Banner Ads:


Banner advertising is used to drive traffic to your website.  These ads are typically placed at the top of a website, and are usually the first thing visitors see when they go to it.

 

When visitors to the website click on the banner ad, they are directed to the website which the banner ad is for.

 

Here are a few websites that offer banner advertising:

 

·       http://www.valueclickmedia.com/pub_display_advertising.shtml

·       http://www.firststopshops.com/ad_only_signup.php

·       http://www.submitpro.com/

·       http://www.free-banners.com/

·       http://www.addrive.com/new08/

 

Please keep in mind, each of the banner advertising websites offers different pricing for their sites.

 

What is a banner ad? A banner ad is similar to a traditional ad that you would see in a printed publication such as a magazine or newspaper.  However the banner ad has the ability to bring visitors directly to the advertiser’s website.

 

What are banner ad types? There are 8 different types of banner ads, which are specified from the Internet Advertising Bureau. These 8 different banner ads are:

 

·       468 x 60 IMU (Full Banner)

·       234 x 60 IMU (Half Banner)

·       88 x 31 IMU (Micro Bar)

·       120 x 90 IMU (Button 1)

·       120 x 60 IMU (Button 2)

·       120 x 240 IMU (Vertical Banner)

·       125 x 125 IMU (Square Button)

·       728 x 90 IMU (Leaderboard)

 

So why should you do banner advertising? Well, to start off it drives traffic to your website.  Banner ads are trackable, and typically it’s less expensive than other forms of advertising (such as radio, print, etc).

 

Where can you advertise your banner? Additionally to the places stated above that offer banner advertising, typically any of the websites that you visit will offer advertising.

 

One example is a message board which is mostly supported by advertising fees from their members.

Most of the time there are ways to contact the administrator or owner of the website so that you can find out pricing and their guidelines.  Some websites even have a section on their website that displays this information already, and will tell you how to get started advertising on their website.

 

Also try doing a search on Yahoo or Google for websites that compliment your website. For example, if you have a website about different types of dogs, you can try searching for websites that specialize in dog treats, dog walking, etc.
 
 
 
 

"The ‘Red-Headed Stepchild’ of Online Marketing…"

By Ryan Deiss

It was one of those moments in my marketing career that I will probably never forget…

It was November of 2006, and I was on stage speaking to a crowd of around 400 people e e at Armand Morin’s Big Seminar in Atlanta, Georgia.

I was about 1/3 of the way into my talk when I asked the group to guess which traffic generation method was the most successful for me between all my different businesses. The choices included:

Pay Per Click

Article Syndication

 

SEO

 

Banner Ads

 

Affiliate Programs/Joint Ventures

 

Ezine Advertising, and…

Viral Marketing

The crowd was silent at first until a few brave souls shouted out "AFFILIATE MARKETING!" and

"PAY PER CLICK!"

 

Then more people e e got in on the fun and before I knew it dozens of people e e were shouting out "AFFILIATE MARKETING!" and "PAY PER CLICK!" at the top of their lungs. (One or two people e e may have said something different, but those two responses were the most popular by far.)

But just when things were starting to get out of hand, I switched to the next slide, which read…

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The Answer: Banner Ads!

In an instant the shouts were replaced by total silence, and then almost as quickly the silence was replaced by literal GASPS.

I must confess that I didn’t expect such a dramatic response, and it took me a minute to regain my composure and continue with my talk. But the biggest surprise came AFTER I left the stage…

As expected a crowd gathered around me and began asking questions following my talk. This is normal and perfectly acceptable, and it’s one of the reasons live events like these are so valuable.

What wasn’t as normal, however, was that the crowd was made up of BOTH attendees and speakers. And much to my surprise, even THEY were shocked that I was "actually" using banner ads!

"Aren’t banner ads dead?" they would all ask, or…

"Didn’t they stop working in 1998?"

Now I don’t want to name names because some of these guys are personal friends of mine, but there’s a HUGE PROBLEM when some of the top marketers in the game know absolutely NOTHING about one of the oldest and most effective marketing media on the Internet.

But after giving it some thought, I think I know why that is…

"Never Trust a Skinny Chef"

Have you ever heard the saying, "Never trust a skinny chef?" Well here’s one for you Internet marketers out there…

"Never trust a marketing ‘guru’ who has only sold to Internet marketers."

Think I’ll step on any toes with that one?

TANGENT ALERT! Readers of my monthly "TAC Report" know I like to jump off on tangents from time to time, and this is definitely one of those times. Please bear with me ... usually it’s worth it.

 

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Frankly, I don’t care because all the BS has gone on long enough. Here’s the deal: The mere fact that I’ve made a lot of money online does NOT make me a great marketer.

My first membership site in the IM world, for example, was Nicheology.com. This site has been around for almost 4 years and has a maintained a consistent membership base of between 1200 and 1500 members, all of whom are paying $29.97 a month.

Do the math.

But despite the obvious success of this site, if it were the only thing I’d done I wouldn’t be the least bit equipped to teach YOU about marketing.

You see, while I’d love to pretend that I pulled out all the stops and built an ingenious marketing system to promote this site, that simply wasn’t the case. All I did was call up some marketing buddies of mine and asked them to send out a promo email to their list for me!

They agreed (because we’re buds) and that was that.

The site sold out in a matter of weeks and the momentum of that initial launch has been enough to carry it forward for almost 4 years.

Now, does this make me a great marketer?

HECK NO!

A Great Networker…Maybe…But a Great Marketer? I Don’t Think So!

Fortunately for me (and you) this is NOT the only thing I’ve done online. In fact, I’m proud to say that I’m one of the few "gurus" who actually makes more money DOING this stuff than I do TEACHING IT. In fact, most "gurus" have never made a single dime outside of this crazy market, and in my opinion that makes them ill-equipped to teach YOU marketing.

You see, despite what many of them would have you believe, this market isn’t like any other market I’ve seen. It’s largely dominated by a "good ol’ boys network" (of which I’m a member) that pretty much decides who and what will be successful from year to year.

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If you’re in "the club" your success is pretty much guaranteed. If you’re out, good luck. You may make a bit of money peddling your stuff on the forums, but that’s it.

"But how are just a handful of people e e able to control an entire market?" you ask. (Stick with me because I’m coming back around to banner ads…)

Simple. Unlike virtually every other market on the Internet, there are pretty much ZERO advertising opportunities in the Internet Marketing market.

No one sells banner ads…

No one sells ezine advertising…

NOTHING!

The whole market is driven by one thing and one thing only – JOINT VENTURES!

?? SIDE NOTE: This wasn’t always the case. When I first got started marketing online, many marketers WOULD sell you space in their ezines and even let you pay to send solo mailings to their list. Eventually those with good lists realized they could make a heck of a lot more money sending out THEIR OWN promotions, and those with bad lists (who were still more than willing to sell you space) just went out of business and went back to their jobs. By my calculation, the media-buying opportunities in the IM community had more or less dried up by 2004, so if you weren’t "in the club" by then you were out of luck.

This, by the way, is why there’s a freakin’ launch every week! It’s literally the only way anyone in this incestuous market knows how to sell stuff!

That’s also why almost none of the "gurus" know anything about "real" online marketing: They’ve simply never tried, because they’ve never had to.

But Where Does That Leave You?

None of this would be a problem if it weren’t for the fact that THESE GUYS are the ones who are supposed to be teaching YOU how to market. That’s why I say…

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"Never trust a skinny chef," and…

"Never trust a ‘guru’ who hasn’t marketed outside of the Internet marketing community."

Fortunately, there are a handful of "real gurus" out there who you can trust, and yours truly is one of them. So let’s get back to the matter at hand…

A (Very) Brief History of

Banner Ads

Most Internet historians agree that the first banner ad was "invented" in 1994. For the next 4 or 5 years the banner ad remained supreme among online media, until the dot.com bust in 1999 and 2000.

Before that point, banner ad space was so overvalued that no one (and I mean NO ONE) could make money utilizing the media because the CPM costs were so outrageous. Add to that the fact that Internet users were getting "wise" to the banner ad (causing click-through rates to decline), and what you have is a recipe for extinction.

?? SIDE NOTE: Banner ads, in case you didn’t know, are traditionally sold on a CPM basis, rather than a PPC basis. CPM stands for "Cost Per THOUSAND Impressions", so rather than paying on a per click basis advertisers were instead charged every time an impression, or page load, was recorded.

Then came the popularization of pay-per-click with the creation of Google Adwords, and almost immediately predictions were being made that the banner ad was "DEAD" and that PPC was the only media that would stand the test of time.

At least, that’s what all of us in the Internet marketing world thought…

What most of us didn’t realize, however, is that while everyone was focusing on PPC, banner advertising was having a revival of it’s own.

The advent of PPC caused website owners offer banner ads to rethink their pricing models, and almost overnight the costs of banner ads dropped drastically.

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Now, what was once unaffordable and unprofitable was highly profitable again…but only for those marketers who were "brave" enough to give this tired media a 2nd chance.

Why I Turned From a Banner "Hater"

Into a Banner Fanatic

I will freely admit that I too was one of those marketers who was very slow to give banners a "2nd chance". In fact, I remember at John Reese’s seminar in 2003 (the one in which the videos for his now famous "Traffic Secrets" course were created) that the subject of banner ads came up, and John had a guy stand up who talked about making an INSANE amount of money off of them.

I heard, but I didn’t believe and I certainly didn’t execute.

In fact, it wasn’t until 2005 when all the "Google Slaps" started happening that I began to seek alternatives to PPC. What I found absolutely blew me away…

1.Banner ad traffic is dependable and predictable. Unlike PPC and SEO traffic (which is what previously dominated my marketing campaigns) banner ads didn’t ever get "slapped" or have algorithm changes. I paid money and the traffic started flowing. It was that simple!

2.Unlike PPC, the more clicks you get the less you pay (on a per-click basis). I know, I know. Google will lower your cost-per-click if you have a high click-through rate, but it’s nothing like the benefits you get if you have a high CTR with your banner ads. Consider this: If I’m able to increase the CTR on my banner ad from 0.5% to 1%, what just happened to my effective cost-per-click. (Remember, with banner ads you pay for impressions NOT clicks.) You shouldn’t need a calculator for this one…the answer is my effective cost-per-click was cut in HALF! If I was able to further increase my CTR from 1% to 2%, my effective cost-per-click would be cut in half AGAIN because remember, with banner ads you spend the same amount no matter how many clicks you get. So in a sense, you’re

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rewarded all the more for being a good marketer!

