Crafting your promotions
So you got here, most likely, because you read an email from me. Great! Let’s get straight on with the information you came for (if you came here by accident you’ll see a copy of the email at the bottom of this page)
So we established that you don’t have to have a massive subscriber list to make money. And we also asked the question “how do you maximize your revenue?”.
Before I answer that, let me list a few of the givens:
- Your list is interested in a particular topic
- Your aim is to give them good information and good recommendations
- You won’t promote junk just to make a few dollars
Assuming those things are true, there are some ways to increase the revenue you generate by changing what you promote.
Here’s the thing. When the people on your list get to know you and start trusting what you say, they will trust what you say. Obvious, right? So your job then becomes to offer them the best advice and information you can.
That does not mean you offer them the cheapest product you can find! In many cases, your subscribers may be better served by a more expensive product that does more for them.
Nobody is going to thank you for recommending something cheap if it doesn’t work for them. If people are looking to you for advice, take the responsibility seriously.
Let me illustrate…
Your niche is weight loss. You find a $17 product that is decent and would be useful to your subscribers. At 50% commission you make about $8 (depending on fees).
Weight Loss Niche
Let’s say there is another product that is $47. If that product is better in some way than the first one, you owe it to your subscribers to let them know about it. Each sale would net you $23.50 (less fees). That’s just about three times as much revenue as the first product.
If you can generate three times as much revenue with the same amount of work, you just TRIPLE your ROI instantly. But only if you sell as many copies.
Now this is where it gets interesting. Let’s do some basic number calculations.
To earn the same you only need to sell 1/3rd as many copies of item 2. So even if your email is not especially persuasive, you can still make as much.
But…if your list trusts you and your advice is good, you will usually sell as many copies of an item at $47 as you will at $17. For really high ticket items you’re not going to sell as many – of course not. But for products in the same overall ball park region, you most likely will.
Let me explain that some more, because it may not be totally believeable. What I’m saying to you is that the actual price ticket does not influence how many sales you get as much as how good a fit a product is. If you ignore the super high ticket items ($1,000+) then you’re as likely to sell as many $97 items as you are $47 items.
What this means is that you can double or even triple how much money you can make by finding the right product to promote. Do not be tempted to find the *cheapest* product to promote.
Offer alternatives only if they’re equally good!
Remember too that some products and services offer 100% commission. Given the choice of recommending two equally good items, one at $47 with 50% commission and one at $47 with 100% commission, go for the 100% commission item. BUT NOTICE WHAT I SAID – the items have to be equally good.
Don’t sell your subscribers short just to make a few dollars more. Seriously, you’ll lose subscribers fast that way. Recommend only the good stuff and a lot of subscribers will be with you for years to come.
I’ve had conversations with my own subscribers and members many times. Certain things crop up over and over. One of them is the fear of offering something that costs a bit more. What you should be looking for, as an affiliate, is products and services to promote that are beneficial to your subscribers. Do NOT look for whatever you think is cheap enough to get some sales. Your subscribers (generally speaking) are looking for value. That does not always mean cheap.
Personally, I’d sooner spend a few more dollars and get something worth having – or a lot more dollars and get something really worth having – than buying something cheap and useless. My own experience tells me that you probably feel that way too.
There are plenty of products I’ve seen and recommended that are totally free. But they are only worth recommending if they are of use to you. The price tag is actually one of the least accurate ways to determine usefulness. My own experience tells me that people value timely and trusted information, more than the price tag.
So what’s the takeaway here?
What’s the takeaway point?
It’s really, really simple. Your job is to research and recommend the best fit of products and services for your subscribers. When you do that, the price tag is of way less importance than you might think. I know from the feedback I get from my own subscribers that what they value is an honest opinion about something useful to them.
You’re all busy and trying to build your online businesses. You don’t want your time wasted with bad recommendations. Even if a product is good, it may not be a good fit for *your* subscribers. I just spent $400 on a software application that will be useful to me. Based on what my subscribers tell me, it’s not something that’s a good fit for most of them. So guess what? I’m not recommending it to anyone. But later this week I will be recommending something that is useful. It’s not the cheapest thing I’ve ever promoted so it’s not for everyone, yet it is something everyone could benefit from.
So how do you increase your affiliate commissions? It’s really remarkably simple:
- Build a subscriber list (yes, I know you’ve heard that a million times – because it’s true!)
- Get to know what your subscribers want and need (you can ask them, if you’re not sure!)
- Test products and services before you recommend them. That way you’ll know for sure whether they are a good fit for your list.
- Recommend products that serve a real purpose for your subscribers. I would also say only recommend those products you are happy to use yourself.
- Choose products that offer a good commission but….make sure they are affordable and suitable for at least a substantial portion of your list.
- Add some secret sauce – UPDATED: Check lower down for my interpretation of why this secret sauce works.
I’m going to update this article tomorrow to tell you what that secret sauce is. Many of you will already know about it, but may not yet be implementing it. I’ll also tell you why it works so well (at least in my opinion)
What about those people who have a massive subscriber list? Well I can’t give you names – it wouldn’t be fair – but I can tell you that some people with really *massive* subscriber lists quite often do badly with their promotions. I’m talking about some pretty well known names who generate total sales of 8 or 9 copies of a product – from a subscriber list of 100,000 or more!
And that’s for products and services that sell like hotcakes.
I get to see the results of some bigger affiliates promoting products and you would be amazed at how badly some of them do.
