iThemes.com: You Don’t Offer Free WordPress Themes

While looking for a theme to set up this very blog, I searched “Free wordpress themes” on Google. iThemes.com came up at the top with an ad that was somewhat enticing. I wanted a professionally designed theme that I could modify easily, and their add looked like it was going to give me what I wanted.

I should have known though. What were the odds that when I searched for ‘free wordpress themes’ that I could actually find a PPC ad for someone offering free products? Rule #1 for eCommerce sites: Don’t let yourself waste so much stinking money on users who don’t want to buy anything!

Free WordPress Theme search

No mention of 'Free' in the ad, but it didn't prequalify with 'paid' either.

No mention of 'Free' in the ad, but it didn't pre-qualify with being 'paid' only either.

I searched for "Free WordPress Themes"

I searched for "Free WordPress Themes"

Remembering that I searched for “Free WordPress Themes”, it’s crucial to pre-qualify your users by either mentioning you only offer paid products (and don’t trust that a Google Checkout button will do the trick) or by adding -Free as a negative keyword in your campaign.

Seriously? Save yourself some money iThemes. PPC can be a money-pit for your business if you make this mistake. Businesses too often will look at their PPC campaigns, see money being spent and not enough conversions to make it worth it so they’ll cut it with out knowing their clicks are coming from people wanting FREE STUFF!

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03 2009

2 Comments Add Yours ↓

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  1. 1

    I see your logic, but it may not necessarily be an ad that operates at a net-loss. I know the probability is small, but there could be a small percentage of people who click through on the ad, see a theme they like, and think “ok, well, it isn’t free, but its not expensive either.”

    Advertising is about lead generation. It is not about sales, or about closing a deal. What you do with the lead, and how successful you are in converting a “lead” to a “sale” is what makes an ad campaign successful or not. In the end, if the total cost of running the ad is lower than the cost of coverting a single sale, then the advertising wins.

    In other words, if they have to have 10,000 people click on an ads at a cost of $100, let’s say, in order to convert one person in buying a theme for $299, then they just made $199 with virtually no effort. Win.

    So yea, your logic is sound, and they didn’t convert you, which may lead you to believe that the campaign is a failure. But by the same logic, I might conclude that Pepsi’s hOOray campaign is a failure because I didn’t start buying Pepsi all of a sudden. But I can’t conclude that because I am just one person.

  2. 2

    There is no doubt that the campaign could actually have a positive revenue.

    They aren’t cheap themes though – for my other 1,230,152 websites I have purchased themes for some and don’t think a good theme should cost more than $20.00

    Either way- yes it can do well. It’s not relevant though. I’d like to contact someone at iThemes.com and see what their ROI is. If it’s crappy – it’s cause their ppc sucks at landing people where they need to be.



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