Request assistance with debugging my process

Discussion in 'Mail Chat' started by sml, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. sml

    sml New Member

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    I would like to request some assistance from the collected wisdom and experience of this forum. I did not know of this forum prior to the attempts I am detailing here so please forgive me if there are things in 'the noob guide' that I should have done and didn't lol. I am catching up on this forum now but I thought it might help to get some direction from the good people here on the forum. This might be long since I don't know what details are important so let me tldr; the whole thing at the beginning here:

    Friend I am trying to emulate:
    -Has a wide network of people
    -Uses untargetted data
    -Makes $150-300 a day

    Short term goal:
    - Replicate what my friend has achieved by making an average of $150 a day.

    History:
    - Set up website 20 days ago
    - Bought 100k untargetted fresh emails. Mostly gmail/yahoo.
    - Signed up w Xoopa (100k) and quickly got blocked, presumably because I didn't "warm" them. Still sending GI on them.
    - Signed up w TotalSend (50k). Started with good stats on low volume but quickly took a nosedive.
    - Signed up w Emercury (25k). Zero stats right from the start. Almost non existent opens/clicks.
    - Tried using my friends data. I get no results, he still gets $150-300 a day, though it's starting to drop off slowly.
    - Tried using a new domain as an addon domain to avoid domain rep problems. Negligible difference, if any.


    Details
    ------

    My role model/mentor:

    I met a friend a few months back who, after some discussion, turns out to be a bulk mailer. I immediately liked the idea and started asking lots of questions. After a couple months (and many beers), he offered to show me what he does. Which is basically purchasing untargetted data from some guy he has known for a few years and then bulk mailing it to various affiliate offers on an affiliate network that belongs to other good friends of his. He has been doing this for a few years and, before that, was into other types of marketing so he has developed a decent network of resources. He sometimes makes good money, sometimes makes ok money but generally he doesn't put in much effort as long as he is making at least $150-300 a day.

    Me:

    Web Developer most of my working life. No real network of people in this field. Able to learn technical subjects but most of my experience is in the backend databases and code so setting up a new website was actually new for me.


    Short term goal:

    Replicate what my friend has achieved by making an average of $150 a day. Then branch out from there. Most of my choices were to do what he was doing to eliminate as many variables as I could. Looking at 'being a big time mailer' can come later. Right now, I just want to establish some base income and then branch out from there.


    So far:

    Learned a lot of the basic terminology and concepts (deliverability, ESPs, bounces, can-spam, etc.). That said, I am probably missing a lot of other things that I will be researching on this forum. A lot of times I will read about something that might improve different aspects of mailing, I take it to him and he tells me he tried that two years ago and didn't see any noticeable difference. Other things, though, he may not have tried yet since his current process is working for him. While I do want to make improvements down the road, my immediate goal is to figure out why I haven't been able to replicate his success.

    I bought an old domain that my friend had previously let expire and set up a bloggy website with GetResponse attached for two purposes. One, to provide a place where I could have gotten the emails and two, to have .php redirects from my emails to the offers so that if an offer gets pulled or something, I can just change my link, rather than have a bunch of 'dead' emails.

    I purchased 100k untargetted emails from a weekly feed that had already been cleaned (to what degree, I don't know). I didn't know it at the time but it turned out to be 40% gmail, 40% yahoo and 20% mixed TLDs, cables and GI. My friend was surprised it was so heavily gmail/yahoo and said his usual purchases from the guy are more along the lines of 15% yahoo, 10% gmail.

    Signed up with Xoopa for around $450 (a 100k account). Here's where the first bit of bad news hit. My friend runs a Xoopa account and apparently it had been warmed when he got it as he just started sending 100k a day with no warming and had no problems. Apparently, when I bought one, it wasn't pre-warmed and I quickly got blocked by gmail/yahoo (since my data was heavily gmail/yahoo). Lot of other TLDs and cables blocked me too (comcast, hotmail and others). Of 100k sends, 40% were successful sends and the other 60k were a variety of technical errors, unspecified errors and bounces. Senderscore went up and down a lot but was almost always above 75-80.

    So I took out my gmail and started trying to go back and 'warm' Xoopa but I am more short on time than I am on funds so I started up a $200 50k TotalSend account to start experimenting. Supposedly TotalSend wouldn't need a lot of warming but I did a quick 1 week warming period, starting with my openers/clickers from Xoopa. First day or two, had very encouraging results w a 3-7% open rate, 15% ctr and maybe a 7-8% soft bounce rate. That was with my A stuff though and as soon as I mixed in the rest to fill out the 50k in TotalSend, results started getting worse. Or perhaps a combination of that and aging data?

    After a week, my open rate was down to 1% or less. TotalSend doesn't give you much technical info so I am not sure if the emails were blocked, spamboxed or just never got read. TS only reports hard/soft bounces. Senderscore was consistently over 90.