Quite literally, the size of your subscriber list is not a definite indication of how many sales you will make. Treat your list badly, or just plain inaccurately, and you’ll lose out. Meet the needs of your list and you’ll increase your results.
Promote anything and everything and you end up convincing nobody. If you can build huge lists week in, week out and you don’t mind burning through them, go ahead and promote junk. But if you want to keep your subscribers as subscribers for as long as possible, put some work into finding the best “stuff” for them. It will reward you in the long run, but best of all it will reward your subscribers for being on your list – by giving them honest, unbiased and useful information and recommendations.
You all know this. You see it in almost every promotional email you receive. But you also see it all around you in real-world stores.
Promotion with no bonus
It’s bonuses, of various kinds. It sounds obvious, but there are some interesting factors at play with bonuses.
When you’re promoting something “naked” so to speak (without any bonus), you might make a very low amount, as shown in the image on the right (from one of my affiliate accounts). It’s nothing to be sneezed at to make $250 with an email or two. Many people would love to make that much. But it’s also not optimized. It’s also probably not as satisfying an experience for your subscribers as it could be. If you just promote the same as everyone else, why should they buy from you and not someone else?
Remember that with popular items there will be a *lot* of affiliates promoting it. Your subscribers have a fair chance of hearing about a product more than once. You know that’s true yourself – how many times have you seen a dozen emails about the same item?
Let’s contrast that with a couple of examples where bonuses were offered. You can see there’s a big difference in the revenue generated. Same subscriber list, similar products, different promotional technique. With a bonus that’s worth having there’s a lot more revenue to be made.
There are a couple of reasons. The obvious one is that you’re offering more value to your subscribers by giving them a bonus. That on its own makes a difference to your bottom line.
But I think there is something subtler going on as well. Experience tends to suggest that *any* bonus will convert offers better than no bonus – even if the bonus is not directly related to the main offer. But if the bonus is relevant to the main offer, conversions seem to be even better still, as you can see in the third image. That shows results from a single email campaign with a highly relevant bonus.
How do you offer a bonus that is relevant? Notice I say relevant and not related – there is a difference.
In my own case the process is pretty straightforward, although it takes a little time. I like to test out a product or service before I recommend it. When I do that I know whether it is lacking something. I have a good idea of what else I would like to see with it. Then it’s a case of creating that complementary product, or buying it in. Since I have a number of products I’m well placed to offer some great bonuses. If I didn’t have something suitable I’d look for where I could buy it! There are plenty of places that you can buy resell or PLR products that are worthwhile with a little tweaking.
There are even places where you can get free resources that you can offer as a bonus. Surprisingly, as long as you save your subscribers time and effort in collating those resources, they won’t mind! In the comments on this post I make the point that time is irreplaceable. So if you can save someone time and effort you make a real difference to them.
For my latest promotion I’m offering two extremely good bonuses.
If you want to see the bonus page CLICK HERE (only available until midnight EST Friday Aug 14).
One of the bonuses cost me money to have coded. I’ll be selling it separately so I’ll more than recover the development costs. And I’ll have a valuable product that I can offer as a bonus whenever I want to. The other bonus cost me nothing except for time. For you to do what I’ve done with this bonus would probably take you a day, so I’ve saved you at least a day’s work. That’s real value.
So why does this “secret sauce” thing (bonuses) work? I think it’s because we all need to justify to ourselves the purchase of yet another shiny object. Even if it’s a great shiny object, we want to make sure we’re not being fooled or taken in. We want to think we’re making the right decision. A good bonus can help to tip the decision in favor of buying. It allows us to give ourselves permission to hit the buy button.
If you offer a great bonus (many affiliates don’t but they still make sales) you will do more than just make a sale. You will earn the trust of your subscribers/customers. We’ve all had that moment of regret after buying something, right? Well imagine how much trust you engender if your bonus is so good that your customer liked it better than the main product!
That’s one of the reasons you see some big ticket bonuses for relatively low cost main products. In the digital realm you can afford to give a product worth $97 as a bonus to a $27 item. And the perceived value is so high to your customer you’re almost there. All you have to do to finish the job and wow them is deliver a bonus that is actually worth having. Frankly, 245 ebooks from 10 years ago just don’t cut it anymore. You’ll still see people using bonuses like that and they can work. But they don’t build long term trust.
What we’re really wanting is your subscribers to be waiting for your next bonus. When they like your bonuses that much, they’ll keep coming back for more.
All you have to do is match the product, the bonus and the customer and you’re 90% of the way there. It’s really what good marketing is all about – finding the thing your customer just has to have.
I wanted to share with you a subtle reality about making money with affiliate promotions.
This may not apply to you unless you have some kind of subscriber list. But since pretty much everyone wants to build such a list, I thought I’d send this to everyone anyway.
The information may come in useful to you when you do have a subscriber list.
On that point, you can make money even with a very small optin list. I know of people who make money consistently with 200 subscribers. You don’t have to have thousands of people on your list.
I have a friend who makes a full-time income with just 600 people on his list.
Big numbers are impressive, but they don’t always produce more money. I’ll tell you about that as well!
That said, whatever list size you have, how do you maximize the return on your efforts?
Here’s where something a bit weird can happen and I’m going to tell you about it.
It needs a bit of detail to explain it, so I’m going to create a blog post to go into a lot more detail for you.
I’ll send you a link to the blog post tomorrow