3.Lots of available traffic. This was probably the biggest shock of all. I was always frustrated by the amount of traffic I was able to generate with Google Adwords. Last I checked Google was one of the most trafficked site on the Internet, yet no matter how much I was willing to spend the traffic was always somewhat limited. The fact is, there are just only so many people e e SEARCHING on particular keywords on a day to day basis. That’s why I was thrilled to see the traffic pour in just as soon as I began to ramp up my advertising efforts. Whereas we were only able to generate a few thousand clicks per day on some markets, in those same markets we were generating literally TENS OF THOUSANDS of unique visitors PER DAY. In one market this allowed us to add an average of 1100 people e e (again, PER DAY) to our opt-in list. Think about that for a minute. 1100 NEW people e E every single day of the week (including weekends), and we never did fully exhaust our opportunities. You see, despite what we may all think about Google, compared to the hundreds and thousands of sites in each market, the amount of related traffic that Google receives is miniscule at best. And as you’ll see in just a bit, the quality of that traffic is actually BETTER when it comes from banner ads rather than PPC…

4.You define your ad – NOT Google! The thing that bugged me most about the "Google Slaps" and the introduction of their "Quality Score" wasn’t that they raised my cost-per-clicks across the board. No, I can deal with increasing media costs. What bugged me the most is that Google basically said I couldn’t create the kind of ad or landing page I wanted to create. Instead, they wanted ads that looked like organic search listings, and landing pages that gave away free information rather than trying to squeeze a name and email address and (GASP!) sell something! Perish the thought! ;) Google has their agenda and that’s fine, but while most marketers had to change their entire business models to be

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more "Google-friendly", I just made the decision to not play by their rules. Sure, I still do some PPC on almost all my markets, but the bulk of my traffic is driven by banner ads, and unlike Google the website owners don’t care what my ad says (as long as it isn’t vulgar or inappropriate) nor do they care if I’m more concerned with making money than making a friend. These website owners are capitalist pigs just like me, which is why I’d much rather play with them than Google.

5.It’s extremely fast. If you’ve ever tried to generate traffic with SEO, you know how long it can take. Heck, just getting your site indexed can take weeks, and to start seeing traffic can take months (and that’s assuming you did everything right). With banner advertising, however, you just pick a location, pay some money and BOOM your ad is live and the traffic is flowing. I

t just doesn’t get any easier than that!

 

6.Don’t need to be a part of the "good ol’ boys club" in your market. You already heard my rant about the IM community and how it’s dominated by a handful of marketers, but the good news is that almost no other market is like this. (I know, because I’m actively selling product in dozens of them RIGHT NOW!) In just about every other market, if you are willing to buy ad space then you can get your message heard. Now whether or not that message will be received positively or not is up to you as a marketer, but the important thing is that banner ads give you a fighting chance. In the weight loss market, for example, we tried to get started by approaching other marketers to do joint ventures with us, but we were shut down time and time again. We also had a tough time making PPC work because it was incredibly competitive and didn’t convert all that well, so if we were like most internet marketers we would have been dead in our tracks. Fortunately, I knew enough to give banner advertising a shot, and I’m glad I did! In a matter of days, we were able

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to turn a floundering business into the one I referenced a moment ago that was generated 1100 opt-ins a day, and all because of banner ads.

7.Banner ads attract BUYERS not just researchers. I truly saved the best for last… I don’t know where the idea came from that banner ad traffic was "low quality" traffic, but it just isn’t true. Rather, it depends on what you’re comparing it to… If you’re comparing banner ad traffic to endorsed traffic (i.e. affiliate or JV traffic), then yes, the quality is significantly less. But that’s not because banner ad traffic is bad, it’s because endorsed traffic is just about the best there is! So instead, let’s compare banner ad traffic to a equally familiar source – Pay-Per-Click. Believe it or not, my tests show time and time again that the conversion rate from banner ad traffic is significantly better than almost all PPC traffic. Sure, there are exceptions. For example, if someone searches "buy forex system" in Google they’re going to convert better than just about any banner ad, but let’s be honest…those visitors are few and far between. And despite what a lot of "Top-Secret" Google Adwords ebooks would lead you to believe, you can’t build a sustainable business around just "buy-related" keywords. There just isn’t enough traffic to support it. But even if you averaged these high-conversion keywords into the mix, banner ad traffic will still win 9 times out of 10. I can’t say for certain why this is, but I have some ideas… For one, search engines naturally attract researchers and people e e who don’t quite know what they’re looking for. In other words, they aren’t very far along in the buying cycle. With a banner ads, however, you’re generating your traffic from people e e who are already on a related website (either related by topic, psychographic or demographic…all of which will be discussed later). At the very least this person has been to the search engine

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and clicked on at least one of the listings, instantly making them MORE QUALIFIED by one-click than someone who just clicks on your ad from the search engine. More like, however, is that this person is an active member in the market or community that you are targeting, and so they’ve already proven themselves to be interested and excited about the very thing you’re trying to sell them. Either way, you can see how they’re more qualified (and would therefore convert better) than someone who clicked on your PPC ad while doing a Google search.

Ok, so hopefully I’ve convinced you that banner ads are worth trying. Now what I’d like to do is remove some of the intimidation that is (unnecessarily) attached to them.

First, let’s talk about…

What Makes a Good Banner Ad?

There are only a few rules you need to follow when designing your banner ads, but each one is VERY IMPORTANT so pay close attention.

RULE #1: Either Blend In Or Stick Out Like a Sore Thumb

Rule #2: Sell the CLICK – Not the Offer

Rule #3: Tell Them Where To Click

Rule #4: Text Still Sells

Rule #5: Always Stay Above the Fold

Now that you’ve seen the rules, let’s discuss each one in greater depth…

RULE #1: Either Blend In Or Stick Out

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Either love me or hate me…there’s no money in the middle…"

Well with banner ads, you either want to be DOG UGLY or you want to blend in seamlessly to the surrounding page, and believe me…there’s DEFINITELY no money in the middle.

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Below you’ll see an example of a page that sticks out like a sore thumb…

You don’t get to see the entire ad in the image below, but there’s enough there to give you an idea of what I mean when I talk about an add "sticking out".

Honestly, if you went to the site above, do you think you could possibly miss the obnoxiously bright-green ad on the right-hand side of the page?

I don’t think so!

And what you don’t see in the still photo above is that the yellow background at the top is actually flashing, making the entire ad even more impossible to miss.

The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that this is a highly professional financial website that this ad is appearing on. In fact, Futures Magazine has one of the largest

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circulations in the day trader/currency and commodities trading markets, so this isn’t some fly-by-night site. This is an important consideration for two reasons:

1. It’s proof that "ugly" advertising works in even professional markets. Currency trading isn’t just some cheesy "biz opp" market. These traders are VERY serious about what they do, so if this kind of advertising will work in this market then TRUST ME…it will work in yours.

2. It’s proof that even "professional" websites will allow you to place the kind of advertising you want. If Google were to give this ad a "Quality Score" I’m guessing it wouldn’t rank all that high, but does that bother FuturesMag.com? Not In the least. As long as the check clears, they have no problem running even the ugliest ads as-is.

Ok, so now that you’ve seen an example of an ad that sticks out, let’s look at an ad that blends in…

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This ad is dang near perfect. There’s no box to separate it from the copy and the text for the both the headline and the body copy is more or less identical to the font style and size of the surrounding content.

If you were scanning this article (which most people e e do) it would be easy to stumble across this ad and assume it’s just part of the content.

Compare this to the ad below which was inside the same article…

As you can see, this ad makes almost no attempt to blend in, but at the same time it isn’t ugly enough to stop someone in their tracks. Sure, it does a few things right, but all in all this ad just screams…

"IGNORE ME…I’M JUST AN AD!"

Want another example? Ok, here’s one of my favorites…

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I started to highlight the ad in the screenshot below, but I decided instead to leave it as-is to see if you would spot it at first glance.

Well…did you?

Since you’re looking for the ad I’m sure you saw it by now, but just in case it’s the boxed area on the right-hand side with "255% Gains In Six Months" as the headline.

Normally I’m not a big fan of putting a box around my ads when I’m attempting to blend in, but in this case it works because all the other content on that right-hand side is boxed in. In fact, they were smart enough to match the color and width of their box PERFECTLY to the box around the news stories just above this ad.

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The only area where they faltered design-wise, in my opinion, is with the headline. It may be hard to tell in the screenshot (especially if you’re reading a black and white printed version) but the blue in the ad’s headline doesn’t quite match the blue in the content headlines (see "Bluetooth’s amazing makeover").

For all I know they tested it and found that this darker shade of blue pulled better than the blue found in the headlines on the page, but when you’re designing these kind of ads I suggest you make it match EXACTLY.

The body copy, however, is a dead-on match, and they were also wise to underline their "link" in the ad even though none of the other links on the page were underlined. From my testing underlined links almost always generate higher click-throughs than non-underlined links.

?? SIDE NOTE: In case you were wondering, this entire ad is an image and therefore "clickable", but as you’re about to see you still need to tell the reader where to click. If you leave it up to them to figure out, your CTR will suffer.

They were also smart and stuck their logo at the BOTTOM of the ad. The best case scenario is that you don’t have to use your logo at all, but oftentimes when running "blend-in-style" ads like these the websites will require you to include either your logo or the words "Sponsored Message" (or something similar) above the ad. If given this choice, go with your logo but stick it at the bottom and make it as small as possible like you see in Business 2.0 example.

I’ve probably berated this point enough, but I can’t close out this "Rule" without first showing you…

The Ad That Was So Good

It Got BANNED…

What you’re about to see is easily my crowning achievement in "blend-in-style" banner advertising. In fact, this ad was so effective at fooling the website’s visitors into thinking it was content that a few people e e complained and the website wussed out and pulled my ad after only 6 hours.

(In reality, I’d bet the site only received 2 or 3 complaints, but for sites like these that are more concerned with their

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"image" than they are the bottom line…that’s usually all it takes.)

Now, before I show you the "blend-in" ad that got banned, I first want to show you the ad that we were previously running on this same website (see below).

As you can see, this ad makes no effort to blend in at all. In fact, it’s probably a little too pretty, which is one of the reasons it didn’t pull all that well.

After running this ad for a few days and watching the lead flow slow to a trickle, I decided to change things up a bit and take my own advice. Normally I would go the "ugly-route" and create an ad that would stick out like a sore thumb, but this time I decided to try something different and create the ultimate "blend-in" ad.

