At the beginning of the month, word spread that many affiliates using their links on MySpace were being terminated from networks such as Azoogle. However, it seems that the networks haven’t reigned in all of their affiliates.
Marketing on MySpace normally uses viral means of spreading a hot topic, issue, movie, album or tech product. However, in this scenario, affiliate marketers use the ease of collecting a large number of “friends” on the MySpace platform (can be easily done with automated software) to blast out numerous bulletins a day to these “friends.”
The result is a large number of eyeballs with a decent conversion rate. In order to compensate for declining click-thru rates, these marketers simply add more and more “friends” and blast their bulletin messages to larger crowds. Its akin to the email marketing vicious cycle a few years ago before CANSPAM.
MySpace says it does not approve of such commercial actions by members:
“Non-commercial Use by Members. The MySpace Services are for the personal use of Members only and may not be used in connection with any commercial endeavors except those that are specifically endorsed or approved by MySpace.com. Illegal and/or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services, including collecting usernames and/or email addresses of Members by electronic or other means for the purpose of sending unsolicited email or unauthorized framing of or linking to the MySpace Website is prohibited. Commercial advertisements, affiliate links, and other forms of solicitation may be removed from Member profiles without notice and may result in termination of Membership privileges. Appropriate legal action will be taken for any illegal or unauthorized use of the MySpace Services.”
This morning, someone alerted me to the blog DropShipArea.com and this post outlining a case study on MySpace marketing with an Azoogle iPod offer. The author of the post says he hopes to get a steady stream of traffic coming to his sites through MySpace, which is not inherently against the MySpace rules in the letter of the law.
The case study he outlines, however, does break some rules, and networks such as Azoogle must be careful about the actions of their affiliates in a post-acquisition MySpace platform which NewsCorp is continually seeking to monetize and clean up.
This is from the case study quoted on the site:
“First, I selected an appropriate offer from Azoogle.
Name: Superb Rewards – Free IPOD Nano (Brand New!)
Why did I choose this offer?
– Pays for just the E-Mail; a simple action that can be completed by 99% of people.
– Decent Payment ($1.40); One of the higher paying iPod offers so I thought it was a good choice.
– Good Reward (iPod Nano); iPods are all the craze lately, some may say it is saturated but a lot of people still don’t have, and want an iPod.
– Appeals to my demographic; It’s usually the younger people wanting iPods, so 18-25 is usually a good range.
I have a MySpace account with 5400 friends (as of now) and I posted a simple bulletin with the following fields:
Subject: WOW!!! THIS IS SO EASY!!!
Body: Anyone with a MySpace account can get a FREE iPod just by entering your email address into this form!!!” CLICK HERE!!!
The results of his endeavor?
“Nothing too spectacular. I got about 10 people clicking on my Link and half of them completed the offer, so I didn’t make too much.
Why? Probably because I’ve used this account for advertising in the past and people have become wary to avoid my bulletins. I did convert at 50% though, so that’s very good – I just needed more clicks.”
And then he goes on to describe how he ramped up the clicks and concludes that MySpace marketing is now a matter of scale. That’s dangerous for any network allowing this to continue due to MySpace’s state rules.
I can’t imagine this is the type of promotion advertisers within CPA Networks such as Azoogle are hoping to be a part of, even if it is an email only iPod offer. There is still liability to be had, and NewsCorp does have the resources to follow the money trail.