Monthly Archives: October 2011

Oct 28

Recency and The Crush Factor

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Allow me to take you behind the scenes of a major internet marketing launch and into the hidden world of the SUPER AFFILIATES. These elite individuals don’t have special powers and they don’t wear their underpants on the outside, but they do have the ability to generate vast quantities of affiliate sales. The competition for the attention of the Super Affiliates is intense and the Launch Manager will have to work very hard to be assured of their support.

Over the past few years, the Launch Managers that have risen to the top have done so because they understand and take advantage of the two things that most Super Affiliates have in common:

  • Enlarged egos
  • A love of enormous flat-screen televisions

This is why – until someone has a better idea – Joint Venture Leader Board competitions will continue to be a staple of product launch strategy. A top ten finish guarantees some kind of prize and bragging rights over everyone who placed lower down the board (I am, of course, the exception to the stereotype. I already own a flat-screen television and I’ve had too many top ten finishes to be bothered bragging about it). If you take a closer look at the leader boards for major product launches over the past few years, you’ll start to notice an interesting pattern:

Often, the person at the #1 position is a relative newcomer to the internet marketing scene and has recently completed a product launch of their own.

In fact, by my reckoning, on most Leader boards you’re going to see an average of about six well-established internet marketing players and about four relatively unknown marketers that have recently completed their first, moderately successful product launch. And here’s the twist… the vast majority of those four new marketers will not be seen on another leader board for a very long time, and the rest will never be heard from again.

If you’re hoping that I’m about to reveal some convoluted conspiracy theory involving rigged competitions and reciprocal promotions, then you’re going to be disappointed. The reason for this trend is far less dramatic but if you take the time to understand it, you’ll discover a very profitable reality about marketing online.

Instant Popularity

Imagine you’ve just completed your first successful product launch and you’ve experienced the residual benefit of building a sizeable mailing list. Having been identified as someone with the ability and drive to put a launch together, as well as having a network of contacts, you are now a prime target for marketers looking for joint venture partners for their own launch.

Even if you’re smart enough to recognise the damaging effects of bombarding your new mailing list with affiliate offers, there is a lot of pressure to accept at least some of these invitations. The thrill of receiving free preview copies of forthcoming products, and personal emails from popular marketers is one thing, but when the invitation comes from a Super Affiliate who was responsible for 30% of your product launch sales… are you seriously going to refuse that request? You don’t want to cause offence by refusing to help an affiliate who has helped make your launch a successful one and, when it’s time for your next product launch, how can you ask them to participate again if you reject their request? So you accept the invitation.

Any misgivings you have are soon pacified when your affiliate campaign is a success and you take your place on the Top Ten Leader Board. You make some extra cash and you enjoy seeing your name in lights next to world-renowned marketers, making it that much easier to accept the next joint venture invitation, and the next one, and the one after that…

If you’re lucky, you manage to just about place on the leader board of the next joint venture competition. In the next you just fail to make the cut. The one after that is even worse. At this point you’re almost too embarrassed to accept any more joint venture requests because the responsiveness of your mailing list has virtually flat-lined. Worse still, even when it comes to promoting one of your own products or services to your mailing list, the response is almost negligible.

This familiar pattern is cause by what I’ve termed as…

…The Crush Factor

There are two stages and definitions to the “Crush”:

Crush Factor One:
When admired and trusted Gurus talk you up to their readers, you receive an instant dose of popularity. You are, in effect, cool by association and have a greater chance of closing sales. The problem is that your popularity hasn’t grown slowly over years of endeavour and evident success; it’s been created abruptly. Your visitors and customers haven’t developed a deep-seated trust and respect for your work, what they have is an intuitive gut-feeling based on little more than hearsay.

Like any juvenile crush (or, for that matter, any adult crush), the feelings of the market towards you are intense but extremely shallow and short-lived. Within a matter of days, the Gurus are shining their light on somebody new, and the respect and trust you fleetingly enjoyed are directed towards someone else.

Crush Factor Two:
As soon as you begin promoting someone else’s products, your readers are going to be added to new mailing lists. If the owners of these mailing lists promote other people’s products, your readers will find themselves on even more mailing lists. And so on…

If you assume that most mailing list owners promote an average of four affiliate campaigns over a period of two months (in reality the average is much higher), your readers only have to pass through three levels of marketers to be added to up to 64 different mailing lists. If each of those mailing lists receives only three emails a week, this represents almost 1000 emails over a two month period. Before long your keenly interested readers are having their inbox crushed by the weight of promotional emails and your ability to get their attention has been pulverised.

Congratulations! You’ve just obtained first-hand experience of The Crush Factor at work.

This is an extremely plausible explanation for the sudden appearance and subsequent disappearance of new names on joint venture competition, leader boards. Marketers come under pressure to take part in new product launches and, in no time at all, a responsive, productive mailing list is crushed down into a random collection of names and email addresses.

The End Isn’t Nigh

The above is a pretty gloomy scenario but it doesn’t mean you should give up on creating a product launch or taking part in joint venture competitions. What you must do is understand why The Crush Factor occurs and how to eliminate – or at least minimise – its effect. Accomplish this and you’ll be able to sell more of your own products and services, gain more repeat customers, and build customer loyalty that lasts and is independent of Guru recommendations.

The key to this is in the power of “Recency”.

Recency – Frequency – Monetary

The above trio are usually abbreviated to RFM (see the section called Direct Marketing Triplex at the end of this article) but relax, this isn’t about to turn into a discussion of complex mathematical formulae. We’re going to look at just the first of these terms and how it relates to the Crush Factor. Recency is about how recently a person on your mailing list has taken any kind of desired action; the greater the Recency, the greater the likelihood of making a sale.

This isn’t exactly rocket science.

Take the example of a pregnant couple. There is no end to the range of products and services they are going to be eager to purchase before and after the birth. This is especially true when it’s their first child because within the first few days or even hours of bringing the newborn home, they will likely experience a need that hadn’t been anticipated. Such as a need for more disposable diapers because the one packet they purchased isn’t going to last for nearly as long as they predicted!

If you sell diapers, when do you think would be the best opportunity to invite them to purchase from you? Would it be two months later after a carefully crafted series of mail-shots proclaiming the virtues of your world-class product and the importance of maintaining a good supply? Or would it be RIGHT NOW before the harassed couple are forced to resort to fashioning their own diapers out of paper napkins? They will have a need to purchase diapers for many months to come but their desire and willingness to purchase will NEVER be greater than during that first hectic day.

This is the kind of scenario where Recency trumps EVERYTHING!

