Why doesn’t the Tax Office send “Thank You” notes?

Paying taxes is one of the most ungratifying process because you never get a thank you for the money you pay. Everywhere else in the world where you pay money you tend to get a thank you. The blood sweat and tears you have put into working to earn that money that you pay to the tax office deserves a thank you.

The smallest gesture like that would dramatically increase its NPS score and actually turn a lot of people from hating them to thinking they were ok and fair.



Conference Roundup from Affili@Syd

Dear Fred,

Thank you so much for attending the 3rd Annual Affili@syd conference on Wednesday, and helping to make it such a successful day. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

All of the videos and presentations from the event will be available over the next couple of days at In the meantime, we have posted several presentations on Slideshare here. Please do check them out, and let me know what you think!

Susan has posted her presentation at and Dave Cupples has already posted his at

Murray Kester from Affclicks was going to be on one of our panels, but was held up by the volcanic ash, and so has posted his presentation here:

Some personal highlights of the day for me:

Susan’s keynote was really powerful as she emphasised that a lot of online marketers focus too much on where they are getting traffic from, whilst neglecting the conversion side once consumers arrive at a landing page or Web site. She walked through the audience through an entire buying cycle for a typical consumer within her own affiliate network.

I really liked the E-Commerce panel, and thought that MD Bjorn Behrendt was great as he outlined how in 9 months from launch Styletread has grown to be the no.1 online shoe retailer in the Australian market. Funny how good product, pricing and customer service works!

I also liked Jonathan Barouch’s wake up call to online retailers in Australia.

The Group Buying Panel was lively given it’s such a hot topic at the moment – a fascinating 12 months ahead in that space.

Our theory on delivering Case Studies this year was very positively received by most people I spoke to – Rick Merten’s presentation on Ingham certainly generated a lot of questions, and I think everyone has been very impressed by Styletread’s speed to market and growth.

Dave Cupples was great, and I saw people scribbling furiously as they tried to keep up with the sheer volume of content he delivered – I think that is a young man that will go far in our industry!

As it is every year the ‘Power Affiliate Panel’ was one of the favourites. James from Online Media Junkies had some great insights into the day-to-day thinking of a Super Affiliate, Susan was pretty forthright especially with regards to a certain large global online media company, and Fred Schebesta from Hive Empire was just…Fred!

We will also be sending out a survey on Monday to all participants – I would love it if you could fill that out as it helps us make this event that much better every year.

From all of us at Viva9 thanks again for your interest and attendance. Please don’t hesitate to drop me a line if you have any ideas or questions or just want to catch up for a coffee or beer! Cheers,

Matt Bateman

Managing Director


What does he mean by “Fred was just… Fred”??


2 Ideas: Bing could leverage Word and Why State…

1. Microsoft Word could be leveraged to Bing’s advantage

Imagine if Microsoft scraped all of the word docs that are produced with its program and analysed the data. That could potentially provide an amazing starting point to the human lexicon. This would help them improve their n-graph algorithm. If they also analysed what anchor text was used for links out to other websites they would be very clean and a lot less manipulated than the ones on the internet.

They might need to combine this together with internet data to get a more web focused picture. But, fundamentally I think you might get yourself some new insights as to what to rank where.

2. Why is State of Origin Dead? – Its quite simple, the product quality has gone down.

  • No Matty Johns – A play maker is required to combat: Lockyer and Thurston. Someone to take risks and make the game fun again.
  • No Biff – More blood is required and no risk of any repercussions afterwards.

CrazyDomains CEBIT Photos Booth Babes has hit a 6 and grabbed all of the attention at CeBit.

If you missed the photos, check below:

Hannover Fairs, organiser of this week’s CeBIT IT trade show in Sydney, is to monitor the attire of “booth babes” in future exhibitions to address concerns that the show floor of the business-focused event has strayed into trashy territory. more


Video Marketing David Ogilvy Style

Thank you to Efrain for finding this superb video by David Ogilvy. I love the straight up no fuss way Ogilvy says it. I would also have to agree that if you substituted the words words “Direct Marketing” for “Online Marketing” although I would leave the “Direct Response” words in there to call David our Ambassador of Online Marketing.

Give this video to your branding colleagues for a laugh at least.


Are you Struggling to Write your Online Marketing Business…

Breaking through Online Marketing Business Plan Block

When I started my business everything I read, everyone I spoke to and my own logic told me that I needed to write a business plan. But I always struggled to write one. I never knew why until 5 years on, when I can look back with a bit of perspective. Sure the time was always hard to find although I would find the time and just start writing. I realise now that the real problem was because I didn’t really understand how a business worked nor how it grew, I lacked experience. I honestly didn’t know what to plan for.

After all my experiences with building and continuing to grow Freestyle Media, I feel I could easily write a business plan for a new business. I could probably estimate expenses and predict revenues quite easily. I have learnt that I won’t be able to predict to 1 decimal place since business is dynamic and things change. I have learnt that businesses grow slowly to be sustainable and they tend to grow at the speed of experience the people running it have.

Throughout my journeys the way in which I learnt what to plan for in the business was through asking other people who had already been down the path. I also hired more experienced people to guide me and give me insights as to what to consider.

Is your 2008 online marketing plan like your business plan tough to write? Do you feel you need some more experience? Online marketing experience is rare to find although easily learnt.

4 Tips to Quickly Build Your Online Marketing Experience

  1. Read voraciously – Consume books, videos, dvds, articles and whitepapers to fuel your hunger for knowledge. Normally, you will take out 3 or 4 things from each piece of material. Most of it is usually filled with filler or things you already knew. Read it quickly and skip over areas that you feel are not valuable. Because you have so much information to read try and be conscious of how fast you are reading and try and speed it up.
  2. Test your new knowledge – Create experiments and little websites, emails, buy small amounts of paid search engine marketing or tinker with a current website. Your experience will grow in the mistakes and wins that you get from these and your real experiments. Copy a competitor’s tinkerings and create a similar experiment to learn from what they have done.
  3. Talk to people in a similar situation – Other people in other niches will have brilliant ways of solving problems that you experience right now. Sometimes they can illuminate a long way down a knowledge path. For example, how do they use analytics and what program have they put in place to manage and maintain it.
  4. Go to events – The difficultly with just reading is its 1 way learning its not 2 way, where you can ask questions and immediately solve that little problem in your mind. After you read things on your own you tend to build up a series of learnings but also a whole knew series of other questions. If you can solve those then and there on the spot that is when you get speed learning.

If you want to help points 1, 3 and 4 perhaps consider my online marketing seminar “Online Traffic Power” on the 28th of February. Meet other marketers in your position, share experiences and ideas and most of all improve your online marketing knowledge to gain more traffic and leads from your website.