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

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

I have decided I will be doing my affiliate monthly goals over at my new blog, but I will finish off here with a recap of my January goals I set.  It just makes sense since some of my goals aren’t specifically related to the gaming affiliate industry.

January Affiliate Goals Recap:

Post NFL playoff articles, plus other news articles focusing on the playoffs – Yup got this done, and the sports geek has had a lot of visitors all month (easily my highest trafficked month for a site ever).

10 blog posts on my workout site – Only did like 3, but I started a hockey training blog with a few buddies and I got a couple articles going there.  So I guess I just missed this goal.

5 static pages added to the sports geek – I can’t remember, but I think I only got 2 pages up.

Mess around with newly bought Camtasia and become good at it – I’m decent at it now, will continue to try and get better.

Wake up at 10am consistently – For the most part I did this during January.

Monetize this affiliate blog – Well I set up my email marketing, but I am going to try and monetize my other blog now instead.

Keep up with NHL picks and add a page of content to the site – Did this… traffic has been great, right around 500 visitors per day throughout January.

Brainstorm and create a business plan for the “health and fitness” niche – Did this more in my head in January as I got off track a little bit, but I am starting to write out some concrete ideas and plans in a notebook soon.

Add a couple of pages of content to my London Ontario Car Dealerships site – I added one

Have an affiliate mastermind chat – Didn’t end up doing this, but it’s something I’d like to do again soon…

10k affiliate revenue – I didn’t quite get this, but if you include a site sale (bonus code niche) I was over 10k by a little.

Expenses Under 2k – Sat right around 3k

Overall January was a pretty good month for me.  A good start to 2011 for sure, and I look to keep it going all year.  I know I say this now and it will be hard to do, but I want to stay this motivated all year.

Anyways for my February Goals visit my new Internet Marketing Blog, oh and if you have a facebook page or are thinking of starting one checkout my Double Your Likes Review and Bonus <- really cool tool that will help you get more facebook “likes”.

Category : Goals | Blog

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

I’m not too sure what it is… but the time I get the most done is between 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM.

Actually about 5 nights ago my girlfriend fell asleep watching TV just after midnight so I hopped on the computer and actually worked right until 4:45 am and it was one of the most productive nights I’ve had in a long time. I was dead tired in the morning, but the amount of work I got done was well worth it.

I don’t know what it is, but for some reason I seem to zone in at night time.

My day starts with getting up at 10am and for about an hour I check stats, emails and browse the forums and basically feel brain dead.  For the next few hours I will do some small work like posting articles I had written, but I don’t get too much done before hitting the gym early afternoon most days.  It isn’t until I’ve been awake for about 5-6 hours that I actually become productive.  After I hit the gym and make a light dinner I seem to get the most work done.

It kind of sucks because the night time is when there is the most going on outside of work (hangout with friends or gf, sports on TV, etc, etc), but no matter what I do I can never be too productive in the morning.  I don’t drink coffee but I’ve tried caffeine pills and they don’t help the cause at all.

Anyways just a random post because I’ve been very productive so far in January and will probably hit almost all of my January Affiliate Goals!

On a side note I wanted to give big props to Bryan from PAL who run a great site BankrollManagement.org (which of course focuses on bankroll management tips for gamblers).  Bryan helped me switch two sites over from my shitty shared server at godady to my unlimited hosting account.  My sites were taking like 20 seconds to load at some parts of the day which was super annoying and costing me a lot of money.  I did an analytics comparison to two weeks before and after the switch and my bounce rates went down 2.23% and my pages per visit went up 2.34%.  Make sure your site loads fast!

Hope your killing it in January… because it only goes downhill from here! Haha just playing, but it seems like more work gets done in January because of goals and seeing income numbers for the year before! Have a good week.

Category : Motivational | Blog