rate of a Spam Campaign

So ugly hes cute

One of the most common neophyte mistakes in affiliate marketing is spamming. You buy and email list, write a pitch, and go to town. You then find you get very little, if anything, in the way of response.

There’s a reason for that: technology is getting better at recognizing spam, and so are people. It’s quickly dying as a viable model for doing business (and good riddance to it, by the way).

Let’s look at some real data, shall we? According to a 2009 study done by New Scientist, here’s how a particular spam campaign turned out:

  • 35 million spam emails were sent out in one month.
  • 8.2 million of those spam emails actually made it to servers; the rest of the addresses were either non-existent or they bounced back to the sender’s server.
  • 10,500 of the emails actually received clicks. This works out to a 0.0003 percent click-thru rate.
  • 28 people actually made a purchase via this spam email. The success rate for the campaign is 0.000008 percent.

Now, apply those numbers to your affiliate marketing business. Let’s say you buy an email database of 100 million addresses. If you get a good price, you might be talking about $500. Add in another $2,000 for a high-quality sales letter and distribution, bringing your total costs to around $2,500.

Right off the top, you know that at least three quarters are bogus, so you’re going to be sending to around 25 million “legitimate” addresses.

From there, about 30,000 users are going to click on that email. Of those, 75 are going to make a purchase. Now, we’ll assume that your commission is in the neighborhood of $20, mainly because you must be operating in a wide market if you’re going to generate that kind of success with spam. That means you’re making a grand total of $1,500, for a $1,000 loss.

Now, let’s say that, instead of sending out spam, you invest that $2,500 in a decent landing page, Facebook page development, and development of a Facebook app. Again, depending on your niche, you should be able to generate at least twice as many sales – because those customers are targeted. You’re able to market to your niche directly, which gets rid of all of that waste. And, the Facebook model continues to generate sales, while the email list is typically a one- or two-shot effort before you need to reinvest in a new pitch and distribution.

Don’t fall for the spam trap. It’s an outdated, unprofitable model.

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One Response to The Ugly Conversion Rate of a Spam Campaign

  1. The ugly camel-type-animal-thingie caught my eye and I was compelled to read it this post. I love the math – 0.000008 percent “success rate” – that’s not very good, is it? :) LOL

    But I take exception to spending $2500 for a decent landing page. These days with all the great WP themes and tools available, anyone with any technical skills can build their own for minimal cost.