Improve Your Landing Pages with KISSInsights

September 17th, 2011 by admin 1 comment »

UPDATE: Total FAIL on my part. The service I am referring to in this post is actually KISSinsights, not Kissmetrics like I originally posted.

Just the other day I was browsing when I saw an ad for a service that I may be interested in. I clicked on the pricing options page to get a feel for how much this thing was going to cost.

But the price wasn’t there.

What was there, on the bottom of the page, was a KISSMetrics KissInsights box asking me “what other information would you like to see on this page?”

Kiss Insights

Completely out of the way. Not in the way at all. Seeing this, I answered by saying “unclear pricing”. It didn’t send me to a thank you page or anything, so it wouldn’t distract from conversions.

I have no doubts that if you put this KissInsights box on the bottom of your landing pages that droves of people will fill them out.

Just like I did.

And you can use that info to create way better landing pages.

Surveying your visitors is nothing new. But KissInsights is probably the cleanest (and easiest) way to implement it.

It’s pretty cheap too. The $29/month plan should do the trick for most people. And there is a 30-day free trial which doesn’t require your credit card to sign up. Check it out.

A Genius Lesson in Marketing (VIDEO)

August 25th, 2011 by admin No comments »

I’m not sure how I came across this video, but WOW I am glad that I did.

Hat tip to both Shoemoney and Mixergy.com for this one. Source: http://mixergy.com/shoemoney-ads/

Interview with Chad Hamzeh

July 17th, 2011 by admin 2 comments »

Chad Hamzeh

Today I was lucky enough to get to interview Chad Hamzeh, creator of Traffic Blackbook and all-around awesome guy.

If you do any paid traffic or want to get started, I think you’ll get a ton out of this interview.

Also, Chad is the one who actually got me started in direct-to-site media buys, so I gotta give props where props are due!

 

What’s up Chad?! For everyone who doesn’t know you already, what’s your background and how did you fall into online marketing? How long did it take to hit your first big campaign? What do you feel are your strengths and weaknesses?

Hey what’s up thanks for having me. I owned a small web studio for a few years and was a business analyst for a couple years at our telecomm here in town. In 2008 I was burnt out a bit, and really wanted to pursue my fight training full time. I had about 10 MMA fights and a couple muay thai fights at the time so I’d always wanted to do it full time. So my wife and I packed our bags and went off to Thailand for about a year. It was awesome, but near the end of the year my dad got sick so we had to plan moving back. Basically, this was the point where I really started looking at making money online.

The fact was, I didn’t want to go back to the cubicle, so I just started doing a bunch of different things via trial and error, trying and buying into stuff like a lot of people do when they start out. Around April of 2009 I found out about CPA marketing, and paid traffic generation. Haha, that’s when I joined up at PPC coach, which gave me more insight into this whole business.

I stuck around there for 2-3 months, doing more reading than anything, like most starting out I suppose.

We got back to Canada early June, and I hadn’t had any breakthroughs yet, and I didn’t have a source of income otherwise. What I DID have was a mortgage costing around $2K per month, as well as other bills accumulated near the end of the trip. So, I started to feel a bit desperate basically.

I started just putting cash down, via my credit card, and just started testing the things I was reading about. I really don’t recommend people do it that way, I always say if you have another source of income (job), you’ll make smarter decisions. For me, my problem was stopping campaigns too early. I launched tons and tons of random campaigns, and stopped the majority way before I had enough data. I didn’t even know what a winning campaign might look like. I was scared to lose money that I didn’t have at this point basically.

I did a lot more learning, listened to some free webinars, things like that, and started to look at it all more logically, not emotionally.

It was early August of that year where I made “decent” money for a “noob”. It was a campaign based on a hot trend I saw in Google Hot Trends. I remember that day too, I had my hand on the top of my laptop ready to close it, but figured “what the hell, I’ll launch this campaign and see what happens.”. That one brought in about 2k of profit within 7 days. At the time you need to understand this was pretty damn cool!

