Review wanted for Poker Training Site

by pojax 27 replies
Hey i launched my new poker training school OutstandingPoker.com
Just not seeing that great of a conversion rate as I am seeing with other sites I run.
Is this because i am running a membership site with recuring income?
Can you guys review the sales page to see if anything on the site should be changed?
Ie. too many testamonials etc.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #poker #review #sales page review #site #training #training center #wanted
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael D
    I think the site looks great. I don't really see anything wrong with the copy either, but I am not a copywriter. I am wondering what kind of traffic are you are targeting? I know from personal experience I use to play online poker quite a bit about 3 years ago. Then, the US passed the no online gambling laws and I didn't think about playing again. I know there are ways around this but I didn't know how to go about that. If you are targeting US traffic maybe you should mention this because if people are like me they don't even know they can play if they live in the US.
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    • Profile picture of the author pojax
      Well basically we are really on affiliate marketing. So far we have just had a bunch of lists that we have pushed. Plus we tried to SEO the site. Creating articles, submitting them to article sites. Submitting to directories etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ricter
      It would be against U.S. law, would it not, to explain how *aaaahhhproxyserverservicecchhooooo!!!!*, pardon me, to play online poker from the U.S.?
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      • Profile picture of the author pojax
        The purpose of this post is for you guys to review the site and see if there is something I can change. And to suggest a few ways to generate traffic to it.
        It is not against the law to teach someone how to play online poker!
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        • Profile picture of the author Michael D
          I did review the site so no need to get testy. If online poker is illegal in the US why would I pay $97 dollars to learn how to play. So my suggestion for generating traffic would be through PPC targeting countries other then the US like Canada and UK.
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          • Profile picture of the author pojax
            Its not illegal. You can play on a ton of sites. Well at least a lot of the major sites like fulltilt and poker stars are allowing people to play!
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            • Profile picture of the author Ricter
              You are right. Only the financial transaction part of online gambling is illegal in the U.S. Consequently, a major like Party Poker will not allow players logged in the U.S. based IP addresses to sit down at a table.

              Anyway, as an online poker player, and one of the hypnotized masses, I did not see anything in the top third of your page, the only part I can see without scrolling, that grabs my attention, that is, something that differentiates yours from all the other how to play poker online and win consistently sites.
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael D
              Originally Posted by pojax View Post

              Its not illegal. You can play on a ton of sites. Well at least a lot of the major sites like fulltilt and poker stars are allowing people to play!
              Well if that is the case I didn't know that and I bet a lot of people don't know that as well so maybe you would want to include that in your copy somewhere for US players.
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              • Profile picture of the author Scott Murdaugh
                Originally Posted by Michael D View Post

                Well if that is the case I didn't know that and I bet a lot of people don't know that as well so maybe you would want to include that in your copy somewhere for US players.
                Or use it as a selling point.

                "Do you live in the US? Don't worry, online poker is still 100% legal to play. I can show you which rooms to play in and how to deposit so you can start earning money from online poker today."

                And for those who think otherwise, it IS legal to play in the US. I've studied the law on that as much as anyone. I'm an avid player myself.
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                • I run a reasonable successful site about the poker blog niche. Poker sites of any kind are hard to make an impact in right now, and you're competiting with the big names, cardrunners, lots of printed books, poker forums etc. So, it's not clear what the differential is between your site and others.

                  For instance, I look at your records and notice that you've been playing for four years and have $38,000 in bankroll. That doesn't seem like a great achievement at only $10,000 a year for a winning pro. Now I very rarely get the chance to play right now, but that doesn't sound like anything out of the ordinary.

                  I suspect that you've probably cashed out much more than that (so what's the profit), won satellites to big name events etc - those are the kind of things that attract people.

                  I'm also not convinced that the package is that attractive, particularly the recurring part of it.

                  I'm going to throw a few ideas at you which might be a good way of using what you have there already. Nothing earth-shattering. You might want to set up a second site with the same content for testing:
                  (1) get some testimonials from a known pro (a TV face), or ideally some videos from them. If that's too difficult in the US market considering going more localised. For instance, there are a lot of pros in the UK with name value who would be interested in something like this, and marketing the same content, but at a UK market, would work wonders. Same with many other countries.
                  (2) Consider some personalised bonuses - for instance you will watch and critique play for a set amount of time for new members, or review hand histories.
                  (3) Look to licence the content for existing sites.
                  (4) Consider some joint ventures, and offer some exclusive bonuses/discounts for those ventures.
                  (5) How about a video showing what's inside the member's area.
                  (6) I would rename the monthly articles, the idea of an article sounds unexciting, as do the titles.

