While looking at YouTube videos to find ways to increase my web traffic, I happened to come across Adf.ly. The video showed me exactly how the software worked and what I could gain from it. I’m still relatively new to the online marketing works and have a list that still needs to be developed. I couldn’t help but focus on the promise of 100,000 new contacts within an hour to my squeeze page.
So, I decided to do some extra digging and used my Facebook account to login at ADf.ly.
How Does Adf.ly Really Work?
The system shortens URLs into a link that humans simply cannot remember. It may not make sense but the founder does have his reasons for that. It is much easier for users of the internet to pass shorter web address. To get people to share the address, he offered 50% of the income he generates through his advertising income.
The people who would likely share these links are general internet users. But it goes further by offering a relink to the Adf.ly site, where extra ads can be inserted, before going to the original link.
This means that users have to watch five seconds of an ad. From there, he can choose to subscribe to the offer or to go to the original link. To me, it just seems like it is offering spam for internet users.
The Advertiser and the Publisher
There are two parties involved in this system: the advertiser and the publisher. The publisher is compensated for sending out the link while the advertiser pays for banners and ads being added into the link.
Publishers get 50% of the advertising income, just for sharing the links. It is really easy to track this income as it is shown in the account. His Adf.ly account will also show the links available to share. The task is simple: share the links with as many people as possible and convince them to use them. Publishers can also gain another 20% of the income if others share his own links.
It looks great, right? Well, that was until you actually do the math. I’ve received about $0.55 for 1000 links—not the promised 50% of the $7.52. which would be $3.66.
Benefitting the Advertisers
Advertisers sign up the same way as publishers but confirm that they want to be advertisers on the site. They then choose the ads they want to book and see the rates on specific pages. The prices shown are the amount based on 1000 views for interstitial advertising and leader board banners advertising.
The prices depend on the country. In the USA, they can be $5/100 but in Vietnam 0.40/0.10 for 1000 views on the ads or banners. At least $5 has to be invested by every advertiser. There is the ability to specify a maximum spending per day and choose days when the ads will not appear. It is also possible to stop the campaign altogether.
The ad is only available for five seconds before the viewer is given the choice to subscribe or go to the original link.
My Experience of Adf.ly
The video I saw promised 100,000 new contacts in an hour. Did I find that personally?
I opted for the following in my own campaign:
- 25,000 worldwide contacts
- 3,000 German contacts
- 2,000 contacts in Norway, Sweden and Denmark
- 1,000 contacts in Luxembourg
The total costs were $47.
Within four hours I only had 12,000 new contacts—not the 100,000 promised.
I did check out my Aweber list to find 46 new subscribers. So based on this I expected around 100 subscribers for my worldwide campaign,.
My host server decided to close my website after this though due to overloading issues, which stopped my campaign. Once I managed to start it up again, I did get 25,000 new contacts within 24 hours but only five supplementary of those subscribed, instead of the about 54 I expected to reach the 100 in my ww-campaign.
When I saw that the traffic was slowly rolling in, I checked to see that my campaign was second or third on the list. To boost this, Adf.ly suggested that I use their booster—to increase the price by 20% to get to first place. I tried it with Luxembourg and Germany and found that Germany was relatively “successful”. I met the stated target within 24 hours. It didn’t work with Luxembourg though; maybe because it is a small country.
However, while I gained 2,250 contacts, only two subscribed to my list. I gained the same amount from the Denmark campaign after 72 hours and kept the other campaigns running.
The 1000 contact booster for Sweden is roughly $4.20—an extra 100% on top of the$2.
The Final Results
After ordering 35,000 contacts, I reached 31,560 after three days.
I gained 59 subscribers but six of those unsubscribed and only 20 were confirmed—it meant $2.35 for each confirmed subscriber.
This are in my opinion far to high costs, adf.ly is not a scam but surely not the advertising tool to get traffic at low costs.