This “Backwards” Approach to Affiliate Marketing REALLY Works
This is by no means “new” and it’s far from an “earth-shattering breakthrough.”
I learned many years ago from Dan Kennedy that it’s much easier to swipe and deploy ideas that have already been proven to be successful rather than spend years trying to think of your own.
As you read this, you’re going to discover many examples where this method has already been proven to be successful in many different markets and niches.
Stop trying to reinvent the wheel and start following the blueprint of already successful people.
Buckle in and get ready. It’s gonna be a heckuva ride!
The Strategy Explained
If you’ve known me for long, you know I skip all the BS and hoopla. I’m not one to ramble on for thirty pages about WHY the other strategies don’t work anymore.
Truth is, the other strategies still do work. I just find this strategy works better. It’s also easier to implement for someone brand new to internet marketing who might not have a large budget to dedicate to advertising.
The strategy itself is simple and it goes something like this:
Paid Traffic => $7 Offer => Buyers List => Promote Affiliate Products
Looks a little bit like an Internet Marketing funnel, right? You know, the one’s selling the $7 Warrior Forum products? Yep. I’m just now noticing that as I typed it out.
Thing is, outside of the Internet Marketing niche this strategy isn’t used nearly as often. The IM niche is always WAAAY ahead of the curve.
Having to come up with “new ideas” to stand out from the crowd and make more money.
My advice is to steer clear of the IM niche. Just my advice. You might think I’m being hypocritical seeing as how you’re reading a post on my IM blog. Understandable.
I just feel it’s easier to enter niches outside of IM using this strategy as they’re far less crowded and you don’t have to work as hard to get your message read.
I’m going to explain each of the steps of this strategy in detail, plus a mandatory “Step 0”. I’ll tell you why it’s mandatory in a second.
First, lets talk about the typical affiliate marketing strategy. There are really only two options: direct link to an affiliate offer or drive traffic to a squeeze page for a freebie, then promote related products.
Here’s the problem with both of these strategies:
If you’re running paid ads (and if you want to make a decent living as an affiliate, you should be running paid ads) you’re paying for a lot of wasted traffic.
As you’ll soon see in the next section of this report, driving paid traffic straight to a squeeze page is like paying double (or more) for each click you get.
Because no squeeze page in the history of the internet has ever gotten a 100% conversion rate. So every click that landed on your squeeze page and didn’t opt-in, is wasted.
Sure you could retarget them but then you’re spending even more money on that initial click for someone who might not ever be willing to hand you money.
And… the whole point is to find prospects who would purchase affiliate products you promote.
This is why the strategy I’m sharing with you here is so powerful. It eliminates the guessing about whether or not they’re willing to pay money for a solution.
In short, you’re attracting buyers ONLY. You’re building a list of buyers… not subscribers.
Are you leaving some money on the table by turning away everyone who isn’t ready to buy RIGHT NOW? Yes, you are. But you don’t care about them right now.
You care about money. Plain and simple. You’re in this to make money… not to wait weeks or even months for someone to buy an affiliate product you’re promoting in email #26 in your autoresponder series.
Okay, so you’re probably wondering… if this strategy is so much better… why aren’t more marketers using it?
Short Answer: They’re lazy.
Longer Answer: It requires more work than just setting up a squeeze page and creating a Clickbank affiliate link. You’re actually selling your own front-end product with this strategy.
Here’s a list of the tools you’ll need before you spend even one cent on traffic:
- Domain Name
- Shopping Cart
- Email Service Provider
- Tracking Software
And that’s it for the most part. It’s minimal really when you take a step back and look at the list. You can get all of that for less than $100/mo (less than $50/mo if you really tried).
My point is, most affiliates try to spend as little as possible. That’s just a horrible way to run a business. Could you imagine if Apple tried to spend as little as possible to run their business and how horrible their products would turn out?
Treat your business like a business and it will produce the results you expect from it.
Even if I had an endless amount of money to invest in this business, my list of tools would still look like this:
- Domain Name – $8.88/yr from NameCheap
- Hosting and Shopping Cart – $97.00/mo from ClickFunnels
- Email Service Provider – $19/mo from Aweber
- Tracking Software – $17/mo from ClickMagick
I’m still under $150/mo for all the tools I would ever need. Sure there are other things I might add down the road but those are the essentials.
Truth is, most affiliates already have all of these tools anyways. Because they’re building squeeze pages left and right for different offers, they might already have ClickFunnels.
And they need some way to add their subscribers to a mailing list so they might already have Aweber (or something similar).
