21
May

This is a guest post by Greg Walker from www.ThePokerBank.com

The only thing I’m worse at than converting players is split testing and list building.

Unfortunately, I’m still horrendous at split testing and conversions, but I do have a heart-warming story about increasing subscriber rates for my list that I’d like to share.

I know Kevin does a lot with email list building, plus he has helped me out with a few handy tips in the past, so I thought his old blog would be a nice place to share my story.

What I did.

Thanks to the magic of me storing old website files for no good reason, I actually have a screenshot that I can show you of my old newsletter subscription box from June 2010:

Old Newsletter Box Design

I think this the kind of stuff that makes seasoned list-building people cringe and laugh at the same time. However, I didn’t know any better. The box was prominent enough at the top of my sidebar, right? What more could I do?

Steal Shoemoney’s idea, that’s what.

Basically, I was busy procrastinating one night when I stumbled upon the weapons of marketing page for The Shoemoney System. As you can see, he has a smart and fancy rollover/hover image thing for his email sign up box that only cool Internet marketers would think of.

I wanted something cool like that.

So, I brushed all the work I wasn’t doing to the side and started on my new newsletter box.

The new design.

New Newsletter Box Design

Ta da.

You can see it in full, uncompressed, glorious action on my sng poker rooms page. In fact, you can see it in action on most pages of thepokerbank.com, but I get to hit a few keywords by pointing to it this way.

Note: I got that green submit button from this flashy set of free css3 buttons.

How it works.

I’m not going to get in to all the technical details, as I know most poker affiliates are too busy making money to code. Plus, if you are decent with code you can just view the source and steal it all anyway.

But essentially it’s a sprite. The background position of the div shifts to the left when you hover over it. The full image looks like this:

The Sprite

Very cool.

Furthermore, this is actually better than Shoemoney’s version as well because you do not have to wait for the hover image to load. Shoe’s version requests a different background image in the CSS, which means that there is a blank space while the new image loads when you hover over it. Take that Shoemoney.

In all honesty, these really aren’t all that difficult to put together. If you don’t hate HTML and CSS then I think it would take about an hour tops to figure it out. Or, you could just head over to digitalpoint and get someone to make you one for $10. This doesn’t include the cost/time of making the image though, which might be another hour or $10.

Note: If you like the look of that ebook design, here you go.

The results.

Newsletter Increase In Sign Ups Results Chart

Comparing the monthly total subscribers for June 2010 and August 2010, you can see that I was getting almost 5 times as many subscribers thanks to this funky technique.

Or – because percentages are more dramatic – a near 400% increase.

I honestly didn’t think that this sprite be would as effective as it is for capturing emails, but it is. I guess it just goes to show how small changes can sometimes make big differences. I just wish I implemented this sooner, as I’d now be sitting on a much bigger list of emails that I don’t market to.

Isn’t this technique annoying?

Maybe just a smidgen. If it is annoying, I’d say it’s harmlessly annoying. You visitors aren’t going to hate you for it, and it’s not going to affect bounce rates.

If you’re apprehensive about using something like popup domination because you feel it’s a bit obtrusive, then this could be an ideal alternative for you. But again, I’m not a great marketer, so the more forceful popup domination may well generate even more leads.

Bonus tip: Image rollovers and mobile devices.

iPhone, iPad and other iStuff users don’t have the “hover” ability on their mobile web browser. I’m guessing that this is the same for the majority of mobile phones in general as well. Therefore, my clever little hover effect is crippled by these devices.

So, to save these users tapping a hole in their screen trying to press a “download” button that doesn’t actually work, I decided to show a different newsletter box image to them:

Mobile Sprite Version

With a little bit of PHP wizardry, you can easily deliver specific content to mobile users.


$mobile_user = stristr($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], 'mobile');

if ($mobile_user) {
	echo "You're on a mobile!";
}

else {
	echo "Not mobile :(";
}

To top part is the magic bit. In my case, I just needed one line of PHP (using the logic above) to place in the div that contains the background image for the sprite.

What I did was create a if statement that adds a style="background-image:url(/images/ebook_mobile.png)" attribute that overwrites the default background image on the sprite div if the user is on a mobile device. This is pretty straightforward if you’re okay with PHP, but if not, it’s probably just a $5 jobby at digitalpoint.

EDIT: I did have a line of PHP code here to show you, but I couldn’t get it working nicely in WP.

