Monthly Archives: January 2010

Adwords Automatic Broad Match

I don’t know about you, but sometimes my head spins with all the different match types Adwords offers, especially when it comes to leveraging their fuzzy logic (which you definitely WANT to do).

I mean, there’s exact match, phrase match, broad match, expanded broad match, and now “automatic broad match”.  Throw in negative exacts, negative phrases,  etc. and you’ll have an aneurysm.

Jerrold Burke is a Senior Analyst in the PPC department at Rocket Clicks.  He proactively contacted me to suggest we do an audio which clarifies how to leverage Google’s fuzzy logic in SEARCH.

Most importantly, in this short and free MP3, we concentrated on Automatic Broad Match, the broadest of the broad.  It’s a feature still in Beta so you won’t yet see it in all accounts, but we’re pretty sure it’s coming down the pike for everyone.

If you happened to have opted into the Beta in 2008 and forgotten about it, you might find you’re dripping money when you look at your Search Query Report (or you might be pleasantly surprised to see the opportunities)

Here’s how to manage the Beast…


Dr. G 🙂

Why Ignoring AdWords is Never an Option

Here’s a conversation I repeat often which makes my brain hurt!

It goes something like this:

MARKETER:  “I think Google’s become entirely too random and unfair with their Quality Score system, so I’m just going to focus on SEO”

GLENN: “OK, well, where does SEO Traffic come from?”

MARKETER: “Uhm, well, I guess it comes mostly from Google”

GLENN: “So, what you’re saying is, you’re going to ignore Google and focus on Google instead?”

MARKETER: “Yeah, but on the organic side, you don’t have to deal with their crazy landing page quality scores, and it’s free so you beat the constantly rising bid prices”

GLENN:  “Why would Google clean up one side of the street (paid ads) and not eventually apply what they learn to the other (organic)?”

MARKETER: “Um, OK, good point.  But Google’s not the only source of traffic.  There’s Twitter, Facebook, Article Directories, Digg, StumbleUpon, and more…it’s a very big internet out there”

GLENN: “Very true.  But are you talking about using these things because of the power they have to get indexed in Google, or in order to attract the people who come from them directly?”


GLENN: “About what percent of traffic comes directly from the social media vs. from the indexing power social media provides in the search engines?”

MARKETER: “I don’t know.   Let’s say it’s 50%”

GLENN: “Which converts better, traffic from social media, or traffic from search”

MARKETER: “Oh, definitely search, because they’re looking to solve a problem, not interact with friends”

GLENN: “Right.”

MARKETER: “OK, I see where you’re going, but even if social media doesn’t convert as well, there’s a LOT of FREE traffic there, and you can always roll it out on the paid contextual networks”

GLENN: “So, you’re going to work with a very broad and diffuse audience while they’re  socializing, develop a website to convert them even though you can’t really pin down their core conversations and objections, and then go buy more traffic for that system?”

MARKETER:  “Well, there’s affiliates too.  I can recruit an army of affiliates.”

GLENN: “Where do they get THEIR traffic?”

MARKETER: “Well, I could get into one of the CPA networks with an offer.  Have you seen the flood of traffic you can get there?”

GLENN:  “Sure.  If you can build a website that converts like crazy, you can definitely do that.   How are you going to do that?  What traffic are you going to test it on?”

MARKETER: “I want my Mommy!”

I’m exaggerating above for illustration, and of course there IS traffic you can convert which never touches a search engine (especially blog visitors on other people’s sites, participating in forums, and/or good article writing–not the crappy seo articles everyone tells you to write), but here’s the point…

Google’s got the BEST leads.

Google’s got the PUREST leads.

Google’s got the MOST MOTIVATED leads.

Yes, Google’s very hard.

Yes, it’s getting more expensive all the time (that will stop only when it becomes cheaper for marketers to find equally good leads for less money in similar volume… a fact of life in a Darwinian economy).

And sure, we all pine for the days when you could just put up your money and slap up a one page site.

But if you suck it up and learn their system, you get the opportunity to build a site that converts, and you learn which keyword conversations really work for you. (THEN, if you really want to,  you can turn off your Adwords account and take it to the contextual networks.  THEN you can focus on social media.  THEN you do all your article marketing, etc.  But if you do it all right, you won’t want to stop buying PPC)

Because, despite what everyone says, Quality Score is NOT random, it IS fair, and you CAN master it.   Not by looking for techniques and tricks, but by learning certain principles of marketing which, in the end, actually benefit you more than Google.   (I know that’s a controversial statement which is going to earn me a lot of hate mail, but 8  years of PPC marketing experience, thousands of customers, hundreds of direct reviews, and dozens of agency employees  give me the confidence to make it, and it’s in your best interest to seriously consider what I’m saying)

In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’s something you MUST master if you want to succeed online.

