The blog of affiliate marketer HeavyT

How I made 4 figures with Ecig on POF, and btw I’ll give you my campaign.

How I made 4 figures with Ecig on POF, and btw I’ll give you my campaign.

Mar 29, 2011

This is a case study on Plenty of Fish running Ecig and how I spent $5,403 and grossed $11,767. I’ll not only give you my campaign I’ll show you how I was one of a few who were able to make it profitable. So lets first start with my ads. I wanted to target male smokers with ecig ads on plenty of fish and looking at the ads on some fake accounts I have I noticed that there weren’t very many at all. After surfing around and looking at the iab banners I decided to target these as they were the easiest and I had some images in mind already.

Since I’m targeting the male demo I need to find hot sexy pictures of women smoking, something that would catch your eye and make you want to click so I scoured istockphoto for images. So after I got my collection of images of scantly or just clothed females smoking I proceeded to fire up photoshop.

I first did my text is the most eye catching font I could find. You see you naturally have to use red and yellow. There have been tons and tons of studies that confirmed these are the two most eye catching colors. Why do you think for sale signs and sale signs and going out of business signs are red and yellow?  I took my images and put them into photoshop and moved the text around to be the most pleasing. Now as an extra test and you should do this with any campaign on POF is I used the same images and put a fading gradient border in the same red and yellow colors. Some examples are below(rest are at the bottom). Now that we have our images its time for targetting.


Ok so here is the thing, with POF there are so many ways you can break down your campaigns and target that I actually had this down to a science. I go in and select males, I also go in and select smokers, I select the age, then I go in and select browser type and put ie and firefox only, and set country to usa, and the best and final addition to targeting is login counts which I set to under 100. Then I set the frequency cap to 3 per login (yes its a login not 24 hours) and set my budget to the price of one lead. So lets break this down step by step and why for each of the settings.

  • I broke my ages up into groups in increments of 5 and started with 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, and 55+. You should always always break down your targeting into age groups such as this. I cannot stress this enough. Not only can you see which age groups do better you can track each demo as the demo progresses in age. Someone who is younger might not be looking to quit smoking but someone who is older and doesn’t see quitting as an option might not even click or buy.
  • We are targeting males here.
  • How many times have you setup a campaign on POF and seen tons of cellphone traffic in prosper? I’ve seen it, I’ve had it, I’ve hated it. By selecting internet explorer and firefox users only i know you cut out mac people but you don’t get all those tablet and cell phone users browsing on an iphone or ipad.
  • We are targeting smokers
  • Now login counts, this is important, each user account takes note of how many times they have logged into the site, someone who has logged in 200 times is more likely to have clicked on an ad for ecig, diet, etc offer before someone with say 50 logins. These are a fresh young demo more likely to click and buy.
  • POF’s frequency cap is per a user login not a 24 hour period.
  • Campaign is usa only

Now comes the cpm game and finding out where your ads are. The problem is as your login counts gets lower the more expensive your cpm is, the more you target the more your cpm is. Some people start off their ads at .40cpm but I ended up bidding 1.22cpm to get the best placements and the best position for this campaign as nobody wanted to outbid me there. I held the first position as long as I ran my campaign and I stood strong in my placement.

Now since everything is a cpm rate, you want to use the ads that get the most ctr. So after running this campaign and hitting that budget cap I went in and removed all ads that had a low ctr except the two highest ctr banners. After that was done I optimized and ran some more and analyzed my results. From there I paused the banners that worked in the campaign and tried the same with the banners with the outlines and kept the two with the best ctr repeating my steps above. Comparing the two and the ctr of the bordered and non bordered the bordered did alot better on 90% of the campaigns so I kept running those. From there I branched out and duplicated the campaigns and changed the demo from male to female to test even more and see how the female demo would respond to the same ads which you can see the results below. Overall the campaign was a success and I was getting my ecig offer at $41 a lead. My roi was over 100% and I profited very well for a couple hours of work. Below are all the banners I used, feel free to try it yourself. I hope this was informative as this is the first campaign I’ve actually outed with no blurred out stats, I’m basically handing you my campaign. Good luck and apply these targeting techniques and skills to other campaigns.



