I’m eating my words | Affiliate Marketing Report
WOW, this is going to be a tough one to write. I hate when I don’t get the results I expected. But I owe it to you guys to share everything I learned in my first affiliate launch (all I have is lessons to share since the money isn’t pouring in like it was supposed to.)
I’m going to break this post into several segments so you can scan the stuff that’s most interesting to you. The main segments are:
- Next Steps
Skip around to the parts that interest you, but I recommend reading Data and Summary.
As I go through each segment I will try to share what I (think) I got right, wrong, and what I would change for next time. My goal for this piece is to give you insight into how monetizing content works, because I am convinced that we need to make the move to paid content RIGHT NOW. —- and it’s OK if you don’t agree, but personally my goal online is to create a muse that allows me to live the lifestyle of my dreams.
Special Thanks to “The Pushers”
Maya Paveza 715 clicks
Sheri Morritz 318 clicks
Mike Bowler 172 clicks
Chris Smith 148 clicks
Drew Burks 92 clicks
Some Extra Stuff about and to “The Pushers”
I’m sure you’re wondering about the difference in sales from the top to bottom “clicks” and I’m going to explain in more detail in the data section of this report. But I was surprised at the the sales results.*
I will say this, the Twitter peeps can push some traffic- Maya is a force to be reckoned with fo’ shizzle.
I am truly grateful that you would took a chance to help me promote this product, it means a lot to me – that’s why I’m laying all my cards on the table in this report.
What went wrong?
I didn’t get you guys fully invested in the product.
What went right?
We were all in tune as far as steering the conversation towards mobile the week before the call. There were discussions and ideas floating around and Drew & Chris created some cool content that added some value to the discussion (and this point will come back later in data.)
We had the interwebs a buzz about Mobile- we nailed that part (which is pretty amazing.)
Changes I would Make:
I gave you access to view the product ahead of time so you could ask any questions, but I didn’t get questions so I figured it was OK. I should have given you a brief report on WHAT the product was and provided you with better marketing materials to make it easier for you to understand and promote.
This affiliate launch was modeled after an earlier “internal” launch I did with Mobile Product X. The launch worked, so I was confident that it would work again. Here’s the basic plan I used the first (two) times:
- Create content about Mobile Marketing (to raise awareness of the “need”)
- Leak MPX manual (so people start hearing the name)
- Leak info on the radio show (whisper campaign)
- Talk to leaders about Mobile Marketing and MPX (more whisper)
- Sales Webinar
- Talk to customers to improve the product for next launch
I actually went through two rounds of this to get feedback from the customers on what they needed for this product to feel complete. I will share some data on the two internal launches in the data section.
Since this was a proven working model I only mad minor tweaks to it for the affiliate launch. Some of them worked and some of them didn’t. I’ll explain it all below:
- Create content about Mobile Marketing (Thanks Drew & Chris)
- Leak MPX manual
- Start Twitter Buzz (Thanks Sheri, Maya, & Mike)
- Sales Webinar Signups
- Close the doors early (buzz buzz buzz)
- Follow Up email campaign
What went wrong with the Contest?
I’m going to chalk up my 1/2 baked contest strategy as the biggest mistake I made. I never “do” contest, so I should have thought this through a little better- but here’s how it went:
Giving away 3 copies of the MPX system to people who are LIVE on the call.
- Giving away the same product you are selling is a BAD idea.
- I decided I’d announce the winners the next day for post event hype – BAD idea- people won’t buy because they think they have a chance to win.
If I ever do a contest again – it’ll be for one of the bonuses – that way I can put a lot of value on that bonus – then when I do the pitch people will see that bonus as VERY valuable. I would also announce the winner at the start so people have that feeling that they missed out – we solve that feeling later by giving them a chance to buy the product – and get that bonus (this is theory.)
What went wrong with the Webinar:
I fucked up all sorts of ways on this webinar – things that I should have known better – but still I made these mistakes and it’s embarrassing, especially when so many people were there (100+.) Here are the top things that I felt weren’t right:
- It was way too long – we should have capped it at 1:15 (it was around 1:45)
- I didn’t give my co-host clear enough direction and expectations
- Confusion set in early – I should have stepped up and fixed it
What went right with the Webinar:
This was not one of my favorite webinars, but there were some things that we did right.
- Closed the doors 1 hour before the webinar (Genius!) created pre-event hype.
- Redirected all links to sales page (so when people tried to get in they couldn’t and everyone knew we were selling.)
- Got 300 people registered.
- Kept 100 people on the air for almost 2 hours (why did they stay?)
Changes I would make:
First off I would be FIRM on the time. Nobody wants to hear people drone on an on about nothing (unless you’re a fan of Seinfeld- A show about nothing.)
