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S: Hello and welcome to Marketing Speak. I’m your host Stephan Spencer and today I have the distinct pleasure to invite on the show Greg Davis. Greg is a super affiliate extraordinaire. Also known by some as Mr. 50k a day, that’s cause he makes a lot of money everyday with his affiliate marketing. He is a trainer to some experts to some affiliate marketing and he of course makes quite a lot of money with his affiliate marketing himself. He didn’t start out making 50k a day though, he has his humble beginnings. He got a degree in Electrical Engineering from Penn State and then he started affiliate marketing in 2000 on a part time basis. He started with goto.com, buying pay per click traffic there which later became Overture and then Yahoo! Search Marketing. He tried a plethora of traffic generation techniques from SEO to Safe Lists to bulk email. Greg then decided to refocus on pay per click in 2006. He received mentoring from an affiliate manager and was able to turn his business around from losing $100 a day to generating over $100,000 a month. He quit his sales job in January 2007 to pursue affiliate marketing full time. In 2009, Greg surfaced from the affiliate marketing underground to start superaffiliaterockstar.com, a private coaching program. His clients have generated upwards of $100,000 a day. He also has a Super Affiliate Rockstar Conference and I have attended, it was a great event. In addition to pay per click, Greg’s become a specialist in many forms of paid traffic including Facebook, PPV, media buys, and banner advertising. Greg owns Rockstar Revenue Media, a private affiliate network, and does private coaching and consulting on a limited basis. Greg, it’s great to have you on the show, welcome.
G: Thank you, thank you, thanks for having me.
S: Let’s start with what does it take to go big in paid traffic? You have to have serious resources, you need to have at least a big bank account or a big credit limit. You have to be able to float that money, you have to have really great offers. It’s just a lot of technical know how. What is the secret sauce that’s required in order to become a super, super affiliate?
G: The good news is that you don’t really have to have a start all know it all capital and all these sources, you can definitely start small and then grow big. Really, the secret sauce, the key to it is testing and tracking. My clients, I tell them let’s test as small as possible and then roll out big. The analogy that I like to use is that your job as an affiliate or your job as somebody that buys traffic is to build a money machine. That money machine could be you put in $1 and then $2 come to you on the other end, or $1.50 comes up, $3 comes up. Whatever your ROI happens to be as long as you are bringing out more than you put in. Once you have that money machine built, it’s kind of like build the dreams. If you build it, it will come. If you can build a money machine, then the money will come. Even if you don’t have the money, people with money will be willing to invest in you and help you out. If you have a campaign of something that’s 100% ROI where you’re doubling your money or tripling your money or whatever, if you have that built, then even if you don’t have the resources yourself you can definitely secure the money to get big really fast.
S: Yeah, hot sauce. You started just on a part time basis a little bit of funds and built your way up. Did you have problems with getting enough cash or getting enough credit or whatever, did you have to get a whole bunch of credit cards? Did you have to get some sort of bank loan or something in order to fund this? Was it able to grow organically, you just kept funding it with the cash the proceeds that you were generating?
G: Actually, all of the above really. I built that money machine. I think it was probably back in 2006 that I basically had a campaign running on Google AdWords where I was spending $1,000 a day and I was generating $3,000 in revenue, it’s basically $2,000 profit everyday. I think the affiliate company I was working with at the time was only paying twice a month. That was basically 14, 15 days of spending at least $1,000 a day. I quickly ran out of $1,000 because at the time I just had a regular job. I did all of that, maxed out credit cards, I got all the money I could. But again, the affiliate company, they didn’t want the traffic to stop either. They basically have been asking me the money and paying me a lot quicker. And then I actually got a couple of loans from family and friends. It was a great deal for them because I paid them back within a month and they got, I can’t even remember what the interest was but it was something crazy. I think I gave away so much money but it was the thought of me not running a campaign for a day was very sickening because it was money that I was not making. I did all of that stuff, I did everything I could. Again, if you got a machine that you could put $1 and $3 comes out, you’re going to try to find as many dollars as you probably can from wherever. I did that, but luckily because of profit margins, I was able to pay everybody back and really from the second month on, it was self financing.
S: That’s amazing. What’s a typical spend with Facebook? You have to do quite a lot of media spend with Facebook in order to generate the kind of cash and profit that you generate on a daily basis. Are you spending six figures a month with Facebook on ads, are you spending seven figures, what’s the scale of this thing?
