Acquisio’s Amazing Remarketing eBook

Jun. 26

Have you heard of remarketing? How about site retargeting? These are some seriously hot topics right now in the world of online marketing. Site retargeting, now available in all Google AdWords accounts, allows you to serve display (or text) ads to users who have visited your website. The applications are incredible. Just think: You can now deliver a special offer to someone who got all the way down your conversion funnel but stopped one step short. Or, you can target someone who visited your homepage but left to compare prices on other sites. It’s a truly amazing technology, but one that could also be confusing!

Acquisio Remarketing eBook

Today, I am thrilled to share with you the most comprehensive guide on site retargeting I have ever seen, the guide that will teach you everything you need to know! Our friends at Acquisio, the leading performance media platform for agencies, have done it again! Today, I’ll be reviewing Acquisio’s free 13 page remarketing eBook titled Using Remarketing To Drive Increased Display Ad Results.

What You’ll Learn About Site Retargeting

Acquisio has a long history of putting out amazing eBooks, whitepapers, and webinars. Some of my favorites include Acquisio’s Display Advertising eBook and Acquisio’s Facebook Webinar. Their brand new remarketing eBook, however, takes it all to the next level. Here are a few of my favorite highlights:

  • The eBook offers an amazing, comprehensive guide to setting up your first AdWords site retargeting campaign, with eight steps. Even better, each step includes a screenshot. This really is the best how-to documentation I have seen on site retargeting.
  • Acquisio offers clever ad copy and landing page ideas, catered to site retargeting campaigns. I especially enjoyed a neat SnapTotes case study.
  • I learned about advanced topics such as frequency capping and building interactive creatives.
  • The eBook closes out with really cool ideas that will get you thinking. Just one example: Site retarget visitors who converted one month later, in an attempt to get further sales.

So there you have it, one of my favorite eBooks of all time. I highly recommend downloading Acquisio’s Remarekting eBook. After entering some really quick info, you will get a link to the eBook in your email, just moments later. It’s super easy!

Image of Acquisio Website © Acquisio

How I Got 1,242 Facebook Fans For Only $347.70

Jun. 17

I’m a huge fan of Facebook advertising, especially when my goal is driving fans. I currently have three Facebook Fan Pages: my PPC Ian Fan Page (please like me, I would truly appreciate it) and two others for my top two authority sites. The main goal of my Facebook Fan Page strategy? Drive repeat visitors to my sites, communicate with my top visitors (people who can be evangelists for my brands), and of course create SEO value (social media is driving SEO and will only continue to do so more, in my opinion). I’ve had a lot of success with my newest Facebook Fan Page. I basically went from 0 fans to 1,242 in less than a week for only $347.70. That’s only $0.28 per fan! (Make sure to check out the screenshot from my Facebook account at the bottom of this post.) These are real fans, fans who are interacting with my page, fans who are helping me build my business. I feel that this point is absolutely critical because I can get 1,242 fans for cheap on Fiverr but those wouldn’t be real, quality fans the way you can drive with a paid campaign. Today I’m excited to share my strategy!

Step 1: Leverage The $50 Coupon

First and foremost, it always pays to have a coupon. My wife found one for me in the recent issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. I put it to good use immediately and this lowered the cost basis of my campaign. If you don’t have a Facebook advertising account yet, make sure to leverage this coupon or another one when you open your new account. Even if you don’t have money to spend on your Facebook Fan Page, at least the coupon will give you $50 in free spend.

Step 2: Write Great Creative

I’m sure you’ve heard this hundreds of times, but I truly can’t underscore the importance of testing creative (both text and images). Just check out the screenshot below. The second ad is the clear winner with a CTR of 0.217%. The other ads have CTRs of 0.126% and 0.080%. What’s really crazy here is I didn’t vary my text too much. I already have a winning model that starts with "Poll" and then asks a simple question. If the answer is "yes", I ask the user to click "Like". This copy has worked really well and I encourage you to try it out. Amongst the three ads, I really did vary the images. The winning image actually surprised me, it’s hard to predict the winner so I always recommend testing!