I guess what I’m saying is, these tools are already common amongst marketers so it’s likely you have one, or all, of them already.
If not, no big deal. It’s not like it’s thousands of dollars to invest in them. Most offer a free trial too so you can get started for almost nothing.
Hopefully that all makes sense. If not, it’ll probably come together for you as we move along.
Step 0: Predictive Funnel Math
I learned this technique from Justin Brooke, a very experienced media buyer for many big name marketers you would probably recognize, and it’s a VERY smart process.
Probably one of the most eye-opening marketing experiences I’ve had in a long time.
You need to know ahead of time whether or not you have the possibility of making money before you invest even one cent in paid traffic.
Now, the phrase “making money” has many possible meanings. You could be referring to making money on the front-end… or, making money on the back-end… or, making money 6 months from now.
Take Agora Publishing, for example. They’re willing to go $100 or more negative on the front-end per customer because they know 6 months from now each customer is worth $500.
Making money on the front-end means you’re seeing a positive ROI on new customers after they’ve purchased your front-end product and have been through your upsell/downsell sequence (if you have one).
Making money on the back-end means you’re seeing a positive ROI on new customers after they’ve been through your front-end sales funnel as well as one or more of your back-end sales funnels for different products.
For the purposes of explaining this strategy… we’ll start by focusing on making money on the front-end.
And actually… your goal shouldn’t be to make money on the front-end but to just break even, meaning to make back the same amount you spent on the traffic.
So if you’re spending $0.50/click and you buy 100 clicks, you’ll need to make 8 sales at the $7.00 price point to break even. What’s important to understand here though, is you just acquired 8 BUYERS at no cost to you.
You now have the ability to build a buyers list for FREE. That is, as long as you can make the numbers work.
There’s really only one number you have to worry about… Return On Investment (ROI).
So many marketers focus on CPC, CTR, Conversion to Sale, Bounce Rate, Frequency, and many other metrics that they just get overwhelmed and frustrated.
Just start on a small scale and focus on ROI. If you spend $500 on advertising and you didn’t make $500 back… that’s when you look at a few of those metrics I mentioned above.
Conversion to Sale is probably the most important out of those metrics above. This number is easy to figure out. Just divide the number of sales you have by the number of total clicks to your sales page.
So, if I have 8 sales divided by 500 total clicks… that equals 0.016 or a 1.6% conversion rate.
However, there is no “good” conversion rate you should be hoping for. There are many variables at play here. The biggest being your product’s price point.
For instance, take the two examples below:
500 Clicks x 1% Conversion Rate x $49 Price Point = $245.00
500 Clicks x 7% Conversion Rate x $7 Price Point = $245.00
Both examples result in $245 gross profit but one example got you 7 times more BUYERS. Can you guess which one? Yes, the second example.
Lower price points tend to have higher conversion rates which result in a higher number of front-end buyers.
Now, needless to say, there are still many other variables at play here but for the most part… these numbers are pretty average.
I’ve had low-priced front-end offers convert cold traffic from 4% up to 13%… depending on how targeted the traffic was.
In case you’re still hung up on the fact that we’re eliminating the squeeze page from this strategy, lets throw one in front of the two examples above:
500 Clicks x 25% Opt-in Rate x 1% Conversion Rate x $49 Price Point = $49.00 (1 Buyer)
500 Clicks x 25% Opt-in Rate x 8% Conversion Rate x $7 Price Point = $70.00 (7 Buyers)
Is this starting to sink in yet? Here’s a more visual representation:
In the above example, if you were paying $0.50 per click for 500 clicks, with a 25% opt-in rate (which is a good rate for cold traffic), and a 1% conversion to sale… you would’ve made one sale for $49, added one buyer to your email list, and lost $201 on the front-end.
Of course, you’d also have a list of 124 “prospects” but there’s no guarantee that any of them are willing to open their wallet.
If you haven’t guessed it, we’re after buyers here… not subscribers. Keep in mind, I’m not say it’s bad to send traffic to a squeeze page to build an email list.
That would be foolish of me to say, especially since I have an entire product on how to build an email list. All I’m giving you here is another way to make money online. How you decide to use it is up to you.
Lets look at an example without a squeeze page and using a low-priced front-end offer:
The above illustration says it all. No wasted traffic (from the squeeze page). More buyers due to the lower price point. More profit due to the higher conversion rate from the lower price point. Quicker ROI on the front-end.
