Author Archives: Jeremy Schoemaker

About Jeremy Schoemaker

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

@Wishpond – What service do you use for landing pages?

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I been playing with several different landing page services. Some have some really cool features but they always seem to have something missing.

A couple days ago, after asking on FaceBook, several people recommended that I checkout Wishpond.

I logged in and in a few minutes made a version of my Free ShoeMoney System opt in page. You can see what I made here –

The first thing that really impressed me was the ease of having the leads post to your own custom URL. For my free ShoeMoney System I have to have it post to the script to create your account then put you into my list. I have never come across another lead page system that offered this. I know I am a little different than most but this was a deal killer on why I couldn’t use some other systems.

Just the lead pages alone that Wishpond does is really impressive and worth the money for me. Granted I am still on my free trial month but I am sure I will renew.

Here is a screenshot from my account. Its converting over 20% better than my previous version. But check out the easy to use retargeting and advertising campaigns lower down in the screenshot:

Wishpond Central

I am pumped to test these out.

Also in addition to landing pages it looks like you can quickly generate Facebook Gateways, Contests, and lots of other stuff. I am excited to give these a run when I get time.

I will keep you posted as I keep testing.

What do you use for landing pages? Anything else do all this?

Pretty impressed with Wishpond.

Free Shirt Friday- Vapor Zone @VaporZoneMIA

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This week’s Free Shirt Friday isn’t a shirt; it’s electronic cigarettes/vaporizers from Vapor Zone! Vapor Zone is an online hub coupled with brick and mortar locations serving the ever-growing and passionate vaping community. Everyone from vaping newbies to the most experienced vapers get access to the most technologically advanced electronic cigarettes and personal vaporizers. Their premium-quality, 100% USA-made e-liquids are offered in a large variety of flavors and are customizable for their customers’ enjoyment.


If you want to be a part of free shirt friday, please click here.  

Free Shirt Friday- Navilytics @Navilytics

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This week’s Free Shirt Friday comes to us from Navilytics. Their goal is to truly optimize your website, whether you want to increase sales or just make it easier to use. Their philosophy is that you have to understand what actually happens on your website in order to better understand your visitors. Google Analytics and other tools can miss important data. With Navilytics you can see exactly where your visitors move their mouse, what they click on, and what they type. Navilytics tracks mouse movements at more than three times per second! Is there a button that’s broken preventing visitors from completing a form? Do visitors have a tough time using your site? What actions do visitors take who convert into sales compared to those who don’t? Find out all of this and more with Navilytics.

If you want to be a part of free shirt friday, please click here.  


What was it like to make my first million dollars?

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Stubjj844 - Where did you learn to do….whatever the hell it is you do lol?? Do you remember your first million and what was that like?

Long story short – I started fucking around with a website where you could upload ringtones and the site would convert them into any phone format.   I didn’t know dick about making websites I just downloaded some books on html and then found a bunch of code online I copied or hacked away to make it worked.

Then I lost my job cause all I really did at work was work on my website.

2 weeks later Google called me and said I can make money installing their adsense product.

The next month I went to the bank and cashed an unemployment check for $350 and also a check from Google for $136,994.37.  That was my last unemployment check.

From there I really learned how to make money online studying the revenue models with donations,  affiliate marketing, arbitrage, selling dropshipped products, and even subscriptions.

The next year I did almost 3 million in gross revenue I forget the profit but it was a pretty high profit marin somewhere around 80%.

Honestly I always felt like it was going to go away at any day so I never blew money on anything.

The funny thing is I took a picture with that check cause I thought well when this goes to shit maybe I can sell a book about how I went from unemployment to making 130k/month.   Little did I know that would be the last month Google would send out paper checks over 10k (they only do wires) so nobody else has a picture like that.

My book is called Nothing’s Changed but my Change which is really super true.   Yea I put away a lot of cash but I still remember what it was like to be flat ass broke and I never want to feel that again.

Having money is not everything but not having it is.   Been on both sides of that shit.

The most rewarding part is I take 15% of my earnings every year and donate it to charity.  I also take a percentage and try to help my friends back from my home that need help.

One year I gave my mom 10k
in $1 bills like one of those glass containers that you would win on a game show.

Thats really the best part,  being able to really change people’s lives.  Sorry that sounds sappy.

I have friends with new ferrari’s and lambo’s and pickup 30k tabs and shit.   Blow 10k on hookers and blow in a night.