Mid September was my first big campaign. I kept seeing a specific ad on Facebook, and from what I knew at the time, I figured they must be profiting somewhat. So basically, I took a similar angle but launched on Google Display Network. That campaign brought in about $55K in profit over the next 60 days or so. I learned a lot during that campaign about optimization and how to “feel” the traffic, if that makes sense.

In terms of strengths and weaknesses. Well, I’m pretty resilient and persistent, I’m always willing to learn more, and I had the benefit of having a technical background. I’m also pretty patient which I think you need as an entrepreneur in general. In terms of weaknesses, I’d like to take more risk than I usually do to be honest. Also, I don’t trust a lot of people to outsource to, which slows my growth I feel. It’s something I want to work on.

So if there’s anyone out there that has a marketing mindset that does development/design, hit me up ;-)

When did things really start taking off for you? Do you attribute your success to a change in mindset or anything in particular?

Hmmm, I launched about 120 campaigns, the majority on GDN and AdCenter between July and September of 2009. So I wouldn’t say it was just one big thing that made me take off. However, if you’ve seen my webinar, you’ll know there are a few tactics that helped me find success more frequently. The first was the concept of bidding high, but budgeting low. The second was understanding the importance of click through rate, and optimizing to it. And the third was realizing that if I just kept BIG losses in check, on a long enough timeline I’d be “relatively” OK.

What elements do you make sure to ALWAYS split test before pulling the plug on a campaign? Far too many campaigns aren’t given the chance to succeed. What do you think is the biggest campaign killer?

Good question. No real secrets here. I’d say ads, landers, and offers are what I split test the most, and mainly ads and offers. To be honest, I really should split test landers more. I have this hate towards landing pages because they remind me of my web design days, something I should really get over.

But you said it, I think the biggest campaign killer is not getting enough data. I look to get 100-300 clicks, budget permitting, to any specific element of a campaign. And usually, I don’t consider my EPC as being “solid” for a traffic source until I’ve had 30-50 conversions. Yes, this can mean a lot of spend to find potential. It’s hard to give specifics, but if your click through rates are healthy, but you’re not converting, then it’s either that the offer doesn’t convert well, or you caused a disconnect between the ad and the lander. If you’re promoting offers that others are successful with, then it’s probably you not doing a good job connecting the dots.

That’s why I try to optimize to click through rate first since it’s the first point of contact with the visitor. But, there has to be a line. You don’t just make ridiculous ads that are completely irrelevant to the offer, just to get clicks.

I notice that just about everybody uses a standard landing page in their campaigns. In a few of your case studies in Traffic Blackbook, the winners were actually the squeeze pages that got the opt-in first. Do you always split test squeeze page vs. regular landing page? What would you say to people aren’t building optin-lists yet?

I don’t always split test a squeeze page. In certain markets I don’t do it. This is things like gaming, downloads, mobile, dating. I don’t play tons in those areas anyway, and maybe someone has made it work with list building there, but I personally don’t. So it depends. I almost always split test 2 very different lander styles, and a direct link. Almost always the direct link loses out.

Does that mean I don’t condone list building? No not at all. It’s a pretty old, tried and true method of driving people to an opt-in page, and following up with them. Especially if they need to pull out their credit card on a straight sale product. The advertisers know this which is why they almost always collect partials in weight loss and bizopp.

I think if you’re making money without lists, great, but I’d recommend testing out some opt-in pages in the market you do best in, and just see if you can get opt-ins for cheaper than you can drive leads to someone elses lead gen based offer.

Let’s say you’re doing well driving e-mail/name submit leads to a bizopp lead gen offer, and you’re getting paid $1-$3 for the lead. Try setting up your own, similar lander and split your traffic. There is a reason the advertisers are paying you $1-$3 just for a name and e-mail. Spy on the path, see what you can learn from it. It’ll help you actually build something.

