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If you’ve been involved with online marketing I’m sure you’ve heard the saying ‘the money is in the list.’
The reason that marketers rave about the virtues of creating your own list is simply because it works.
Basically a list is simply a bunch of contacts who have, by supplying you with their email address, given you permission to send them messages.
Not so long ago, when the only way to communicate with your subscribers was through snail-mail, it cost a bundle to send out your message. At least $1 per person was the rule of thumb back then and now it would be far higher. Sending out to even a relatively small list of 1,000 could be a serious investment and so you had to sell very hard to get a return.
Now, with Email Newsletters, things are very different. You can send out to 10,000 people in a few clicks and it will cost you almost nothing. Email marketing is close to being free. In fact, with certain email marketing services, it is absolutely free — I recommend MadMimi.
That means that you need a far lower response rate, compared to snail-mail, to make a profit! It is not unusual to make thousands of dollars from a single mailing that takes you just a few minutes to write.
With your permission-based list there is nothing to stop you sending out to your list again and again.
But there is a catch.
People may willingly give you permission to email them, but you need to be able to catch their attention with quality content. And having caught their attention, you need to have established a trust between you so that your readers will happily follow your recommendations to buy the things you promote.
The old days of mail order selling to a list entailed sending out long, professionally written sales letters. Long sales letters definitely do not work in an email newsletter. Email newsletters, or e-zines, are not about hard selling, they are about entertaining, educating and pre-selling.
Pre-selling is the art of warming an audience up – making them desire the product you are recommending – so that they will take your advice and follow the link you provide to the product’s sales page. That’s where the selling takes place, not in your email newsletter. The link you use to send them to the sales page will be coded with your affiliate link and so when they do buy the product, you will get a commission credited to you. In Internet marketing, that commission is usually between 50% to 100%.
But as I said, your ability to get your readers to click on a link depends on the rapport you have built with them and the level of trust they have in you. People buy from people they know, like and trust.
Learn how to write an email newsletter the right way and online profits will come your way as fast as you can click on the send button in your auto-responder!
First, let’s talk about your ezine, or e-newsletter. If you intend to publish an informative ezine, do not expect much direct sales from it. Why is this?
Because the primary purpose of your newsletter is to establish your credibility, expertise and to create that relationship – we keep returning to this relationship thing all the time, don’t we? Do not think of your ezine primarily as an advertisement for your services or products.
In your ezine, you must provide useful content to your subscribers.
By all means, promote your products and services in your ezine, but do not make it the most prominent part of the newsletter. Here it should be in the background, and shouldn’t take up more than about a quarter of the space.
For example, at the bottom of the newsletter you can have a section titled “About Me”, and here you can provide a brief summary of your business, and also mention that you are the author of such-and-such book, or creator of a product. Provide a link to your site where there’s more information.
Now, the most money you’re going to make is through so-called promo-emails, or some people call them solo mailings. While your ezine may have several articles, reviews, comments, recommendations, etc., in a promo email you will concentrate on promoting just one particular thing: it could be a new product you developed, a new type of service that you offer, or something like that.
Typically, your promo emails will be much shorter than your regular ezine. In case you’re sending your ezine in HTML format you may want to experiment and send the promo emails as plain text. Be sure to split-test this.
BTW, for those who are not familiar with the term, split-testing is when you send one version of your email to a subset of your list and another, different version, to a different group of the same size. You compare the results, and from then on use the format witch produced the highest response.
These promotional emails will usually have response rates that are several times higher than a response from your ezine.
Today I’d like to remind you that you there’s a treasure trove to be discovered in my interview with Glen Hopkins. Here’s Glen’s discussion on one of his advanced list-building strategies, the so called Triple Win Customer Generation System, which is a hybrid of sorts, of the squeeze page. – Boris
What you need to do this, I’ve broken it down, basically what you need is one JV partner, or an affiliate, it takes you about one hour of your time, it is going to takeone ethical bribe, which is really nothing more than something of high perceived value, such as a call or an audio recording, that I am using in this particular case, which is of low financial cost to you, and then a back end product.
What it is going to do is build you a very highly-targeted customer list. Not just subscribers, but customers who have paid to be on your list and they have proven that they have a willingness to spend their money on you.
That is key, because if you have, not only subscribers on your list, but actual customers, that is of much greater value to you. They have a method of buying, they have a credit card and they have a willingness to pay you money.
So what we are going to do is, I am going to walk you through it really quick. You set up a simple page – withs your basic headline you see on a sales copy on your squeeze page. A headline and then you have a short sales copy letter. You can see that it is really just a few paragraphs with a picture of Mike Filsaime and myself.
Mike Filsaime and I are both list-building experts and we got together and we did a call and we talked about building our opt-in email list. It is a private exclusive call that was not available to the public, it wasn’t a teleseminar, just Mike and myself masterminding and talking about building our opt-in email lists.
