Mike Collela came from a display network background. He is famous for being one of the top affiliates for Truth About Abs and as such, has extensive experience in the Google Display Network. With his work, he needed to constantly look at what other people were doing on the display networks and so he thought of an automated tool that could scrape ads from publisher’s websites. This was how AdBeat came about.

I was fortunate enough to get into the beta test have a look around what Mike was building.

AdBeat scrapes tens of thousands (soon to be in the hundreds of thousands according to Mike) of publishers and records their ads into AdBeat. Several display networks are included: Google, MSN, Doubleclick, Pulse360, Adsonar, Adbrite, Chitika etc. In AdBeat, you will be able to see all ads that an advertiser runs, and on which publishers. If you are competing with other advertisers in a space, this would be an invaluable tool to be able to see what your competitors are doing, what kind of ads they’re serving, and improve upon those to get a better CTR and CVR.

This tool will definitely be a game changer for the the display advertising industry.

Price starts at $99 a month and $199 a month to be able to access all networks.

Anyone want to share the cost of the subscription?

6 Valuable Lessons from Robert Cialdini

Robert Cialdini’s “The Science of Influence” was a recommended reading by some internet marketers and so I downloaded a video of his talk. I had no idea what to expect, but after watching for 10 minutes, I was hooked.

According to Cialdini, people’s preferences and actions can be influenced by using the following 6 principles:

Principle 1: Reciprocity

It is the nature of people to give back. Cialdini cites an example when Ethiopia, a dirt poor country, sent millions of dollars in aid when Mexico was struck by a devastating earthquake. Curious as to why a country with no money to feed its own people would even send money out to help another nation, he went to ask Ethiopia’s minister. The minister replied that  they wanted to reciprocate what Mexico had done when they were in need during their country’s strive for independence 50 years ago.

There is a moment of power after every “thank you”. If you do the following, the chances of receiving a favor the next time you need it increases significantly. After every “Thank You”, instead of the usual reply, you can say, “I’m sure you would have done the same”.

Meet Me Halfway

You can also use this principle on concessions. Say you need a favor from somebody. Instead of just asking for 1 favor, present a larger request beforehand that will surely take a “no” and then present your “real” favor. Think of how many times some other person or salesman have used this on you.

The thing to remember here is “always start with a larger request” and use the structure of “If you can’t do this for me, how about this smaller favor?”.

Principle 2: Scarcity

People want what they can’t have.

People are more motivated by the idea of losing something than gaining that very same thing.

Instead of saying:

“If you do this, you will GAIN this”

You can say it in a more convincing way:

“if you don’t do this, you will LOSE this”

Principle 3: Authority

If an expert says it, it must be true. Nobody knows you’re an expert until you say so. You must establish your own authority in every situation.

When presenting features or attributes, present the weakness first before the strength. Presenting the weakness makes you look more credible.

Present the weakness and say “However,”

Principle 4: Consistency

People are consistent in a way that when they commit to something, they usually follow through. Always ask for commitment. People who gave a commitment are more willing to act on it later on.

Principle 5: Consensus

People are more willing to act if they know other people are doing the same thing. This is also sometimes called “Social Proof”.

Principle 6: Liking

People generally like those who are like them and those who like them.

Similarities: We like those who are like us.

Compliments: We like those who like us.

Cooperative Efforts: We like those who work with us to achieve success.

There is so much value in Mr. Cialdini’s findings and teachings that can be applied in business. No doubt why this was a highly recommended reading by marketers.

What other ideas do you have to apply these principles in everyday situation?





























Google Content Network vs Search Network

Following Mike Colella’s webinar, I wanted to see how much of Google’s revenues was derived from the Content Network. Mike said that from what he gathered based on talking to friends, the top 50 Google Content Network advertisers are spending upwards of $10,000 a day. This got me curious into digging in to Google’s financial statements and reversing these numbers based on some assumptions.

I stumbled upon a piece of Google Display Network Performance Trends facts where it highlights some important tips regarding the Content Network.

Google’s advertising system accounts for 99.9% of its revenue. Google delivers AdWords ads in the form of Search Ads or Display Ads in its Search Network and Content Network respectively. Previously, the Content Network was called Display Network.

Google did a 1 year study back in 2008 using aggregate data of some of their advertiser’s accounts that had conversion tracking installed. Here is what they found:

  • Globally, the content network accounted for about 20% of total conversions.
  • Content Network was only 2.6% behind Search Network in CPA performance.
  • Display network clicks are 28% cheaper on average.
  • Among the developed countries, Search traffic converted most for the U.S. and least for the U.K.

Small accounts < $1,000 monthly spend.

Mid-sized accounts between $1,000 and $6,000 monthly.

