The Perfect Offer

What makes the perfect offer?

I think it is really subjective and individual. What is the perfect offer for me right now might not be the perfect offer for you ever. I suspect it is a moving target that is never hit with any consistency. But every once in a while…

I think I have a really good offer going right now, might even be perfect for the right people. I am offering free upgrades at Your E Mail Series and TrackeryMe to anybody that will sign up to Rocket Responder and/or trck.me under me. What with all the XP and bonuses and such going on right now, it is a serious chance to learn how to use your new tools. You can see it here.

But it’s not really the perfect offer. I’m getting to that….

I need to remind you that I am now into my 51st year of riding a motorcycle. It is truly my first love, and a lifelong pursuit. I have lusted for a great many motorcycles in those years, from the first (1968 Harley Davidson Night Train) to today’s lust for a new Connie. The most consistent lust through all those years has been Ducati. A smallish Italian company, they just keep building motorcycles that are just over the cutting edge. I have a minimum 45 year lust for one Duc or another.

4 years ago, I got my first Ducati. The very first MultiStrada, the 620. In my mind, it is the DSC_0004-1most beautiful motorcycle ever built (see for yourself. This was mine) I traded a Suzuki BKing for it (and the fool gave ME cash). Yes it was too small for me, I weigh almost as much as the bike does. Yes it was maintenance intensive. Yes, it went through tires like it was alergic to them. It was a Ducati. My Ducati.

And then I hurt my back. I was over a year without being able to work at anything (or even really ride a motorcycle, DSC_0001though I did). I am self employed, and I had 0 income over that time. The Duc was much the most sellable possession that I had, and it was the first to go. It was the only piece of machinery that I had named. Pato Rojo (Red Duck). My lust goes on for ANOTHER Ducati.

Which brings me to the perfect offer. It came innocently enough in an email from Motorcycle Classics, a magazine and website that I frequent. 2 guys have written a coffee table book dealing with the whole 60 years that Ducati has been in business.

I know it is too expensive at $60. I know I don’t need another ‘research volume’ and certainly don’t need one on Ducati.

But it was the perfect offer. I hope it gets here soon.

I’m just sayin’

Refrigerator Magnets

Disclaimer: If you came looking for a business related blog post, sorry. It’s not.  I wrote this a while back, and really like it.  I’m going to post it on my Motorcycle Blog, also…  I hope you enjoy the ride…

We were talking about refrigerator magnets, right?

Yeah, I used to buy them for my mother when I traveled. It was a thing I could bring home to her because they packed small (I don’t think she ever wore the Sturgis shirt I brought her) and Mom loved to travel so she’d look at the magnets and imagine the place…Worked out real good for both of us.

Any way, I was out on I-90 when I saw the green clouds with flat bottoms and knew I was about to get in trouble. I picked up the pace a little (rural South Dakota. Not many police) and ran hard to get in front of the storm.

I did, and eased back down near the speed limit after about 100 miles. Decided I needed a smoke and water, so stopped at Fort Something or Other. Got my water, had a smoke and went in to BS the shopkeeper when I saw them. Refrigerator magnets. All 50 states sorted by state. I was standing there trying to decide if I only needed the ones I had already been to or buy forward for the whole trip. Decisions, decisions.

Then the place rattled. My first thought was earthquake, but then the sign blew off the front of the store. The damn storm had caught me again. I saddled up and was gone in 30 seconds, running hard again.

I planned to camp at Badlands NP that night, so pulled off at the eastern exit for the Park. Got gas and water and a couple hot dogs at the store there. I was just about ready to roll when another one rolled in. A long rider, no doubt.

I went and visited for a few minutes, then headed South to the campground. My guy pulled in about a half hour later. I set my tent extra careful knowing the storm was coming. It actually passed by about 50 miles away, and was beautiful from the campground.Sundown in Camp

I had my stuff torn down and packed long before sun up. I drank coffee until it was light enough to see. I carried my ‘left over’ coffee up to my new friend and got moving. I took a couple hundred pictures in the next 3 hours, and wobbled into Wall, SD hungry and ready for more coffee.

