I remember the days when Internet marketing was a struggle.
That’s why it’s surprising how easy it is to take some results for granted now.
My head is so into certain aspects of my business that I don’t pay attention to others.
So I was surprised to see that one of my “little money makers” did over $100,000 in sales last year. And after the first week of January we’re on pace for over $125,000 this year – which, given that we have plans to grow this out is probably about half of what I think the potential is for this year.
Here’s the story behind this “little” business venture.
This particular product is about as far away from Internet marketing as you can get – it’s not in the IM niche. I promoted a similar product as an affiliate for another company – now one of our primary competitors.
I start employing the technics I taught in the Adwords Black Book and began building a list while promoting that other product as an affiliate – collecting a modest list of about 5000 in the process of earning between $1500-2000 per month in affiliate commissions. I was happy enough with that – it might have taken a full day to set up the squeeze page, write the copy and follow-up autoresponder messages, and setup an Adwords campaign for traffic. That was my total investment into promoting this product – and for over 3 years that was the “average” result. Note: I wasn’t list building the first year and a half – just going direct to merchant until Google came out with the single URL rule.
With list in hand I got the idea one day that I should start promoting products OTHER than that product alone to the list. The merchant didn’t like this and long story short they made the brilliant move of removing their top affiliate from their program.
Fine . . . I created my own product. Since I knew thier product so well it was easy to craft a USP and compete head-to-head with them. In the long run I traded $22,000 per year in commissions as their affiliate for over $100,000.
To be completely honest, there are a lot of things about this business that aren’t optimal. I only implemented an upsell offer the beginning of last summer – and it’s only $22. Follow-up to the list I’ve build (now over 30,000 active subscribers) has been sporadic – that needs to improve. I have added additional products to what we’re offering and that’s helped.
Oh, and I’ve never done a JV or promoted anyone else’s product to this list – that alone could double income.
There’s definitely been more time put into this than what went into the affiliate business. But at this point I could leave it run, as is, and it would probably stay on the 100,000-150,000 pace for this year. Not bad for something that doesn’t need to be touched – the help desk is outsourced so what else is there to do?
Some questions you might have -
What’s the product?
I’m not saying, so don’t ask. It doesn’t matter either. Just find a product that’s already selling, promote it, then create your own version AFTER you’ve defined a USP.
How do I get traffic?
Primarily PPC, with probably fewer than 10 search phrases producing most of the income. Affiliates are picking up, though we have a gravity below 20.
BTW, this IS a Clickbank product and we have ultra-low refund rates. Outside of IM the common CB issues aren’t as bad.
What’s the sales process like?
Squeeze page > sales letter > product demo > follow-up email that doesn’t end.
It’s taken about 18 months to build up to this, so I really don’t know what to realistically expect this year. As I think about it this business did about $30,000 in the first year, which was only 7 months – so if growth continues at a consistent rate I could really be underestimating potential.
This year I’ll be incorporating more of what I’m calling the Dell Pitch (see the Affiliate Black Book), packages and I’d love to get some JV partners going – amazing that I’ve contacted a number of people and nobody follows through.
Enough for now – seeing these numbers just inspired me to tell you how easy it can be to cut your teeth as an affiliate and then take the next step with your own product.