This should be the goal you work towards. Breaking even on the front-end… or better yet, making a little money on the front-end.
You’re essentially building a list of buyers for free that you can now send affiliate offers to on a regular basis. Once product owners find out you have a list of buyers… they’ll offer you everything under the sun to get you on board as an affiliate.
A few last words about squeeze pages…
Squeeze pages have their place. They were initially created to use by JV Partners. A JV Partner would mail out to their list on your behalf and require people to opt-in for something for free before selling them.
There were no “ad costs” involved really. That strategy when applied to paid traffic cuts your profits off at the knees.
That’s why you’ll rarely see big publishing companies like Agora sending their paid traffic to a squeeze page. Because it isn’t as profitable.
Sure it may work but since they’re spending thousands of dollars per month on advertising, they know what will get them the best return.
Before we end this section, I want to add even more fuel to the “funnel fire”.
My last illustration only included a front-end offer. There were no upsells or downsells at all. So what happens when you add upsells and downsells to the end of your front-end offer?
You make more money!
To demonstrate the importance of using a low-priced front-end offer, take a look at the illustration below:
In the above illustration, I bumped the number of clicks up to 1,000 to make my point crystal clear. Since I only made two front-end sales, it’s unlikely that those two buyers would take any of the upsells… resulting in a $402 loss from the $500 ad spend.
Now, lets look at the same exact funnel using a squeeze page with a low-priced front-end offer:
In the above illustration, since I made 20 front-end sales, I now have 20 buyers to show my upsells to. This scenario is better than the previous one but I’m still losing money on the front-end.
Now, lets look at the same exact funnel without the squeeze page:
Take a really close look at the image above. Because when I wrote this funnel out on my whiteboard and made my final calculations… my jaw dropped.
I could instantly see a successful plan right before my very eyes and I didn’t waste months creating all of it and testing different price points trying to figure out what would work.
Using some simple (and very conservative) estimates, I knew UP FRONT whether or not this would be profitable. I know I can get clicks in my niche for $0.50 or less and I know the conversion rates I’m using are very conservative.
Heck, even if my front-end only converts at 4% look at my results:
I’ll still add 40 buyers to my list and I’ll make $461 of net profit just on the front-end. Not to mention all the affiliate sales I’ll make on the back-end. So I’m getting paid to build a list of buyers.
If these multi-step funnels scare you or overwhelm you… don’t worry. It’s not necessary. Go back up to the illustration that includes just the one low-priced front-end offer and look at that result.
I added 40 buyers to my email list and made a profit of $30. I can just roll my profits back into my advertising on an ongoing basis and build a massive list of buyers in a very short amount of time.
Then it just comes down to buying clicks. What if, using one of my funnels with the three upsells, I bought 10,000 clicks per month? I’d add 800 buyers to my list and have a profit of $15,416 per month. What about 100,000 clicks per month? I’d add 8,000 buyers to my list and earn a profit of $154,160 per month.
See how simple it all seems after you have a profitable plan in front of you? Then it all just comes down to buying clicks.
Another gold nugget of information that I learned a number of years ago is…
“There’s no such thing as a traffic problem, you really only ever have an offer problem.”
– Ryan Deiss
Which you’ll soon see in the next section. On we go!
Penny Clicks on Command
In this section I’m going to cover three reliable and inexpensive traffic sources. Sources that I’ve personally used in multiple niche markets.
Are there more than three “good” traffic sources? Absolutely. Here’s another post I did that includes 6 “penny click” traffic sources for affiliates.
But I’m a firm believer that you should choose one that best fits your niche, your offer, and your budget… and master it. Learn everything there is to know about that one source. Test different appeals. Try a plethora of creatives (ads). Hit it from all angles. Beat it to death.
Once you’ve really mastered that traffic source and you’re happy with your ROI but you’re hitting a ceiling on growth… THEN you add a second source only after you’ve exhausted all possibilities with the first traffic source that you’ve already mastered.
Remember the quote I left you with in the previous section from Ryan Deiss… finding good, quality traffic has never been a problem.
Each of the three sources I’m about to discuss have a MASSIVE amount of clicks available to you. More than you’ll ever need.
Don’t forget the purpose of this strategy… to build a list of buyers. That’s it. Nothing more. You don’t need a list of a million people to make a good living each and every month.
The old adage of each subscriber is worth a dollar per month to you is still valid and is still a pretty fair estimate. So you can do the math based on your desired monthly income.
Here’s one example:
If my desired monthly income is $30,000 per month… I need an email list of 30,000 buyers. Plain and simple. Easy enough, right?