Step 3: Give Your Facebook Campaign Time

I put a budget of $250/day on this campaign from the start. It made perfect sense, I was targeting a huge audience of around 300,000 reach. However, Facebook really surprised me this time! It seems that they throttled my campaign. Despite having a good CTR and low CPC, I didn’t hit my daily budget. The frequency is lower than I’ve seen in the past and it took many days (almost a week) to hit just half of my target audience.

I almost prefer it this way. I was able to run my campaign for about a week and I’m seeing no signs of burnout yet! I’m still running it now and perhaps the Facebook Ads team is working on the burnout problem. The moral here: We don’t appear to be in a churn and burn environment right now. I used to run Facebook campaigns that would experience ad fatigue within 24-48 hours. I’m not seeing that with my most recent campaign and recommend stretching your time horizon out a bit.

My Typical Experience With Paid Facebook Like Campaigns

Over the last year or so, I’ve run a multitude of Facebook "Like" campaigns (paid campaigns with the goal of driving likes). I’ve seen truly varied results. Some verticals, despite my best efforts, come in at a lofty $5/like. In a more typical situation, I have seen likes between $1 and $2 each. For the reasons outlined in the introduction, I can’t imagine running an authority site without at least a few hundred real, dedicated likes so I’m happy to pay the price even if it is in the $1-$2/like range.

I’m truly thrilled with this campaign, however, because I’m coming in at $0.28 per like. I spent $397.70 so far, but I got that great $50 coupon so I actually only spent $347.70. $347.70 divided by 1,242 fans is a sweet $0.28 per fan. Knowing how well my website converts and the value of these fans, I will keep running this campaign until it experiences fatigue. I expect that to happen after I hit 2,000 fans since at that point I will have hit the majority of my target audience and the ad frequency should get up to the 10+ range.

I truly hope this helps you out not only with the strategy but also with some numbers so you know what to expect. Want to learn more about driving fans on Facebook? I highly recommend my post about Three Ways To Drive More Facebook Fans. Also, Acquisio’s free Facebook Webinar is truly awesome. What has been your experience? Anyone driven fans via paid Facebook campaigns for less than $0.28/fan?

Facebook Like Campaign

Image in this post ©

My SMX Advanced 2011 Pictures and Recap

Jun. 09

I just got back from SMX Advanced Seattle and had such an amazing time. I always have so much fun at these conferences, but must say SMX Advanced Seattle 2011 was one of the best. Why? I really took time to network more than ever, as you can see in the many pictures throughout this post. Today, I’m really excited to talk about my epic experience at SMX and share tons of pictures (thirteen of them)!

Networking With Rob Monster From Epik

SMX Advanced Epik

Rob Monster From Epik and PPC Ian

At SMX Advanced 2010, I flew in late Monday night. This was a bit difficult because the conference starts early Tuesday morning. This year, I took a different approach and flew in mid-day on Monday. This gave me some time to really enjoy Seattle and get in some extra networking.

I put my extra day to use by scheduling a meeting with my friend Rob Monster, CEO of Epik. I’ve blogged quite a bit about Epik here on PPC Ian and am a huge fan. I own a ton of Epik sites (currently 55) and highly recommend checking out my Epik Product Portal Tips.

Rob and I had drinks at the Edgewater Hotel, the official hotel of the conference. It was truly great catching up with Rob as he’s big time serial entrepreneur, investor/venture capitalist, and one of the most successful professionals around. It truly pays to have mentors and friends like Rob!

An Amazing Whirlwind First Day At SMX Advanced

SMX Advanced ClickEquations

PPC Ian and Craig Danuloff (ClickEquations)

On Tuesday, I had a truly great day at SMX Advanced. I had one of those whirlwind days where the day is packed from 8:00 am through 11:00 pm at night! My day started off going to the sessions at SMX Advanced. I must say that the first session about pay per click quality score was the best session of the entire conference.

My favorite part of the session: My friend Craig Danuloff (CEO of ClickEquations provided a multitude of insights about quality score and announced his brand new quality score book (which I purchased and plan to review here soon). Craig is the leading expert in our industry about Google’s quality score algorithm and it’s always an honor to hear him speak. While I was at the ClickEquations booth, I also caught up with my friend Alex Cohen. Alex also spoke at SMX and is truly impressive. I highly recommend his blog, Digital Alex.