I’m not saying list building is easy by any means, it just gives you a longer timeline to squeeze money out of your traffic.

Let’s talk traffic sources. What are your favorites and why? Any lesser-known ones you like? Where do you suggest beginners start?

Ya know, if Google wasn’t such a headache when it comes to CPA, then I’d say the absolute best/easiest out there to make money on is Google Display Network. Why? Well, it’s a fantastic testing platform to find sites you can go direct to afterwards. It’s VERY fast to setup campaigns. They have great tools you can work with, and the traffic quality is good. And, if you know what you’re doing, it can be very cheap. So if you’re running a legit business, or you own the backend process in a market that Google is “ok” with, then they’re a great place to start in my opinion.

Outside of that, Facebook. Yes, their ad approvals make me want to jump out my window sometimes (just today I had some bizarre experiences), but the traffic is abundant, pretty easy to get profitable (easier than Google imo), and can be forgiving on beginners especially if you play internationally.

What I really recommend beginners try though, is small direct to site media buys. It can be a hassle finding the webmasters and rates you want, but it’s a good low risk training ground if you know what you’re doing. And when you get good and have some capital to work with, you can go direct on larger sites which can be just awesome much of the time.

But I know everyone wants self serve quick and easy setup. (hell, that’s one reason I like GDN so much).

Is there any books that have made a big impact on you and you think everyone should read? What about people? Anyone you want to give a shout-out to who you feel contributed to your success?

Some books that I enjoyed in terms of general money making and such are The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ Demarco, and of course 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. They’re fun reads, quick reads. And I like that both of them made the bulk of their money originally online via direct response in some capacity.

Copywriting books like Ca$hvertising have helped me with ad creation.

Other than that, guys that I’ve heard on free webinars or in articles, when I started out, that have given me insight have been guys like Tommie Powers. My original affiliate manager at Convert2Media, Ryan Hurry, helped me out a lot starting out, and although I haven’t talked to him much, I appreciate Ruck’s honesty in his writing.

What skills do you think people should work on consistently in order to grow in this business? Copywriting, basic web design, a certain traffic source, etc…?

I’m not going to say something like “mindset” or “never stop trying!”. That’s over used. I think a big mistake is people jump around from traffic source to traffic source, offer to offer. Pick 1 high volume/scalable traffic source, and 1 vertical, and get to work. If you choose one that interests you, great even better.

Also, really consider “building something”. Could be a product. Could be a big portal/destination site in a specific market. Could be a list/community. All I’m saying is, where’s the end game?

Yes you can spend your time and a lot of money slaving away to make others rich, or you can start collecting and gathering a group of people yourself.

I tell people this a lot. In CPA and affiliate marketing, you’re put in a pretty tricky position of buying traffic a certain amount, and having to convert it within what a lot of times is a pretty small margin. And the guys that get good at this arbitrage, just think if they had WAY more wiggle room on payouts, backend, and other monetization methods. They’d be able to pay far more for that same traffic, or increase profit by a hell of a lot.

Sure, the complexity increases greatly when you move from affiliate to merchant/site owner, so no, it might not be for everyone.

Awesome! Thanks a TON for allowing me to interview ya, Chad! It was a blast and you give great advice, as always.

I guess that’s it, thanks for having me on, I appreciate it.

Watch Chad’s Webinar on Paid Traffic

Chad Hamzeh Webinar

High-Volume Email Deploying

July 13th, 2011 by admin No comments »

If you’ve never seen this video, you’ve been missing out! CPA Empire’s (now Affiliate.com) Scott Richter on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

How To Split Test Landing Pages with Prosper202

July 10th, 2011 by admin 17 comments »

Setting up split tests is really easy once you know how. I remember struggling myself to understand how it all works, so today I’m going to show you exactly how to set up split tests using Prosper202 and the split testing script they provide. I like this script because it’s simple and does exactly what I need for 99% of projects.