The internet as a whole used to be the Wild West.  But the Sheriff is coming to clean up the town.    He’s gonna make his rounds everywhere Google’s got tentacles.    We can try to run and hide, but Google’s got REALLY BIG tentacles, and they keep getting bigger. (The analogy kind of breaks down here because we’re not really criminals… but you get the point)

Beyond this, I predict the organic side of the street is going to shrink this decade as Google figures out how to make sure people can find exactly what they want from paid advertisers, and learns how to minimize searcher complaints.

I’ll be turning my focus to Quality Score Principles (not techniques) in coming months, and you can expect to hear me say things no one else will tell you.

I know it’s hard to understand (because Google’s sheriff is more like Stephen Hawking than John Wayne) .

I know it hurts.

But we can fix this, and it’s good for us.

Suck it up,

Glenn 🙂

Glenn Club |   Coaching |  A to Z Product for Newbies |  Advanced Adwords Seminar

PS – The AdWords account banning spree is also NOT random or evil, but principle based.  It IS possible to develop a stable, secure AdWords account and still sleep at night.

PPS – If you’re spending anything significant in AdWords and you’re not coming to the Advanced Adwords Seminar, may I ask why?   (Comments below please).  In my mind, this is one of the very few seminars where you might learn something during the day, go back to your hotel room at night and immediately implement it, then start seeing financial improvements the very next day while you glance at your account on your laptop in the seminar room.  Plus, Perry’s good for his guarantees, I can tell you that.   (Thru the middle of the second day you can bail out and request an extra $500 plane fare).

I’ll be there personally with Sharon, and so will Rob (who is now the Chief Operating Officer of Rocket Clicks by the way).  But you know who you really need to see?  Bryan Todd.   Bryan’s Perry’s co-author, and is generally the quiet man in the background.

But if you push Perry on the point, he’ll tell you that Bryan is better at Adwords than he is.

Bryan’s also become a personal friend of mine (and not the kind of “friend” you hear marketers always talk about, but the kind you share deep personal thoughts with which go way beyond making money), and has given me some of the most profound insights into Adwords and the internet than anyone else I’ve known.

Bryan’s going to be teaching us how to leverage Facebook PPC, and I personally can’t wait.  Because I know this isn’t a presentation he’s just whipping up in a few weeks.  Over the past 18 months Bryan’s been periodically talking to me about his research into the Facebook project, asking me how to integrate it with my methods, talking to me about the psychographic data you get access to and how to use it, and how to integrate AdWords learnings.

I hope I’ll see you there Advanced Adwords Seminar

PPS – Yes, these are affiliate links.

Terry Dean Says He Can “Take Me”

Yesterday I  was talking to  Terry Dean on the phone and he was pestering me about getting a certain product done.   (I kind of asked him to do this).

Anyway, in the end I made a snippy comment about how he couldn’t do anything about it if I didn’t come through because I was so much bigger than him.  (I’m pretty sure I weigh 80 pounds more than he does)

To which he CONFIDENTLY replied “Oh, I could take you!”  He then proceeded to tell me about some ultra-funky sounding martial arts he’d studied (which sounded like a lot of fun actually)

So I’m wondering, who do you think would win in a wrestling match between Terry Dean and Glenn Livingston?  (Comments below please)

Just curious, and it’s MY blog so I get to post what I want!

G 🙂

PS – This is really just an excuse to get you reading Terry Dean’s blog, and it’s NOT an affiliate link above.  

PPS – Terry’s really scared now:

The Problem with Making Too Much Money

I know, I know… you’re all saying “I’ll take that problem”, right?

But as a site starts to grow “fat on the land”, a strange phenomenon develops I call “making money in spite of yourself”.

What does that mean and why is it a problem?

Spend some time examining the most successful sites in any market and you’ll notice something very interesting… the more successful they become, the more opportunities they ignore.

You see, when you’re just barely breaking even or losing money, you’ll fight for every improvement you can find (or you’ll just drop out of the game).    Which means, until you cross into the black you’ll desperately do things like …

  • Try More Granular Service (providing entire sites or at least landing pages about “COQ10 Side Effects”  instead of just “COQ10”, for example)
  • Follow Up More Aggressively
  • Split Test Front End Ads
  • Develop Back End Services
  • Do Surveys
  • Do Telegroups to actually TALK to prospects and customers
  • Get Copywriting Critiques
  • Multivariate Tests
  • Segment their market
  • Work their AdWords account (process the search query and content placement reports, for example)…

… and anything else you can think of to improve your system.

