Cashing in on Cash For Clunkers With Myspace

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Have I told you enough about the local affiliate opportunities? Well here is real life case study we just completed.

About 4 weeks ago when the cash for clunkers program was about to start I saw it as a great opportunity to drive leads to a local car dealership. We have a great relationship with Huber Chevrolet in Omaha Nebraska so I called them up and setup a meeting with them.

The Pitch

When you approach companies about driving leads to them its always best if you already have a relationship with them. I can tell you right now if you think you can cold call or walk in asking for the manager of a business its going to be a hard, if not an impossible sale. Like you, since birth I have built relationships by using the services of dentists, optometrists, lasek eye surgeons, bariatric surgeons, plastic surgeons, plumbers, roofers, lawn mowers, photographers, wedding cake makers, and of course car dealerships just to name a few. All of these businesses can benefit dramatically from internet leads.

In this case it was our local friendly car dealership. Now we have purchased many vehicles with them over the years and they knew that I did “computer stuff” but nothing specific.

During the initial meeting I asked a lot of questions.

  • On average how much is a sale of a car worth to you?
  • Every time a salesman phone rings with a new lead what is that worth to you?
  • If I were to send you emails of people who filled out a form online with their name, email and phone number what would those leads be worth to you?

They were pretty fourthcoming with the information. Most companies, especially performance driven commission businesses, will know what these numbers are. If a company has not figured out what a new customer is worth to them…. Its possible you maybe want to help them figure that out first. In fact I would actually say that.

Me: What is a new customer worth to you?
Them: We have no idea.

Me: Are you really serious about growing your business?

That is a service in itself but thats for another post.

By the end of the meeting Huber Chevrolet told me about how they had a separate sales division that did nothing but answer phone calls and emails from internet leads and they valued each of those at XX (they asked me not to reveal the specifics).

I told them I would charge them $10 per internet lead (a small fraction of what they are currently paying) but with the condition I could publish a lot of the data on my case study (what your reading). I also told them I wanted to exclusively use MySpace for this test because in past ones we mainly focused on Facebook for driving social network traffic. I really like the super advanced targeting features of MySpace MyAds. They allowed us to target not only cities but specific zip codes. In addition to the geographic targeting we could also target people who were interested in cars or whatever else we thought would convert well.

They were pretty excited to get started. That night I registered and had our designer make 4-5 different versions of the landing page rotating through Google’s Website Optimizer to see which one converted the best. Here was the winner converting at 74% (not to bad):

Then we had a bunch of ads made… something like 4-5 per size (there is 3 sizes on MySpace).

Here was the one that converted the best and we ran with:

Our average CPC for this ad was AMAZINGLY low. 13 cents per click on average for over 800 clicks which converted to about 600+ total leads.

Now at $10 per internet lead coming to us its not hard to see how crazy profitable this is.

Click for full image

If you want to get started trying this on your own you should start by downloading my free guide on setting up your own affiliate program. Then signup with MySpace MyAds with code SHOE75 for $75 in free adspend.

There is currently a HUGE dislocation for these social networks…. especially in the local space. SO GET ON IT!!!

134 thoughts on “Cashing in on Cash For Clunkers With Myspace

  1. Brent

    I’m meeting with a local business tonight to discuss their internet marketing. This is great advice that I can use today. Thanks! I’ll be sure to read through your local affiliate guide again before I meet with them.

  2. Ad Hustler

    Great friggen post. I did something similar with automotive that I will share in a post sometime soon as well. Really good thinking here, also fantastic creative. You avoided the typical schlocky auto look which is cool.

  3. Denny |

    Great case study shoe! Localization is the final frontier on the interwebs and will be a natural segway into the mobile space in the years ahead for the marketers that crack the code (which you have so kindly illustrated how to do). We’re going after locals like real estate and insurance as well and are still running into very little competition on the social networks. Good thing no-one ever takes action and really follows through on these gems. :)

  4. Jerry

    This one on one selling in your local market should really appeal to the traditional bricks and mortar business that still does not completely understand the internet’s power… and the opportunities keep expanding..

  5. Nick Leavens

    More proof to businesses and business owners that if they aren’t marketing on the web, or with new media, they are missing out on crazy amounts of business.

    It may be a bad economy for some, but when it comes down to it, this shows you that you control the destiny of your own economy.

    Thanks Shoe!