Careful pre-launch campaigns and taking time to build relationships with your prospects is commonly taught in the Internet Marketing arena, but this can be misleading. One of the most common questions I receive is WHEN to ask for the sale and, in most cases, the answer is as soon as they express interest; usually as soon as they arrive on your website or subscribe to your mailing list.

When you receive a new visitor to your website or a new lead on your list, just about the only thing you have going for you is Recency. For an agonisingly brief moment in time, you are in the prospect’s consciousness. If you convince them of their need for your product or service, then THAT is the time to ask for the sale.

Relationship building has its place in internet marketing but 99% of the time Recency wins. True, some people won’t respond to the first sales pitch. This is where lead-capture and relationship building comes in, but don’t presume that all of your visitors will respond the same way. All things being equal, most of the time people just want to buy.

Resisting The Crush

Let’s go back to the “Here Today – Gone Tomorrow” syndrome that so often afflicts the marketer in post-launch. How can Recency fortify you against this effect?

To begin with, ignore the A-List Gurus who frequent joint venture leader boards; their success is a mixture of long-term credibility (The market doesn’t have a crush, it’s experiencing full-blown, BFF, “till death do we part”, Guru Love. This isn’t as sleazy as it sounds. Really.) and a traffic-generating system that ensures they receive a constant supply of fresh leads. Let’s assume for the moment that you’re some way off from reaching that status.

When making decisions on how to utilise your new mailing list, maintain your focus on the Recency effect and allow it to guide you.

  1. After obtaining a new visitor or lead, ask for the sale as soon as is appropriate.
  2. After gaining a new customer your best opportunity to make additional sales is immediately after the initial purchase. The importance of adding an upsell to your sales process should go without saying but you should also anticipate your customer’s needs a day after, a week after and a fortnight after purchase and create corresponding products or services to offer. Don’t join in any joint venture promotions until you’ve exhausted all your opportunities to offer your own products and services to your prospects.
  3. The best time to build a firm relationship with your customers that’s based on direct contact and not a Guru-inspired crush is, once again, during the days and weeks immediately after the initial sale or contact. If you’re uncomfortable refusing joint venture invitations, explain that you don’t want to bombard your mailing list with lots of offers and suggest they contact you again in a couple of months. If the forthcoming product in question is of a high quality, there will still be gain in promoting it beyond the launch period.
  4. When you eventually participate in a joint venture, select your recommendation carefully so as not to undo the trust you’ve worked hard to develop. Immediately after the joint venture promotion the Recency effect is primarily in someone else’s hands but you can still tap into it by promoting your own products, reminding your customers of what you have to offer. An alternative approach is to offer additional support and guidance to those who made a purchase based on your recommendation.

The Crush Factor is just one problem that can be tackled by focussing on the Recency effect. Review all of your current and planned marketing strategies with this concept in mind and test whether you can make improvements by acting sooner and more directly.

Need further proof? Keep your eyes open for the next few weeks and note how many times you see my name mentioned in someone else’s email or on someone else’s website. Assuming you’re on my mailing list or the list of one of my affiliates, there’s a strong likelihood that it will seem to be present a little more than usual. Now that you’ve taken the time to read this article and mentally made a note of my name, the Recency effect applies. Admittedly, it’s only an illusion, but if it means you’re more likely to open my email or view one of my offers, then the Recency effect has done its job.

Thanks for reading. No doubt you’ll be hearing from me again very soon…


Direct Marketing Triplex

Recency – Frequency – Monetary, commonly referred to as RFM is a system, primarily used in direct marketing, to determine the quality of a lead or prospect. The definitions are simplicity itself:

Recency = When did they last purchase (or take a desired action)?

Frequency = How many times did they place an order?

Monetary = What is the total value of those orders?

There are various methods (with various degrees of complexity) for using this formula to calculate the worth of a prospect but they all revolve around creating categories for each element, and then assigning a score to each category. Here’s a simple example:

Category Points
Recency Purchase made within the last month. 2
Purchase made within the last 2-6 months. 1
Never purchased. 0
Frequency Two or more purchases. 2
One purchase. 1
No purchases. 0
Monetary Purchase value > $500 2
Purchase value between $1 and $499. 1
Purchase value $0 0

This method of scoring prospects is particularly valuable for direct marketing campaigns for which the cost of printing and postage has to be accounted. Email marketing often carries very little difference in cost whether an email is sent to 100 people, or 100,000, but direct marketers have to be more selective.

Using the above table, the maximum a prospect can score is 2 points for each element; a total of six points. A new direct marketing campaign can be tested by sending a promotion just to the six-point rated prospects. If this initial promotion is a failure then it is often reasonable to conclude that prospects scoring between 0 and 5 are unlikely to be any more responsive. The decision can then be made to adjust or scrap the campaign without having to suffer a heavy financial loss.

By Gary Ambrose
This article was was originally featured in Mike Filsaime’s print newsletter, “MDC Monthly.” You can get a free trial copy shipped to your door by clicking here.

Oct 25

The Fame Game: Success vs Failure

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

In my previous article, The Shame Game, I challenged the internet marketing celebrities over their fostering of unrealistic expectations in the minds of new marketers. The article before that, The Blame Game, invited aspiring internet marketers to consider their own culpability in their failures. As there are still many available words that rhyme with “game,” this month I’m turning my attention to the peddlers of the pseudo-scientific, quasi-religious, quantum quackery, that is The Law of Attraction.

Clearly I’m not going to be making any attempt to be of objective in this discussion but, to be fair, since a recent film raised awareness of this philosophical flight of fancy, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone with a depolarized opinion.

Just in case the hype passed you by, allow me to explain; Believers in The Law of Attraction assert that thoughts have an energy that attracts whatever the person is thinking about, and that anyone can gain their heart’s desire by focusing their thoughts upon it. Equally, dwelling on failure will attract tragedy and mishap.

I have no difficulty in believing that a person determined to succeed will have the motivation to work harder and will be more alert to opportunities. But to expand that idea into a mystical process that suggests everyone will succeed if they are stubborn enough – regardless of their abilities or unforeseen events – is irresponsible at best.

Despite what the preceding paragraphs might suggest, the purpose of this article is not to criticise The Law of Attraction (there are plenty of other people who have already done that), but rather to address the frustrations of aspiring entrepreneurs who can’t seem to make the breakthrough that will allow them to quit their day job. No matter how badly they yearn for it.

