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CPA Journal - The SDTopensied Chronicles

Discussion in 'CPA' started by sdtopensied, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    Intro:

    I lost my job as a software developer back in June of 2009. I had been lurking on BHW for a few months before, and I was fortunately able to quickly replace my income with a few PPC campaigns, primarily from what I learned on here. I happened to strike gold on a few of them right away and they produced a very nice income stream for a few months. Unfortunately, my campaigns recently stopped producing. I'm still not sure why. But, regardless of what happened, I'm starting over. Fortunately, I managed to save a good portion of my earnings, so I have a little breathing room for the moment.

    One request: If you want to say thanks to anybody, please hit the thanks button in the lower right corner of the post. A pet peeve of a lot of BHW users is a thread that has 100 posts and 80 of them are people just saying thanks. Ok...continuing...

    I'm a member of several different networks, so I made two lists. The first list is comprised of the networks that I feel I need to stay in. The second list is comprised of networks that I really don't care if I get banned from or not. I decided to implement some BH methods for offers from the networks on "the second list."

    This is a journal of my activities. Hopefully what I write will help connect the dots for the new folks and motivate the spectators. I'm a little anal about typos and such, so I may edit my posts from time to time to correct typos and grammatical errors I find later.

    09/30/2009

    I put together several BH methods that I want to try, all focusing on CPA ads. However, experience fortunately got the best of me and I decided to focus on one method. Hopefully, I will have the same luck with this as I had with my PPC campaigns and pick a winner right away.

    I decided to go with a twist on a CL e-whore method (at least I think it's a twist on an e-whore method). It's not new and it's been passed around BHW a few times, but I modified it for two specific offers that I chose. The first offer is an auto-loan finder program and the second offer is a payday loan program. The original ad post will be a for-sale ad for a car. In the ad, I will state that I may consider accepting payments from the right person provided that they come up with a down payment. I am anticipating getting two types of responses. The first being, "I'm interested, how much is the down payment and what are the monthly payments?" The second being, "Will you hold the car for me while I make payments to you for the down payment?"

    I plan to put the e-mails into two response batches. The first batch will be for those who are able to come up with a down payment. Regardless of how much they say, my response will be "It's not enough," and I will direct them to the auto-loan finder program and the payday loan program. The second batch will be those who can't come up with a down payment. I will direct them to the payday loan program. I was initially going to direct all of them to both programs, but it occurred to me that if they can't come up with a down payment for me, they aren't going to be able to come up with a down payment for a lender. When either group gets back to me, I'm going to let them know that the vehicle has been sold. I plan to send out e-mail responses in batches rather than using an auto-responder due to categorization. I'll be sending them to landing pages rather than direct linking, by the way.

    I am going to stay away from the the huge cities like Atlanta, Dallas, and Houston and focus on four smaller cities initially. I am going to use hotmail addresses rather than GMail addresses. I'm pissed at G00g1e. They disabled my ad sense account...I was actually white-hatting with ad sense. Go figure!

    Anyway, back on track. I'm going to target 4 cities at first. I've made a spreadsheet with four tabs, one for each city. On each tab will be the details of the ad, the e-mail address used, the response, etc. I don't plan to post the exact same ad in each city, so I needed some way to keep track of the details for future reference. This method is a work in progress, so please feel free to point out what sucks and what you've found doesn't work.

    -SDT
     
  2. cucr3

    cucr3 Regular Member

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    Great plan and good luck.

    One little thing though. I have been dabbling in CL autos and CPA, and most of the responses I get are "What's the VIN?" I don' really know how to respond, so I send my reply email with affiliate link schpeel anyway. So be prepared for that.
     
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  3. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    AH!!! Thanks a bunch for that heads up. I hadn't thought of needing a VIN. I'll have to figure out an angle on that one.
     
  4. cucr3

    cucr3 Regular Member

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    Sellers on ebay post the VIN in their listing. Do you think you/we could just use that? I mean when you enter a VIN into Carfax, all that comes up is the history, right? No cities, states, owners names, etc.?
     
  5. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    It's been a while since I pulled a carfax, but I seem to recall seeing the names of the previous owners as well as the locations.

    You could probably hunt for a few VINs at some local buy-here-pay-here dealers. If someone is initiated to the point of tracking down the VIN to the dealership, they probably aren't going to fall for the incentive anyway.