                  What kind of market research have you done to find out what poker players are looking for in a membership site?

                  On the positive side, the site looks well designed and you've got some great second stream income sources set up inside, with the poker affiliate offers etc.

                  Hope that's useful and the level of critique you were looking for.
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                  • Profile picture of the author pojax
                    Thanks for all your help.
                    We are trying to make sure that this site is wholesome and doesn't look like a scam.
                    In our backend we have tons of content for our members. Peter, dont you think that promising them an actual amount they can make off of playing poker is very misleading?
                    Yes i agree bonuses can be good!
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                    • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
                      Originally Posted by pojax View Post

                      Thanks for all your help.
                      We are trying to make sure that this site is wholesome and doesn't look like a scam.
                      In our backend we have tons of content for our members. Peter, dont you think that promising them an actual amount they can make off of playing poker is very misleading?
                      Yes i agree bonuses can be good!
                      Hey bro,

                      Got your email today. I sent you one back as well.

                      I've killed it in this niche, will continue to kill it, and will help you to get a better return on your site.

                      First of all, you say you want the site to look wholesome and not like a scam.

                      Well, believe it or not, you may have better conversions if it's edgy, and looking a bit more like a scam. My sites in this niches have been TERRIBLE. But guess what? They always converted really well.

                      Wholesome is not the way to go here.

                      The main problem you have right now is no unique USP. Nothing about your site stands out from the others really. Outstanding Poker isn't really that enticing. It may be wholesome, but something like "Criminal Poker" would catch more eyeballs. Especially if it had a story about a guy who did time and learned all his tricks of the trade in the joint winning cigarettes.

                      It needs a story.

                      I will admit it does look nice and professional though. But I'll take my 3rd grade looking site with wicked copy over a nice and professional site any day of the week.

                      I see you did use the income claim in the headline rewrite.

                      I've used this and it works well. However, instead of $1000 even, make it $1237 or something. Make sure it's ambigious and doesn't imply they will actually win that amount.

                      And don't believe the stories about this niche being dead. Our latest launch internally crushed it.

                      We are opening it back up to the public in about a week. Hope to have you on board.

                      Believe it or not, I've had my biggest days in this niche with NO PROOF, and NO TESTIMONIALS!

                      It's all in the copy and knowing how to appeal to these guys.

                      I can show you other letters that have annihilated this niche too, and they break all the rules.

                      Best of luck.

                      J-Mo
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                      • Profile picture of the author Tuzic
                        Banned
                        Hi,

                        i like the website but theres too many testimonials & sometimes a website looks like they're really exaggerating or voer hyping like this, but other than that i like it,.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chris Lockwood
      Originally Posted by Michael D View Post

      I know from personal experience I use to play online poker quite a bit about 3 years ago. Then, the US passed the no online gambling laws and I didn't think about playing again. I know there are ways around this but I didn't know how to go about that. If you are targeting US traffic maybe you should mention this because if people are like me they don't even know they can play if they live in the US.
      People play poker all over the US in person, so as long as the site is teaching people how to play the game, there should be a demand for it.
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      • Profile picture of the author cbwa
        I'm very impressed with the suggestions posted here, I'd add only one more.

        1/4 of the way down your page, the items on the left (which you could eliminate if they're a traffic leak - or put them inside your page - like the testimonials for example) are completed and there's a lot of empty, white space for the remaining 3/4s of your page.

        I suggest you eliminate the left column, and incorporate only those items that further your message into the body of the ONE single column of info.
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      • Profile picture of the author TimG
        I play Texas Hold'Em quite a bit and also sell an ebook that focuses on how to win at online poker so I was very interested in looking your site over. Personally, I like it except for 1 feature and that is as you scroll down the site everything is shifted to the rigth of the screen. I know this is based on the menu items you have on the left at the top of your page but it seems like a turn-off asthetically speaking in my eyes.

        Personally, I don't really care for the long salesletters that most people like to use. I think if you shortned the sales copy up a bit and had the infomation in a better layout the conversions might increase.

        Can you tell where your traffic is coming from? You mentioned that you mailed out to your lists, not sure if they were into poker or not. I'd set this up on clickbank and then write and submit hordes of poker related articles driving as much targeted poker manic traffic back to your site.