The solution to this common problem is simple, but it takes some honest self-assessment and the ability to ignore the scorn of others. sells a series of de-motivational posters that satirize corporate, inspirational art. My favorite is the one entitled “Stupidity;” the description reads:

“Quitters never win. Winners never quit.
But those who never win and never quit are idiots.”*

It’s cynical, to be sure, but there’s an uncomfortable truth hidden in there. The individual who attains success through blood, sweat, and tears, will often attribute his achievement to an inner belief and a refusal to give up. Hear it said enough times and the implication becomes that everyone who failed did so because they gave up.

There is only one gold medal for the 100-metre sprint given away at each Olympic Games, but is it fair to say that everyone who competes and doesn’t achieve gold, failed because they lacked belief or because they gave up? Maybe in some instances, but for many, surely the reality is that they simply weren’t the fastest out of the blocks, or that their top speed was insufficient. It’s entirely possible to have self-belief and determination but still fail to achieve a goal that’s beyond your capabilities or that is affected by circumstances you can’t control.

Does this mean Homer Simpson was right when he said, “Trying is the first step to failure?” I guess it depends on your definition of failure.

If twenty, 100-metre sprinters, define success as a gold medal at the next Olympic Games, then at least nineteen of them are going to fail. But if they define success as competing to the best of their ability, then there is the potential for all twenty to gain satisfaction from the eventual outcome. Sadly, most fall into the former category. Despite achieving results that many can only dream of, these individuals will still wind up disappointed and frustrated.

This thinking isn’t unique to athletics. On the whole, the world defines success as wealth, fame, or a combination of the two, and the internet marketing space is no exception. In sales videos and at IM seminars, the vast majority of marketers will establish their credentials by revealing the wealth they’ve accrued, or the possessions they’ve purchased with it. These things are equated with success.

Six or seven figure launches, testimonials from IM celebrities, and a steady stream of invitations to speak at one seminar after another are the goals of so many online marketers. There’s nothing wrong with this but in an overcrowded and ultra-competitive marketplace, inevitably the majority end up disappointed. It’s a harsh reality to face but the truth is that most people will never come anywhere near attaining this level of fame.

Realists are often labeled as cynics because they lower expectations but have you considered the possibility that accomplishing an attainable, reasonable goal, brings more contentment than failing to achieve the improbable? What if you measured success, not by being the best at something, but by doing something you enjoy to a high level of competency?

Returning to the athletics analogy for a moment, imagine a 21-year-old runner who has to face the very real possibility that he has reached the pinnacle of his abilities and still isn’t good enough to qualify even for regional events, let alone national or international. He has two choices:

1) He can hire a new coach and attempt to push himself harder, refusing to accept defeat. For a minority this decision will be fruitful but for the majority all that will follow are years of frustrated efforts.

2) He can decide that he gave it his best shot, give up the goal of becoming a world-class runner and instead begin exploring a career as a coach, or a sports journalist, or a gym teacher, or a sports equipment vendor . . . .

Some will never be able to see the person who selects Option #2 as anything other than a failure. Yet the individual who is able to continue working in the field of expertise that he loves – perhaps finding an unexpected joy and satisfaction in helping others to success, or reporting on their sporting achievements – views his personal decision as an overwhelming success. The second option may not deliver profound wealth or fame, but if you define success as earning an honest living, doing something you enjoy, then does it really matter?

If you firmly believe that you are perfectly suited for the lifestyle of an IM celebrity and you won’t be able to live with yourself unless you persist in striving for it, then maybe that is exactly what you should do. Otherwise, consider whether you might find more success in exchanging the current cycle of struggle and frustration for something less glamorous but more attainable.

If you have a specific skill, rather than trying to shape it into a viral product that can be sold on a grand scale, generating vast wealth through recurring payments, epic upsells, and countless reiterations; explore the idea of exchanging your services for payment on an individual basis. You could set yourself up as a consultant, a service provider, even a one-on-one coach or trainer.

Will you be disappointed not to become the next IM celebrity star, flying around the world from one seminar to the next, making videos of your shiny new cars? Only you can answer that question, but you’ll probably be making more money than you are now, without much of the stress and aggravation.

How many times have you heard celebrities bemoan the curse of fame that left them with broken families or drug and alcohol problems? If you’re making a good living, performing work that you enjoy, and enjoying more quality time with your family, then who do you think is the real success story?


By David Congreave
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 21

Outsourcing – Double or Nothing!

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

The rewards can be tremendous but, despite the claims of some, outsourcing is never easy. Beware! Although successful outsourcing can halve the time and effort required for a project, approach it wrong and it can double.

Whether you’re using Elance,, ScriptLance, or RentACoder, read the FAQs and instructions on your chosen site carefully, and then apply the tried and trusted techniques below. Everything below is based on years of my own personal experience . . . ignore them at your peril.

#1 Think long-term.
The mistake most people make is looking to hire someone with only the current task in view. Finding the right people to work for you is time-consuming. Rather than hiring from scratch, with every new project, look for the people that you can hire repeatedly, or on a long-term basis.

I’ve hired the same programmer for about nine years. He knows how I like the work to be carried out, he understands the internet marketing terminology that we take for granted (but with which many are unfamiliar), and I don’t have to explain my requirements again and again. Even though I pay him above the average to ensure that he works for me exclusively, this long-term approach has saved me a huge amount of time and money, simply by eliminating my need to hunt for a new programmer every time I need some work doing.

Before posting your project requirements, take some time to think about what your next project is going to be, and the one after that, and the one after that. Before awarding your project to your preferred provider, make some initial enquiries into their potential to work for you on future projects.

#2 Look for SPECIFIC expertise.
If a programmer has extensive experience in building websites with Joomla, don’t assume that they’ll be able to handle WordPress. If a graphic designer creates great ebook covers, don’t assume they can produce a quality sales page design. It’s NOT enough to hire someone who as expertise in an area relating to your task; unless you can establish that they have a proven track record in the precise type of work you need, then don’t risk wasting your time and money.

When considering a bid by a provider, review their portfolio and their feedback comments to establish whether or not they have worked on a task that is virtually identical to the one you’ve posted.

#3 Ditch the time wasters.
Some providers will bid on every job in their niche, without reading the job description first. Many of these individuals are doing so because they are desperate for work and care little about whether they have the required skills. Others are just a front for a “professional” outsourcing company who will repost your job, hire someone else for a lower fee, and pocket the difference.

