Profitable PPV Campaign Case Study

So in honor of getting added to Affbuzz (Thanks Justin!), I thought I would do a post showing step by step exactly how I set up a profitable PPV campaign.

First, if you don't know what PPV traffic is let me give you a brief explination:

One of the PPV networks I use  is Traffic Vance. Traffic Vance gets its traffic from users who have downloaded and played games on Once users have installed the Gamevance software, they are served ads from the Traffic Vance system when they visit a URL or search a keyword you are bidding on. So, if you are promoting a dating offer you might bid on a URL like When a surfer who has the Gamevance software installed visits, your ad will be popped up.

There is a common misconception that this type of traffic comes is spyware. This is simply not true. The people who have this software installed on their PC have agreed to install the software which enables them to play games, get screensavers, etc. in exchange for viewing ads. The correct term for this software is called adware. Another misconception is that these ads won’t show due to pop up blockers. Through the technology used, these ads will show regardless of whether the user has a pop up blocker installed or not.

Ok, now that we have that out of the way I am going to break down a profitable PPV campaign I ran.

Step 1 – Offer Selection

I wanted to select an offer that had a short lead form. You can promote different types of offers with PPV traffic but to get per sale offers to work you have to use a couple tricks of the trade (which I'll cover in later posts). I like lead offers because they don't require the surfer to do much (like pull out a credit card). Remember, we are interrupting their normal surfing and they aren't actively seeking our offer. Because of this, we have to hit them with something that is easy to complete.

With that in mind, I went to Neverblue and selected their “Quote Wizard – Auto Insurance” offer. I know this offers accepts PPV traffic because under ‘promotion allowed' they list ‘DLS' which is their name for this kind of traffic.

Step 2 – Landing Page or Direct Link?

After visiting the offer page I decided I was going to direct link. I liked this offer because because it required only minimal information from the surfer. With PPV networks there are no duplicate destination URL rules, quality score issues, etc. so direct linking is not a problem. I do like to use landing pages for more advanced techniques, to collect emails, etc. but for this campaign, I thought direct linking would work best. I will do a future post specifically about landing pages for PPV traffic.

Step 3 – Collecting URL's

This is where the fun begins. With PPV networks you can (most of the time) bid on site URL's or keywords. Then when someone visits that URL, or searches a keyword your ad is shown. Most of the time I like to start by targeting URL's because they usually convert better. I add keywords only when I have a profitable campaign I want to scale. I'm not saying that the right or wrong way to do it, that's just my personal style.

So where do we find sites (URL's) to target? Basically anywhere we can find a website or ad is fair game. Let's start by gong to Google, Yahoo, and Bing and typing in our search terms then collecting URL's to bid on. Your probably asking yourself what keywords we are going to search for by now right? Most everything you read about PPV will tell you to search terms directly related to your offer. If we followed that advice we would search Google for “car insurance” and come up with a list of URL's like this:

Now that seems all well and good but I am here to tell you that it NOT the best way to do it. See…that's what everyone else is doing. If you were to bid on you would end up paying a high CPV (cost per view) and when you think about it…geico isn't really all that targeted. Why? Well think about this…someone clicking on the Geico website is looking to get a Geico can insurance quote right? Do you think they are going to appreciate getting a Quote Wizard pop up? They are either going to close your window or get frustrated at which lead form to fill out (yours or Geico's) and close both windows.

We need a better strategy than this, so I thought for a minute….What types of people need car insurance? After thinking about it, I came up with a cool idea…people shopping for new cars. People buying new (or used) cars always need new insurance or to make changes to their existing policy right?

With this idea in mind I went to Google and typed in the phrase “Ford cars” and came up with a list like this:

You want to take URL's from the natural search engine results as well as the AdWords results. You can repeat this search on Yahoo, Bing, or any other search engine. Our goal is to find a bunch of different URL's. I'm going to do a future blog post about all the other places to find URL's but for the sake of this case study I just used the search engines. You'll notice I didn't include any ‘http://www.' in my collected URL's. This is because on PPV engines they usually just want the domain and .com, .net, etc.

I started out with 50 URL targets. Why that number? Basically I knew that would be enough to get some traffic and see if this campaign had some potential. Once I get a campaign near break even or profitable I will add as many URL's as I can find in batches of 50-100, weeding out the ones that don't convert.

Step 4 – Time To Launch

Now that I have a direct linking strategy in mind, and have collected some URL's time to make my campaign live. I launched this on Traffic Vance and Media Traffic but you could run this anywhere. Setting up a PPV campaign is very simple; you simply add your destination URL, keyword or URL targets, and launch. I always make sure I am in position 1 with my bids. This isn't like PPC where you can still get good traffic being in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th position. On PPV networks the highest bid will get the vast majority of the traffic. This is good news and bad news. It enables us to see other bids and be in first position just by bidding higher, but of course that leads to bidding wars. It's not uncommon to log in and raise your bids multiple times per day when you have a PPV campaign running where there is lots of competition. In this campaign I was bidding anywhere from $0.01-0.08 to be in position 1.

I'm going to get into tracking in a later post but you basically have a couple options when it comes to tracking PPV traffic. Use Prosper (you will need a dedicated server just because of the sheer amount of volume PPV traffic can bring), or simply use your affiliate link with a sub id appended to it to. I will get into this more in depth in another post.


I let this campaign run 1 week and along the way added some URL's (I searched for more car dealers, car review sites, etc). I also kept raising my bid on keywords to be in position 1 as often as possible.

At the end of the week I had spent roughly $140 in traffic which resulted in 37 leads @ $12.75 per lead for a total of $471.75 leaving me with a profit of  roughly $331.

I was pretty happy with that this campaign but I can think of a few ways it could be improved:

  • Using dynamic keyword insertion and a landing page so I could say “Attention (or whatever URL I was targeting) Customers, Get a free insurance quote today”
  • Expanding my URL target list by searching for more car dealer sites, used and new car review sites, car magazine sites, etc.

I hope this gives you a good idea of how to put together a profitable PPV campaign. I really only scratched the surface in this post to give you an idea what is possible. In future posts I want to cover topics like landing pages, tracking, other places to find URL targets, and how to automate a lot of this.

Let me know what you think!