But once you start to reach your financial goals, you start to slack.

In fact, this is built into the entrepreneurial fantasy in and of itself, because what we all seem to want most is to get electrons flowing around the internet and into our bank account while we sit on the beach in Fiji eating ding dongs.

Unfortunately, while you’re enjoying your ding dongs, there’s a dozen other guys (or gals) sweating to make it into the black, and they’ll look for anyplace you’re vulnerable, and ruthlessly fight you for every inch of territory, until you wake up and have to start fighting again.


Unless you’re aware of the danger and you build such an overwhelmingly strong  system that any marketer in their right mind would stay away… and those who don’t know any better will get crushed quickly. (Which is yet another reason why I’m always teaching people to clean up in Hoboken, Queens, and Staten Island instead of Viet Nam).

But even then, you probably can’t let your PPC system “just sit” for years without attention.  (Or your SEO system, for that matter).

A search marketing site is a naturally deteriorating asset. (Kind of like your health… if you’re not actively making it better, it’s getting worse.  It’s just the way life is.)

  • As an example on the TINY end of the spectrum, I left my guinea pigs and rabbits sites up more or less untouched and untended for 6 years now.   They’re still in the black only because I built such a ridiculously strong system to start with. (Someone would have to be crazy to build 58 follow ups complete with audios, hundreds of pictures, etc, just to sell a $9.99 ebook). But profits HAVE steadily deteriorated and are now just a few hundred dollars per niche each month.
  • As an example on the GIGANTIC end of the spectrum, my partner spends as much as a quarter million dollars PER MONTH of his own money in Adwords  (for another business I own no part of, unfortunately!).   At a recent meeting he said “Glenn, I would NEVER just let the account sit for a month… my competitors would decimate my positions”

A search marketing site is a naturally deteriorating asset… you’re either working  it to make it better or it’s gonna get worse.

What does this mean for building wealth?

It means you go into this game with the knowledge that you’re building a living, breathing entity which requires care…

It means you as soon as you get to the top or anywhere near it, you put people in place to keep you there.  (Jim Rohn said “don’t rest too long or the weeds will take the garden”)…

And with a plan for taking at least some of the money your site generates  OUT of your business to feed your life while the sun shines…

And an exit plan for engineering a BIG PAY DAY in the long run!

It also means you put aside any bullshit “set and forget” fantasies you’ve been fed and get down to the real work of building your business and engineering your life.

(I’m definitely up on a soap box today)

Dr. G 🙂

Rambo Sucks at Marketing

There’s a repetitive conversation I’ve had with my coaching students about choosing the right market, and more specifically the right ENTRY POINT into a market, which I think bears your close attention.  (It came to a head a few weeks ago with a new student who shall remain nameless, but rest assured I see this REPEATEDLY)

As you might expect, given that my private coaching board is rather expensive, I tend to attract a fair number of experienced marketers who’ve got at least some success behind them, usually in some less difficult, lower volume, less competitive market.

Inevitably, they look at my methods and say “Wow, if I combined Glenn’s methods with what I know already, I could go into the world’s most competitive market head on, stepping right into the battle, and I’d not only emerge victorious, but unscathed, and I’d have billions of dollars streaming to me with a list of millions of hungry prospects I could email for free every day”

But it’s not true.

The BEST marketers don’t step head into the wind.

They carefully evaluate all the different approaches to a market, isolate the most attractive segment given the levels of competition, money available, relevance to what they wish to sell, and estimated cost per click, opt in, and sale.

In fact, the VERY BEST marketers find several such approaches into a market and develop multiple funnels (perhaps prioritizing and developing just one at a time).  They know that if a market is truly valuable, it’s worth spending the time to break it into pieces.

The best marketers are happy to serve only the best segments of a market, and are willing to put in the time, energy, money, and other resources to stake their ground, a little at a time.

You see, if you ARE as ripped as Rambo (excellent at PPC, SEO, article marketing, etc),  if your object is to build a solid business and there are thousands of wimps challenging you to a wrestling match, why not take THEM up on it, instead of going after Mike Tyson?

Do you want to prove yourself, or do you want to build your business?

Do you want to be recognized as the best, or would it be enough to just get wealthy?