The latter of the two are especially troublesome because this will drastically slow down the completion of your work, and because your task may end up assigned to someone who is relatively unskilled. You could even end up in the nightmare situation of having your task pass through several outsourcing companies in a row. This is all the more worrying when you consider that you might be providing server access to your programmer, never realizing that it is passing through the hands of multiple individuals.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution to weed these people out:

  1. Write a brief overview of your job description.
  2. Attach a detailed set of instructions to your project posting, in the form of a WORD document, or text file.
  3. Somewhere near the bottom of your detailed instructions, include a “password” and request that the provider include it in the comments attached to their bid.

What the majority of the time wasters have in common, is that they don’t take the time to read the job descriptions, beyond a cursory glance. If the password isn’t included in their comments, you can safely assume they either haven’t read your instructions or they’re incapable of following them. Either way, you can dismiss them out of hand.

#4 Communicate your requirements EXACTLY.
Before you post your project, you should have completed an in-depth description of your requirements. The more detail you provide, the more likely it is that the finished result will match your vision. It’s not condescending to spell out exactly what you want, how you want it to look, and how you want it to work. An experienced professional will appreciate the comprehensive nature of your instructions.

As well as providing written instructions, where appropriate, provide visual guidance as well. Some years ago I designed an audio software application called Impact Web Audio; as part of the design brief for my programmer I opened up Photoshop and drew a series of diagrams illustrating how each aspect of the software should appear. It wasn’t necessary for me to draw these images with a great deal of precision or detail, but it ensured that the finished result was almost exactly as I wanted it.

If you’re not comfortable with image-editing software, there’s nothing to stop you from getting pen and paper, sketching your designs, and then scanning them onto your PC. Alternatively, or in addition, you can even use Camtasia or Jing to create screen-capture videos to highlight other websites that are similar to your requirements.

By Gary Ambrose
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 18

ROI Made Simple: There’s Nothing Complex about Building a Strong Return

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

ROI stands for Return On Investment and is the basis for profiting from virtually any business venture. ROI is also the kind of topic marketing consultants like to over complicate and make a big dramatic deal out of.

In reality the whole concept is incredibly straightforward and easy to apply. Your ROI is simply what you can expect to gain from a potential endeavor and you make this determination by comparing your costs against your profits. What you earn above and beyond the money you spend to get a project moving, essentially tells you what your return will be for continuing to pursue a given venture.

It’s easy to assume that this exercise is only for large companies who want to decide in which plan to invest their millions. However, even a one-man show can use the ROI calculation to quickly and easily decide which efforts are worth the time and money. You have a finite amount of time and resources, so you can only focus on a finite number of projects at any one time. To be sure your efforts are as lucrative as possible you need to put your resources where they’ll create the greatest return. By moving forward with ventures that offer the highest ROI, you’ll increase the chances of creating the best possible income.

Let’s look at some examples to demonstrate how you might make this calculation:

Example One

You sell five baskets of fruit for a total Revenue of: $60
Your Expenses (buying the fruit wholesale, travel costs, etc) come to: $30

Subtract the Expenses from your total Revenue, and the result is your Net Profit. So in this example, the calculation is:


To express this as an ROI percentage, simply remove the dollar sign, divide the Net Profit by the Expenses and multiply the result by 100.


The ROI is 100%, meaning you doubled your initial investment. In this example, you doubled your initial outlay of $30 and turned it into $60. Nice! Let’s try another one.


Example Two

You price your eBooks at: $30
After one week, you sell ten eBooks for total revenue of: $300

Your web hosting per week is: $2
You hired a graphic designer to create a new eBook cover: $50
Your merchant account fees are $0.80 per sale. You made ten sales so that’s: $8
Total expenses for the week: $60

Subtract the Expenses from your total Revenue, and the result is your Net Profit. So in this example, the calculation is:


To express this as an ROI percentage, simply remove the dollar sign, divide the Net Profit by the Expenses and multiply the result by 100.


The ROI is an awesome 400% . . . if only every ROI calculation produced this result! Got the hang of it yet? Try completing the following sample exercises for yourself (the correct answers can be found at the end of this article).


Exercise One

You run an information website and make income via Adsense and affiliate programs. Calculate the Net Profit and your ROI from last month’s figures.

Adsense income: $360
Affiliate programs: $270
Total revenue: $630

Your web hosting per month is: $20
Outsourcing article writing: $150
Pay-Per-Click Campaign: $190
Total expenses for the month: $360



Exercise Two

You run a membership website that charges members $20 per month. Additional income is made through affiliate programs and renting advertising space. Calculate the Net Profit and your ROI from last month’s figures.

Total Members: 60 x $20
Affiliate programs: $172.50
Renting Advertising Space: $200
Total revenue: $______

Your web hosting per month is: $165
Pay-Per-Click Campaign: $575
Outsourced Customer Support: $110
Total expenses for the month: $______



OK… Now What?

Once you have a basic idea of ROI you can improve this figure through strategic thinking. Lowering the amount of money that comes out of your pocket to get a venture on its feet is the most obvious first step toward getting a higher return on investment. For instance, finding the best price on the various development expenses like web design, programming, and so on, is an easy way to immediately increase your returns. Identifying ways to save advertising costs will also create an instant rise in ROI.

On the flipside, ROI can be improved by increasing your overall revenue. Revenue increasing ideas that will push up your ROI include:

  • Creating upsells, add-on or bonus offers that compliment your core product.
  • Loading your customer autoresponder with affiliate promotions for complimentary products.
  • Offering additional quantities or improved versions of your product at a discount price.

Offers of this nature are proven methods of adding revenue to any promotion. Drive-through restaurants and movie theaters are great examples of this; every time someone asks if you’d like fries with your order or reminds you that for another dollar you can get the mega bucket of cola, you’re seeing a company working to improve ROI. It takes only a little creativity to integrate new offers into your existing process.

Another way to increase your revenue – and consequently your ROI – that’s ultra simple and often neglected by new entrepreneurs is to simply raise the price. You don’t need any special reason to adjust your pricing as long as your product delivers real value. Indeed what customers are willing to pay is a legitimate factor most companies consider when setting a price point in the first place. If you have reason to believe people will exchange a few extra dollars for your product or service, reconfigure your order buttons accordingly and you’ll have a bigger ROI starting with the very next transaction.

Obviously you’ll also want to run ROI calculations on your company as a whole and not just on individual product offers. Many experts suggest doing this on a monthly and yearly basis to be sure that what you’re doing is in alignment with your desire to stay profitable. Whatever you decide, make sure you actually take the time to run these calculations for every potential product. This is a must if you want to reach the highest possible profits. Now that you understand how easily you can find and even improve ROI there’s no reason to avoid doing so.