G: We’re typically spending seven figures a month. I would say not necessarily all on Facebook but definitely between Facebook and Google, we’re spending just about a million a month.
S: Holy cow, that’s amazing, that’s some serious scale. Did you get AdWords certified, did you bring some ninja experts in to work as employees, or you’re working with an agency, how are you spending that seven figures in the most effective way?
G: I don’t really use any kind of—definitely not any Google certified people. A lot of the stuff I do I don’t think that Google would approve of or Facebook. Definitely I don’t go that route. I know a lot more than most of the agencies out there. Yes, just pretty much doing myself and small team, just a couple of people that I’ve actually trained on how to buy traffic. My approach to buying traffic is really different from the way it’s mostly taught, especially the way it’s taught by Google itself. It’s not really anywhere I can go to really do any better than I’m doing.
S: How is your approach different?
G: I have some sayings, I call them Gregisms. One of my Gregisms is if the ad is good enough, keywords are irrelevant. This specifically applies to Google and in a way to Facebook as well. When most people think of Google, they mostly think in terms of keywords, especially SEO but even with pay per click, you’re bidding on keywords, thinking about keywords. What I discovered was that if you focus on the ad more and really focus on the ad and really test it to the nth degree, then the better that ad is doesn’t really matter, the keywords because most people aim at people that are doing specific searches of specific thing whereas me I’m just looking for a specific person. That person may search for a variety of things, the main thing I’m looking at is demographic. I was going to either click a sample, for Google, Google Search has a two to one female male bias off the top. Right off the top, just in general, you’re going to be in front of more women. The main markets that I’m in, weight loss, skin care, those are heavily women. The common approach would be to advertise with skin care related keywords, skin care or wrinkle cream or stuff like that. You can do that and you can make a lot of money that way but you’re going to be competing against a lot of other people. What I do is I kind of take a step further. If the offer is converting well just on the targeted keywords, then I’ll go to what I call demographic keywords. That same woman that’s searching for skin cream or Oil of Olay or whatever, she’s also searching for perfume, also searching for dresses. Again, the ad has to be really good. You can actually have a skin care ad and advertise on keywords like dresses or perfume and stuff like that. You’re probably not going to have a very good quality score but as long as the money works out, it’s fine. If you’re going to go past that, you can even get to totally unrelated keywords just because of the bias. You can advertise with keywords such as news, weather, stuff like that because it’s going to be a majority of women that are still going to be doing a searching. Again, it’s all about the ad. In that way, it’s kind of like an eruption marketing, it’s not traditional search marketing where you’re trying to put your ad in front of somebody that’s actually looking for it. This is just like your ad is there, they see it and then bam.
S: Wow. Are you spending a lot of the focus with Google on search network or on the content network’s display network?
G: I’d say most of my spend is definitely on display network. There was a time where there was a really big difference in the traffic and search traffic converted a lot better. But now, in a lot of cases, display does just as well if not better and it’s a lot cheaper. As I’ve said, if I have something that’s really converting well that want to pile on more traffic, then I’ll definitely go more for search. In the beginning, for most campaigns, it’s going to be focused on displaying network.
S: Cool. Are you doing much with YouTube, advertising there?
G: I am not right now but I’ve been talking to Tommy. I’m definitely going to get into some of that. I have been targeting YouTube as far as the Google display network, I definitely did do that. But as far as actual video ads, I haven’t done that.
S: Right, cool. For listeners, you guys should definitely check out the Tommy Powers episode. I interviewed Tommy about YouTube advertising, killer content. It’s a must listen. Let’s circle back to the idea of stuff that Facebook and Google wouldn’t necessarily approve of, not certifiable. What are we talking about here? Are we talking about cloaking? Illuminate us a bit.
G: Cloaking is definitely the main tactic I’m referring to. Google and Facebook are not in love with affiliates to begin with and they definitely don’t like most of the type of products that I promote, like I said heavily skin care, weight loss, stuff like that. There’s just some areas that they really pay a lot of attention to and are under a lot of scrutiny. I cloak so bad I can show them whatever the page is that they want to see that they like but then my actual prospects or surfers, they can see the landing page that I want them to see which is the one that actually makes money. I definitely do cloak, I actually have my own cloak-er, superaffiliatecloaker.com. I definitely cloak. I’m a bad boy.
S: Isn’t is possible for the search engine cops and the Facebook cops to discover what you’re up to? Doesn’t that happen that they’ll figure out that you’re cloaking and slap you?
