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January 20, 2015

Spam-Free Email Forms: Feedback Form 5.00 released

Category: Company Announcements, Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 5:23 pm

Many websites need to collect information from visitors, and often the best way to do this is through forms. The advantage of forms, other than simply publishing an email contact address, is that it allows you to tell visitors exactly what information you need from them - and get them to give you that information.

Answers 2000 is Email Feedback Form Script is a powerful solution to this requirement. Some of its features include:

  • It can process any type of form - forms can incorporate any fields and types of fields that you like
  • Powerful and flexible validation options - for example: it can make sure an email address has been correctly entered in a required field before the form is submitted, or another field must contain a ZIP code, or another field must contain a number within a certain range, and so on.
  • A single script can process an un unlimited number of different forms
  • Can automatically capture the user’s IP address (this can be useful for legal purposes, as well as being handy if you find that you wish to block a particular user who is abusing your form).

As well as all these features, Email Feedback Form Script has always incorporated two additional features that help tackle the problem of spam:

  1. Unlike many traditional formmail scripts, Email Feedback Form Script can not be subverted by spammers to email third parties.
  2. Unlike many traditional formmail scripts, Email Feedback Form Script does not need to reveal your email address - thus preventing it being added to spam email lists.

Of course, spammers are a devious lot: Another tactic that they are increasingly using is to fill out feedback forms on websites (using automated software) with their junk, and then submit them. If you get these types of messages, you can of course always simply delete them from your inbox, but this soon gets tiresome and annoying, plus it’s time-consuming too, especially if you receive numerous junk submissions every day.

Answers 2000 is pleased to announce the release of Email Feedback Form 5.00 which includes a powerful new anti-spam feature, that can drastically cut down on the number of such spam form submissions received. This new version of the software incorporates a special “honey pot fields” feature, that allows you to automatically direct almost all junk submissions straight to the trash, while still allowing legitimate human-made submissions to be received as normal. What’s more, this feature works without using a captcha - which many people find annoying, and which can be
troublesome for visually-impaired users.

The way the “honey pot fields” work is: you add one or more additional fields to your forms, that must be left blank, or left set to required values. These fields are hidden from legitimate human users’ eyes using CSS (so are never altered), but spammer’s software will fill-out or alter these fields, thus allowing spam submissions to be detected and automatically sent to the garbage. This process is completely transparent to your legitimate human users, yet tests show it can drastically cut down on spam submissions.

Find out more, and see a demo of Email Feedback Form 5.00 at our ScriptRocket.com website.


   

• • •

May 1, 2014

Switching Domain Registrars to NameCheap [Updated X 2]

Category: Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 3:32 pm

Disclosure: Our company is a customer of both NameCheap and Dotster.com. We may earn a commission if you register a domain or purchase a product/service after following a link from this article to either of these companies’ websites.

I’ve decided to move our domain name registrations over to NameCheap from Dotster.com. The main reason - to save money!

To be honest, although I never originally chose to be a Dotster customer (we were 000domains.com customers, and became Dotster customers after they bought 000domains), I’ve been generally very happy with Dotster. Yes, there have long been other slightly cheaper registrars, but it always seemed like a lot of hassle to transfer a large portfolio of domains from one registrar to another. Over the years. however, Dotster prices have crept up, and so the incentive to switch registrar has gradually risen.

However, the thing that finally caused me to switch, was when I urgently needed to purchase a new domain, but couldn’t do it through Dotster. Apparently, there was some kind of glitch in getting my credit card accepted by their anti-fraud measures (the same credit card which had previously been used for many thousands of dollars of domain registrations and renewals with the company). Dotster support seemed unable to resolve the issue, I couldn’t wait, so I opened an account with NameCheap - who had been recommended to me by a friend (and turned out to be cheaper too).

I’ve now registered several new domains with NameCheap, am very happy with them, so I’ve decided to start transferring existing domains over too.