Exercise Solutions

Exercise One


Exercise Two


By John Russo
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 14

First Thing’s First: What Should You Sell Online?

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

I receive a lot of emails from frantic new marketers. These good people often tell me how they’ve created a 200-page ebook and a set of videos, created a top-notch Website, and even hired a pro to knock out a compelling sales letter. But they’re still not making any sales and they can’t find anyone to help them promote. My heart goes out to the sender every time I receive this kind of message.

But more often than not, when I take a look at the websites that are performing so poorly my first question is: “Did you carry out any basic research to see if people want a product of this nature?”

Too many people are floored by my simple question. The reality is a lot of new entrepreneurs fall in love with what they believe will be a hot product and then immediately begin the development process without doing even preliminary research on their potential market.

The bottom line is: It doesn’t really matter what you think about a product idea; the important factor is whether or not there are plenty of people in cyberspace who are both interested and able to pay for a product like the one you want to sell.

Let’s back this up for just a minute. Before you even get started with product choices, one of the most important things you can ask yourself is, “What am I looking to get out of all this?”

What kind of rewards are you planning for? Are you turning to Internet Marketing to just make a few extra dollars per month or are you looking to make a full time income?

Many people treat Internet Marketing like a hobby. Unfortunately online business is not a video game, and if you treat your operation like a leisure pastime you’ll reap the rewards of a hobbyist and not a business owner.

So regardless of whether you want a nice part-time flow of cash or a full-blown income that lets you fire your current boss, decide right now to treat everything you do like a legitimate business decision. Once you adopt this mindset you’ll understand the point of this article.

People fail to do proper research before launching a venture because they aren’t thinking like a business owner. I’ve heard plenty of other excuses but they all point back to this basic truth.

As you surely understand no website can succeed without plenty of traffic. The quality of your product will mean little in the big picture if nobody ever sees it. And when you allow your creativity to be guided by existing market demands you’ll get a head start on solid traffic flow before you even launch.

How so? Quite simply, when you find a market of active consumers who already want a particular product, you’ll know in advance that plenty of potential site visitors are already online.

By using basic keyword research you’ll also have the info for laying the framework for good search engine position. You will know the search terms people are already using relative to your site and you can leverage these within your site design and through your offsite link building campaigns.

If your goal is to create a network of sites that sell your products on autopilot, you’ll want to research markets or niches with lots of recent activity. Use a basic keyword tool like the free one Google offers to find out what keywords have been searched the most in recent months.

An in-depth discussion of keywords is a topic for another article. For now, just understand that any time you use a search engine you are entering keywords before clicking the search button. If you can grasp the basic concept of matching your product to the most popular keywords in your market you’re off to a grand start.

An easy way to look at the process of researching a winning idea is to start with a list of topics you enjoy and know a bit about, and then use a keyword tool to find out what searchers are looking for relative to your interests. Once you have a basic idea about the keywords and markets with good activity you’ll want to learn as much as possible about the relevant demographics, i.e. the people searching the keywords.

For example . . .

As I wrote this article “Britney Spears” was one of the top searched keyword phrases at Google. In fact this search term is virtually always in the top 10 or 20. Does this mean it would be wise to create a product around Britney?

Maybe; but a key thing to consider here are the demographics. The typical Britney enthusiast is between 9 and 15 years old. They don’t own credit cards and you can imagine the kind of customer support issues potentially involved with this sort of audience.

On the other hand, another top ten keyword at this time was “Golf.” Obviously this is a completely different market wherein the average searcher is between 40 and 60 years old and financially capable of investing in the right product. In fact golfers generally want to spend more money than necessary to get the brand that carries the most prestige!

However the single keyword “Golf” represents a VERY broad market. You’d probably get killed if you tried to build a business around such a general keyword within a tremendously saturated marketplace.

You would definitely do well to dig deeper into the golf concept and find a few tight niches. You could do this by running some basic keyword research on more detailed phrases like “beginner golf tips,” “improve golf score,” “find best golf clubs,” “golf course reviews,” and so on. Entering longer keyword phrases into a keyword research tool will return hundreds of very specific search terms, many of which will represent potential niche markets.

I’ve never even played golf and don’t know the first thing about the game or the people who enjoy it, so don’t presume that I’m pushing you toward focusing on golf-related niches; this is just an example of how you might take a popular keyword and start your research from there.

I’m in the business of Internet Marketing to make a living and that requires me to follow the money by doing my homework. So even if I have never actually played golf myself, I would be more than willing to create a golf product once I’ve determined that a demand exists and the niche is likely to be profitable.

Once you find a solid market or niche you can always outsource the product creation to someone who knows the field better than you. A good developer can also field the research when needed, but I urge you to try and find outsource agents with genuine knowledge so you can be sure your paying customers are getting real value.

As always you can pay close attention to the way existing, successful products in your new market have been promoted. Feel free to copy anything that seems to be working well, and always be willing to approach heavy hitters in your new market to strike up cross promotions and joint ventures.

All of my product ideas are the result of sound research. I start the process with Google, using both the keyword data tool and the search engine itself to see what people are currently doing within the keyword niches I find. I urge you to do the same.

You may be an expert in “Indian head massages,” or you may really enjoy “garbage pail kids” trading cards. But until you verify a substantial interest and ability to spend money on the part of other Web surfers you shouldn’t consider building a business around anything.

By Omar Martin
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 11

On The House – Sunbird

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Time management and organizational tools have always been popular. With the expanding use of the internet causing more and more people to suffer from information overload, our collective desire to tame the chaos has never been greater. There are no shortage of software applications and widgets that aim to assist us in organizing our work schedule, but are there any out there that don’t require a hefty payment or, worse, a monthly subscription?

This month, On the House is turning its spotlight on Sunbird TM, a free calendar application created by Mozilla (best known for the Firefox Web browser). Although simplistic in appearance and light on features, it’s very easy to get to grips with and boasts a couple of elegant touches that upgrades the software from useful to essential!

When you install Sunbird for the first time you’ll want to spend a little time configuring the style in which the calendar is displayed. There is plenty of flexibility here, including which days you include in your workweek, which day to start the week, start, and finish times for individual days, and the period of time to display at any one time (ranging from 1 day at a time to six weeks). You can also resize the various elements on the frontend to decide how much or how little space to allow for each. Unwanted elements can be removed completely.

After that, you can begin inputting the events and tasks that make up your schedule. As you would expect from this kind of application, you can edit the start and end dates, categories, location, reminder alerts, and so on. You can also specify whether a task is a single item, or whether it is a recurring job. Repeat tasks can be scheduled as something as simple as daily or weekly, or you can create complicated recurrence patterns such as the third Wednesday of every month for the next five months.

