Is Forex Advertising Dead? In a Parallel Universe – Op Ed.

Konstantin Rabin

A website owner takes a comical look at his experiences dealing with brokers and how somewhere along the road, site owners seem to get the shorter end of the stick.


By Konstantin Rabin from Forex Bonus Lab – an aggregator of FX promotions.

It’s 4pm, business lunch is over and the waiters are busy preparing the tables for the dinner. A visitor wanders in.

The Waiter: Good afternoon Sir, how may I help you today?

The Visitor: Hello, I’d like to reserve your best table for the coming Friday, 8pm

The Waiter: Just a moment, let me look it up, might a bit difficult as it is the busiest time…

The Visitor: One thing though, I will be coming with a lady…and I will only be happy to pay the bill if the date goes well…

The Waiter: No, not really Sir, could you please elaborate?

The Visitor: So, I am taking a girl out on a date, and I don’t really want to pay for a dinner unless it goes well. I had a few dates like this before, and it was just a waste of money.

The Waiter: Excuse me Sir, but I don’t think I understand.

The Visitor: Well, I don’t have any problem paying you, but I’d like to see results first… You know… just to be on the safe side.

The Waiter: Sir, we are the restaurant. We have absolutely no influence on how your date will go besides providing good service, food and wine.

The Visitor: Yes, but I can also eat at home…and eating is not my goal, my goal is to have a good date!

The Waiter: Now I understand, but unfortunately, this is not how we work sir.

The Visitor: Be assured that I am a great seducer! Last week I had three good dates!

The Waiter: Good for you Sir, I would be more than happy to host you, but we prefer our services to be paid regardless if your date goes well or not.

The Visitor: Listen, how about this…I will come for a dinner, and in the case that I have a good date, I will pay the bill next day and also give you a generous tip on top?

The Waiter: No Sir, sorry, this is not something I can do. Someone actually has to pay for your food.

The Visitor: Okay then. Let me know once you change your mind, here is my business card.

In Real Life

Does this story look amusing to you? Well, it would be funny if it wasn’t the truth. This is actually how advertising in FX industry looks nowadays. The Waiter in this story is a webmaster, The Visitor is the broker’s representative and the “good date” is proposed agreement.

If you run a media website in the FX industry, your mailbox is constantly getting spammed by “the most reputable”, “highly converting”, “award-winning” FX brokers on a daily basis. Unfortunately, most of these brokers can’t really offer much more than a form of an affiliate agreement or sorts.

As a website owner you do have some costs to cover: domain, hosting, content, graphics, advertising, link building, email marketing, time and so on. Most of these costs are tiny, but when you add up all of the tiny numbers together you may actually get a big number. We work hard to do what we do.

So here is where reality bites. One has to cover real costs while brokers promise result-based payments and incentives suggesting that their brokerage is the highest converting and view it as a given that you; the webmaster, are going to be knocked off your feet and so will your visitors.

Whilst I don’t have an issue with someone trying their luck with paying after your try, this is not how the industry works as a whole. It is completely forgotten and often taken for granted that a webmaster is the only party that risks anything here. If the site delivers 1000 leads to a broker and there are 0 conversions – it’s not a broker’s problem, right?

Brokers have forgotten that in advertising you have to quantify your goals, your target audience and place yourself carefully where you need to be. Part of the issue with banner CTRs being so low is the fact that many brokers view placing banners in as many places as possible – the right thing to do.

This is not the case and you end up with a huge mess. Would it not be better to work longer term with certain niche sites that focus on a target audience that your brand / brokerage will appeal to? Off course it will. Guess what? That is exactly the kind of relationships that we the webmasters would like too!

Longer term partnerships where we both work together to get good results for both parties. Wouldn’t that be nice? You betcha.

What’s the take-away here?

For the brokers it is rather simple. Don’t be greedy. There are many FX media sites and you do have to compensate them if you want to get promoted. It’s not about how many banners you have out there (low CTRs and results). It’s about having good solid partnerships where you work together to get results that help each other move forward.

Even if they don’t directly bring in traders immediately, site owners are still expanding the retail market as a whole, you get good exposure through branding and such sites will grow your business directly or indirectly in the short and longer term.

If you are just starting up and don’t have a large budget – offer at least something: a tiny payment, a few pieces of content or just a bottle of whiskey for heavens sake! Show us that you are keen on working with us moving forward and willing to invest in a partnership and you’ll be super surprised by what you’ll find as we, the site owners; want the exact same thing.

For other site owners

If you run a website – don’t work with every single broker. Spend time and prepare a good media kit, know your audience, know what you have to offer and what value you can bring to the right broker partners.

Another good thing is to work out what type of brokerages you want to work with and make a list. Get to know someone inside and get them ready to work with you. It’s all about the relationship here where both benefit longer term.

You are the one who creates business for the broker, be sure to get compensated for your efforts upfront. I am a true believer in setting a standard for your site. Choose your brokers carefully as many will not place banners or be seen next to another brokerage that has a bad name even if they pay you more.

This means you loose longer term as the come quick and loud usually go out with a bang. The bigger brands, the niche brands or the right fit for your site type brokers are the ones that stick around the longest and truly value the partnership even if it takes a little longer to get there.

By Konstantin Rabin from Forex Bonus Lab – an aggregator of FX promotions.

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