I chose a restaurant right across the street from World Famous Wall Drug. Well, in all honesty, everything in Wall is across the street from Wall Drug. It covers 2 city blocks, and there just really isn’t much more that isn’t across the street from the Drug Store. Anyway, I bought a local paper, took in my maps and found a table in the back near where the locals sit.

I hadn’t even gotten coffee when my buddy from the night before wandered in and joined me. We were having a very pleasant visit when a guy walked in, walked right up to us and flipped us the bird. Yep, middle finger about a foot long with a great big grin behind it. I started to be offended until my friend flipped him back. Then I remembered ‘The Adventure Rider’s Salute’ I got my ‘wave’ up in time to not be considered rude. The guy visited for a couple of minutes then joined the locals table.

So. We ordered our breakfast from a cute farm girl (aren’t all waitresses in SD farm girls??) and talked routing. I was headed for Leadville, Co next, but my friend warned me off. Said there was a super marathon (100 miles at over 7000’ elevation) and his wife was running in it. He was going to pace her a ways, and then they were headed for Canada for a week on the Beemer…

We were just about done with breakfast when I mentioned the refrigerator magnets. He said “I’ll bet they have them across the street in Wall Drug.”

And that’s why I was a day late getting home. Refrigerator magnets.

I’m just sayin’

Time In

OK. Confession time. This is the column that I intended to write when I started the last one that I wrote. That one spooled off in it’s own direction, I’ll try to stay closer to the line with this one. Thank you for your patience.

Time. A very limited commodity. Depending on what you are doing, available time can get to be incredibly short.

Take advertising, for instance. I have read many studies and surveys that claim you have less than half a second to capture your intended target with an ad.

Half a second. Everything clearly points to that time frame. If your website doesn’t load in less than half a second your click off rate will go WAY up. This is a ‘hurry up’ industry.

We are a little lucky here in TE land simply because of the way TEs work. Almost every one has a ‘pick up tray’ that opens the next site while the current site is being shown. How long is it? Think of how long you hear the ‘bomb’ beeping at the Legacy sites and TERL. That particular site loads REAL quick so you have an easy time knowing how long the ‘pickup’ lasts.

Which means that when I click the surf icon your site comes right up. It’s been ready for at least a couple of seconds. The viewer gets to see your ad in all it’s glory right away. (Your ads DO have glory, don’t they??} You have at least 2 seconds for your ad to be up and running when the intended target opens it. A great deal.

That brings me to the point, finally. If you have an advertisement that viewers need to wait for you are wasting your credits, time and money. It is incredibly stupid. Stupid.

Let me give you a hint. Those incredibly complex backgrounds that look so marevelous after 10 seconds? Get rid of them. Putting multiple banners (all hosted at a different place) in one advertising block? Dopey. They NEVER load on time. Video that takes of 1 second to load and play? CHOP. If your video takes over a second to load, either make it smaller or reduce the quality.

OK, granted it’s your time and money. You can do what you want with it. But if you insist on wasting it on ads no one will look at, why not send it to me? I won’t make that particular mistake.

I’m just sayin’

Scam Alert!!

Wow.

Carl Reisling is not just at it again, he is AT IT.

In the last 48 hours he has had one new TE shut down by PayPal, started a new one and gotten caught attempting theft at least twice.

The only good thing you can say about him is that he moves real fast.

His newest site is Galaxy Cash Back. No I won’t post a link, but if you really need to, you can figure it out. I did.

He has posted a video on you tube apologizing for the money he owes people from his 6 previous TEs. (There were more than 6, I just can’t remember them all) He claims he will pay them as soon as he gets paid from his current project. REALLY?

He was caught twice changing IPN numbers to steal advertising, IPN is the system that websites (TEs) use to verify payment to allow services to be provided. You use it all the time. It works.

This is a bad man, with a bad product and a bad track record. Stay completely away from him and his stuff.

I’m just sayin’

Time Out

I have good news and bad:

The bad news is that I’m having one of THOSE days. My stock expression is a sneer, nothing seems to work the way it should, (I wonder why) and everything is just sort of bleak.