  6. Shoogle

    This is hugely Impressive, its a no brainer for a local business who would like to take full advantage of social networks offer. Unfortunately they probably wont read this exciting post whereas I have :) They will be calling me uncle “Santa” win, win, cha ching.

  7. Juhani Tontti

    Useful post. Local small companies should use the internet marketing much, much more. It is very cheap way for them but there is one big problem. They do not know how to do it.

  8. Tom Printy

    A break down in profit versus spend would be nice. How much did you spend on the collateral to setup the campaign versus how much your brought in.

  9. Chris Peterson

    Shoe – extra Ordinary post. Explaining how effective Affiliate marketing can be through Myspace Ads :) I agree with your saying of Crazy profits through affiliate marketing, i can not believe that 875 clicks costs only $110

    I will surely going to try this to see how effective it can be in my case.

  10. Andy

    Have you heard anything back from the dealership about the quality of these leads? I can’t really say I’ve seen the best quality traffic from myspace (at least running cpa offers) so I imagine it wouldn’t be much different in this situation.

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      They said they are much better quality then where they were getting it before. They are currently looking to hire some company to run this for them full time.

      Its really all about the targeting in the first place and that is why I say getting information like demographics from them is so crucial.

      If you just send them a bunch of 16 year old kids I doubt that is going to convert 😉

  11. Yves

    Wow!!! I remember reading your local affiliate post a while back and thought that’s such a great idea but like a lazy ass didn’t do anything. But with seeing those numbers wow. Now it’s time to start networking and get my local affiliate business going. Thanks Shoe!!

  12. Ad Hustler

    One question I want to ask here is how did it back out for the dealer?

    It is possible that not all of these leads wanted a Chevy. Since this is only a Chevy dealer and it doesn’t say it on the ad (other then the landing page) how many leads came through that didn’t actually want a Chevy?

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      Thats a great question.

      This is also why we started doing the leads for only $10 which was a small fraction of what they were paying another company for internet leads.

      They asked me not to reveal exact specifics but in general car dealerships make about 1-1.5k per car on the low end that they sell.

      On 600 people if they sold 10 cars then this was profitable for them. Again they asked me not to reveal exact stats (believe me I would love to) but there is a reason they are calling me every day to see if I know anyone who can do this for them full time for 100k/year or so.

      I am guessing it backed out pretty good 😉

      1. RR Perry

        “They asked me not to reveal exact specifics but in general car dealerships make about 1-1.5k per car on the low end that they sell. On 600 people if they sold 1 car then this was profitable for them.”

        Wouldn’t 600 leads cost them $6,000?

      2. Jeff Klein

        Awesome post Shoe. Thanks for sharing the great case study.

        I was wondering if you could discuss a bit more about the approach used in the creative.

        It’s obvious it was a conscious decision not to highlight the fact this was a Chevy dealership (although it does say Chevrolet in the landing page creative).

        You mentioned “this is why we started doing the leads for only $10″. So was your reasoning that you wanted to cast a wide net and then let the dealership further qualify the leads after you’d made your $10 ;)? Did you tell the dealership this was going to be your approach? Did you need to clear the creative with the dealership prior to running the ads or did they just want to see the leads?

        I worked for a while designing and marketing automotive websites. It’s an amazing industry.

        Thanks again.

        1. Jeremy Schoemaker

          We actually did not cast a very wide net. We targeted the exact specific demographics that they provided to us.

          When we do these case studies its not really for the money (which is why we only charged 10$ per lead) its more for our readers and to show how to do it. I know to a lot of people out there would think 6k/profit per month was a lot of money.

  13. RR Perry

    This is really helpful information, thanks Shoe. I’d love to see you expand on it even further. For instance, how do you execute the agreement with a local business?

    You’re so transparent with your deal-making, I’d love to know if you have a standard contract you use for agreements like this.

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      I have had a lot of requests for this kind of thing and thought about re-writing the local guide with all the questions I have gotten. I think including sample agreements would be a great addition to that.

      1. Kiley

        Jeremy, I have a 3 page agreement template I’ll share if you want to add it to the updated guide. Hit me up if you want to use it, you have my email. :-)

      2. Jason

        This would be a big help. I see the possibility with this. Any sample agreements would be great to review. Thanks for this inspirational post.

  14. Dan Sanchez

    I’m looking for people that can get me into companies like this all over the country.

    I have the system ready, designers, landing pages, and lead deliver software to automate all of this.

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  16. Iqbizz

    You do need to have some type of credibility or standing but at the end of the day it is all about presentation if you really think about it.

