Plenty Of Fish Are Putting Facebook To Shame
By on Aug 23, 2010

plenty of fish vs facebook ads

Honestly Facebook, your advertising department really need to take a good look at Plenty Of Fish. Have a sit down and take notes on how they run their ship.

Let’s see what Plenty of Fish Ads have over Facebook Ads:

1. Transparency.

Scenario Número Uno: You are feeling perky. Ooo wee are you feeling extra productive, so, you decide to try and test a new campaign. You try your luck selling cats (as in meow meow animal).  You spend a lot of time creating a landing page and designing creatives. Then you go ahead and upload that campaign to both Facebook and Plenty Of Fish ad platforms. You patiently twiddle your thumbs waiting for the ad “approved” messages. BAM! Your ads get disapproved from both Facebook and Plenty Of Fish. However there is one BIG difference. Transparency.

Here are the typical responses you should expect to receive from each ad platform:

Cats are not allowed to be advertised on Plenty of Fish as they occasionally harm our users. – Plenty of Fish

The content advertised by this advert is restricted as per section 5 of Facebook’s Advertising Guidelines.  1. Restricted content includes, but is not limited to: creatures that may take a liking to birds, mice, or goldfish.  Furthermore products that may give humans scratches, rashes or allergies are prohibited. – Facebook

Plenty of Fish will tell you EXACTLY why your ads got disapproved.

On the other hand, Facebook advertising responses are great if you like riddles and solving puzzles, it’s kind of fun. However, if you are wanting to run a business and make a bit of money, the fun wears off fast. If you can’t crack their vague responses, just email affiliates@facebook.com, then go on holiday for a month by the time you get back you MIGHT of received a response. Whether it’s an automated response, well that’s a different story!

facebook ad

2. Customer service.

Spend between $1-$200/day?

  • Plenty Fish Of Fish: “How can we help?” (response within 48 hours, most likely 24 hours)
  • Facebook: *crickets*

Spend between $200-$2000/day?

  • Plenty Fish Of Fish: “How can we help?” (response within 24 hours, most likely 2 hours)
  • Facebook: *crickets*

Spend $2000+/day?

  • Plenty Fish Of Fish: “How can we help?” (response within 10 hours, most likely immediately)
  • Facebook: “Oh hai. There is possiblilty I may be able to help you. Maybe.” (response depends on how their quarterly financial reports are looking)

3. Technology:

I am not a “techy.” I do not know how to code. I do not appreciate php, asp.net, the matrix trilogy, divs or htmls. But I can certainly appreciate technology that helps marketers (a.k.a me) to make more money.

Facebook Ad Platform Features:

  • Records your daily spend. Sometimes it’s accurate, sometimes it’s not. But who’s watching?
  • Gives you some reporting about users profiles who clicked on your ads.
  • Conversion tracking. Well they say they have conversion tracking. That’s all you need right? Doesn’t really matter if it’s accurate.
  • Targeting options are ok.

Plenty of Fish Ad Platform Features:

  • Accurate daily reporting. Go figure.
  • Targeting options are like WOAH. Want to target native American, red-headed, occasional smokers who don’t have a car? No problem!
  • Conversion tracking. This will give you cross tab reports which show a demographic breakdown of everyone who clicked vs. those that converted.
  • Dynamic insertion tags. {age:default}    {state:default}    {gender:default}.
  • Demographic Search Tool.
  • I could go on….I’ve talked about their features more in this post.

4. Plenty of Fish earns more money per user.

This does not apply much to affiliates, but it still shows how well run Plenty of Fish ads are. I’m sure Facebook ads generate more advertising income overall, but do they generate more advertising income per user? I think not. Plenty of Fish are hitting well above their weight. They have a well optimized advertising model that puts Goliath Facebook to shame.