G: Oh, absolutely. That’s the constant cat and mouse game. I go through a whole lot of accounts. You’re going to be using more than one account anyway. Most Facebook accounts, you can only spend $5,000 a day. You’re going to be using more than one anyway. It’s a constant factory of creating accounts. Accounts might last a week. It all depends. It just goes down to the money, though. Even if the account only lets you spend $5,000, $10,000 but you’re doubling your money, it’s just part of the equation, this is part of doing business. There is ways that you can generate Facebook accounts and ways that you can buy them, same thing with Google. That’s a constant cat and mouse game. I run traffic, they’ll shut it down, and then I’ll have new accounts ready to go.
S: That’s such a foreign concept to me, I’m so squeaky clean white hat. I can’t even imagine. Are we talking hundreds of accounts per week or dozens or more, thousands? What are we talking about?
G: As far as Facebook, I’ll probably say I’ll run through 10 accounts a day, maybe 25 or 10 accounts per day, depending on what I’m doing at the time. It definitely adds up.
S: Wow. You say that you can actually buy accounts, you can also create them yourself and there’s all sorts of super secret sketchy ways to do this and we won’t go into the details. I don’t want anyone coming after me. This is really just fascinating to me that you can scale something like this, you can automate it. We just take for granted that okay, I whip out my wallet, take out my credit card, I sign up for Facebook Ads account, and I got to treat this thing like it’s made out of glass because if I screw it up I’m done, my account is banned or shut off and I’m done. I could go out of business. I know companies, big e-commerce businesses, they got shut off. Whether it’s by eBay, Amazon, or just one of the big players. It’s the golden rule, he who has the gold makes the rules. How do you grapple with that? You’re just constantly creating factories, ways to start over and create new accounts into an automated fashion and they’re just constantly chasing after you? It’s forever cat and mouse and don’t get much sleep sort of lifestyle, what’s this like?
G: It doesn’t affect my sleep anymore. It used to. Nah, here’s the thing I always tell people. Yeah, you get your accounts banned and that sucks. Look at it, Facebook and Google are in the business of giving out accounts. They’re always going to be giving people accounts so you just got to become a new person. They’re not going to give you a new account because you’re banned for life or suspended as Google calls it. Any cookies on the same computer or whatever, same credit card, same website, it’s not going to work, they’re going to instantly ban it. They’re not going to give you an account but they’re going to give some new person an account because that’s how they make money. As long as they’re getting out new accounts, then there will be a way of fooling them. People told me years ago, “This stuff’s never going to last, this is not a long term thing,” and I’ve been doing this since 2006. I’ve been cloaking since 2008. It’s about eight years now. It’s just a different way of thinking. To me, a Facebook account is disposable. It’s like a trash bag and I take out my trash when it’s full and then I take it out and then I get new trash bags. It’s kind of like the same thing. I know people that they honestly only spend $2,000 in a Facebook account and that’s it. It actually gets banned that same day. If they spend $2,000 on an account and they can turn it to $4,000, how many times are you going to do that? They have huge teams of outsourced people and everything that just do nothing but farm accounts. I don’t actually call it farming accounts, I like to do it myself. I do some but a lot of times I end up buying accounts just because somebody else does all that leg work and it’s worth it to me. Even if you’re doing something that’s pretty shady when they first let you place the ad, you can pretty much spend $2,000 before they shut you down. He’s talking about one account per day but he has a team of all sorts and they just crank out accounts, hundreds and hundreds of accounts. That’s how he’s able to make $2 million a month now. It can be done. If you think about the scale, how big Facebook is, you’re talking about 1.7 billion accounts. I’ll tell you, at least 100,000 of those accounts are mine. It’s so easy to make new accounts and to make them look like they’re real people. I have people that just hop on these accounts and do some activity, like some stuff, just make them look real. It’s all set up, it’s all nice and systematized, it works.
S: What are you going to do as they roll out machine learning, artificial intelligence, and so forth, to look for abnormalities and things that are not legit. Are you going to fight back with your own artificial intelligence? How are you going to keep up with that?
G: I don’t know, I have programmers work for me or work with me for the cloakers. I’m not honestly up on technology like that, I’m not the most technical person. Whatever happens happens. This is the way for me to do what I know works. I could go legit and do things “the right way.” The product margin is probably not going to be as high, but I can still do it. Cloaking right now just allows me to do something that they wouldn’t allow. I’ve actually had some success with Facebook and Google, uncloaked, “compliant,” but the noncompliant stuff just makes way more money.