One more random tip.

Change the input type from type="text" to type="email" on your email field. When iPhone users go to enter their email address the email-specific keypad will be shown.

Here’s a screenshot of the iPhone input type=”email” screen that shows you what I’m talking about.

Don’t worry, changing the input type to type="email" won’t alter the way your form works or looks. Older browsers that do not support html5 will just treat it as type="text". It’s just a nice touch that iPhone users will enjoy.

Category : General | Blog
21
Feb

The below post is a guest contribution from Mike Wittmeyer – a long time gambling affiliate and webmaster of http://www.BusinessCards.org/.

Geotargeting is something I have wanted to implement on my poker site for over a year now, but I never actually sat down and got it done. It’s easy to have a conversation with someone and say, “hey, we really need to start geotargeting”, but it is different to actually get it going. About two weeks ago I finally took the plunge and decided I was going to make it happen – I didn’t care if I had to hire someone, spend a whole day on it, whatever.

Surprisingly, it was a pretty simple process. I followed MikeBrad’s instructions for Geotargeting with Maxmind, and I was able to geotarget my website for American, Canadian, and UK visitors in only an hour or two, with no outside help. As long as you know how to use an FTP client and how to edit basic PHP, you should be able to do it on your own too.

Increasing Conversions

Once I figured out the script, my next step was to decide how I was going to use geotargeting to increase my poker conversions. I ended up making two major changes: targeting my homepage to my visitors’ locations, and adding notices to all of my non-USA poker room reviews.

Targeting the Homepage

In the past I had a standard USA poker sites toplist on my homepage, because about 70% of my visitors were from the USA. However, I imagine that the USA text was turning off my non-USA visitors, so I used the new geotargeting script to target things a little better.

Right now, if you visit my homepage from the USA, Canada, or the UK, you will see a tailored introduction paragraph and poker site rankings table. For example, Canadian visitors will see this:

I targeted the first paragraph as well as the poker toplist to Canadian visitors. Visitors from America or the UK would see similar copy, except targeted towards their specific countries. For visitors outside of the USA/Canada/UK I display a neutral poker toplist. About 96% of my visitors come from the USA, Canada, or the UK, so I figured this was the most time-effective way of setting things up.

Note – when you are setting up your geotargeting, make sure to use native proxies from each country to ensure that everything is working.

Notices on non-USA Poker Room Reviews

Another “leak” I noticed on my website was that if USA visitors landed on a review of a non-USA poker room, there was nothing on the page to help convert them to a USA-friendly room. Now, I could have edited the pages to mention that the poker rooms didn’t accept USA players, but that isn’t a very clean solution, as non-USA visitors don’t really need to see that text.

Instead, I set up a USA-only notice on the page that looks like this:

This is a better solution, as USA players get a big notice right in their face (along with a link to my USA poker sites page), while non-USA players see nothing out of the ordinary.

The Results

I compared my homepage “money clicks” from before and after the geotargeting addition, and I have noticed about a 20% increase in money clicks from USA visitors. I am also driving more visitors to my USA poker sites page as well. I haven’t tested non-USA visitors yet, but I would imagine the increase would be about the same.

Other Geotargeting Possibilities

Besides the two suggestions listed here, there are plenty of other ways you could geotarget your site, such as:

• Adding notices to all of your reviews that confirm the poker room accepts the visitor’s native country. For example, you could have a greeting such as “Welcome to our review of Full Tilt Poker – one of our favorite poker sites for USA/UK/Irish/whatever players”.

• Displaying any country-specific promotions that a poker room currently offers.

• Displaying country-specific deposit options for each poker room.

Do you guys have any other geotargeting ideas? Leave a comment below with your thoughts…

Category : General | Blog
2
Feb

I wanted to get a quick post (2 am here) about a new blog I’m launching.  I really hate the domain this is on because I’m not really into poker affiliating much anymore and focusing on sports and stuff outside of gambling as much as I can.  I decided it was best to just launch an entire new blog with a more general domain name.

I looked for some keyword type domain names and couldn’t find anything I liked. I tried my full name but it wasn’t available plus no one can even spell my last name.  So I decided to go with a more brandable domain name that people would remember.

To stand out from other affiliate blogs I chose something simple and what I think is something that isn’t too hard to remember.  It also could create excitement and curiosity to people who don’t make money online and stumble across the site.  My new Internet Marketing Blog is going to be at DropoutGotRich.com.

