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Offline Billboard To Online Affiliate Offer Case Study

This is a guest post by Internet Gangsta Kris Trujillo From

The Holy Grail of Local Offline Advertising

About a year ago I got into advertising in local classified ads.  When I first started out I was quite surprised by the return on investment that I could make in certain niches.  However… my ultimate goal was to advertise on a Billboard!

Now, you may think that Billboard advertising is expensive… But I will be the first to tell you that it really isn’t. Often times I could pick up advertising spots in local areas for cheaper than the cost of adwords in the same geotargeted location.

I got an idea a few months back when I saw a “Single in McKinney” sign. I had recognized the little black and white message in several other suburbs.  So I figured to myself… If they are successful enough to have these signs on every major intersection than how profitable would it be to purchase a spot on a Billboard.

I did some digging around.  On average you can get a Billboard spot for $500 for 30 days. Talk about CHEAP.  While on the phone with some of these Billboard companies I asked questions like “how many people pass the sign in a given month” (impressions) and they would give me their best guess.  See, companies that place Billboards have to know their numbers.  And if they don’t… Then their no good.

Anyways… After some more research I thought I would start out advertising on a bus… So I jumped in with $1000.

Billboard On Bus

The bus company I went with was “trimet”.  They are the mass transportation providers in the Portland Oregon area.  I used to work for Trimet when I was in highschool.  So I contacted a few people that I know still worked there and I got in contact with their marketing department.  Sure enough… Trimet offered many different marketing plans.  I just had to pay for the banner creation and placement for a 30 day period.

I found that my $1000 could grab 3 banners roughly 6′ wide by 2′ high for 30 days.  That didn’t include the actual banner design. So I had my banner created and placed on 3 different buses.

The trimet marketing department estimated that a banner placed on the right side of the bus would be seen about 300,000 times in 30 days.  That means that my banner would would receive 300,000 impressions in any given month. Now, I had 3 banners placed.  Thats a total of 900,000 impressions combined.

For my $1000 spent and my 900,000 impressions received I spent a total of $0.001 per impression.  If I had continued to use the banners then the cost would go down as I would not need to pay for more banners.

Okay so we’ve figured out the cost of my advertising… Now let me give you some hints on promoting other people’s offers. You have to be careful how you promote when it comes to billboards or other mobile advertising.  If I was to promote a netflix offer I couldn’t just put up a netflix ad.  Instead I had to tailor the advertisement in such a way that people would want to go to my landing page instead of the traditional netflix page.  To combat this you can create your advertisement with the city in mind.  For example, Portland is known for rain. So… every one of of my advertisements played on the rainy portland days.

My banners looked like they were washing away from the rain AND the URL was memorable to Portlanders. I won’t give you the exact URL but here is an idea of what I used… “”.  Do you get it?  People are stuck inside because of the rain… and they have netflix to watch videos!

Anytime you can humor your audience you will grab their trust!

My landing page had quite a few hits. In the 30 days that I had the advertisements running I had approximately 10,000 hits which equated to roughly 1.1% clickthrough rate. And my actual landing page was just a HUGE banner… And honestly… I had it stuff the netflix cookie onto the visitor incase they decided to leave and visit netflix direct.

So let me talk to you a little about what I made that first month.  I spent a total of about $1000 so in order for me to make a profit I had to convert roughly 45 people to break even.  To be honest with you… I didn’t make my goal… I was short of my original spend by $100. BUT … that was ok and here is why…

If you remember we spent $500 to create the actual ads.  This was a cost that I didn’t have to spend month after month.  Instead I just have to spend about $500 each month that I want the advertisements to continue running. So in two months if my profit remains the same I would have spent a total of $1500 and made $1800… That is only $300 profit for two months… But what about three months?  Or 4? $2000 spend for 3 months with roughly $2700 profit! $2500 spend for 4 months with roughly $3600 profit.

Do you see how you can benefit from this?? It may take a while but that is only because you have initial costs to create the actual ads.  You don’t have to pay for new ads every month… You can re-use ads month after month until you want to change up your campaign.

So… If you haven’t looked into advertising on a Billboard or some sort of Mobile advertisement I would highly suggest you give it a shot… Just remember… If you don’t risk it you won’t make it.

Kris Trujillo is an internet marketing veteran and writes

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Published inAffiliate MarketingCase StudiesGuest PostsLocal Online Advertising


  1. Nice site. There?s some good information on here. I?ll be checking back regularly.

  2. Mike Mike

    Awesome guest post.

  3. newjersey newjersey

    this is awesome information, you deliver again.

    for the same reason as the author (those black and white dating signs) i am always contemplating offline advertising.