S: Interesting. Once you have a poor quality store, is that something that is recoverable or you just turn and burn? You move on and start from scratch with a new account and new site?
G: For Google or Facebook?
S: For Google, your Google AdWords quality score. Let’s say that’s looking pretty sick, do you try and recover that or do you just move on?
G: Just move on. Luckily, Google Accounts do last a lot longer than Facebook and we are able to spend more there. Normally if it’s a situation where they start to look into something too much, the quality score is really not a huge concern. Normally, I can bid enough to overcome that if I’m on a search. There’s not that big of a deal on the display network. But to be honest, I might keep a Google account maybe two, three months. I’m not really too concerned about the long term effects.
S: Right. What is a typical cost per click that you’re spending? Are you getting amazing deals like 5 cents a click or something or are you spending up to $5, $10 a click for your traffic on Google?
G: Not for $5 or $10. It depends on the country. For Brazil, you definitely get traffic for 5 cents, 10 cents. It really varies. US on the display network, if it’s tied in with a keyword then maybe 30, 40 cents. If it’s more untargeted, you might be able to get 20 cents or so, even less. I might to up to a dollar a click, that’s pretty much it. I’m pretty much maxing out at a dollar. Most of my stuff is on display network and I’m hovering around 30, 35 cents.
S: Do you find that Facebook is cheaper, a better deal for your ad spend, or is Google?
G: Facebook, definitely.
S: Okay. Are we talking massive ROI difference or massive difference in the value? Let’s say that you’re spending 20 cents, 30 cents to get a click. If you spend that same amount of money on Facebook, are you getting much higher quality traffic for that or are you getting more clicks? Can you get traffic at maybe half the price, a third of the price on Facebook versus Google? How does this pan out for you?
G: I can definitely get cheaper clicks on Facebook. If I have some pretty aggressive ads, I can get five cents a click, definitely 10 cents a click, pretty easily. However, that 10 cents a click doesn’t necessarily equate. It’s definitely a lower quality than I would get with 25 or 30 cent click with Google. It really all depends on the type of offer. Some advertisers, some merchants that produce lease for, they only want Facebook traffic, other ones only want Google. It really depends on what backs out the best for them. Just on the surface, you can definitely get cheaper clicks with Facebook which generally results in higher ROI. It’s not necessarily the same, it’s not like I’m going to get the same quality of traffic at 10 cents with Facebook than I would at 10 cents with Google. The traffic quality, as the clicks get cheaper on Facebook, it does go down. Again, it depends on what you’re doing. If you just want to spread a whole bunch of cookies for retirement, if you’re trying to get opt-ins and stuff like that, then the cheap traffic definitely comes in handy.
S: When you’re spending that kind of money that you’re spending, upwards of seven figures a month, are you running all that through credit cards that give you frequent flier points and stuff like that? You got Amex Black cards and stuff? You’re spending a lot of money, there are definite benefits in spending a lot of money every month, lots of frequent flier miles. How are you leveraging that?
G: Absolutely, you definitely leverage all the points and even cash back and all the little perks and stuff like that. A lot of my spend is not actually coming through my personal or even business credit cards and stuff like that, a lot of it I’m either doing it in conjunction with a client or somebody else is actually paying for the traffic. Believe it or not, credit card sometimes, there’s times when I’ll spend $50,000, $75,000 in a day, and they’re like, “We need you to send us some money quickly to wipe out this balance before we…” Stuff like that. It’s supposed to be unlimited. After a while, some of that stuff goes away but a lot of stuff is just sprayed up, I just have bank debit with Google and debit cards with Facebook just because of the cash flow. I know it’s not going to stop, I have had a situation with credit cards where spending gets up the air and they want a payment before they allow me more and the campaign goes dark. I’ve had a lot of horror stories like that. A lot of it I don’t get any points for it or whatever but ultimately it makes more money because traffic doesn’t cut off.
S: That’s the biggest loss. You can get all these frequent flier miles but if you get some issue with the campaign going dark, you could lose $100,000 or something pretty quickly.
G: Yup, absolutely.
S: You say you use other people’s money as well. They’re kind of funding this almost like with real estate investing, you use other people’s money to buy more houses or apartment buildings or what have you. They share in the profits. Similar sort of situation here?
S: Cool. You produce leads for these companies, you get paid per lead or whatever, you generate those leads through Facebook ads, through Google Ads. What are some of the other ways that you generate affiliate revenue besides lead generation? Let’s say creating leads that you sell to educational institutions or whatever. I know you’re in skincare and weight loss and some other verticals. What are some other ways that you generate revenue from affiliate marketing?