SMX Advanced Kenshoo PPC Associates

Geoff Shenk, David Rodnitzky, and PPC Ian

As the day progressed, I really enjoyed walking around the expo hall (twice as many exhibits as last year) and eating the great food and snacks that SMX provided (they went all out and I feel like I ate way too much, but it’s all good). While walking around SMX, it seemed like I was always running into people I knew! Truly cool stuff! In my opinion, the biggest value of these conferences is the networking. My advice to you: Go all out and network with as many online marketers as possible. It’s amazing the connections you will build.

Right around lunch time, for example, I ran into my friends Geoff Shenk (Managing Director at Kenshoo) and David Rodnitzky (CEO of PPC Associates). Kenshoo is an amazing online marketing platform that I highly recommend. I recently blogged about their new Watchdog product. I’m friends with a lot of people at Kenshoo and they truly have an amazing company. PPC Associates is one of the hottest paid search agencies in the Bay Area.

SMX Advanced Seattle Marc Poirier

PPC Ian and My Marin Software Friends

While walking around the expo hall, I of course ran into my good friends Michael Cook and Jana Fung from Marin Software. I’m a huge fan of Marin Software and have blogged quite a bit about their SEM platform and whitepapers. One of my favorites: Marin’s Free Guide To Facebook Ads.

Later in the day, I also ran into my friend Matt Lawson, Marin’s VP of Marketing. Matt’s a real visible guy, I’m always running into him at all these conferences and he truly does a great job representing Marin Software. Marin is located in San Francisco so I enjoy having lunch with Matt from time to time.

SMX Advanced John Rampton

PPC Ian and John Rampton From TechieMania

Here’s where it starts getting really crazy! Out of the blue, I ran into John Rampton from TechieMania. I have never met John in person before but he’s a regular commentator here on PPC Ian and I truly appreciate his contribution to the comments here. John came up to me in the expo hall and recognized me from my blog! That was a real milestone for me, my blog is starting to get truly noticed thanks to all of you! It was great hanging out with John and I highly recommend checking out his blog. John is a great guy and I hope to network with him more in the future.

Later in the day, I attended more exciting sessions while diligently taking notes. Overall, I felt the SEO content from SMX was stronger than the PPC content. Don’t get me wrong, the PPC content was great. It’s just that the SEO content was unparalleled. The SEO track pulled out all stops. At the end of day one, I really enjoyed watching the You&A session with Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts. There’s always some great comedy in this session and I truly enjoyed it!

SMX Advanced Chris Guthrie

PPC Ian and Chris Guthrie (Make Money on the Internet)

At the end of the sessions, I headed over to the expo hall floor for the Expo Hall Reception sponsored by Yahoo! and Bing. It’s there that I met up with my good friend Chris Guthrie from Make Money on the Internet. Chris is an inspiration to me. He’s a big time blogger and affiliate marketer. He makes a ton of money online and works really hard to deliver value. That said, he stays humble. He’s got the best attitude around and truly enjoys helping others. I was really hoping that I’d be able to catch up with Chris at SMX Advanced like I did last year and was really happy we were able to connect two years in a row!

SMX Advanced Dinner

Awesome Dinner With Friends, Talk About Great Times

While I was hanging out with Chris Guthrie and enjoying some free drinks thanks to Yahoo! and Bing, we met up with a variety of great people including Nathaniel Broughton from Growth Partner (Nathaniel is a big time affiliate marketer, entrepreneur, and leader), Sujan Patel from Single Grain (Sujan owns an SEO agency right here in San Francisco), and Max Wellenstein and Steve Kroll from RocketClicks (these guys are truly inspirational and make an amazing name for RocketClicks). I had such a blast networking and making new friends. I learned that Sujan’s office is just down the street from mine in San Francisco and we already have lunch on the books next week. Talk about great networking and building my network with high impact professionals. We were all having so much fun at the expo hall that we decided to head out to dinner. You can see a picture to the right of us all enjoying dinner!

We really enjoyed dinner in Seattle because it stays light so late in the summer! The long days are really neat. After dinner, which ended around 10:00 pm, I caught up with my great friend from Stanford who happened to be in Seattle for Microsoft conference. We had drinks and enjoyed catching up. Like I mentioned, a true whirlwind day and a true blast!

