Wow… what a really eye opening and interesting 3 days it’s been! I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing this play out, taking in everyone’s opinions and ideas. We’ve had such a wide range of viewpoints, that things are a making much more sense for me.
I really do believe there’s room for all of us in this industry. There’s also plenty of room for us to disagree, and still coexist peacefully. Disagreement doesn’t have to breed misunderstanding, and I think that’s been proven here.
Today, in this final installment, we get into a little bit of the controversy surrounding Taxis, the demographics of surfers, and even take time for a little role reversal. Good times!
If you’re just coming to the party, you can find Installment 1 & 2 of this interview below:
Again, my questions and follow up statements are bold; David’s answers and follow up answers are plain text.
There have been many posts and threads dedicated to opposition of you and what Traffic Taxis brings to the “TE table,” but you’ve thrown your share of mud as well. Do you regret this public animosity?
Ahh well, you know to every business there are politics. I have definitely learned to curve my tongue over the years. Sometimes no matter what you say or what you do, there will always be haters. Some for very good reasons, some for misleading information, and some simply for just a lack of facts…
Take the most recent situation with the module error. I mean, I literally almost lost everything I had. I was fortunate to have someone I know and trust to get me out of it. Now don’t get me wrong, I know everybody that had something to say was just being reactive to the situation. I did lose a lot of loyal members. And I can’t blame them. It is my job to protect all of my members’ investments, free or paid. I am ultimately responsible in the end to what happens. But it happened. There was absolutely no way that I could have not made a presence in public to speak my mind, and defend myself. I take a lot of pride in what I do.
It’s taken some people a long time to start using my name when making certain references about things they like or dislike, but you just don’t do that without the facts. And from my perspective, I know some people don’t like sites that offer cash incentives to surf, but it’s what I like to do. Anybody who knows me personally would have easily understood what was going through my head as an owner. I will respond, I will defend and it will always be my job to protect my business, my members and their investments as well. It didn’t just hurt me, but it hurt my members too. But all in all, Taxis fortunately has deep enough roots that it didn’t skip a beat. It made me have a reality check on life and to actually realize how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.
Like I said above. I learned from it. I moved on. And that will never happen again… I do however need to say that my members did reach out to me and thanked me for sticking up for the business and doing my best to protect their invested time and money. So it was a good lesson. No regrets. No bad feelings and things have been better than ever since.
Do you think maybe you put some people on the defensive right away by the way the email was written? I understand it was reactive, that’s clear, but to some it came off very rude and accusatory. We have bad days, spout off before thinking… its human. Do you think that spurred the some of the negative reactions you received?
Oh for sure. Like I said before, if I could take it back I would. But I am a passionate person. If I feel threatened, I will bite back. It’s how I’m wired. It’s not a bad thing, but it can rear it’s ugly head sometimes…. and in this case it did.
Very recently, Ian Bakewell posted in NMF on the fact that cash surfing hasn’t ruined the industry, but more changed the demo. His point being, work to increase your own demographic if you’re not seeing the results you want. I might add he also complimented your “hustle.” Any thoughts?
Well I appreciate the compliment, but it’s not necessary. I was just simply paying attention and catering to what I have found to be the majority of almost all surfers. Not every single surfer falls under just one straight up demographic. They are all equally dynamic. And with that said, I don’t think the demographics have changed at all. I still promote in all the same places as I always have. I have never stepped foot in a paid to click site, and I don’t even advertise in places where one might expect to find a huge mass of those people. The members do about 99% of the “Surf For Cash” advertising. The members are really the ones that transform a site.
I would consider Taxis a place to find a huge mass of those people. That’s my outside perception… PTC heaven. You don’t think so?
Taxis is an untapped membership. Get inside the minds of people that use the site, and I think that most peoples concerns will go away. We all know that each site has a slight variance in the type of people that surf them. Figure that out, not just here at Taxis, but at any site, and you will always find results.