Here’s the procedure I am using (Note: If you do this, make sure the domain’s admin contact email works correctly before starting. domain privacy is turned off, and that the domain has been active for at least 60 days. You might also want to make sure it isn’t about to imminently expire, since the transfer process takes time):

1. Log-in to Dotster.com - unlock the domain(s) I want to transfer, and request the Auth Code(s) for each one.

2. Wait for the emails from Dotster to arrive (say 20 minutes), and copy and paste the domain names into a text file (which I create using Notepad). The file has this format, one domain name per-line:

DOMAIN-NAME-1.COM,AUTHCODE-1
DOMAIN-NAME-2.COM,AUTHCODE-2
DOMAIN-NAME-3.COM,AUTHCODE-3
etc.

3. Go to NameCheap, and click Transfer, then copy and paste the list of domain names and Auth-codes (which NameCheap calls “EPPs”) into the bulk transfer field. Pay and wait (again a few minutes is usually enough).

4. I receive an email for each domain asking me to approve the transfer to NameCheap, and I must click the link to open an approval page, and then select “Approve”.

5. Step 5 wait.

In summary, it’s a little tedious, but it isn’t hard-work, and it isn’t too time-consuming. Since I’m transferring a fairly large number of domains, it would be easy to lose track of my progress, accidentally miss a step on one domain name, etc., so I printed out a list of all the domains, and am ticking off the steps one-by-one next to each name in the list.

Update: A few things happened after I made this post:

1. The old registrar, Dotster, sent me an email to confirm I wanted to transfer each domain. If I had ignored this email, the domain would have transferred eventually, but I sped things a long by clicking a link in the email and approving the transfer. (I also had an option to reject the transfer).

2. The domain transferred successfully to NameCheap.

3. I checked the domain was working and all the details correct at NameCheap. One glitch was the billing contact wasn’t - it said NameCheap. So I copied the Registrant info in the Billing contact (with a single button click). NameCheap gives a warning that I may need to verify my contact info if I change contact details (see this article for why), but as far as I can tell, I don’t think that’s required, because I only changed the Billing Contact, not the Registrant. I’ll post a second update, if verification is required.

Also: I forgot to mention, a year gets added on to the domain’s expiry after the transfer.

Finally: Right now, the transferred domain is still showing in the Dotster control panel (as well as in the NameCheap panel). Presumably it should disappear from Dotster soon (?).

Update 2:

1. I did need to verify my contact details.

2. When transferring some further domains to NameCheap, I also needed them to whitelist one of the names which somehow triggered their filters for bad (e.g. phishing) names.


   

• • •

April 23, 2014

ClickBank Affiliates: Redesigning a ClickBank offer page

Category: Affiliate Programs, Webmasters/Web Design, ClickBank — Answers 2000 @ 11:36 am

Disclosure: Our company is a ClickBank vendor and affiliate. We may earn a commission if you join ClickBank as a vendor. CBMultiLink is our company’s product.

If you are a ClickBank affiliate, one thing that you may wish to do is “redesign” a vendor’s offer page, so as to present the product pitch in a different way. There are several reasons why you might want to do this, including:

  1. You might believe that you can create a more effective or more attractive offer page.
  2. You might want to tailor the pitch so as to appeal to your audience.
  3. Some vendors that offer multiple products for sale will set affiliate traffic to link to the home page of their site - but an affiliate (you) who wants to promote only a particular product, might prefer to skip these intermediate steps, and send the buyer directly to the payment link. Note: Vendors with multiple products would be well-advised to get a copy of CBMultiLink, as they can use that to allow their affiliates to link directly to both their home page, and product-specific pages).

The first question is: Is it allowed, within ClickBank’s rules, for an affiliate to redesign a sales offer page?

My understanding at the time of writing (check with ClickBank’s terms of service or ask them if unsure) is that it permitted, but only if the affiliate gets the explicit permission of the vendor in question.

The second question is: How to do it?

Anyway, what you need to do is do View Source on the vendor’s sales page. Look for the ClickBank payment link, which should look something like this:

http://productid.vendor.pay.clickbank.net

Where
- productid identifies the product, and is usually (but not always) a number.
- vendor is the vendor’s ClickBank nickname.

