Chris Worfolk's Blog


Why optimise your Facebook ads for conversions?

April 26th, 2017 | Business & Marketing

When creating Facebook ads, you can choose a variety of campaign objectives: website traffic, clicks, conversions, purchases, leads, page likes, the list goes on.

For most campaigns, you will be choosing between clicks and conversions. Some people have suggested it doesn’t make much difference. But my testing disagrees. We’ve seen a large amount of difference between who clicks and who converts.

The audiences are different

Over at Restaurant Psychology we have a survival checklist to help restaurants owners create a great experience. It is a pared down version of my book Why Restaurants Fail – And What To Do About It. To promote it, I launched a Facebook ad.

It’s not a fancy design. I tried fancy designs, and this converts better.

To start with, I wanted to make sure everything was working and that people responded to the advert. So I set up a campaign with the objective of clicks. The audience responded well, and we achieved around a 3% click-thru rate, which is pretty kick-ass for Facebook.

What is perhaps more interesting though, is that it was predominantly women who were clicking on the ad.

What happens when we changed the objective?

Once this was done, I set up a new campaign. This one had the objective of getting conversions. That means it was optimised for people to sign-up to get the checklist, rather than just click on the ad. Facebook went to work and found these people.

And they were different.

Despite the fact that women were more likely to click on the advert, they almost never signed up to get the checklist. They made up 62% of the clicks, but only 4% of the conversions.

What is going on here?

Facebook is very good at predicting what a user will do. Scarily good.

And it knows that, for example, women are more likely to click on my advert, while men are far more likely to sign-up when they do click on it. Therefore, it delivers the advert to a very different audience based on what campaign objective I choose.

What objective should you choose for your campaign?

What objective you pick will depend on what you want to happen. If you want clicks, choose clicks. If you want conversions, choose conversions. But make sure you know what you want before you launch the campaign because it does matter.

How to serve .well-known on Heroku

April 22nd, 2017 | Programming

If you want to use Apple Pay on your website, you need to serve a file from inside the .well-known directory. This is a nightmare.

For a start, you can’t create a directory called .well-known on Mac. So you have to find another solution. mod_rewrite to the rescue perhaps? You may be able to get this working, but I couldn’t. I just got a 403 permission denied on Heroku.

client denied by server configuration: /app/public/.well-known

So I decided to try Alias instead.

This was easy to configure on my localhost. I created a directory without the period and then used Alias to map it.

Alias "/.well-known" "/Users/me/Projects/ProjectName/well-known"

To configure it in Heroku, I created a custom Apache configuration file.

Alias "/.well-known" "${HEROKU_APP_DIR}/well-known"

And then configured my Procfile to load this.

web: vendor/bin/heroku-php-apache2 -C heroku-apache.conf public/

So far, so good. Except this didn’t work either because I had not given the directory permission in the Apache config. So I expanded my custom config file.

<Directory "${HEROKU_APP_DIR}/well-known">
    Options FollowSymLinks
    AllowOverride All
    Require all granted
</Directory>

This got it working. However, it took my homepage offline. It seems that when you include a custom Apache configuration file, it knocks out the standard DirectoryIndex that Heroku has. Or, there is something else really obviously wrong that I am missing. That’s entirely possible, but I haven’t spotted it yet.

And I did manage to fix it by adding in a new DirectoryIndex to my .htaccess file.

DirectoryIndex index.php

Finally, you have Heroku serving the directory correctly.

This is why men still pay for internet pornography

April 21st, 2017 | Thoughts

A phrase I hear a lot (because apparently, my friends are the kind of people who have those conversations) are “why would anyone pay for internet pornography when there is so much free stuff available?”

But if nobody is buying online porn anymore, someone should probably tell the industry. Because they seem to be bringing in as much revenue as ever. In fact, adult industry revenues continue to grow.

It would seem, then, that men are still paying for porn. Here is why.

There is too much free porn online

Have you ever bought a book or a course? Probably. It’s just a generic statement that everybody will have done. The question is, why, though. All the information is on the internet. There are trillions of pages out there, a lot of it valuable stuff.

So why would you spend £10 on a book when you can find it free online? Why would someone spend $1,000 on an online training programme when all of the information they need to learn any skill is already there in Google, and YouTube, and Wikipedia, and so on.

It comes down to this: have you tried finding it?

There is so much information online that we were saturated a decade ago. Finding all of the information you need, curating it together and forming it into a structure that teaches you a topic or skill is a nightmare. It’s so bad that we would rather pay an expert to do it for us.

