Before We Point Fingers, Let’s Clean Up Our Own Backyard

I have been paying attention to a lot of rumblings and gripes about the state of the traffic exchange recently (who am I kidding, I’ve been reading them for over a decade)…And one of the major beefs seems to be two fold.

1. New traffic exchanges launching all the time
2. Failed exchanges being resurrected and re-launched

Wanna know a little secret?

This is nothing new. In fact I would argue, not only has this been happening since TE’s first saw a commercial script brought to market, this would show that there is attention and interest in the TE model…The more they launch, the more exciting the TE industry looks.

Now of course, owners need to ‘go to school’ and learn how to launch, promote and maintain any program they start but that’s not the point of this post.

My gripe is…We are focused on the wrong things.

Here’s the problem…

Look at what OWNERS allow to be promoted inside of their traffic exchanges?

I’m not even going to get started on my disgust of the PTP co-op model (that’s for another day) but this is what people see when they start surfing a traffic exchange.

It’s rotator inside of rotator. Usually some kind of matrix scheme. Without any emphasis on personal branding, list building or legitimate online business.

I know I know…Who am I to police what is and what is not ‘legit‘…But let’s use common sense here.

We’ve seen some fantastic marketers get their start in TE’s and basically say they will no longer surf or spend a dime with any of these programs because the market isn’t responsive. This is an issue. The real reason traffic exchanges are looked down upon is because we cater to the ‘surfer’ that has no intention of building businesses. They just wanna…Surf.

They don’t care what they promote, how they are presented…They just wanna surf.

Now, I truly believe we need a healthy mix. We need ‘surfers’ but we also need advertisers. And the problem is, who in their right might would want to advertise when they just see sites like the one above…It’s unprofessional, it’s amateur and it hurts our brand.

In closing, I think owners and the vocal minority are focused on the wrong things

Who cares what new TE’s launch or re-launch. We need to start focusing on what is being promoted within our own back yard.

Get rid of the garbage and we’ll start to attract the RIGHT mix of surfer and advertiser!

What Can Wal-Mart Teach Traffic Exchanges?

Let me frame the story for you…

Last week, I was shopping for some baby furniture at a local Wal Mart. While my wife was going up and down the aisles looking at absolutely every thing this store offered, I was strolling around looking at the prices of everything.

As a savvy shopper would right? I wanted to find the best deal out there.

However, what I discovered wasn’t the low low low prices that Wal Mart is famous for. What caught my eye was this…

wal mart pricing

I wrote about pricing in the traffic exchange industry almost a decade ago and how we have to get away from ending our prices with 5’s and 9’s. And while you stroll up and down the aisles of the traffic exchanges in the market today, you’ll see….Mostly 9’s and 5’s.

Let me explain…

You see, our brains are wired to ’round up’ prices ending with 5’s and 9’s to the higher dollar. Take a look…

When you see $9.99You automatically round it up to $10. That’s $10 no matter what you may tell yourself, you have rounded it up to that price.

Now look at $9.97 That’s $9! Crazy right? Even though it’s only 2 cents less than $9.99, we don’t always round that up to $10. That looks, more like $9.

I don’t have the scientific proof of this and can’t make the claim as being 100% fact but here’s what I can tell you.

Look at Wal-Mart.

Arguably the king of offline retail and nowhere in their stores will you ever find a 5 or 9 at the end of their prices. And trust me when I tell you this, they’ll have the scientific data to back it up. So I choose to price things (and have for over a decade) like they do at Wal-Mart.

Try it out for yourself…You may think you are ‘losing 2 cents‘ by bringing the price down but I know when I did that so many years ago, I actually increased sales.