Here’s how this plays out online:

  • You don’t build a site for “arthritis pain” (555,000 searches and one of the most ruthlessly competitive, expensive niches you’ll find), you build several, one at a time for things like “arthritis knee pain” (14,500 searches), “rheumatoid arthritis pain” (27,000 searches), or even “arthritis finger pain” (8,800 searches), etc. where you can declare yourself king (or queen)…
  • You don’t build a site for “Hawaiin Vacations”, you build several, one at a time for “Hawaiin Bowling Vacation”, “Kona Holidays”, and even “All Inclusive HawaiinVacations”…
  • You don’t build a site for “motorcycles”, you build one for “Salvage Motorcycles”, “Cruiser Motorcycles” (), and even “Motorcycle Choppers”…

Then you build some additional volume using broad match, but you take serious advantage of the relative paucity of competitors to really ramp up your conversion rates, and downgrade your price per click.

In other words, if you really ARE as strong as Rambo, why squander your strength (and your blood) in Viet Nam or Cambodia where you risk getting captured and tortured by the enemy?

Rambo sucks at marketing. (Sylvester Stallone, on the other hand, was a genius)

Not because he lacked the strength…

He just went after the wrong target.

Are you confident you’re going after the RIGHT target?

The first month of my club is entirely about developing this confidence so you’ll be able to focus and confidently move forward, instead of falling prey to distraction after distraction.

Hope it helps,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – The coaching board is currently closed for new members, however if you’ve got any interest, please get on the priority notification list as I periodically DO have an opening, but fill it rather quickly from this list alone. (Therefore I haven’t been notifying the main newsletter subscribers)

Hidden Dangers of a High Conversion Rate

Hi Again 🙂

Today I’d like to talk about a subtle distinction in marketing strategy which often gets obscured by the ruthless focus on increasing click through and conversion. Surprisingly, we might not always want these metrics to be as high as humanly possible.

It all comes back to what we’re trying to accomplish in our businesses in the first place.

I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to cultivate repeat customers, ravenous for what I’ve got to offer, eager to ascend to higher and higher value products and services, respectful of my customer service team, and interested in referring me to prospects of similar quality.

Moreover, I’m interested in developing a core FOCUS in my business.  Since I can’t be everything to everyone, I want my customers to share certain core values with one another and bond to me because of them…

That way my back end development is  crystal clear and I can keep my resources focussed.  I can also  move relatively quickly to introduce higher end products and services which will please the majority of my customers, rather than becoming fragmented into segments which drain my resources and prevent the development of anything spectacular.

Getting a high CTR and Conversion rate is only useful to me to the extent it serves these ends, and actually a distraction if it does not.    And because increasing these metrics beyond a certain point necessarily entails convincing more and more ambivalent people to purchase (remember–the most ravenous people in your market will buy from even poor advertising if they trust you… good advertising is about convincing less interested and more skeptical people), it’s something worth thinking about very seriously.

The point is, single-minded  focus on CTR and Conversion in the absence of STRATEGY (e.g., WHO are you trying to attract, who are you trying to repel, and why) may waste your advertising dollars on prospects who engage in TRIAL BUT NOT REPEAT.

You can also wind up attracting customers who burden your support team with complaints, threaten your merchant account with chargebacks and refunds (not something to dismiss lightly given the Visa/MC shakeup this year), and most importantly, diversify your customer base too broadly to allow you to effectively develop back ends and maximize customer value!

Now, from most of the advertising I see online, I’d say the vast majority of vendors in AdWords don’t really get this.  Or perhaps they don’t care because the math works for them, at least for the moment.

But, especially in a PPC environment where auction prices continue to rise, transactional thinking just isn’t going to cut it in the long run for your business.  You need to build on stone, not sand.

Let’s work through a real life example.

I have a friend who’s daughter has a debilitating condition called “Myasthenia Gravis”.    When I type this into Google, the FIRST link on the left hand side is for Wikipedia, and in the very first paragraph it says “there is no known cure”.   Subsequent organic links confirm this, though many offer hope of relief and cautiously optimistic treatment.

Here are two of the first page ads I see:

Now, I’m sure we could all jump in and talk about how to improve these ads, but that’s besides the point.

The point is the “Myasthenia Gravis Cure” ad is almost certainly getting a higher click through rate.

And if they’re carrying through their promise of a cure to the landing page (I didn’t review), they’re probably getting a higher conversion rate as well.

And I’ll bet you they’re making more money (a lot more) ON THE FRONT END TRIALS.

But are they building a business? Are they cultivating loyal customers? Are they producing evangelists for their products and services who will bring more high quality, loyal customers at zero cost? Do they have true back end capabilities? What about customer service problems? Merchant account issues?

If they’re promising a cure when there really is none (and then just dealing with the refunds because the math works out for them), I’d venture to say not!

In fairness, there MAY be a cure we don’t know about. The sites on the left may be wrong.  Maybe this “Cure” site really DOES have something special and in that case, more power to them for getting out there with full force.