G: I guess the one way is to get the bigger piece of the pie. I just pay out upfront. But if you can cut in through the backend, that definitely doesn’t normally happen with myself. I’ve been doing this for so long and I’ve built up a pretty good reputation. I have a lot of good relationships. For a lot of times now, I’ll not only get the piece upfront but I’ll also get a piece of the recurring revenue and the backend. Say for example with skincare or whatever, the whole deal is that you want these women to buy stuff every month. There’s a club I advertise where, that advertiser’s merchant, I have been able to work out deals with some of them in the past to get part of that. Really, I think the main way that you want to generate more revenue as an affiliate is to capture the lead yourself. Obviously, you still want to pass it onto the merchant that’s paying for it but you want to keep it yourself because then you can market other stuff to them. One thing that I do which I advise affiliates to do, I’m not sure how familiar they are with a typical CPA style landing page from a skincare or diet offer. Basically, it’s a two step page, two-step order process sort of. First page, they put their contact information only, address, phone number, all that stuff, name. Then the second page, they actually put in their credit card information. That first page is called a partial because it’s partial completion. Typically speaking, only 10% of the people that fill out the first page actually fill out their credit card information. You have nine out of ten people that were curious enough to fill out the first part of the form, but for whatever reason they didn’t pull the trigger. What you can do as an affiliate, you got to get a programmer to do this, but you can basically have a mock duplicate of that first page so that when they fill out their contact information it gets submitted to the advertiser’s form but you also get it. Then, that’s a huge thing that you can do to boost your revenues. There you have that lead so then you can market other stuff to them, you can build your own list, your database, whatever. You can email offers to them or SMS or whatever the case may be. I think that’s the main thing that if possible, if you can also capture the lead at the same time that you’re giving it to the merchant, that’s definitely a way to greatly increase your affiliate revenue.
S: Right, that’s pretty clever and pretty genius. Are you using any kind of cloaking technology to scrape the page from the merchant and then build that on the fly or do you have programmers building it in advance and create a replica on one of your own servers? Is this a real time proxy situation, what’s going on there?
G: I’m not totally aware of all the technical aspects of it, but it definitely is real time. It’s on a case by case basis because each form is a little different that the advertiser uses. I think he does have a basic template for it but he still has to go in for each one. There’s some offers that you can get to work actually. For the most part, you can. I’ve even had cases where I’ve straight up told an advertiser that I was doing it. As long as it doesn’t hurt their conversion, they really don’t care. Typically it’s not something that I just volunteer the information. If I can’t get it any other way, then I will try to get it. If I can’t get it then, then I’ll move to another offer. The beauty of it is that there’s tons of offers out there. The only thing about being an affiliate is that you’re not tied to one specific offer, you can hop on another offer for whatever reason if you’re not satisfied with the one you’re promoting.
S: Once you have this big list that you’ve built by siphoning off all the leads that are coming in before they end up going to the partial form, you intercept that. Now, let’s say you’ve got hundreds of thousands, millions perhaps, of names and their contact details. What do you do with that?
G: You definitely build out an email sequence first and foremost but all the email sequence depends on what it is. Most of the markets I deal with are women, probably 35 plus. I actually lately have been dealing with a lot of 45 plus just because they have more money. You can put together an email sequence that is for that particular demographic and just push different offers. If they opt-in to a skin care offer, you can send them more skin care offers, you can send them diet offers, you can send them whatever offer you want. That’s the first way, definitely building out an email list. If you had their phone numbers, you can also do some SMS marketing. You can also have call for a call as well. You can actually sell that information too, there are people that buy them to monetize them. Obviously, you’re going to make more money if you do it yourself but if you just want to keep it easy and clean, you can just turn around and sell the products yourself if you want.
S: Wow. Let’s say that you’ve got a list. Would you guess that yours is in the millions? I would imagine so, right?
G: Not in the millions, not quite. I wasn’t this smart the whole time, this is something I actually just started doing over the past few years. A few hundred thousand but not quite a million yet.
S: Okay, that’s still quite a number there. You have to worry when you’re dealing with an email list that size about getting whitelisted and avoiding the spam filters and all that. What are some of the lessons learned around that? Getting whitelisted, avoiding spam filters.