        For my ebook I have submitted very few articles but they are ranked well and my conversions have been outstanding.

        Tim
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        • Profile picture of the author pojax
          Tim - The site is setup on Clickbank. and the lists were very targeted. I used to run sitngopro.com before I sold it a while back. Had a great list from there.
          And what kind of articles have you submitted for your poker site.
          Are these strategy articles? Or are they current event articles about poker sites.
          Are you submiting these articles to article sites? Can you show me an example?
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          • Profile picture of the author TimG
            Originally Posted by pojax View Post

            Tim - The site is setup on Clickbank. and the lists were very targeted. I used to run sitngopro.com before I sold it a while back. Had a great list from there.
            And what kind of articles have you submitted for your poker site.
            Are these strategy articles? Or are they current event articles about poker sites.
            Are you submiting these articles to article sites? Can you show me an example?
            I got your PM and will drop you a response sometime late tonight showing what I've been doing for my poker ebook. I'm currently tied up working on another article marketing product I'm trying to get released this week and watching the new Prison Break premier.

            Respectfully,
            Tim
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            • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
              Good to see you've already put some suggestions into practice. After clearing my cache the load time is way faster. I notice your new headline is a re-wording of another clickbank product, worth testing I suppose.

              If you have an actual story of someone making a regular daily amount, it won't average exactly as $1200. Take J-Mo's advice and make it an odd number, $1286.34 - it will sound more believable.

              Looking a lot better - still prefer a different colour scheme though

              Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Bestel
    I think you have all the elements of a good site; decent graphics, good layout, some good copy and you're capturing email addys. But, I must admit, I didn't really like it too much.

    I'm on a reasonable broadband connection and the page (particularly the top banner) took ages to load, probably in the region of 30 secs. Too long I think for today's impatient surfer.

    I'd like to see a richer colour scheme. Dark reds, greens and blacks are the norm in this niche and for good reason - they convey wealth and a feel of the casino. I think the pale blues (esp mixing two pale blues) doesn't really work. I also think the font of the main copy is a little too small - kind of looks like it's going to be boring to read.

    I play online poker quite a lot so this is a niche that interests me, but I wasn't interested enough in your site to find out what you're selling. Nothing grabbed me from the start so I'd find myself clicking away if you hadn't asked us to review it.

    Maybe you would have got me if you had a definite headline selling the real benefits. You know, something like:

    If you play poker online and want to know how you could be in profit by $1000 every day, then this could be the secret you've been looking for

    Yeah it's corny, but it grabs attention and tells them the benefits of what you're offering.

    Dear frustrated Poker Player might be a better salutation, after all, that's who your market is, right? Then you can speak to them directly. Make them believe that you know what they're feeling without actually saying "I know what you're feeling" - people hate that!

    The 'News and Updates' box confused me. If this is a sales page,why confuse your prospects with info like that? Is it adding to the pitch? If not, move it or write a separate landing page (I think you should do that anyhow)

    I didn't like the corner fold either - it just distracted me from the main page Make your main page interesting enough so you don't have to use gimmicks like that.

    Obviously these are just my opinions and I'm sorry for they appear over-critical... but you did ask!

    BTW I liked the testimonials and in fact I think you need to make more of them. Shove some up nearer the top, especially if you make claims in your headline.

    Good luck

    Peter
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Walls
    Hi Pojax

    I'm gonna be harsh with you...I know the poker niche well from a players point of view.

    I don't think the site is the issue...its the product. Even thought I'm not your target market, I wouldn't join it...heres why.

    The big sign up fee screams that you don't expect people to stay. There is little value on show...an article about cbetting and and EV...hmmm.

    Throw in some articles about flop floating, re-stealing, playing gapped connectors, small balling, bluff frequencies...a bit more advanced stuff without giving all the goods away...deliver real value upfront. Show them some goods before you ask them to sign up...or else theres no reason to sign up. Any player worth his salt will pass on your current offer. Your offer makes you look like a semi decent mid stakes grinder.

    Drop the sign up, and you might see people sign up in more numbers, put the monthly subscription price up 2 or 3 fold with a discount for 3,6 and 12 month packages. Get some endorsements from some well known high stakes players.

    Bring a few in and allow them to coach your members for an hourly fee or a player introduction. You know where to find them I'm sure.

    Charge the coaches the first hour as a fee and then let then develop the relationship with the student. Make sure the hourly fee is hundreds of dollars per hour. $14 a month looks WAY too cheap in this market.