Okay, lets move on to three traffic sources in order of ‘My Least Favorite’ to ‘My Most Favorite’.
My least favorite of the three traffic sources is Facebook.
Facebook still has a massive potential audience for just about every niche and they offer a plethora of different ad types… including video.
So, if video is your desired advertising medium, my recommendation is Facebook. Youtube is definitely a close runner up and offers many of its own benefits and features for advertisers.
If you need to advertise to a local audience, or a specific location, Facebook is a great choice.
My dad holds plant sales at his nursery here in Perry, OH and in years past he’s used the newspaper to run all of his ads. The newspaper used to work great. It would usually produce a 10 to 1 or sometimes even a 20 to 1 ROI.
This past year he tested Facebook. After one month’s time, his Facebook ad spend resulted in a 53 to 1 ROI. Needless to say, I like Facebook for local advertising.
On a national level… not so much. Their prices have started rising due to the lack of available ad spots. Which is why they’re my least favorite. They’re also pretty picky about what you can advertise and how you advertise it.
So why include them in a section called Unlimited Penny Clicks?
If you would’ve asked me two months ago if I thought you could still get penny clicks on Facebook I would’ve said not a chance in hell.
But I decided to test something and it worked very well… resulting 5,271 clicks with an ad spend of $86.55 which is $0.0164 per click. This is actually a case study that’s included in this product.
Lets keep moving…
My second favorite traffic source is RevContent.
RevContent is considered to be one of the up and coming native advertising networks.
If you’re in a niche that isn’t loved by Facebook and Google… RevContent will welcome you with open arms. Ask me how I know.
They’re not picky about your offer. Basically, as long as it’s nothing illegal, and you’re not making a bunch of unsubstantiated claims, they’ll run your ad somewhere on their network.
The key with RevContent is targeting. Choose a category that’s closely related to your product.
If their isn’t a category that fits with your product, you’ll have to think about who your ideal customer is and what sites they would likely be on.
RevContent delivers more than 250 Billion clicks per month and they are adding new publishers (ad widgets) to their network every day.
Another thing… you have to test creatives like a mad man. Start with one. Get the campaign approved and then add creatives as quickly as you can.
One thing that kinda sucks about RevContent is it takes them forever to get things approved. I think they say up to 72 hours for campaigns/creatives and up to 48 hours for approving new payment methods.
And don’t try to add a payment method until after you have a campaign approved. They’ll just deny it. I tried it two times thinking I needed a payment method in there before creating a campaign. Just seems like you would.
They want you to add a campaign and get it approved before you add a payment method.
Back to the creatives… I follow Justin Brooke’s advice on campaign structure. He suggests using a 5×3 campaign structure no matter the traffic platform.
This structure works best for platforms like Facebook and AdWords where you can have ad groups. You would have 5 different ad groups with 3 ads in each. Each ad group would target a specific interest or category and each ad would use a different image and headline.
For RevContent, this structure is a bit different because there are no ad groups and targeting is solely done by category and country.
So, you could target 5 different countries with 3 different creatives in each. Make the creatives around different appeals for your product.
If you have a make money online offer that you want to run… maybe your three different appeals are: “Make Money Online In 24 Hours or Less”, “Work Full-Time In Your Pajamas”, or “Get Paid to Send Emails”.
Notice how those three headlines are drastically different from one another yet they all promote the same product?
Just be sure the landing page addresses all three of those appeals very quickly in your copy. Congruency between your ads and your landing page is required.
Last thing regarding RevContent… penny clicks here are like deadly bait. You can get them all day long by the hundreds.
But let me explain how this native ad game works. It’s really the same for every ad network. The higher price you pay, the better ad slot you get. If you bid at penny click pricing, you’re gonna get penny click placements on bottom of the barrel sites.
That’s not to say you can’t make those clicks profitable. It’s just a slower road. Your ads will be positioned much lower and will likely not show on popular sites because others have bid higher.
The strategy to lower your CPC on RevContent is the same strategy you would use on other ad networks… increase your click through rate (CTR). The higher your CTR, the lower your CPC will be.
And the best way to increase your CTR is to be testing your creatives on a constant basis.
Overall, RevContent is a pretty promising network for beginners. Although, the minimum budget is a bit steep at $100/day for direct response campaigns. Which is why I love my third, and most favorite, traffic source.
Email traffic includes a number of different ad types: Solo Ads, Mini Solo Ads, Small Sponsored Text Ads, Banners, Co-Registration, and more. There are billions of email clicks available per month, in tons of different niches.
