Feedback sought

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:02
ThreadID: 8032 Views:1442 Replies:13 FollowUps:20
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This thread has been created to transfer a topic that has appeared in an un-related thread. All feedback and information appreciated.

This was started with a post from me like this:

And tell then you found the information at ExplorOz.com when you contact them.

... blah .... blah .....

I would love to be able to give $$ but we are still not running at a profit - We keep trying however there are a lot of narrow minded businesses out there that have no idea of the power of the Internet and the number of people that visit this site every day. They just think the touchy feely mags are the only advertising medium - they have no idea what they are missing out on.

I am also going to attach the addional followup threads to this post.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:03

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:03
Andrew posted this followup

I hate to say this but.......
I think that you would have more success selling advertising if you were able to insert a small link in the corner of each post to one of your advertisers. That link could then connect them to somewhere else like you do for Yahoo groups etc. It would have to be much less intrusive - maybe about the size of that tags that members have. Most of the ads on your site are not on the pages that we look at everyday...... I am still trying to work out how to spend $150 in the shop to get a free membership....
Andrew. Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
AnswerID: 34862

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:15

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:15
Ah yes but the every day forum users are not always the target in the advertising we offer. We still have several hundred reads of each of the article pages on the system that do easily support the advertisers and are more targeted to the advertisers products and services.

And yes we have options for people to advertise in the forum but these have not been taken up yet either. They are also still much much cheaper than the mags but alas we have not got the advertiser in this area yet.

$150 in the shop should be easy we give this level of membership award out about 8 times per week without any trouble. We even have many repeat members spending several hundreds per visit to the shop and they already have qualifed for or paid membership. It all depends on how much stuff you already have I guess.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25158

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:20

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 13:20
Just thought I would add that our problem is we have a passive sales team. There are only really two people to attempt to look after the entire site and also work on the sales aspects. The other mediums have many many sales staff and the advertisers pay for them. We have been trying to run lean and mean with low cost advertising to try to appeal to the people who simply cannot afford to pay $2000/mth/page to be in the mags. So for about $12.50/mth they can advertise on ExplorOz, do the maths and you will see that if we want to sell more advertising it is either word of mouth or increase prices and have a sales team.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25159

Follow Up By: koh - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:21

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:21
This subject needs a new string to itself almost, David most people I have spoken to and a few comments noticed on this forum is that we find this site by stumbling on it through places like google etc, get in peoples faces , get on TV or something , get on the back of Buses, you’ll be surprised the difference being noticed just that bit more will do, Get Bloody great posters made up with “EXPLOREOz SPOT” on it so people like me can stick them up on our shop,
Big 4x4 Rigs + Caravans, campers etc touring this State stop in front of my shop about 5 times an hour. Because we get a bit out of this site, We wouldn’t have a problem giving a free Blend 43 with coming in and sayin’ G Day, since I have found this web site I have visited it just about every day for about 5 months now I guess, spoke to you on the phone about a few things and generally found the site well worth the time spent, We are doing a trip soon covering a lot of WA and ill be happy to sponsor a sticker or two on the Vehicles.
TV is expensive I know but try it if you haven’t already. If you were on GWN for example, I personally would advertise with you.
Don’t be frightened to ask your viewers for a bit of help along the way.

Just bring your own snatch strap !

Keep Left !

Cheers Bill
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FollowupID: 25162

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:57

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 14:57
Agreed it needs it own post (I will move it to one) Interesting comment you must miss our full page mag ads (does not suprise me - people in the industry just pick it up look for their own ad and put it down), 17000 stickers already sent out. Flyers in every desert parks pass, flyers from trade shows, press releases in newspapers, and yes the search engines - worked very hard on that (we almost have all keywprds covered now). We have spent a very tidy sum on advertising and we have the stats now 250,000 reader sessions per month (growing at 15-20% per month), hosting rates and data transfers already cost a bomb. Bigger advertising and more readers is always good but if it only always costs me then how does one stay in business?

We are not freightened to ask for help along the way this is called membership and low cost advertising options.