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What you see below is the end result of my little experiment…

When I initially created this ad and submitted it to FXStreet.com for approval, I thought for sure that they would require me to include a logo or the word "Advertisement" above it like you see in the text ad.

In fact, I purposely submit ads that are borderline fully expecting them to tell me to "fix" something, that way it looks like I’m compromising when really I’m getting what I want. Much to my surprise (and delight), though, this ad went through without any change requests.

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As you can see, I not only matched font and color of the body copy as well as the link (although I did mess up a bit and forgot to underline the link), I also perfectly matched the blue title box. If you compare my "FREE FOREX REPORT" title with the "CURRENCIES AT A GLANCE" section right below my ad, you’ll see what I mean.

Is that slick or what?

But wait until you hear the results…

While a good banner ad will pull 1 – 2% click-throughs, this ad pulled an astonishing 12% for the 6 hours it was on the site. But it gets even better!

All the traffic that was generated by this ad was sent to a simple short-form squeeze page, and the opt-in rate for that page was 94%.

I’ll say that again – the opt-in rate for this traffic was

94%!!

 

Numbers like these are simply unheard of, and while I’m sure they would have dropped off had the ad been allowed to run longer, it’s a testament to what you can accomplish when you successfully "blend in" to your surroundings.

Ok, I’ve probably said everything that needs to be said about Rule #1, so let’s move onto the 2nd major rule of banner advertising…

RULE #2: Sell the Click – NOT the Offer

I see this mistake made time and time again, so please pay close attention to what I’m about to say: You simply DO NOT have enough room in a banner ad to sell a product.

Instead, all you’re trying to do is GRAB the visitors attention and then immediately motivate them to click. If you try to sell, you’ll lose them.

There are a number of strategies that you can employ to try to "sell the click", but the two that I use the majority of the time are: 1) shock and awe and 2) a FREE offer.

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With a "Shock and Awe" style ad, all you’re trying to do is build curiosity in the mind of the visitor such that they MUST click to find out exactly what’s on the other side of your ad.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is with an outlandish statement or an interesting image. For example, check out this 125 x 125 pixel ad I recently saw on a conservative political website.

For those of you who may not know who this person is (especially my international readers), this is an illustration of Hillary Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton and current presidential candidate.

Now keep in mind that this ad was running on a politically conservative website, so any image of Hillary is sure to draw attention. Add to that the word "Obey", and you have a concoction that’s sure to make any conservative’s blood boil.

This isn’t my ad so I can’t give you any hard and fast statistics, but I can say with a confidence that this tiny little banner is racking up the clicks. Now, how well this site is monetizing those clicks is another issue for another report, but when you realize that your banner ad’s sole purpose is to generate as many targeted clicks as possible, it’s hard to deny that this tiny little ad is doing it’s job.

Free Offer Ads are the most common direct-response banner ad and probably the safest. Why? Because everyone wants something for free!

Here’s an example of an ultra-simple ad of mine that absolutely pulls like crazy. If you notice, the sales copy itself isn’t all that great, and there aren’t any pictures to grab your attention.

What does grab your attention, however, is the giant "FREE" and the call to action, "Click here to claim your free report…" and so far that’s been enough to make this ad work.

And speaking of the "call to action", that’s a perfect lead-in to the next banner advertising rule…

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RULE #3: Tell Them Where To Click

I’ve already touched on this rule briefly in this report so I won’t dwell on it here. Suffice it to say that if you want to maximize your number of clicks, you need to tell your visitors WHERE TO CLICK.

Take this banner ad for example…

On the surface it appears to do a lot of things right. For example, it’s a good mix of both "Shock and Awe" and a "Free Offer" ad.

Also, they do a great job of "showing you" the free report that you’ll receive, which in my tests has shown to give CTR a bump (unless you’re going the "blend-in" route).

All in all it’s a pretty decent ad except for one GLARING oversight: They never tell you WHERE to click, or even that you need to click!

You simply cannot leave something this important to chance. Requesting the click is the most basic call to action that exists with banner advertising, and failing to do that is like having a salesletter without an order link.

That’s why every banner ad, without fail, should include either a blue underlined link, a button or BOTH (as you see in the example to the right).

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Web surfers have been conditioned for years to click on links and buttons, so why try to buck that trend? Show them what they’re used to seeing and they’ll reward you with high click-through rates.

Rule #4: Text Still Sells…Even With Banner Ads

When you think about banner ads, the image most people e e conjure up in their minds are obnoxious, flash videos with images whirling and whizzing in a rectangular shaped box. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

Let’s not forget that the banner ad (when used properly) is just another direct response media. It’s no different from space ads in newspapers and magazines, postcards and even classified ads (including PPC).

Ask any successful marketer, and they’ll tell you that in all those media, "TEXT SELLS!" Yes, images can be a great attention grabber or even proof element and their importance shouldn’t be ignored, but in the end it’s going to be the words in the ad that ultimately get someone to click.

The skyscraper ad to the right is a great example of a banner that uses strong direct-response copy as well as an image to grab attention and arouse curiosity. But the most important thing to notice is the shear volume of copy that’s crammed into such a small space!

There’s a headline, three paragraphs of body copy and a strong call to action. What more do you need!?

Now just to warn you, it takes a highly skilled copywriter to craft banner ad copy like this, so don’t expect to duplicate it your first time around. That said, it shouldn’t worry you if all your banner ads look a little "text-heavy". The websites where you’re advertising will usually think you’re crazy and sometimes they’ll even offer to "help" you "fix" your ad.

Ignore them.

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You’re not trying to build a brand or impress your buddies with your new, cool flash banner. All you’re trying to do is generate as many targeted clicks as possible, and then hopefully convert a large chunk of those clicks into sales. If that’s your goal, then focus on text FIRST and use images only as a supplement to ur marketing message.

yo

RULE #5: Always Stay "Above the Fold"

This final rule of banner advertising is a simple one, but it can save you A LOT of money if you adhere to it. If you recall back to the beginning of this report, banner ads are sold on a CPM or "cost per impression" basis. In other words, you pay whenever the page is loaded…not when someone clicks.

For this reason, it is essential that you only purchase banner ad space where your ads will be visible immediately upon hitting the site (without the visitor needing to scroll down).

Think about it: You could have the best ad in the world, but if it’s sitting down at the bottom of the page almost no one will see it. This wouldn’t be a problem if you were paying on a per click basis. In fact, it would probably be a good thing because it would ensure that only the most qualified people e e saw your ad and therefore clicked on it.

When you’re paying on an impression basis, however, and you have an ad sitting at the bottom of the page, you’re spending money on visitors that will probably never even see your ad. How’s that for having the odds stacked against you?

But if you negotiate your placements so that your ads always appear near the top, you’ll maximize the potential of your ad space rather than wasting money on "blind traffic".

Ok, that does it for the most important banner advertising rules. Now I want to show you a sneaky method for maximizing ur banner advertising…

yo

How To Get Two Ads for the Price of One…

Here’s a clever little trick that I started testing fairly recently, and so far the results have been encouraging. Here’s how it works…

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One of the most common banner ad sizes is the 160 x 600 and 120 x 600 pixel "skyscraper" banner ad. (NOTE: You’ve already seen an example of a skyscraper on page 21.)

This banner ad size always seemed inefficient to me, because I never needed the full length of the ad to deliver my message in such a way that it would get the click. As you can see from the example on page 21, 600 pixels is pretty dang tall!

So one day I got an idea for how I could better utilize this space. Rather than create just one ad that’s a full 600 pixels tall, I instead created TWO ADS (one more image-heavy and one more text-heavy) which allowed the one banner ad to do double-duty.

Here’s an example of one of these "two for one ads"…

I don’t want to say that I "invented" this banner ad strategy, but to my knowledge I haven’t see anyone else use it. I have seen offline marketers run full-page "advertorials" (a long-form ad that’s meant to look like an article) inside magazines and then on those same pages they would also include a traditional-

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looking space ad that promoted the same product or service as the advertorial. Looking back on it, this was probably the genesis of my idea, but it’s effectiveness offline is further proof that there’s something to this strategy.

As I’ve already mentioned, I like to create two very different looking ads so that to the end-user they appear to be separate ads stacked on top of one another. This effectively gives me two chances to deliver my message to the same person. So for those folks who are more attracted to a professional-looking image-heavy ad, we can give them that. And for those who are more drawn in by ugly text-heavy ads, we can deliver that at the exact same time.

It truly is the best of both worlds!

So far I’ve only tested "two for one" ads, but assuming you had room you could also try "three for one" and even "four for one". The important thing to remember, however, is that it’s still only one image for all practical purposes, so you won’t be able to link to different offers.

That means it’s up to you to come up with different ways of promoting the same offer without the visitor realizing that each "ad" is promoting the same thing. This may sound difficult at first, but it’s actually a lot of fun! And the best part is, you can feel free to try some crazy things, because you know at least one piece of your ad is tested and proven.

At this point, believe it or not, you now know more about creating banner ads that GET THE CLICK than 99% of the Internet marketing world. I’m serious!

Remember, this media is still largely ignored and untapped by the vast majority of the marketing world, so there’s tremendous opportunity for those who are willing to give the media a "2nd Chance". I did, and it’s literally made me MILLIONS…I hope you now have the confidence to do the same. But there’s still one big aspect of the banner advertising game that I have yet to address. Namely…

How Do You Find Quality Websites

To Advertise On?

This process is actually easier than you may think, so let’s go over it very quickly…

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STEP 1: Play Customer

When I’m looking to start a new banner ad campaign, the first thing I do is go to Google.com and I start doing searches related to my different products.

In other words, I "play customer"…

My goal is to stumble across websites targeting people e e in my market that accept advertising. Finding out whether or not they accept advertising is very easy. All you do is look for banner ads, and if you see them you know you have a winner.

STEP 2: Request More Information

Once you’ve found a number of websites in your market that accept advertising (and trust me, they’re out there) the next step is to contact these site owners to find out how you can go about getting your ad on their site.

Usually this is as simple as scrolling down to the bottom of the page and clicking on an "Advertising" or "Advertise With Us" link. If the site you’re targeting doesn’t have a link to their advertising information, though, don’t fret. Just email the support department and inform them that you’re a potential advertiser, and I guarantee you’ll be directed to the right place.

Once you have access to the site’s advertising department, you want to ask for a "rate card" or "media kit". This will give you all the information you need to know if this site is a good fit for your offer. It will also tell you the different banner ad positions they offer as well as their costs.