Before I dive in and explain this one, I want you to take a step back and think about the person clicking a link in an email they received. Think about what’s happening psychologically with them… even on a subconscious level.
If you, as an advertiser, are paying to advertise to someone’s email list, you know the people on that list have chosen to be there. It’s rare that you’ll find anyone advertising email advertising who is just spamming people.
I’m not saying it doesn’t happen but when it does, they’re not around for long. Email publishers HAVE to deliver results or they won’t be in business for long.
As an advertiser, if I don’t get quality clicks… I’m not coming back. Simple as that. And email publishers know that.
That means, every subscriber you’re advertising to has raised their hand and said, “Yes, please send me your emails.” They’ve given that publishing permission to email them regarding topics they’re interested in.
That’s a biggie right there. As marketers, we take this stuff for granted. We forget how important it is to think of these subscribers as people. They’re frickin’ people opening emails, reading them, and clicking on the links in them. They’re not just another number. Remember that.
Subconsciously, when someone receives an email, they immediately read who it’s from. Within seconds a series of tests get run in their brain to determine how important that email is.
If the publisher has done a good job in delivering valuable content to his/her subscribers, that email will get open and read. Each of which are tiny little micro-commitments made by the subscriber.
Opening an email is a micro-commitment. Read the first sentence is another micro-commitment. Scrolling down to reading more is another one. But one of the best micro-commitments a subscriber can do is clicking a link.
That’s why in our gardening email newsletters, I make our subscribers click a link to read the rest of the newsletter. I’m conditioning them to click links in our emails… even if it’s only on a subconscious level.
That way, when I tell them to click a link to read more about one of our products… they just do it out of habit without any conscious thought.
The subconscious mind is mysterious thing. Learning how to tap into it as a marketer is a priceless skill. Not in a dark way though. That’s just wrong.
I’m a firm believer that if you know your product will help somebody without a doubt, it’s up to you to do everything in your power to sell it to them.
Back to the subscribers reading your ad inside an email. Since it’s being sent on behalf of the publisher who the subscriber already has a relationship with… it’s kinda like an implied recommendation.
Even though you’re paying to show up in their inbox… it’s still coming from the publisher who they already trust to deliver valuable information. It’s an automatic recommendation even without saying a word. That happens on a subconscious level too.
So, your ad is being put in front of someone who is already conditioned to receive emails and engage and your borrowing the credibility that’s already been established by the publisher.
You have a lot going for you already. Now all you need to do is get their attention, pique their interest, build desire, and get them to take action (click the link). That’s the old AIDA formula for copywriting if you haven’t seen it before: Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.
Here’s a quick story to prove how powerful email ads can be:
While attending Todd Brown’s MFA Live 2016 I met a guy who had an Aquaponics info-product. We talked a while, since I’m in the gardening niche, and we decided to do a joint venture to our email list.
Not all of our subscribers are prospects for aquaponics but a percentage are so I decided to test it out and we would split the revenue 50/50.
Last week I sent his solo email out to our list and so far it’s gotten more than 5,000 clicks. He decided to send the traffic to a squeeze page for a free video series (which sells the product). My email traffic converted at a 65% opt-in rate on that page.
Which means he’s added more than 3,200 people to his email list in less than 4 days. He’ll probably convert close to 5% on the $99 product, resulting in almost $16,000 in sales (which we’ll split 50/50).
That’s just one email ad to one email list. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of email lists just like ours out there. Some you’ll have to seek out on your own but many are actively looking for advertisers.
Here are a few of my go to email publishers who offer regular email advertising options:
But some of the best email lists are sitting out there right now totally untapped. Kinda like our gardening list. They’re not being hammered with offer after offer every single day and they trust the list owner.
Finding these lists really isn’t that hard. Here’s a cool little trick to find hundreds of potential email lists of buyers who are already conditioned to buy information products:
Just go to the Clickbank marketplace, go to the category that best fits your product, and add the top 10, top 20, or top 50 products to a spreadsheet.
Think about this for a second… who are these product owners that have the top selling products on Clickbank? What do they have?
A big email list of information product buyers. This is actually how I discovered this method of affiliate marketing.
I noticed that many of the affiliate content leaderboards on Clickbank were the top Clickbank product vendors. That’s when he light bulb went off… obviously, they’re the best people to promote affiliate products. They already have the relationship with a buyer of information and they’ve delivered massive value inside their product.