Step #1: Understanding Which Files Are Involved

There are 4 files you need:

  1. index.php – this is the file we will drop our split testing script in soon.
  2. lp1.php – stands for landingpage1. It’s our first landing page we want to test out.
  3. lp2.php – stands for landingpage2. It’s our second landing page we want to test out.
  4. count.txt – the split testing script within index.php relies on this file. The permissions of count.txt need to be set to 777, which you can do in your FTP program.

Let’s pretend we are working in a folder located at domain.com/split-test. Here is a visual of what your folder looks like now:

Necessary Files

Step #2: The Code for index.php

Here is the code you need to put in index.php:

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<?php
 
//Tracking202 Landing Page Rotation Script
//landing pages filenames, theses will be rotated between eachother
//theses landing pages must be in the same DIRECTORY as this file
//you can add as many landing pages here as you like
 
$landingpage[1] = 'lp1.php';
$landingpage[2] = 'lp2.php';
 
//this is the text file, which will be stored in the same directory as this file, 
//count.txt needs to be CHMOD to 777, full privlledges, to read and write to it.
 
$myFile = "count.txt";
 
//open the txt file
$fh = @fopen($myFile, 'r');
$lpNumber = @fread($fh, 5);
@fclose($fh);
 
//see which landing page is next in line to be shown.
if ($lpNumber >= count($landingpage)) {
    $lpNumber = 1;
} else {
    $lpNumber = $lpNumber + 1;
}
 
//write to the txt file.
$fh = fopen($myFile, 'w') or die("can't open file");
$stringData = $lpNumber . "\n";
fwrite($fh, $stringData);
fclose($fh);
 
//include the landing page
include_once($landingpage[$lpNumber]); 
 
//terminate script
die();
 
?>

Here’s the script in .txt format

Now, whenever you go to domain.com/split-test/index.php you’ll see the 1st landing page. When you refresh, you’ll see the 2nd landing page. When you refresh again, you’ll see the 1st landing page.

All the script does is grabs the landing pages you set (lp1.php & lp2.php) and loads it. You are actually viewing lp1.php and lp2.php AT domain.com/split-test/index.php

Check out my example here to see what I mean.

Step #3: Set Up Landing Pages in Prosper202

Now you need to setup lp1.php and lp2.php in Prosper202. There is nothing special about this part – you do it like normal. If you have poked around in Prosper202 before, chances are you already know how to do this.

For those who don’t, you need to setup landing pages for these files:

  1. index.php – set up a landing page for index.php so you can select it in #7 Get Links. You don’t need to place any javascript or PHP code, but you do need to set it up in Setup–>#4 Landing Pages
  2. lp1.php – set up your landing page and place the javascript/php affiliate link code.
  3. lp2.php – again, set up your landing page and place the javascript/php affiliate link code.

Now, you can go to #7 Get Links and select your index.php rotator page. This is the link you submit to your traffic source. When people click your ad, some will see your first lander and others will see your second lander.

Step #4: Looking at the Data in Prosper202

Login to Prosper202 and go to Analyze–>Landing Pages

(click to enlarge)

Prosper202 Landing Page Split Test

I like to name my landing pages in Prosper202 the actual location of their file. That way, you can see which landing page is doing best and simply delete the others from index.php

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$landingpage[1] = 'lp1.php';
$landingpage[2] = 'lp2.php'; //delete this line if this landing page doesn't perform!

Domize.com – Domain Availability Tool

July 3rd, 2011 by admin No comments »

Domize.com is a tool that I’ve been using forever now when searching for available domain names – as you type, it checks in real-time and displays its availability in color-coded red, green and blue. Very slick!

Domize.com

Other than being pretty cool, the real reason I wanted to post about it is because it is another example of an affiliate website that rocks! It monetizes through various affiliate programs like GoDaddy. These are my favorite kinds of affiliate sites because they require almost zero maintenance to run.