The good news is that I rarely have these sorts of days. I am really pretty even tempered, even pleasant most of the time. I genuinely love my life and express it routinely.

The further bad news? I sometimes write on days like this. Proceed at your own peril.

It’s about time. It is an incredibly valuable commodity that NOBODY sees to have enough of. Doesn’t matter how rich or poor, time is the one thing that you can’t afford to be without. And feeble attempts to manufacture more time never, ever work.

I can manipulate my available time, and give more to current priorities. I can become a complete sluggard and waste every available morsel of what I do have to spend. When I do that, I am inevitably filled with guilt and remorse. Which is in itself an epic time waster. Guilt over past failings is about as useless as anything can be. It’s like wasting time TWICE.

Time is a currency. Maybe the only currency that is absolutely real. I can afford to waste a nickel or a dime, but when I start leaking away dollars and hundreds it is a real bad day.

I am on a fixed budget. I get just exactly one amount of time. How I spend my currency is a direct influence on how I feel and how I do.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending some of your time currency with me today. I know how valuable that is.

I promised you, my reader, that I would give you what is on my mind. That I wrote this and kept my promise may be the highlight of this day. I am certain that I will come to regret the time that I squandered writing this. Oh well.

I’m just sayin’

4 More Years

4 years isn’t a long time when you are my age. I not only have clothing older than that, I almost do not have any clothing newer than 4 years old..

4 years isn’t long for a tree, or an athletic franchise, or a good restaurant.

It is a long time for a ‘start up’ internet firm. In this case, Tim Tech. January 20, 2011 was the day that Jon Olson, Tim Linden and Justin Ledvina decided to go ‘all in’ and start a company to carry their dreams to reality.

It is amazing to me, but on that day they decided to put all their separate properties into the new company and go for the gold or go broke. That took some faith and belief in each other, not to mention a desire to create new things and ways of doing business.

What you see today as an empire started with Start X, I Love Hits, AdKreator and the brand new Sweeva. And a ton of ideas.

It would be hard to overstate TT’s impact on the TE industry in the last 4 years. To say that they were the leaders of a complete industry remake would not be out of line. The companies and entrepreneurs that they have inspired to action and success are Legion.

I certainly blame TimTech for much of my success. I know others that feel that way, too.

Here’s to 44 more boys. Long May You Run.

I’m just sayin’

“Long May You Run” is a song written by Neil Young about a 1962 Triumph motorcycle.

Dirty Words

Selling.

Sell.

Selling.

A whole lot of people don’t like selling, or sales, but the whole truth of the whole matter is that we are all selling every day. All of us. Every one. Selling something. All the time.

I’m selling myself. I’m selling TrackeryMe. I’m selling Your EMail Series.  I am selling this blog. It is continuous. It’s what I do, what I am. If you work at McDonald’s you are selling a winning smile and a brand. If you want to advance, you are selling yourself to management. If you work in a factory, you are selling your good work for your paycheck. Everybody sells.

Part of the secret of life is to maximize your product that you have for sale. No matter what it is, you have a product to sell, and you want it to look as good as possible. It just sells better.

In my life I have bought and sold over 50 motorcycles. I use them, I understand the market, I know what stuff is worth, I make some money from time to time. Part of the book I have written is about buying and selling used motorcycles. The one thing I can suggest if you wish to sell one? Make it presentable. Make it start and run good, make it be clean. I can’t tell you how many times I have made $1000 just by doing the very routine stuff. Wash it. Just that sometimes.

Which brings me to this industry. Know that I am NOT a TE owner, but I am a TE buyer. Not the TE itself, but the product it has for sale. Part of the contract we sign is that you want me to come back. You get a LOT more from me if I come back, even if I am a free member and never ever spend one penny at your TE.

Traffic Monsoon. It’s first foray into the world of CTP Teams and the huge number of people that will swirl around there today. It’s their chance to shine. It’s their turn. It’s their chance to SELL themselves.

Fail. There is no other word. The REALLY BIG “F” word. The other one is pretty common where I hang out.