G: The lesson that I learned doing that stuff is that I don’t want to do it because it’s not something that I’m really good at. I kind of have it off with someone else, they just get the partials and then they do their thing. I just get a cut. One thing you got to realize is that you can’t be good at everything. It’s not good to try to do everything either. I’m really good at just a few specific things and so I try to spend most of my time doing that and everything else, trying to farm since I have a partnership or whatever. The emails and the partials and stuff I just hand to somebody else. I did try email one time and I quickly went back to paid traffic, it’s just not my thing.
S: Got it, this is such a fascinating world. What about SMS? Are you partnering with somebody on that or are you doing that yourself internally?
G: Yeah, I’m partnering with somebody on that.
S: Yeah, because that’s really tricky to not annoy the heck out of people in getting text messages who knows what times of the day or night. Same thing with having people a call for calling, all these people with phone numbers. Is that something you’re partnering on as well?
G: Yeah, definitely SMS. As far as the phone calls, we don’t have people call on all the stuff. The main thing that we have people call on is BizApp leads. It’s like coaching and the backend is a lot more money involved. We’ve had people call for the skin care, weight loss stuff, but there’s not really any talking. $60, $70 a month, it’s not really a huge payoff there all the time so it doesn’t always work out. Definitely for BizApp leads, absolutely, they all get called.
S: We talked about offers. There’s just regular offers that the great unwashed get access to on commission junction and all that, and then there’s the secret offers, the offers that are only to super affiliates and even just those super affiliates who have relationships with folks. Can you give us a little peak into that behind the curtain there in terms of getting amazing offers?
G: Sure. It all comes down to volume. If you’re doing volume with can do volume, then you definitely will get access to those offers. It’s definitely something that you have to earn. I can’t really speak for commission but if you’re talking about a regular CPA network where you have a bunch of offers that you can sign up for, the one thing that you never want to do is just accept the payout that they have there. The payout that they list right off the top is called street payout. That’s almost manufacturer’s suggested retail price. You never want to pay that. You never wanna get paid street payout. The very first thing if you join a CPA network and you’re going to write an offer, you can tell your affiliate manager what’s my real payout? Anybody can get this in a medium bulk just by I’m not going to run the street price, that’s the first thing. As far as getting excess of private offers and stuff like that, it really comes down to relationships. The last time I saw you was actually at Affiliate Summit East in New York. That’s a prime opportunity for you to talk to different networks, talk to different advertisers, merchants. That’s a really good way to get access to some private offers, some really good offers right there because face to face you can talk to people. That’s definitely a huge thing, showing up at these events. Affiliate Summit East and West, you have Leads Con, Ad Sec, you have quite a few industry events that you can go to to meet the people that you want to do business with. I think that’s the main way. I think social media, Facebook is a good way too because there’s lots of different Facebook groups that congregate advertisers and people that are in the industry. You could find out good offers there or even bypass the networks all together and just get offers directly from the advertisers. When I first started this business, obviously Facebook wasn’t around. It was a little harder on me, it was a competitive advantage for the networks to know who the advertisers were but the affiliates didn’t know who they were because affiliates were forced to deal with the networks to get the offers. But now, social media and just things are so much more wide open. It’s way easier for individual affiliates to find out who the advertisers then they just can bypass a network and go direct. That’s what I do most of the time now. I do still deal with some networks but it’s only just for very limited things. It’s really just for the networks that bring me an offer, they bring me something and it actually works out or whatever. I want to run it with them, at least in the beginning and make them some money because just ethically, I don’t want them to turn me onto something, bring something to my attention that I take and I just bypass, that’s not something that I do. If somebody brings in something, I’ll write through the network. But for the most part now, I’m dealing directly with the advertisers. It’s very easy to do. I think for a beginner, you definitely want to have a network because you have that affiliate manager that can hold your hand and guide you. If you’re experienced and stuff like that, it’s pretty easy to find advertisers and basically give yourself a raise by cutting off the middle man.
S: Gotcha. What are your favorite conferences? You mentioned Affiliate Summit, Leads Con, Ad Tech and so forth. Which ones do you find to be the most lucrative in terms of generating opportunities?
G: Definitely Affiliate Summit. I’d go to Affiliate Summit East and West. I used to go to Ad Tech faithfully, I’ve kind of backed off of Ad Tech a little bit just because the recent one in New York has gone down and hasn’t been as well attended. Definitely Affiliate Summit. I have not been to Lead Con yet but I’ve heard good things about it so I’m definitely going to go to Leads Con the next time it comes around. I also go to Ryan Deiss Traffic Aversion, I normally go to that every year just because it’s kind of a cart engagement point. I haven’t actually been into this for a few years but the networking is really good, I go to that. That’s pretty much the must attends that I go to, and the occasional event here and there pops up. Those are ones that I attend regularly.
