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Archive for the ‘Internet Marketing’ Category

July 17th, 2007

25% of ALL products sold from Zappos were returned

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, General Business, Internet Marketing, Retailing

I just read an interesting report today saying that an astonishing 25 percent of all products sold from Zappos.com were returned.

Are they happy? For Zappos, that answer is yes.

In case you don’t know, Zappos is the largest online retailer for shoes and apparels (mainly shoes), and is the pioneer in offering free returns for their products.

Lesson of the story: if it makes sense for your business, encourage contrarian behavior that creates a larger amount of comfort.

For Zappos, that means encouraging returns with free shipping. NPR says this has helped Zappos grow by 6x from $100MM to $600MM a year.

“Some of our best customers are people who return a lot of shoes,” said Craig Adkins, vice president of operations at Shepherdsville, Ky.-based Zappos.com.

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June 17th, 2007

Cool - ShoppingAdvisor launched

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Comparison Shopping Engine, Ecommerce, Internet Marketing, PPC, eBay

Many of my clients know that I personally use and recommend you to use Channel Advisor as your inventory management system to manage your multi-marketplace sales as well as sales on your own website. I love how robust the CA system is and their customer support is excellent.

While I was looking into expanding my company’s marketing channel to Comparison Shopping Engine (CSE), I stumbled upon the news that they just launched a feed management system called the ShoppingAdvisor.

Here’s the excerpt from their blog:

Yesterday we took the wraps off ShoppingAdvisor, a product that allows retail marketers full control over their comparison shopping business.

ShoppingAdvisor is designed, from the ground up, to put your marketing team back in control of marketing your products. Day after day we talk to companies who are literally held hostage by their technical team as far as their comparison shopping business is concerned. We set out to develop a product that would change that. The result is ShoppingAdvisor, a fully self-managed comparison shopping engine management solution that gives the control back to marketing, for good.

So we’ve been working on this release for a while, and I thought it might be fun to tell a quick anecdote from the release.

Late one night in the midst of software development, one of our developers, Jon, was feeling a little down. One of the stories I relayed at the time, was that the only releases you really remember are ones where you are building something very ambitious, at least 10 things could go wrong, and there is a tight timeline. The point is no one remembers version 3.1.12 from early 2003. You remember the release where everyone was sleeping on the floor and the last bug was fixed at 6am the second before the code rolled out to production.
His question was classic, of course: “Are you trying to make this hard so we’ll remember it? A note in my cube might accomplish the same thing.”

Silence in the room.

Of course the release ships and everything’s OK, but I thought that was pretty funny at the time. I won’t relay the joke I told at launch time internally about the difference between a death march and a death sprint. I really prefer the term rapid development - isn’t it more positive?

I personally cannot wait to try it out and will certainly compare it with Feedperfect by Solid Cactus. More on that later and I’ll give you some exciting updates from eBay live 2007 in my next post.

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May 22nd, 2007

Google Analytics Change & eBay Affiliate Policy Change

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Affiliate Marketing, Ecommerce, Google, Google Adwords, Internet Marketing, eBay

Change in Google Analytics

Google Analytics has just changed its outlook last week. I haven’t had much time to play around with the new version but it seems like the layout is much better and contain more information than before. The new version is still in Beta so you can still login to your old version. More on that later when I get around to checking what the difference are between the old and new version.

Change in eBay’s affiliate policy

Another big change on internet marketing last week has to do with the recent changes in the eBay.com affiliate program - at which you can now send traffic to YOUR OWN auctions and store listings.

The old rules prevented this, but now eBay has has wised up! In an announcement released today they’ve made the rules friendlier and the payouts higher.

Under the old rules (which were insane) you could send traffic to any destination on eBay EXCEPT your auction listings or store. That made no sense so I won’t try to explain why they had that rule.

It now makes more sense than ever to send pay per click ppc traffic (such as Google Adwords, or Yahoo Search Marketing) to your own eBay listings.

Once you sign up for the eBay affiliate program you can send traffic to ANY ebay destination and…

- 40% to 65% commission on eBay Revenue generated from ALL purchases
- up to $35 in commission per new active user referral

I love the “flexible destination” feature of the eBay affiliate program. Even if a customer you send to eBay buys from a competitor of yours and you still get paid!

This just opens up a whole new door of making easy money online. Are you kidding? You can just go on eBay, find a product that has a high ASP (average selling price) and high sell through - because the eBay commission is more - source that product, sell it on eBay, and drive traffic to your listing using pay per click ppc while making extra commission off them! Can this get any easier?

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April 29th, 2007

Questions Cleared Up About Google’s Cost Per Action Model

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Google, Google Adwords, Internet Marketing

Since Cost Per Action advertising model has been introduced by Google, there have been many questions about it in the industry. Today, Google cleared up some of them in its blog post:

Do pay-per-action ads show on Google.com or on sites in the search network?
No. Pay-per-action ads are not eligible to show on Google.com or in the Google search network. They’re only eligible to display in the Google content network.