Large accounts over $6,000 monthly.

Lower spending accounts tended to perform better on Content Network. Another interesting fact was that the lowest ad spenders had the highest conversions from Content Network at 30% vs 10% for the top tier.

Google’s total advertising revenues for 2010 was $28 billion. This is a rough estimate, but if Content Network accounts for 1/5 of revenues, we can put it at $5.6 billion. Using the pareto 20% principle then, we can assume 20% of Content Network advertisers account for 80% or $4.48 billion of Google’s Content Network revenues in 2010.

I don’t have the numbers on how many Content Network advertisers there are and how much their median spend is. That would be interesting to know.

Mike Colella’s Million Dollar Secrets

When it comes to making money online, there are snake oil salesmen and there are people who silently build multi million dollar business without peddling ebooks and boasting about their successes around the affiliate marketing community. One such is Mike Colella, and he is the real deal.

Mike Colella

I first heard about Mike from Andrew Warner’s Mixergy interview and I remember this particular interview because it was the one that really convinced me there can be a million dollar business in affiliate marketing. Mike made his $4.5 million fortune without building a single website.

I’m convinced about the benefits of doing display advertising. For one, you are not in a bidding war on search terms, as with the search networks. The game is in creating the best ad, paired with great site placements. Secondly, there is so much more traffic that scaling won’t be an issue as with PPV. Third, I would rather direct-link an offer than build a landing page.

Mike’s strategy is simple, find a hot offer, make a great ad, and put the ads on traffic that converts well. All without landing pages.

And so a few days ago, I saw an email from Nana of Tracking202 about a webinar with Mike entitled “Secrets of a Multi-Million Dollar Pay Per Click Marketer“. I immediately signed up.

Woke up  very early this morning and attended the best webinar ever. I’m glad I didn’t miss it.

Here’s what I learned:

There are 3 factors for success in the Content Network:

  1. High converting offer or landing page.
  2. High converting ad copy.
  3. High converting sites or placements.

These 3 things, when executed correctly will bring massive traffic and profits. However, do one wrong and YOU WILL FAIL.

Mike is known for having promoted the TruthAboutAbs program from ClickBank. He mentions that on average, it takes 500 clicks to get a sale. At $0.10 per click, it would cost $50 to get sale. When the offer is only paying $30 per sale, you are barely breaking even even at $0.05 per click. Most affiliates are in this boat.

So how did he eventually profit from this?

He realized that conversions can be optimized by creating better ads and placing these ads on better converting traffic. Mike gets conversions for TruthAboutAbs on less than 100 clicks.

Let’s break down these 3 factors

Step 1: Find A Hot Offer

Find hot offers that you can promote. You can spend about 2x to 3x the payout for testing an offer. When choosing ClickBank products, a gravity above 100 is usually a good indication.

You can also find hot offers by trawling the content networks for ads that consistently appear. AdBeat can also make this task a lot easier.

Step 2: Create A Great Ad

Mike mentioned these 3 books have helped him. Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples, Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins, Influence by Robert Cialdini. I’ve read/listened to these books and they are great. They should be a part of an ad man’s bible.

Mike goes on to say to launch at least 4 ads with different angles in each. For example, when promoting a dating offer, one angle could be “Find Your Soulmate” and the other “Find Hot Chicks”. Both these ads will appeal to very different demographics.

Step 3: Find Great Site Placements

Use media planning tools to figure out where to display ads. There’s Google AdPlanner, Quantcast, Alexa, Compete. Alexa and Compete have clickstream data and this can be important in finding out where people are clicking from before landing on an offer’s landing page.

Some advice from Mike:

  • Don’t promote scammy offers.
  • Be careful with AdWords slaps.
  • Focus on “evergreen markets” such as diet, dating, health, debt, lending
  • Become an expert in at most 2 traffic sources.
  • Become an expert in at most 2 markets.

Again, you need to know the HOT OFFERS, create HOT COPY, and the sites where people are READY TO BUY. Offer, Ad, Placement. If one of them is “off”, YOU WILL FAIL.

Thanks Mike and Nana for a great webinar.

Of course Mike probably wouldn’t be doing this just for charity. He’s promoting AdBeat, a Content Network ad scraping and tracking platform to make competitive intelligence a snap. It’s a very powerful tool that will give insight into succesful campaigns and even show you what ad-testing other advertisers are doing. I believe this product is a game-changer for the internet advertising industry as it makes advertising even more efficient

For a limited offer until March 8th, 2011, Mike’s offering  a full year’s subscription to AdBeat, an affiliate training series, a private forum access, all for $1,497 a year.

So what do you think of Mike and AdBeat?