Now, you need to understand that both Mike and I charge in the neighbourhood of $500 an hour for consulting. So we are looking at about $1,000.00 value here.
Now, what I am doing is: People coming to this site, I already know they are interested in list-building because the people who are sending out emails for this site, send an email to their list saying “Listen guys, I’ve got an opportunity to share a call with you between Glen Hopkins and Mike Filsaime and it is only going to cost you a dollar. You have to go check this out.”
They come to this site and for a dollar they are going to have access to both Mike and I. In other words, they are going to listen to a brainstorm mastermind session on how to build your opt in email list for just one dollar.
Now, this is a very high perceived value so, obviously, these people want to learn how to build their own opt-in email list. They click on that PayPal link that you see at the bottom, they pay their one dollar to get the call, and here is the process I go through, when they pay their dollar to get the call, PayPal gives you the opportunity to redirect them to another page and the page that I redirect them to is a registration page.
The registration page is where they enter in their name and email address. And I tell them that when they enter in their name and email address I am going to email them the download instructions for that call. So now what has happened is, I am instantly building a list of paying customers – I know that in the future if I try to sell them something, they have a willingness and ability to pay me. You are building a buyers list, the most powerful list you can have.
So we get them to enter in their name and their email address, add them to our list and as soon as they click on the submit button, we redirect them to a second page which is called our “OTO” — the One Time Offer — which is typically an up sell or a cross sell to the product or service to the product that you just sold them.
In this particular case what I do is, when somebody first pays one dollar for that call on how to build their list, the upsell on the OTO page is the opportunity to purchase my book Lucrative List Building, which is the digital version.
Now this currently sells for $147.00 for the resell rights to this ebook. Well, they can get it for $19.95 which is an unheard of price and so the conversion rates on that is very high. So what I am doing here Boris, is I am positioning myself as an expert. Because what is happening is that people are going to purchase this book, they are going to read it and they are going to learn more about me and what I can offer them. So I am positioning myself as even more as a list building expert in their eyes. Which is great for future sales again.
I sell them the ebook and here is what happens. With the ebook there is a PayPal link on that page as well, on the OTO page to purchase the ebook, that PayPal link is a link to my JV partner’s PayPal account, not mine. So my JV partner is getting 100% profit of every sale of the ebook.
You know what that is doing? The key to this is that my JV partner now has an incentive to want to tell his list all about this call for a dollar, because he knows that there are a lot of people who are going to be interested in getting on the call and every time somebody purchases that ebook he is going to get 100% commission.
That’s why it is a triple-win situation: my JV partner’s customer is winning because they are getting a $1,000 call for $1, then they are getting an ebook worth $147 dollars for $19.95, which they can resell to their heart’s content and make 100% profit on it, so they are winning. Then my JV partner is winning because he is making commissions from all of these sales. Triple win situation and the best part about it is, you are getting people on your list, you’re building your list with paying customers.
Finally, once you have your products or services you’d like others to promote, and you have a system in place to track visitors, sales and affiliate commissions, you’re now ready to start promoting your affiliate program.
A good place to start is a list of your own clients or customers. If your clients promote your stuff, their credibility is going to be very high, since they’ve purchased from you, so they can talk from first-hand experience. You may even consider running a closed-door affiliate program by only allowing your clients/customers to be a part of it. A good example of such closed programs is Audio Acrobat (for recording and hosting audio and video online) and SendOutCards (to send automated postcards and greeting cards – the real ones, with a stamp and all).
Obviously, you’ll want to have your affiliate program featured on your web site and in your ezine for example.
In case you’re looking for products & services related to email marketing, you may want to join my own affiliate program, it pays up to 50% commission on products and 10% on services.
Promoting your affiliate program is like building a list: you can use the same tactics and strategies. Try visiting and contributing to online forums and blogs where your potential affiliate partners hang out. Write articles. Run a pay-per-click campaign. Contact people of influence you think may be interested in promoting your stuff. To get on their good books, buy their product or attend their seminars, then contact them by phone or send them an evaluation copy of your product by post.
Once you’ve recruited a bunch of interested affiliates, who have access to lists of thousands of people you may find that you don’t need to promote your affiliate program that much anymore as your affiliate partners may be just the ticket for your business’ success!
The easiest way to manage an affiliate program is to use shopping cart softwarethat also has the affiliate module available, either as an add-on feature, or it is included in the basic package.
The system I use is 1ShoppingCart (you may have heard of it under a different name, such as KickStartCart). This is a well-known and respected shopping cart system that is used by the majority of Internet marketers I’ve come across. Apart from the affiliate module and cart features, it also allows you to set up ad trackers, auto-responders and ezines.