Color-coded categories and priority status icons make your calendar easy to read and with a little practice you soon come to recognize the tell-tale signs of a schedule that is lop-sided or overloaded. Especially if you take the time to tweak the display, the uncluttered interface is refreshing. Although only the title of a task or event is visible on the calendar view, you can hover your mouse cursor over an item and quickly view any description and notes that you’ve previously entered.

The two features that really elevate this software are:

  • The ability to quickly move tasks and events to different days with a click-and-drag of the mouse.
  • The option to create multiple calendars that can be viewed individually, or simultaneously.

With the second feature, for example, you might create one calendar containing your work schedule and a second calendar for managing your social calendar. You can quickly switch from one calendar to the other to view the tasks and events that are exclusive to that schedule or you can merge the calendars together ensuring there are no conflicts.

As useful as all facilities are, in truth this isn’t a software application that is going to leave you gasping in awe. Although acclaiming something for being functional may sound like meager praise, when it comes to organizing your time and work, a simple and unfussy tool is something to shout about.

If you’ve struggled in the past to find “calendar” software that doesn’t lock you into one type of configuration, or is hopelessly dense with complicated features, you’ll find Sunbird to be a breath of fresh air. But if this is your first experience in using an organized system to manage your time and workload – ridding yourself of the pressure of trying to mentally retain every important event and task – then this could be the most satisfying and useful program that you discover this year.

Go to:

This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 10

MDC Monthly Preview – November 2011

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

What’s inside the November 2011 issue of MDC Monthly?

SEO Questions . . . Answered

  • 2011 best practices for Onsite SEO and Link Building.
  • Why Google should be your #1 target.
  • How to avoid being banned.
  • How to rank quickly in Google.
  • The link building software you should avoid.
  • Should you outsource your SEO or do it yourself?

“Pound Foolish” with Robert Puddy

  • How to assess the worth of membership upgrades.
  • Which TE special offers you should avoid.

“Just (Don’t) Do It” with Omar Martin

  • A simple formula for deciding whether or not to outsource.
  • The best sites for finding reliable workers.

“The 95/5 Option” with Anik Singal

  • 10 principles for Super Affiliate success.
  • Four reasons why Super Affiliates can change the world.

“The Art of Juggling” with Jennifer Syrkiewicz

  • The dangerous virus of potential.
  • How to find your rhythm in business.

“Cloud Computing” with Joel Williams

  • Two high-profile examples of cloud computing that you might already be using.
  • Why cloud computing is essential for the future of the Web.

Latest book reviews:

  • The Marketing High Ground” by J. Michael Gospe Jr.
  • The Accidental Sales Manager” by Chris Lytle.

Additional features:

  • Internet Marketing News
  • Reader Revolution
  • “Free Advice and Worth Every Penny” with Dafydd Manton

Don’t miss the November 2011 edition of MDC Monthly!
You can get a free trial copy shipped to your door by clicking here.

Oct 07

State-of-the-Article: Part One How to Find a Ridiculously Profitable Niche

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Welcome to part one of an article marketing system that took me nearly three years to test, refine, and perfect. Collect each insert from this series and you’ll have compiled a step-by-step guide to constructing your own version of this system, driving traffic AND profits into your business. Just like a snowball rolling down the side of a mountain, as the system runs, it moves and grows at an ever quicker rate.

Do NOT under any circumstances assume that you know what to expect from the contents of this article and the ones to follow. Article marketing may be a familiar subject to many but, even if you’re an experienced marketer, I’m going to reveal some very interesting methods that in all probability you’ve never seen before. Additionally, while most article marketing methods focus on the goal of driving traffic or building a mailing list, my state-of-the-art system also delivers profits.

Before I get into the details however, I should probably take a moment to introduce myself . . .

As you’ve probably gathered from the by-line at the top of the page, my name is Anik Singal. If it sounds familiar then you’re probably connecting it with my multi-million dollar, online business, Affiliate Classroom, and more recently the Launch Tree project I created with Mike.

I’m a great believer in the power of persistence and I tend to describe myself as a “fighter.” Not in the literal sense, but in the sense of refusing to give up, maintaining a positive attitude, and sometimes being just plain stubborn! It is this drive that helped me continue to tweak and improve my article marketing system until I had it down to a science (Ed – learn more about Anik at

You may have noticed that I keep referring to this as a ‘system’ rather than a ‘strategy’; this is very deliberate. The two words are often used interchangeably but I believe they have a very important difference. To me, the word ‘strategy’ suggests a general approach or angle that doesn’t have many specifics. A strategy can be aggressive, defensive, passive, thoughtful, and so on. A ‘system’ however, conjures the idea of a carefully crafted step-by-step process that accomplishes a goal time and time again, with little, if any, chance of failure.

I stress this because if you view this article series as a system, you’ll appreciate that to achieve the best results you need to follow it to the letter. The system is simple and cost-effective but please resist the temptation to skip or leave out certain steps. I’ve worked hard to remove any padding so you can be certain that everything described from hereon is included for a reason.

This system achieves much of its profitability from affiliate marketing. I’m going to assume you already know most of the basics but if there are terms or phrases that you don’t understand, skip ahead to the end of this article and you’ll find a detailed glossary to help you get started. At whatever level you consider yourself to be, I still recommend at least having a glance through the glossary as there may be one or two expressions that have passed you by.

For the first part of this series I’m going to start you off very gently, so take time to read and comprehend the following content. Next month we’ll start putting the pieces together!

Let’s Get Started…
How to Find a Ridiculously Profitable Niche

Think of a niche as a topic that appeals to a segment of internet users. We’re looking for a focused area but one that isn’t so narrow that your articles only attract five readers a day. A healthy-sized audience is a great start, but it isn’t the only factor to think about. You also need to consider whether the niche is going to be searched by people with money to spend on solutions, interests, hobbies, or passions.

I may have spent almost three years refining my article marketing system, but I’ve spent MORE than five years testing and improving this method for finding profitable niches. This is the place where every article marketing campaign begins. Before you enter into a niche it’s important to find out if it attracts any interest and, more importantly, profit. Our assessment isn’t going to be built on personal preference or gut instinct, it’s going to have a foundation of careful and in-depth research.

Believe it or not, the research is one of the most exciting parts of the system, especially when you dig up a red-hot niche that is fresh and growing rapidly. We’re going to become absorbed in the research next month. Between now and the next issue, put a little time aside each week to gather some ideas for topics that you want to research. You don’t have to go nuts with this but aim to have at least half a dozen ideas ready in time for next month.