Posters good idea - We will look into it. We already have distributed thousands of flyers at trade shows.

TV agreed but the costs are unbelievable even on regional and then we have the problem about which region - One TV hit across the board for 15 secs $60000 - does not even include how much it costs me to produce it. Would love to of course but I do not have a spare 60K to throw around. Then the advertising costs would need to go up blah blah blah. Dammed if you do and dammed if you don't.
Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25164

Reply By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:15

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:15
Oh yeah - Please do not think this is a cry for funding or that we are going broke. ExplorOz is here to stay - We just want to make it bigger and better. We have a huge user growth currently and our readership is far surpassing the other advertising mediums that are available. We are just interested to hear or find out anyway that you (our users, readers and customers) think we can reach more potential customers.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
AnswerID: 34863

Reply By: Member - Toonfish - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:27

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:27
do you need a vic rep?
i would be interested.
also i have never sen brochures for exploroz around will there be some in melb 4 x 4 show?
keep up the good work1999 NISSAN NAVARA DUALCAB
DIESEL 3.2 & SPRINGY CARLTON TOY
2 awestruck kids (dads driving!)
AnswerID: 34865

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:31

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:31
Jobs vacant is at the bottom of the exploroz "about us" page!
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FollowupID: 25166

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:34

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:34
Vic rep - yes we are looking for reps. Currenty we have Peter in SA doing a great job - but the more the better. Email me off the forum if you are interested in taking some of this on.

Melb show - I think we missed it this year. We generally have one of our existing advertisers have our flyers on the stand. We actually intended to do the trade show circuit (next year) with the vehicle and have computers hanging out of the doors and windows to allow people to use ExplorOz at the shows. However Michelle is pregnant and due mid most of the shows so that plan is on-hold at least for next year.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25167

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:49

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:49
Due mid - most of the shows....... Clearly a multiple pregnancy. Now thinking laterally.. what can we do with that.........maybe a webcast during the shows delivery sponsored by exploroz.....
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FollowupID: 25169

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:11

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:11
If you can overnight some bleep to me I'll take it to the 4wd show... Im there on Saturday.
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FollowupID: 25174

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:42

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:42
Testing .
So you still can have another Andrew.
I'm from Melbourne .
Where is above Andrew from ?
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FollowupID: 25178

Follow Up By: Andrew - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:53

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:53
Melbuntoo
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FollowupID: 25179

Reply By: Member - Des Lexik(SA) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:35

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:35
G'day David, Another suggestion could be to send your flyers to all the 4WD Clubs, Caravan and other organised groups throughout Australia. I'd suggest a flyer to each member would be better than just one to each group.
If that's not feasable, I can distribute about 80 through the club that I'm involved with. You have my private address.ne cede malis
AnswerID: 34867

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:13

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:13
Has already been done to the clubs, or was last time I asked in the process...

Or Exploroz taking out Ads in club magazines. The costs are very small, and the distribution is MASSIVE....
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FollowupID: 25175

Reply By: Andrew - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:42

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 15:42
I don't want to tell you how to run your business - but how would this work. You contact a company - say Hoopers Pliers and offer them an add attached to every intial post for a two week period. This links to an offer so that members of exploroz who buy a set of Hoopers Pliers in November 2003 will get a rebate of eg $20 per plier. (Very expensive pliers). They could apply through you and after they purchase their pliers they could send a copy of the receipt and their membership number to you so that the dealer could send them a rebate. This would grow your membership, sell more pliers, and not cost the advertiser up front and if they get results, they will spend more with you. You obviously have to be the gateway or at least get some feedback about the results. I have seen your ads by the way.
AnswerID: 34868

Reply By: Bazza - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:06

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:06
G'Day David,
I think Des's idea ( SA ) is in the right direction. Targeting all the 4WD clubs & associations is perhaps a good way to go. If you can substancialy increase their use of this site, you should then be able to attract more advertising interest from all the 4wd related traders. You may need to offer incentives to the clubs, perhaps advertising club related matters and by supporting their activities.
Only a thought ......... I hope you succeed in your endevours, it's a great site.
Regards,
Bazza.
AnswerID: 34871

Reply By: bruce.h (WA) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:10

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:10
gday David
you need to revisit the advertisers page & make the free ads less prominant & harder to read , re arrange the paid ads so they look more appealing at the moment there is not much differance other than the abilty to have your logo on the page,so the paid ads & the non paid ads look to much alike
jmho
Regards Bruce
AnswerID: 34873

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:33

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 16:33
Agreed bruce in fact we have already advised the free advertisers that they will be disapearing soon and we will only have paid advertising available.