S: Facebook groups, any favorites there? Internet Marketing Superfriends, or anything that are really great networking opportunities for deal flow, for Q&A and whatever?
G: There’s a great Facebook group called [00:25:10], it’s awesome. That’s my favorite. I actually do have really good groups, I think it has almost 8,000 people now. It’s really been a really good place for people to meet people, to network, for people to do exactly just what I just described. Besides my own, definitely Superfriends, people ask pretty interesting questions in there. There’s another one, Super God Damn Affiliates which is mostly CPA. Then there’s Super Affiliates and Internet Marketing which is another heavily CPA. Those are the ones.
S: You said your group has 8,000 members, is that a paid group or is it free to join? What’s the deal with that?
G: It’s free, you just go to facebook.com/groups/gregdavis. Then, you can join and then we approve. I tell them to approve anybody that has mutual friends in there. Even if you don’t, I just try to avoid people that register for these groups that belong to 900 groups. That’s like automatic posting type of thing, so we try to avoid those. It’s free to join, it’s open. Just a place where people can ask questions, get guidance. I charge a lot for my advice so people will ask me questions all the time so I tell them if you ask me questions, probably it’s going to cost you more than if you ask questions in the group. Most of the time, by the time I get around to it, the questions are already answered but I do answer questions in there personally as well. It’s been awesome. It’s just like anything else in life, a lot of it boils down to relationships. The relationships online that you can make and that’s great and everything, but still nothing takes the place of face to face.
S: Agreed. Do you want to share how much you charge or do you want to bypass that question?
G: Coaching and consulting I do starts at $50,000, pretty much not interested in anything below that. I do personal coaching, I also do training for a lot of merchants. They’re trying to build their own intramedia buying team so they don’t have to rely on affiliates which is probably a good idea. Train media buyers, just help companies with their traffic and all kinds of stuff. Definitely going to be more than $50,000.
S: And that’s for six months minimum?
S: Cool. Let’s go back to one of the very first things you talked about and we’ll wrap up with this topic and that’s testing and tracking. You are very scientific and you don’t just go with your gut, you test everything and you test it again and you track everything. Peter Drucker said what gets measured gets managed. You do a fantastic job with that. Let’s dig into that topic as our last topic of the interview. What do you test, how do you test it, what do you consider success, how much of the traffic is statistically significant and then the test is complete, walk us through your whole process for this.
G: The main premise is that before you spend a penny on buying, that you have to be able to track everything. By tracking, you need to know if there’s conversion, you know exactly where it comes from, what placement, what keyword, what landing page or whatever. Tracking is definitely something that you have to have in place. You’re going to be stupid to buy traffic and not have your tracking working. As far as testing, here’s one thing because there’s so much stuff that you can get into. I will say this, I will say just in general you could test a landing page. I think most people focus on the headline which is important. I think more important than the headline is the color, and specifically the color of the header of the page. If there’s a header, some type of logo, I do a lot of advertorials so it might be the name of the publication or whatever. Whatever is at the top of the page and whatever color it is. My testing matters more than the headline, I will say the headline is number two or three, the other two or three would be whatever the images in that’s on your landing page. I would say header, headline, image are the top three things to test along with your call to action. Those are four things that I would test the most. Tons of other stuff that you can test but those are top four things. Here’s the thing, the thing with testing is that you have to look at how everything goes together. I’ll say 95% of everything that I do now is mobile, 95% of the traffic is mobile. I think it’s a huge important thing that people need to look at, the very first thing that they need to look at when they’re looking at their results is the operating system. Just straight up iOS versus Android. One may work and one may not work. What really normally happens is both will work but you may have one landing page that works well over Android and a different landing page that works for iOS. You’re actually taking a step further and getting into the actual versions of the operating systems. The older versions, my favorite one particular page, and then the later version I have another page. If you’re split testing landing pages and stuff, I don’t split test anymore, I do mostly variant testing. I’m basically looking at it through the point where which headline and which color works best with what version of the operating system. Even sometimes you can get down to the device level as well. I think those things matter more than anything because if you think about it, the type of phone that somebody has or how updated it is or whatever, that’s a huge demographic component. Some people might favor this one particular phone. For example, you might be in payday loans so you might want to target Metro PCS because they’re generally a broker. Generally speaking, iPhone users, especially the later models are a little more fluent. It goes way deeper than that. When I’m done testing, I’ll generally have a different landing page for each different OS version. I might have ten different landing pages but that’s kind of how I optimize levels. It takes a lot to get there and you do have to spend money. As far as how much I spend, my goal is to have at least 50% profit margin. I’m going to spend whatever the payout is, say for example if the payout is $40 then I’ll spend up to $20 for each combination. There’s a lot of combinations, headline with this, header with this particular call to action, this particular operating system, this particular version. It adds up really quickly. Normally, you’re going to get to your winners before you spent all that money but that’s pretty much my rule of thumb. I’m going to spend at least 50% to 100% of the payout in order for me to figure out if a particular combination works or not.