They’re a perfect fit to show your email ad to.
Visit their website, find contact info, and send them an email. But here’s the really, really cool trick I picked up from someone (sorry, can’t remember where I heard this)…
Make sure the email is from your personal email account so the ‘from name’ comes through as your name and not some weird derivative. Then, leave the body of the email blank and in the subject line just type, “Can I buy an email drop?”. Then click ‘Send’.
If you worried that they won’t know what this means, don’t be. The phrase “email drop” is common language amongst list owners.
Before you start thinking they’ll totally dismiss this email and consider it spam… look at it from the perspective of the list owner.
You login to your email account, you see 40-50 marketing related emails from “gurus”, you see some Clickbank emails regarding account maintenance, a few receipts from some Amazon purchases you’ve made, and one personal email from someone interested in advertising to your email list.
That one email stands out. And it’s so brief, so mysterious, that you just have to reply to learn more about who they are what they want to advertise. They could be some big name product owner on Clickbank. You don’t know.
When I first heard about this strategy I didn’t believe it would work. But I recall them saying that 8 out of 10 people will reply to this email.
Now, obviously not every reply will turn in to an opportunity but at least you’ve started a dialogue with them.
I’ve actually never had to use this strategy as I always find lists that are available to advertise in. But if you use it, I’d love to hear about your results.
Achieving “penny clicks” with email advertising is very possible so long as you match the right offer to the right list.
For example, sending a muscle building offer to a weight loss list wouldn’t make sense right? No. It would get clicks, I’m sure, but they would be expensive clicks.
Typically, when you do email advertising you pay a flat rate in exchange for your ad being sent to X number of subscribers.
So if I pay $300 for my email ad to be sent to 200,000 subscribers, my goal is to get as many of those subscribers to click my ad as possible. Qualifying them isn’t necessary.
Sure, you want the most qualified people to click and land on your site but you can still grab their attention and get them to click without giving away too much information in your ad.
The key is to find the best list to advertise to. Obviously, buyers are best but they’ll also be more expensive. And if you advertise with someone like Newsmax, they’ll charge you more to run your ad in a specific topic or category.
For example, one of Newsmax’s newsletters is about gardening. We’re in the gardening niche so this would be a good newsletter for us to advertise in.
For this list, they only offer what they call an Exclusive email ad which is their most expensive option. It’s a stand-alone solo email to the entire list. The gardening list size is 190,000 and the cost is $21.00 CPM (per thousand subscribers).
So, if I wanted to send an exclusive email to that entire list it would cost me $3,990.
I would expect a conservative click through rate of around 3% with an exclusive email to a list like this. That means I would get approximately 5,700 clicks. That’s $0.70 per click. Pretty pricey for a gardeners.
That’s why you always need to know your numbers. Always ask the list owner what you can expect your click through rate (CTR) to be… or at least, what their typical open rates are.
When you buying traffic, you absolutely have to know your numbers. It goes back to what I talked about in the previous section with predictive funnel math… you need to be able to have a decent estimate of what your ad campaigns could achieve with conservative numbers.
If you can make it work using conservative estimates, then you’re in good shape. If you’re not sure what numbers you should be using as estimates, just ask… I’m happy to help however I can.
Your $7.00 Offer
Don’t complicate this. Please.
It’s actually the easiest part of this entire strategy… even though most marketers get all stressed out over it.
Let me start by eliminating a few myths/beliefs:
You don’t need to be an expert to sell an info-product. Oprah isn’t an expert. The simplest explanation of her success is… she finds experts and curates their content. People like Dr. Phil, Rachael Ray, Dr. Oz, Suze Orman, and more.
Next, you don’t need experience to sell a valuable info-product. Have you ever seen a cookbook for sale? Yep, it’s just a collection of recipes gathered into one easy to navigate book.
Fun fact: recipes can’t be copyrighted. You can’t copyright a list of ingredients. The name of a recipe and images of the recipe being made can be copyrighted though.
Next, just because someone else already created a product about a specific niche or topic doesn’t mean you can’t create the exact same thing (in your own unique way). I just did an Amazon search… there are more than 500 books on PHP Programming.
How many different ways can you teach PHP? The programming language is the same no matter how you teach it. But every author has his/her own perspective on the topic.
Lastly, you don’t need to be a good writer to create an info-product. Dude… I suck at writing. Like, if my high school English teacher read this report she would probably puke.
People don’t care if your writing is good… well, some people do but forget those morons. Most people buy for the knowledge. They wanna know what you know and don’t care about anything else.
