The John J. Miller Effect

On Saturday March 27th, I opened up my email to see a flood of orders for Come Home To Me pouring into my inbox. Way more than we usually get on an average day. My first thought was that Bandcamp, the site where we sell our MP3 downloads, had been hacked and was sending out spam emails disguised to look like real orders. But when I logged into Bandcamp and Paypal, I saw that the orders were for real. The question was – where were they coming from?

With a little help from Bandcamp’s excellent analytics tools, I discovered that the source of all the traffic was coming from a blog called The Corner at http://corner.nationalreview.com. So I hopped over there, did a search for “The Famous” and discovered a post by a Mr. John J. Miller that read “This album is really good. That is all” with a link download our album from our Bandcamp page.

John J. Miller's post

Aha! So that is the link that was responsible for all the traffic — 2754 hits to be precise.

Now for the interesting part. We sold 32 downloads of Come Home To Me as a result of that traffic. We set a minimum price of $5 for the download, but we give the customer the option to pay more if they like. To my surprise, people actually did! As I expected, most people paid $5, but a significant number paid more with almost a quarter of them paying close to double. Here’s the breakdown:

20 at $5
5 at $10
3 at $9
1 at $8.42
1 at $7.50
1 at $7.00
1 at $6

for an average purchase price of $7.56 or a weighted average of $6.42 which is more than we make from iTunes.

Besides downloads, we also sell a CD / T-Shirt / Sticker bundle for $20. We sold 4 of those that day without breaking a sweat.

From this we can arrive at a conversion rate of 36 / 2754 or 1.3% which I believe is in line with the e-commerce industry average.

We offer a free download in exchange for signing up for our email list, and as a result of that, got 117 new signups to our email list.

So yeah, I guess you could say it was a good day for The Famous.

John J. Miller, wherever you are, THANK YOU!!!

Can we send you a t-shirt to show our appreciation?

Anyhow, this whole episode made me realize that one well placed blog post is worth far more than Facebook ads, banner ads, or Google ads. Not only do they cost money to run, but our conversion rate on them has been far lower than what we got through the blog link even though those ads were more targeted.

So if anyone else would be so kind as to post a similar link on any high-traffic blog that you read, that would be awesome!

-Vic-

13 Comments

  1. I have had experiences that are somewhat similar to yours. The difference is that a blogger linked to CDBaby instead of Bandcamp. I’d love to get people in the habit of linking to Bandcamp since Bandcamp is a better deal for the artist.

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  2. Well, he just posted a link to *this* blog post, so let’s see if he generates more sales for ya :)

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  3. Corner is a conservative blog. That likely explains why people paid more.

    I wonder what would be a result for a liberal blog.

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  4. @a – interesting hypothesis. Would anyone like to post a link on the Huffington Post for us?

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  5. “The John J. Miller Effect” has just been compounded for you. Congrats. I wouldn’t mind having the guy as a fan: He’s smart!

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  6. You kidding me? A liberal blog would probably result in more hacking attempts, whining about not enough free stuff, and a subsequent blog post about how narrow minded The Famous is.

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  7. Great music, thank you Mr. Miller.

    For a great work of fiction, I suggest The First Assassin by John J. Miller. Available at Amazon and other fine book sellers.

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  8. Bah. Politics don’t figure into it. It’s just the fact that most of us have paid more money for inferior music. Consider it a gratuity. :)

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  9. “The John J. Miller Effect” has just been compounded for you. Congrats. I wouldn’t mind having the guy as a fan: He’s smart!

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  10. Well, he just posted a link to *this* blog post, so let’s see if he generates more sales for ya :)

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  11. Great music, thank you Mr. Miller.

    For a great work of fiction, I suggest The First Assassin by John J. Miller. Available at Amazon and other fine book sellers.

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  12. I picked up your record based on Miller’s recommendation. I really like it. Nice guitar work.

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