That wont be me… ever…

Don’t get me wrong I have picked up a few 4 figure tabs on very rare occasions and ONE time blew 8k at a strip club in North Carolina.  I wanted to shoot myself in the face for like a week.

Anyway hope that answers your question.

Who do I look up to as far as a mentor/guru

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A great question that recently came in through our contact us form.

KingJamesCodpiece - Thanks again for the AMA ShoeMoney!

Who are some people in the industry you look up to? Do guys like you want to axe kick the “gurus” who make all their money online selling stuff on how to make money online?

People I look up to – I kind of respect everyone and listen to about anyone but I wouldn’t say I “follow” anyone in particular.   Most of the top marketing or business guys by the time they are famous they are pretty far removed from what they are actually teaching so listening to them is a lot.  If that makes sense.

For instance everyone looks up to Seth Godin or Tim Ferris as the ultimate guru marketers but the real thing is those guys are now sitting in a white ivory tower and havent really done anything other than write books for many years so their theorys and best practices are less about sharing experiences on how they built a business and more focused on what you should do… which they actually don’t know anything about because the technology and techniques they talk about were not even around when they did their big things… So its just theorys in the end which I don’t find that much value in.

The guru’s – I am more fascinated by how guys DO make money by making products on how to make money.  Its pretty remarkable actually and there is a LOT to be learned from them.  I don’t actualy ever judge what they are selling…  I think I have become numb to that aspect of it…

Its really nothing new.  I have friends that just understand business and they can go into an industry like a restaurant or bar which have the highest rates of failure for a new company and be amazingly successful.  Then they also own apartment buildings and a dry cleaner and other shit.

Take that concept to the internet.    Before I made my own products and services I sold other people’s on a commission through affiliate marketing.  AND I did it better than them AND on smaller margins.  I have done everything from porn to pills to poker to ringtones to netflix and pretty much about anything.   I just have a knack for finding unique angles to sell shit.

I mean think about it.  Take a guy like johnchow from   Dude started a blog about how other people make money…  Then started selling his own product about how to make a blog that makes money and he’s made millions over the last 5 years or so.   He has no technical ability whatsoever and started on a free blogging platform.

A big thing I have learned is that its never about the product its always about what you can get the consumer to invision the product doing for them.  For instance my kitchen cabinents are filled with bullshit products like mixers and crocpots and magic bullets and what not that were used like once.

The people that piss me off are the ones that use my images to sell their products.  That shit pisses me off and I go after them.


Free Shirt Friday- Toothbrush Subscriptions @ToothbrushSubs

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This week’s Free Shirt Friday comes to us from Toothbrush Subscriptions. The Toothbrush Subscription process is very simple. The first thing you do is choose from one of their three toothbrushes that best suits you. Once you select your toothbrush and your favorite color, you will choose how often you want to have that fresh toothbrush delivered to your door, every 1, 2, or 3 months. Your first toothbrush will arrive within 3-8 business days and then a fresh toothbrush will arrive again, automatically, on the schedule you set (every 3 months for example.) You can choose just one toothbrush or as many as you like. There is no limit.

If you want to be a part of free shirt friday, please click here.


Pt 3 – Raising Money For My New Company – How it ended up

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This is Part 3 in my adventure in raising money for my new company – The PAR Program.  If you missed the other parts you can see Part 1 (preparation) here and Part 2 (pitching) here.

The great (but not the interesting part of the story)  is I raised almost $600,000.00.  I will refer to it as 600k just rounding up in this as reference to make the numbers easier.  Now where and how I raised the money IS the big surprise.

In pitching to VC’s / Angels – the question I always got was, “You have money why do you need investment”.  I had a good canned response to that,  but it wasn’t well received.  The real reason I was trying to raise money to bring more to the table than money.  Money wasn’t the issue to make this company work…  it was the connections and experience that came with it.  Unfortunately that didn’t turn out well for me.  I have no doubt this company will be the biggest startup success story ever to come out of Nebraska… and I wanted to take a local Nebraska VC/Angel company a long for that ride.  I thought my past companies sold and successes mixed with the fact I have never lost money in 13 years should have been a no brainer.  I was really out of my league and comfort zone pitching and to be bluntly honest just very ignorant on how the process works.  I cover that much more in detail in my post about that journey.

I have been told that reads like sour grapes… well it should.  I was deeply disappointed and frustrated with not being able to raise money locally.  Even though I have a lot of connections at major firms in Silicon Valley,  I had no interest or time to to do so.

