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Small Internet Business

These Payday Loan People Have It All Wrong

Local Payday Loan Flier

Do you want to know what the best place to find customers or leads for your payday loans? Here’s a hint. It isn’t the parking lot of a large corporation with a bunch of white-collar workers. Yet that’s exactly what someone did yesterday at the company where I work. When we left that evening all of the cars in the parking lot had little fliers on them advertising a local payday loan service. I might not have thought too much about it but I notice more things like that now. There are two valuable lessons for the offline (or online) world we can learn from this.

Study Your Market

Almost everyone working for my employer, even more so at this location, is in information technology. For some reason, someone at a nearby pay day loan company decided to target us to get more customers. Hmm. Finding and understanding your target market is an important skill for any business (or website) owner. These guys failed miserably at it yesterday afternoon.

What demographic likely needs or wants a pay day loan? People without a lot of money of course. Tech workers typically earn more (sometimes several times more) than the average worker. That doesn’t mean there aren’t flat broke geeks (and as my business partner says “there’s always that one guy with the gambling problem”) but is this seriously the right kind of product or service to market to them? Landscaping? Maybe. Private dance lessons for the kiddos? Possibly. Short-term, high interest rate loans? Uh, no, not really.

When I saw that flier I was like WTF? I asked my officemate if he’d ever heard of a payday loan and he said “no, what’s that?” The only reason I know what they are is because of CPA offers at Azoogle and NeverblueAds. Talk about completely un-targeted advertising.

Provide Better Sales Incentives

How did the people sticking the fliers on cars get paid? Probably by the hour. We don’t know for sure but that’s a reasonable guess. Here’s an idea they could take from the sales (and affiliate marketing) world. Add a performance bonus to this job.

I’m just pulling this from the top of my head but you could make the fliers a coupon (bring this in and get 5% off or something). Each employee gets assigned a number and coupons with those numbers get printed. Each time someone signs up using a coupon that employee gets an extra buck or something.

Some employees won’t care (they’ll just want to get paid and go home) but the more entrepreneurial ones will bust their butt figuring out how to get more conversions. They might do something like, oh, I don’t know, stick these fliers on all of the cars at the crappy apartment complexes in the worst part of town.

The shotgun effect sure didn’t work here at all.


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