A guy I follow on Twitter took me on an unexpected trip down memory lane this week by talking about the Million Dollar Homepage.

This assault on the eyeballs was a big story in about 2005 when a student started selling slots on it to fund his university course. The story got picked up by media worldwide and it actually sold all the spaces.

Well, I was one of them, and judging by it’s position I was in fairly early.

This is the banner I put up. Can you find it?

I did a bit of digging and found the landing page it went to as well.

(Don’t be alarmed at the design. This was 2005 remember!)

Now, the link itself didn’t do that much for us, but by some quirk of how SEO worked back then, we ranked #1 on Google for “Win an XBox” for at least a year.

That SEO ranking brought us tens of thousands of new names into our email list.

And you know how we made the most money from them?

Sending them to other XBox promotions.


There are 2 lessons in here that most people overlook.

  1. Your leads want one thing from you. Don’t stray too far from your lane.
    Even sending Playstation promotions to¬† this segment didn’t do as well as we hoped.
  2. Whatever they buy from you, they will buy from plenty of other places as well.

This is something that US businesses seem to know better than in the UK.

They’re a lot happier to promote each other’s deals than I see over here.

I don’t mean swapping lists. That’s pretty much a dead art now, but sending “reader offers” and other recommendations to each others’ lists is a much bigger part of how they do business.

It just works, and it works on 2 levels

  • They’re reading about a subject that you know they’re interested in.
    That’s the obvious bit.
  • They’re reading about it in a medium they’re interested in.

If you’re looking for responsive email names, the very best place you can find them is on another email list.

If you have an offer that’s doing ok, but not great, to cold traffic. Drop me a note in reply to this email.

I’m looking to put some of the people on my list in touch with each other and this seems like the ideal way to do it.

Let’s help each other out a bit this summer?

Stephen Pratley
Copy & Conversion Consultant
The Conversion Co.

c/o The Conversion Co., 2a The High Street, Thames Ditton, KT7 0RY, United Kingdom
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