Archive for December, 2009

Proper Traffic Exchange Advertising

December 10th, 2009 3 comments

If you’ve already read my book, Leveraging Traffic Exchanges for MAX Results, you’ll have learned about the proper types of pages to promote at traffic exchanges.

Over the course of Chapter 5, I go into a very long explanation of Splash Pages and Squeeze Pages.  I cover important ideas like self-branding, using sound and video to capture your visitors’ eyes, and how to organize your splash pages for best results.

I won’t bore you by repeating it all here.  Go read the book.

Instead, I’m going to talk about what other pages you might want to rotate in a traffic exchange.

The truth is that sometimes, under the right conditions, it does make sense to promote a page which is neither a splash page nor a squeeze page.

One example of another page to rotate is a generic sales page which you add your own list signup form to.  Whether the page supports it out of  the box on its own (which is very rare!), or you use a third party service like Phantom Link Cloaker (which I highly recommend) or WidgetQUIK (which is a less powerful service but offers the same feature) to “hijack” the sales page to add your own mailing list signup, this is a really trivial thing to do these days, and doesn’t take much time.

By doing this, you’re ensuring your own long-term success as a result of sending traffic to the page, rather than hanging all of your hopes on someone else’s page, and not even getting the contact details of the prospect in any case (at best, you’ll receive a commission on the sale – and yes, this is in parenthesis as a side point for a reason!).

But by “hijacking” the page to include your own picture, or contact form, or something else personal, you’re ensuring that you get a personal return on the promotion, even if there is no sale; and if you put your picture on it, there’s personal branding even if there is no sale!  How cool is that?!?

While I don’t want to get in to long talk on just what qualifies a page as a good idea to rotate, and what doesn’t, the basic idea is that the page in rotation should be doing something for YOU that can earn you long-term income, regardless of the details of the page itself.

By focusing on you, rather than the specific product, service or site that your page is there to promote, you ensure yourself MUCH better results than 95% of surfers out there are getting.

Sexism or damn good copy?

December 10th, 2009 No comments

There’s been a bit of an uproar over a recent dockers ad as alg_dockers_adpart of their man-ifesto campaign.  The NY Daily News did a writeup on this where they quoted several sources calling Dockers “sexist” or take[ing] an unnecessary snipe at gay men”.

I don’t see Dockers going out to bash anyone.

I see Dockers doing a kick-ass job of good copy.

Let’s look a bit closer at the message, shall we?

There’s a rich variety of emotional triggers drenching the contents of this ad.  Ranging from “Readily Available” in the “Shop Now” buttons which double as half of the call to action (the other half being “Wear the pants” if the highlighting and large text weren’t enough to tip you off ;) ) to the reputation of people who wear dockers pants (“real men”).  From the perceived status value of wearing the pants (“heroes”, “grown-ups”, “getting your hands dirty”, helping the “little old ladies in the street” to “get to the other side”, to the irresistible invitation to join the club: “It’s time to wear the pants”.

I, for one, want to give the marketing folks at dockers a big round of applause for the great copy!  Great job, men and women!

Just, eh, put your money where your mouths are, and lay off the non-fat latte – only full cream for the guys in the marketing department from now on, k? :)

Categories: Informational

Surfing With a Plan

December 8th, 2009 2 comments

One of the biggest problems that newbies in this industry encounter is their subconscious unwillingness to treat this as a business.

When I got started, I loved to surf.  The new exchanges were always cool and fresh, and gave me a very fun experience.  I would love the surf games, surf ratios, bonus prizes, and all of the extra goodies that sites offered.  But I never really thought about how to use those extra credits to really make a steady stream of credits on the sites that I surfed on a normal basis.

The result was that I never really got enough of a credit pool in any given exchange to really penetrate that exchange and improve my page’s results there from “pot luck” to something that has some statistical significance.

So I’d end up trying to promote all of these programs with just 50 credits here, 25 credits there, and then I’d get really upset when I didn’t get great results.   I was promoting other programs directly with their sales pages, too – convinced that their sales copy and design were better than anything that I could come up with on my own.

