People Buy Stuff on Black Friday. It’s True!

by on November 29, 2008

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Summary:  People go shopping online on Black Friday.  I had a 30%+ conversion rate on ad clicks yesterday!  Read on for the details…

I normally run anywhere from $10-$50 a day in ads on Google/Yahoo/MSN for various consumer level affiliate products I’m considering promoting or starting websites on.  It’s the best method to see if your traffic and keywords actually convert enough to make it worthwhile.

So far I’ve been very careful to not lose money overall on these affiliate ad experiments.  Typically I either break even or make a tiny profit.  A couple times I’ve dropped $50 worth of ads on one day and gotten absolutely nothing for it, usually buying expensive ads (in the $0.50-$1 a click range) for a new product that looked like something that would sell.  What I learn is that those products apparently have terrible conversion rates where people aren’t looking to buy, they just want details on the product.  Those types of products likely aren’t worth making an large effort to setup and promote a site around when there is so much other low hanging fruit around.  A couple of times I’ve had the exact opposite, dropping $10 worth of ads and pulling two to three times that back on sales commissions.  Those I stuck with and started building affiliate sites around.

I’m talking about real physical consumer products from affiliate programs like LinkShare, Amazon, Commission Junction, etc.  Not the Clickbank junk that you basically have to trick people into buying (read the Clickbank return policy someday, it’s pretty telling of what even they think of half of the programs people sell on there.  How can an eBook on Infinite Free Google Ads be defective?  Note to self:  Write an article on how people can tell a Clickbank scam from a real useful product).

I’ve only been at it for 4 months now, having picked up affiliate marketing as a hobby when I gave up my World of Warcraft addiction.  I had mostly been chatting with friends while playing arbitrage games in the Auction House for a couple of years, wasting hours a day buying and selling virtual swords and gems and whatnot.  I had managed to go from 10g to over 100,000 G, which is quite a fortune for a virtual adventurer, where the game equivalent of a luxury sports car costs 5000g.  But that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, like I said, I’d been burnt before by promoting new items where people just want to see, not buy, so I’ve been cautious lately.  But I’d had a great month of Novemeber so far (vs October which sucked and I’d actually lost a small amount total for the month after hosting and advertising fees, November had made up for it in spades, mostly on the backs of the World of Warcraft expansion release, which started my Affiliate journey and I’d been promoting for a couple of months now).

So I went for it.  I turned back on some old ads that had only broken even or brought a small profit but not enough to justify the ad spend, and created a bunch of Black Friday special ads on Google for the best deals at some of the affiliates I regularly promoted.

Those of you doing Clickbank marketing know that a conversion rate of 3% is pretty damn good.  I’m constantly shocked that people can find that many suckers to buy unpublishable in the real world junk eBooks at $49.95 a pop.  No one is 100% sure who said “There’s a sucker born every minute”, but whoever it was, they were right.

Back to Black Friday.

Holy crap!  Check out one of my account reports this morning:

You are reading that right.  31.01% conversion rate on Black Friday.  Do the math and you get out of 487 total clicks, people bought 151 items.  I’m not going to tell you how I did it, or the value of the items, you can try and guess that for yourself.   Needless to say, it was totally white hat, no funny business at all and after paying the ad costs t’ll give me a large enough check to buy some damn nice holiday presents

However, I’m kicking myself today for being so conservitive and not jacking up my adspend even more (I basically only doubled it, wish I had centupled it – actual word, look it up) but live and learn.

Happy Holidays everyone!

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