  17. newjersey

    I love this case study and article you are the man for posting this, along with your lander and banner.


    something similar can be done for the cash for appliances thing coming up in the fall GET READY

  18. Keith Wilcox

    now, why don’t I ever think of stuff like this? It’s sitting there right in front of everybody’s faces. Yet, it takes a real entrepreneurial brain to fish the money out of these circumstances. good work!

    1. Jeremy Schoemaker

      We don’t track the back end. We charge a low fee per lead. Its up to them to convert it. I told them we would refund them for bogus leads no problem but they were so happy with the results that we never even had to deal with that.

    2. Matt

      Jeremy I think Rockstar was asking how you gather and deliver the leads to the dealer after the form is filled out? Is it automated to go direct to them or did you send a batches?

  19. Patrick

    You prove yet again that there are so many opportunities out there staring us in our faces. Most of the time we just can’t see them.

  20. J.D.

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post, as well as the original local affiliate program one. Nothing like thinking outside the box…

  21. Ethan

    Thanks for the case study! Very informative.

    When I look at the call to action on the landing page it is terribly obvious that I would simply be handing over my contact info & that I would be receiving a call from the dealer. The site says “See if you qualify” which clearly doesn’t seem to be the intent of the site & I would expect most visitors would understand that. What sort of message would you display to the user after they submitted their info?

    I guess I’m just surprised (shocked) by the conversion rate. Thanks for sharing.

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  23. Amit Mehta

    Great post!

    Also, it’s possible to warm up business owners through direct mail, attending local chamber of commerce meetings, etc. There are plenty of things the dedicated marketer can do to insure that he never has to make a cold call in his or her life!

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  25. Jon

    For the man with the $100,000+ AdSense check, this seems like a huge amount of effort for $6,000. How well does it scale?

    1. Acrucia

      How do you think he made the 100,000? It wasn’t by sitting around.

      Sure it’s $6,000 now. But in a few months it may be more.

      And if it’s not. Well it’s $6,000 to invest in the next big project.

      Effort = money!

  26. purposeinc

    That guide in the shoemoney tools about this stuff has been invaluable. I am cranking away on facebook ads with it as we speak. Just popped over to take a bread. :)

  27. Web Design | Goran

    Excellent case study, and a meaningful recipe to make some decent cash. Cashing in on Cash For Clunkers With Myspace is destined to become oif of the all time classic Shoemoney posts.

    1. Online College

      I think it is a good idea but the fact that they underestimated the deficit by about umm….. 2 trillion, I don’t think Obama is doing a fantastic or even slightly fantastic job. Right now I think his promises are just as lame and untrue as all the others in the past!

  28. Mike


    800 clicks which converted to about 600+ total leads >>> NOT POSSIBLE, no one gets this conversion rate on any website. This is a joke and flat out fabrication. Never in the history of doing this for 11 years can you get this type of conversion of a quality lead. Garbage yes, quality, not way.

    Besides, all that matters is if you sell it in the dealership world. I can generate 10,000 garbage leads for a dealer, if someone is going to pay $10 for garbage, they aren’t that smart. What matters is cost per sale and based on MySpace demographics today, it doesn’t add up. In the off chance this worked for Cash for Clunkers, it isn’t a model that will work long term. Where is the info on the dealers actual close rate on these leads? This should be the topic of the white paper.

    1. Submit Links Free

      Shoe is not in the business of deceiving people, I think his reputation in the industry speaks for itself. So why would he even bother refuting some random guy’s claims of ‘fabrication’.

      Where did you get the idea this is supposed to be a ‘white paper’? If the quality of the leads don’t pan out then the client and marketing company can renegotiate the costs, but that type of information is not the purpose of this blog post – it’s just a demonstration of how to put local internet marketing into practice.

    2. Chris Peterson

      Mike : It might be possible that 800 clicks shall not give you 600 leads ..but on which basis you can say that no one can get this kind conversions ? If you really think it’s a joke then i must tell you that i personally own about 36 websites of cars and trucks on which around 50k unique visitor comes on daily basis and i get very high conversion for the automotive insurance & loan affiliate advertisers. How the hell can you say that this is a JOKE ?? Do you actually mean that shoe is doing all this to boost sales of Myspace ads ….??

      You can not generate 10k leads for any deals no matter what is the quality. You got you understand one thing straight that no is dumb to pay per lead in this world. As far as actual close rate is concerned that is company’s look out ..damn it why hell you wanna put it things on white paper :(

      1. Matt

        Chris… what is your ballpark conversion rate on the 50K visitors per day?