Domize Affiliate Links

Note: I’ve heard a few people complain that the domains they planned on registering after checking on them on Domize.com were taken when they attempted to register them the next day. So don’t click on their affiliate links (in case they log those) and don’t wait to register good domains you find!

New Lateral Keyword Tool: Google Sets

July 2nd, 2011 by admin 3 comments »

UPDATE: Google has retired this tool (bastards!)

Finally, there is a decent lateral keyword tool! It’s called Google Sets.

When you launch a new keyword targeted campaign, initially you want to build your keyword list out with WIDE keyword terms. Instead of finding every variation of a root keyword, you want to cast your net out wide. For a refresher in building strong keyword lists, read Keyword Research : Go Deep or Going Wide First?.

With keywords, there may be 2 that mean basically the exact same thing. For example:

  • scholarship
  • fafsa

Only good keyword and market research would uncover the ‘fafsa’ keyword, yet it is laterally related to the keyword ‘scholarship’. When you type ‘scholarship’ into the Google Keyword Tool, it will give you the ‘deep’ results, which are basically just variations of that core keyword.

I’ve been noticing the tool gives you much better results when using TWO or more keywords. Try it out!

Swipe High Volume Keywords from Competitors

May 9th, 2011 by admin 4 comments »

About 1 year ago, I had a site that was ranking for a money keyword that was delivering a lot of traffic (about 1,000 visitors/day). I typed my domain into Alexa.com and sure enough, my keyword was listed right there for the world to see under “High Impact Search Queries”.

It’s not the most accurate tool when looking at lower traffic sites, but plug your savvy competitors in and check it out – you may find something useful.

Example

High Volume Competitor Keywords

Lil’ Wayne Knows How To Scale

May 4th, 2011 by admin 2 comments »

I’m not a huge Lil’ Wayne fan, but he sure knows how to scale. His career is a good example of taking a campaign that’s already working, and turning it into an absolute monster. Here’s how he did it.

In 2008 alone, Lil’ Wayne rapped on over 100 hit songs with many being top-20 hits. source: VH1 Behind The Music

See that, 100 songs in a single year?

The thing that works well for Lil’ Wayne is simply guest-rapping on other people’s tracks. So he does it a lot. He scales it BIG.

He started scaling so big that it was impossible NOT to notice him – he was everywhere. When your favorite artist came out with a new song Lil’ Wayne was probably rapping on it.

And that is the key to his marketing success. The more songs Lil’ Wayne collaborates with other artists on, the more fans end up becoming his as well. And when he finally releases his own albums, he does huge numbers.

Wayne doesn’t stick to collaborating with just hip-hop artists – he is rappin’ on pop and dance albums as well, exposing himself to new markets of listeners. People who don’t even like or listen to rap may like Lil’ Wayne since he is working with their favorite artist.

What is the result of all of this? Today he is one of the biggest stars on the whole planet. He took a small campaign, scaled it up to big leagues and hit it out of the park. Bill Gates status.

Marketers should take note because the concept of scaling is how you graduate from marketing noobness. It’s as simple as finding something that works for you and multiplying the idea. Like a formula. In Lil’ Wayne’s case, the only element he changed up in his campaign was the artist he was working with.

You can scale your keyword lists. You can scale your traffic sources. More converting ads + more eyeballs. Are you getting it? If so, here are a few posts I recommend you check out:

How To Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab

April 26th, 2011 by admin No comments »

How To Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. SchwabI recently finished reading “How To Write a Good Advertisement” by Victor Schwab. I think there may be a new contender to “Tested Advertising Methods” by John Caples for favorite advertising book.

I guess you cant really say one is better than the other, but HTWAGA and TAM are definitely on my list of best copywriting books. It starts with 100 Good Headlines where there is a paragraph or two about why the headline is so good which I found fascinating to read and soak in. Then the very next chapter hand-holds you on what to do next in your copy, which is “Show people an advantage” otherwise known as “What’s in it for me?” These two steps are all you need for a sale. Pick it up, it’s totally worth it.