Maybe that’s a source of frustration. Figuring out just who these cash surfers are, and what the hell they would want to buy and invest in… other than Taxis.
Frustration from the users, or frustration from other program owners?
I’d speak for me in saying my personal frustration. From a marketers point of view, an advertiser.
Ok well let me ask you an honest question. Do you see the same types of pages at Traffic Taxis that you see at other non cash incentive traffic exchanges?
All day every day.
Case in point. The demographics are no different. I just simply offer some different things. The fundamentals are the exact same at Taxis than any other manual traffic exchange. Log in, surf, assign credits.
You say Taxis isn’t a cash surfing exchange, but the surfers view ads with the mindset that they will be rewarded monetarily for their efforts. How does that differ from PTC, other than the monetary values aren’t set in stone?
Can I ask a question so Im clear on what you are asking?
In a Paid to click site. Doesn’t the advertiser pay for those sites to be clicked?
Ok, Taxis members don’t pay for people to click on their ads. I pay for that as part of my advertising and promotion budget.
But don’t you feel that by essentially monetizing the views, less people are there to really view the websites and trade traffic? Instead only there for the cash value of the click?
The people that come to Taxis to just click for cash, usually don’t stick around too long. Once they realize that they have to actually do what you’re supposed to do in a manual exchange, they move on.
But truthfully, I am sure that there are definitely people who come there to win cash. Just as easily as there are people who surf any other site, for what they are offering as bonuses. But pound for pound, we give out more credits and impressions then anything. You are definitely going to earn a whole lot more at a PTC site per page view, then you will at Taxis. But again, I have never surfed a paid to click site, so I’m just kind of assuming. And if they are, well then all the power to them. They do still spend money, they still bring in referrals and they still put one way links back to Taxis.
You’re not very public about what you’ve done with Taxis, or what made you take the direction you’ve taken with your TE. I think a good question might be why? Why cash? Out of everything else you can give, and do give, why the cash?
Ahh that’s a simple answer. It just happened. It wasn’t planned. It was just an easy emotion to play on. It’s all part of marketing. The members respond to certain things. And believe it or not, the members respond just as they always have, whether there’s a cash incentive or not.
I guess I got lucky with the best of both worlds. I just enjoy learning what makes people tick. If all marketers spent the amount of time I do, watching extremely close to what gets people to jump, who knows what could happen. I never set out on this direction, Im just playing the cards I have been dealt.
Below is a little role reversal. David wanted to ask me some questions, and I couldn’t refuse of course. He was very open and honest with me, so it was fair play to pass the “hot seat.”
Below, David’s questions and follow up statements are bold; mine are in plain text.
Now may I ask you a few questions?
Since it’s only fair….
If you had a rock solid understanding of how to tap in to a market of these… so called “New Demographic Members”, and you were turning results. What would be your answer to the idea that surfing with cash incentive is hurting the industry?
Honestly, it probably wouldn’t sway my decision much, if at all. My business is priority, as is feeding my family. So I guess about the same as yours lol If it was working for me and working very well, people could talk about it all day long, and I’d be ok with that. Ok, I do see your point. I mean, what you’re doing is obviously profitable in a big way, and I can’t fault you for that. And to lay the entire industry’s success or failure on your shoulders is a huge stretch.
You can only do what works for you, it’s what we all do on a daily basis… or at least try very hard to.
Well I don’t think that anyone can genuinely say, it’s my fault. People were giving away cash for surfing long before I ever found the IM world. I just think Taxis get a lot of slack, because it’s a very active site and it does have influence.
I agree it DOES have influence, but I don’t think you or Taxis can single handedly bring down an industry that has been going strong for 10-15 years.
No of course not. And if I did have that kind of influence…. Im certainly not aware of it lol.
If you did, it would probably be a good thing for everyone if you weren’t aware.
Do you have your own definition of what a “surfing for cash” site is vs. a manual traffic exchange that gives out cash incentives in promotions?
