We’ve all seen them, and most of us even promote them. Yes, I’m talking about those high paying offers that pay for JUST and EMAIL address or a ZIP code. How can these networks pay so much money for just one field? Easy, they put the user through a massive signup process (usually 50+ coregs), then ask the user to complete several CC required offers for the last section. In the end, they make a ton of money off all of the visitors that put in their legit email and contact info, then requested any of the coreg information… and since most of these users will never complete the signup process and terms to get their free prize/reward, they end up banking.
I made a post about a year ago called, How to Get a Free 42 Panasonic Plasma TV!” by signing up to one of these offers, then completing all of the annoying offers at the end of the process. Back then it was easier to complete and qualify for your reward and to complete offers. Now most of the offers have put in a new clause in to the terms and conditions, saying that you have to stay subscribed to the services you are required to signup to, for at least 6 months. I can only imagine the backend advertisers were getting a ton of signups that were only staying for the free trial, or canceling within a weeks time… I know I did!
In the end, I did end up getting my free flat screen tv… but it wasn’t without a hassle. After having to signup to a ton of offers, I had to make sure they were all cancelled. Not to mention completing the offers ran me around $200 in shipping costs and trial fees. To make things even worse, since the TV is worth more than $600, anyone that received one, also receive a 1099 tax form which meant you were going to pay taxes on the $1699 TV you were sent. So in addition to paying the $200+ to join all of the offers, you also had to pay taxes (few hundred bucks) on the TV.
In the End, I did get my 42″ Panasonic TV… but it really wasn’t “FREE”!
So the answer the question, “Are ZIP and EMAIL Offers Worth It?“. As a marketer, Yes… they convert well and make good money. I’m sure they do well for the back end advertiser as well, since we have seen no shortage on these offers for years now. (For the record… the EMAIL submission converts better than ZIP submission… which is why they usually pay more.) As a customer, the offer probably isn’t that great anymore, especially since you can’t cancel any memberships or services for 6 months. The only program I’m actually STILL using as a result of the Free TV signup process, is my subscription to BlockBuster Online.
In any case, I saw these offers being promoted all over the place and wanted to see if they were really true. I got my free flat screen tv, then I told some friends about it and they got theirs too. Have you promoted any of the ZIP / EMAIL campaigns, or attempted to get a free product of your own?