You know how they say its always darkest before the dawn?  Well, for one thats is BS because its darkest at midnight but there definitely was a very empty, dark, feeling.   For a brief time I felt something I had never felt before.  A bit of hopelessness.   Even though we are doing great financially the company was not growing at near the pace I wanted it to and I was very worried without the right people in place that would allow me to do what I am good at (marketing/bizdev/development strategy) the growth was not going to be acceptable.

Mix that in with the huge overhead,  payroll, trying to manage people (which I have come to learn I am the worst at), and the rest of the stuff… well it felt for the first time in a decade I was actually “working” again and looking forward to 5pm everyday.

And then the dawn came:

Back before I initially started pitching for money we applied for the company to get accredited in the Nebraska Angel Tax Credit program.  This program,  if approved for your startup, allows investors to get a 40% refundable tax credit on the investment they make.  To put it into perspective if you invested $500,000.00 in my company by the end of 2014 and met the criteria you would get a $200,000.00 refund from the state of Nebraska when you filed your taxes next spring.  Being its a refundable tax credit, its not a credit to future taxes, its an actual lump sum check.  AND of course you still have the full investment.  You just only have 60% of your investment at risk.  Pretty badass right?

Just after my last pitch,  and coming to the realization funding from a VC/Angel firm wasn’t going to happen,  we received notification that the PAR Program was approved for this.

Total game changer as far as raising money… As you can imagine,  after word got out, all of a sudden everyone wants in.  Why not?  Where you going to get a 40% return on your money in a couple months and still have the full equity?

Of course,  the first thing that hit me was if I was qualified to do this myself.   After my lawyer, accountant, and the head of the state tax credit program went through all of our records for the new company, they concluded, that I did indeed qualify to invest in my own company and get the 40% return.   On May 25th I made the investment.  A week later I got a certificate to file with my state taxes next year for a refund of 230 some thousand dollars.

I still have reservations about posting this publicly.  Lets put our cards on the table. I am the guy that has publicly, hell PROUDLY,  disclosed that I attribute a lot of my success due to the fact I am not afraid to take angles and push the limits morally, ethically, and sometimes legally.  I don’t want this to come off like I am gaming the system.  Its far from that.

This is dealing with the IRS…  its a lot different than coming up with interesting ways to get affiliate commissions for ringtones, acai berries, dating leads, or various other things I have done in the past.

Everything was done 100% correct with lots of meetings between accountants, lawyers, and representatives from the state.  I racked up well over 20k in fees just making sure all was done right. There is a lot of oversight and many hoops to jump through otherwise the state can come back and collect that refund.

I don’t want this to come off like its a “loophole” or the “rich get richer” program.   In fact,  among many other things,  I can’t/won’t take a salary, distribution or any sort of income from this company for a very long time.   It could be years.  I do have income from the blog and other entities, products, consulting whatever so its not like my kids won’t eat =P.

Immediately that capital has been put to work.  Not only bringing on staff with the agency side of the PAR Program, but hired 2 more developers, and a few other people to build out the self service platform that will be launching early fall if not sooner.  In total I have hired 4 people, 3 of which were unemployed,  so far.  And we are looking for more people.   I started creating jobs in Nebraska and will create many more in the coming months.  That is what this program is all about.

I also have found 3 high level seasoned people to come on board as our CEO, CIO, and  marketing ninja, with very proven track records.  Since coming on board in those roles they have fairly seamlessly integrated in managing my existing staff and development team which in turn has allowed me to do what I love and am the best at.  Its been a while since I have been this happy.

With this capital I was able to bring them in and they are better and have more experience than anyone that could have come with VC money.  Mix that with the fact they have already built a couple multi million dollar SAAS platforms in our industry… its all coming together.  I will announce who they are when we launch… You might recognize their names but for sure know the company they previously founded.

The Nebraska Angel Tax Credit program was created primarily for job growth by giving investors an incentive to invest in something they might be on the fence about or otherwise wouldn’t by mitigating their financial risk.   I knew what I had to do, but without getting this or other investment money,  I am not sure it would have happen.  Well it would have happen but it would not have had the growth rate that I find acceptable.  It is an amazing program and the people that run it are amazing to deal with.  If you have a new startup in Nebraska or looking to invest in one,  I can’t recommend enough that you look into it.

If I haven’t drilled it home enough I just want to again emphasize that I have to keep the investment in the company for 3 years and with a LOT of hoops and oversight going forward.  The 600k was money I had to liquidate from other investments and the capital is already going to work pretty hardcore.