I am an advertiser using My Client Center (MCC) and am interested in the pay-per-action beta test for my clients, as well as for my own business. What are my sign up options?
We’re only adding individual AdWords accounts to the beta test, so if you are an advertiser managing multiple accounts with an MCC, you can add the individual accounts that you believe will benefit from pay-per-action, including your own.

Is it possible to set a cost-per-action (CPA) value (i.e. the amount I’d like to pay for a specific action) as a percentage of the amount of the purchase rather than as a fixed amount per purchase?
We don’t currently offer the option to set a CPA value as a percentage. The cost-per-action value must be a fixed amount.

I am also an AdSense publisher and would like to participate in this test. How can I sign up?
Please visit the AdSense referrals beta site, on which you’ll find a ‘Sign Up’ link.

I am not a US advertiser, and wonder when pay-per-action will be available in my country?
Although we plan to extend the pay-per-action beta test to advertisers outside of the US in the future, we don’t currently have a date for when this option may become available in other countries.

Although I am not a US advertiser, my campaigns do target US customers. Can I participate in the beta?
At this time, we’re only accepting advertisers who have a billing address located in the United States.

Have you start advertising on Google’s new program yet? If not, what is holding you back? Let us know!

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April 18th, 2007

Adwords Introducing Preferred Cost Bidding

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Google Adwords, Internet Marketing

Google introduced a new bidding option today called preferred cost bidding — a feature designed to help you save time while achieving your advertising cost goals more consistently. Instead of setting a maximum cost-per-click (CPC) or cost-per-impression (CPM) bid, you can set a preferred CPC or CPM bid that represents the average price you want to pay.

For example, suppose you want to pay an average CPC of $0.50. Currently, you need to regularly monitor and adjust your maximum CPC bids to keep your costs at or around $0.50 per click. Using preferred cost bidding, you can simply tell us that you want your average CPC to be $0.50, and we’ll manage your bids to reach that goal.

This feature will be released to all advertisers over the next few days. You’ll find it on the Edit Campaign Settings page in your account.

I’m kind of neutral towards this new feature, simply put it - I won’t use it much.

For me, CPC is not the first thing I look at, I look at my keywords position AND my conversion first - and then I figure out whether the ROI is positive at that amount of CPC. I then adjust my CPC to obtain the keyword position and conversion I like. By controlling the CPC amount first, you are NOT controlling your keyword position and conversion as it should be - its simply a backward approach to doing PPC.

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April 13th, 2007

Make Pay-per-click Advertising Work For You

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Ecommerce, Google Adwords, Internet Marketing

From what I hear, seems like a lot of people are having trouble with PPC and not getting the results they wanted or even losing a ton of money on it.

The fact is PPC works - if you know how to do it.

I’ll share my PPC experience with you as a Google certified adwords professional and PPC consultant. It had worked very well with my stores and my other online sites.

Here’re my REALLY SIMPLE SYSTEM to make it work for you.

Find out 5 products in your store which 1)have a high selling rate 2)have decent profit margin

Lets say one of this product is Golfpro(brandname) Golfer Max(model name) Golf Club (what it is)

Now set up a CAMPAIGN called “Brand + Product”, setup an adgroup called “Golferpro Golfer Max Golf Club”

Then make a list of those keywords CLOSELY related to the product, i.e. Golferpro Golfer Max, Golferpro GolferMax Golf Club….

And then use this program called Adwords Wrapper (its free) to wrap that list of keywords to include exact match, broad match, and phrase match.

Bid on these keywords in your adgroup AND stop the content network display of your ad. (there can be exception to this IF your profit margin and sell through is super high)

Bid the amount which allows your ad to show up as postion 3-5 (again exception if your profit margin and sell through is super high - in that case you will want to be in position 1-2)

Ok, at this point, your PPC campaign should do very well.

BUT to gain an extra edge, here’s what you do!

Find out the ONE keyword that has a decent conversion and HIGH search volume. Lets say in this case is Golferpro Golfer Max. Ok now REGISTER this domain and do a 301 redirect of this domain to your website’s page of that product. And use this domain instead for your URL! This will boost your CTR and conversion to you’ve never seen before.

Once this worked for you and making the kind of margin you like, now do it again and extend it to more products!

Hope this helps.

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March 21st, 2007

2 Google updates and what YOU should know

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Internet Marketing

Google announced 2 new features to Adwords yesterday - whether you are an adwords advertisers, adsense publishers, or affiliate marketer - both of these changes will affect you tremendously.

The main new feature is the pay-per-action (PPA) advertising in addition to the existing pay-per-click (PPC) model.

Unlike pay per click, with pay-per-action, you only pay when the visitor has completed some kind of action… i.e. opting into your list, making a sales. So now, instead of paying for tons of eyeballs that don’t result in anything, you can choose to only pay for solid leads or even sales.

For example, if you have a site that converts leads at 2% and the value of each sale is $100, that means you make $200 for every 100 leads and you will double your money by buying leads from Google if they were $1 each.

