I haven’t been posting to this blog nearly as much as I would have liked to, so I’ve decided to make more of an effort to post and give you some really good stuff for free, starting with this post.
(Now would also be a good time to sign up for the RSS feed)
Anyways, I recently ran a promo where I gave my Traffic Tips Report for free as a list building promotion.
It’s been over for a couple of weeks, but I’ve still been getting a lot of questions about it. So I’ve decided to write this post, not only to show you how it went, but to show you how you or anyone else could run a similar promo with similar success.
I’ve written a lot of other blog entries, articles and emails on the importance of building your list over the last couple of years, but never really set out on a monumental effort to build my own.
I’d done the normal ad swaps, opt-in pages, article marketing, free giveaways and so on, but nothing big like this. So here’s what I did:
To save time, I took a report which I had previously written and sold for $7 and decided to give it away for free.
Instead of lining up a ton of partners to help me promote it, or spending a lot of time and money on marketing, I decided to try and make it go viral.
Viral marketing can be hit and miss, so I needed a sure fire way to make sure it was successful, so I decided to pay people $1 for everyone they referred who signed up.
I’d seen several big name marketers like Mike Filsaime or Russell Brunson who had done similar things in the past and it seemed to have worked well for them and sounded like a good way to go.
The goal was get a dozen or so marketing friends and business partners to help me by promoting it to their lists, then have it continue under its own power.
So, everyone that signed up to download the report also had the opportunity to sign up as an affiliate and promote the report to earn $1 per referral. Then everyone they signed up under them could do the same thing and so on, thus making the marketing / report viral.
The benefits for affiliates to promote the report was twofold- they could promote a useful resource to their lists or website visitors that was free and earn a commission for doing so. Their subscribers would be happy with the valuable traffic generation information and they’d earn cash for their efforts making it a win / win situation and a no-brainer for most people to promote.
Affiliates also like the fact that they can make money by giving away something and not selling anything which was a huge plus.
The reason I wanted to have affiliates promote something instead of doing it myself was pretty simple. An army of affiliates can cover a lot more ground than I can and they can each use their expertises in their specific marketing techniques to promote the report.
I had affiliates doing everything from emailing their lists, to posting to their websites and blogs, to submitting articles and press releases to posting ads on forums, Craiglist, eBay and so on. There were even a few people that setup PPC campaigns or ads on traffic networks.
In fact, so many people promoted it, that near the end of the two week campaign, there were over 17,000 hits on Google for the report:
After people signed up, they were presented with three one time offers. Some people gave me a little grief over this, but they were there for a couple of reasons.
- Not everyone could afford the more expensive offers, so I had a cheaper alternative available to them.
- When I tested everything, having three one time offers generated the highest profits by a long shot.
I had debated having one time offers at all, but got to thinking if things went insanely well and 25k or more people signed up, it would be kind of foolish to be out $25k in affiliate commissions and have not earned anything on the back end, so one time offers it was. They were just your standard OTO’s, nothing really special about them except that they were a killer deal.
Anyways, after signing up, going though the one time offers and confirming their email address, people were brought to a download page that also encouraged them the promote the report. A little over 1 in 5 people who downloaded the report signed up as an affiliate.
Autoresponder / Affiliate Software
To do this yourself you’ll want a complete shopping cart system and a good affiliate program that will track leads (signups) as well as make it easy for people to signup as an affiliate and access the promo material such as 1StartCart.com.
As far as promo material, I provided banners, articles, reviews, text links and emails that people could use to promote the report. That way there was something for everyone and it made it really quick and easy for anyone to post an article or review (with their affiliate link) on their blog or setup a broadcast email for their list etc.
How Well Did It Go – Some Stats
I’m not going to bore you with all the details, so I’ll just give it to you straight up:
In the 2 weeks the promo ran, I had just over 10,000 people signup for the free report – about 2,000 of those signed up to be an affiliate and about 450 of the affiliates referred more than 5 unique people.
The average conversion rate ended up being 51%. It started out at about 57%, then slowly dropped as the promo went on, likely because the quality of traffic was dropping.
The highest affiliate had a conversion rate of 88% and the lowest active affiliate had a conversion rate of 1% – so the quality of traffic definitely had a large impact on the signups generated.
Before I sign off, one thing I should mention is the importance of testing. Before running something like this, you need to test your opt-in page like crazy. Test the headlines, the graphics, the opt-in form, the bullets, the testimonials, the colors- test everything you can in the time you have.
It’s pretty easy to double or triple your conversion rate by testing a few key things and that cam mean the difference between 2,000 signups or 10,000 signups.
By the way, if you want to see the final tested opt-in page I used, it’s at www.LemonadeHere.com.
I tested everything with PPC, mostly because it was easy to do, cost effective and offered a good random sample of visitors.
I also did a little testing with one of those traffic generation pay per click sites which had such a low conversion rate, it was really just a waste of time and money.
Besides getting a lot of opt-ins, I wanted to try and earn back the $1 commission I was paying to affiliates from the one time offers, so I tested them with PPC as well until they were providing a good ROI.
I also did some live testing of the OTO’s simply because you need a certain number of sales to get decently accurate results and that can take a lot of time and money and go on forever with PPC.
In the end, everything worked out pretty well, I added an extra 10k people to my list, met a lot of new people and as luck would have it, earned back $1 and change per signup.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them as a comment and I’ll get back to you.