Secret TIP #1: Want to spy on other marketer's lists? Google this:
"You are subscribed to the following lists" site:aweber.com
Secret TIP #2: Want to spy on other marketers newsletters without even subscribing? Google this:
(Just don't tell anyone)
There is a tendency in high end marketing circles to get inspired about spending about $1000+ /month for email autoresponder services. Usual selling point of these services is higher (albeit unproved) deliverability of emails and better tracking. I personally think that "tracking" is a great marketing trick as it is relatively easy to convince any business owner that his business is not that great (or not as great as could be) because he does not have enough tracking bells and whistles.
Last week I personally been through 3 sales pitches based on this. But that's another story.
It is a bit of a problem indeed if you have 5,000-10,000 emails list and only half of them reach destination during your next affiliate pimping campaign.
Now here's what happening. I use gmail and getting pretty much zero spams per day. One of my lists has about 30% of email from gmail. Once in a while during the coffee break I check my spam folder.
And here's the picture.
Besides exciting viagra, porn, casinos and replica offers - I see oh-so familiar names of internet marketers I subscribed to.
My gmail spam folder pack leaders are Mike Filsaime and second close is David Bass. Why are they in spam folder if I never reported them as spammers and even subscribed to their newsletters?
Both of these guys have zillion names emails lists which they use on a daily basis. There is a high probability that when certain percentage of people see familiar push "you gotta check it now! click here! amazing! free! hurry! ...how this guy made millions! etc..." hype - the normal reaction is to click "spam" button. Gmail uses "human" filters to distinguish spam. In other words if certain number of "unconnected" humans report same email as spam - no one else (from gmail users) will get it to their inbox. It will go to spam folder of everyone else automatically.
So it's not a problem with Aweber, GetResponse or your favorite inexpensive autoresponder. It's the way people treat your emails. And guys with huge lists are likely to trigger more absolute spam reports than guys with smaller tightly targeted lists.
Here's your $1000 deliverability problem.
Just get Aweber, stop spamming, erase hype keywords from your dictionary, treat your list like humans and sleep well!
Here are few tips to help you started with affiliate marketing.
- If you already up and running this direction - you might get a few gems out of this article.
- Good idea is not necessarily a good business!
Test the market before investing lots of time and money to create a product. To test the market:
- Open Google Adwords account
- Sign up for affiliate programs at ClickBank or Commission Junction programs for free.
- Find existing products that targets the same (or closely related markets) to the product/service that you are planning to create.
- Create simple landing page on your website promoting existing affiliate product or service. Alternatively, instead of trying to sell anything you can send visitors to fill-in your online survey about their needs and wants or simply offer them page full of useful information + ability to opt-in to receive more information. Aweber has all tools to manage your email and opt-in needs. Once people opted in - you will be able to market them your or other products repeatedly without paying anything to Google.
- Spend $50 - $100 worth on Adwords sending targeted traffic to your landing page.
- See how many visitors you got and how many converted to buyers/customers. If after spending $100 on ads you won't get any customers - this might not be a good niche. This also could mean that approach to convert visitors to buyers might need to be changed.
- If you create a useful (or so you think) informational product that no one seems to buy - offer it at no charge, but through an opt-in box on your site. This way you will grow database of people who are interested in this market and later on you can offer them other affiliate products and make your money worth and more.
- When sending emails to your opt-in list approach them like a friend, not like salesman. This could increase trust and conversions.
- Offering something cheaper than your competitors not necessarily will make you more successful. Opposite quite often is true - clever, innovative, agressive marketing with high price tag product could work wonders in the right niches.
- Video sales letters converts better than regular online text salesletters.
- Use competitive intelligence to help your business. Spy on your competition or other successful affiliate marketers with DomainTools. Domain tools paid account ($15/mo, $149/yr) allows you to list all domains hosted under same IP address. So if you know website name of successful affiliate marketer - you can see what other "cards he has under his sleeve" by peeking at his other domains. TIP: Alternatively you may use live.com query to find all domain under IP address, type this at live.com search box: ip:184.108.40.206
- Some internet marketing gurus are raving about Spyfu.com service using which you can spy on other websites (presumably your competitors), see what keywords they are bidding on and what their daily ad budget. I checked their site against domains that I personally manage and have to say this: - They don't get even close to the daily budget I am spending on Adwords. That's understandable - only Google knows that - they obviously has no and cannot have any clue about it. This factor may or may not be important for your needs. - They do report organic rankings ok - anyone could get this just by Googling. - They do report pay per click competitors ok - same - anyone could get this just by Googling. - They does not report our most moneymaking keywords, although I don't have paid account with them and haven't seen all keywords that they could report. - They doing great job marketing their service! Something we all can learn from.
- If you use Aweber to market to your list - do not leave "thank you" page as it's default. You're leaving money on the table. "Thank you" page could redirect opted-in visitor to another sales letter and/or be as simple as affiliate link itself for relevant products.
