Month: February 2010

I’m Not Overseas – You Are

Or… How To Alienate 30% Of Your Subscribers

I just received an email from a well known marketer (I’m on a LOT of mailing lists) that referred to me as an “overseas person”.

It struck me as disconnected and dumb.  We all do daft things every now and then, often when we don’t have our brains engaged, but this was just dumb, dumb, dumb.  One of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen any marketer do, and an extreme case of being parochial without realising it.

Because of course…

He’s overseas, not me.  I’m at the centre of civilisation here in the UK, while he lives in what used to be one of our colonies in a country that didn’t even exist as such a couple of hundred years ago.  So of course he’s the the one that’s overseas, not me.  Ahem.  🙄

Hmm…  Do you see how a simple but ill thought out comment can be misconstrued and instant defensive barriers put up?  I’ve now unsubscribed from his mailing list.

Here’s a simple tip as to how not to alienate or upset people.  Unless your mailing list is specifically about one of the following topics and people are actively interested in receiving information about them, you should never mention any of these.  I’ve unsubscribed from more than one mailing list because of it.

#1 – Sex.

#2 – Politics.

#3 – Religion.

I guarantee if you start talking about any of these taboo subjects, you will upset people.

For instance, you might criticise your government for their style, and instantly you’ve alienated about half your readers.  Or you may say that Jedi is the only true religion, and you thereby manage to upset a HUGE chunk of people.

Nobody wants to hear what you have to say on these subjects unless they’ve joined your mailing list just so they can find out.

And almost equally, I didn’t join that marketers mailing list just to hear myself pigeonholed as “overseas”.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in Human Behaviour, internet business, list building

How To Remove Dates From WordPress Posts

Yesterday evening my wife discovered by experimentation how to easily remove dates from WordPress posts without editing the theme files and without using a WordPress plugin.  Otherwise known as dateless posts, it can sometimes be useful to create your blog without dates on any of the posts.  Yes you could use pages exclusively, but sometimes that’s just not what you want.

We’d first tried to do it with a plugin that was supposed to remove dates, but it was an old plugin and didn’t work with the themes we were using, so I’d sort of resigned myself to editing the theme to remove them, but I only wanted to do that as a last resort because if the theme got updated, any customisation is usually lost.

So last night my wife sat quietly fiddling with one of her blogs and found the answer.  Well, at least for the theme she was using – SemioLogic Pro – the same theme I use on this site.  I’ve tried it with a couple of other themes and it didn’t work, but that doesn’t mean to say it won’t work for you either now or in the future if the WordPress developers decide to change things a little.

What she did was perfectly logical and easily overlooked.  Go to Settings-General and scroll down to Date Format.  Select the Custom radio button and delete the contents of the box next to it – you may also have to do it with the time too – and click Save Changes.


No more dates on posts.

Not ideal if you want some posts to show dates and others not, and as I said it doesn’t work with every theme, but I know that at least some people will find this useful.  Hopefully someone will eventually write a plugin that does this properly with post level control, but until then we have to use workarounds like this.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in software

It Never Fails To Amaze Me

Human behaviour – the amount of people who read something but don’t absorb the information that’s there in black and white and instead choose to apply their own take, often wrong.

What’s that all about?  What’s going on there?

I DO know that we all walk around with filters (prejudices) over our eyes and we see the world as we expect to see it based on those filters.  But why would anybody read something, forget or distort vital parts of it, make a decision based on that distortion, and then whine it isn’t what they thought it was?

Well no, of course it isn’t.

It’s quite often actually what it is, not what it was wanted to be.

Just the facts, just the truth.

If you already know what I’m talking about and see that behaviour in the people around you, you’ll now be smiling quietly to yourself (or shouting “YES!” at your monitor).  If you don’t, then watch the world closely and one day you WILL see exactly what I’m talking about.


-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in Human Behaviour

How To Create List Builders

Probably the best thing you can do for your online business is to build a mailing list.

It’s always an eye opener for people when I say that the size of your business is a direct reflection of the size of your mailing list.  Okay that’s not 100% true as there are other variables which I’ll talk about shortly, but it is a good indicator.

There are many ways to list build, and a favourite of many people is to offer a freebie in return for a name and email address.

The problem with only using this method is you get what are called “tyre kickers” on your lists.  Now that’s not a bad thing as over time you can educate your tyre kickers into becoming buyers, but generally speaking if you’re building a list, you want to build a list of buyers rather than tyre kickers.

I’ve found that if you have say 10,000 people on your mailing list that there’s a small core of a few hundred people who tend to take notice of what you say.

(If you’re reading this then you’re probably one of those people, and to you I say Thank You!)

If you think about it, this is one of the variables I mentioned above.  It’s entirely possible to run a successful business online with just those few hundred people.  It’s not always size that counts!  It’s the responsiveness of the people on your mailing list that really makes the difference, and that’s obvious when you stop to think about it.

So ideally you want to build lists of a mix of freebie seekers that you can educate over the long term, and more importantly buyers.

I’ve already mentioned the most common way of building a freebie seekers list – you just give stuff away in return for a name and email address.  You might now be thinking to yourself, “Okay so I have to sell stuff in order to build a list of buyers, and that’s harder than it sounds.”