Also incase you missed it - We are holding a contest right now to help name the new self service side of the company.   If we go with your suggestion I will not only pay you $1,000 cash but you will also get a shirt that says “I named X”.   There is also a place where you can enter to be a beta tester which is a big opportunity not only with all the benefits but also you will help play a big role in ironing out any bugs and helping us with new features or suggestions.

Go here if you haven’t to sign up for the contest or the beta program. 

Free Shirt Friday- PPC

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This week’s Free Shirt Friday comes to us from PPC They are pay per click consultants that manage results-driven PPC campaigns that focus on client goals such as: web leads, phone calls, sales, website traffic, brand awareness and return on ad spend. They make results oriented decisions based on data, draw conclusions based on statistical evidence and they analyze the data to make strategic decisions to optimize accounts. 

If you want to be a part of free shirt friday, please click here.  

PPC Consulting

Personalizing Automated Emails

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Man using laptop at home

Marketers do not have the time to individually write emails for each recipient, though we would like to. Personalization of emails is a powerful thing and it is possible to convey even through automated emails. In this Marketo post, blogger, Rachel Kavanagh, gave four ways to do so.

“There’s no doubt about it: automating your marketing can bring incredible efficiencies to your business, allowing you to scale your efforts without losing precision. But you don’t want your automated messages to feel automated – you want your marketing to feel personal, to build connections, and you also want it to amplify your brand.

After all, it’s widely accepted that it takes at least seven positive marketing messages to make a brand stick in a potential customer’s mind. That means that every single message counts – especially until you’ve “stuck.” If your communications are not consistent with your products and company values, or are insensitive to information you’ve already collected, you may lose some of your highest quality leads.

Unfortunately, many companies are not effective enough during this delicate phase. Their brand messages aren’t building their credibility, or resonating with the audience receiving them.

Consumer brands like Coca Cola, on the other hand, are excellent at this – they have comprehensive, enforced brand guidelines to control every marketing message across all channels. They can justify huge spend on media like TV, radio, and print, and they enlist the help of high-profile celebrity endorsers, to simultaneously resonate with consumers and their personal values. They’re conscious of how brand voice, narrative, and imagery should all tell a consistent story.

B2B marketers generally have less money to spend and fewer channels to leverage than consumer marketers, but they also control a large proportion of brand transmissions in your emails. Luckily, automation can actually make your marketing more personal, and can also help you remain consistent in your messaging across every channel.

Here are four easy ways to create more on-brand emails which resonate with your prospects, using marketing automation, your data, and a little creativity:

1. Sender Personalisation and Brand Ambassadors

As people, we are hard-wired to crave connection with others, which is why, as marketers, we want to introduce our brand as authentic and personal. Despite this, many B2B marketers are still sending emails from “”, or signing emails with “Sincerely, Your Marketing Team.”

In other words, they’re simply begging for unsubscribes – who wants to be reminded that they’re on a marketing list. Instead, make sure you’re sending your emails from a real person – one who represents the values of your product or organization, and who fits with the message you are trying to convey. Choose brand ambassadors wisely. To give a widely publicized example, Coca-Cola chose Taylor Swift as the face of Diet Coke last year, which, due to her controversial, polarising persona, many blamed for a drop in Diet Coke’s sales.

If possible, send emails from a person who is highly relevant to the message – ideally, an expert in the subject matter discussed. Include an e-signature, links to Twitter, LinkedIn… whatever you decide will demonstrate authenticity. You might also include a photo of the sender in the email’s signature – try a little A/B testing to find out what drives the best results.

If you’re using marketing automation, you can tailor your “from” names to appeal specifically to each email send’s audience – you might use your own name, include contact information, or use the name of someone in your company (with their permission, of course!). This is where knowing your brand comes in – do you have a charismatic CMO whose name you’d like to highlight? Or do you position yourself as friendly practitioners? You can dive a little deeper into these options with our ebook, Creating Your Email Marketing Subject Lines and From Names.

2. Segmentation and Geographic Relevance

Nothing encourages an express opt-out like a message in the wrong language, or an event invitation from the wrong continent! These messages are highly irritating, and are guaranteed to result in unsubscribes. If you’re marketing globally, an incorrect geographic filter can even have legal implications.