    Either that or start responding to ads on CL asking for the VIN and craft your car ad based on what you get.

    -SDT
     
  6. Nixxt

    Nixxt Newbie

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't craigslist just implement geographical IP restrictions for posting in cities other than where you live? This could throw a serious wrench in your plans my friend. Hate to be the bearer of bad news.
     
  7. Gitnmesumcash

    Gitnmesumcash Junior Member

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    You can always go to a junkyard and snag the VIN if you have one of those "pull your own parts" type of yards.
     
  8. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    10/1/2009

    I had a total of 652 responses across the 4 cities I targeted. I wasn't sure how many to expect, so I can't speculate if this is good or bad. At any rate, only a few responses requested the VIN. I decided I'm not going to respond to those simply because I haven't figured out a plausible way to handle that issue.

    None of the ads have been flagged yet, so I think I'm going to let them run until Saturday morning to collect more e-mails.

    Additionally, I think I'm going to expand my postings to Backpage as well. There seems to be a good amount of traffic. Does anyone have any thoughts on whether or not I should post the same ads or change them up? It seems normal to me to see the same classified ad on two different web sites in the same city.

    I'm finding that it's been a little tough for me lately to focus and actually get work done, so I think I'm going to check out that Action Machine download I saw in the Member Downloads section a while back. Does anyone use this regularly and love/hate it?

    -SDT
     
  9. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    10/2/2009

    I hit my 50th post and was quickly sucked in by the CS forum...got nothing done on my campaign today :(

    10/3/2009

    Backpage was a bust. Absolutely 0 hits and I posted 20 ads, a couple in some big cities! I got a total of 974 responses from the CL ads I posted though. Out of that, only 97 were people asking me if they could make payments to me for the down payment. These folks got the payday loan e-mail. I wrote a little app in C# to push out 1 e-mail every 30 seconds using one of my domain's smtps. I can see Interspire in my future if I decide to scale this up.

    The remaining ads contained a variety of responses, so I'm going to have to categorize them by hand. I definitely have to figure out a way to handle this. I don't want to sort through e-mails all damn day.

    -SDT

    LE: Clarification - 974 responses that I kept. I discarded the ones that asked me for a VIN.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2009
  10. Man-Rae

    Man-Rae Registered Member

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    Stay focused and you'll avoid distractions. After you concur this then you can take on another income stream say cs`ing. What kinda conversions did you get for the payment plan inquirers? I'm assuming It should be pretty stellar cause there are broke people that need that payday advance. :-D
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  11. Man-Rae

    Man-Rae Registered Member

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    Sorry to hear about your job. I'm in the same boat but i look at it as an opportunity to pursue what've always loved.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  12. chanchogc

    chanchogc Regular Member

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    The best ever!!
    I suggest you avoid those that can pay cash and down paymet, tell them the car has been sold. For those that require more info and may need a loan you could tell them that you already have an account with payday loan program they can apply directly to buy your car through your account and send them to your getaway.
     
  13. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    10/4/2009

    Results!

    Payday advance:
    -------------------------------------
    97 e-mails sent
    59 clicks
    18 signups * $24 per signup = $432


    Auto-Loan finder:
    -------------------------------------
    877 e-mails sent
    14 clicks
    2 signups * $18 per signup = $36

    I'm not sure if the payday offer outperformed the auto loan finder offer because of a better landing page or if those that needed an advance were more desperate and responded. Either way, I'm going to change up my campaign to only push the payday loan. I spent way too much time sorting through e-mails for $36.

    I was hanging out at the local motorcycle shop on Saturday and came up with a few twists on this idea. Overall, I'm pleased with the results. I think I'll look for a reliable CL poster to scale this up to about 20 cities before I drop cash on CLAD. I think I will, however, check into Interspire.

    Anybody have any thoughts on why the huge disparity in performance?

    -SDT
     
  14. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    Thanks bro. What field were you in?

    -SDT

     
  15. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    10/20/2009


    Unfortunately, I let this journal fall to the wayside like so many others. But, I've been working a method pretty hard so I'm not too bothered by it.