If you hate writing, pay someone else to research and write it. Example…
A few months ago I wanted to test a niche out before going “full bore” into it so I went to the Warrior Forum and paid a ghostwriter $297 to research and write a 72-page ebook for me.
$297 one time. I get to sell that ebook forever, for however much I want, with 100% copyright to the content, without writing a single word.
If you really knew how often this happens in the info-marketing world (outside of IM), you’d have to pick your jaw up off the floor.
The possibilities are endless here. You really have to think about the long-term though. A year from now, what type of affiliate products do you want to be promoting? Who do you want as a subscriber? What niche do you want to serve?
Here’s my list of the top affiliate niches I recommend entering:
- Weight Loss
- Alternative/Natural Health
- Women’s Health (Yoga, Nutrition, Fitness, etc.)
- Internet Marketing
- Spirituality (Astrology, Hypnosis, Numerology, etc.)
That’s a short list but it covers many of the most profitable affiliate niches. Don’t believe me? Head on over to the Clickbank marketplace and check.
The only one not included in there are relationship related niches. Mostly because buying traffic for those may, or may not be, outside the realm of this guide depending on the specific topic.
Once you’re set on a niche, get the product knocked out, and move on to the sales letter. Don’t fret over page count for your $7.00 offer. It doesn’t matter.
I just sold a 23-page report for $297 a few months ago. What’s more important is the offer itself. Read: what the customer stands to gain from purchasing.
Part of that $297 product I sold included a few follow-up reports as well as a live case study. That’s why people paid $297. The 23-page report explained the strategy inside and out but it was everything bundled together that made the offer irresistible.
And that’s what you want… an irresistible offer. An offer so good that the person reading the sales letter thinks to themselves, “I’m stupid if I don’t give this guy seven bucks right now on the spot.”
Remember, you’re not selling this product to get rich. You’re selling it to build a list of buyers who you can promote affiliate products to for years to come.
This is the first time they get to experience YOU. You only get one chance to make the first experience mind-blowing.
If you blow them away with value upfront, they’re much more likely to trust your recommendations (read: affiliate promotions) in the coming months.
On the other hand, if your $7.00 product sucks and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth… your back-end promotions are likely to fail.
It’s simple really… just deliver on your promise in your sales letter.
Lets talk about the sales letter. Probably the scariest two-word phrase a new marketer can hear. But when you really see what it takes to make a sale, it’s really pretty easy.
It’s simple language explaining in clear detail what the person can expect after going through your product.
Before ending this section, lets talk about bonuses.
Bonuses shouldn’t be an afterthought or something you slap together at the last minute.
If your mindset is to try and find something you already have on your hard drive… you’re killing your offer. Good offers consist of valuable bonuses that add tremendous value to the main product.
Put time and thought into these bonuses. For a $7.00 offer, you don’t need more than two good bonuses… sometimes one really good one is all it takes.
The purpose of bonuses is to push the prospect over the edge and make it a no-brainer for them to buy now.
Lets move on.
Promoting Affiliate Products
The reason I wrote this post for you is to reveal what I’ve found to be the number one most effective way to sell affiliate products.
Is it counter-intuitive from most affiliate marketing methods? Absolutely. But I’m sharing it with you because it works.
Just don’t forget the psychology of WHY this strategy works… as Dan Kennedy says, “a buyer is a buyer is a buyer”, meaning, if they’ve bought something in the past that’s similar to what you’re selling, they’ll likely buy again.
An email list of buyers is worth many times more than a list of prospects. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be building a list prospects too. In some niches, this method just isn’t as effective.
Take gardening for example… my Dad and I have been in this niche online since 1999. These folks are much different than say, weight loss people.
Weight loss people are desperate for a quick solution and they’ve proven to be willing to spend money to solve that problem.
Gardeners aren’t as desperate. So, we had to improvise. Our product addresses a desperate problem (making money) and it’s geared towards gardeners.
Our model has always been… send traffic to gardening related content, get them on our email list as a free subscriber, and eventually convert them into a buyer for our product about making money gardening.
Not everyone is a prospect… really, only a small percentage are prospects but that’s all we need.
The way I’ve gotten around having to use that model is by doing exactly what I’m sharing with you in this report. Sending paid traffic to a $7 offer and hoping to break even.
It’s not easy by any means but it works. Now I’m able to build a list of buyers who I can now sell our other products to. I also promote affiliate products to them.