5. Community Interaction.

The Plenty of Fish ad team get down and dirty with their clients/customers. I was shocked when they entered the fiery pits of Wickedfire.com and openly asked for feedback on their ad platform. And it wasn’t just some random ad team reps that were putting in the time, it was also Markus Frind the founder of Plenty of Fish. They also have an active presence on the smaller internet marketing forums, answering questions and giving great specific tips.

plenty of fish and facebook founders

In comparison, Facebooks community interaction is like a lame duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a land mine or something. Facebook ads team got the party started by literally spamming forums in order to get commissions from signing up new advertisers. Some Facebook ad reps were even banned from forums. Other than that I don’t have anything more to report on.

I almost forgot…Plenty of Fish just came out with their new blog at blog.ads.pof.com. Looking for ideas to optimize your Plenty of Fish campaigns? Get there. Their blog is nearly as ugly as the actual Plenty of Fish site, but will come out with some fine fine scorching hot content guaranteed!

6. X-Factor.

Now I’m getting a little biased here but…answer me this, what do Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jason Derulo, 3OH!3 have in common? They all have Plenty of Fish featured on their music videos! How cool is that!? As a marketer I’m very intrigued in how those product placement spots perform (new blog post hint hint).

Here is POF’s latest product placement, on 3OH!3 “Double Vision” music video which was released 2 days ago:

Final word: I do not hate Facebook. They have made me a lot of money. They have great quality traffic and a lot of it. However they can certainly learn a lot from Plenty of Fish’s ad platform.

Comments (39)

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  1. James says:

    Great post (as always) and comparison! The POF blog will be really useful, and I had never noticed any placements before!

  2. d3so says:

    Both networks can certainly learn from each other.

    It's definitely easier to work with POF but FB offers more diverse quality traffic.

    I'm still inexperienced. I'm trying to master pof first before I tackle the stubborn fb.

  3. newjersey says:

    Damn you put a lot of effort into these posts awesome job.

    Only thing I like better on FB is cpc ads… you can test boatloads of ads for cheap.. on pof you absorb that risk with only cpm bids. Of course, I don't blame pof it is very smart on their part.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that pof is much looser with what they allow to be advertised. People get hit with shady offers on fb and it makes the news. Pof is under the radar.

  4. groomez says:

    Really digging the new design. POF has the best reporting feature/thingy I've ever seen on an ad platform.

  5. Sonny says:

    Do you think advertising mortgage or other financial offers could work on Plenty of Fish?

  6. Jan Roos says:

    Hi guys, My name is Jan and I am new here. Couple of tings I'd like to say before asking my main question.

    1. Lorenzo, I really like your blog. You know how to cature your audience well. I set this blog to my home page.. Is that weird or what?

    2. Since you are from All Black land and I am from SA I am not too happy about the rugby at the moment but since this is my first post here I'll keep my thoughts to myself for now. lol

    Now onto my question. I have been trying for a few weeks now to get my ads approved with POF. I have no idea of how to design my creative at all. Does anybody know of a sample ad that worked on POF I can take a look at? Or even better does anyone have any tips for designing the reatives for POF?

    Any hep will be much appreciated.

    • Lorenzo Green says:

      Hi Jan,

      1. Yes it is a little weird.

      2. I feel sorry for you :)

      3. If you want to know what ads are working, just log into plentyoffish.com and take a look around. The majority of the ads showing will be making profit. Making creatives is the easy part. Figuring out how to use the targeting is the make or break stuff.

  7. Dino Vedo says:

    The only thing that I've noticed with PoF that has pissed me off a bit is that I've been trying to run some of the same landing pages as other affiliates, those direct linking ones to certain dating sites, and PoF disproves them and tries to tell me that the landing page is inappropriate when I know for a fact that they have approved other advertisers with the same landing page…

    Not sure what kind of bullshit that is, but I've just been resubmitting a bunch of them to see which will go under the radar…

    • Lorenzo Green says:

      It is likely those landing pages go throw due to human error or because the advertisers are cloaking their pages.