That’s why we recommend segmenting the audience you send emails to. Beyond geography, you might also consider segmenting your audience by gender, age, job title, company size, industry, interests, and more. Marketing automation makes segmentation easy to implement, helping you avoid this major (and surprisingly common) faux-pas.

3. Use Your Data to Find Other Data

Data has a way of hiding right under your nose. Often, marketers will waste time gathering info, only to discover only that they’ve had what they needed all along.

For instance, some industries and countries require you to address potential customers formally – typically with both a salutation and last name. If you don’t have this information for every prospect in your database, you might be daunted by the idea.

But if you’re looking for a last name, these are often included in email addresses…can you pull from there? If you’re looking for a prospect’s gender, can you discern it based off of first names? Both country and state can often be derived from contact fields.

You can also derive a prospect’s interest in a product based on behavior, which marketing automation can help you track. In short, don’t re-invent the wheel – take advantage of automation to cleverly embellish your data with information you already have.

With a little creativity and the help of automated campaigns, your database will rapidly fill up with the personal details needed to make emails feel individually tailored.

4. Create Resonance with Scoring

And finally, use lead scoring – an essential, but often overlooked marketing tool that is used to qualify and pass along leads to sales. If you’re using marketing automation, lead scoring presents a ready-made yardstick to measure how responsive new leads are to your content.

First, marketers define levels of buyer interest (i.e. early, mid, and late stage), and then set parameters to determine a lead’s qualification for each level. As each lead progresses from one stage to the next, the messages they receive can be adjusted in turn.

You know how interested a lead is in your product or services, so you can be sure you’re communicating in a personally relevant (but still automated!) way, sending the right content at the right time. Remember those first, most crucial seven touch points? Carefully plan your content streams for the most resonant results. This is often the difference between a marketing message that results in qualified leads, and a marketing message that results in an unsubscribe.

So how can you measure success? Your response rate!

You know you are making personal connection with the right brand messages when someone responds to an automated email. Honour this with a response whenever you can. And congratulations! It’s not easy to achieve.”

Help me and win a grand for yourself

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Not about 2 years ago we launched a marketing platform called the Par Program.

Functioning at an agency level, which included state of the art email, social integration and high level ROI tracking, we also did all the work for the clients. Just some of the extra work we did for clients included graphics, copywriting and programing. Needless to say, clients loved it and their results were staggering. But……the price point of that service just isn’t something that most can afford! Which brings us to this moment right now and why YOU are here!

In the next couple of months, we’re launching a new company that will bring the SAME industry leading features and functionality the PAR Program provided, but at a price EVERYONE can afford! We’re literally going to shake the entire market to the core and leave a few well known services scratching their heads as to where all their customers went. Now, this is where you come in.

We want you to be a part of this process in two different ways. First, we want to give a very select few the opportunity to beta test this and give us feedback. Tear it apart, make suggestions and requests. We know what people want already, but there’s no better way to give you what you want than to ask! Now, we also haven’t named this beast yet and we want your help with that as well!

The person who comes up with the name we go with not only wins a cool $1000.00, but also a one of kind t-shirt with the phrase “I Named (system name)”. Sign up below right now to become a beta tester or just to throw your name in the ring for the cash and shirt prize for naming the system. We can’t wait to bring this to the public, it’s going to change the game forever.

Go here to suggest a name and/or sign up to be a beta tester:



PAR Program Helps Bugsy’s Box Double Customers and Revenue @ParProgram @BugsysBox

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Bugsy-Box-imageIf you’ve been following me for any time at all, you probably know how focused I am with PAR Program. I have been busting my ass to get the financials, staff, and technology in place to keep us growing. Meanwhile, I had to ensure that our clients continue to get the top-notch service they deserve. Recently, PR Leap published a piece about one of our clients: Bugsy’s Box. The monthly dog toy and treat box delivery service that has grown rapidly. With the help of the PAR Program they were able to double their customers and revenue. Check out the full press release:

(PRLEAP.COMLincoln, Neb., June 21, 2014 - A company that sells products for dogs and dog lovers was attracting website visitors but was having difficulty retaining them. Thanks to PAR (People, Acquisition, Retention) Program’s marketing solution, Bugsy’s Box saw one-time visitors converted into lifelong customers and saw their revenue and customer base double.

“I think anyone running an online business and not using the PAR Program is leaving lots of money on the table and definitely hasn’t unlocked the full potential of their business,” Laurent Sabbah, CEO of Bugsy’s Box, said. “People’s attention span these days is extremely low and if you don’t capture their information in order to make them come back to your website, they’ll forget about you.”