    I've branched out from the payday loan offers and it seems that the freebies work really well for a bit, but users catch on to the hustle pretty quickly. It seems that the smaller the town, the higher the conversions. A convincing landing page that doesn't look like a landing page has worked well for me. But, my ads don't last but a few minutes in the bigger cities.

    I thought about giving a twist on the the jobs method a run, but it seems to be pretty saturated.

    I fortunately have been able to post reliably with 5 PVA's. They haven't died yet and I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm still not to the point where I'm ready to drop a grand on CLAD.

    To change the subject a little, when it seems that Backpage is dead, I get a run of traffic from an ad posted a while back. I can't figure BP traffic out, but I'm not going to complain.

    -SDT
     
  16. cucr3

    cucr3 Regular Member

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    Cool. I was actually hoping to see this journal updated regularly..
     
  17. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    10/22/2009

    Got an e-mail from CJ today saying that my "account is being investigated" blah blah blah. That's ironic because I only do whitehat stuff with CJ.

    The payday loan/car method seems to have died pretty quickly.
    But, on to other things. I started experimenting with freebies last week and I've had some success. The basics are nothing new: I broke my laptop/iphone/etc. I got a new one and don't need the broken one. It still works but it has a cracked screen/broken keyboard/etc. and I include a picture for effect. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Auto-responders don't work for these type of ads -- AT ALL. Zero conversions with auto-responders. I've found that I can collect addresses for a day or two, use Thunderbird along with the e-mail scraper plug in, and send out 300 e-mails per day using a hotmail account. The basics of the reply are that I already gave the item away but here's how I got my new one and I direct them to a landing page (a blog, article, etc) that has my aff link somewhere.

    I'm posting and replying manually so far, and I've been able to score about $50 a day. But I haven't actually been paid any of that yet so we shall see.

    On a side note, I've found that by skimming the e-mails to get an idea of their situation, I can identify the ones that need money and I can e-mail them a "how to make money offer." I've scored a few clickbank sales so far. Nice little bit of gravy cash.

    Clarification: I send out one e-mail with 100 recipients BCC'ed. I can send 3 e-mails this way for a total of 300 recipients per account before Hotmail shuts me down for the day. I'm doing this through webmail and I've had a little success automating parts of the process with macros. I'll post some info on my macro project if I get anywhere significant with it.

    -SDT
     
  18. sdtopensied

    sdtopensied Regular Member

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    EDIT: Update on the CJ thing...I got an e-mail saying that their "investigation" was complete and that payment had been released. I'm guessing that it surrounded Ashley Madison because they have reversed every single lead I've sent them and it was all legit traffic. Needless to say, I expired that advertiser.

    I have to admit that I feel like a complete goob at this point. It took me entirely too long to remember that I'm a software developer (unemployed at the moment) and that I could actually write my own CL poster. So, after a few weeks of coding, testing, and tweaking, I have something usable. It's far from ready for prime time, but it has significantly sped up the process of posting significantly.

    Watching the seemingly random changes that CL has been making over the past month or so has given me new insight on exactly just how wise of a decision it was for me to write my own poster. As things change and something breaks, I have complete control over the application and source code (a blessing and a curse). I have no plans to release it at this point, if you're thinking of asking me for a copy.

    On an unrelated note, I checked out a webinar from OfferVault.com last night. It had some good information, but turned out to be sales pitch for Dirty CPA. The one thing I took away from it, and was a little disappointed that I didn't come up with it myself well before last night, was the concept of an exit hover for landing pages. I created an exit hover for one of my landing pages to a CPA offer asking for a name and e-mail address and the type of offers they would like to hear about. I don't have it integrated with aweber yet, but I've collected a few hundred e-mails so far. It occurred to me that most of us who are doing CPA with or without CL are leaving money on the table by not using each page visit as an opportunity to build a legitimate list. Anyway, back to the seminar. If you don't already know, OfferVault is like a meta-network in that it's a network with information about networks and their CPA offers. What really surprised me is that the guy actually promoted cookie stuffing and link cloaking and a couple of the AM's that were on didn't even balk. I had never heard of either talked about outside of black-hat circles.

    -SDT
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
  19. MaxPowers

    MaxPowers Regular Member

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    Well...

    WHAT HAPPENED!?
     
  20. swjedinight

    swjedinight Regular Member

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    Nice journal. I want to be good at cl posting so bad.
    Posted via Mobile Device