They start right at the start. Name and Email twice. OK, I understand the contract (it is a contract) and you get my email for your purposes. I agree. Phone number. Not a chance, not part of the contract. The only reason to require my phone is to sell it or JV it. No thank you. It turns out it is a required field. Feel free to call the number I gave you.

Takes two sets of passwords. Like maybe I have that much to protect here.

First Page: The most important page on your website. Fail. No upgrade apparent, no ‘how to use this site’ just BS about how great this place is. I’ll decide that…

Surf now, this ought to be ok. I mean it’s pretty standard, right? Well not so much. A 20 second timer. Just like 1998, but if it gets results and traffic, that is workable. IF.

Enter a 4 digit code. Then click TWICE more to move to the next site. You can’t even hit enter to make it go. Mouse and click. 3 entries per site make it MORE THAN 30 seconds per site.

So. You are selling me your traffic right? So I pile up or buy credits and spend at your place. It’s a sale. Or not. Fully 80% of the sites I viewed were TRAFFIC MONSOON. They are too lazy to even put in affiliate sites to make it look like they might do some business.

No Sale.

Simply that, No Sale.

The lesson boys and girls? Put your best foot forward. Sell yourself to the very best of your ability. MAKE AN EFFORT. A little tiny effort at the least.

Brutal.

I’m just sayin’

Survey Results: Surprises

OK. The results are in. I have completed my 3 year advertising/success survey. The surprising results and a couple of thoughts about it are to follow.

The Survey

Over the past three years I have viewed hundreds of thousands of splash pages, landing pages, copy pages and more than a few unidentifiable pages. I have kept meticulous track in several categories, and the secrets are just about to be revealed.

Number 1

Girls with big boobs. Yes, I know that is surprising, but girls with big boobs are the number one most successful category as posed by millions of advertisers.

There are several subsets in this category.
A: GWBB and a fist full of $100 bills.
B: GWBB and perfect teeth. Often with a really stupid surprised look on their faces and a fist full of $100 bills.
C: GWBB and perfect teeth in an exotic beach setting. Often with a laptop computer, but not necessary to complete the scene.
D: GWBB with perfect teeth in a mansion. Less common than the first 3.

Number 2

Girls with a Perfect Butt.  Almost exclusively in a beach setting, generally with a small smear of strategically placed sand.

Number 3

Girls with big boobs in the company of a male fashion model. These can be found in the same four subsets as above with one more.

E: GWBB with Male Model and 2 perfect children.

Number 4

Male Fashion Model. Usually found with GWBB above, but sporadically on their own. Inevitably leaning on or at the wheel of a Ferrari. No other automobile is acceptable. Ferrari is often parked in front of a mansion.

So there you have it. Final and complete results of an exhausting scientific study.

For those of us that don’t fit into one of the above categories, I suggest hard work. It seems the only answer.

I’m just sayin’

Just Ducky

My Friend Robert Arnold wrote a terrific column about Ethics and a decision he made recently.  You can see it right here on his newly retooled blog page.  I only have one nit to pick with the deal.  In it he seems to say that ‘redneck’ and ‘ethics’ don’t go well together.  (Actually, not even remotely what he says, just starts that way) You really need to read it.

I would have to argue with that.  I immediately thought of a red neck ethical quandry to make my point.  Let’s say you and 2 friends are out duck hunting, the limit is 3 each.  You have 6 ducks between you and decide as a group that you will each take one more shot and then head for the tavern.  A nice flock of ducks comes into your decoys, and each of you shoot once.  4 ducks fall dead.  Uh Oh.  Now what do you do?  You know the Game Warden is prowling around, you’ve seen him.  If you take 10 ducks home, one of you is likely to get a ticket.  But you have grown up not wasting any meat.  What to do??

We all face ethical challenges all the time.  Ethics is all about what you do when you are pretty darn sure you won’t get caught.  That is how and when you decide if you are ethical or not.  Nobody else can decide it for you.