SMX Advanced Seattle Day 2, My Time To Chill Out

SMX Advanced Acquisio

Richard Couture, PPC Ian, and Marc Poirier

Day one of SMX Advanced Seattle was amazing, but was also a bit tiring. So, I decided to take it a bit easier on day two. My day started off with a 7:30 am breakfast at the Edgewater Hotel. I truly enjoyed meeting and networking with the CFO of a local Seattle startup. After that, I checked out of my hotel and headed over to the conference. Just like day one, I enjoyed the sessions, networking with new and old friends, and eating some great food and snacks.

I had a ton of fun in particular catching up with my friend Marc Poirier CMO and co-founder of Acquisio. Acquisio is an amazing performance marketing platform for agencies. I have blogged quite a bit about Acquisio here on PPC Ian and recommend checking out their free Facebook Webinar. I learned a lot by watching this webinar. Marc is a truly impressive professional and one of the nicest people at the conference, I always enjoy catching up with him. I also enjoyed meeting Richard Couture, Acquisio’s co-founder and VP of Product Management.

I ended up leaving the conference a little bit early and flying back to San Francisco in the early evening. Next year, I’m thinking of staying another day so I can take in the parties and festivities at the end of the conference on Wednesday night. Seattle is such an amazing city and I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to Danny Sullivan and the entire SMX team. You guys did a great job with this conference! Everyone who I networked with at SMX, it was really great meeting up with you guys! Please stay in touch.

More Amazing Pictures From SMX Advanced 2011

SMX Advanced Seattle 2011

SMX Advanced Seattle Edgewater Hotel

SMX Advanced Seattle Convention Center

SMX Advanced Seattle Marc Poirier

SMX Advanced Seattle Skyline

All images in this post ©

Amazing Times With My Friends At Google

Jun. 06

I’ve been networking with Google like crazy lately, it has been a real blast! Today, I wanted to share some cool pictures with you, in addition to my insights about Google as an organization. In short, Google is on an amazing roll, they are reaching out to clients like never before and it really means a lot to corporate marketing professionals like myself.

Let’s Start With The Fun Events

PPC Ian and Kit (Google Employee) at Google Mountain View

PPC Ian and Kit (Google Employee) at Google Mountain View

As you can see throughout this post, I enjoyed two amazing Google events within the last few weeks. Highlighted in the first picture, I recently visited Google’s Mountain View campus to meet with Kit from the DoubleClick team. As a follow up to my recent speaking engagement at Google, Kit reached out and scheduled a meeting with me for my feedback and insights on some of their new tools. I really enjoyed viewing their new tools and contributing feedback. Our meeting lasted a good hour+ and was super productive. I must say, it was quite the honor! It’s not everyday that I get invited to Google for 1-on-1 time regarding their latest products.

Google Giants Stadium Luxury Suite

Google Giants Stadium Luxury Suite

Kit was really gracious to treat me to an amazing Google lunch (I can’t get enough of their gourmet food). I even got a tour and was amazed to learn Google has a new bowling alley. It’s really slick, better than the real thing! Kit and Google/DoubleClick, thanks so much and please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can ever be of further assistance.

Also within the last few weeks, I attended the Giants/Marlins game in Google’s luxury suite. This event was hosted by none other than Dennis Woodside, Google’s President of the Americas. This exclusive C-level executive only event was a true blast and reminded me that I have truly made it big in online marketing. I was able to catch up with old friends from the executive teams of Nextag and Apollo Group (University of Phoenix’s in-house onith line marketing agency). I also enjoyed making new friends!

View From Google Giants Luxury Suite

View From Google Giants Luxury Suite

Since the Giants game was an executive only event, I didn’t really have the opportunity to take too many pictures with attendees, but I certainly snapped some of the suite and food. I’ve been to four Giants games in the last year and three have been in luxury suites. (You may wish to check out my recent post about A Day In The Life of PPC Ian where I highlight Marin Software’s luxury suite.) Now that I’ve been spoiled, I never want to go back to regular seats. This is just one more reason I love the corporate online marketing career path so much! Thanks again Google!

Google Is Building Deep Relationships

Food at Google Giants Luxury Suite

Food at Google Giants Luxury Suite

So, what does this all mean? More so than ever before, Google is building deep relationships with their top advertisers. They have their sights set on the long term and are making impressive relationship investments that will last decades. I commend Google for their strong efforts in this arena because I’m also a long term type of guy. It is all about relationships, at the end of the day.

