Monday, January 26, 2015

Using AdWords to Max Out Dropbox Referral Bonus

Dropbox is an excellent cloud storage service and it is available on all popular platforms. The catch is that new users only receive 2 GB of storage. Compared to other cloud services, this is low side for storage. The positive side is that Dropbox pays users with bonus space to perform certain activities such as reading the Get Started Guide, using the app to upload photos, and linking to Mailbox and social media accounts. After performing those activities and receiving 1GB after OnCloud was purchased by Dropbox I had 7.88 GB of space. Not bad, but I needed a bit more room for growth. My remaining untapped bonus area was referrals. For every friend that is referred and installs the app you will receive 500 MB in additional space up to 16 GB. To max out at 16 GB you need 32 friends who A) are not users of Dropbox and B) will sign up and install the desktop app. I'd likely need many more than 32 friends to achieve this goal. What to do....
AdWords Ad Keywords for Dropbox Referrals
AdWords Ad Keywords for Dropbox Referrals 

I found a Life Hacker article Use Google Adwords to Quickly Max Out Your Dropbox Referrals from 2011 and I was curious if it still applied in 2015. Using the instructions from the Life Hacker article I decided to try to replicate the results. I opened a Google AdWords account and set the keywords up similar to those in the article.

As in the article, I maxed out the Cost-Per-Click (CPC) at $0.05 which maximize the number of ads over the day without quickly killing the daily budget. I did deviate and set the max daily budget to $13.00 instead of $20.00 as used in the article. 

 Same as in the article, the keyword that drew the most impressions and clicks was "Dropbox".  
AdWords Dropbox Campaign
AdWords Dropbox Campaign

To achieve the same results of having 32 people sign up for Dropbox, I needed 4.7 times the number of clicks but only half of the impressions. The Click-Through-Rate (CTR) was higher than in the article and that resulted in a 4 times greater cost compared to 2011. 

Dropbox Referral Results
Dropbox Referral Results
Out of 1,029 add clicks I had 77 first time users sign up for Dropbox accounts with only 37 of the 77 users installing the client. To max out the referral bonus space, it only required 32 users to install the client so the campaign brought in 5 additional users without a bonus. The proof, with email addresses hidden, shows that referrals using the link in the ad were received. 

Replicating the Google AdWords campaign was successful but it did cost 4 times more than in 2011. The goal of 32 signups with desktop installation was achieved in 2.5 days. Dropbox does have more subscribers than in 2011 and my theory is that it took more to reach people who do not currently use Dropbox and are not tied to a different cloud storage service. Each user that signs up using the referral link also receives a 500 MB bonus so their accounts all started out at 2.5 GB instead of 2.0 GB. If you are willing to pay $40 for 16GB of Dropbox storage then this avenue may be for you. I now have plenty of space on Dropbox and I don't need to pay $99 a year for 1 terabyte of Dropbox space which is much more than I require.

If you try this out for yourself, leave a comment and let us know how it worked for you.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Van Der Hagen Safety Razor

Target carries a double edge safety razor with a branding of Van Der Hagen. Up to this point, the only methods that I have found for purchasing a safety razor are through one of the on-line speciality stores or Amazon. This is the first safety razor that I have encountered that any person can easily purchase. The razor costs $19.99 at Target so I decided to purchase one for a test drive and review.

As some background the razors that I own are:
1957 Flare Tip Super Speed
1960 Fatboy
Edwin Jagger DE89
Feather AS-D2

The Van Der Hagen is a twist-to-open (TTO) razor allowing for easy blade replacement. I was not sure what to expect from a $19 razor but the TTO works flawlessly. It is easy to use; however, when it is closed the end cap at the bottom of the TTO mechanism rattles. This doesn't affect the shave but I'd prefer to not hear a rattle with every shave stroke.

Left to Right: Van Der Hagen,
Flare Tip Super Speed
Left to Right: Van Der Hagen,
Flare Tip Super Speed
The look, as evident in the pictures, is similar to the Gillette Flare Tip Super Speed. The head of both razors when open and closed have a striking resemblance. I don't know if this is to pay homage to the great Gillette razors of yesteryear or for a different reason but either way the appearance is similar. The Van Der Hagen's handle measures at 3 inches which is slightly longer than the Super Speed's 2 and 7/8's inch handle. Both are shorter than the Edwin Jagger's 3 1/4 inch handle. The handle is in the ballpark for what I usually use so I didn't notice a difference. Also, the overall weight and balance of the razor feels fine in the hand. The head weighs less than both the Edwin Jagger and the Feather but it is on par, if not slightly lighter than the Flare Tip. The weight didn't affect my shave but it did feel a tad light in the hand.

I performed a WTG, XTG, and ATG shave using a Feather blade and I didn't not notice any irritation; however, the shave is not all that aggressive. I did not have as close of a shave as I get from the Edwin Jagger. Comparing the shave to my commercially available razors, the Van Der Hagen is less aggressive than the Edwin Jagger, and more aggressive than the Feather (which is known as a mild razor).

I'm glad to have tried this razor and it can compete with other DE razors.

  • Available to anyone through Target brick and mortar stores
  • Low price ($19.99)
  • Good starter razor - mild to Medium aggressiveness shave
  • Rattle from the handle when shaving
  • Weight is on the light side

Overall, I feel that this razor falls into the category of a starting razor and would benefit someone new into the world of DE wet shaving. Instead of purchasing a $35-$60 razor off Amazon someone new to shaving could begin with tis razor. Once he (or she) gets used to DE shaving they can upgrade continue with this razor or upgrade to a more aggressive razor. Personally, I plan to hold on to this razor. For me this would make a great travel razor. I get a good shave, it doesn't weight a lot, and if I were to forget it at a hotel it I'd be out $19 and could always pickup another.

I do want to thank Target for offering a low cost DE razor in their stores as DE shaving is more cost effective than disposables and is easier on the environment.