        And how do your ads to landing pages compare to the one in this example?

        1. Chris Peterson

          Matt : As far as ballpark conversion rate is concerned it around 0.5% at this point of time on all the websites which i have. At this point i play very less with the affiliates as all of the income is coming from CPM and CPC networks. As far as the landing page ads are concerned you can very compare the same with the example which shoe has given on this post.

  29. Social Media Commando


    Fantastic to see success in action, although I hope people take note of your drive to connect with someone face to face in selling/providing a valuable service like car leads.

    Who says Social Media doesn’t pay?

  30. Online College

    I just check out your article on “How To Make Money Setting Up Your Own Local Affiliate Program” Great read as well as this post, it is great that you were not only able to help out a local car dealer which has been hurting due to the economy but help out local patrons find a good car and get a great deal on it. Good looking out for the local in your community!

  31. matt

    I don’t believe the numbers…

    600 leads out of 800 clicks is extremely high. Also, How many of those leads gave fake information.

    On top of that, you went to a local dealer that you had a “great relationship” with and sold them leads that cost you 13 cents for $10. did you tell them, how you were going to get the clicks? and that they would cost less then a $1?

    How does that dealer feel now that they know (if they know) that they could have designed a few banners, posts the ads, and for about $1000, could have the same results… That would probably tarnish your relationship.

    short term profits, but ruining a long term relationship

    1. RR Perry

      Yeah, what a jerk. How dare he make a profit on his services. The dealership will certainly fail to understand that model, since they sell all their cars at cost.

    2. Submit Links Free

      Uh yeah, they would have had the same results if they had done it themselves… NOT! Shoe and his company are experts, you hire experts because their results are much better than if the company tried to do it themselves. Even if they now use everything from this article to do it themselves, I guarantee they won’t get such good results. The article is extremely informative (thanks for even including your graphics Shoe, they’re amazing!) but not ALL the secrets are revealed…

      1. matt

        I never said that the car dealer should do it themselves… and, Yes I agree that shoe is an expert. I read all of his posts, but it is a fact that when an internet visitor comes across a form that asks for your phone number, in most cases the visitor will leave a fake number. Now, that dealer is going to sift thru his leads and find that less then half are real… $10/lead has just turned in to $20/lead. Then he is going to find out that half of them want a toyota, so that $20 /lead turns to $30/lead and there are only 150 leads… then half of those buyers don’t qualify (it is myspace…young crowd)… granted it only takes one sale to be worth it, but to say that all 600 leads are legit is just false

        what I’m trying to get across is that Jeremy could have built a long term relationship as a consultant for that company and other companies in his area, instead of going for the quick cash… For example, perry marshall consults

        You don’t think that car dealer still needs internet leads, even after cash for clunkers? maybe $2-3K a month paid to shoe for a well tuned lead generation system that sells 10 cars a month over the long term…

        I did like the post, Jeremy did see a good opportunity and profited from it, which is great.

        BTW… Jeremy makes money passing people to myspace advertsing.. so of course he is going to make the results sound awesome

    3. The richest man in the world

      Good to know there’s people like you out there that have no interest in being profitable.

      When you go to a restraunt, do you ask for 80% off becuase it REALLY doesn’t cost that much to make the food?

      How about the computer you’re on , did you ask for 95% off becuase there’s only $20 worth of materials in it?

      How much is information worth to someone? If it’s not profitable for a comission based company, they won’t do it. $6000 is a drop in a bucket for many car companies, and they already are paying way more than that for online leads (about $20 for full reg info).

      1. Matt

        it’s also good to know there are people that believe everything they read…

        I’m wondering how this car company feels when they are calling these leads and the phone numbers are fake?

        do you think they are asking for the $10 for that fake lead back, or do they just let go, because according to you, that $10 is just a drop in the bucket. I doubt 100% of these leads are real, and that adds up…

        leads from, autobytel, vehix are easily worth $20 for full reg… those are people looking for a car and serious… $10 for a phone number from myspace???

        Seriously… everything aside… do you really believe 100% of the leads are valid??? what percent do you guys think are fake? 40%, 50%, 60%…

        1. Online College

          maybe they didn’t all convert into sales yet another person gave great insight, how much is one good lead worth to a company and how much are they willing to spend. Shoe may not have given them 100% conversions, yet did the company pay him or not. They must have been satisfied with the lead gen they were provided otherwise I doubt Shoe would have written a post. In this world if you fabricate and get caught it could be the end of your internet career, I don’t think Shoe is willing to risk that!