Now design your own offer page, and for the payment link, insert a link to.

http://productid.affiliate_vendor.pay.clickbank.net

Where
- productid is copied directly from the original payment link
- vendor is also copied directly from the original payment link
- affiliate is your ClickBank nickname

This will work, but it does have some limitations:

  1. This method works for most vendors, but may not work for those vendors with server-side complex scripted sites
  2. Users purchasing through this type of payment link are not “cookied”. As a result, you will only receive credit for the sale if the visitor has not previously clicked on somebody else’s affiliate link.

The third question is: Is there a better way to do this?

Yes.

If the vendor gets a copy of CBMultiLink, they can set up as many different landing pages (including product-specific pages) as they want, all of which affiliates can directly link to. Moreover, the vendor could even offer branded pages for their top affiliates, or allow his affiliates to host their own pitch pages.

Using CBMultiLink in this way, will also solve the two issues with the affiliate_vendor type payment links:

  1. This method can be made to work for all vendors, even those with complex scripted sites.
  2. Users will always be “cookied”. That means you will receive affiliate credit for the sale, regardless of whether the visitor has previously clicked on somebody else’s affiliate link.

Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank vendor: Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank affiliate:
   

• • •

March 28, 2014

CBMultiLink - ClickBank Affiliate Management / Multiple Landing Page Script - Updated

Category: Company Announcements, Affiliate Programs, Webmasters/Web Design, ClickBank — Answers 2000 @ 10:54 am

Disclosure: Our company is a ClickBank vendor and affiliate. We may earn a commission if you buy one of the products mentioned in this blog post, or if you join ClickBank as a vendor.

We’ve released a new version of CBMultiLink, our tool (PHP script) for ClickBank vendors.

The main purpose of CBMultiLink is it easily allows vendors to offer their affiliates a choice of multiple landing pages to link to, while still earning credit for sales they generate (by default ClickBank only allows vendors to only give their affiliates a single landing page).

Here are some uses of CBMultiLink:

  • If a vendor offers multiple products, affiliates can link directly to the particular product’s page for the product they are promoting.
  • If a vendor has a product that appeals to different audiences, they can give their affiliates a choice of audience-specific landing pages to link to. For example, if a vendor is selling a weight loss product, they might have different pages aimed at men or women.
  • In one recent case, a ClickBank vendor had a landing page with a pop-up. The pop-up was actually highly effective in helping generating sales, so it was obviously best to keep it there for most affiliates. However, some affiliates wanted to advertise the product using a pay-per-click search engine which didn’t allow linking to pages with pop-ups - the solution: use CBMultiLink to give affiliates the choice of 2 landing pages - one with a pop-up, and one without.

CBMultiLink is easy-to-install and use, and allows an unlimited number of landing pages. It also includes a link generator for affiliates to use, and supports ClickBank tid’s (tracking ids) unlike some of its competitors.

This last feature is one of the reasons for the upgrade: we have had customers approach us who wanted to upgrade from one of one competitor’s scripts, including one called “LaunchPad”, because apparently LaunchPad doesn’t support tid’s. The newest version of CBMultiLink makes this easy: As long as you set the landing page ids in CBMultiLink to match the “offer ids” that you were previously using in LaunchPad, all existing LaunchPad affiliate links will continue to work - plus you can use the extra CBMultiLink features (like support for tid’s) as well.

Please contact us if you have questions, or visit the CBMultiLink page and watch the video to find out what CBMultiLink can do, and how easy it is to use.


Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank vendor: Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank affiliate:
   

• • •

March 19, 2014

Domain Name Registration & Contact Verification

Category: Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 2:12 pm

Today, I visited investorsvillage.com, which is one of my favorite sites about stocks and investing, and found this:

You have reached a domain that is pending ICANN verification

What happened?

In 2013, a new Registrar Accreditation agreement was introduced, and domain name registrars are gradually switching over to this new agreement (they are required to if they wish to offer the new domain extensions for example). Under this new agreement, domain name registrars are required to verify the domain name owner’s contact details, and suspend the domain name if they are unable to do so.

Most registrars have interpreted this new requirement as follows: Send a confirmation email to the domain owner, and require them to click a link (or take some other action) when they receive this email. There can of course be differences in interpretation - for example, do they need to send an email per domain, or per account holder? When is the email sent? How long does the recipient have to respond?