Second, I wouldn’t do a sales call with an educational speaker – education and sales are two totally different animals. I should have had Mike introduce me and let me go into my presentation. —unfortunately I didn’t make this clear in our pre interview so we didn’t build the hype and we confused people.
Third – The confusion was ridiculous. Sharing links that have nothing to do with what we are selling causes people to stop paying attention to us and start looking for irrelevant links that are shared. Once we lose them they never get back in the zone and they feel we owe them something (I’ve done it before.)
Data (for geeks only)
The day before launch I recorded this video explaining our online influence. Now I am going to share some screen shots that prove my point.
At first glance you see the 300 registrations divided by the 1,478 clicks and you say – “Oh SHIT! That’s only a 20% conversion rate.” In my testing I’ve found Go To Webinar pages generally convert at 30% +/- a little. An you can usually count on 30% of the people that register to actually be there (yes, we had just over 100 on this call.)
Take a closer look at these numbers and think back to what I said in that video. We only have some many people that are actually religiously following us – it may be as little as 100-200. and that’s OK.
Now look back at the numbers from BudURL one more time – but this time look at the “uniques.” There were only 612 unique people who clicked those links several times until they signed up.
Knowing that you can look at our signups as a 50% conversion to list. That’s EXCELLENT. (but it proves my point about “influence.”)
This is the part where I lost most of you- you said hey, I’m not pushing that FB Event page if I can’t cookie them – what you may not have realized was that you already cookied them and they needed proof that you were really interested in the product SOCIAL PROOF.
[Updates to this section are in RED]
*Here’s some interesting Data on Sales:
- Drew Burks – 1 Sale
- Chris Smith- 1 Sale +3 (4 total)
- Jonathan – 1 Sale +8 (9 total)
Yep, that’s a 3% conversion from the people who were live on the call. What I can’t figure out is why only these three converted. I have a couple of theories that I need your help exploring.
- The three sales are from people who are predominantly on Facebook – does that mean something? What do you think?
- Content Creators: Drew and Chris both created content directly related to this event – did that have a better effect on their sphere?
- And I really need your help on this one (Tweeps) – We did a launch last year where we pushed over 50,000 clicks from Twitter and sold nothing. Is the twitter crowd to savvy to buy? What has been your experience using Twitter as an affiliate marketing tool? What products sold best?
Just for reference –
The last webinar we did had 170 registered, 50 showed up, 18 bought at the webinar, and 3 more bought on the follow up campaign. I wouldn’t have brought something to you guys if I hadn’t already tested it.
I eliminated the “contest safety net” yesterday with an email that announced the winners.
I have a two step email follow up campaign planned:
1. Replay and sales page links (replay page has a buy now button)
[This follow up email sold 2 more units]
2. Reminder that discount and replay ends this weekend
[This follow up email sold 8 more units]
I’m willing to fall on my face a few times to get this right. I believe that it’s time to move people from free content to premium content. We’re in the early phases of this shift, and that’s when you receive the most resistance, but I’m confident that more and more people are ready to do this- it’s up to us to figure out how they want it delivered.
I have a dream that people in Niches and Micro niches cooperate with each other – helping one another grow. I believe the secret to longevity and successful product launches will ultimately boil down to the size of your list – not your twitter followers, not your facebook “community” – your email list.
If we want to succeed in this space, I think it’s everyone’s job right now to create an email list – and I’ve proven to the people close to me that I’m willing to help you do that because I’m convinced that this is the path to ultimate success as marketers. Here are some real numbers (from experience.)
50,000 email list
30% typical open rate
15% Click Through Rate
30% opt in for webinar
15% close rate
[Real Numbers from this launch]
612 total unique clicks generated.
302 opted in to the webinar. [49%]
138 [45%] showed up with 102 [33%] for the whole call.
2 [1.9%] closed LIVE on the call. (This percentage is from live callers.)
10 [3%] closed from follow up emails. (This percentage is from list total.)
I don’t have a 50,000 person email list (yet) do you? That’s why I think it’s so important that we all start hardcore list building to make 2011 a lot better (from the product launch perspective.) We also have to work together to make the things we sell kick ass so we can command a premium for them.
In my opinion this setup would be ideal with 5 people who each have a 10,000 person email list. Launching a max of 4 products (maybe 5) in a year. My list is approaching 10K (and now that’s my goal.) How’s your doing?
If you have questions I encourage you to leave them in the comments below so we can have a discussion about it. If you made no sales, I have some ideas on why not – we can speak privately about it.
Most importantly if you have suggestions for me to improve what I’m doing -that’s what this is all about – leave them below – or you can tell me personally. (I prefer open dialogue so we can speed up the learning curve.)
Thank you for all your help.