S: So that’s per variation. If it’s a $40 payout, you’re spending $20, up to $40 even, for each variant in a small test.
S: Are you using software like Optimizely, Lead Pages, what are you using for multi-variable testing?
G: I use this program called Landing Page Genius which you can get from superaffiliaterockstar.com/lpg, see I’m an affiliate.
S: We’ll put a link in the show notes to that.
G: There you go, alright. It’s called Landing Pages Genius. It’s used in conjunction with CPV Lab. I’ll tell you, I haven’t seen anything that can do the exact same thing it does because it literally allows you to drill down to three different data points. I can tell which font size and font color corresponds with what mobile device. If you think about it, it makes a big difference because how stuff look between phones varies greatly depending on what kind of phone you have. I just find this stuff matters a lot with mobile and mobile gives you way more stuff to optimize than regular web traffic. The CPV Lab which you can also get from superaffiliaterockstar.com/cpvlab and Landing Page Genius, that combination is what I use, I haven’t found anything that can replace it.
S: Awesome. When you are doing these multivariable tests, you’re not just testing the landing page, you’re also testing the ad, right? You’re testing ad copy, the creative, all that. How are you doing that? Is that using software as well?
G: Yeah, it’s the same software. I’ll bypass a variable that stands for the ad. The ad all figures into there. At the end of the day, I can have the ad and landing page that goes with a particular. I normally just break it down to operating system and operating system version. Sometimes, I do device as well. You’ll be shocked, I’ve had stuff that kicks butt, 100%, 200% ROI on iPhone 6 but does horrible on the iPhone 6S. Same thing with the S+ and the +, it’s crazy how just those phones pretty much look the same but it’s crazy. This kind of goes to overall point that I think you’re listeners can really use. The thing about paid traffic is that a lot of people all have a campaign that runs, whether it’s PVC, Facebook, or whatever. It will lose money. It might lose a lot of money but they do get some conversions but then they just cut it off and quit moving onto the next. Especially if there was substantial number of conversions, there’s probably something in there that can be profitable. It may only be one device, I had one thing I was looking at today, it only worked on Android 5.0. Any other Android versions didn’t work, just 5.0. I just had to pay a little bit more for the 5.0 traffic on Facebook but it’s still able to work out to be profitable. There’s almost always something. You bought all that data, people call it losing money, I call it buying data. You bought all this data. It’s rarely where it’s all just a lost cause. Normally that’s something that you can dig in there which is where your tracking comes in. If you have good tracking, you can dig into the campaign and see okay, there’s a little bit of black amongst all this red and it can help you make some money.
S: That’s awesome. I love that way of thinking that you’re buying data instead of losing money on these tests that didn’t actually work or whatever, it’s just a mindset shift. You’re buying data so that you figure out what is going to really allow you to make the most money, good stuff. This was a lot, you’re a master at this. I’m super impressed, I’ve always been impressed with your skills and knowledge, you’re a rockstar. You have the paychecks to prove it. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experience and some of the secret knowledge that you have acquired through the years with my listeners, that’s awesome and much appreciated. Greg, if you want to share one lasting thought for people if they get nothing else out of this, they should do X, what would that be?
G: This is what I tell people always, the secret to success is don’t give up. I started this in 2001 until 2007 that I was actually able to make enough money to quit my job. I could’ve given up a lot along the way. I didn’t, here I am. I tell people all the time, it’s a seven year overnight success. As long as you don’t give up, you might not get it exactly when you want it but as long as you don’t give up you’ll definitely get there.
S: I love it, perseverance, that’s the key. Thank you, Greg, thank you listeners, we’ll catch you on the next episode. This is Stephan Spencer signing off.