IMPORTANT: Don’t be surprised if the prices quoted on the rate card seem outrageously high. It’s well understood that rate card prices will be negotiated down heavily, so the actual amount you’ll spend will probably be 40 – 60% of what you actually see posted.

STEP 3: Design a Test Campaign

Once you’ve had a chance to review the rate card and other advertising information, the next step is to speak with an ad rep and have them create a proposal for you.

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A typical proposal will include 2 – 4 "packages" that will vary wildly in price. They’re going to push you to spend as much as possible in the beginning, but you need to emphasize that you are a direct response marketer and so you can only continue doing media buys if you’re seeing a strong ROI.

I usually say things like: "I’m very protective of my test budgets, but if the campaign goes well I’d love nothing more than to give you lots and lots of money."

And this isn’t just BS that I’m feeding them, it’s the honest-to-God truth! If I’m getting back $2 for every $1 I’m spending (or even $1.01 for every dollar I’m spending) it’s in my best interest to give them as much money as possible.

The key, however, is that you want to TEST SMALL so that you can afford to TEST OFTEN without breaking the bank.

STEP 4: Test and Renegotiate

Once you’ve run your test campaign, now it’s time to review the number to see how things turned out. If you were profitable, then you’ll probably want to roll out a slightly larger campaign. If you totally bombed you’ll know it’s time to move on, and if you’re borderline it’s up to you to decide if you want to make some tweaks and try again or move on to something else.

Either way, you want to hold your cards very close to your chest when speaking to the ad rep. Never, never, NEVER call them up all excited because you’re ad pulled 3:1, because your chance of negotiating a better rate or better payment terms just went out the door.

There’s obviously a lot more that can be said about the negotiation process, but that’s for another report and another day. For now, I just wanted to prove to you that banner ads do in fact work – and show you some examples of how I’m using them in my businesses. My hope is that this up-close look at what I’m doing will give you the confidence you need to give this media a try in your own business.

I’m telling ya’, this stuff works and you’re crazy if you don’t give it a try!

In the next Total Access Report I plan to show you an even easier way to get into the banner ad game. So, if all this ad-

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buying stuff seemed a bit intimidating, you’ll definitely want to pay close attention to the next TAC Report.

Not only will I go into greater depth on how we go about locating possible advertising opportunities, I’ll also give you a detailed look at the "other side of Google Adwords" – Google Site-Targeting – and how I’m using it to generate insane amounts of targeted traffic for just pennies!

It’s gonna be a fun ride, so stay tuned…

BIG IDEAS

(i.e. Things you should have highlighted, starred and underlined…)

Big Idea #1: Traffic is everything! You can have the best product and the best salesletter, but if you don’t have traffic your business is dead. That’s why it’s crucial that you know EXACTLY how you’re going to drive traffic for a particular product or service before you spend the time developing it.

Big Idea #2: Attend live events as often as you can. It’s a great way to get exposed to new ideas while at the same time challenging some of your long-held paradigms that may very-well be holding you back.

Big Idea #3: Make the decision to be a "self-reliant marketer" and not just some mooch who can only get sales by begging other people e e to JV with them.

Big Idea #4: You can’t be afraid of criticism, and you can’t be afraid to push the envelope. Learn to value the quality of your marketing by the dollars it generates as opposed to the number of complaints.

Big Idea #5: Learn to be ok with "good enough". If you look at my banner ads, you’ll see that they’re far from slick or professional. In fact, most of them were created by me using a free image editing tool that came with my computer. The most important thing is to just get started. You can always go back and fix things AFTER you have some traffic and sales flowing in.

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How Ugly and Offensive Banner Ads Can Bring in a

Flood of Traffic

with Chris Pizzo

Ryan Deiss: Hi, everybody. This is Ryan Deiss along with my buddy Perry

Belcher with another What’s Working Now Interview. On the line

is a friend of mine, Chris Pizzo. I’ll let Chris talk about his

business a little more.

Quickly, I’ll tell you what I know about Chris. Chris is one of the

more interesting people e e I’ve ever been associated with in this

business. He is not afraid of anyone or anything. A lot of that

comes from his background which I’m sure he will go into.

He has a really cool business. It is safe to say it is in the selfdefense

market, but it has become more than that. Now it has a

lot to do with the nutritional aspect and things like that. Isn’t that

correct, Chris?

Chris Pizzo: Yes, that’s right.

Ryan: He is doing some really neat things and he has a huge business

that is making a lot of money. He has one of the most prevalent

ads I’ve ever seen on the Internet before. He is all over the

place and, hopefully, we’ll get a chance to talk about that.

Perry Belcher: This is Perry. I picked up a magazine the other day and I

noticed it was saying that you have ads with multiple pages in

some of the self-defense magazines.

Chris: Yes, and we will definitely get into that and why.

Ryan: This guy is prolific. He’s doing it. As with everyone we try to do

these calls with, he is someone who is out there doing it; he is

not somebody who is out there teaching it. We will get a chance

to dive into his business and find out what is working in his

business right now.

Before we get into that, give us a better explanation than I just

did about who you are, a bit about your background, and what

the heck it is that you do.

Chris: My name is Chris Pizzo. I am better known all over the place as

Captain Chris, World Leader in Self-Defense. Prior to that I was

better known as Lieutenant X, Scourge of the Martial Arts

Universe, and Most Hated Martial Arts Artist on the Planet.

We are the world leader in self-defense, close combat

companies; we’re a leader in self-defense training materials,

both in hand-to-hand combat and nutritional and military-related

nutrition and fitness products.

About five years ago, I was a public school teacher after my

military service was cut short with an illness. I decided I did not

like to be poor, so I used my spare time to put everything

together I had learned in the military and martial arts.

I put on the black mask and made what may possibly be

considered the worst self-defense videos ever made on the

planet. They were awful.

Ryan: Did you literally wear a black mask?

Chris: Yeah, I wore a black mask without thinking about the fact that

with the black mask people e e could hardly hear me. I used my

buddy who had no martial arts experience whatsoever. I thought

it would be cool if I showed a complete beginner and three

hours later he was totally capable, right?

That was my first time on video for anything and it was a

complete disaster. I sold about $2 million worth of those videos.

Ryan: Is that no joke? You literally sold $2 million worth?

Chris: I sold $2 million worth of those videos.

Perry: If you think you’re terrible at video, don’t worry about it.

Chris: We didn’t even have a camera man on this one. We had a

remote and I would just press Play and this guy and I just got in

front of the camera with the masks and beat the crap out of

each other. That was pretty funny.

I actually started getting requests from private military

contractors and companies. This was after 9/11 and people e e

were going over to Iraq. They were saying, “This guy knows

what he’s talking about. His videos are crazy, but we like him.”

After that I started making better videos as Lieutenant X. The

reason I was Lieutenant X at first is that I thought I was going to

be a high school administrator. I never thought this was going to

take off and I didn’t want videos of me teaching people e e how to

kill someone with their bare hands to be seen by parents. They

would ask, “Why is this guy teaching our kids?”

Anyway, that went rather well and I kept trying to expand and

push that business. I learned a lot about Internet marketing. We

all talk about the good old days when it cost $9 to get a

customer and stuff like that. It was a bit of the Wild West on the

Internet and even in the magazines.

I decided I wanted a real business, so I hired people e e. We always

joke about how if there is anybody who is not meant to manage

a business, it’s me. I drove that business completely into the

ground even with the sales.

A few years ago in 2007 we rebranded as Close Combat

Company and Captain Chris. I took on a savvy businessman as

my partner to manage operations and whatever else and we

completely rocketed past anybody that was doing anything

close to what we do in the martial arts and self-defense industry.

We bridged off again from the “how to kick someone’s butt”

video business into health, fitness, nutrition, and other lateral

markets like that.

Ryan: Not that you’re a shy guy, but I love the way you opened up with

Captain Chris, World Leader in Self-Defense. Chris is very

smart in that he has no problem dubbing himself and that’s

brilliant. However, some people e e think, “This guy is some cocky

dude.”

I’ve been in a mastermind group with Chris and have had the

opportunity to talk with him one on one. He is legit; he’s the real

deal. What year did you drive that business into the ground?

Was it 2007?

Chris: It was at the end of 2007 when it came to a head.

Ryan: The one thing we won’t talk about on this call is Chris’

management.

Chris: We’ll get Gary on the phone for that one.

Ryan: That would be a separate call with a totally different person.

However, he was able to take a business, be successful with it,

drive it into the ground, and then start over again basically from

scratch. At the time point he had a reputation that was arguably

tainted in his industry and he was able to turn that around in

about a year. He has become the number one biggest force in a

very competitive market with a lot of really, really sharp

marketers, names that the people e e listening to this would know.

All this is a testament to that fact that this guy is just a stud. With

that by way of an introduction, Chris, what is working now in

your business? Let’s dive right in.

Chris: I would say banners, banners, and more banners. That is what

is working right now.

Perry: What about banners? Are you using banners?

Chris: What did you say, Perry?

Perry: I’m messing with you, man. I shouldn’t mess with this guy; he

beats up people e e for a living, right?

Ryan: You’re saying banner ads work which, obviously, is music to my

ears. I’m probably one of the few people e e that still touts the

benefits of banner ads. This is a subject I love to talk about.

Jump in and talk about what is working and what you’re doing in

banners and all that good stuff.

Chris: Just like anything else in this business, the quicker you fail at

something and don’t repeat that mistake, the better you’re going

to be at it.

The biggest “aha” that I figured out with banners—and Ryan,

you actually helped a little with this from our mastermind

meetings as I saw what you were doing—is that banner ads are

just the online version of print and magazine ads which I am

pretty good at.

If you become good at banners, you’ll be good at print ads; if

you’re good at print ads, you should be good at banners. It is

basically the same, exact business.

It breaks down to four markets to target when you are going

after banners. The first is a direct, exact message to market

match. This would be people e e in your niche or the people e e looking

at or reading about exactly what you are selling.

In my case with martial arts, if they are on

www.BlackbeltMagazine.com, obviously they are interested in

martial arts and interested in learning more. Boom! My banner is

there, they click on it, and they buy.

There is a trade off, though. These are the best customers and

they’re very approachable, easy to get, and cost-effective, but

the problem is there are not a whole lot of them. No matter

which niche market it is, the more drilled down to message

match you get, the less traffic there is going to be.

I would say the second most powerful one is by psychographics.