The truth is, like I said at the beginning of this report, both strategies work for us. Building a list of free subscribers and then converting them over time or sending paid traffic straight to a $7 offer… they both work, just at different intervals.
So, lets finish up by talking about how to effectively promote affiliate products.
And no, it’s not as simple as browsing the Clickbank marketplace, creating a hop link, and blasting it to your list every day. That’s how lazy affiliates operate.
I’m going to give you a few different methods for effectively promoting affiliate products.
First one is what I call the Affiliate Newsletter Model. It’s exactly what it sounds like. You send content-based email newsletters and inside each one includes at least one ad for an affiliate product.
I’ve totally perfected this model. It’s basically the model we use in the gardening niche too, except we promote our own products instead of affiliate products.
This ENTIRE product teaches you how to build an email newsletter from scratch so you can promote affiliate products to them.
Here’s an example of an affiliate newsletter I created in the Paleo niche:
Notice how subtle the ad itself is? It’s one simple line of text. I didn’t spend two paragraphs pitching. The point of these emails is to provide content. Period.
One of the strategies I teach my Newsletter Academy students to do, is to buy some high quality PLR articles on their specific topic and use them as stand-alone email newsletters.
Most people shy away from using PLR content because it’s considered “duplicate content” to search engines. In this application, PLR is a perfect fit. All of the content stays right inside the email.
You could always put the content on a website too if you want to train your subscribers to click but it’s not necessary. In our gardening business I mix it up. Sometimes I’ll put all of the content in the email and only include a link for the ad and sometimes I’ll make them go to the blog to read the content.
If you buy enough PLR content, you could automate this entire business. Just create each email as an autoresponder message in Aweber or whatever email service you use. Then, you just have to keep on top of your affiliate links. Make sure the offers are still online and haven’t been taken down.
The easiest way to do that is to keep a file of all of your affiliate links and just check them once a week (or more often if you want). I’ve had affiliate offers get taken down on me and I didn’t catch it right away and sent hundreds of clicks to an offer that was no longer there. You learn the hard way.
One last thing about the affiliate newsletter model… notice how congruent my affiliate offer was with the content surrounding it? It was an ebook about all the uses for honey inside a paragraph talking about honey.
It’s important to keep your affiliate offers as relevant as possible to the person seeing it.
Okay, the next model I want to talk about is what I call the Affiliate Launch Model. Being an internet marketer, you’re probably mostly familiar with this model.
You probably know what launches are and how incestuous they become in the marketing world. All the gurus promoting each other’s launches. In the end, they’re really just swapping lists and making a little money.
What most people don’t realize is, when they promote launches non-stop, they’re trading something called opportunity cost for the ability to promote other people’s products.
That opportunity they’re losing out on is the ability to provide value to their subscribers. Most launches, while disguised as content, are really just videos full of people blabbering.
Very few launches actually deliver true value. If done like Jeff Walker teaches, it’s really just your sales letter broken up into 4 sequential videos. Though most marketers promote them as a “Free Video Series”.
People are smarter than that. If they watch the first video and see no value, not only will they not watch the next three videos… they won’t ever trust anything else you tell them.
So, that’s the wrong way to do affiliate launches. Here’s how to still participate in affiliate launches without damaging the integrity of your list:
Ready? Don’t participate in launches.
That was easy.
Lets keep moving.
Seriously though… don’t participate in launches. There has never been one launch that I’ve seen that has the best interest of the prospect in mind.
It’s always about manipulating, pre-selling, and persuading. While those things are okay, they’re only okay when you have the best interest of the prospect in mind.
And I’m not talking about having a guarantee. That’s not the best interest of the prospect… that’s a selling tactic.
Having the best interest of the prospect means delivering valuable content for the sole purpose of delivering valuable content. Then, if they want to learn more about that topic… you send them to an affiliate product.
That’s it. That’s the right way to do affiliate launches. Where YOU are the only one “launching”.
Here’s how I like to structure these:
They usually consist of three emails. Each email delivers valuable content that helps solve one specific problem closely related to a product you’d like to promote.
At the end of the third email, you include a link where your subscriber can learn more about that topic.
Real simple. These little 3-email sequences can also be automated and you can stack them back-to-back if you want. I would suggest putting 5-7 days in between each launch sequence though.
Those are my two favorite types of affiliate promotions. The newsletter method and the launch method. It’s where I’ve seen the most success.
I hope this post has given you a new perspective on affiliate marketing and how lucrative it can really be.
There are many ways to make money online as an affiliate and this is just one more way.
I wish you the best of luck in your online business!