Getting Ideas for Niche Topics

Don’t you just love online marketing? How many jobs are there in the world that require you to start out by watching TV!

As crazy as it may sound, this is a great place to find out what people are currently into or what they might be about to get into. The average household has the television on for 28 hours a week, so it’s of little surprise that as well as catering to people’s interests, television also has the reach to create and drive new interests of its own.

#1: Watch the News!
Turn on your local news channel and CNN and keep your eyes and ears open. Focus on ALL the stories – not just the news items – and pay attention to sports, health features, entertainment news, technology and gadgets, human interest . . . everything! If any of these areas are engaged in any kind of controversial story, then take extra special note.

If a story is popular, then you can be pretty sure that there is a volume of online traffic available for you to tap into. The trick is take a popular media story and try to find some twist or angle that can be tied in with a niche you’re interested in. Here are some quick examples to help you to get the idea.

At the time of writing, England and Australia are competing for the 2009 Ashes. In both countries this means that a large number of people, who wouldn’t normally take any interest in cricket, are suddenly glued to their televisions and radios and, crucially, searching the internet for cricket news and information. Consequently, vendors of cricket memorabilia, replica clothing, equipment and so on, will be expecting to see a spike in interest and hopefully sales.

A few months back there was a story about Christian Bale having a tantrum on the set of the Terminator Salvation movie. An audio recording of the incident was leaked and while most people viewed this as an amusing story, other more savvy people quickly began selling t-shirts printed with quotes from Bale’s rant.

Recently, thanks to the epidemic of swine flu, the Tamiflu drug overtook Viagra as the most popular item for spammers to push. Ok, that’s an example, not a trend for you to try and follow, but what about people looking for advice on how to manage flu symptoms, or people looking for gift baskets to send to sick relatives.

Get the idea?

Also remember that “news” doesn’t have to mean just the headlines of the hour. The results of product tests or research, new product announcements, offbeat or crazy new ideas – all of these can be labeled as “news.”

You can also use the Google Alerts service to get news links – based on keywords of your choice – emailed to you. Go to to sign up.

#2: Watch the Talk Shows
All those funny, weird, interesting or controversial talk show hosts who spin opinions on everything under the sun, are a great source of ideas. All Oprah has to do is mention a product or a topic on her show and millions of people start searching for it!
Trust me, watch Oprah’s recommendations and guest names; the search volumes on those skyrocket the day of – and the day after – they appear on the show.

#3: Watch “Niche News” Shows
You can get a lot of great ideas from those entertainment and celebrity news shows, financial news reports, business news segments, and technology news shows. Remember that you’re looking for a way to take something “newsy” and tie it in with your niche.

#4: Watch Infomercials!
It’s 3:00 a.m. and you can’t sleep? Do some niche research by watching infomercials! If a product developer is paying to promote their gadget, weight loss system, self-help system, etc, on TV, then there’s a very good chance that it’s a profitable niche.

Keep a pen and paper next to your TV and as you start to get ideas for topics to research, jot them down. If the above examples were all current, your list might include:

cricket memorabilia
ashes 2009
cricket rules
celebrity quotes
celebrity bloopers
swine flu
flu remedies

Keep your list handy and next month we’ll begin our research. If you haven’t already, browse through the glossary in the next section and make sure you have a basic understanding of all of the terms included.

Affiliate Glossary

A glossary of words and terms associated with Affiliate Marketing. All the words presented in italics have their own individual glossary entry and definition

A person who makes money by sending leads to online merchants.

Affiliate Link
A Web address or URL that is unique to each affiliate. By sending leads to the affiliate merchant through their personal affiliate link, the affiliate is flagged as the source of the traffic so they can be identified and rewarded appropriately.

Affiliate Marketing
A method of gaining Web traffic and sales by rewarding affiliates for sending leads to your website. The reward is usually monetary and is paid when an affiliate sends a lead that takes a desired action such as submitting contact information or, more commonly, making a purchase.

Affiliate Merchant
A business that utilizes affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Program
A set of terms and conditions that define how an individual affiliate merchant requires its affiliates to behave, and specifies when and how they will be rewarded. Working as an affiliate for an affiliate merchant usually requires that you register or “sign up” to their affiliate program first, in so doing expressing your agreement with the terms and conditions.

A percentage or fixed fee paid to an affiliate in exchange for referring or directing a lead. See also Two-Tier Commission.

Contextual Advertising
See Pay-Per-Click Affiliate Program.

CPA (Cost Per Action)
An affiliate program that pays a commission for each referred lead that performs a desired action such as providing some contact and personal information. Also known as Pay-Per-Lead.

CPA (Cost Per Action) Network
A collection of affiliate merchants that operate a CPA affiliate program. Many CPA affiliate merchants require their affiliates to be capable of providing a certain volume of traffic and leads before accepting their application.

Hybrid Affiliate Program
Variations, or a combination of two or more types of affiliate program. For example, 10 cents per click and then 15% on sales made after someone clicks, bonuses or higher commission after a certain number of sales.

In the context of affiliate marketing, this is an internet user who performs a potentially profitable action (e.g., visiting an affiliate merchant’s website, or clicking on an advert) after being referred or directed by an affiliate.

Pay-Per-Click Affiliate Program
An affiliate program that pays a commission when a clicks on an advert that resides on the affiliate’s website. Some affiliate merchants in this area provide static image or text links; others vary the appearance of the advert based on the subject of the host’s web page, using a technique called Contextual Advertising. Google Adsense is the best known example of a contextual advertising program.

Pay-Per-Lead Affiliate Program
See CPA (Cost Per Action).

Pay-Per-Sale Affiliate Program
An affiliate program that pays a commission on each sale made by a referred lead. This is the most common type of affiliate program. Pay-Per-Sale affiliate programs in the internet marketing niche commonly pay a higher commission percentage than most; 50% is usual but higher commissions paying as much as 100% of the sale are not unheard of.

Pay-Per-Search Affiliate Program
An affiliate program that pays a commission when a lead performs a web or localized search, either on the affiliate’s website, or on the affiliate merchant’s website after being referred by an affiliate.

Recurring Revenue Affiliate Program
See Residual Income Affiliate Program.

Residual Income Affiliate Program
An affiliate program that pays a recurring commission for sales, made by a referred lead, of a product or service that requires multiple payments. This type of affiliate program can commonly be found for services, such as web hosting and mailing list providers. Depending on the terms of the affiliate program, commissions are paid to affiliates for a specified period, or for as long as the referred customer continues to pay their monthly fee. Also known as Recurring Revenue.