In our business, ethics doesn’t come with a rating, and nobody can tell by just looking if you are ethical or not.  Why should it matter?  Because sooner or later, your body of work will add up.  If you always do the ethical (right) thing, people will know.  If you do the right thing often, people will know.  If you never do the right thing when you think you won’t get caught, people will know.  If you aren’t ethical you are soon looking for a new business.

I don’t know what anybody else is going to do with the ducks.  I don’t hunt anymore, but when I did, I took the ticket.  More than once.  I DO NOT believe in going over limit, but I believe even less in wasting game.  It’s just my ethics.

And had we left a duck laying, one of those boys I hunted with might have let it slip and my Ol’ Man might have heard about it.  That would be WAY worse than any ticket.  That, however, would lead us to situational ethics, which is a completely different column.

I’m just sayin’

If TEs were a Restaurant

Ok. I get it. I understand. I am a lowly surfer and affiliate so count for nothing because I am not in there pitching in the same marketplace that the TE owners are.

But there are things that I like and things I don’t like, and I’m going to take you to the TE Restaurant for a couple of examples.

I walk up to a restaurant, and the windows are so filthy that I can’t see in the place. The door handle was last cleaned in the Carter administration, the grime is measurably thick. You think I’m going to go in there and eat? Really?

It’s like not having a design on your TE. So your cousin Myrtle is starting a design studio. That doesn’t make her a designer. Really. Here’s the hint: It doesn’t matter how good your food is if you can’t get people in the door.

So I walk up to the next restaurant. The windows are foggy, but maybe that is just the ambience of the place. It looks ok otherwise and SMELLS like a restaurant. And I AM hungry, otherwise I wouldn’t be here. I open the door, and a guy in filthy coveralls with Bubba embroidered on the pocket says: “Hey. For only $497.00 you can eat here free for the rest of your life. Best deal at a restaurant EVER.” No thanks, I just want to eat. “What? You don’t have $500 in your pocket? Well how about this. For only $97 per month you can eat here 3 days per week and we will throw in one piece of pie per week” Ah, no. I just want a hamburger “Wow. I can’t believe you didn’t take those two offers. Here it is: For only $29 per month you can come in this place and pay us for everything. But if you send us 7 customers per month we’ll give you that piece of pie from the other offer.” “But OK. If you really don’t like saving money and still insist on coming in, we have a seat right over there by the kitchen door for you.”

Really long, boring paragraph that serves no real purpose, right? That’s your DUSAP OTO sheets coming up for people that really want to see what you have in your restaurant. Hint: If you don’t have a real offer that you care enough about to make a page for, take a chance that people might just like your TE and come back.

So. I decide that it smells good enough that I put up with Bubba until the next victim walks in and I can go sit down and look at a menu. The waitress slams down a water glass and a menu, walks off without a word. <Sigh> Let’s see what they got to eat. The menu is in Sanskrit, but fortunately, I have been in enough restaurants with Sanskrit menus that I know what I am looking for. Cheeseburger and fries with a coke. It’s ⅔ or the way down the sheet, hidden under the promo tab. OK. I am ready to order.

The waitress comes back, stands mute at my side. I clear my throat, and say convincingly “Cheeseburger and Fries with a Coke”. She gives me the stink eye and says “OH. You want to EAT?? You will have to fill out this form first. I hope you have a pen because you sure as hell aren’t using mine.” And walks off.

Hint: Don’t make it too hard for surfers to get to the surf bar. Do you really need to know my underwear size to let me surf? Really?

I am smoldering by now, but I do have a pen, and I fill out the form. Every blank, every jot and title. I wave it at the waitress and she comes over. Steps up, and says. “OK. Cheeseburger and Fries with a Coke, right? “ Is that a hint of a smile? Am I going to get to eat?

“Now just take all your money out of your pockets and put it on the table. We will take it all and put it in a safe place until you are done eating and then what ever money you might have left over will go to reducing our credit risk.”

Translation? 100% Auto assign. We DO NOT want you coming back here to assign any credits, you dope.

I am not a TE owner, and will never be one. But I do know what I like and where I can go to get what I like. Are you interested? In what I like? Hint: You ought to be.

I’m just sayin’

For the record: I’m still LEO strong.