    Barry

    PS - 21/16...you obviously know what you're doing. 4 tabling, you're making $148 per our...8 hours to make $1200...hardly an evening. Go with the hourly rate...not the daily rate....its pretty good for the games you're playing.

    Edited to say I've clocked a million hands at 10/20 with a very respectable win rate
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  • Profile picture of the author BeeJay
    I freaken love poker. Love it. Could play it all day.

    You've already gotten some great tips here so I'm really only reinforcing a few points.

    The site looks fine, but for some reason I like the sites with a dark theme. Cardrunners (the old theme), Pokerschool, PokerVT...all have dark themes. I dunno...they work for me.

    Less is more as far as sales copy is concerned. Some of the best sales pages I've seen for products or sites with affiliate programs has been short, sweet, and actually doesn't give too much detail. What losing poker players are looking for is a way to win. The biggest selling point you have is 'I win, and I'll show you how to win as well'. That's a great selling point, why clutter it with copy that makes it sound like we need to learn a bunch of complicated stuff. Anyone at poker knows already that they need to learn a bunch of stuff, but the reality is they can't apply it for crap or they wouldn't be losers anymore. Give them copy that presents a clear, clean approach to going from donkey to dominator and sell it with benefits.

    Features tell, benefits sell. Losing players don't want to be told they can access an article on positive EV inside. They can access nine hundred articles and 54 books that are going to tell them all about +EV. What they want is YOU, or someone else LIKE YOU (ie. winners) to show them how to stop sucking worse than my granmammy on a corn cob and how to avoid being the fish at the table.

    You do need a unique selling point. You're going up against the likes of Townsend, Caby, Negreanu and other established name pro's offering poker training sites in a similar price range. Two things that build confidence here. One is that people want access to you, or those advocating the site. They don't want to be left in the cold with a static resource. Secondly, rep power. Any endorsements, testimonials etc you can get can only help. I'd read testimonials all day about a site like that. The best testimonials also have specifics. Y'know...I was a $200 a week loser at the penny tables and now I crush $5/10 NLHE on Stars, FT and PP. Do you have an affiliate program? Get an up and commer and offer them commissions for anyone who joins through a promotion page on the site set up for them.

    On the price, I think the $97 sign up is high in comparison to the monthly. I'd want some pretty rock solid info before I fork out $100 just on principle, but I'd pay $40 without thinking twice to test a site out. How about giving a few instructional video's for people to test. Or a 7 day trial limited access pass or something. Anything that builds confidence in your site will help with repeat business, and I'm sure you'll be striving to keep members happy.

    I thought of a bunch of other stuff but the missus just came in and distracted me

    Good luck. If you want anyone to review the guts of the site, let me know. I'd report on progress if it helped.
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    • Profile picture of the author atta22
      Hi guys,

      I'm atta22... the poker pro at oustandingpoker.com. Let me first admit that I don't have much experience with internet marketing and don't really know any tricks of the trade (although my partner pojax has quite a few products under his belt).

      We really appreciate all the comments. I know there is a market for poker training sites, because having personally used cardrunners, it can transform you into a winning player overnight. And cardrunners is raking in millions of dollars per year. I know that we can't compete with them directly given the number of big name pros they have and now their brand, but one thing I've found is that they definitely do not cater toward the beginning player. They are setup for players who already know the game pretty well and want to take the next step. All their videos are predicated on the fact that you already know a lot of the concepts surrounding position, expected value, implied odds, starting hands, etc. As a beginner I would be overwhelmed.

      So when pojax came to me to talk about another poker training site and whether it would be viable, I said yes, if we cater to the lower end of the market. Most of the content on the site is geared toward these players. And given the feedback we've got from existing members, it is definitely valuable for them.

      As a non-internet-marketer, I personally can't stand all these cheap marketing tricks, basically tricking customers into buying your product. I realize that these tricks do probably work, which is why I've settled with pojax on the specific sales page we have at outstandingpoker.com, but what I really want to promote is the value of the product. Our 35+ videos are such a superior product to all these ebooks and strategy guides that flood the internet with all the internet marketing hype (no offense Jason - I read all your launch emails for Black Hat and I have to congratulate you, I can tell people must have ate it up).