  1. Great write up, love the details and will be interesting to utilize your experiences in other niches with similar interests.  Thanks for the insights Morgan.

  2. Great post man, I have advertised on POF and haven’t gotten quite those results.  I think I may try them out and see if it’s worth it.  Which ecigg offer are you running with?  Which network if you don’t mind me asking?

  3. sweet.  thanks for sharing man.  now i feel like i should share the diet campaign i ran on there…

  4. Great case study HeavyT! I picked up a few things I have overlooked in previous campaigns. Also, congrats on the ROI.  How has your success been with other types of continuity offers on POF?

  5. Cataclysmic /

    How did you know that you “held the first position as long as I ran your campaign “?

  6. michael /

    awesome, thanks for sharing!
    I’ve debated getting out of the dating niche of POF and this may be the kick in the ass I needed to do so!

  7. Are you using a lander with this campaign or just direct linking?

  8. Morgan /

    logged into my fake account and I was the first banner I saw

  9. Morgan /

    used a lander

  10. Sweet write up man, good stuff for sure.  I gotta ask though, why are you outing this? I’m thinking the only reason you’d do so is that it stopped being profitable. Am I right? Care to share how long you had it running to get those kind of returns?

  11. Morgan /

    Yeah it did, the roi went negative but there are other things you can do that i didn’t to squeeze some more money out of it. I had it running for about a week week and a half.

  12. @joe, I also have that question.  Why are you sharing this to the world?  Did it stop being profitable after a couple weeks or did the campaign expire and others aren’t converting as well?

  13. This is awesome man! Thanks so much, will def. help.

    Just a question, is there a reason why you used the POF conversion pixel for this? Why didn’t you use a tracker like prosper202 or something since you said you used a lander how would you know what is converting??


  14. This is gold.
    Absolutely loved your case study. No fluff, pure content. BTW did you direct people to farticle or direct linked?

  15. Morgan /

    I do use prosper but I used their conversion pixel as well to look at the conversion rates in the admin panel at a quick glance and see where everything was at.

  16. Awesome case study.  I definitely picked up a few tricks to try out on my POF campaigns I have running right now.
    I totally neglected the IE/Firefox browser only targeting – I AM PUMPED after reading this.

  17. Damn that 55+ group was killing it on conversions! Thanks for sharing Morgan.

  18. T…  
    Awesome write up man.  Almost every campaign I have ran on POF has been something OTHER THAN dating.  
    I personally failed at my ecig attempt; but I’m definitely glad to see you made it work. 
    As NewJersey mentioned above, I also thank you for reminding us of the browser targeting so we’re not overloaded with iOS and Android device impressions.

  19. Great case study… thanks for sharing man. I still have $100 left on my POF account, it’s time to build some campaigns! :)

  20. Solid, useful stuff.  Thanks for sharing!

  21. Radu /

    You direct linked?

  22. AffMarketer /


    The browser targeting is pretty interesting. I’ve noticed anecdotally on PoF that I seem to get better conversion rates when I target IE only, which I just chalked up to the lower average intelligence of IE users, but I couldn’t analyze it properly so in the interest of volume I tend to leave browser targeting out. Here’s my question to you:

    Do you target IE and FF only because you find those users convert better (maybe you figured out some way to analyze this in Prosper since it tracks browser?), or are you just trying to avoid mobile devices?


  23. Morgan /

    I’m trying to avoid mobile devices because out of all the campaigns I ran nobody on a mobile device converted for me.

  24. Andy /

    Nice work, Morgan. I am going to revisit a previous campaign and use your trick to filter out mobile.
    BTW, were you just placing one ad in the IAB banner space or using all three spots? I saw a Mr. Green case study where he got better CTR with just one ad in this spot.

  25. Chris /

    Good stuff bro, thanks for the amazing share. LoL @ the commenters who didn’t even take the time to read the post and are asking questions you already answered.
    Will check back soon.

  26. Very good case study.  Thanks for sharing some insider info

  27. You are the Man, thanks for this nice post…

  28. Would you like the squeeze page that to used?


  1. How 1 Guy Made 100% ROI on a NON-DATING Offer on POF (Targeting, ads & bid revealed!) « Blog - [...] Click here to see the case study! [...]

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