Which is why we’re still buying books. And courses. And porn. Why waste your time searching the internet when you can just pay a company £15 to deliver it to you. People’s time is valuable and we live in the rich west. It’s a fair trade.

You get higher quality

Sure, there is loads of free stuff out there. But how much of it matches the quality of the stuff being put out by Digital Playground or Kink.com?

None of it. The 2005 film “Pirates” had a reported budget of over $1 million. It’s 2008 sequel, “Pirates II: Stagnetti’s Revenge”, spend over $8 million. No two-bit operation cranking out free stuff is matching those production values.

That’s not to say that people don’t indulge in the free samples as well. But for those times when you want to eat gourmet, you have to put your hand in your pocket.

The industry has evolved

Revenue is up overall. However, admittedly, it is down for some of the traditional studios. But this matches media in general.

It used to be that bands made an album, and made all their money from the sale of that album, and toured to make sure that people bought the album.

Then digital piracy arrived, and everyone realised they could get it for free. Or pay Spotify £10 per month, which the arts see very little of. Spotify pays the record labels £7 of that money, but somewhere before reaching the artists it mysteriously goes missing.

So, now bands make very little money off the albums, but a lot of money from selling their £70-per-ticket arena tours. And because they are dependent on ticket sales, they now play all of their classics, rather than that new shit that nobody wants to listen to. The bands are still making money, and we’re getting the songs we want live. Everybody is a winner.

The music industry evolved.

So did the porn industry. It used to be that if you wanted to spend £20, you could buy a VHS of a dirty movie. Now you can spend that £20 to dictate to a Romanian woman exactly what you want her to do on a live webcam.

Sure, you might have to book in advance and pay a little extra if you want her to cover herself in yoghurt. But she will. And it’s a way better experience than watching a pre-determined movie in which the plot is “everyone loses their clothes and has sex for no reason”.

You avoid all of those horrible ads

Have you seen TV advertising? It’s awful. Nothing is relevant. I’m not looking for a new car, or to compare meerkats, or for a new brand of washing powder. In fact, it’s so bad, that the only way it can be made economical is for the TV channel to show us a solid 14 minutes of adverts per hour.

Then Netflix came along and said, “you can pay us £6 a month and make all of that nonsense go away”. And 93 million of us did because £6 a month is nothing and 14 minutes of our lives (per hour!) is loads.

We made a similar trade with the adult industry.

Trawling through free porn sites means enduring a deluge of irritating ads. I have no interest in a penis enlarger pump. I am perfectly happy my existing penis enlarger pump.

You can try and install an ad blocker. But it won’t work. The porn industry were the people who invented online video streaming in an age when it didn’t exist. They know their stuff. They know how to avoid your ad blocker even though nobody else has managed to launch a pop-up in ten years.

Who would endure that when a small amount of money makes it go away?

Conclusion

Men pay for internet pornography because the adult industry has continued to provide enough value to make it worth paying for. Whether it is providing higher quality, more niched, fewer ads or live webcams, they make a product which is good enough to make people pull out their wallets.

This should come as no surprise. How do bottled water companies make money when the stuff literally falls from the sky? Or newspapers continue to profit when you can get all your news from blogs and Twitter? The answer is a product that people think it worth paying for because it is better.

As long as they continue to do that, men will keep paying for it.

P.S. If my wife is reading this, you should note that this article is really about marketing and consumer behaviour, rather than watching porn.

Why you hate the idea of voting Lib Dem (but should anyway)

April 20th, 2017 | Religion & Politics

Let me give it to you straight. This is why you hate the idea of voting Liberal Democrats, and why you should do it anyway.

Ever spend a bunch of time trashing something, only to realise that you were wrong. But then you can’t change your mind because everyone what point at you and call you a hypocrite. So you persist in a clearly irrational belief, that you don’t even believe yourself, to save face.

That’s what’s going on here.

You’ve spent the last decade shitting all over the Liberal Democrats. They voted for university tuition fees and you were angry. I get it. You have a right to be angry. They broke one promise, just one, but it was a big one. You’re used to the Tories breaking promises because they’re bastards, and Labour breaking promises because they are incompetent. But you thought Nick Clegg’s honest face was different. And it was. Except for that one time.