But if not, what they’ve got is a temporary income stream, not a business. They’ve got a good ad, not good customers.

If they were my client I’d actually advise them to cut their click through rate and conversion, and go with  something more like the second ad instead.  It might not be as strong in creating trial, and the cost per initial sale would certainly be higher… but it would fill their business with grateful, loyal customers, higher long term values… and all the other good things above.

Now, the only way YOU can do this is if you REALLY know who you’re going after in the first place. And that’s where MARKET INTELLIGENCE trumps keyword intelligence, every time.

Because if you know the unique conversation in the prospect’s mind behind each keyword search (every keyword really is a unique conversation)…

If you know with confidence which keyword conversations define your center of gravity…

Then and only then can you begin to write your ads to attract hyper-responsive customers, repel the riff raff, and keep Google happy in the process. (Remember, PPC IS A THREE WAY JOINT VENTURE… you’ve got to provide value for Google, your prospects, and yourself… if any of the three loses, the system doesn’t work)

Which is the essence of Dr. Glenn’s Golden Rule #2:

“Sell Distinct Advantages to Hyper-Responsive Customers
Using Their Emotional Buying Language… And Actively
Repel Everyone Else”

And if you’d like to have confidence that you’re doing that  better than anyone else in your market, it’s definitely time for you to join the club!

Hope it helps,

Dr. G 🙂

PS – In keeping with this post, let me please say that unless you’re already operating a very profitable online business, you won’t get rich in the next few months using the hyper responsive marketing club.  It’s not even within the realm of possibilities.  But you WILL learn a way of strategic thinking which is different than what anyone else teaches online, and which is linked to a step by step approach which will last you a lifetime!  join the club

More Math Can Make You Even More Money

The equation for the surface area of a wooden box is  (2 x (AB+BC+AC)) where the box has sides of length A, B, and C.

Who cares?  You do, if you want to make more money from your website.

You don’t have to understand the equation, pass a test on it, or even run it through a spreadsheet…

What you DO need to trust me about is, if you take the same box and cut it in three pieces, the overall surface area goes UP.    Cut it in ten, and it goes up more.  Cut it in a thousand pieces, and you get  a LOT  more surface area.

Cut it in a million pieces and you’ve got saw dust with unimaginable surface area as compared to the original, so much so that a match lit anywhere near it instantly sets it aflame.   (You’d have to sit for a lot longer with the match under the original box before it caught fire).

The point is, if you’re trying to light a fire, you break your box in pieces.

The classic formula for website profits is T x C x D.  (Traffic x Conversion x Dollars of profit per sale)

Now, here’s a little secret to bring this to life.

When I first launched my guinea pig site 5 years ago it barely made $250/mo  and I was a little despondent because I was targeting $1,000 profit per niche site at the time. (Please Note: I no longer recommend multiple micro niches as a business strategy, both because it’s harder to launch profitable niches these days, but also because the REAL money is in building a BUSINESS where you can go deep with back ends, cultivate customers, etc).

I asked Jonathan Mizel for advice.  He said:

“Glenn, if you double your traffic AND double your conversion you’ll be at $1,000”

It sounds obvious, but at the time I was stuck thinking about the overall profit level, and quadrupling it seemed an extremely daunting task.   I actually went to work doubling the conversion (mostly I wrote more follow ups and added pictures) and doubling the traffic.  It worked, and I’ve sold over 10,000 copies of that book to date.

Now here’s where this gets interesting…

Just like you can bust up a wooden box into more pieces to make it more combustible, if you want your website to “catch fire”,  you can do the very same thing with your entire sales system!

For example:

– In Adwords itself, traffic = Impressions x Clickthrough Rate

– On your website, “Conversion” = the percent of people who Opt In x the percent who Add to Cart (click the order button) x the percent of people who Complete the Order

So the formula really isn’t just T x C x D.   It’s Impressions x CTR x Opt In Rate x Add to Card x Complete Order. (Five factors)

Now, here’s where you can see the “combustibility” factor of breaking down the dollar generating process on your website…

If you think of your profits in terms of only Traffic x Conversion you still have to achieve monumental increases in each factor in order to double your profits BUT…

When you “bust up” your profit generation into 5 pieces, a mere 14% improvement in each piece DOUBLES your profit!

Download Spreadsheet |   Join Club |   Recommended Beginners Blueprint

I don’t know about you, but finding 14% more impressions in Adwords doesn’t seem so daunting.  Nor does increasing my CTR from 1% to 1.14%, my opt in from 15% to 17.1%, increasing order button clicks from 10% to 11.4%, or reducing shopping cart abandonment from 75% to 71.5%.