    I was using many of the same offers, same creatives, same ESP (Xoopa), same set up that my friend uses and getting dismal results (avg around $20-25 a day over the last 20 days). So, with not much other idea of what to do, I signed up with another cheap ESP account (25k) just to experiment with (Emercury). Turns out they are going to be hard to experiment with because after you import your initial list, you can't remove any users, even hard bounces, for 30 days (or was it 30 emails?). Still, it was only like $120 and supposedly uses shared IPs at my account level so I was trying to eliminate the possibility that the problem was warming. Emerc turned out to be the worst, for me, of the bunch. Not many bounces but the open rate was almost zero. I think I never got more than 19 opens on any day of a 25k send and usually 0 clicks.

    So theory at this point was that I just got some bum data. To test this, my friend gave me some data he was using and was making $150-300 a day with. Loaded it up in TotalSend and, if anything, the results were even worse.

    Getting a little desperate at this point, I was talking to some aff network people, as well as my friend, and decided to set up another domain, theory being that the "domain rep" was bad. So I purchased another domain name on the same host and made it an addon domain with its own name. I didn't copy the whole site over, just the basic WP install and redirects, just to test out the theory. Added an email for it and started using it as my "from/reply to". Used TotalSend for this experiment since I can't load new emails into Emerc and I am not sure how badly I have crashed my Xoopa account. Results are...slightly better? Maybe. But still pretty close to dismal and nowhere near the results my friend is getting.

    We are both quite perplexed at this point. I am sure there are little things I could do to make small improvements on the process but I am really trying to figure out why my results are so vastly different than my friends, even when using the same ESP, same Aff, same creatives, same data even. I understand there always variations but I was expecting to make at least half of what he does, if not more since I was buying fresh data and he has been working with his for a while.

    Thanks, in advance, for reading and any advice you can give.
     
  2. sml

    sml New Member

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    Small update:
    Turns out that I am not using his data, exactly. He has a 200k account. Half of it is old data. When he added the second half, his revenue so he assumed it was the new data that was "good" and that's what he gave me. So it IS possible that it was a coincidence and it was actually his original data that did well and the data we shared was bad.
     
  3. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    Whew, a lotta info here - which is good.

    Allow me to comment on just one small part of your challenges.

    You mentioned that at least one of the ESPs did not give you much
    info on the IP health.

    To discover how your mailing IPs are really doing simply insert
    your own seed Addie's into the files (you really should be doing this
    anyway) and look at the headers of the incoming email for the sending
    IP address. Then just go to one of the many sites that pull the black lists
    and/or score your IP health. Here are some that will get you started

    Blacklistalert.org
    Senderbase.org
    Senderscore.org
    Dnsstuff.com

    You should also check your domains rep too. The first URL will
    do a nice job on that too.
     
  4. DoldGigga

    DoldGigga VIP

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    Basically you claim that your friend makes money sending email and thought you could "copy-n-paste" his 'success' for yourself. You listed a short term goal but have no real plan, which means you're a moron and should stick to your $7.25/hr job.

    Despite excreting a massive wall of text, all you really said was this:

    * I want to make money.
    * I don't want to do any real work or provide anything of value.
    * I want to be a spammer but I've been outwitted by email filters.
    * Someone here help me and I will offer you nothing in return.

    Sounds more like you entered into a "partnership" with the intention to rip someone off and get yourself "free untargeted emails", which you may have done. Your "friend" is likely someone who you lied to and promised a "rev share" deal. Funny thing is, they probably gave you crap data so in essence you have two douchebags with no integrity reaming each other up the ass.

    Look at it this way, you didn't lose out entirely because now you can add a new checkbox to your 'history' list:

    - Realized that sending spam is one more failure on my list of life failures.

    The other plus is that if you had a car you could get a bumper sticker that says something like, "Biden my time between welfare checks."
     
  5. jpcserv

    jpcserv VIP

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    A Simple reply just for fun on an otherwise boring Saturday Night. The "Do Not Disturb" on the door apparently is missing or the noise is just too loud for DG to remain silent. He has now spoken and how. I can't say that I heard/saw this before "Biden my time between welfare checks."
    In any event I will never stop gigging for dold. It is the American Dream.

    Any insight/help/tips on Aol's latest inbox blocking?

    Please PM Sir.

     
  6. sml

    sml New Member

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    I actually have done this w Senderscore, SenderBase and the mxtoolbox. I didn't see anything revealing. My TS account was around 90 on Senderscore, no domain blacklists and still seems to have very poor response.

    I will check the others, as you suggest. Thanks!

    Sorry for the wall of text, just trying to avoid making people play 20 questions.
     
  7. arbydar

    arbydar VIP

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    check your domains as well
     
  8. sml

    sml New Member

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    Aye, I had done that as well. A few "No Results", but quite clean, otherwise.
    Checked SenderScore again today. Xoopa is lowish, around 75. TS is actually at 99.
    Domains are relatively clean. ivmUrl is the only one listed as not being "OK", can't find any other blacklists for domain or IP.
     

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