But now it’s seven years later and we’re two years into a Tory majority. Now we’ve seen what that looks like: your European citizenship is being taken away from you. The human rights act is due to be scrapped. Taxes for small businesses are going up, in favour of breaks for corporations. Grammar schools are back. And Trump is getting a golden carriage for his visit to London.

And you haven’t come up with any fresh and clever vibes. So, like a broken clock, you parrot out the same line about tuition fees. And, behind your back, everyone is talking about what a petty and ill informed idiot you are. Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just telling you how it is.

In many ways, we’re impressed that you are brazen enough to say it. If I had been backing a party that sold off large chunks of the NHS, introduced divisive faith schools, and invaded Iraq, I would be too full of shame and humiliation to criticise another party when all I could find was one broken election promise.

But surely the opposition are stopping all of this?

Ah yes, the gallant knights of the official opposition. What are they up to? A Helping Ms May out, of course. When Jeremy Corbyn isn’t fending of mass resignations and votes of no confidence from his own MPs, he is busy giving speeches about how Brexit will upgrade Britain’s economy and issuing three-line whips to favour for Brexit.

Meanwhile, Tim Farron continues his singular mission: to shout as loud as he possibly can from the rooftops that he will do everything in his power to stop a hard Brexit. He had a blog post up before Theresa May had even announced the general election.

So now you’re in that shitty situation. Do you eat your words and vote to keep Britain a tolerant and open place where you stand some chance of maintaining your European and human rights or save face by slashing deep into with a large knife until your nose is no longer attached. I joke, but that’s a killer decision. Nobody wants to face that. It’s hard and uncomfortable. But it’s also happening in six weeks.

But the Lib Dems will never win anything!

Other than the 62 seats they used to hold, of course.

But times are a-changing. We never thought Brexit would happen. We never thought Trump would happen. We never thought the Lib Dems could overturn Zac Goldsmith’s majority in Richmond Park. But they did. With a 30.41% vote increase. 30.41%.

But the whole Jeremy Corbyn thing has been highly amusing to many of us anyway. “I like Corbyn, but he’s unelectable”. Watching Labour voters tear themselves apart as they try to choose between what they believe in and what will win votes. Why not just be a Tory if principles are that expendable?

Grow some balls and vote for the people you agree with. How fragile is your ego?

Voting Lib Dems, even in a safe seat for someone else, sends a message. Because this is an election about Brexit. And the Tories are on one side, and the Lib Dems are on the other.

Time to choose a side, Dr Watson

So, what’s it going to be, our kid?

Will it be the red corner? And I do mean red. Locked in the control of a man who never liked Europe and is now doing everything in his power to easy Theresa May’s passage to hard Brexit.

Or, the yellow corner. Lead by a man who voted against tuition fees, and is now the only voice speaking out against hard Brexit?

The choice is yours. Just remember that if you do choose to shit in your bed, you still have to sleep in it.

Venla vs food

April 10th, 2017 | Family & Parenting, Photos

Venla hasn’t started with solids yet. But we have been giving her some things to try.

Like this plate, for example.

I don’t know why they make baby’s spoons out of rubber. It essentially turns them into a catapult, allowing them to fling food right across the room.

Normal human beings shouldn’t be able to eat a lemon without wincing, right?

Viddyoze review

April 9th, 2017 | Reviews, Tech

Viddyoze is a cloud-based service that allows you to create intros and outros for your videos.

If you are not familiar with what they offer, here is one of the promotional videos from their YouTube channel:

This is my review. There is no promo code at the end: I know a lot of the “reviews” end with here is an affiliate link, but I don’t have anything like that. It’s just my perspective.

Pricing

It is priced at a one-time fee of $47 for the personal licence (30 renders per month) and $67 for the commercial licence (unlimited renders per month and the right to resell the renders).

It is advertised as being discounted down from $97 per month and $197 per month. However, it is not clear where these figures come from. As far as I know, these prices have never been used. I first saw Viddyoze months ago and the prices haven’t changed, so this isn’t a short-term discount, either.

However, it is also an additional $37 per month for access to the “template club”. I will talk more about this below.

What do I think of it?

I signed up and got access within a few minutes.

However, The first thing I was presented with was an upsell for the template club. This was an additional monthly subscription that gives you access to most of the templates. So, for example, if you wanted their promotional video, you will have noticed there are loads of cool intros and outros. However, these are only available if you pay for the template club.

With my standard access, you do get a bunch of templates (I think it is about 85). However, that is spread across all of the categories. This includes intros, outros, titles, lower thirds, etc. In terms of the number of intros you get, I think there were about a dozen in there. Which sucks. There were only a few I would actually want to use.