In fact, they all sound rather easy if I just focus and test and tweak a bit.

But when you take them together, you IGNITE the business and DOUBLE the profits.  (This is what Jay Abraham used to call working on the “geometry” of your business, just taken to a new level online)

You can go even further with this, of course, because you can bust-up ANY piece of your sales machine and make it more combustible.  For example, you could view and measure your salesletter conversion as Views x Percent Who Scroll Past First Screen x Order Button Clicks x Order Completion.   Or you could break up your opt in process into two steps as I’ve been consistently recommending.

It’s just a matter of conceptualizing the pieces, installing the tracking, and then working on one piece at a time.

The take-a-way?

If you want your site to make more money, break it into pieces and light it on fire!

Hope it helps,

Dr. G 🙂

Download Spreadsheet |   Join Club |   Recommended Beginners Blueprint

PS – Are you reasonably new to the internet, or have you had trouble making even one site profitable?  Most people don’t know I created an entire A to Z Blueprint for Beginners.

It comes with simple one page cheat sheets which tell you the least you need to know about traffic, conversion, social media, web development, copywriting, and everything else you need to know to get up to speed quickly.  (It includes Terry Dean, Fred Gleeck, and others, so I actually often refer to it myself when I’m working in one of their areas of expertise, like SEO Blogging or Professional Speaking)

I really wish something like this was available when I started!  A to Z Blueprint for beginners

PPS – As compared to the above, The Hyper Responsive Club is where I present all my best thinking about how to establish a Center of Gravity online which you understand and sell to better than anyone else.

Whereas the Blueprint product above is intended to get everyone up to speed with the basics of internet marketing as I see it (and to steer them away from the 99% of false prophets and scamsters) the Hyper Responsive Club is where you can leverage my unique and powerful experience as both a Fortune 500 researcher and a consumer psychologist. Everyone should join the club, but only people who haven’t yet made a profit online should purchase the Blue Print product.

I hope that clarifies things (we’ve been getting a lot of questions)

Download Spreadsheet |   Join Club |   Recommended Beginners Blueprint

A Little Math Can Make You More Money

I have a love affair Sharon is VERY jealous of… with math.

And I’m not talking about the kind of “slap-your-own-forehead-it-makes-my-brain-hurt” stuff you were thrilled to be done with after high school or college…

I’m talking about simple formulas which reveal valuable patterns most people just don’t know about.

Let’s start in the real world before we talk marketing.

The intensity of magnetic fields fall off in inverse proportion to the square of the distance between you and the source.    So, for example, a computer you keep two feet away from you exposes you to 1/4th the magnetic field of a computer one foot away.  A similar rule applies to any leakage from your microwave oven, by the way,  so you might want to take one painless step back next time. (The field is nine times less intense at 3 feet than it is at 1 foot, if you follow the math)

Knowing a little math can give you a BIG impact for a LITTLE effort.

Now,  here are some ways to make math pay off for you as an entrepreneur:

1) Every sales process in search marketing has a natural period of statistical stability.

This is usually the time  it takes to get 40 to 50 orders, but almost never less than one Calendar Week (even if you get hundreds of orders per hour).

In most markets, it’s meaningless to say “I get X orders per day”, because it depends upon the day of the week, the month of the year, etc.  And if you’re in a slow traffic market, it may take months before your sales stability period is obvious.

How is this useful?

Most marketers I know check their orders every day.  They’ve got email notices coming to them from several places (their shopping cart +, for example), and they log into their accounts daily to tally their sales.

Some panic when sales are down for a day (or a week, or some other less-than-statistically-stable period) and rush to change things.  Others are overly excited when sales are up for the same period, and go out and make unwarranted financial commitments.  It’s not only a distraction, it’s a formula for manic-depression!

You can route your notices through your customer service team, and unless you’re actively testing the system, check your sales at regular intervals approximating your statistically stable period (or at least, no less than half way through).

You’ll be amazed not only at the time, but the mind-space this frees up so you can MAKE SOMETHING HAPPEN INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR SOMETHING TO HAPPEN. (It’s only human to wait for the orders to magically show up in our shopping carts… part of the entrepreneurial fantasy online, but definitely an obstacle to overcome)

2) The ultimate measure of a PPC ad’s success is NOT click through rate or conversion, but “profit per impression”.

Ever done a split test where the winner had a better click through but a lower conversion?  In fact, the very nature of increasing click through rate carries with it the risk of decreasing conversion because you’re getting people who were ambivalent about clicking before to click!