Now, don’t get me wrong, Google has always been focused on client interaction, it’s just that they are now going 110 miles per hour versus 100. What does this mean for you, the corporate Internet marketer? Seize the opportunity! Now is your chance to reach out to Google. Now is your chance to get heard! Now is your chance to build relationships that will last forever.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Snacks at Google Giants Luxury Suite

Snacks at Google Giants Luxury Suite

I want to close out today with an important tip that has served me really well: If you truly want something, you need to ask for it in a nice but strong way. How did I get invited to originally speak at Google? How did I get invited to an exclusive C-level executive Giants game with the top executives at Google and in the Bay Area? I asked! Opportunities are all around you. If you remember to ask, you shall receive (most of the time). Even when it comes to promotions/raises at work, it never hurts to ask, as long as you’re a top performer. Just remember to always give back and prove your value over and over. Thanks for reading everyone and now go reach out to your Google account management team and start networking!

Drinks at Google Giants Luxury Suite

All Images in this post ©

How I Earned $4,874.36 on eBay Partner Network

Jun. 05

In the last three months (February – May), I earned $4,874.26 on the eBay Partner Network (EPN). That’s an average of about $52.98 per day of pure margin SEO income (no media costs attached). Considering I hold a demanding full time job (that I love) and that the time I invest in my eBay Partner Network websites is low (maybe 1 hour/week on average), I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. Since my prior posts about my EPN earnings have been so popular (Scoring Record EPN Earnings and My EPN Earnings Rock), I thought I’d do another eBay post today to share my success and a few tips so you too can build your own passive income stream while driving substantial user value. When you’re done reading my tips, make sure to check out the screen shot at the bottom of this post that highlights my earnings!

Tip 1: Focus On An Authority Website

My eBay Partner Network Earnings come from one authority website that I started back in 2007. I started this website about a topic I love! Due to my passion, I was able to write hundreds of articles that users love while really sharing my own personality and perspective with my visitors. I consistently get emails from my visitors saying they love my site and I’ve truly helped them. I invested a ton of sweat equity in the early days (mainly 2007-2008), and continue to update my website consistently to this day (although my commitment right now is about 1 hour/week). (Side note: I don’t want to give the illusion that passive income is easy. It takes a ton of up front work, it’s just that I’m now enjoying the passive aspect of my income stream because my EPN operation has matured.)

By focusing on one site, I was able to build a ton of quality traffic within a particular niche, thus having the ability to send eBay lots of qualified visitors. I have found that the large scale approach (when combined with quality) works really well! So, if you’re thinking about going the multi-site route versus the authority site route, I’d highly recommend going with an authority site.

Tip 2: Don’t Go Overboard With Links To eBay

You’d be surprised! I don’t have a ton of links to eBay on my authority website. I almost make my visitors look for them. This is really important. eBay is measuring results (in the form of account sign-ups and also winning bids) and will pay you higher EPCs if you drive higher quality traffic. In fact, they tend to over-reward their highest quality sources of traffic. (Side note: You can learn more about this in my review of eBay’s Quality Click Pricing.) For this very reason, it’s of paramount importance you don’t go overboard and you only send quality traffic. My personal approach has involved extremely long, complex, passionate articles that truly help users with maybe one link to eBay. I could send probably 5 times as much traffic to eBay as I am now, but I don’t want to compromise the quality because then my EPCs would plummet.

Tip 3: Leverage Text Links To eBay

eBay offers a ton of complex ways to link to them. They offer widgets, the ability to embed eBay results right on your website, and all sorts of options. When it comes to SEO, my strategy is one of keeping it very simple. As such, the majority of my eBay links are text links. Of course, I sprinkle in a few widgets too, but those represent the minority of my EPN clicks. My advice is to not overlook the simple, text link strategy because it works really well with Tip 2 (keeping your traffic quality high).

I hope these tips help you out! I’m super thrilled with my eBay results because of the passive income, but more importantly because I’m learning. I’m learning new skills that help my corporate online marketing career while having fun and making some extra income!

My eBay Partner Network Earnings

Image of my eBay Partner Network Earnings ©