This series documents my adventures in ultra low-budget, grass roots marketing attempts to drive traffic to my game portal sites, with the hopes of breaking even at $33 a month. For other articles in the series, visit the Pimp My Portal special feature page.
i had earmarked a few bucks in The World’s Most Meager Marketing Budget for some non-video Fiverr gigs, in case i saw anything that tickled my fancy. The original plan was to spend $80 on video testimonials, and the remaining $20 on people who claimed that for five bucks, they would drive scads of traffic to YouTube videos. And then i saw this:
Guh … sorry? He said he’d do what?
As the story goes, the seller has some sort of job doing retail food delivery, and spends many hours on the road travelling between New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. He’d put my logo on his car, where his fellow drivers would supposedly see it, wonder what the heck it was all about, and remember the site address until such a time as they were near a computer with a burning need to know.
i knew this gig wasn’t even possible. No one is going to take the time to paint my logo on the side of their car for five dollars. i figured this one HAD to be a scam, but whatever the outcome, it was bound to entertain you, dear readers. And i do it all for you.
So, with a smile on my face, i clicked the “BUY” button.
How Logo Can You Go?
The seller and i exchanged a few brief messages before he asked me for my logo. i sent him the ZombieGameWorld.com mark, blown up rather large so that he’d have enough to go by for his supposed paint job (which i knew was never gonna happen).
i hope he catches all the nuances with subtle brush strokes
Meanwhile, i scoured his gig detail looking for the way in which he’d bilk me out of my hard-fought five dollars. Finally, there it was: the seller made no promise of providing pictures of his car decked out with my logo. And if the seller didn’t say it, it ain’t happening.
Fully expecting the seller to come back with a message saying “Well, your logo’s on my car! See ya, sucker!”, i gingerly asked him if he could provide a photo or two for my blog. i promised him i’d point my readers to his gigs, hopefully to send more bidness his way (cuz you guys buy everything i tell you to, right?) i felt a little like i was negotiating a hostage crisis … one false move, and my precious gig would be gone forever.
To my surprise, the guy agreed. Yes, he’d send pictures.
The Long Con
So i figured then that there must be some OTHER catch to it. Maybe he was waiting to sell a whole pile of these gigs, and then he’d paint 1000 logos in assy resolution on his car, postage stamp-sized, like The Million Dollar Homepage?
And then, while i was wondering, he sent me this:
So … he did it? Well, i mean, he didn’t paint my logo on his car, but … but there it was, on his car. The seller explained how he’d printed the logo out on multiple pieces of weather-proof paper, taped them all together, and then affixed them to both sides AND the hood of his car.
Now, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, i ask you: what kinds of people will you find on Fiverr? People willing to embarrass themselves, willing to lie and make testimonial videos for products they’ve never used or even heard of, and now this: a guy who would spend FAR more than five dollars in printer ink and stationary supplies in order to earn five dollars. (Four dollars, in fact, once Fiverr takes their cut.)
Remember, friends, that printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids known to man:
By the Dawn’s Early Light
i still figured there had to be some sort of trick to it. i mean, the shot was dark. It was pretty solid work, but it HAD to be a Photoshop job. i mean, he can’t even see out the passenger side window, and the paper would surely …
Then the next morning, he sent this:
“3997 more Fiverr gigs, and this sweet baby will be mine!”
By the time i saw the second picture, it was indisputable. This guy had actually put my logo on his car. Did he drive it around New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware for a week like he said he would? i have no idea. One he had his five (really, four) dollars, our correspondence sort of dried up. He did briefly mention that he got funny looks from people, not least of all his boss.
So what’s the best way to tell if this was a profitable method of advertising my portal? Well, it’s easy: i’d filter my Google Analytics by those three states for the time period on or around the car advertising, and if those states out-performed other US states (or out-performed themselves in a non-car advertising window), then the awareness campaign was a success.
Here we go:
De nada in Delaware
Dinner for One in New Jersey
Barely Legal in Pennsylvania
So, did these three states outperform the rest of the US? No. The average number of visitors during that time period for any given state was 11, and the car-ad states clocked in at 6.
Did the states out-perform themselves? Yes … New Jersey was up 1 from zero, and Pennsylvania had 8 visits in the previous month, which grew to 18.
What conclusions can we draw from all this? With a sample size so pathetic, practically nothing. i suppose the only real working theory we’ve developed, given the data, is this:
THE AMISH LOVE ZOMBIES.
“I managed to make it to level 14 before I ran out of shotgun shells.”
“Really? Crack open your Macbook, Amos, and let me have a go.”
And Then There Were Eighty
The World’s Most Meager Marketing Budget has taken another five-dollar hit:
Original investment: $100
Was it worth it? Let me know.
Born Every Minute
With this victory behind me, i was beginning to feel like my plan was scam-proof. Fiverr was full of honest folk. Crazy, but honest. i figured everything would keep going swimmingly.
Unfortunately, it didn’t.