I know of a few businesses in the system running free that have made several 1000's in sales based on referal from ExplorOz, so they will either pay or not been seen.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25177

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:31

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:31
Bruce,

It was such a good idea and so easy to do that I have now made the free ads less attractive in the business search. Reduced font of keyword listing and also removed the bold around the address details etc.

I may do some more at some stage but good idea - As mentioned we are getting rid of free option soon. Our free option now is one month free trial on all packages so the try before you buy lasts for 1 month then you must pay to keep going. Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25201

Reply By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:12

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:12
David and Michelle is my banner running if it is you forgot to bill me last month. How can I check if my banner is running.
All the best
Eric
4x4 tag along adventuresCape York Connections
AnswerID: 34893

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:15

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:15
Eric,
I am sure it is and you were billed. Anyway just click on the Manage button in the green customer bar this will take you to your campaign settings. Have a look down the page you will see the banner section. The main page will tell you the number of banners running and your current max budget. If you click to Edit the banners you will be able to see a breakdown of each banner and the current costs etc.

Let me know if there is a problem.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25197

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:19

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:19
I just checked for you and yes it is running, you were billed on the 1/10, invoice and statement both sent to your email with payment processed on 8/10 via CC.

Anyway have a look at the Manage Screen and make sure all your stuff is still correct.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25198

Follow Up By: Eric from Cape York Connections - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:31

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 19:31
Many thanks I will check my statment again.
All the best
EricCape York Connections
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FollowupID: 25202

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 20:30

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 20:30
David,
Another idea....Instead of giving away free membership see if you can give away one of your spare wheel covers. Say for instance if one buys from the shop and one buys a membership, then a free spare wheel cover is in order. I am certain that you will get 100% of new members fitting their wheel covers to their vehicles and that will be good advertising. It may be a small number at first but should grow steadily and your advertsing potential is enhanced. You could also entice existing members to buy covers at cost plus freight. Once the whell cover is on a vehicle it is continuous advertising without further cost.
Cheers,
Willem

Wat vas is, skud los
Wat los is, val af !
AnswerID: 34902

Follow Up By: Member - Glenn(VIC) - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:01

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:01
Hi Willem/David,

I proudly display two stickers on my vehicle and already have the spare wheel cover. Having just spent four weeks on the road in central Australia, I was disappointed that no-one asked about the wheel cover or where I had bought it from. I met heaps of people in caravan parks and camp sites, and to each I spoke to I talked about the ExplorOz site in detail and how informative and friendly it is. Unfortunately I only had one spare sticker to pass onto one of the people I met, but I did mention to him that the company he is a franchisee for, is now an advertiser on this site. If I had had fliers, more stickers or even fridge magnets, I would have handed them out to all those I had met. I would have also posted them on the display boards in caravan parks etc.

I know this doesn't really help you David, but I know that if I had more info on hand to give to those I had met, they too may have visited the site and maybe become members. One family I met already knew of the site (we met up for dinner in Alice Springs due to it) but were not members. I explained the benefits of doing so.

I am a firm believer in helping out the small Australian owned and run businesses as much as I can. If there is anything else I can do, let me know. I would even have magnetic signs attached to my car doors if that would help.

Keep up the good work. Word of mouth is still the best form of advertising, unfortunately David, it doesn't appear to be assisting you in making this a more profitable site.

CheersJust Do It!

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FollowupID: 25208

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:03

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:03
Agree again - BTW: With members free freight ($8.00 each), 5% membermoney, credit card merchant fees and Juliana's salary I do not actually make any money already at $60.