I clearly explain in the “about me” at the top of the site that I am no where near rich right now, but it is just a goal for me to be wealthy.

I also am not proud or trying to promote that I “dropped out” of college, but I thought that would be catchy and again easily remembered.

“Dropout Got Rich dot com” just seemed pretty easy for me to remember.. and if someone was surfing the internet and came across the site and read the name they might get curious and read on (especially college kids).

So what am I doing with the blog?

I am going to just talk about anything I feel like, and basically blog about my life as an internet marketer.  I’ll review products I’ve tried, give tips, complaints, or anything else internet marketing related. Of course I want to make money through the site – I am not gunna lie about that.  I made a little introduction post to the blog last night.

Will I stop blogging here?

I’ll probably slow down here, but I will make posts from time to time – which may or may not include my monthly goals (I am not sure yet, going to think about where I’ll post those).  I will also make most of my poker, casino, sports affiliate specific posts here when I feel like writing about that.

If you have an affiliate blog and you update it somewhat regularly hit me up because I probably read it and will want to do a blogroll exchange.  I will also be hitting up some of you guys through IM or PM or whatever.  Would appreciate any links you can throw at it… and I hope you find it interesting to read.

January Recap of Goals and February Goals to come probably tomorrow afternoon!

Category : General | Blog
26
Jan

First I will get to the results of the “subject line test” for one of the emails I sent out to my sports betting list.  Since making that post things have tightened up a little bit with more opens, but there is still an 8% difference from first to last.  If you had a 1000 email list that would result in 80 less people opening, and possibly hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars lost.

Votes on which subject line came LAST:

How You Can Crush The Sportsbooks – Knup, Bryan, Nick
Game Changing Sports Betting System Released To Public – Matt, Dealer Dan, Adam
Learn How I Instantly Doubled My Betting Profits – Gerry, Tom
1 Insane Sports Betting System -

(note MJ said “im with matt and gerry” but they were on different subjects haha.. so vote void I guess)

And the worst open rate was:

Learn How I Instantly Doubled My Betting Profits

Good job on Gerry and Tom picking that out…

From Best to worst…

How You Can Crush The Sportsbooks – 30%
1 Insane Sports Betting System – 28.8%
Game Changing Sports Betting System Released To Public – 25.8%
Learn How I Instantly Doubled My Betting Profits – 21.9%

To sum it up… 3 of 10 people who voted actually picked the subject line that did the best.  No one thought 1 Insane Sports Betting System would be the worst, and it actually was second best, so good job there.  The most votes came on the subject line that was second last.  And two people picked which was going to be the worst open rate.

Oh and Knup listed from worst to best and actually got the exact opposite order lol.

What I can take from this small split test experiment:

I will have to keep testing but I think using words like “crush, insane, game changing” will help open rates.

Does “How you can…” increase open rates?

Would using a more exciting word help, like…  “Learn How I Skyrocketed My Betting Profits” rather than “Learn How I Instantly Doubled My Betting Profits”?

Using numbers might help… 2 Crazy fat loss tips, 4 secret sports betting tips, 7 poker tournament strategies

Anyways, a cool little experiment and neat to see what people were guessing.

On to something else for a minute…

I had an interesting comment by Casino Answers man, Dealer Dan, on my night time productivity post about cold showers.  He suggested I tried cold showers to wake me up and clear my head in the morning so I could get more work done (I’ve been having troubles within the first few hours of waking).

It was weird because I actually started this yesterday and loved it.  And later in the night I was reading a blog post by Tim Ferris (author of Four Hour Work Week) about how cold showers can actually help with fat loss.  Exposing your body to cold will cause your body to try and heat itself up basically and will burn more calories.   I made a little post about using cold showers for fat loss on my very new workout tips blog.

So if cold showers are going to help me wake up in the morning, clear my head, and help me stay lean… why not.  These are added to my daily routine from now on out.  Oh and not to mention it is supposed to be good for stress, depression, and more.

Try it out!

Category : General | Blog
12
Jan

Almost every day I learn something new about email marketing, whether it be from my own tests or reading other online marketer’s blogs. Since starting with email marketing about a year ago I have come so far in what I’ve learnt, and I look back at laugh at my first couple go’s at it.