Using the software was okay. It is pretty fast. However, there is no preview. So if you have to do it and see what the result is. Then, if you don’t like something, such as the logo or colours, you have to do it all again. This is a little frustrating on the unlimited plan. On the 30 renders per month plan, that would be very frustrating.

Is it worth it?

It depends on how much you will use it. But, for me, no.

Because there are only a handful of intros on the basic package, I don’t think I would get much use out of it.

The other option is to pay for the template club. But this means you are paying $67 up front plus $37 per month, which is approximately $42 per month. As they point out in their video, there are people on Fiverr reselling their stuff. For $5 each. So, you need to be doing at least nine unique videos per month before it becomes cheaper to use Viddyoze rather than just hiring someone on Fiverr each time.

Is there a money-back guarantee?

Yep, 30 days. When I requested my refund they sent me a form to fill out with various transaction IDs I had to dig out of my emails. After that, they refunded me two later, which all seems reasonable.

How the budget shakes up for small businesses

April 8th, 2017 | Religion & Politics

It’s the start of a new tax year. That means another year of people trying to sell me their self-assessment services long after I have already filed mine. What joy.

Last year was a kick in the balls for small business owners. The government introduced a new tax on dividends, which is how small business owners typically pay themselves.

This year it looked like we were going to hit with the double whammy. First, that £5,000 limit was set to be decreased to £2,000, resulting in me paying tax on an additional £3,000 of income.

Second, the flat VAT rate for my industry was set to be increased by 2%. If you are not familiar with flat VAT, it is a scheme that allows small businesses to pay a set rate of VAT and not claim anything back on purchases, meaning you can avoid doing all the complex VAT accounting. It’s terrific.

This year hasn’t been a complete disaster. The VAT increase has happened, but the reduction of the tax threshold will not take place until next year. Add to that that the corporation tax rate had been reduced by 1% and the additional tax being placed on small business owners is irritating, but not crippling.

One thing remains clear, however. This Conservative government is no friend to small businesses. For a second year running, they have increased taxes in favour of cutting those for big businesses.

I’m on Udemy

April 5th, 2017 | News

Last month, I launched the IT Career Acceleration course for IT professionals looking to take the next step in their career.

Advancing your career is like being an athlete. Even the best athletes in the world have a coach to help them improve. It’s the same thing when you are writing your CV, winning interviews or creating a promotion plan: you need a coach. The course provides that.

That’s all super, except that not everyone wants to have to set up a new account or put their credit card details into an unknown site.

At the same time, there are great education platforms, like Udemy, already out there.

This made a natural fit for the ITCMC content. Which is what I have done. You can now find the Career Acceleration course on Udemy. It includes all of the video lectures and workbooks you get from us direct. The only thing missing is the checklists.

It’s all backed up by Udemy’s 30-day refund policy. Not quite as good as the 60-day one you get direct, but it still makes the purchase risk-free.

Introducing the Human Baby Cookbook

April 1st, 2017 | Books, News

Unlock the secrets to cooking human baby with this beautifully presented new cookbook.

Been tempted to try the other other white meat, but been confused by unclear instructions, endless barbeque sauce choices and the law? Never fear: let us take you by the hand. Learn how to buy, prepare and cook a meat that is abundant, sustainable and environmentally friendly.

This no-expense-spared hardback edition contains 31 delicious recipes, each illustrated with a full-page full-colour edge-to-edge photograph.

For anyone who considers themselves a foodie, this is a must by. Nobody could possibly walk past your bookshelf without commenting!

Order your copy now for £29.99 (plus shipping).

WAM anxiety challenge launches

March 31st, 2017 | News

Over at Worfolk Anxiety, we’ve just launched our 30-day challenge to help people reduce anxiety. It’s a free month of coaching where people get a different challenge to complete every day and a private support community to share experiences and access encouragement.

Pretty cool. But will it work?

The science says it will. The challenges are based on the lifestyle changes that drive improvements to mental health. I wrote about these in my book Technical Anxiety and look at them in far more detail in my upcoming book Do More, Worry Less.

But, of course, the science can say one thing: whether you can translate into success for people in real life is another. We’re working on a small scale: a few hundred people have signed up for the challenge. That is still enough to make me nervous, though. It needs to deliver.

We’re measuring the success as best we can so I will be able to write about the results next month. Until then, wish me luck!