Blogging Response Rate (Part 2)

I mentioned I was testing on multiple posts, and that also included the recent Adwords video from Dan Thies of Stompernet.

Here are some important notes

  • The headline was chosen to be a little more appealing – it wouldn’t have affected people reading a full feed, or receiving my content by email (even though that was switched off), but it would affect links from social media and other blogs, and also platforms that only show headlines, such as Blogrush, Technorati Favorites, Alltop etc.
  • I was sneaky – I didn’t have a suitable graphic, and a syndicated copy of the video wasn’t possible so I grabbed a screenshot from the video, which I also included in my excerpt on the front page
  • I didn’t spend anywhere near as much time on the post as I did with the WordPress SEO software – there was nothing really to test – I watched the first 15 minutes of the video, knew it was a cracker, and started writing with the video playing at the same time. Sometimes it is important to get a post out fast.
  • The Stompernet guys used a reverse squeeze page

Squeeze Page vs Reverse Squeeze Page

With Jeff Johnson’s WordPress SEO software, there is a classic squeeze page. In some ways I limited the effectiveness of the squeeze page because I went into detail about what you could expect when signing up. Most of the mailings I have seen so far for Jeff’s launch haven’t mentioned that he has created a hybrid WordPress installation, they have just stated that it is new SEO software.
I am sure by doing so, and leaving some mystery, they have achieved a higher number of opt-ins, and in affiliate marketing opt-ins are important because that means that the visitor has entered the sales funnel.

With Stompernet they take a different approach, with what they term as a reverse squeeze. I am not sure whether they pioneered the method, or Jeff Walker of Product Launch Formula.

The idea is that you provide a massive amount of compelling content on the front end without requiring an email address, and that those people who want to receive more similar content will hand over their name and email address to get updates on more content.

The Stompernet guys are great at providing free content, not only when they are launching their own products, but also as affiliates.
As an example recently they were promoting Shawn Casey and Tellman Knudson’s Listbuilding course, and Andy Jenkins wrote 2 cracking posts on the Stompernet Blog about listbuilding.

  • A List Is Not A Bucket – Your email list are people, it is not just a machine to print money
  • The art of the >>squeeze<< – here Andy went into detail about the difference between squeeze pages and the reverse squeeze method that they use.

I actually play an active roll on the Stompernet blog when I have something valuable to add to the conversation, and one of the reasons I can do that is that I subscribe to their email. It is great to leave valuable comments, but even better to be the first to comment on a new post.
I realise there are also tools such as Comment Sniper or Desktop RSS Readers that allow you to do that with RSS, but that can have a significant effect on your general browsing if you are polling 50 or 100 feeds every 5 minutes. Email once you have signed up is a push technology, and sometimes it is worth being interrupted.

Here are 2 examples.

  • Stop Getting Links – this is one for the comment spammers out there to really read a few times and learn from. There is a vast difference between comment spam, and taking part in community discussion – notice I made the first comment – my comment was 299 words and added real value to the conversation.
  • Stop Getting Links – Part 2
    – this time around they covered article marketing and approaching people to publish feature articles – I again left a comment, the second comment on the blog post (I was a little slow), 303 words – again adding value because linking to original articles on your blog is something rarely discussed

Is Reverse Squeeze More Effective?

From my experience as an affiliate it is… different, though it is very hard to measure if it is more effective.

By sending someone to a squeeze page I am cannibalizing my subscriber list, handing them over to someone for a free or cheap product. They then possibly turn into sales for that primary promotion, and for people with a long-term affiliate program over multiple products, it is possible I could also receive sales of other products further down the line.

At the same time, people who were only interested in the freebie would also have signed up to the list, and they may be less interested in the products or services being offered – they may however be warmer prospects for other affiliate products, but because those people are now on someone else’s list, they may buy through their link and not mine.

In the case of some marketers (I am confident with Jeff Johnson this is not the case), once signed up through a squeeze page they would be bombarded with offer after offer with no real valuable content in between.
Whilst a squeeze page can be very effective in generating more signups into a sales funnel, it is often best to be careful and in some way pre-qualify people. I gave a little more information than I needed to on the free seo blogging software – that was a pre-qualifying process.

With reverse squeeze pages, the content provided up front is the pre-qualification process.

Only people who watched Dan’s amazing video and were interested in improving their PPC campaigns would have signed up for the list to get access to previous videos (even though those videos were not all about PPC with Adwords)

For an affiliate that is both good and bad – good in that my subscriber base isn’t cannibalized, but it reduces my chances of a sale, especially with Stompernet offering a lot more than just PPC training.

As an example I know that they have some new software coming out this week. I know it is going to be SEO related, and a great fit for my audience.