In any case, a new problem that domain owners now face is that they must be on the look-out for these emails, because if they miss one, or gets in their spam folder, or otherwise fail to respond, then their domain will be suspended. This seems to have happened to investorsvillage.com, it previously happened to fixtures365.com (a well-known sports betting site), and sooner or later is bound to happen to one of the top internet properties.


   

• • •

February 5, 2014

PHP Email Form Script Updated - New Features & Cloud-Safe

Category: Company Announcements, Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 1:31 pm

We’re pleased to announce an update to our PHP Email Forms Script. This script allows you to collect feedback or other information from visitors to your site, and receive that information by email. The new version, 4.00, of the script is now compatible with cloud-based web hosting as well as traditional web hosts, plus adds many new features.

Key features of our email forms script include:

  • You can have an unlimited number of different forms
  • You can have an unlimited number of fields on your forms
  • The fields on your forms can include cool interactive validation
  • You can customize numerous features, including where emails are sent from/to, the subject line of emails sent by the form, the content and lay out of emails sent to your, the reply-to address used for forms process, the web page users are sent to after submitting the form, etc.

Here’s a demonstration form processed using our software - try entering an invalid phone number or email address and see what happens!


   

• • •

January 24, 2014

PHP Poll Script Updated - Now Cloud-Safe

Category: Company Announcements, Internet Marketing, Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 9:45 am

We’re pleased to announce an update to our PHP Poll Script. This script allows you to easily adding voting polls (as many different polls as you want) to your websites or blogs, and display the results of users voting as beautiful graphics - bar charts, pie, charts, etc. The new version of the script is now fully-compatible with both traditional web hosts and the increasing popular cloud-based web hosting services that many people are now adopting.

Here’s an example poll voting form (they can be customized):

An Example Poll:
What is your favorite sport?
Baseball
Cricket
Football
Hockey
Rugby
Soccer
Tennis
Other

Here are some examples of how the script can display the results of voting - note: as bar charts, pie charts, or both:


PHP Poll Script - Example Bar and Pie Charts

PHP Poll Script - Example Bar Chart

PHP Poll Script - Example Pie Chart

Here’s a video of demonstrating how easy the script is to use:

PHP Poll Script Video Demo:

To learn more or get your own copy of our PHP script, please click here.


   

• • •

January 22, 2014

Network Solutions Customer? Check Your Email! [Updated]

Category: Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 12:08 pm

Disclosure: Our company is a Domain.com/Dotster affiliate. We also are a Dotster customer and have been for some years. We may earn a commission if you buy a domain name or other/product service from them after following a link from this website

Note: See the Important Update at the bottom of this story

Do you use Network Solutions as a domain registrar? Perhaps you used them in the past, have subsequently switched to another registrar, but still have a couple of domains with Network Solutions? You might want to check your email inbox carefully if you any domains with Network Solutions.

Network Solutions have recently introduced a new program, called “WebLock” which helps protect high-value and premium domain names from unauthorized transfers or modifications. I have to say that is a very good idea - many domain name owners need protection for their premium names, and some will want top of the line security, which is what “WebLock” claims to offer.

However, according to Brent Simmons you might get automatically enrolled in this program - which may not be what you want - especially when you find out the cost - $1,850 for the first year - and $1,350 for each subsequent year!

According to Mr Simmons, Network Solutions sent him email, saying that he had been enrolled, but you could opt-out if he wanted to. He’s chosen to opt-in, and actually move his domains to another registrar. But one has to wander what would have had happened had he missed the email, or had the email gone into his spam folder - I presume that he would have been billed, and only found out a month later when the credit card statement came?

My personal view on this (assuming Simmons’ summary is correct) is that I applaud Network Solutions for offering their customers a high-level security option - but I strongly believe that they should be asking customers to opt-in, not to opt-out, especially given the relatively high price of this option! Auto-enrolling customers into high-priced services to me feels like some inappropriate behavior - and really I would expect better from an established company like Network Solutions.