I think for me personally, there’s a line. And it’s not a solid line… just my own personal line. If the basis for the promotions are cash, and on a very regular basis, then for me, it’s filled with cash surfers. Thus not effective for me, because I have NO idea what to market to them.
I do take a level of responsibility for my advertising. I can’t blame my lack of response on this exchange or that. Recently I tweaked my squeeze headline and got immediately more signups than I had the previous day on an exchange that I had ZERO results in. I couldn’t blame the exchange I surfed the day before for being unresponsive… it was MY ad. I try to always take that into consideration when I judge an exchange on its performance. Much of that performance level, the responsiveness or lack there of, depends on how well I’m able to market there, to move those surfers into taking action. I’m sure if I could figure out what the hell Taxis members wanted to buy I’d be good to go lol but I’m clueless there, thus it’s not effective for me.
So it really isn’t the actual site in it’s simplest form that seems to be the debate. It seems like it’s just a simple case of what you think the mindset of surfers at certain traffic exchanges are.
I think so. For me, yes. It’s about who I want to market to, and what I’m marketing at the time. If my page isn’t working at a particular exchange, I advertise it elsewhere… just that simple. I’m not blaming the exchange, but results are results and I go where I can get them. I think everyone does.
Very good point.
If I had something I knew Taxis surfers would buy into, I’d definitely be marketing there. Until I tap into whatever it is you unleashed, I’ll be promoting my blog squeeze page in Taxis purely for branding
Would you say that the same types of surfers are using the top rated sites as well as the “cash for surfing” sites?
I think it’s a possibility they are using top exchanges. I certainly see the same junk promoted no matter where I go. I get lower results when joint surf promos are going, when jackpots are going, when Super Surf is on. I think anywhere that offers surfing for a base incentive, no matter what it is, those aren’t the views I need. Because they just don’t work for me and my campaign. Not that they can’t work for others, but they don’t seem to work for mine.
So what would your personal opinion be on the “cash surfing” trend?
Some of the early exchanges saw a decline in activity, so they offered cash incentives. I came from the PTC word, cash incentive advertising to the core. I don’t think it can kill the TE industry. The industry bigger than that. It’s bigger than an incentive no matter what that incentive is. I think the net is changing, there’s new blood daily, and the focus should be on how to serve them… that’s the key to success I think, but again, I’m not an owner. I can only offer a viewpoint from where I stand.
For me it’s not so much of how cash surfing affects the industry as a whole, but more how does each TE owner affect their exchange. If you can’t figure out how to keep up with the mindset of the waves of people coming in every day, any particular exchange could go under. Prolonged success of an exchange in my mind is more about what the owner does for forward movement, progress… keep things geared toward what’s trending, what’s hot. Things can’t just be done the way they’ve always been done. That will kill a business in any industry, any day. I still get good results from TE’s. I got I think 10 subs today, so I can’t complain.
Well in closing…
I think there will always be room for growth. For anybody to try and stop that is just crazy to me. If your business is no longer meeting the needs of your clients, you either adapt or suffer. Taxis will always remain to be a site to offer everything it can to try to appeal to all demographics. I know what works for me. I spend my time paying attention to what makes people respond. And the day I started taking that approach was the day my business went to the next level.
So for what it’s worth… to each their own, if you have an edge, use it. At the end of the day it is still a business and no matter how closely associated you are with someone, they are still your competition. If TE’s do not expand to meet different demographic requirements, they will continue to appeal to the same small circle of people that find these lovely programs.
Good luck to all those new owners out there, do what works for you. And if you get knocked down, just get back up and try it again.
I enjoyed this experience a lot! I asked some tough questions, and got very open and honest answers from Mr. Foley. So a huge thank you to David for taking the time to share his views with us! I hope I was able to bring about a greater understanding of the “cash surfing” trend, what it means for the industry, and maybe even how to adapt and keep up with the evolving Traffic Exchange climate.
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Have a great weekend, and please don’t be hesitant to share your comments below! Your opinions matter, and we need to see them!