9
Mar

Massive Entrecard Advertising Experiment Results

The Massive Entrecard Advertising Experiment ended a few days ago (advertising ran out earlier than expected) and the results are somewhat different than anticipated. Just to review, I accumulated 8,000 Entrecard credits around mid February and in a mad advertising blitz, spent every last one of them in about 4 days time, placing 13 days worth of advertising to test out the viability of the networking and advertising system.

The test was purely to see how many visitors I could get via advertising through Entrecard, instead of dropping cards. I was looking to test it as an advertising medium only. I didn’t completely stop dropping cards during the experiment, but I did not go out of my way to do so. If I was on a blog that had the widget, I would drop my card, otherwise I did not go to the Entrecard interface and just drop cards to earn points. See advertising clicks below:

Entrecard Advertising Clicks

The goal of the test was to gain 75 new rss readers to a new total of 226 and have 250 unique visitors per day. While the traffic increased to that unique visitor goal, the rss reader goal was off by a large margin. Rss readers reached a high of 193, while visitors averaged 263 per day over the course of the experiment.

Massive Entrecard Advertising Experiment Stats:

Entrecard credits used: 8,000
Number of advertisements placed: 180
Days to run advertising: 13
Average number of ads shown per day: 14
Total number of visitors from ads: 934
Total advertising visitors according to Google Analytics: 658
Average visitors per day from ads: 72
Time spent placing ads: 10 hours
Visitors per hour of work: 93

As mentioned earlier, the results were different than expected mostly because of the additional cards that were dropped on my blog during the time ads we running. Have a look at the trend below:

Entrecard Drops

I can only assume many of the clicks on advertising I placed were Entrecard users as well and they dropped their cards while visiting this blog.

Conclusion:

While I did get a few visitors from all the ads placed, it doesn’t seem like the average of 72 additional per day paid off in the end. What I find most disturbing about the whole Entrecard experiment is that Google Analytics is showing me 30% less visitors than what the Entrecard stats are showing. This huge inconsistency makes me very suspect as to what’s really going on with their reporting and the viability of the whole system. You may also notice that of the 180 ads I placed, only 105 brought me traffic.

Entrecard Google Analytics

Spending 10 hours to get a supposed 93 visitors, with a bounce rate of 85%, per hour of work, hardly seems like it’s worth the effort. I think my time would have been much better spent leaving comments on my favorite blogs and adding to or starting discussions in forums.

I’m also having difficulty with the entire economy of Entrecard as well. Blogs like JohnChow.com and Problogger.net that have Alexa rankings 80,000 places higher than the most costly advertising spots at Entrecard, cost about one third the price to advertise on as the top spots do. That’s just insane and several people must be hosing the system. You have to be able to get your money’s worth out of online media or the whole thing will collapse (kind of makes you think of Google Adwords).

Because of the difficulty of finding blogs that fit my original criteria for advertising on, I eventually ended up going to the appropriate categories for my blog, staring at the bottom and working my way up the category till I got to blogs that cost around 30 or 40 credits to advertise on. Being that the few blogs I spent more than 300 credits for apparently produced next to no results (not showing up in my top 10), this seems to be the better way to advertise. You can get a massive amount of advertising with 1,000 credits and by placing ads on blogs that cost between 2 to 15 credits. All I’m looking for now is a blog that has a decently placed widget and doesn’t have a grayed out Google page rank.

After my advertising effort produced dismal results and the outrageous cost of the top ad spots, seemingly the best thing to do is to blanket the system with cheap advertising. Unless you know for sure a high priced ad will produce good results, this looks to be the best system. I believe Entrecard advertising would be a much better value if ads were shown for 48 hours instead of the present 24 hours. Too much time is spent finding good advertising only to have it used up in a day. Saturday traffic on the net is notoriously low and if that’s the day an expensive ad is scheduled to show, tough luck because you don’t have any control over it.

I will continue to use Entrecard for the time being because of the networking results it has produced. Meeting other bloggers, trading ideas, getting mentioned on other blogs and returning the favor has been worth the effort of being an Entrecard member, even if the advertising side of things has produced dismal results.

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6 Responses to “Massive Entrecard Advertising Experiment Results”

  1. Alan,

    I am really glad you took the time to do this test of entrecard. I have recently started using this, and your findings are a big help to me. I have always felt the ec cost to advertise was skewed. I have also noticed that drops might mean clicks, but according to my sitemeter, it doesnt mean people read my blog. I must say the networking side of entrecard is tremendous, and I think it is a great network to get involved in. I think some future tweaking of the current layout will prove 10-fold with creating better numbers for us all.

  2. You know Alan, I don’t remember the last time I clicked on the Entrecard widget, other than clicking on the “drop” link. I can bet that most of the clicks that you did receive were from “power clickers”

  3. Loved the post…very educational. I’m just terrified of paying for any kind of pay per click advertising with all the click fraud that goes on.

  4. Truthfully, I tend to not click on the EntreCard ads. Often I’ll see an ad that looks interesting, and start to click, see that it’s EntreCard, and navigate away.

    Still, it is name recognition. It may not have garnered you many readers now, but in the future it could pay off.

  5. Alan,

    FWIW your article here has made me post my mini conclusion on actual clicks, vs power clicks. You are credited in my post, feel free to check it out.

    http://www.dealmoneyblog.com/2008/03/thoughts-on-affiliate-confessions.html

    Thanks,
    Deal Money

  6. Alan,

    Great post! I’m saving it and I will post on my website as a review in the near future. I think this kind of review is exactly what we need.

    Congrats!

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