      Existing members of ours rave about the quality of the content. This is what I want to highlight on the sales page, but I'm unsure how to best do it. We have over 40 hours worth of videos showing you specifically how you can be a consistent winner at online poker. The truth of the matter is, after watching our content, I would say that anyone with half a brain can grind out at least $30/hour playing micro-stakes online (and that's just the start - I average ~$300/hr playing online).

      So I guess my question is - how do we optimally convey the value of the product on the sales page? How can we really convey that people can easily start making $30/hour playing poker? There is not any scam or fabrication behind these claims - it really isn't difficult at all. All my claims about my personal winrate and such are not fabricated it any way.

      Secondly, I think our pricing is off, but I'm unsure how we should price it. We've had a couple people email and say they're interested but don't want to pay the monthly fee. I put out a new video every week, customized to cover topics that our current members are interested in, so I think a monthly subscription is best - but what do you guys think would be optimal for signup/monthly fee?

      As I make enough with online poker itself, I'm not concerned about making a quick hit with outstandingpoker.com - I'm more concerned about growing it into a long-term membership site with a sizeable member base and real potential. Pojax and I have talked about adding more recognizable pros once we get rolling.

      Thanks for all the help - really appreciate it.
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Gentry
        I think the site looks good but I think it is a very tough niche market.
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      • Profile picture of the author Barry Walls
        Originally Posted by atta22 View Post

        Hi guys,

        So I guess my question is - how do we optimally convey the value of the product on the sales page?
        Easy...give people a look at the product.

        Give some quality away for free on the sales page or have a weeks free membership before their card is charged...show what you've got and take the risk away from the buyers.

        You aren't Daniel Negraneau...No one knows you and people can't see what you have unless you show some of it. They aren't going to pay to look, as you're finding out...you HAVE to convince people...and your sales page isn't convincing or enlightening or. Why not put 2 or 3 videos on the sales page. Give some very valuable tips out FOR FREE.

        Then people will ask themselves, if info this good is free, what is the stuff inside the members area like?

        Then they will buy.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Moffatt
        Originally Posted by atta22 View Post

        Hi guys,

        I
        Existing members of ours rave about the quality of the content. This is what I want to highlight on the sales page, but I'm unsure how to best do it. We have over 40 hours worth of videos showing you specifically how you can be a consistent winner at online poker. The truth of the matter is, after watching our content, I would say that anyone with half a brain can grind out at least $30/hour playing micro-stakes online (and that's just the start - I average ~$300/hr playing online).

        So I guess my question is - how do we optimally convey the value of the product on the sales page? How can we really convey that people can easily start making $30/hour playing poker? There is not any scam or fabrication behind these claims - it really isn't difficult at all. All my claims about my personal winrate and such are not fabricated it any way.
        To tell you the truth dude, your problem is not conveying the product at this point.

        People really don't care about it that much. Seriously, they don't.

        You need to sell these people the "Pipe Dream" and give them a great story.

        I know you aren't into hype and all that jazz, but I'm telling you the actual product is probably the last of your worries at this point.

        It's your marketing angle you need to focus on.

        That's not to say you should deliver a sub par product, but people aren't going to buy because of your videos and such.

        They are going to buy to...

        1. Become rich
        2. Be on ESPN
        3. Win a WSOP bracelet
        4. Stop getting sucked out on
        5. Feel like they are the man

        They don't care about your videos.

        They care about themselves and their egos!
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  • Your site looks very professional and equally well designed, but I think you have a lot of room for improvement.

    1) Instead of "become a profitable poker player and start making money today!" why not try "become a six figure poker player and start making money in 24 hours!"

    2) You need some more video on your sales page. Have a video of you talking about your love of playing poker and about your site. Offer a video tour of the members area, make a video of you talking about your money back guarantee, have a video of you logging into your account and showing your earnings, etc. The more video you have on your sales page the higher your conversions will be (so long as the videos are professional looking).

    3) Try an exit pop up. These things are annoying but they work. When someone hits the back button, be sure to reoffer them your free full length training video once again. You can use a psychic pop up which only cost about $20.

    4) I'm not a very big fan of your current sales letter. The actual copy isn't bad, its the way its formatted that bothers me. I don't think you should have anything in the right margin at all as it really just distracts the reader and distraction = no sale.

    I think you should structure your sales letter in the typical sales letter format, forget about the blue cells and the quotes at the top. In fact, I actually wasn't even sure this was a sales letter until I scrolled a little further down the page.

    Also be sure to split test any changes you make to see how they stack up against each other.
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