In contrast to paying for clicks which may or may not convert into leads, this is a much more predictable model and eliminates much of the risk of advertising on Adwords..

If you know the value of your product funnel, you can afford to out-bid your competitors and take an loss, paying $2 or more per lead (in this example break even) and still be making your money on the back-end while building a bigger list.

The implication of this change is that it becomes more and more important for you to build your product funnel and take advantage of backend sales. If you don’t increase your customer lifetime expenditure — your buiness WILL fail.

Currently this bidding method (PPA) is only available in the content network (not search network) but I expect this will launch into the search network if it goes well.

As an advertiser, I will be experimenting with this since I never really turn on ads on content sites anyway. (Conversion in the content network is typically a lot lower, so most PPC advertisers choose to turn off their content ads, thats unless you’re in high profit margin niches like mortgages, real estates…)

The second new feature is their new “text link format” ad unit. This was almost buried in the main announcement, but will be of great interest to you if you like making money from Adsense.

The new ad unit is ad that appears inline with your text. This means that you can now add ads right into the middle of a sentence on your page, instead of off to the side. This makes them appear like regular links. The only way people know they are a Google advertisement is the addition of the hover-text, “Ads by Google”, that is displayed when you mouse-over the link.

As a publisher, you no longer have to litter your site with those big, obvious Adsense ad units. Instead, you can simply embed ads directly into text in your content.

Hopefully this will encourage people to provide more useful content on their sites so that people actually read it. I can’t stand those automated sites just created for Adsense. This new ad type may start to raise the bar.

As an advertiser, you can create this new type of ad and provide default text to be used as a text link. Google suggests keeping them down to 5 words or less or to use your brand name, which offers maximum flexibility to the publisher displaying the ads.

Now, I’m not sure how it works so that might be the best way to go, but it makes sense to me to test putting your keywords in there instead. In normal links, using your keywords as your anchor text will increase your natural search engine ranking for those words.
(Since these aren’t normal links, this should be tested.)

Many people are worried that these 2 new features would wipe out the business of affiliate product promoters. This I don’t think will be true (at least in the near future). The companies that is most affected by these change will be affiliates network like shareresults, clickbank…

These are both in beta testing and their are requirements to get in. For more details, please visit their beta page at http://services.google.com/payperaction/index.html

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March 18th, 2007

Don’t Waste Time Split Testing!

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Internet Marketing

We all know conversion is important in IM business. The better your website converts, the better you can afford to pay for your traffic. However, if you focus too much on split testing — you are missing the BIG picture.

There’re 2 more things that dictate how much you can spend on customer acquisition which I believe is more important than sales letter conversion - Branding & backend sales.

A lot of IMers I know despise the concept of branding. They think its a stupid game big companies do with tones of cash to burn. Have it occured to you these big companies don’t get big just by being stupid? Maybe they know a thing or two you don’t know. Branding IS important!

For example, if John Reese publishes the same info as I do with the same sales letter as I use (everything hold constant except the name), and we both use same PPC campaign to promote them. Who’s do you think sell better? Of course John Reese’s! This is because of the brand name he built for himself over all these times by his marketing effort.

As for backend, that allows you to increase the value of each customer and thus you will be able to afford more to acquire a new customer.

Warriors, my suggestion is spend less time split testing, spend more time branding and setting up your backend system. This will serve you well.

Please share your opinions on this, feel free to disagree.

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March 17th, 2007

Asking for reviews? Don’t be picky

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Internet Marketing

If you have read my Overnight Forum Cash, then you know I suggest you to ask for a review before you launch your product as a WSO. So yesterday I saw one of my customer asking for a review WHILE her WSO is still running.

First of all, don’t do that, because that is against the rule of the forum — you cannot post a thread with the WSO link on the main forum when your WSO is still running. (although you can put it on your forum signature)

Second of all, in her post, when a member offer to provide her a review, she publicly rejected that person saying that he is not “well respected” enough. The bottomline is, when you’re just starting out, don’t focus too much on making fast cash, your 1st WSO should 1) make some cash 2) make you connections 3) establish some reputation for your future launch 4) building your list

Lets see… by refusing someone’s review publicly on the forum, you’re not making connections and you’re not establishing a good rep either.

If it is your 1st WSO, you need to get ALL the reviews you can get. Offered a review and turned it down? You know even for me (not to sound condescending), I make sure I have couple non-guru reviewers that will definitely leave me a feedback on top of those gurus because they may promise to leave you one but forget when they’re too busy.

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March 16th, 2007

Dominic Lee’s blog got a new look

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Written by Dominic Lee

Topics: Internet Marketing

We just uploaded a new template today, how do you guys like it? Please leave us your comment about our new look!

Btw, my product launch yesterday for “Overnight Forum Cash” has been wildly successful. Within the 1st 24 hours, we already made over 100 sales on WSO alone. If you haven’t check it out, you need to do so at:

http://www.warriorforum.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=139756

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