See Two-Tier Commission.

Commission paid on sales made by referred leads AND on any subsequent affiliate activity by those referred leads. For example, you may get paid a 25% commission on your own sales, and a 5% commission on affiliates you refer. An affiliate program that only pays commissions on sales made directly by referred leads is more common but is sometimes referred to as single-tier to differentiate it from the two-tier model.

By Anik Singal
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at

Oct 04

Login Frequency Marketing: Force Them to Come Back for More!

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Many people falsely believe traffic generation is the cure for an unprofitable Website. While every site obviously needs visitors to flourish, the reality is that most struggling marketers are not properly leveraging the traffic they already have.

When I first brought this topic up on my blog, I caused a bit of a stir. It’s difficult for website owners to understand that they can make more money without increasing their traffic but there’s nothing new to the “more is less” philosophy. Virtually every marketing consultant on the planet will ask you to look closely at resources you already have, before urging you to develop new products or look for new prospects.

In this article I’m going to concentrate on a strategy dubbed, Login Frequency Marketing, or LFM. This straightforward concept is the single biggest contributor to my early success. It allowed me to stop working hard for a little extra cash and start enjoying a great full-time living from Internet marketing.

When I first began my journey to online success, I struggled with issues that I suspect many people reading this can relate to. I lacked the resources to compete with the big hitters, I didn’t have much traffic and I couldn’t line up JVs because nobody knew me.

I used the membership site model to overcome every single one of these issues and, with only a small amount of effort, you can duplicate or exceed my success.

Don’t be intimidated by the idea of owning a membership website. Contrary to popular belief, membership sites do not always involve a monthly commitment to creating new content. It’s not written in stone that your member program must require you to convince prospects to sign up for a continuity plan.

The typical response to the suggestion of starting a membership site is hesitation or dismay, primarily because of the way this model has been portrayed in mainstream discussions. Over the next few months I’m going to outline a membership site method that is neither commonly taught, nor used, but that can produce incredible results.

I look forward to busting a few of the main myths and misconceptions surrounding the membership site model. For now, here are the key points I want you to absorb:

  • Your member site does not necessarily have to promise new content each month.
  • You can profit immensely without charging a recurring monthly fee.
  • A successful membership site can be built around any product or service!
  • Above all, a membership site is a powerful delivery mechanism!

This particular delivery system can bring you eager JV partners, residual income, instant traffic, and a responsive mailing list. For these and other reasons I believe the membership model is absolutely the most effective avenue for building an unstoppable online business. A membership site following the LFM strategy can greatly enhance the results of even the most basic campaign. Allow me to demonstrate how this works.

Log In & Cash In

Let’s say you want to build your list by giving away a free report. Rather than just using an autoresponder to collect signups and sending the download link via email, you can place your gift inside a secure member’s area.

Member registration forms take about the same time to complete as email subscription forms, and prospects who really want your free information will be happy to fill out a couple of extra fields. Once the process is complete your membership software can add the new signups directly into the autoresponder database of your choice.

When your new subscriber/member logs in to collect his or her gift, you can take them through an entire series of paid offers before they arrive in the main member’s area. As this person has just taken positive action by requesting something from you, they are ideal prospects for an exciting offer. Most quality member scripts will allow you to configure the offer process for maximum profit; if a member chooses not to buy the first offer the software can show them a “second chance” pitch that gives them specially reduced pricing.

This is such a simple strategy, yet it allows you to literally get paid while you build your list! With a good membership script you can even track affiliate sales on the login offers, thus providing other marketers with an incentive for sending you new subscribers.

Once you have a login mechanism, you can pull those same people back into the system and walk them past new offers anytime you like; all you have to do is add more free content or gifts to the download area. Send an email inviting members to login and collect a new bonus you’ve just added, and watch the money roll in as a percentage of them also make a purchase.

EXPERT TIP: Whenever you want to test a new sales page, you can simply add it to your membership site as a login offer.

This is such an incredibly easy way to make money. Over the years I have identified a whole host of ways to get members to log back in. You might even consider requiring your members to login at least once every 30 days to retain active status. By configuring your script to send reminder emails, you’ll be able to present new offers on a regular basis as people log in just to avoid being deleted from the system. Repeat traffic of this nature is one of the most reliable ways to increase revenue

You can also give each of your new members an affiliate link so they can build your list and create more new sales for you. In fact you can send the affiliate information out automatically each time someone registers an account. In this scenario instead of just sending a welcome email with the download link each time a subscriber comes along, you’ll be actively compounding your earnings by instantly converting new leads into affiliates.

Joint Venture Bait

I discovered early on that just having a login mechanism could even help me generate more JV support. It was actually quite shocking what a simple login page allowed me to do in terms of recruiting powerful, joint venture partners.

It occurred to me that if I couldn’t generate plenty of my own traffic, perhaps I could use the flow of traffic generated by successful marketers. You’ve probably heard this before and if you’re like most, you’ll say it sounds impossible… but it’s not. In fact pulling traffic from existing sources is surprisingly easy once you have a plan and some leverage. The key word here is leverage; you need something prospective partners want.

A simple membership website allows you to create instant leverage because you have a platform for delivering long-term exposure to any promotional partners. In my case I got people with large email lists to promote my products by agreeing to place permanent ads for their products on my member login page.

I benefited from a spike in leads and sales from their email broadcast and they enjoyed a steadily growing stream of traffic from my ad. As my membership grew so did the number of visitors I was able to send to my joint venture partners. By using a simple rotator script to display ads from multiple partners, I easily lined up reciprocal email promotions from many people and over time I received a substantial flow of traffic from those mailings. This is a totally win-win scenario and you don’t need much to pull it off.

Even if you don’t have many members in the beginning, most people will be willing to work with you as long as your site and product are quality. Prospective partners will understand that, because of the permanent nature of the ad on your login page, their traffic will increase over time as your membership expands.

This tactic takes a little time to pay off but it’s totally worth it. I’ve built four separate six-figure businesses and a mailing list of over 160,000 readers using this easy cross-promotion model.

These suggestions really are only the beginning of what’s possible with membership sites. Just about every marketing, sales and promotional basic, can be made more effective by implementing a membership model. I hope you’ll stay tuned as I bring you new ways to exploit this simple platform each month.

By Robert Puddy
This article first appeared in the September 2009 issue of the MarketingDotCom newsletter. You can get a free copy of the latest issue for the price of shipping at