Email marketing is a very important tool for affiliates and online marketers, and I highly recommend reading the article below which lists what I think are the 7 most important factors for email marketing.

#1 – Your Incentive

Why should I enter my email to sign up for your newsletter (or whatever you are offering)? Getting someone to give you their email can actually be tough, but if you are giving them something in return (that they want) it becomes a lot easier.

You need to clearly state what your visitors will receive for entering their email, and you better make it something that your visitors actually want if you are looking for a good unique visitor to sign up rate.

If you are a poker affiliate don’t make your call to action something vague and boring like “Enter your email for poker tips”… try something that creates interest and suspense like “The 1 secret online poker players don’t want you to know”.

#2 – Quality of Form

This took me a while to actually implement, but the nicer looking the email capture form is the higher sign up rate you will get.

When I first started with Aweber I didn’t really realize you could customize your forms, and would end up just using the ugly and boring templates they provide you with.

After paying a designer $5 to whip up a quick graphic to put in the form my sign up rate instantly grew.

My sign up rate grew even further when I came across a great tool called “Popup Domination” that gives you very nice looking and conversion focused templates to use in Aweber (or whatever email marketing provider you are signed up with).

A small investment in making your form actually look nice will go a long way in helping your sign up rate… make sure your email capture form isn’t an eye sore.

#3 – Privacy Notice

I personally haven’t done a lot of testing with this, but I have heard of other internet marketers that have tested it and came to the conclusion that including some sort of privacy notice letting your users know that you won’t spam them or sell their email address will actually help your sign up rate.

It definitely can’t hurt including some sort of privacy notice, so I would suggest implementing it on your form.

#4 – Personalization

Aweber gives you the option to include some personalization in your emails, which is a must for building relationships with your readers.

When you capture their email make sure that you have a field for their first name, and then you will easily be able to use a piece of Aweber code “{!name}” that will insert the persons first name anywhere you like (the title, the start of the email, etc).

It is very easy to implement and can do wonders building a relationship with individuals on your list. Think about it… would you feel better if an email was address to you with “Hi There,” or “Hi Kevin,”?

Start personalizing your emails a bit and act like you are talking one on one with the people on your list and whether or not they know you are sending the email to a mass amount of people at the same time, they will listen to what you have to say.

#5 – Autoresponder

Maybe the most important on the list is your autoresponder. An autoresponder is a series of emails that will be sent to someone who signs up for your list.

With Aweber you can choose when to send them, so for example the first one goes out right away, the next is the following day, the third is two days after that, the fourth is 4 days later, etc, etc.

You only set this up one time and then the autoresponder works its magic and markets to anyone who signs up all automatically with no work needed from you.

Don’t just hit them up with offer after offer. Build up a bit of a relationship in the first few emails providing them with quality content that you know they will enjoy, and they will start to like you more. Once you have built a small “relationship” with them you can hit them with an offer you will have a much better conversion rate.

#6 – Call To Actions

I actually had a fellow affiliate comment on my call to actions recently, letting me know that I can probably improve in this area (and I agree).

Within your emails you actually want to give your readers a call to action.

This isn’t just for making sales, but can also include your content articles. Mix things up a little bit and instead of just emailing content, how about putting the content on your blog and sending them a link to the post through email.

By using the above tip your readers will actually get used to sometimes clicking on a link you’ve provided for valuable content, so when you do hit them up with an offer (affiliate link to a sales page for example) they won’t think twice about clicking the link.

I have found using call to actions like “Click Here to read more about this…” work good, but get creative.

#7 – Testing

Ice, Ice, Icesicles…. Pop, Pop, Popsicles…. Test, Test, Testing 1-2-3!

Haha sorry I had to start this off with that…

Anyways TESTING IS HUGE for marketing, and it is no difference for email marketing!

Test everything you can when it comes to email marketing. Aweber gives you the option to easily implement split tests, allowing you to test 5, 10, 15 or however many forms you want. Test the headline, test the button color, test the button CTA, test everything to do with your form.

You will also be able to easily test different emails very easily with Aweber. Test the email subject line, try personalizing the email subject line, test the actual email body for clicks, and test everything to do with your email.

And don’t stop testing. Small tweaks can make a world of a difference, and that will result in more money in your pockets!

Click Here to get started with email marketing at Aweber…

Click Here to check out Popup Domination (a tool I HIGHLY recommend)…

Category : General | Blog