And one of the reasons it’s so hard to build a buyers list is you don’t get enough proven buyers visiting the site where you’re selling your products.  Just increasing your search engine traffic isn’t enough, as you could just end up with a pile of freebie seekers at your site who have no intention of buying anything.

So how do you increase the number of proven buyers to your site?

Here it comes.  The answer is in four parts.

#1 – You create a low cost product, usually under $17, under $12 is better, and $7 is the magic number.

#2 – You run an affiliate scheme, and let affiliates and joint venture partners send you traffic that consists of people who listen to them.  These people are already warm and there’s a better than average chance they’ll buy.

#3 – You pay 100% commission directly to the affiliate and straight into their PayPal account.  Affiliates love this and are always eager to promote.

#4 – On your download page you get them to join your mailing list.  There’s a simple technique you can use that will turn almost 95% of buyers into subscribers.  I’ll tell you about that next time.

What happens is as you pick up buyers they immediately turn into affiliates who are all willing to promote your product.  Think – they were impressed enough to buy it and so why wouldn’t they be impressed enough to also promote it and make back the money they spent buying it?

So you end up with a constant stream of buyers and affiliates, all busy buying and then promoting your product, and ultimately building you a list of buyers which is exactly what you want.

You don’t make any money from this product, but you can later sell something else to your list of buyers, or even promote someone elses product, maybe another 100% commission item.

There’s also another option where you even upsell directly during the sales process, and take a cut of that sale rather than the front end one.

There are even more variants on this entire process.

You could put a squeeze page on the front of your site, and get a name and email address in return for a freebie, and then offer the full price item as an upsell, and maybe even do another upsell to something else.  The full price item could be 100% commission and the second upsell 50%.

Or you could use a DHTML popover on your regular sales page to capture the name and email address instead.

Using either of those you build a list of freebie seekers and a list of buyers at the same time.

It’s up to you really how you do it, but I’m sure you can see the benefit?  Doesn’t all this make perfect sense?

The question you might have now is how you can do it.  You need a script that will handle the sales process.

Well first up, both the free and paid for versions of SmartDD will allow you to run a 100% affiliate scheme and also run one time offers at a different percentage commission.  Or the Nickel Script will also allow you to run fixed price sales at 100% commission too, but no upsells.

However, probably the simplest method is to use a script that’s specially designed to handle the exact scenarios I’ve mentioned above.

Now the thing is, I thought everyone knew about this script, but I just shouldn’t take things like that for granted as I’ve had several people tell me recently that they’d never heard of it.

What you actually buy is an ebook that describes in detail the advantages of using the above method and exactly how to do it.  And what comes with it is the script that will allow you to use this method and pay your affiliates instantly and automatically directly into their PayPal account.

Better still is that there are no databases to set up – the whole thing runs off flat text files just like the Nickel Script does.

But the icing on the cake is the price.

Just $7.

You can get it from here:-

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, list building, software

Really GOOD Membership Software

I’ve looked all over the place for a GOOD general purpose membership script, preferably for WordPress.  Have I found one?

I’m still looking.

A weakness I’ve noticed in many of the membership scripts is you’re either IN the membership, or you’re OUT of it.  It doesn’t seem like there’s been enough thought given over to all the different methods of actually handling members.

Even the the one I’ve found that has considered that you might not actually want members to be just in or out is flawed.  The assumption is that it’s a drip fed membership concerned with supplying content as learning rather than as products.

Here’s the specific scenario I’m thinking about where the content is product, as with PLR Code Mine.

Someone joins a membership today.  They’re a member for three months and then for whatever reason they drop out.  Two months later, they rejoin.  What would you expect to have happened in this scenario?

What I expect from a really good membership script is that if someone has been a paid member for 3 months, then they should ALWAYS have access to that content, even during the times they’re not a paid member.  So if the content they’ve purchased is updated, they get the benefit of it.

If they then drop out for two months, then as administrator I should be able to specify that they shouldn’t get access to that two months worth of content.  They’ve missed the boat.

I may also wish to sell it to them at a much higher price than if they’d been a regular member, to allow them to catch up.

So when they rejoin at month 6, they now have access to months 1-3 and 6, but not to month 4 and 5.  They can purchase month 4 and 5 at say three times the regular membership price if they wish to, at which point they then have perpetual access to it, even if they drop out of the membership again.

To me, that would be a perfect membership solution.  But I’m damned if I can find anyone that does such a script.

I have found one where a lot of thought has gone into membership as learning, but not where membership involves a product.  What happens there is that when the member rejoins at month 6, then they get access to month 4, not month 6.  And the workaround suggested by the very helpful developer / owner involved just doesn’t cut it.  Grrr…

There’s nothing for it, I’ll have to get my own done.  I can see from other sites that I’m a member of that there’s a real need for such a script, as they all have the same issues.  I’m either in or out, and once a month has gone by, the back products get removed.

I just find it difficult to believe that no-one has ever sat down and thought about this.  Fortunately for me, it’s such a glaring omission it leaves the door wide open for a BETTER membership script than the rest of the stuff on the market, doesn’t it?

Watch this space.

-Frank Haywood

Posted by Frank Haywood in internet business, Product Ideas