I ran across a site called Revenue Magic the other day.

The main page for the site says it provides “cash back advertising”. The idea being that you can pay for advertising, and get some cash back from the exchange. The implication being that you can get back a whole lot more cash than you put into it, eventually. On a first read, this reminded me of Rick Katz’ Co-op Ad Club, which had a similar theme.

The Revenue Magic site is low on details, though, promising a full explanation in the member’s area. Since you can join for free, I figured I’d bite and see what was inside.

There is a lot more detail inside, but it still doesn’t do a good job of spelling out exactly how it all works. They do a good job of explaining the cash back aspect of it. You can refer others, and you can also be put into a rotator that promises to fill out your first level.

But it was the advertising side of things I wanted to know more about. There are plenty of plans that are little more than self-contained MLM schemes out there, the magic would have been combining that with a truly useful advertising co-op.

The advertising works with ad credits. You get 500 free ad credits just for joining, so you can try out their advertising options. You can get banner ads, text ads, full page view ads, email ads, and top sponsor ads. That sounds like a pretty full offering, but, ultimately, you’re only advertising on Revenue Magic itself. The banner and text ads are displayed on their web site, the full page view ads are just a traffic exchange, the email ads are solo ads mailed out to the Revenue Magic membership, and the top sponsor ads are displayed in any emails Revenue Magic sends out.

All of that isn’t particularly bad, but the prices are high. They have several packages, most of which include membership in the rotator at $49.95. You then pay approximately half a cent per ad credit. It takes 40,000 ad credits to send an email ad (the most effective of the advertising options), so you’re talking about $200 for a solo ad.

While the idea is attractive, the implementation isn’t. But it did get my mind going about what a truly useful cash back advertising co-op would look like. What Rick Katz was doing had elements of it, but fell short, and Revenue Magic’s approach has elements of it, too. When I’ve worked through the brainstorming and come up with my ideal program, I’ll post the details of it here.

In the meantime, click here to see Revenue Magic for yourself.

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