The Exact “Direct
that Made Me
in Only 7 Days
First off I just wanted to thank you for opting in to
receive this actual case study of mine.
Admittedly, this is an older campaign.
However, I am releasing it’s details not so that you
can copy it exactly and expect the same results, but to
instead help you get the gears going in your own
To give you an idea of who I am, I’m 30 years old
from Calgary, Canada. I have been involved with web
businesses and marketing for 10 years but only
recently started with paid traffic.
A year ago my wife and I were living in Thailand,
kickboxing full time and just living the good life. I
would do the odd jobs online to keep the relatively
small bills paid (Thailand is dirt cheap). With so
much extra time, I was able to study affiliate
marketing and PPC at a frantic pace. But at the end of
the day, I did more reading than doing.
Eventually, however, I had to return to Canada for a
family emergency. My wife was also pregnant with
our first child, so I knew we would be settling here
for a bit.
I loved the Thailand lifestyle, and wanted to continue
having that same type of freedom in Canada. I knew I
had to take action and get to work. I wanted to be
able to work from home and be around my family.
I took massive action. I really didn’t have a huge
bank roll at this point, in fact many of my first
campaigns were paid for on credit with smart bidding
Let me tell you, this can be nerve racking when bills
are coming in and you’re responsible for others.
But, I love the saying “the harder you work, the
luckier you get”.
At the time, I was worried as some of you reading this
might be, depending on your current situation. Brian
Tracy says the #1 way to eliminate worry is to take
action and just do it.
What’s funny is, before I launched the campaign I am
going to tell you about, I almost closed my laptop
saying “ah, might not be worth it”. But something
told me to launch this one.
I’m so grateful I did, because I learned so much that
helped catapult me to where I am now.
I have been very fortunate to have a good deal of
success online with CPA, Clickbank, and other digital
products. I have grossed approximately $130,000 in 3-
4 months with about half of that being profit. And the
#1 thing that helped me get to where I am now, was
to see ACTUAL successful case studies and to get to
It didn’t matter to me if they were older or inactive,
simply seeing the thought process and keyword
process has helped me think more and more like a
marketer. If you stay in touch with me and subscribed
to my mailing list, I plan on revealing more recent
case studies across a couple different platforms.
I will preface this by saying that many people might
have a problem with me revealing this kind of data.
Obviously my intention isn’t to anger anyone, but I
figured this might help spark some people and turn
some light bulbs on. The only other time I revealed
this information was on the paid forum PPC Coach
which I used to be a member of.
Let’s Start With the Results
So in early August 2009, I made almost $2,000 profit
in 1 week. My ROI was about 264%. This is the
campaign that did it. Since everyone love’s proof, let’s
get that out of the way right now. Here is my earnings
screenshot at Neverblue:
And here is my spend report at MSN. Since the
campaign is so old, I was only able to pull up the
statement of billing and not the actual click charges:
This campaign was based on a news blip. The news
blip was Rush Limbaugh losing weight, I'm sure you
heard about it.
Rush Limbaugh used a system by "Quick Weight Loss
Centers". So, I gathered some keywords to get ready
for MSN search only. Keep in mind this was a direct
linking campaign with NO landing page whatsoever.
Rush Limbaugh Diet
Quick Weight Loss
Quick Weight Loss Centers
That was pretty much it for keywords. I actually got
those keywords out of Google Hot Trends, exactly as
they were written. I had actually found out about the
news story via Google Hot Trends. The keywords
above had a very significant spike in search volume.
Instead of launching them on Adwords, I took them
to MSN. At the time, I was concerned about getting
slapped on Google so I thought it best to avoid
Adwords for this campaign.
Basically, I figured that if people were searching for it
on Google they must be on MSN.
I used broad, phrase, and exact match.
One of the first things I had to really get drilled into
my head was that finding a winning offer is essential.
There is such an emphasis out there on traffic
generation and getting heaps of traffic. While I will
not disregard the benefit of having loads of traffic, if
you are sending that traffic at a poor converting offer
that no one wants, you are leaving a lot of money on
the table. Gauher Chaudry once said that if the traffic
is real (as in real people and not bot traffic) and you’re
not converting, then it’s not the traffic, it’s the offer.
These days, I will typically rotate several offers to find
the winner. For this Rush Limbaugh campaign I
didn’t do that. Instead, I did a top secret technique
that hardly anyone does. Are you ready to find out
what it is? Well, brace yourself…
I asked my affiliate manager! (ok, ok, sorry about the build up there.)
Listen guys, one of the best things you can do in this
game is to have good relationships. With affiliate
managers, ad reps, and other affiliates or advertisers.
The EPC and conversion rates for search traffic for
this offer were very high, and my affiliate manager
confirmed this, so I figured I would go with it.
Next up were my ad copies.
I started out with the following 2:
Rush Limbaugh Diet?
Pay Only Shipping and Handling to Try Rush
Limbaughs Diet Secret?
Rush Limbaugh Diet!
Pay Only Shipping and Handling to Try Rush
Limbaughs Diet Secret?
Now, there are a couple key points here to notice.
First off, the use of question marks. Typically question
marks will garner attention and curiosity. This is basic
knowledge. However, the other reason I used them is
that I didn’t want to actually state that it was Rush
Limbaugh’s diet secret, so I posed a question. A very
slight difference which really changes the expectation.
After letting the campaign run for a bit, I noticed a
few things. First, all keywords converted to some
degree, but the keyword that converted BY FAR the
most was the PHRASE match of "Quick Weight Loss".