So how do you choose the REAL winner when CTR and CONVERSION go in OPPOSITE directions?  Figure out which ad makes more money every time it’s shown!  Common sense, right?

Profit Per Impression =  (Gross Revenue – Advertising Spend) / Number of Impressions

It can be a little tricky to pull this data out of Adwords, so I built a free utility and an explanatory video/spreadsheet to help you: please watch this Super Split Testing Video if you haven’t seen it before.

3) A search stream’s propensity to fill out a survey form is directly proportional to their likely willingness to opt in to a mailing list which promises similar benefits, and inversely proportional to their ability to meet their needs elsewhere in the market.

In other words, if you can get people to take a survey off of your PPC ads, there’s a damn good chance this same traffic stream is going to be interested in opting in to your list, and you may have found a “market gap” your competition has overlooked.  (Because if they could get their needs met elsewhere for free, or for a fair price, why would they bother with your stinkin’ survey?)

Surveys can work magic in marketing, not only from the content of response, but from their statistical behavior too.  (I’ve consistently found in my own experiments that a survey of less than 3 questions will have approximately the same take rate as the opt in form I install later on.  Since there’s a direct relationship between number of sales and number of opt ins, I often find surveys, when done on a keyword group by group basis, to provide a kind of “realistic heat map” of what my likely cost per sale is going to be, though this is admittedly less predictable than the opt in percentage).   You can learn all my advanced survey methods in the Hyper-Responsive-Club of course.

4)  The total value of inventory in a given search market can be roughly estimated by it’s total search volume x average bid price.  When you take the square root of this result, you correct for extreme examples and create a roughly accurate metric to compare market to market.

There are two concrete benefits to this formula.

First, you don’t want to go fishing in a pond without any fish in it right?  It only makes sense to compare market inventory values before you stake your ground.

Second, a variation on the formula is (Inventory x Average Bid x 35%) — without the square root.  Assuming 65% of searchers never click a PPC ad, this gives you a very approximate value of the PURCHASED search inventory.   COMPARE THIS AGAINST YOUR PPC AD SPEND to see what your “ppc market share” might be, and keep pushing for a higher percentage (while running your business at a profit of course!)

Moving on…

5) 50% of Profits in Most Internet Businesses is Driven by Only 1 in 2,000 Visitors!

Most marketers ignore hyper-responsive buyers.

That means you can make a LOT more money with less effort if you know how to sell to them, even in brutally competitive markets.  This is the math behind Hyper-Responsive customer focus (from my salesletter):

  • THE 80/20 RULE: 80% of profits come from 20% of customers
  • THE 80/20 RULE SQUARED: you can apply the 80/20 rule to the TOP 20% of customers too.  Without getting too caught up in the math (e.g. 80% x 80% = 64% and 20% x 20% = 4%, etc)… about 5% of buyers drive HALF the profits 
  • THE 80/20 RULE SQUARED ON THE INTERNET: 5% of BUYERS may drive HALF your profits, but only 1% OF VISITORS BECOME BUYERS on most sites.  1% x 5% = 0.01 x 0.05 = 0.0005 … or ONE OUT OF TWO THOUSAND VISITORS

You really don’t have to understand (or agree with) my math in order to make more money with the information right here in this letter because:

  • Whether your a solo entrepreneur on a teeny tiny budget, or a Fortune 100 company with a Billion dollars to spend on advertising…
  • Whether or not you’ve made your first dollar online…
  • And even if you (heaven forbid) decide NOT to become my customer…

If you’ll just entertain the idea that a small percent of special visitors drive a large percent of profits then these 5 Tested and Proven Hyper Responsive Principles… (click here to read the letter)

Now, get out your calculators and make some money!

Dr. G 🙂

PS – Extra credit for anyone who understands this math joke or can share a better one “Q: Why was 6 afraid of 4?”  “A: Because 7 8 9”

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Obliterating Writer’s Block (for Marketers)

For marketers, writing is everything.

Salesletters, autoresponders, blogs, broadcasts, tweets… as technology grows, so do our opportunities for contact with our market.

And when you communicate valuable things… MORE FREQUENCY = MORE MONEY.

(Seriously… once you’ve got a list that likes you, you’re MUCH MUCH MUCH better off with 50 A- or B+ points of contact than 5 A+ points of contact)

But what if you’ve got nothing to say?  How in the world are you going to communicate, with value, on such a regular basis?  How will you ever maintain that level of “marketing intimacy” in your relationship with your list?

In other words, it’s not just copywriters and authors who suffer from “writer’s block”, we marketers pay the price in spades.