This is what people e e are watching, what they’re reading, and

what they think about. That is a pretty hefty topic. I don’t know

how deeply you want to get into that.

Ryan: I definitely want you to explain it. We don’t want to say

“psychographics” and then lose everybody. The first one is

obvious, right? You’re selling self-defense, so you put banners

on self-defense sites. That’s the low hanging curve; it is easy to

get over that.

As you mentioned, the most obvious traffic is going to be the

most competitive, probably the most expensive, and there is

going to be less of it.

What you said there was good about the psychographic

element. Definitely talk about it and give us some examples.

Chris: The weirdest thing about this business and any kind of

information marketing or selling business is that it is all counterintuitive.

The people e e you think will be your customers are never

going to be your customers. It always ends up being the craziest

thing.

When I first started selling self-defense videos I thought my

typical customers were going to be guys around my age at the

time, 28, or guys that like watching ultimate fighting and

whatever else. However, the reality is that isn’t the case.

There are plenty of other self-defense businesses out there that

sell to those guys successfully, but for some reason they did not

relate to my sales copy, my product, or my offer. It wound up

that my entire customer base is 65-year-old men. These are

right-wing, gun-toting, freedom-fighting raving (I wouldn’t say)

nut cases, but you know what I mean.

It is very important that I figured that out. It took me a long time

to figure that out through surverys and whatever else. I finally

figured out who my customers really were when I got 10,000

customers and paid Nielsen Claritas to run a cluster report on

them. That gave me exactly everything.

Ryan: Could you repeat that resource? Those Nielsen Claritas reports

are way too in depth to get near, but do you have a link where

people e e could go to get more information?

Chris: Nielsen is like the TV ratings thing. They don’t just monitor

popular TV shows. They literally monitor what people e e are

reading, what they’re watching, and what they’re buying. This is

a very big company and they have a program called Claritas.

You can look up Nielsen Claritas online and I’m sure you will

find it.

If you have at least 10,000 customers with mailing addresses

and so forth, they will cluster them together based on

demographics group which we can also discuss.

Also, they cluster them on psychographics. Based on this guy’s

income, geographic location, age group, and buying habits, here

is exactly what he is watching, what he is doing, what he is

listening to, and so forth.

Obviously, this is powerful information because now you can go

out as far as banners are concerned and know where these

guys are going online, what magazines these guys are reading,

and what TV shows they are watching. My banners, my TV

commercials, my print ads, and even my direct mail campaigns

all slam right into these guys multi-media wise and drive them to

my sites.

Ryan: Let’s make this a clear example. You know that your guys are

the right-wing, uber-focused, gun-toting people e e. Perry, can you

give us a voice of this type of person?

Perry: It is probably somebody named Earl.

Chris: It is not those guys, though, and this is the thing. It winds up

being the weekend warrior guys who are like this.

Perry: We know a couple of those guys. Mike, are you on?

Ryan: We definitely know those guys.

Perry: Tim Schmidt, this is definitely not you, I promise.

Ryan: A lot of us in the Internet marketing world think in terms of

keywords. With Google AdWords they have conditioned us to

think in contextual advertising, right? If you are using Google

and you have an offer related to self-defense, they will only want

to put you on self-defense sites.

What you realized and what banner ads allow you to do—which

is why I love banner ads—is to see, “Hey, this guy is reading a

column written by Rush Limbaugh,” and you know that if

somebody is reading Rush Limbaugh, there is a better than

average chance that he will also want to learn how to kill

somebody with his bare hands.

Perry: If I listened to Rush all day, I would probably want to kill

somebody.

Ryan: Obviously, we don’t want to get overly political here. You found

a psychographical match there that broadened the number of

advertising places. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there are a lot

more sites dedicated to right-wing conservatism than there are

to self-defense.

Chris: That’s right. In my case, we do sell a very expensive product

and product line, so those guys also happen to have money.

It is important to say this. We know that marketers are a little

lazy and when they hear us talking about this they’re going to

say, “Oh! Chris is advertising on Drudge Report. I’m going to put

an ad on there!” Well, this guy is going to lose his shirt, if you

know what I mean.

All these sites that Ryan, Perry, and I have been talking about

are not cheap. Drudge Report is the top conservative news site

in the entire world. It’s not cheap to be on there.

Perry: You just write them a check for whatever they want, right?

Chris: You could really lose your shirt if you are not absolutely sure

who your customer is. That’s an important thing. Like anything

else in life, it takes a little leg work to be able to leverage

something.

Ryan: We have the closely targeted people e e who are uber-focused, the

low hanging fruit; we have the psychographics. What else are

you looking for when you are thinking about doing banner ads?

Chris: Honestly, once you leave those two sections you start playing

almost with fire; it’s just that you better have a lot of money or

be really, really good because the next section is demographics

which is who you are.

This includes how much you make, where you live, if you are a

boy or a girl, or whatever else. It has nothing to do with

psychographics. This is where cheap, easy, widespread ads are

available with everything from the Yahoo Network to whatever is

out there. They will just put it on by demographics.

It works if you have the first two things nailed down. A lot of

people e e start in this business by doing Pay Per Click and stuff

like that. That is the way I did it. That helps you with one aspect

and then you roll that into the psychographics. You then roll the

psychographics into the demographics.

The last one, of course, is just mass marketing. These are

things anybody and everybody could possibly be interested in,

things like lowering your mortgage or free money or whiter teeth

or clearer skin.

This is like the holy grail of selling, when you have something

that crosses that market. This is, obviously, very difficult to find

and I certainly don’t have that type of product; it is very niched.

However, we are constantly testing and tweaking to get as close

to level four as possible. The only way to do that is by starting at

the beginning again with the targeted, moving to

psychographics, playing around with the demographics, and

finally moving to mass market.

Perry: I don’t know if you guys use this or not, but it may be helpful for

some of the people e e who want to do this on a lower budget. We

use Google Trends. It is not always perfectly accurate, but it is

fairly accurate at predicting where people e e are looking for certain

things.

If you know what your keywords are from your psychographics

targeting, you can go to Google Trends and find out where your

customers are, not only in the U.S. but, surprisingly, also around

the world.

Chris: That’s actually pretty important. Everybody forgets about the

rest of the world. We have a tremendous international customer

following, not only in the U.K. and Australia, but in Italy and

Finland. It’s almost weird. I’m too lazy to go get it translated, so

they are all from English banners. The placement of banners is

the key. It’s a pretty good resource.

Perry: We have a good friend in the fitness business that you know as

well. He has an e-book business that does $3 and $4 million a

year. They are doing half their business now from Germany.

He had that book translated into German and half of his

business is from Germany. The traffic is dirt cheap and

everything about it is less expensive to operate.

That’s a different subject, but for people e e who don’t have the

resources to hire a large company to do some of their

demographics, Google Trends will at least show you some

really interesting things you wouldn’t have thought of.

I’m in the hotdog cart business, but most of my customers I

found through Google Trends, crossed it with my customer

base, and almost all of them are from Florida, New York, and

California; it is probably more than 70% of them.

The money I am spending on advertising everywhere else has a

limited affect.

Ryan: Google Trends is definitely something that everybody should

utilize to do just that.

You figured out who your people e e are and where you need to

advertise. What, then, is your next step? Let’s talk a little bit

about negotiating and how you buy.

I think the biggest mistake a lot of people e e make, when I’m

talking about this, is to go out there to big banner ad networks

like Yahoo and say, “I want to advertise here.” Obviously, that

doesn’t work. Run us through your process.

Chris: You can play good cop, bad cop with reps a lot. By that I mean

these guys are used to exactly what you just said, Ryan. people e e

come on saying, “I have a $5,000 budget. Let’s try to do this and

I’m not going to track my results.” You know what I mean. When

they run out of money, they just go away and these guys have

to go out and find new people e e.

What’s cool for guys like us is that reps actually like working

with direct response marketers. It’s like a continuity program. If

they can provide us with something that works, they know we’re

going to be there forever.

Ryan: They’re asking the question, “What’s your ad budget?” and it’s

like, “It depends on the ROI. If I have a positive ROI it is infinite.”

Chris: Negotiating with them is really not that difficult because it either

works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, you get out, you regroup,

and you try something again.

Of course, once you find something that works you can always

go back. It depends on economic conditions. Two months ago I

completely renegotiated all our ad budgets and saved us a ton

of money because of the economic climate. It’s really not that

complicated.

If you are testing and tracking properly as everybody should, it

is kind of like Perry said, expand it until you hit the wall. When it

hits the wall, you step back a little bit and let it run. As long as

you keep your eye on the wall it should work rather well.

Ryan: What do you guys use to track your ads?

Chris: This is now the bane of my existence. We use Google Analytics

sometimes. We had something almost like a super cookie

programmed to go past the initial 30 days. We used everything

from HyperTracker to 1ShoppingCart and their tracking tools to

Hexa Track.

As I said, we now have that super cookie as part of a custom

programmed solution our programming crew made for us. I

don’t know if you guys have found anything perfect either.

Ryan: I asked for my own knowledge more than for the listeners. Most

of the questions I ask I know the answer to and it is for the

benefit of those listening. This time I asked for my own benefit.

We tried OpenX. I don’t know if you are familiar with that. The

problem is that these tracking tools aren’t that great, so you just

have to go with one and go with what you get. Anything is going

to be better than nothing.

Chris: There are so many variables. Are they on the same browser?

Are they on the same computer? Did they clear their cache?

We find that a lot of people e e click on our banners and go to my

site; they to go my squeeze page and log in. Then they leave

and search for me on Google, hit one of our Pay Per Click ads,

and come back to the same page they were before.

Now it registered as a Pay Per Click sale through a branded

campaign as opposed to being from the banner. It completely

messes up the metrics and that’s one of the things, too.

Whoever can come up with perfect, congruent, end to end

tracking is destined to make some serious dollars because

we’re all looking for it.

Ryan: I don’t want to freak everybody out. I don’t want people e e to say,

“I’m not going to do it if nothing is available.” Obviously, at some

point good enough has to be good enough. You’ve grown a very

big company using the tools that are available.

We just do it through Analytics which is free. It is not perfect by

any stretch of the imagination, but it is free. You mentioned a

couple of others. Would you mind giving us those resources

again?

Chris: There was Hexa Track. HyperTracker is actually one of my

favorite ones. It is so simple.

Ryan: Yeah, Hyper Tracker is good.

Chris: When you guys are using 1ShoppingCart, are you using their

tracking tools at all?

Ryan: Yeah.

Chris: We were, too. At least that’s sort of congruent and end to end.