        2. Steve

          I don’t think fake phone numbers will be much of a problem in this case…

          It’s not like they’re offering a free iPod to fill out a survey or something… The only people who click thru & fill out on this type of ad are people genuinely interested in the cash 4 clunkers deal.

          So why would they bother putting in a fake phone number when that’s what the dealership needs to help them get the C4C opportunity?

          There might be *some* – since there are always going to be idiots out there – but far from rampant like a CPA rebill feebie ad would see.

        3. Anthony

          Matt, apparently you have never worked in sales. A sales organization that buys leads will always get fakes. In fact real or fake they know they are only going to convert 10-25% of the leads depending on their industry and other factorrs. Also if you think every lead that comes through sites like is solid you are kidding yourself. I worked car sales and those leads are no better than any other. People are funny in that they will just fill out forms like these without any real intent and even provide their real information. It’s dumb but true. Anyway I here what you are saying but I think this is over your head. A company will buy these leads and knows going in that many will be fake and that many will be real that they won’t convert. It’s the cost of doing business. They also know how many they need to convert to break even and how many they need to convert to profit. And since I was in car sales selling GMC BUICK and used I know they can easliy make that $6k back on 1-3 cars. Out of 600 leads they will covert much more than that.

  32. mortyzplace

    I really like the way you watch the news trends this campaign never would have been possible if you had not been on top of the latest trends you knew where going to hit.

    I also think working with local businesses are a win win. They get the online presence they need and it seems the market is not so saturated.

    I appreciate the post because it really gets me thinking about how many local companies are completely clueless when it comes to the online side of marketing.

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  34. Bidet

    This a great case study, Using localized myspace ads with local affiliates is just genius. Thanks for sharing this post.

  35. Nikki Cox

    Goodness, you rock man. This is just genius. How many good ideas do you have for every bad one? Too bad cash 4 clunkers is dead now, it’s just a matter of thinking up another program.

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  37. How to make money

    Good idea. Cash for clunkers is a great idea. Well what a shrewd person like you could do is simple. Use every opportunity to its maximum and optimize it to make more money. Your approach and solutions are amazing.Well done. Myspace ads seems to be such a great option.

  38. Kevin

    Great post, lots of information to pick up on.

    It really is a nice case to look at, and study the various methods of monetizing the site.


  39. Dean Saliba

    This was very helpful to me. I think It might be able to change it a little and help ou my local football club who are trying to attract a sponsor for next season.

  40. 20YearBillionaire

    Great stuff Shoe , too many people get wrapped up in the CPA box to not get out and do local stuff and work with local companies. I’ve been involved in something quite similar for a while. Doing something yourself can be very very rewarding.

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  42. Tim

    How do you determine the price per lead Shoe?
    A $10/lead is fantastic for me, it’s just a lead, what if you get a hundred leads for them?

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  45. R Kumar

    The case study was indeed interesting. The idea was new and refreshing. I wonder how you come up with such great ideas.
    How come were you able to get such high conversions from your clicks? 600+ leads from 875 clicks is like huge.

  46. Shaun Carter

    That is a terrific profit. $6000 on about $100 in advertising costs. Very good example of how building relationships can be very profitable. I’m sure the dealer did quite well also.

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  48. rohan

    For the guy who didn’t believe in the high conversion rates, I do some of this work for local businesses as well (thanks to Shoe’s original article). I have an electrician site that converts about close to 50%. 1 out of every 2 people that click our PPC ads, call to inquire about service.

    And I get paid $20 per call :-)

    The conversion rates for local business can blow the typical conversion rates out the window.

  49. Campbell

    As a guy who’s actually made over $8K a month using similar methods that you’ve mentioned here and elsewhere I can say not only am I amazed that you gave any hints as to how you do it, but that you’ve given me a few ideas :).

    As for the getting in front of businesses to get their business…

    It’s easier for some of us than others 😉

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  51. Sergey Rusak

    I work with many car dealers across New England. Best car dealer can nail down 40% leads, average dealer can convert 25% leads into sales. You wanna say that your guys sold 150 cars. No way!!!
    With Cash for Clunkers programm dealer have to pay $4500 from his pocket and wait for money back from US Goverment. I doubt they were able to put $675 000 for all this cars.
    I would love to take a look in their lead management.

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