    I hope to run some experiments with local magazine ads when I can find the time to manage the campaign.

    I actually contemplated paying friends who are out of work to put up the same type of signs, but again did not have the time.

    The good thing is there is no end in sight to find new traffic sources like this as long as you have the time and can work hard.

  4. We used to do similar offline marketing methods for poker affiliate programs and with the promo materials provided made a decent profit. Now if only we used a lander and stuffed….

    Great post btw.

  5. Nice post Kris. I’ve already been in contact with a few billboard companies around town to check out their rates. This is something I’ve been looking into further the last few weeks.

  6. Good Job to Kris for the article. I had done some classified ads for a Giant grocery card offer that did really well until I received a C&D from Giant all pissed about me “deprecating their brand”?!?! Time to revisit it looks like…

  7. newjersey newjersey

    this also reminds me of the kid at one of the meetup202’s in NYC who’s primary tactic was trying to get people to signup for gas card zip submits while they were filling up their gas tanks at the station (presumably where he worked?). some of the more experienced people there really took a shine to this dude (i.e. fucked with him for the whole night)

  8. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @Affportal – You can always try again without mentioning the name of the merchant. An ad such as “Free Grocery Gift Cards” would probably do pretty well without the copyright issue.

  9. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @NewJersey – Those meetups are filled with people to make fun of. That’s why I go.

  10. Im runnign home right now to find the nighest paying offer on Azoogle and make a landing page.

    Then I’m going to put an ad up in my 100k population city and get paid!

  11. Good shit. Another great post as usual.

  12. Advertising Network Advertising Network

    How can I go from working in offline PR to online

  13. My first read here on AdHustler. Great article.

    I’m looking for new ways to market our services to web designers. I’ll be checking back in regularly. Thanks!

  14. If you are wanting to do offline marketing a GREAT resource for finding hot deals and being able to filter results and find the appropriate place for your ads to be, check out:

  15. I didn’t even expect that advertising on billboards can give any reasonable ROI. So that’s definitely something to think about.

  16. Saima Farooque Saima Farooque

    Very nice post !!

  17. You will need to change your banner after some time as your audience will become blind, ‘ad-blindness’ and you’ll need a new ad to catch their attention again.

    Iam not sure if the ‘bus banners’ switches buses/routes. But it’s something you need to factor in.

  18. Ad Hustler Ad Hustler

    @Andrew – Really good share there. I’m going to investigate that service.

  19. yeah, i wanna do some offline marketing to actually, but i am not targeting visitor on my country, so it rather difficult to do that -_-!

  20. Nice case study & bumping into you at Ad Tech. We have done bus ads and it stands out for a high conversion rate for it establishes trust to “buy in” to the offer

    – Brian

  21. Hope I dont sound like a prick but I literally LOL’ed at this. Kris has been online how long and still bothers with $500 billboard buys?

    Please tell me this post was some sort of sick joke.

  22. lol don’t worry Ruck. This was quite a while ago and it was just an experiment on my part.

    @NewJersey – I know several people who printed up signs for various niches and placed them around town. You can get fairly cheap signs made up. You can even get free signs if you “optimize” the sign companies website.

    @AffPortal – If the offer doesn’t actually come from the company that created the product then you can have issues. Most email and zip submits don’t really come from the parent companies. Try again but without mentioning specifics.

  23. Great post! I used to work in billboard sales for a big 3 letter network. If you don’t know anyone at the billboard company, tell them you’re only interested in remnant space. They will likely offer you a great deal on remnant space, but also make you a deal on your “dream” board.

  24. Jo Jo

    Assumptions, assumptions! I always thought billboard advertising equated with TV at the Super Bowl. Thanks for pointing the way to a truly actionable tactic.

    @Christen. Thanks for the ‘insider tip’ about remnant space. That’s great to know.

  25. Jo Jo

    Sorry, Christien. Inexcusable carelessness from me. Duh.

  26. Great post… We have changed many things but still do a bit of bus advertising.

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  28. […] a link to the post on that got me to thinking about these methods: Offline Billboard To Online Affiliate Offer Case Study. In it, the author details a case study he put together with a Netflix affiliate offer. I’ll […]

  29. I have a question. If you liked the responses on the local classified ads, did you maintain that as part of your ad buy at all? My clients utilize little classified ads all over the U.S., too and I’m just curious if you dropped it altogether in pursuit of billboards. If you dropped it, I’m curious as why. Was it a quality lead issue? Just curious!

    Good article with great info. Thanks.

  30. Interesting, Thanks for sharing, I find this very knowledgeable… by the way if you have time click my link so I can share you how I make 1000$ in 2 days. Join Now It’s 100% FREE! “CLICK HERE” CLICK HERE

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