Two of the most successful affiliate programs online, James Maduk’s Internet Expert series and Ken Evoy’s SiteSell, have some things in common at the base level.
1. They both offer valuable information for free. James Maduk offers free e-books such as 52 Secrets My Mom Never Told Me about Internet Marketing, and Ken Evoy offers many free reports such as The Affiliates Master Course. The informational books are great viral marketing devices, and they are actually useful and informative, unlike many of the ebooks we’ve read that are basically light on information and heavy on links and comeons.
Both sites are also full of great, helpful information.
2. They both offer a plethora of products. Both sites are complex and offer many different products and services.
3. They both make use of autoresponders to maintain relationships with customers, prospects and affiliates.
What exactly is an autoresponder?
In most cases you need to get your message in front of someone more than once to get our message across. Supposedly it takes 5-7 times depending on how complex the message or product happens to be and how receptive the person is, but who knows. This is why we see the same commercial a hundred times before we remember what it’s about.
Autoresponders allow to you deliver a predetermined set of email messages to someone to pursuade them to take the action you desire. They can be very effective if done right.
I’m going to use James Maduk as an example. If you visit his website (www.jamesmaduk.com), you will see prominently on the home page some graphics of his 52 Secrets My Mom Never Told me About Internet Advertising. First off, that’s a brilliant name for an e-book. Putting his Mom on the box whispering in his ear is also brilliant. Seeing the graphics piques your curiosity. If you are like me, the first thing you will think is I wonder if it’s any good? and I wonder if it’s expensive?.
Next, down drops a box that offers to send you this terrific e-book free. This is also brilliant – he establishes the value of the book on the home page then offers it to you for free. All you have to do is enter your email address to have it emailed to you..
Seconds later an email from the autoresponder hits your mailbox. The subject is Matt, Download Your 52 Secrets PDF Here!
Who wouldn’t read that email? In the email are some testimonials, a few links to other products, and the link that I can use to download my report.
James Maduk sells videos designed to help with internet marketing. He uses the autoresponder to keep his marketing message alive and in front of his prospects, and the sales pitch is gentle and subtle.
Obviously your success with autoresponders is going to depend on the length of the sales process and the complexity of the product or service. Autoresponders work well when there is a complex product or set of products that address a specific need. They also work best when you can set it up so that delivering the right information over time will increase the chances of the prospect becoming a customer.
Getting back to Mr. Maduk…the next day I received an email from James Maduk with this subject:
Matt Were You Able To Download The PDF?
How nice…he’s making sure I got the ebook. Of course he’s not — he knows whether or not I downloaded the book. He’s taking the opportunity to put the link in front of me again, which he does. On the right margin of the email he also includes links to other products he offers. There are also introductory links to the videos he offers.
Design of both the individual emails and the entire campaign is so critical as to be an art form, and James Maduk does a good enough job to impress even me, and I know what he’s doing.
Over the next four days I got an email a day from James Maduk. The subject of each email was enticing, and the offers were good:
Matt Here’s The Key To 15 Videos From My Private Vault – Free sample videos. This email had a clean design with the same links on the right margin. There was also the same picture of the box from 52 Secrets box just to remind me that this was the same guy.
Matt When You Don’t Know What To Do Next – Watch This Video! – Same general layout. More free videos, and Mr. Maduk even plugs his favorite video. He also offers to unlock 800 tutorial videos for $1. What he doesn’t mention is that they’re only unlocked for seven days. So either you need to be a fast viewer and take a lot of notes, or you’re going to have to pay more to see the videos again.
Matt Here’s The Reason I’m Giving You $300 !! – Great subject line. This is a special offer (don’t share it with anyone) for a lifetime pass to view all of the videos. The cost? $977.00
I Found Myself Scratching My Head….. – Another great subject line. This is obviously the last email in the series — there are no graphics or plugs for videos or other stuff. This looks like a letter from one person to another, which is what it was designed to look like. Mr. Maduk says that he wants to help a select group of people to make money online, and he’d like me to join the group. The link takes me to a page that offers to unlock all of the videos and give me free access to Online Selling University for 7 days for $1.
Then the emails stopped for a while. He cut me down to once a month, and he keeps trying. What struck me is that I still don’t know how much the videos cost. The goal of the Autoresponder campaign was to get me to try one or two videos free or for a nominal price.
I didn’t, but I’m sure many people did. The subject lines were great, and Maduk did a great job of creating an insider feel for the prospect — an impression that he was getting special treatment, something for nothing (or $1) that could be taken away at any time.
So how can you do this?
The autoresponder itself is pretty cheap. I researched plenty of them and came up with the top 2. I requested information from one of them (twice) and it was never emailed to me. Figuring that emailing was their only job and they couldn’t do it, I was left with one company: Aweber.
They offer unlimited autoresponders, Follow Ups, Broadcasts, Toll-Free Customer Service. There’s also a 30 day money back guarantee.
Aweber has the fastest autoresponders on the net – Opt-in requests are processed in real time, they automatically capture the subscriber IP address and the messages are sent out within 5 seconds.
As far as designing your campaign, that’s another story. I plan to write a post offering suggestions and best practices, but the best advice is to see what others are doing. James Maduk is a perfect example. There are plenty more out there. The subject line and the offer are important, as is the tone and subtlety of the sale.
Sit down and write out the goal of the autoresponder campaign. Then figure out some clever steps to get them there by offering part of your product or service for free, a time-limited sample, or some other offer that will appeal to someone who might be interested in your product or service. In fact, you should probably come up with more than one. Then design a path using those offerings to get to your goal. Lastly you should fill in the soft toned pitch for each step.
Once all that is done, run it by someone cynical and sales pitch-sensitive (anyone living in the Northeast will do, especially New York). Adjust accordingly.
For the right product and sales cycle Autoresponders can make a huge difference.