Once you get to the point of different CRMs and shopping carts,

it definitely gets complicated.

I use Google Analytics the most, too. Even that super cookie we

were talking about that was programmed for us, after a 90 day

period it almost has to kind of guesstimate what the conversion

ratio is after that.

If most people e e are looking to shorten the sales cycle in the first

30 days, which is important for banners, Google Analytics works

flawlessly and that’s a good thing.

Ryan: I definitely want to get into shortening the sales cycle because

that is hugely important.

To finish up the conversation on banners, you talked about how

you find them and you talked a bit about negotiation. Talk about

creatives and what you found works for your banner creatives

themselves.

Chris: I’m sure you’ve told people e e this before, but it is editorial. Your

banner has to go one way or the other and it is the same for

print advertising, too. I can look exactly like the rest of the

content on the page it is in. If it is running next to an article, then

your banner or print ad should look like an article or an editorial.

The other option is to go completely the other way. In the middle

of an article you put some flaming, screaming, neon yellow thing

that still attracts the people e e you are looking for.

What is important to state regarding the whole banner

conversation is that once you get past that level one, exact

market to message match, you are not interrupting the pattern

of these people e e. Whether they are reading something, looking at

something, quickly browsing on the Internet, or flipping through

a magazine, whatever they are doing you are now interrupting.

You have to get them to stop and engage or else it is a waste of

money and time and effort.

Perry: I have one quick question. Let’s say you found a piece of media

that works for you and you have a creative that works for you; it

is just tooling along. What about the life of that ad to the media?

Do you change the creative a lot? Do you usually leave it alone

for a long period of time? Do you just wait and see how long it

works?

Chris: Usually I wait until they kick me off. My ads are definitely pretty

aggressive. Drudge Report is a good example. Drudge Report is

pushing the bounds of my customer’s psychographic right into

demographic. It is big, but it is kind of famous. The serious

conservative, 65-year-old guys don’t read the Drudge Report;

they read in other places. Drudge Report is crossing over from

level two psychographics to level three demographics.

When I went on there, it was the number one clicked ad. This

was a huge site. However, it peters off and that is what you are

talking about.

Did I try other creative? No, I didn’t because even after the big

initial surge of traffic I was still getting the clicks I needed.

Ryan: Would you mind describing the banner? Unfortunately, this is

audio and the listeners can’t see it, but it is just awesome.

Chris: If anybody wants to go to my main site to see all of this stuff, it is

www.CloseCombatTraining.com. That will take you to a

squeeze page and when you log in, my headline on that first

page is something like, “Warning: If you have any ethical, moral,

or religious reasons against hurting, maiming, or even killing

someone who attacks you, your family, your kids, or your wife,

then don’t read this.” The same thing is on our banner.

Like I said before, it is a headline that mimics the editorial

design of a lot of the sites that I am on. Obviously, I change it

depending on the site, but after ten seconds it flashes to a

three-frame animated gif of me punching some guy in the face.

Then it goes back to the text-based editorial ad. It is pretty

funny. Yes, we have been kicked off of quite a few sites.

Perry: Who wouldn’t want killing and maiming on their page?

Chris: You make a good point, though. If you are using words like

“killing, maiming, moral,” all of that combines as a battery cable

to the ear lobes.

Ryan: We have a phrase we use to describe that kind of stuff in our

business that Perry coined. What is it, Perry? It’s a what in a

punchbowl?

Perry: It’s a turd in a punchbowl ad.

Ryan: We want to create ads that stand out like a turd in a punchbowl.

Perry: If you’re ever at a big party and you have that handed to you,

you’ll notice it right away; it gets your attention.

Ryan: To sum up the whole discussion on banners, I am so glad you

talked about this because it is a medium that is underused by

too many marketers. Everybody is so dependent on Google and

it’s a shame.

Some of our best, highest converting, and, in a lot of cases,

cheapest traffic comes from banner ads. The key is to blend in

seamlessly or stick out like a turd in a punchbowl. Is that fair

enough?

Chris: Got it. It sounds good to me.

Perry: This is interesting to anybody who is interested in the martial

arts market or even anybody who is competing against big

dudes in the industry.

Obviously, Pay Per Click advertising is one of our platforms

along with print media and we drive up the cost to enter the

market in Pay Per Click every single day to drive everybody on

the bottom out. I know a lot of other guys are doing this, too.

If somebody is new to the market and they don’t think they can

compete in Pay Per Click, it’s like you said, Ryan, banners are

great. If you find a good place in a tight niche or a tight

psychographic match, keep your mouth shut and go cash your

checks.

Ryan: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. Chris, you mentioned something

earlier that I definitely want to talk about and that was

shortening the sales cycle. First, talk about what that means and

then how you tweaked your marketing and your front end

customer acquisition to do that.

Chris: Everybody things they’re in a competitive market. Well, they

haven’t seen anything until they get to the martial arts industry.

There are only literally three ways to make money in the entire

martial arts industry.

First, you can go get your head beat in with ultimate fighting or

something like that. Today’s ultimate fighting champion is

tomorrow’s garbage man. Do you know what I mean? It is not a

very good career.

You can open a school which is actually a really good business,

if you are willing to do that. The third option is to make videos.

Obviously, the most leveragable of the three is to make videos.

Even if you have a school or you are an ultimate fighter, you can

still make videos. It is really the only way to make serious,

serious money in the martial arts industry.

Like you said in this call, there are a lot of good marketers. What

is good for me is that they are all bad businessmen. That’s a

good thing.

Ryan: You yourself were a bad businessman for a while.

Chris: Yes, but I was the best selling, worst businessman there was. I

was able to outsell my horrible business management skills.

Just like anything else in life, sooner or later, that topples it over.

That is definitely a topic for another time.

What was the point of me saying this? We were talking about a

sales cycle, right?

Shortening the sales cycle is getting as much money from

somebody as fast as possible. When I was talking about the

competitive nature of the market I am in, we realized very

quickly is garbage in, garbage out.

You can attract the low-brow customers looking for crap, no

matter what it is; they may be looking for free stuff or whatever.

Well, guess what? You’re going to have all sorts of problems.

You will have retention problems, problems with selling,

systems problems, and it is just a disaster.

We made a conscious decision— because we have our

tentacles out all over the place in other markets also—to sell

what is probably the most expensive package in the industry

right out the door.

It is a relationship game. By that I mean that people e e sometimes

buy our stuff two years after they sign up with the autoresponder

or with the e-mail list. It is a very long system.

Getting back to our tracking conversation, that’s all well and

good. If Drudge Report gives me a lead today that converts 24

months down the road, there is no accurate kind of tracking

metric to do that.

Ryan: You could tell me, “Hey, look, if you could give me a dollar, I

could get you a ten to one return on that investment. However,

it’s going to take three years.” For a dollar you may say, “Okay,

cool.”

However, when you’re buying advertising and somebody says,

“Look, to play here it’s going to cost $10,000, $20,000, $30,000,

$40,000, or $50,000, and the return on that investment down

the road is going to be great,” from a cash flow perspective you

are going to be broke before you ever get around to making that

money.

Chris: That’s my next point. Cash flow is everything in this kind of

business. The more you move towards mass market, the more

you can churn and burn. However, many people e e are working in

almost a finite universe and waiting 24 months for that kind of

conversion is going to absolutely crush your business.

From a cash flow point, sure, you could keep on going, but how

many more times can you place that advertising if you’re waiting

so long for that dollar to come in?

Getting back to the point of shortening the sales cycle, closing

that sale in the way you want or need as soon as possible and

extracting as much money as you can at the point of purchase

or within the next 30 days is of vital importance when playing in

the banner game.

Once you exit that exact message to market match arena, it can

be challenging and a little dangerous if you’re not doing what

you’re supposed to do.

Ryan: Okay, let’s talk specifics. If it is taking you a long time to get

going which is painful to cash flow and can hurt a business, how

did you fix it?

Chris: Now we get into that dirty, four-letter word “work.” What works

for us with Pay Per Click is not what necessarily works for every

banner. It works for some, but not for most of them.

We have to go back and find out optimum selling strategy.

Honestly, that is everything. The marketing game is finding that

optimum selling strategy.

For every different kind of media—whether it is niche media,

industry publications, online with Pay Per Click, or banner ads to

an expanded psycho or demographic audience—there is

probably no chance that what works for one is going to work for

the other as well.

Like I said, right now for Drudge Report, while it was initially a

huge hit for us, it eventually petered off and we had to pull out

and are back to the drawing board trying to find the optimum

selling strategy just for people e e from that site.

Ryan: “Optimum selling strategy” sounds like it is self-defining. Explain

a little more about what you mean and give us an example of an

optimum selling strategy.

Chris: In our Pay Per Click game we are willing to completely break

even on. We’re willing to go $100 to sell a $100 item because

our back end system is so fantastic.

With banners we are not willing to go below a 1.5/1 ratio. If

we’re not making money on that banner, we’re losing money.

Again, this is talking about shortening that sales cycle. Based on

that 1.5/1 ratio, I have an ad budget for banners and I have to

make it work.

My Pay Per Click model of selling that $100 item is not working.

I have to go back to the drawing board. Are they going to buy a

$29 item? Are they going to take advantage of a free offer?

There is something cool here. If you know who your customers

are, you also know if they have money or not. For me, Pay Per

Click generates the worst customers on earth.

They are the worst because these are guys looking up martial

arts and self-defense and they are already skeptics. They took

Tae Kwon Do when they were five and they think they’re Ninjas

and stuff. They get on the discussion boards and whine and

complain and they are the worst customers ever. The only

reason we deal with them is due to the 80/20 rule; 20% of them

are really nice guys and become avid fans of what we do.

There is one good thing I know about banner ads. If they are

reading the Drudge Report—based not only on my

psychographic report that we have but also based on our

Drudge Report demographics reports that they give out to

potential advertisers—we know these guys have money.

Presenting them with a free offer today is much more likely to

pay off tomorrow than giving a free offer to the dregs of society

coming in through Pay Per Click, right?

We can bend reality to manipulate the numbers to work in our

favor.

Ryan: Let me clarify what you’re saying about your optimum selling

strategy. A lot of times people e e will say, “Okay, here’s now this

whole marketing things works. I want to drive traffic to my

squeeze page. Then I want to send that squeeze page traffic

here. Then I want to try to sell them this.”

