1 Small Change: 50% More Subscriptions
I have a mailing list for people who've downloaded the free version of my RSS to HTML converter. Along with the free download, you get a 7 day email "mini-course" on making money with RSS. One of the perks of buying the commercial version of my program is that you get a PDF version of the mini-course which can be given away. A few weeks ago, I made a little change to the PDF, and immediately saw my signup rates jump by 50%. Although I haven't actually verified that the change caused the increase, the timing and magnitude of the change are enough to convince me.
The change was that I used Viral PDF to make it "brandable" with my customer's name and affiliate links. Since their affiliate links are scattered throughout the document, they have more incentive to give it away from their websites, to their mailing lists, etc., and I get more people coming to my site, joining my mailing lists, and buying my products.
The story isn't all roses though -- I've noticed a slight decrease in the conversion rate on the "one-time offer" that I give people when they join my list, so apparently the traffic I'm getting isn't of quite as high quality. But I'm not complaining! It's still an increase.
There's not much to say in a review of a product like Viral PDF -- you make your PDF, insert a few special codes, run it through their program, and give it away with a little program that people can use to insert their name, affiliate ID, or whatever. It's simple to use, and the results speak for themselves.
I did spend some time looking for a free script to do the same thing, and never found a solution that satisfied me. One option was web based, which sounded nice (the customer wouldn't have to download the branding program, and it would work for non-Windows users), but the user would have had to endure a bunch of marketing from the service provider. Avoiding that was worth more to me than the cost of Viral PDF.
Another of the free options might have worked okay, but I never got a required confirmation email when I tried to sign up -- and yes, I did check my junk mail folder.
At present, Viral PDF costs $37 -- a small price to pay for a 50% increase in signups!