Peak SBC, LLC  

 

 

Special Report: The Real Cost of FFA Pages
by SBC Staff

People either love or hate FFA pages. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground. Others rationalize using them because they appear to be a cheap source of leads. But how expensive are they really? Has anyone really gathered any hard evidence and made it public? We have and we are!

BACKGROUND

There are two ways people use FFA pages for marketing:
1. Posting ads to the pages, and
2. Hosting an FFA page.

Posting ads to FFA pages is generally considered worthless. Very few people actually visit FFA pages to post their ads. There are a variety of submission services that will post your ad to hundreds or thousands of FFA pages and the vast majority of people who post use these services. You can post in minutes using an automated service to more pages than you could post to manually in weeks!

The result is that human eyes rarely see the FFA pages, so your ad will most likely not be seen by anybody. This situation is made worse since your ad comes in on top of the listings when you post and moves down one step as new postings are added. Since submission services post ads very rapidly, your ad might stay on an individual site for only about 30 minutes before it drops off completely.

But posting to FFA pages is not how most marketers use them: instead they host an FFA page or pages. When you host a page that others post to you are allowed to send a confirmation email to everyone who posts to your page. The purpose of the confirmation is to confirm the poster's link, thank them for posting and invite them to come back and post again.

But marketers also include an ad with their confirmation. The result: free email addresses to market to. Because of the widespread use of automated submission services you can collect hundreds or thousands of email addresses to market to every single day.

Most of the FFA pages you can sign up to host are part of FFA networks that include thousands of separate FFA pages. When you host one of these pages you get the email addresses of everyone who posted to the entire network. This means you and thousands of other FFA page host/marketers are getting the same addresses. So those who post to FFA pages receive thousands of confirmation emails as a result of their post. And, of course, they read every single one with great interest. Not!

Most people who post to FFA pages are savvy enough to understand the confirmation email process. As a result, they use an email address when posting that will feed the confirmation email right into the trash bin, never to be seen or read by anyone. Others provide a bad email address, although this will not work with FFA pages that require confirmation of the email address used. But some people will read your ad and marketers who like hosting FFA pages for marketing purposes will tell you that the response rate is still good enough to justify the use. Are they right?

OUR TESTING

We have run extensive tests using ten different FFA networks over a period of a few months to get an idea of the usefulness of hosting FFA pages. The following is a summary of the overall results we achieved:

FFA

Leads

Cost

Clicks

Click%

Cost/Click

Cost/Lead

A

19,898 $59.70

53

.266%

$1.13

$.0030

B

65,311

98.00

29

.044%

3.38

.0015

C

20,203 29.98 21 .104% 1.43 .0015

D

414,050

74.85

10

.002%

7.49

.0002

E

68,352

39.80

118

.173%

.34

.0006

F

154,998

63.80

212

.137%

.30

.0004

G

58,500

20.00

8

.014%

3.13

.0004

H

27,750

15.95

1

.004%

15.95

.0006

I

127,479

101.40

68

.053%

1.49

.0008

J

80,382

50.00

423

.526%

.12

.0006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Totals

1,036,923

$558.48

943

.091%

$.59

$.0096

Averages

103,692

$55.85

94

.091%

$.59

$.0005

As you can see from the table above, the response rates from our "confirmation" emails were rather poor in all cases but one. FFA page J provided what could be considered a "normal" response rate for this type of lead of just over one-half of one percent. However, we received more complaints and remove requests from these mailings than all the others combined. In fact, we never received a single remove request or complaint related to any of the others.

This is one of dangers detractors of using FFA pages cite in their arguments against using them. The people you are mailing your "confirmation" emails to really do not want to receive your offer. This is why the response rates are so low. As you can see, you will get responses, but you won't be overwhelmed with the results.

We should also note that there were tremendous differences in the response rates depending on the type of ads being sent. In our testing, we used a variety of ad types. Roughly half the ads were for paid programs and half for free programs. The response rate from ads for free programs was anywhere from two to five times better than the response rates from ads for paid programs.

The response rate was also better with those FFA pages that allow you to delay the mailing of your confirmation email to avoid the avalanche of confirmations people receive after they post. It seems to be true that if you delay your mailing for five to seven days after people post, your email is less likely to get lost in the clutter.

SOME CONCLUSIONS

Our testing of FFA pages supports the following observations and recommendations:

1. If you are going to host an FFA page and promote using the allowed confirmation emails, you will get better response rates by using them to advertise your free to join programs (such as free traffic programs) or use them to offer free gifts in return for people signing up for your newsletter. Also, choose one that allows you to delay the mailing for at least five days.

2. While the cost per lead is ridiculously low, the cost per
click is very high. In fact, the cost per click in almost every one of the FFA programs we tested is more than adequate to buy you a solid position in the pay-per-click search engines! Your promotion would be more targeted, have a better sales conversion ratio and would be less risky with respect to potential spam complaints. Think about this one carefully. It might seem much less expensive to pay from $10 to $20 per month for an FFA page to get an average of more than 100,000 leads, but it is the response rate that counts. $50 spent on pay-per-click advertising will be cheaper per click and more targeted, which should result in more sales and more money in your pocket.

We hope this report has been helpful to you. We are in the process of actively reviewing more than 140 different programs at this time and plan to add many more. We're spending thousands of dollars in cash, manpower and other resources to analyze programs available on the net to identify problem areas before you waste your money. All these results will eventually be published on our web site in one form or another, but you, our subscribers, will see them first!


Copyright 2001, all rights reserved
 

 


(c) 2003, 2004, 2013 Peak SBC, LLC.  Copyrights on all articles and books remain with the author.

Contact Information - Phone: (305) 799-3404

Email: webmaster@peakconsultinginc.com