The key to an optimum selling strategy is looking out there and

figuring out how in some cases it is going to work and in some

cases it isn’t. What you realize when you get into this business

is that the way you go about selling to your customers is going

to depend more on the media they are coming from than just

about anything else.

In a lot of our niche businesses, instead of sending Pay Per

Click traffic directly to a sales letter, we were far better off

sending them to a squeeze page and then to a sales letter.

On the other hand, with banner ads in the Forex market, rather

than sending people e e to a squeeze page for information and

things like that, we have to send them straight to a Webinar

sign-up form where we sell them. Just like you said, we need to

get the money from them faster. Sending them to a squeeze

page and all these other things takes longer and delays the

buying cycle.

Chris: Also, the guys you are getting from the banners are more highly

qualified. They have the money; you don’t have to convince

them to save up for it.

Ryan: That’s right.

Chris: That’s exactly what I’m talking about.

Ryan: What is working the best for you? You have a squeeze page at

your Web site right now. Where do you see this working really

well as in the differences between Pay Per Click and other

mediums. We don’t want to get into the specifics of your

business, so share as much as you are willing and able to

share. Obviously, we have some competitors on the line.

What do you see right now that is working really well from a

front end customer acquisition standpoint?

Chris: It is exactly what you just said. It all depends on exactly what

media they come from. The way we sell guys from print media is

completely different from the way we sell guys from Pay Per

Click which is completely different from the way we sell guys

from Drudge Report which is completely different from the way

we sell somebody on one of the banners on the Yahoo Network.

Do you know what I mean?

There is no simple answer here. It is work.

Perry: You’re in an odd position in that you buy magazine ads and

Web ads from the same media providers. You were talking

about that earlier about buying ads on

www.BlackbeltMagazine.com and I know you buy ads in Black

Belt Magazine or you have in the past, right?

Chris: Right.

Perry: Can you tell us about the difference? You were talking about

how you sell differently to people e e in magazines versus the

people e e on the Web site. Could you tell us about the differences

between the two and which leads you found to be the most

valuable? I assume that the print leads are more valuable, but I

don’t know that. What are the nuances between the two?

Chris: You’re right. Print ads are the most valuable. The most valuable

are when we order a direct response list and mail that list. By

the way, we don’t send them a sales letter. We send them

postcards and sales letters that direct them back to the Web

site.

Perry: You might mail a postcard to Black Belt Magazine subscribers.

Chris: That’s right.

Ryan: You just raced past something that was really huge. You’re

using direct mail to drive traffic where you are selling them

online.

Chris: All my print ads direct people e e back to different URLs for

tracking. It is all driving people e e back to a Web site.

Ryan: Offline is just another traffic source, in a sense. Traditional direct

mail is just what you said. You either send someone a sales

letter with an order form in there or you two-step and send

somebody a postcard, they request information, you send them

the information with a sales letter.

You’re not doing any of that. You’re sending them a postcard or

a large direct mail piece to drive them online where you are

doing the bulk of the selling. That is very cool.

Chris: Perry, it is really synergy, I guess. Guys that read Black Belt

Magazine are actually just as valuable as the people e e that visit

www.BlackBeltMag.com because they are the same people e e.

Perry: You’re saying a buyer is a buyer, right?

Chris: It is exactly the same person. Here is something interesting.

When we were running our infomercial, first of all, it only works

in certain cities at certain times in certain places. Once we

isolated those cities, it was the same thing.

When we isolated those cities and we played those

infomercials, any other advertising we did just added to the

effectiveness of the infomercial. This is why tracking is such a

pain in the neck.

We ran banner ads on local news sites where that infomercial

was running; we sent out direct mail pieces; we advertised in

local magazines. That marketing synergy of just being

everywhere in their face, as long as one media works we can

kind of manipulate reality. We can beat them over the brow until

they buy or they don’t.

Ryan: Explain your process. If somebody is coming from Pay Per

Click, what are you sending people e e to? What’s working right

now with Pay Per Click? Are you sending them to squeeze

pages?

Chris: We send them to a squeeze page and then we are constantly

testing, testing, and testing to see what works best for us. What

works best for us is not necessarily going to work best for you or

for everybody else.

Ryan: What’s working now in Chris’ business doesn’t necessarily work

in someone else’s business. That’s a good point to start with. If

you have somebody who started Pay Per Click, I can tell you

right now we’re sending our Pay Per Click traffic to squeeze

pages and Chris is doing it, too.

Chris: Hey, if there is something we’re all going to agree on it is that

you have the best chance of selling somebody if you can forge a

relationship with that person. The only way to do that is to keep

in constant contact with them.

Ryan: What do you offer people e e as a lead magnet? What do you offer

people e e in exchange for their opt-in?

Chris: I don’t offer anything. Seriously, it is curiosity. It is almost freaky.

I’ve tried everything to get them to give me their e-mail and

whatever else and the best thing that has worked for me is

curiosity.

On Pay Per Click, they are already looking for it. They are

already looking for the answer, so if they have clicked on my ad

I know they are at least interested in it. All I have to do is get

that e-mail out.

Ryan: Give me an example of curiosity.

Chris: I just tell them to log in. I say, “Hey, I’m Captain Chris. I know

you’re looking for some stuff. I have it inside, so log in and I’ll

give it to you.”

Ryan: Obviously, after they log in they get the pleasure of reading your

sales letter.

Chris: I don’t even think I say that I am going to give them anything. I

think I just say, “Hey, I’ll see you on the other side.” I’m taking it

for granted that they’re going to log in. I’ve had that same walk

on video now since November 2007 and nothing I can do videowise

beats that kind of conversion rate on that thing.

It is pure curiosity. Again, it is counter-intuitive. I don’t

understand how it works so well.

Ryan: For banner ads, where are you sending those people e e?

Chris: Banner ads either go straight to an article which then goes to a

squeeze page or they go straight to a full contact information

squeeze page. We put them on our monthly physical newsletter

for free and eventually they buy something.

My newest thing is that I am going to try to send some of the

ones that haven’t worked in the past like www.AnnCoulter.com.

AnnCoulter.com has never worked for us. I get clicks but no

conversions.

Ryan: I think Ann Coulter is like Perry’s hero, right Perry?

Chris: My pseudo, fiction, nonfiction, storybook is coming out next

month, so I am going to try to direct that right to Amazon or

maybe article to Amazon to sell the book. In essence, the article

is just a long sales letter they’re paying for. It’s an entertaining

sales letter, but it is still a sales letter.

The thought process behind that is simply that it is cheap, these

guys are interested in this because they clicked in the first

place, and based on the demographics that AnnCoulter.com

has provided I know these guys have money.

Perry: And they like being beat up by women.

Chris: I have had conversions.

Ryan: There’s a whole layer of psychographics there that is not being

considered.

You know what? You skipped over something earlier that

piqued my curiosity. You said you were cool with breaking even

on PPC, but you wanted a 1.5 minimum equation on banner

advertising. Why is that?

Chris: We don’t go negative. That’s totally junior varsity. I don’t mean

to be too cut and dry there because it works, especially if you

are selling something for $2,000 and you can recoup it.

However, going negative is a losing proposition. You need to be

making money on that initial purchase, even if it’s one cent.

Every single day lead acquisition gets more and more

expensive. Testing takes more and more time and as more

technology comes out, guys like all of us start pulling away from

the pack and doing crazy stuff.

For banners, the reason for that 1.5 as opposed to a break even

is simply because I know these guys have money. If I can’t get

the money out of them, then I have to change my strategy.

Perry: I don’t understand why you would accept breaking even on one

and not on the other. What’s the difference? I guess because

you can make more mistakes with banners and lose money?

Chris: Yeah, with Pay Per Click you know exactly how much you’re

spending for that customer. With banner ads you don’t. Like I

said, that synergy thing just doesn’t go. They have money, so

the match should work out.

It’s not an arbitrary number, but it kind of is, speaking of that 1.5.

I couldn’t get two. I couldn’t get a two to one return all the time,

but with the metrics on the 90 days we have pretty accurate

tracking on, the 1.5 makes us money. It’s not set in stone, I

guess.

Ryan: Just so we’re clear, that’s 1.5 ROI after the 90-day mark, right?

Chris: Yeah, it is.

Ryan: It’s not break even, day one, purchase one. That would be

unrealistic and I don’t want people e e thinking that.

The other disclaimer we need to make is that this is the number

that makes sense for his market and his stuff. In your market it

may be a little different.

The big takeaway there is something I am so glad to hear you

validate with me and something I’ve been saying for years.

Banner ad traffic is actually targeted banner ad traffic. You’re

not going out there and buying banner ads on networks from

who knows where. Banner ad traffic, when you hand select

sites, is a higher quality traffic than Pay Per Click; it just is. You

should expect a bigger, faster return on your investment.

Chris: If you have somebody who is lazy and they go to AdBrite or

something—even though you can kind of do demographic stuff

on there—and they go all over the place, they’re going to lose

their shirt.

That’s right, Ryan. With every one of these sites I have to hand

pick, negotiate, and get it done, but once I have one then it’s

worth it.

Ryan: So many people e e won’t do it because it’s that big W word, but

like you said, when you get one of those things negotiated, you

might have to pull out for a month or two and let it die down, but

once you have those going they are incredibly predictable and

incredibly repeatable.

You said something else a minute ago. You keep dropping

these little bombs, but it is huge, huge stuff. You mentioned that

you are sending your banner ad traffic first to an article. You

said that in mastermind and it blew my mind.

It is a fairly legit article, not like a disguised sales letter. You are

sending them to an article and the article sends them over to the

sales letter. Is that right?

Chris: What’s interesting is that with the article the conversion was

only 10% less on just through traffic. Do you know what I mean?

Somebody going from our banner ad to our site would be 100%.

With the opt-in rate it was only a 10% drop off in the traffic, but

there was a 20% increase in the opt-in rate.

It is preframing, I think. Like I said before, you are interrupting

their day with your turd in the punchbowl ad, right? Now you

have to almost preframe them.

Sometimes I put that article on a landing page that looks exactly

like the site they were just on. If they go from

www.BlackBeltMag.com to the article, the article will look like it

is just another page on www.BlackBeltMag.com

.

 

Ryan: Obviously, you can’t put BlackBeltMag.com on your site and

violate their trade rights.

Chris: This is what is interesting. Ad reps are so hard up that you can

negotiate that stuff sometimes. You can’t say, “This is a site of

BlackBeltMag.com,” but you can put, “Recommended by

BlackBeltMag.com,” or, “As seen on…,” and stuff like that. You

obviously have to get permission before you do that stuff.