I wanted the wheel covers to be a cheap as possible however different size requirements etc etc they cost a fair bit to buy and take a fair bit of space to store.

I really do think it has merit to give these out as cheap as I can I want every 4WD to have one on the back - excellent advertising. But each one without anything added cost more than $42 each.

Membership does not actually cost me dollars in real terms to give away. I have written all the software already to manage it. It just comes as a lose but not a cost, if you get my meaning.

Excellent feedback and thanks I will see if there is something I can do I have intended to run a load of comps with wheel covers as give aways.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25209

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:09

Thursday, Oct 23, 2003 at 21:09
Glenn,

Thanks for the info. Just let us know when you are travelling and we will send some stuff over your way. That goes for anyone that is willing to pass out the info. Interesting enough on our CSR trip we actually only found a couple of groups that did not know us. The majority certainly did and if they did not they know now.

Also don't think the word of mouth is not working it certainly is - I am just trying to work out if we have missed something or our offering is some way incorrect. Word of mouth is the best and the more it happens the better the site gets for all. Thanks again for your assistance.Regards
ExplorOz Team - David
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Always working, not enough travelling ;-)
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FollowupID: 25210

Reply By: Member - Royce- Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 00:20

Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 00:20
Whatever you do keep on keeping on with what you do.... I reckon this is a far superior site to any other..... eventually by word of mouth it will grow.... and GROW! I wear your sticker and would probably wear and even bigger one! Maybe when you send out one..... you should send out several. Cheers RoyceRoyce www.funshow.com.au
AnswerID: 34931

Reply By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 00:34

Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 00:34
Hi David
I always recommend ExploreOz to anyone I'm talking to about 4WDing, vehicles, caravaning & businesses. It would be handy if we had some maybe business card size handout with your site address etc, Black & White and simple save's looking for a pencil & paper.
Just My Thoughts

CheersPrado TD Auto
AnswerID: 34933

Reply By: Member - Bradley- Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 11:47

Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 11:47
G'day David, just a quick idea for advertisers / forum. When a member or visitor wants to post a forum question, the site should check for keywords and when the post appears the advertisers who have selected a link to the keywords have a small link icon appear at the base or along the side of the post. Cost could be in proportion to amount of keywords "purchased". Keep up the great work and let us know if we can help.. BradLife is short- but there's always time for a yarda.
AnswerID: 34958

Follow Up By: ExplorOz Team - David - Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 12:28

Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 12:28
Brad,

Yes I can do this however the problem is not the advertising ideas from our end it is getting to speak to the advertisers. I have forum advertising options and if someone wants something specific like that then I can create that fairly easily. Our real problem is getting in front of the advertisers and this is where the posters, stickers, mag ads, word of mouth etc is supposed to help.

As you know we have the readers in fact we surpass the pubished circulation of BOTH 4WD mags put together on a monthly basis. Most of our current advertisers are happy (I think) with the performance - not many of the paid advertisers leave the system once they start. We are flexible and have all sorts of advertising options available. I guess we really suffer the from the intangable Internet thing and the fact that people may not believe our stats. Best thing about or stats is that they are real and measurable. We just need a way to get more advertisers on board.

The mags have a place and the Internet has a place we are an Internet business that does not produce a Mag or books (yet) and can offer the best Internet options available for this market. We are not a book or mag provider that dables in the Internet because we think we have to stay in the market. We directly hit the Internet hard and provide what all Internet readers what - A Good quality site with loads of targeted information that suits the market free for people to read and contribute.

Thanks for your post comments and thoughts on the Tanami pump thread and also this one.
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FollowupID: 25268

Reply By: diamond(bendigo) - Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 19:26

Friday, Oct 24, 2003 at 19:26
gday david.
as said by bernie i think buisness cards.
im for ever writing on scrap bits of paper the email addy.
dont know how mant hours ive yacked with customers about this site.
if you get any made ill have 100 to start with.
keep up the great work.back by popular demand
:-)
AnswerID: 35012

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