What would you give for a qualified lead? An iPod, perhaps?
From Ad Age:
The $20 million-a-year FreeiPods.com site that has become a poster child of the increasingly important online incentive marketing business was originally started as a “get a free condom” come-on.
At lunch one day in the college cafeteria, then University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill senior Rob Jewell overheard some people talking about wanting free condoms. Entrepreneur that he was, Mr. Jewell began thinking about how he could build a business model around their needs. He hooked up with friend Peter Martin and the two started a Web site called freecondoms.com, which made money by signing up users for PayPal with the reward of free condoms. PayPal paid them $10 per new customer.
Today, Messrs. Jewell and Martin own Gratis Internet, the flagship of which is FreeiPods.com. They work with customer-acquisition agencies and directly with marketers in a pay-for-performance business model that grossed more than $20 million in 2004.