The truth is, looking back, that I was lucky indeed to get any results at all.  Because I was doing it so wrong.

Aside from the obvious (obvious if you’ve already read my book “Leveraging Traffic Exchanges for MAX Results”, anyway) mistake of using long sales pages instead of splash and squeeze pages better suited for use with traffic exchanges, I had a big problem in how I surfed the exchanges myself!

The problem was that I didn’t have a plan.  I was surfing odd hours, just for fun, and not really organizing how I spent or earned those credits.

It took me a long time to figure out that that was affecting my results so much, but once I did (and fixed the issue) my credit income boosted fy 70% almost overnight!

It was almost like magic.

But it really wasn’t magic at all.

It was just me managing my time better.  And surfing to improve my business; not just for the fun of it.  Today, I’d like to share with you one of the free tools that really helped me out in this particular area.  It’s called a surfing calculator, and it’s offered 100% free by a site called Surfing for Success.  You can check it out for yourself right here.

There are three calculators there.

The first lets you input the surf ratio and bonuses at your ten favorite exchanges along with your five favorite splash pages, and the amount of time that you plan to spend on your surf session, and it will help you figure out how many credits (impressions) of each splash page you’ll earn for each page at each exchange.  Really neat trick!

Then, there are another two advanced calculators which help you figure out an optimal surfing schedule – the first calculator is a daily one, and the second is a weekly.  You do need to pay a small upgrade fee to take advantage of the latter two calculators, but think of it as an investment in making your surfing much more productive – at least, that’s what I did.

I know that once I started using these tools, I found them to have a drastic effect on how I was spending (only now I was truly investing, rather than mostly wasting) my time surfing the exchanges.

Why I’ve GOT To Be Less Trigger-Happy

December 6th, 2009 No comments

Oops. Someone from Triple Your List contacted me today with an offer of theirs. The offer doesn’t matter, and neither does the member that contacted me.

When I see a clearly labeled message from a fellow TYL member, I try to give it a look, even if I suspect that it’s of no interest to me. After all, I want others to do that for my mails…

Anyway, the guy was marketing some VoIP service that sat in your phone jack, and I figured “Hey, I’m not really interested in this, but he’s obviously putting effort into his marketing campaign, so lets give him a leg up…”

So I Ctrl + Shift + R to open the reply window, type out a quick note thanking him for his efforts, apologizing for not buying what he’s obviously trying so hard to market, and offer him a bunch of advertising credits at an exchange where I have plenty to give away to give him a leg up and hit send.

After 20 seconds, I start thinking, “Boy, it’s taking a while to send this message”, but don’t think much of it until a few minutes later when I was looking through my sent-mail folder…

I see a masssssssive email. Lo and behold, its the one I just sent to the marketer…. And a CC list of 250 people! Ooops. Seems he mass mailed to a whole bunch of people and I had an itchy finger and hit reply-all without even thinking about that possibility.

So now I’ve offered 250 people a LOT of free advertising resources which I may pay for dearly if they all take me up on that. Hopefully they won’t. Hopefully they won’t all think I’m trying to spam them.

Lesson learned: Double check the To AND cc list for every email you send! :)

Crank up the income by dumbing down the copy

December 1st, 2009 No comments

I love Perry Marshall. The guy’s a wellspring full of great information (not the useless kind!) whom I first encountered through his great Definitive Guide to Adwords. But this post isn’t about how he helped me with Google Adwords.

No, it’s about the really useful trick that he taught me today about how to increase your sales by decreasing the IQ required to understand your sales copy.

In his own words:

One of the secrets to writing great copy is making it REALLY easy to read. 7th grade reading level or lower = good copy. College level = BAD copy. Bad. (Always!) Most of Gary Halbert’s classic letters read at the 4th to 5th grade level. That’s why they’re so “primal,” so persuasive.

He also pointed me to a great free tool which will help determine your own copy’s readability. Check it out here.

For example, this blog post is readable by a 5th grader – too bad it’s not a sales pitch, eh?