From Click To Lead

If you do any kind of affiliate marketing, one of the aims is to convert traffic into leads. Some forms of affiliate marketing through CPA networks actually pay purely on the leads generated, whereas most of the affiliate marketing I do the only direct reward is based upon sales.
I don’t actually gain any direct financial benefit from encouraging people to sign up to the Stompernet mailing list, other than the possible chance of a long-term conversion. Not everyone is ready for Stompernet – if you throw in all the free conferences they have each year for their members it isn’t expensive, but there is a significant capital outlay.

Many super-affiliates in the information marketing niches won’t drive traffic to a sales page if it has any kind of opt-in form. They are not worried about reduced conversion from the prospect not being added to the list, but of longer-term list cannibalization, especially with lower priced products through Clickbank that are being sold purely to build a list of paying customers, but with no backend reward for the initial list owner.

Yet Another Poll

I will share that the number of clicks through to view the Stomper video, whilst possibly less targeted (not everyone is into Adwords) was higher than for the WordPress SEO software.

Based upon that, and the information I have shared above, how many people, after watching the Stompernet video subsequently signed up for updates?

The following poll you will again have to click through from your feed reader to complete.

[poll=6]

It is well worth signing up to the Stompernet mailing list. I believe their next video will be introducing some new SEO software. I haven’t been given any more details. Whilst they haven’t done this in the past, I really wouldn’t blame them if they restricted access to only those who have signed up to their mailing list.
There is only so far you can “move the freeline” without some form of reciprocation… even if it is just an email address.

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Comments

  1. says

    Andy, I was just cleaning my email address of lists I no longer want to subscribe to. I guess there is room now. I signed up. I am also waiting on the followup on Jeff Johnson’s software. I haven’t installed it because who know when WordPress will update and if this is a proprietary adaption of WordPress, it won’t update with WordPress. Am I making a correct assumption?

    • says

      They appear to be updating though it is not so heavily customized that you couldn’t just look at how they do it and outsource people to maintain your own version working in a similar manner ;)
      Alternatively go the direction you have been thinking about with WPMU – WPMU does have some unique interconnection possibilities not easily done with standard WP installations.

      It might also be possible to include some of the features of Jeff’s version within WPMU

  2. says

    Cool, I will look into that. I will probably use MU on subdomains for smaller niches. I have never had “same IP” issues with Google, but I don’t want to. So for potentially higher traffic sites, I will use separate installations. But I guess a server can run multiple IP’s which would allow me to run one MU install. But for now, Dreamhost is a good test host and really breaks the IP’s apart.

    • says

      I think with high quality sites, you can get away with as many as you like, even with some logical interlinking.
      I have read Matt Cutts say something similar.

      The problem comes when Google can easily detect if you have 500 sites, and they are all crap, even if split apart.

      It is probably best to totally separate quality from junk, and junk from junk.

  3. says

    Well, I couldn’t call some of the sites I plan on building “quality” compared to my main blog but they aren’t exactly MFA sites either. And there is no probable way that I will have 500.
    The automation I plan only goes so far, nothing spammy. I will be mainly taking out bottlenecks. The writing will be real although some will begin with PLR articles. And the subjects I am covering , I will have knowledge of. So I guess I have lot’s of options.

  4. says

    Hadn’t heard the phrase reverse-squeeze before, but I have been marketed to that way, and didn’t even realize it. I was watching one of the natural 2.0 clips from the stompernet guys, and it worked on me. It was the one with the wharehouse and tanker ship in the intro. It worked pretty good on me, as they got my email for the next clip.

  5. says

    Initially, I found the reverse squeeze page idea really counter-intuitive. The idea of handing over the bait without a hook just didn’t feel right.

    The more I read and consider it, though, the more I like it. Your observation about list cannibalization really drove the point home.

    I think it has some real potential and I’m going to hold my breath and test it with at least one of my current projects.

    Cyn

  6. Training says

    Im pretty new to this SEO game, and like everyone else getting links is proving to be a real nightmare.

    To be honest, much of the post is still going in one ear and out the other. Though i have subscribed, and hope to be trying to get involved, without posts being put down as spam.

    Appreciate the StomperBlog link too. More grade A quality information i had no idea existed.

    • says

      First lesson to link building with comments, use your name, or make sure the site you link to tell me something about you.
      It seems you are working hard to build a useful resource.

      Here is an idea

      “Top 10 wacky training courses for your mother-in-law”
      “10 Courses You Wouldn’t Recommend To Your Wife”

      Create a blog, create linkbait articles, try to do angles that relate to the more serious courses you have listed.

      Starting with any kind of directory business if you have little SEO experience might not be the best idea in the world, unless that fits in well with your core business.

      Make it a priority to fix your about page, and get rid of stub pages until you can fill them with content.

  7. says

    massively appreciated. on the case to fix pages now.

    will have to let know you know how it goes, and suggest a course your mother in law would love!