Bugsy’s Box’s mission is to deliver happiness to dogs and dog owners in North America. That happiness comes in the form of boxes sent out monthly to subscribers and full of high quality products at half the cost of retail products.

PAR customizes its program to fit any client’s needs and goals. First, PAR assigned a dedicated account manager to Bugsy’s Box who works as a personal contact.

“The whole PAR team has been helpful in providing advice based on their professional experience,” Sabbah said. “They’re almost always around. Emails are answered the same day, within the hour most of the time. They also go beyond their duties when I need something done that isn’t exactly part of my contract with the PAR Program.”

PAR also values trust and communication between the client and the client’s customers, and works to improve that relationship using its state-of-the-art 6-email sequence. By setting up effective email copywriting in the acquisition and retention sequences, PAR helped convert Bugsy’s Box’s potential buyers into subscribers.

Before being introduced to PAR, Bugsy’s Box was paying extremely high customer acquisition costs. PAR’s marketing solution made gaining customers seem easy.

If you would like a short 15 or 20 minute demo, please visit:

Please visit: for more information.

PAR Program INC.

How to Exploit World Cup for Profit

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The World Cup is here. imgres

Crazy soccer players, psychotic fans, and of course, BILLIONS of dollars to be made. If you’re an entrepreneur, THIS is the best time to tap into the minds of people for their sheep mentality…for what else? Business opportunity.

The World Cup in all its glory of ticket sales, broadcast rights, advertising, merchandising, and of course, all that alcohol to get all them crazy fans nice and juiced, we’re talking BILLIONS of dollars. It’s like the GDP of a small 3rd world country sloshing around the world in a matter of weeks.

But more than that.. there’s emotions flying around left and right. And of course, emotions = sales.

Now, if you’re an entrepreneur, how on earth could you capitalize on this trend?

Here are some interesting concepts I thought of.

If you’re promoting dating, you can always try to influence the guy’s (or the girl’s) heart.

Suppose there’s an upcoming US match against Russia. You could say something like “Be a patriot. Date an American girl.”

If the US wins, “Patriotic American Girls Need Guys to Celebrate With. Click Here to Meet Them.”

If Russia wins, “Russian Girls Are Fierce in Soccer and in Bed. Click Here to Meet a Russian Hottie”.

You get the point. But that’s totally chump change.

How can we get GOBS of money from this?

Alright, before you tar & feather me about this, let me remind you…FIFA, like NBA, NFL, and the American Baseball League, is a BUSINESS.

They’re not doing this to benefit their health – they do it to make money. How much money is involved in the World Cup?

1994 World Cup…. cost the U.S. $5.6 billion

2002 World Cup in Asia…. With the three million live spectators ticket sales were an astronomical 1.2 billion dollars. FIFA alone promised each country 110 million for hosting and all revenue from their ticket sales.[6] Also, each country expanded their 20 soccer facilities with an investment of 4.7 billion dollars to prepare for this global event.

The 2010 FIFA World Cup was held in South Africa,… The projected total direct economic value for GDP is approximately $21.3 billion. Also, 159,000 new jobs are predicted…

Of course, whenever there’s money to be made…there are people who are NOT making it (src).

Over the course of the past few years, Brazilians have grown outraged at the government’s handling of the World Cup.

Even in this soccer-obsessed country, people are deeply resentful of the government’s decision to spend as much as $14 billion on the Cup while millions of its citizens lack basic services—services the government promised to improve ahead of the Cup.

On top of that, at least nine workers have been killed in accidents related to rushed World Cup construction projects; activists are alleging that more than 250,000 people faced eviction threats to accommodate Cup construction and preparations; and the presence of brand-new Cup buildings has raised rent in working-class neighborhoods, pricing longtime residents out.

Wait…that’s the least of it.

The British press have alleged that Qatari billionaire Mohamed bin Hammam paid off FIFA officials in order to secure their votes to bring the Cup to his country.

Emails obtained by the Sunday Times suggest that Qatar and 2018 World Cup host Russia cooperated to help each other win bids, and that bin Hammam used his connections in business and government to bribe officials from Thailand to Germany.

Hold on, it ain’t over. In 2010, the World Cup was held in South Africa and these claims were made:

But there are implications for this year’s event, too. It proves that match-fixing—a persistent evil in soccer—is alive and well, and not even the World Cup is immune. Billions are wagered on the Cup worldwide—over $1.6 billion will be wagered in Great Britain alone—and there are powerful interests seeking to manipulate outcomes.