It allows you to create an affiliate program, have a web page where people can sign up, then the systems gives each affiliate his or her own link code for each product or service that you offer, and tracks visitors, sign ups, and purchases made that came from those links, for a period of time that you define.
In other words, if one of your affiliates sends you a visitor that signs up for your free ezine today, but makes a purchase a year from now, your affiliate partner will still get his/her commission.
Alternatively, if you’re technically inclined, you may choose a stand-alone script, orsoftware that you install on your own server to manage your affiliate program. I’ve never personally used any of these programs myself, so I can’t recommend any one in particular, but I do know that there’s one important advantage to having your own affiliate script installed, and it has to do with search engine optimization.
You see, if you’re using 1ShoppingCart, or a similar solution for managing your affiliate program, when your affiliates promote your products the links are always going to look like this: http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=94277&AdID=333732
However, if you run your own script, however, you can set it up that those links actually point to your web site, such as this http://YourWebSite.com/affid?2847
Why is this important? Well, from the point of view of search engine optimization, it’s better for you to have pages around the web have a link back to your site. However, if the majority of your affiliate partners are going to be using email to promote your products then this won’t matter.
To find about these alternative software solutions, simply Google “affiliate program software”, or, if you’re part of an affiliate program that uses one of these scripts, and you like its features, log in to your account and look at the bottom of the page. That’s where you can usually find a link to the person or company that created it.
The first step in creating your own affiliate program is having something that others would be interested in promoting. Digital products, such as software, music, and ebooks are easiest to promote and sell. With products that are delivered to the customer digitally, there are no production, fulfillment, or printing cost involved.
Digital products are also easy to create. For example, if you’re a life coach, and you have regular monthly tele-seminars, you could record your tele-seminar in digital audio (most often in MP3 format). It doesn’t take much effort to turn that recording into a sellable product.
On the other hand, if you have physical products, such as CDs, or DVDs, or printed course books, you have to consider the cost of shipping and handling, production, etc. to set the affiliate commissions appropriately to reflect those extra costs.
The trickiest kind of product to promote and collect affiliate commissions on are yourservices. To be able to attract people to promote your services, you have to have in place an all-digital tracking system, and sell those services online as well. If you sell a service to a client that was referred to your web site by an affiliate, you should bill him in such a way that your affiliate would be able to have a record of that transaction.
Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of earning money online. Since these programs are easy to join, implement and pay a commission on a regular basis, more and more people are now entering this business.
Committing some of the most common mistakes can cost you a large portion of your affiliate marketing profits. Here are three things to avoid:
Many people want to earn from affiliate programs as fast as possible. In their rush to be part of one, they tend to choose a popular product.
Don’t choose a product that is in demand without actually considering if the product appeals to you. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, try to choose a product in which you are truly interested in.
Promoting a product you are more passionate about is easier than promoting one for the sake of the earnings only.
Since affiliate programs are very easy to join, you might be tempted to join multiple affiliate programs to try and maximize the earnings you will be getting. Besides, you may think that there is nothing wrong and nothing to lose by being part of many affiliate programs.
True, that is a great way to have multiple sources of income. However, joining multiple programs and attempting to promote them all at the same time will prevent you from concentrating on any one of them in particular, in effect you’d be spreading yourself thin.
The result? The maximum potential of your affiliate program is not realized and the income generated will not exactly be as big as you were thinking initially it would. The best way to get excellent result is by joining just one or two programs that pay 40% commission at least. Then give it your best effort by promoting the products enthusiastically. As soon as you see that you’re making a reasonable profit, then you can join another affiliate program.
As an affiliate, you main purpose is to effectively and convincingly promote a product or service. For you to achieve this purpose, you must be able to relay the features and benefits of that certain product and service to your prospects. It’d be difficult for you to do this if you yourself have not tried these things out.
Try the product or service personally before you sign up as an affiliate to see if it really delivers what it promises. Your customers will then feel the sincerity and truthfulness in you and this will boost your recommendation significantly.
Many affiliate marketers are paying dearly for making these mistakes. Try to do everything you can to avoid them yourself.
Time is the key. Take the time to analyze your marketing strategy and check if you are on the right track. If done properly, you will be able to maximize your participation in an affiliate marketing program and to earn higher profits.
Simply put, an affiliate program allows you to grow your list and make more sales at the same time. When other people join your affiliate program, they agree to promote you, your products or services on their own time and using their own resources. In exchange, you offer them a commission on any sales that result from their efforts. Each and every affiliate partner will have their own list of clients they can promote you to.
Affiliate marketing has another side of the coin: You can join other people’s programs and sell their products – but here’s one important step: don’t just settle for a sale, always make sure you get the buyer to your own list as well, so you can continue to market to them!
There are several options for you to set up your own affiliate program. I use and recommend 1ShoppingCart. You are also invited to join my affiliate program and make 10%-50% commission, even on services!