See my Neverblue screenshot below:
Now keep in mind, the screenshot above is for the
entire 7 day run of the campaign. The Sub-ID’s on the
left hand side were placed at the end of my
destination URL’s in the MSN AdCenter dashboard.
Keep reading to understand exactly what the Sub-
ID’s were telling me…
So I started to focus my efforts on the “Quick Weight
Loss” keywords. I let the other keywords run a bit,
but it looked like the Quick Weight Loss variations
were the bread winners, so I just deleted the rest.
Now let's ask ourselves why. I don’t claim to be a
master of psychology, but I think if someone is
searching for “Rush Limbaugh Diet”, then the page
they expect to find when they click on an ad for that
keyword is something to do with what Rush
Limbaugh himself actually did. Hence why those
keywords probably didn’t perform too well.
The people that searched for "Quick Weight Loss
Centers", were probably informed better on the
subject of Rush’s weight loss, and were actually
looking for a “quick weight loss center”. Sounds
obvious, but it’s wise to test all these variables. If
there is search volume, let’s go after it!
But let's look at the keyword that had more than 90%
of my conversions, “quick weight loss”.
My ad CTR was whopping 20% on both ads!
Herein lies the reason...
Tons of people heard about Rush’s weight loss.
People are often lazy and want things quickly.
The term “quick weight loss”, if being typed in, is
probably what someone wants in the back of their
mind, they want a quick fix, not the actual quick
weight loss centers that it refers to. They most likely
heard about Rush Limbaugh’s weight loss success, so
the ad would read like a news bulletin just screaming
to match their typed in keyword.
Does this make sense? I can’t stress how important it
is to fully put yourself in the visitors shoes. I like to
say, intentions speak louder than words. This is why
if you’re arguing someone, you are much better off
creating a straw man to argue with, versus attacking
or perceivably attacking their intentions. But that’s for
Anyway, back to PPC stuff.
After recording which keywords were giving me the
best ROI, I started split testing ads.
The variation that became the bigger money maker
for me was:
Rush Limbaugh Diet? (so a question mark vs. the exclamation mark variation)
Pay Only Shipping and Handling to Get Rush
Limbaughs Diet Secret?
PremiumAcaiSlim.com (no ‘www’ in the display url)
Key points here. I used the question mark, i said "to
Get" instead of "to Try" and that actually increased
conversions quite a bit. And the URL variation
without the ‘www’ converted better contrary to the
way it usually is.
Now what about bidding?
When the campaign first started, bids were around
the .40 cent mark. As a few days past, competition
increased and so did my bids. In paid search
marketing on most platforms, MSN included, your ad
click through rate strongly affects your bid price. To
maintain my CTR, I got aggressive and increased my
bids to .70 cents. That’s a .30 cent increase. The
surprising part about this though, is that even though
I increased my bids by .30, the most I ended up
paying for clicks was approx. .55 cents. About .20
cents higher than I was paying before, not .30 cents
How can this be? Well, again, it comes down to Click
On Google Search for example, by Googles own
admission, your CTR is 60% of your quality score!
That’s huge. The number one thing you can do to get
cheap bids on search platforms is pay for good
position and have catchy ads that are relevant. I could
write a book on writing ads that get attention and sell,
but that’s for another day.
Understand your bids will go down.
Again, I could pages and pages on bidding via search
vs. content vs. display vs. contextual (cpv), but I don’t
want to overwhelm you right now.
My conversion rate on this campaign actually wasn’t
overly great, finished at about 3.5% for a product that
supposedly converts at 6-8% network wide (network
wide stats can be inflated since they can be skewed
dependant on different traffic sources such as email).
Could I have increased conversions with a landing
At this point I didn’t want to mess with a winning
formula. I bet had I used an LP that had a Rush
Limbaugh pic and the weight loss supplement, etc., it
would have worked well.
But that’s misrepresentation, and again I didn’t want
to mess with the formula at the time. Being far more
experienced now, I would have split tested a couple
different landing pages. I would try a review style
page and create specific ads for the review page.
Just so you know, I ran this on Google at the
beginning of this September, just as a test. Long after
the peak of the spike in traffic.
It converted but not great. My estimation is that based
on volume I would have profited an extra $5,000 –
7,000 with Google.
Now, what is the point of showing you such an old
As I said above, the intention of this case study was to
show you the thought process of building a winning
campaign, and a brief overview of the variables you
can split test. Also, hopefully you can see that it’s
more important to know WHY someone is typing in a
keyword, not just WHAT they are typing in.
This was very early in my PPC and Paid Traffic
career. To this day I have built well over 150
campaigns across a variety of paid traffic channels.
These days instead of having 1 out of 10 or 20
campaigns being profitable, I can get 1 out of 5 or less.
It is a learned skill like anything else.
Anyway I hope you guys have enjoyed taking a look
at this free case study. I know for myself that actual
case studies can help enormously when you’re lost on
which direction to go.
Many of the guru’s have been stressing for years that
you need to get traffic, get traffic, get traffic! Listen,
there are TONS of paid traffic sources out there. If the
traffic doesn’t convert, then there is a missing piece to
I’m all about conversions. I’m about generating a
healthy ROI (unless the overall revenue is on such a
massive scale that it really doesn’t matter. However, I
typically don’t drop below 60-80% roi, and more often
than not sit at 100%).
Stay tuned for more case studies and tips on getting
paid traffic that actually converts.
Thanks for your time!