Now, am I pointing fingers on FIFA?

NO way.

This shit happens in any kind of human group activity where politics and money are involved. I’m just pointing out what the people might not know.

Granted, most of the US will never have the same level of impact that governments and billionaires have, but you can tap into the fever and tap into the dollars they are GLADLY willing to spend – legally and ethically.

How? Connect with the fans

Don’t just sit there. Participate.

If you want the herd’s money, be part of the herd while the herd is moving.

1) Cheerleader to the end

If you notice, the fans of countries who never make it the finals almost always stay and cheer for whoever’s the underdog.

I remember watching the World Cup in Korea/Japan and a bunch of white dudes (I think they were South Americans) started cheering for Korea because their home country got eliminated.

Hey, why the hell not? They paid for their hotel & plane ticket…might as well have fun and join the locals.

2) “Dress” for the Occasion

Nothing says “I am one of you” more than a uniform.

If you don’t do physical business but are on the internet, try skinning your pages to the patriotic colors of wherever your visitors are coming from.

3) Provide a platform for the community

Why do restaurants advertise “come watch XYZ game for FREE”?

Simple…statistically speaking, 1 in X will eventually buy beer.

Just like starbucks, be a platform for communities to get together.

Serve up some tea, coffee, booze, or some ADS.

 4) If all else fails, invite hot girls from other countries

Tap into the herd mentality. Herds spend a lot of money.



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Canada’s New Weird Ass Spam Law Goes Into Effect July 1st 2014

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While I do have a Doctorate from the Kazakhstan University School of International Business, AND a High School Diploma from Moline Senior High in Moline, IL., I am not a lawyer and probably completely misinterpreting this law so talk to one before you send emails to Canadians.

Canada is only a decade late to the email compliance legislation party but better late than never. On July 1st, almost 11 years to the date, Canada’s anti-spam laws will go into effect (kind of – as I will explain below).

In 2003, the United States put into play the “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act”  (CAN-SPAM) and completely eliminated spam in the United States. Err…actually only a year later the FTC reported that less than 1% of reported spam was actually CAN-SPAM compliant. Hey good try though!

But Canada’s new law isn’t just about email…Its a HUGE net of shit. 

From their website, the new laws will apply to “any electronic message that encourages participation in a commercial activity, regardless of whether there is an expectation of profit.” Types messages include “any means of telecommunications, SMS, social networking, websites, URL’s and other locators, applications, blogs, VoIP, and any other current and future internet and wireless telecommunication.

WTF?  The part about any future internet and wireless communication is a nice touch. Canadians…

For the most part a lot of the rules for sending email are similar to the CAN-SPAM act:

  • No misleading from or subject lines
  • Must contain various methods of unsubscribing from the messages
  • Must store how you got the email/ip/whatever

A couple things I noticed that stuck out from email sending was that there was no requirement to have a suppression list. Also unlike the CAN-SPAM, act there is no exemption for political or religious organizations.

Existing emailers must implement these changes for new mail recipients immediately, but they have three years (until July 1, 2017) to apply them to existing mailing-list subscribers.
Now here is where it gets really weird:
Acquisition – You can only send email to someone that has not become a “customer” within 6 months then you must take them off of your list.
Retention/upsells – You can only send email to someone for 2 years after the last date they purchased or paid a bill to you.
So basically if you’re doing a pre-launch or the “get a coupon” or “subscribe to our newsletter” to get an email address and the person doesn’t buy in 6 months then you gotta delete them.  If they do buy something, then you bought yourself another 24 months to send them emails. On one hand I agree if you’re emailing someone for 6 months and they haven’t bought your stuff then you should remove them anyway. On the other hand I’ve been emailing people that bought something from me 7 years ago and still open and click my newsletter emails. I gotta delete them? Obviously, these laws are written by people who don’t understand email.I think just saying “anyone that has not opened or clicked on an email for 6 months must be removed from your email lists” is not all encompassing. Seriously….Canadians love my emails…Even if they never buy anything from me. Its true; I just looked at my stats in the PAR Program and Canadians have the highest open/click rate of any country on my list but the lowest buy rate (actually I just made that up to pimp the PAR Program capabilities. Its actually Nigeria that has that honor). So long Canadians that don’t buy anything…Blame your country…I will no longer have the legal authority to enlighten you in the world of email marketing. I know you are dying to read the entire law details so here are the links:

Does it Work? Another Email How-to

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marketingstrategyPeople like instructions to be broken down into simple steps, clearly spelled out. Marketers get this and so do people that write about marketing. Here’s one called, “4 steps to creating an email strategy that drives action” from the Constant Contact blog. Do the steps work?