- "Old" domain names are as good as old quality aged wine. If you own one or could afford to purchase one (especially rather generically looking name) - this will definitely help to quickly gain trust at Google, compare to brand new registered domains.
- Do you have the list? How often do you mail them? Marketing experts suggest to create at least 52 separate email messages (you may outsource their creation to rentacoder, elance or other outsourcing places). If you have account with Aweber or other email marketing service - upload these messages over there and let your messages to be sent to your list at least once a week. This way you'll be set for the whole year, without touching anything else. Of course, if you discovered new product or service within affiliate space that is worth promoting to your list - just create one extra message and send it out to your list. Other 52 - will keep your list "in touch" with your business year round and will be your automated generator of residual income.
How to start your own affiliate business, what to do, in which order, which mistakes to avoid
- Sign up for a few popular affiliate networks, such as Commission Junction (all kind of products, services) or ClickBank (electronic downloadable products or membership subscriptions).
- Sign up for Google Adwords.
- It is well known wisdom that good idea is not necessarily a good business, so first things first - TEST your idea or niche. Do not look for niche or market that has no competition. No competition - most often means no market. Lots of competition is good - more products to promote in the marketplace, more potential partnerships to create, more mutually beneficial joint ventures to found.
Here are few online places you can check which products, services or markets are currently active:
- Download.com - there you can search and sort and see which products are active. Which ones are praised and receive lots of good comments. Visit vendor's pages and see if these have affiliate programs attached to them.
- Type search queries on Google trends top see if they are active. Compare search queries to each other. Compare and see which countries, regions and even cities are actively (or not so) are searching. Have fun with Google Hot Trends to see which search queries are very active right now! Fun to object trends and get ideas.
- Check Digg.com for entries that received the highest number of "diggs". These should give you an ideas of what popular among opinionated geek crowd (in case you want to target this market). Blaming Bush, praising Obama, Apple and Firefox seems to be the hot topics.
- Find out the most expensive adwords, type them on Google, look at their ads and see what these portals are doing. They paying a lot of money for every single click (sometimes $50 and more) and they presumably very successful businesses. Great to observe and learn from.
- Check Ebay on what are the hottest selling items. This is the page not many people seems to know about - most popular items on Ebay. Great to observe and study current trends.
- Check Amazon.com. Amazon also has a page of the most popular selling items, updating on a hourly basis. Great way to learn current market trends and employ information for your business.
- Once you figure out your area of marketing - create simple website with just one landing page promoting affiliate product. Be willing to spend $50-$100 to test the market, test how responsive are visitors and whether you see any conversions. Don't expect to make money right away (although it's perfectly possible) but if you don't see any conversions after spending $100 on Adwords - this might be a sign of not-so-good niche to be at. If you see sales from this test campaign - you know that you have a chance to make money money and improve from now on. Alternatively to selling a product - create an opt-in page that gives some useful information to your target niche and inviting people to signup to your list. Aweber is a popular, flexible and reliable service to do email marketing. This way you ad dollars will be spent on generating a list to which you can market on forever. Remember - having mailing list of targeted interested people will allow you to make money instantly, sometimes by sending a single email promoting new affiliate product.
- If your list is growing, sales are happening - this will be a good time to grow. Start adding more contents to your site. Have capability for people to ask questions through your website. Make every effort to make it easy for people to join your list. Every time you add a new page to your page - use great free service OnlyWire to quickly notify many other social tagging, bookmaring and linking sites about your new pages. Use pingomatic.com and ping.in to notify blogging engines about your new pages.
- Remember - affiliate programs are easy as they does not require one to create much of anything. People love to be lazy and make money fast without doing anything. As a result of it - approaching business from the "I wanna be affiliate" side has it's limit. The real money on internet and beyond are in having your own product. After tests above you observed that niche is good an active. Start creating your own product targeting this niche and this will put you in command. Invite other people to become affiliates to market your product.
- Play with creating super simple products and "magnet" pages:
- Promotional Videos. Buy e-book or product or join membership site of your interest that has affiliate program with it. Create simple guidance video explanaing benefits of the product and guiding visitor on how to use it. Have video showing your website and sign up URL with your affiliate link for the product. Videos are great way to attract targeted converting traffic and make extra sales.
- Create Frequently Asked Questions about popular product or service and place your affiliate links around it. If page has useful rich contents - it will eventually attract free organic traffic of potential customers. You may speed up the process with the help of onlywire.com and pingomatic.com
- Register domains under "pen" name.
- Use P.O.Box that only takes mail from that pen name.
- Get a dedicated server and have every domain, or group of domains, under their own IP addresses.
- Do not host your websites on a single IP address. It is easy to list all websites under single IP address by either using domaintools for a small fee, or running query on live.com, such as: ip:220.127.116.11
- It is not always a good idea to have "proxy" or "private" registration. Search engines suspicious of that and you may have problems missing important messages regarding your domains. See #1 + #2.