    • Matt says:

      Dino – if you're copying other affiliates who are doing substantially more volume, then it's not surprising your ads get declined. POF probably doesn't want duplicate ads showing on pages and if the other advertiser is a big fish and you're a small one…

      • Dino Vedo says:

        Never did I say I was copying other affiliates. I can't promote the same dating campaign as other affiliates on PoF? What the hell are you talking about.

        I test different ad copy and images, yet I get landing page is inapropriate while others link to the same landing page.

  8. Josh Todd says:

    Hilarious post dude. Also loving the new theme!

  9. [...] – Does being friendly to advertising clients give PlentyOfFish the upper hand against Facebook? [Mr. Green] [...]

  10. Kang says:

    The new theme rox!

    Hilarious post, and the sad thing is that it's so true.

  11. Bryant says:

    Awesome theme

    Awesome posts

    and yet I love the cartoon!

  12. Matt says:

    Unfortunately facebook is watching google for pointers. Limit supply (accepted ads y being inconsistently obstinate) and that will increase desire. It's almost like both of them take a page from old-school guru products like the rich jerk, except they layer it with artificial "we love you" goodness to the actual users.

    Also smacks of an article I read in forbes way back in the day about what home depot puts their suppliers through to keep bids – having their yearly bid meeting in the dallas reunion arena the day after a circus and keeping them in their seats for up to 8 hours to smell the goodness. Somewhere, this method of dealing with people who supply you with product or customers is being taught.

    Unfortunately, good suppliers, traffic methods, whatever – have trouble competing with companies like this. Killer instinct & general decency may sometimes be at odds.

    • Lorenzo Green says:

      That is crazy about home depot. Insane.

      "Unfortunately, good suppliers, traffic methods, whatever – have trouble competing with companies like this. Killer instinct & general decency may sometimes be at odds."

      So true!

  13. mike says:

    on top of it POF gives you nice american apparel tshirts at conferences.

  14. Manuel says:

    Cool article, I really love POF, but unfortunately we are not the clients of facebook or POF, in wich they should focus is the user no the advertiser,as facebook is doing, even tought they could take more time to increase the advertising plattaform

  15. [...] Plenty Of Fish Slaps Facebook In The Face With A Smelly Tuna – Ads.POF.com Rocks. Plain and simple. The team behind the system is awesome… AND willing to work with affiliates. This is a good comparison post for sure. [...]

  16. Ziah says:

    Just wanted to stop by after my trip to Barcelona…yeah Spain. Looking at all those naked girls on the beach WITH my naked Russian girlfriend can be…well exhausting. I totally dig the new look and feel around here. Nice job…I'll be checking out PoF sometime when I am not tired of looking at naked things and taking vacations on vacations. And I was voted less likely to succeed….pffft!

  17. Tyrone says:

    Hey Lorenzo,

    You mentioned that targeting is the make it or break it stuff.

    What is the most effective targeting method?

  18. You Wanna Hook Up? I’ll Net $5MM Regardless, Baby. – The Richest Kid on Campus - Financial, Monetary, and Entreprenurial Commentary & Advisory says:

    [...] a social network, but more importantly, it also host ads, which has attracted a flock of savvy internet marketers who both put that $5MM+ in the owners’ pockets, but also take millions home [...]

  19. I am going to try POF advertising these days, because everyone is talking about it and it sounds to good to be true :)

  20. Awfully interesting cheers, I do believe your current subscribers would likely want a lot more blog posts such as this continue the excellent effort.

  21. steve says:

    i heard they are sort of scammy,
    i read that they do not refund UNSPENT credit claiming that all the sales are final, wait a moment. if you did not use a portion of the credit to BUY clicks, then there's NO SALE and they should refund. google adopts that policy, once the click has gone you won't get refunds, but if you want your unspent credit back you just press a button. if what i read is true then it would mean that POF makes frauds.

  22. Dan says:

    Great post. In defense of Facebook I think a lot of the issues with their platform have to do with the sheer volume of their site. Facebook's traffic is many orders of magnitude greater than POF. Of course Facebook also has more employees working on their product. Just thinking in terms of # ad approvals the difference between FB and POF must be enormous.

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