Thankfully, there are some simple principles which overcome writer’s block, virtually every time:


Most of the time when we feel blocked, we’re experiencing an inner critic which prejudges every word before it even has time to form in our brain.   It’s as if we think our parents or schoolteachers are looking over our shoulders, critiquing everything we do.  Who wouldn’t clam up in such a situation?

But here’s the truth.  The people you want to reach in your market are  EATING your words, NOT CRITIQUING THEM.  (Yes, of course there are always a few bitter, mean people who enjoy pointing out every last mistake, but they’re their own worst punishment)

The people you want to reach want to be FED.  They’re not looking for a demonstration of brilliance which would get past a dissertation committee.

Sometimes at seminars when the topic of writer’s block comes up and marketers tell me they just don’t have anything to say to their market with frequency, I immediately ask how many of them have small children.   Amongst the sea of hands which go up I then ask “How many of you had something to say to them yesterday?”   Everyone nods.

When we think of feeding rather than impressing our markets the issue of judgment mostly melts away.

I used to work with young children as a psychotherapist.   I’ll always remember one particular session with a treasured mentor where I was stressing out about whether I was doing enough to help this particular boy who’s father had deserted him.

My mentor said “Glenn, this boy is soaking up every thing you say, do, and smell like.  Stop worrying, and just go back and be present with him”  (Still gives me chills)


No, I’m not suggesting you become bulimic, but rather I’m borrowing a colorful metaphor from the world of improvisation.  When actors accept the role of live improvisation, they don’t have the luxury of “actors block”… there’s an audience, it’s live, and something had better come out of their mouths.

Initially when I tried this I found it very nerve-wracking. But my professor for that course told me “Glenn, just vomit.  We’ll make it pretty once it’s out there”.

With regards to writing this couldn’t be more true.  Vomit your words onto the screen and you’ll have plenty of time to make it pretty before you publish it (don’t you just love MS-WORD?).  But if you insist on ONLY putting pretty things on the screen, you’ll have precious little to polish.

Vomit, then make it pretty.  Words to live by 🙂


Here’s something most people don’t WANT to know…

When you feel like you’ve got “nothing to say”, it’s really because there’s something you don’t want to say.

When I was studying to be a psychotherapist we learned something very interesting… the mind is never blank.  Never.

How do we know?

There are dozens of scientific studies on sleep and dreaming which involved waking people up in the deepest stages of sleep.  I’m not talking about REM (where dreaming occurs), but the parts we never remember, where we’re most soundly asleep and our body is involved in restoring itself. It’s this part of the human experience we most associate with “nothingness” or a blank mind.

Yet when we wake people at these times and ask them what they were thinking or “dreaming” (not technically a dream because it’s not during REM) in a sleep lab, they’ve ALWAYS got something to say.  Always.

In psychotherapy sessions, you gradually come to observe that people are never really thinking about “nothing” (George Castanza aside).    Instead, when you observe a few hundred sessions you understand that people stop talking when their associations lead them to something they don’t WANT to say.

Writers block is NOT an empty mind.  Writers block is the painful and fatiguing experience of preventing yourself from saying what you don’t want to say!

How can you use this to be in more frequent contact with your market, with regular, valuable communication, and make more money?


Sit down and ask yourself what the ugliest truth on your mind is today, then vomit it out on the screen (remember you can edit it later).

Like this:

“No matter how much I accomplish as a marketer, how much money I make, how many people have made millions from my work, etc…  I always feel like a ‘fallen priest’ who should still be using his skills and training to help suicidal people instead of building businesses and making money.”

I could turn this into a useful post by citing 3 examples of how marketers’ guilt about making money actually CAUSES more suffering in their prospects.  For example, if I let this feeling get the better of me I wouldn’t keep sharing what I’ve learned, and a strong argument could be made that the people on my list would make less (with all the suffering that would entail)

Also, and this is key… it doesn’t matter what market you’re in, you can always find a way to use the ugly truth to break your writer’s block .

For example, let’s say I was writing to a body language list instead of you all.  I could still use the ugly truth above.  I’d talk about how, to truly exude confidence with body language, you need to examine and dispute your own guilt, or else you’ll only mimic the posture of confidence, portraying an empty shadow of the stature you’re trying to project.

Or if I were writing to my guinea pig list, I’d say “Listen, your piggy doesn’t want you to feel guilty. Guinea Pigs only live 8 years or so if you take care of them.  That’s 1/10th of a human life span, so every minute you separate yourself from joy with your pet feels like TEN minutes to him”

You get the point.

Feeling blocked?

Write for your children, learn how to vomit, and tell the ugly truth.

Now go write something!

Glenn 🙂

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