“With over 15 years of experience working in animal rescue, Laura Carlock knows how important people can be in saving the lives of animals.

“I founded Rescued Pets Movement in 2013, after working with different rescue groups around Houston,” Laura explains. “We are an all-volunteer organization that transports animals from Houston and Greater Houston area shelters, to other nonprofit animal welfare organizations that have demand for adoptable pets.”

Since opening their doors in November 2013, Laura and her team have helped more than 2,400 at-risk dogs and cats — all through the contributions and involvement of individual donors and volunteers.

From the beginning, Laura has relied on a powerful marketing channel to communicate with the people who matter most to her organization.

“Our email database has been a critical part of our communication strategy,” says Laura. “Whether we’re announcing a fundraiser or just trying to get the word out about an upcoming event, we like being able to log in and send out a professional email to our entire list.”

In addition to regular updates from Rescued Pets Movement, Laura says that there have also been special circumstances when she’s needed immediate help from her audience.

“We’re careful not to inundate our audience with too many emails. When they do see an email from us, I want it to be something that they’re interested in and want to read about,” Laura explains. “But there are also times when we’re dealing with an emergency and need funds right away.”

In March, Laura and her team were faced with one of those situations.

A dog that had been rescued by her organization was faced with a life-threatening medical condition and needed emergency treatment. Knowing that the cost of the surgery would require immediate funding, Laura sent an email asking for help.

“We sent a plea out to our database, explaining the situation and asking for help. Our audience knows that we only send these types of emails when we really need to, which is why these always get the most clicks and shares,” Laura explains. “The response was amazing; we raised over $10,000 from individual donors and were able to get her the help she needed.”

For Rescued Pets Movement, having an email strategy has been a critical part of her organization’s success.

But raising $10,000 from an email campaign isn’t something that happens over night.

Here’s a look at how Rescued Pets Movement created an email strategy to drive action.

1. Value your audience

Since getting started with the Constant Contact Toolkit in December 2013, Rescued Pets Movement has grown its email list to over 3,000 contacts.

For Laura, these aren’t just names on a list — they are the people who make achieving her organization’s mission a possibility.

“These relationships are so important to us, so we are very careful not to overwhelm people,” Laura explains. “We keep an eye on what type of emails are getting the most attention from our audience — which are getting the most opens, clicks, and shares — and only send stuff they are interested in.”

In addition to monitoring her campaign results, Laura has created a feedback campaign to get input from volunteers.

With an average open rate of over 34 percent, it’s clear that her strategy is working.

2. Be consistent

As a new organization, Laura has worked hard to develop a look and feel that is unique to the Rescued Pets Movement brand.

It’s important that we have a certain, unified way that we reach our audience,” Laura explains. “Having a tool like Constant Contact makes it easy, because we can choose and customize our emails before they go out, and add the language that’s right for us.”

Maintaining a consistent look has made it easy for supporters to recognize Laura’s emails, and has also helped make a positive impression on new donors, as well.

“We have a lot of people who share our emails, which is how we attract a lot of our new foster families and volunteers,” Laura explains. “Having a professional-looking email is important for helping us.”

3. Show your work

In addition to announcing upcoming projects, fundraisers, and events; Laura also uses email to keep her audience up-to-date on all the work her organization is currently involved in.

“When we reach a milestone like our first 1,000 dogs saved, we’ll send an email letting people know, or if we have a special case where we are asking for donations, we’ll make sure to send a follow up with updates on their condition,” Laura explains. “We want to make sure people can see the difference their contributions are making.”

In the case of Cindy, the dog whose story helped Rescued Pets Movement raise $10,000, Laura uses a combination of text and photos so donors can see her progress.

With special cases like Cindy, Laura and her team use email to keep donors updated on her progress.
With special cases like Cindy, Laura and her team use email to keep donors updated on her progress.

4. Use a clear call to action

When Rescued Pets Movement is ready to ask their audience to get involved, they make sure to be clear about the action that needs to be taken.

“We get the best response when we are direct with people — telling them what we are doing, what we need, and how they can help,” says Laura.

For Rescued Pets Movement, this has resulted to more people donating, volunteering, and clicking to learn more about this important organization.”