That article I gave out to mastermind which is on one of my

branded sites works, too.

Ryan: There is a fascinating thing about this that I want our

subscribers to take away. Chris, you know Jesse Cannone

because he is also in our mastermind group. We interviewed

him and I was fascinated then that he was actually improving his

conversion rates by adding a step to his process.

He was sending people e e from Pay Per Click ad to squeeze page

to sales letter and then he went Pay Per Click ad to blog post to

squeeze page to sales letter.

You’re doing something similar. You are taking them from

banner ad to article to squeeze page to sales letter. It’s an extra

step in the process and conventional wisdom says if you add a

step you are going to decrease response.

You said you would only lose 10%, so 90% of the people e e that

click on that article also click to go onto the next page. Because

of that extra step, the extra commitment device, and because of

the better framing they convert considerably better. You actually

make more money by having the extra step.

Perry: Is the article rubbing more salt in the wound for them or is it

more of a tip or a helpful thing?

Chris: It’s more framing them. It is almost like an introduction of a

bridge that takes them from what they just clicked on to what

they’re about to see.

If you click on the banner warning “Don’t read this” and so on

and you see me hitting some guy in the face, it looks kind of

crazy so you click on it, right? That is the bridge. It says, “Here’s

what you clicked on. This is the semblance of the context and

now it bridges over.”

This works well for some places. With Pay Per Click like Jesse

is doing, it did not work well for me.

Perry: He seems to be doing well with Facebook. A lot of people e e are

employing that strategy on Facebook.

Chris: Facebook just does not work for me either.

Ryan: That’s a good point, though. Here you have something where

Facebook didn’t work for you before, but you were probably

sending traffic from Facebook to the squeeze page.

Perry: They’re all nice liberals, too.

Ryan: They’re nice, broke liberals.

Chris: If my ad to my sales letter bothers them, my e-mails are

certainly going to drive my spam complaint right through the

roof. I’m going to stay away from that.

Ryan: That is a good point. Any time someone says that a particular

media doesn’t work for them, many times it can work but they

have to go out there and try a new selling strategy.

Maybe in the past sending them from that media to a squeeze

page didn’t work. Maybe you need to try sending them straight

to a sales letter or before you even send them to a squeeze

page send them to some kind of bridging content mechanism.

Maybe it is too much of a jump from where they are now to a

straight selling environment and it needs a bridge. Maybe you

need to ease them in and you need a transition.

This is why I like to hear what different people e e are trying

because I never would have even tested that in a million years.

Let’s say one of the guys in my office said, “Hey, Ryan, why

don’t we try putting an article in front of a squeeze page and

then sending it from the squeeze page…” I didn’t even have a

squeeze page in there. I was sending them straight to a sales

letter.

I would have said, “No way!” I wouldn’t even have tested it.

That’s why I’m glad I get to hang out with people e e like you who

have the guts to test a lot of this stuff. It blows my mind that this

actually works, but it fits right in with everything else we’ve

talked about.

It is about trying different stuff and your optimum selling strategy

is going to be different from media to media.

Chris: I have a litmus test, so to speak. With Pay Per Click, since it’s a

direct market to message match, you can get that to work. Then

I throw whatever I have into tests and testing that same

situation. If I can get two conversions, no matter what the cost, I

know there is something there and then I do exactly what you’re

saying.

Perry: There is somebody out there that will buy this.

Ryan: Do that again. That was a tremendous little meaningful nugget

for those who stuck around until the end here. Say that again.

Chris: Take the example of AnnCoulter.com. I already said it didn’t pan

out for me yet.

Instead of wasting my time trying to figure out initially what

would work, I put my first optimum selling strategy—our stability

platform which happens to be Pay Per Click—and if it worked

for Pay Per Click, I know it’s not going to work ultimately for Ann

Coulter.

I put that on there anyway just to see if the media would work

and the media did give me two conversions. One conversion

can be a fluke, but not two. Now I know that there are people e e

that will buy. This is besides the click-through ratio which is not

everything; untargeted traffic is just a waste of money.

If I can get two people e e to convert, then I will spend my time and

effort to formulate a unique optimum selling strategy for that

media.

I know how much AnnCoulter.com costs and I know it does

convert. Now I will spend some time figuring out how to make it

convert better. If there is only one conversion or zero

conversions, I’m not going to bother.

Perry: What is your minimum buy with a site like that? How much

money are you going to risk? Let’s say you did the

AnnCoulter.com thing and it didn’t work for you, so you’re going

to take another run at it. Each time you do that, what kind of

money do you have to spend?

Chris: This is what’s cool. The ad buys for my psychographic audience

are pretty much between $500 and $1,000. They are always

around $2.40 per thousand impressions, but I make sure to

always have a 48-hour out clause. We’re direct marketers and if

it doesn’t work in two days, it isn’t going to work.

Perry: Those ad reps will tell you, “You haven’t been in long enough.

You really need to run it for six to eight weeks to get a feel for

the market.” What do you think about that?

Chris: Oh, come on. Ad reps make money by tricking people e e into

placing ads and not taking responsibility for their media

performing.

That is why right now in this economic climate you can call up a

magazine and pay half of what you are paying now. You can

call up wherever you are placing banners and pay half of what

you’re paying now. They are just thankful you’re there because

things have gone south for some people e e.

You know, you can’t fool everybody all the time.

Ryan: Yeah, the stupid money is gone.

Chris: Yep, and now it’s time to pay the piper; it’s time for every smart

marketer on the planet to step up to the plate and negotiate

good ad rates and take home the lion’s share.

Ryan: That is a great point. That’s why I’m glad you mentioned the

two-sale. That’s the kind of stuff that I hope will give people e e the

confidence to go out there and give this a shot.

I hear a lot of people e e say, “I don’t want to do banner ads

because they’re too risky.” Now is the best time to go out there

and give paid media a try.

The traffic is cheaper because there are not as many people e e out

there. Traffic costs are down and inventory remains the same.

There are still as many people e e going to these Web sites as

there were before. There are fewer advertisers, so you have

less competition and you have to spend less money.

Now is the time to go out there and give this a shot. With these

ad reps, ask for it right up front. Say, “I want 48-hour out.” You

can negotiate.

The ad buy may be $15,000, but you don’t stroke a check for

$15,000 and then they start running your ads. Usually, you don’t

even have to cut them a check. Once you have some credit built

up with them, sometimes you don’t have to cut them a check for

30 or 60 or even 90 days.

You can tell them, “Look, $2.50 CPM,” and after two days you

have enough. Maybe you only owe them $200 and you’re out.

Chris: I want to mention something about credit. Using your Google

AdWords account can get you credit with putting Google as your

credit reference. If you’re running Pay Per Click ads as your

only reference, it will give you credit with most of these ad reps.

Perry: That’s a monster tip.

Ryan: I’ve never even thought to do that. What you just said is going to

be way over the heads of most people e e. Explain what you mean

by credit because that is something most people e e don’t realize.

I remember the first time I tried to place an ad and they were

like, “Okay, send in a credit application.” Talk about credit

quickly and then come back and explain what you mean by

having Google in there.

Chris: Getting back to our cash flow conversation of why you want to

shorten the sales cycle, business is all about cash flow. If you

blow your wad on your entire ad budget of $15,000 on the first

of the month, now you’re in the hole. You can’t pay rent; you

can’t pay your phone bill and so on. You are left waiting for the

money to recoup.

With regard to credit with the media, most of them are willing to

do it if you ask for it. They will now let you pay after the media

has run. That may be 30 days net terms or a lot of magazines

have 90-day net terms.

You can pay after the sales come in, but they are going to ask

for a credit reference. If you have not had credit with any

vendors before, well, we all run Google AdWords and Google is

a big, major company. It is very hard to get them on the phone.

You want the media sees you are playing with Google. You

don’t even have to specify that you have a Google AdWords

account. Just put Google in there with their 1-800 number as

your credit reference.

Perry: They’ll tell you what a good guy I am.

Chris: Yeah. Actually, I had a Yahoo account rep, also. In the

beginning I would put Google and Yahoo and put the account

rep. Obviously, you’re not going to get in touch with anybody

from Google, but they’ll see that you’re working with Google. It

got the ball rolling for us.

Ryan: That tip right there was worth the call. Not that the call was not

worth a lot already, but that was worth many times the

investment in many of these calls. That’s one that caused Perry

and me to look at each other in amazement. That’s a good one.

The time has whizzed by and we’re actually over the time. I

want to make sure I am respectful of your time. Do you have

any parting words of wisdom for everybody?

Chris: Now that you have put me on the spot, let me think. Actually, I

do.

I’m sure you guys would agree with me that the hard part is

getting started. In the martial arts industry, the industry I know,

everybody always talks about making videos. I said it is the

most leveragable way to make money in this market.

Even guys who own schools talk about making videos. It is so

simple. I make fun of myself putting on the black mask with no

cameraman and stuff. It is so easy to do and that’s the first step.

If you can do that, trying all the banner stuff is everything

because that will multiply the business. people e e don’t want to do

any work, so if you are willing to do some work, you might as

well invest the money and the time and the effort into growing

your business. Otherwise, you might as well just hang it up and

get a job.

Perry: You could always get a job as a public school teacher, right?

Chris: That’s right.

Ryan: Thank you so much. Perry, do you have any final words on this?

Perry: No words that I can think of. Thanks, man, this was really a

great call. I’ve been excited about getting somebody on who

does a lot with banner buying and other media buying.

In our business everybody is into PPC, FCO, and social media

traffic. Nobody really talks about what the big boys are playing. I

think it’s been a great call for that. It’s always fun to have you

on.

Chris: Thanks a lot.

Ryan: Chris, tell everybody one more time where they can go to get

more information about you and give you money.

Chris: They can go to www.CloseCombatTraining.com. Go learn how

to kill someone with your bare hands.

Ryan: Seriously, even if you are the kind of person who doesn’t plan

on killing anybody, I still absolutely recommend that you go

there, sign up, get on Chris’ list, and buy his stuff.

Buy his stuff and give it to a friend who does like killing people e e

or whatever. It will be one of the best marketing courses you

could ever buy. Buy his stuff, get on his list, and watch how he

markets to you. It will be a tremendous marketing lesson.

Like I said, Chris is one of the few guys out there who is doing it

and doing it big in a really competitive market. Chris, thank you

again, man. I really appreciate it and can’t thank you enough. I

look forward to being able to return the favor. Take care.

Chris: Cool. Thanks.

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