Go Quality Or Go Home!

It's not an easy job as an online marketer to take a new product or website from nothing to becoming a major player overnight. I have spent the past several years driving player acquisition in the sports and gaming markets, and as a result, have become a number cruncher and an analytics junkie.

Success for me is now defined as consistent growth on a daily basis. I'm not looking at just monthly, weekly and daily metric reports, but breaking down conversion trends and user analytics several times a day. I firmly believe that in the online world, keeping on top of daily measurement is the key to optimizing your online marketing channels.

My previous column, "Moneyball, Monetize Fantasy Sports," briefly touched on the monetization funnel and how just getting users to show up at the front door is not good enough in today's world. As a marketer, you need to make sure you are maximizing revenue by leveraging qualified users to move through the funnel.

Obviously, I am always trying to lower my cost per action (CPA), but I will always pay more to acquire a more engaged and qualified user because I will win in the long term. I know that by acquiring a high level of engaged users, one will create value for major sports brands and agencies that purchase premium sponsorships.

If you can create the right platform online that attracts high-quality online sports fans, you have gold. The sports and gaming markets are supported by sponsors and advertisers paying billions of dollars for engagement with these qualified users.

Finding qualified users first means defining their characteristics. There are several, but I specifically look for:

Engagement Simply put, I don't go after a "hit and run" user. Just visiting the site once results in a high bounce rate and doesn't provide much value. I'm always paying close attention to their exits and what made them leave and how I can get better at keeping my users engaged. It is important to avoid spending empty dollars on getting traffic to the site. Acquiring users that visit multiple pages and spend more time interacting throughout the site should always be the goal. Research to identify channels and distribution outlets that will help meet this goal is a very important piece of the pie.

Cash / Money What's better than your users putting down their credit card on your site? As mentioned in my previous article, monetizing your users is key. Whether it is through premium memberships or micro-transactions, if they have money to spend, you want them to spend it on your site. With that said, it's your job to create great value and really provide a compelling product or service that your users would want to spend their hard earned money on.

Champions There's nothing better than your users becoming the champions of the brand. I strive to constantly improve our viral loop, so the goal is to find users who will invite their friends and use social networks like Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. If you can obtain these characteristics, your viral loop will soar and your CPA will significantly decrease.

Now, where do you find the user who possesses the magical combination of all these characteristics? Good marketers spend a lot of time researching how to find the right user. Once you identify the traits and characteristics you are seeking, you need to run test after test, do your homework and identify your demo.

Take the time to survey your audience and listen to what they tell you. The next step would be to test your tactics (search engine marketing, affiliates, email marketing, distribution, etc). Seeing what works for you to drive the highest-quality user and where they come from is the end goal. Take the time to analyze where your highest-quality users are coming from and push those channels to the max.

Defining the right characteristics, doing your research and watching where the quality users are coming from will eventually lead to great success and increase your value to potential sponsors and partners.

For me, it's the best feeling in the world as an online marketer when you acquire quality users, back into your projected CPA and crush your goals. Are there any characteristics I missed that you use to measure quality users? I'd love to hear from you.

4 comments about "Go Quality Or Go Home! ".
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  1. John Boccuzzi, Jr., December 15, 2009 at 2:30 p.m.

    Scott, great article. Your ideas can be applied to more than just online marketing. Engagement, Cash and Champions apply to brick and mortar stores as well. Collecting data is one thing. Using it to understand your business is another thing.

  2. David Lowitz from, December 16, 2009 at 1:23 a.m.

    Hi Scott,
    I couldn't agree more with you. What you've described is exactly what we've been doing at

    First, from your previous article... we've changed the model. We are running daily cash fantasy contests... not just looking for huge numbers of players playing free games so we can sell ads (there are no ads on our site.)

    Second, "Engagement" - Our typical player is entering between 5 - 15 contests a day on average. Obviously, some more, some less, but that seems to be the range. They play the 2-, the 4-, and the 6-man games. They'll play for an $11 and they'll play for a $55 fee. They play NBA, NHL, NFL and they are even starting to catch on to the NCAA hoops contests that we are posting (the only of their kind on the net). Needless to say, our players are ENGAGED.

    Third, Cash - 'nuff said. It's a "pay to play" site with real cash payouts every morning, 365 days a year.

    Finally, Championing the site. More than HALF of our users have come to the site because they were referred by a friend or blogger who has suggested that they try us.

    To prove the "Championshipness" of our players, I'm going to forward this article to my database and ask users to add a few comments about our site.

    We're doing EXACTLY what you've been talking about... the biggest hurdle now is that not enough of the 30 million fantasy players in the US know about DAILY fantasy sports. Once people realize that they can make money on their fantasy skills every day instead of just at the end of the season, word should spread quickly.

  3. Brian Redland from None, December 16, 2009 at 7:25 a.m.

    I totally agree with you, but I wanted to add another point that I have seen sucessfully employed at

    1.) Personal Engagement with the user from the site- When starting out, there is no better way to "lock in" a user than to create a personal relationship with them. Take the time to contact your nubies via your personal email. Let them show that you care about them, not just their money. This obviously only works with very small sites, but when your small is when it is the hardest to get the growth.

  4. Brad Lowry, December 16, 2009 at 8:15 a.m.

    If you want to see what is RIGHT with fantasy sports, go to

    I own my own small business (a franchise, food industry) and I place a HUGE value on creating relationships. People will eat/spend their money where they feel they are VALUED.

    Ever since the beginning I felt I have had a personal connection with David & his team and know I can get any issue resolved with him. Due to this, I feel comfortable recommending my friends, family, and coworkers to his site. I am the type of person I don't even forward a chain letter unless I truly believe in the message or feel it is pertinent for the person I'm sending it to. For me to put my word behind something is exceptionally important. My dad always told me growing up if I couldn't stand behind my word, I wasn't worth my weight in sawdust (he was a carpenter).

    I can't say enough about and know I am a lifelong customer with them. They have "earned" my money and I feel more comfortable spending it with them than anyone else.

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