Thursday, May 19, 2011

Candy-eye and Informational Messages

Sometimes it doesn’t matter if your bot offers the best price for a card.  Actually the vast majority of cards bought and sold on MTGO aren’t moving for the best rates available.  Word of mouth, classifieds advertisements, and the bot’s willingness to buy other cards all figure in heavily.  

Today I’d like to focus on classifieds advertisements again, because there are tons of bots not getting as much help as they could be from this invaluable marketing tool. Very few people go through the classifieds in their entirety.  Almost everyone is typing something into the search box to filter the classifieds down to a manageable portion, and if your bot’s advertisement does not include the term they filtered by, your bot may as well not even exist at that moment in time.  "\n" is a great tool for making sure your bot comes up in as many classifieds searches as possible.  Typing “\n” into a classifieds ad will start a new line, which happens automatically anyhow if your advertisement is too long to fit into one line of text - more interesting is that anything you type between "\n" and "]" will not appear in your ad,
yet still cause your ad to be displayed to anyone who searches by that term.  Some example terms to place between "\n" and "]" are: rares, mythics, mythic rares, zzz, acr, m101010, buying, and selling.  

Of course, even if your ad is displayed in someone’s search results, that doesn’t necessarily mean your ad will be appealing to whoever sees it. Most advertisements fall under the category of "informational" or "eye-candy".  Informational ads list as many specific cards and prices as they can possibly fit.  The idea is either to display your attractive prices to anyone specifically looking to buy or sell one of those cards, or to be one of the only people listing a certain card, netting you the business of people who choose to search by that card’s name, whether or not the price is all that compettitive.  

When using an "informational" type of advertisement, it’s only ideal if your prices really do beat many other offers, or if you are listing cards which most others are not.  If you list the same cards as fifty other people, and don’t beat any of them, your advertisement is likely not helping you. The other type of advertisement, "eye-candy" as I like to call it, aims to attract customers with colors, symbols and nice text. For promises that grab attention.  "OFF ALL CARDS" "SMILEYBOT - BEATING EVERY BOT - CHECK FOR YOURSELF" "BLUEBOT BUYING and SELLING". This strategy does work, I can say so because I am not one to put my eggs in one basket, and thus have tried pretty much everything. In summary, make sure your ad is seen by many people, and that they like what they see.  Proper advertising can do wonders for any bot that is even halfway decent as far as pricing goes.  

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