And the moral of the story: If you have any domains with Network Solutions, check your email carefully! Alternatively you might want to consider switching to another domain registrar - we currently use Dotster.com for most of our domain names.

Important Update:

Web.com, the parent of Network Solutions, have just provided an interview by their CEO, Jason Teichman, to DomainNameWire.com. In the interview, Teichman says that the WebLock program will be opt-in, not opt-out - nobody will be charged unless they agree to add it - and that the wording of the announcement email could have been better.

All I can say then is: Three cheers to Web.com/Network Solutions for acting the right way, and offering what looks like a worthwhile new service (for those who need it).


   

• • •

January 20, 2014

Top Site PHP Script Updated - Now Fully Cloud Hosting Compatible

Category: Company Announcements, Internet Marketing, Webmasters/Web Design — Answers 2000 @ 4:38 pm

We are pleased to announce the release of a new version of our PHP Top Site Script. This is a powerful script that you can install on your web site, and which you can use to get other webmasters to send you free traffic - yes it really works!

The new version, 4.00 of our Top Site script is now fully compatible with both regular web hosting environments (including dedicated servers, shared servers, and virtual servers), and with cloud-hosting web services, which are becoming increasingly. popular.

You can see an example of a customer successfully using our top site at www.topprepperwebsites.com/.

To find out more about starting your own top site - or to get the script - please click here.


   

• • •

August 16, 2013

Your First ClickBank Product Has Been Approved - Now What?

Disclosure: Our company is a ClickBank vendor and affiliate. We may earn a commission if you buy one of the products mentioned in this blog post, or if you join ClickBank as a vendor.

If you have written an eBook, or created another product, gone through the process of setting up a ClickBank vendor account, the question soon arises what to do next? Some people expect that they can just sit back and wait for the money to roll-in, but this rarely happens…

Our company has been with ClickBank for over 14 years, and sold all kinds of different products through their system. The fact is that in all that time, our direct sales have always been vastly more than all my affiliates combined - so the first thing that I would say: You’ve got to do your own marketing.

Some people say that affiliates will find and promote your website if your products are any good. My our experience says otherwise. I simply don’t believe it’s true “affiliates will find you if you’re good”. They may, but they don’t always - we’ve sold thousands and thousands of products, to a highly satisfied customer base, but affiliate-driven sales have always been a small part of our total sales.

I suspect that the same applies for other vendors too. Yes there are some poor quality vendors listed with ClickBank, but there are also tons of really good vendors (look beyond the Internet marketing categories), sometimes selling lots directly or through 1 or 2 affiliates, who fly under most affiliates’ radar because they never reach a critical mass of “gravity”, etc.

Let’s be honest though, from a vendor’s point of view, while it would be nice if affiliates drove tons oif sales, you don’t have to make it that important. A vendor’s real goal is to make sales, and there’s lots of ways to do that - it doesn’t have to be from affiliate traffic.

Some here are the things that I would suggest a new vendor do:

1. Promote your website to drive sales

2. Protect your ClickBank product against Thank You Page and Download theft, as much as you reasonably can without annoying legitimate customers.

Yes, there are some hardcore pirates who will never buy - but these aren’t the people you are interested in. There are plenty more people who will pirate if it’s easy to pirate, but will buy otherwise.

And doing this doesn’t have to be hard - it can be easy for - and completely transparent to your customers - if you use, CB Thank You Page Protector to do this for you.

3. Email every new customer after every sale to (a) say thank you, (b) give them your contact details again, (c) remind them what they’ve bought, (d) remind them that you’re a real person, (e) remind them how the charge will show on their billing statement, and (f) to start to build a relationship which eventually allow you to sell other products to them.

(a) to (e) will help reduce charge-backs and refunds, sometimes drastically so.

(f) will add to your bottom line.

And for the record, you can automate these emails using CB Thank You Page Protector.

4. Always work on improving your conversion rate, presentation, etc. Ideally, you should use split-testing, as shown in the video below, to fine tune your pitch pages so as to maximize conversions.

5. Did I say, promote your website to drive sales….


Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank vendor: Here are some other articles that you might like if you are a ClickBank affiliate:
   

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