A question I get quite a lot is this…
Brad…how do I generate consistent revenue?!
Little on the nose…but true.
The answers are simple, yet complex, so I’ll try to
unpack them as best I can for you here today 🙂
First, let’s assume that you have an email list,
a product (or the ability to create products) and
a functioning brain…HA!
Second, let’s assume that you’re an active participant
in the field of marketing. Meaning, you’re not
just sitting around complaining about how bad
things are, or making excuses. You WANT to
generate consistent revenue.
Step 1: Price Analyze Your Product!
The current price of your product, if it’s seeing traffic, is
the easiest and FIRST thing you need to analyze.
I’m SURE it’s been done in the past, but times change
SO quickly! A subscription someone was willing
to pay 97 bucks a month for, is now 597…you don’t
know unless you test it.
Now, don’t get crazy and go from 7.95 to 7,950, but
within reason, test both sides of current price to see
if you can move the needle in a positive direction.
If you need help split testing, let me know and
we can discuss: email@example.com
Step 2: Monetize Your List in a NEW Way
As you PROBABLY know I’ve been a big affiliate
marketing cheerleader in the past…well let’s say
that the market has me changing teams a BIT.
Yes, there are a FEW (and, sadly, it seems to be
diminishing rapidly) quality programs with good
products AND CONVERSIONS (the most important
part) out there…but again, they’re becoming
rarer and rarer.
So if you’ve monetized via affiliate model in the
past, or have NOT monetized your non-buyers,
then I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY (clear enough)
recommend that now is the time that you start
working with ad people on a CPC or CPL model.
Performance is what the top companies are paying
TOP dollar for, and if you want consistent income
and consistent RENTERS of your list…PERFORM.
This is important: contact me for people I PERSONALLY
This is the EASIEST thing you can do without
damaging your reputation, controlling your
list, AND increasing your monthly revenue.
Step 3: Invest In Advertising
As above…I’m not 100% on board with ALL
forms of advertising, however if you want to
properly test, perfect, and SCALE, you need
It’s simple, if you’re not investing in advertising
then you’re going to limp along as a company.
Again…need help/intros: firstname.lastname@example.org
So the point of this article was really to show you
that there are a few EASY things (low hanging fruit
if you will) that you can do TODAY to generate
So…will you take action?
Hope to chat soon!
Eliza, Eve, and Me enjoying Kirstenbosch Gardens…BEAUTIFUL!
P.S. Should I add more pics in my blog posts? I’m
really on the fence…would appreciate your input!
There are a lot of people who take the summer off from promotions
either from a production or from a marketing standpoint.
Why should you get involved with some select summer promotions:
1. They are a great way to keep your list fresh! Gotta keep your list trained to check out (and hopefully buy) other videos/materials.
2. You can make some money! Again…keep it fresh and keep your list trained even if some are taking breaks and not trading, blah blah…you’ve got to eat too 😉
3. Keep relationships with publishers and affiliates FRESH! Everyone’s working on new stuff, and you want to make sure you stay on the publishers radar as much as THEY want to be on yours!
…so who do you promote and WHEN??
Here are some offers you can/SHOULD mark your calendar for
and/or sign-up for the matching affiliate program. If you don’t
see YOUR OFFER HERE…comment and get some free promo 🙂
SimplerOptions.com Single Class: July 26-July 31st
Promo Direct to BUY for August 2nd:
Simpler Options 297 Class (email ONLY)
– This is a direct to sales page offer. No videos, no webinars
just straight to premium converting and tested copy.
SimplerSTOCKS.com Single Class: (new affiliate program MUST SIGN UP)
(First PUBLIC LAUNCH!! Company will NOT be cookieing
ANY of their LEADS…it’s open season and it’s a must promote)
August 15th Promotion for Webinar Begins
August 19th Webinar: Simpler Stocks
August 23rd: SIMPLER STOCKS 297 Class
-This will be the first time affiliates can promote SimplerStocks.com
and the company will NOT be cookieing ANY leads to ensure affiliates
get max exposure and cookie growth/planting. The webinar will be the
SimplerOptions.com BIG LAUNCH
BIG LAUNCH: September 4th to 15th
Sept 4-7: Video Promo
Sept 7-11: Webinar Promo
– The BIG DOG…last big one did 1.2mm in sales with affiliates raking
in big numbers…some big enough to ‘pay the mortgage for the year!’
Be sure and mark down at least 4 FOUR days to mail for this
Chuck Hughes: Wealth Creation Alliance!
Sept 30-Oct 12th: Details to COME
– Chuck’s a guy with a ton of klout and SKILL…that resonates really well
with our demographic…and you WILL want to promote till the end to
maximize your efforts!
Show off your A.B.C. skills in the comment section and convince my readers to PROMOTE YOU!
All my best,
Starting TODAY I’m going to invite those who really bring knowledge,
integrity, and skill to ‘guest post’ on the site with two things in mind…
1. That you enjoy their article, interact with them in the comments,
and apply the material to your own business/marketing.
2. That you sign-up for/do/take action with whatever they’re doing 🙂
Today, we have the world famous Tim Bourquin! If you don’t know Tim,
you’ve never been to a Money Show/Traders Expo, you’ve never been
properly interviewed, and you are probably missing out on a TON of
(what I call) instant lead gen ROI with his AfterOffers.com
But he’s got a TON of knowledge and after you read the article, talk to
him about AfterOffers.com where your new leads are instantly
monetized…OK onto the article!
I’ve been doing email marketing in a variety of industries for 15 years now and tested every part of the email structure – everything from the “from” address to the unsubscribe link position and everything in between. I still don’t feel like an “expert” though, because there always seems to be just one more thing to test and evaluate.
In the beginning, I made changes and test things strictly from gut feel. If I thought something would work better, I’d just try it out and if it seemed like it resulted in more sales, it must have worked! That actually worked pretty well, but occasionally a hunch didn’t work out, but I had no hard data to really see what was going on with my email marketing.
Today even the least expensive email marketing services offer stats like click rate, open rate, and unsubscribe rate. There’s no excuse not to see exactly what is happening with each email you send and easily judge its success against previous or future emails you send to your list.
And yet I am constantly hearing email marketing “experts” say things that simply aren’t true about subject lines, from addresses and email body content. These things may have been true at some point years ago, but our testing at After Offers simply doesn’t prove them true anymore. These folks are either regurgitating old ideas because they aren’t in the email game anymore, or they just don’t realize that the old tired “truths” of email marketing have changed – and they can’t understand whey their open rates have plummeted.
So here are 5 email marketing ideas that are still being sold as truth – and are actually FALSE!
1. You should “line break” the body of your email every 4-5 words
FALSE. When was the last time you received an email from a friend or co-worker that had a line break every few words? Nothing screams, “I’M A MARKETING MESSAGE IN YOUR INBOX!” than an email that starts a new line every few words.
I’m not entirely sure where this started in the first place. I think early in the mobile days the phone browsers didn’t handle regular email well and they forced users to constantly scroll to the right to read your email on their mobile device. These days obviously mobile device browsers are smarter than that and will use the full screen to naturally line break your emails.
We’ve tested this dozens of times and emails that have natural line breaks wherever the browser puts them get higher click-rates than forced, short line emails. My guess is that it’s done so often by email marketers that people instantly recognize it as a newsletter and immediately tune out or go to their next email.
We even ignore the template areas in email marketing services that allow you to format your email for shorter lines. It just isn’t necessary anymore and it’s actually hurting your clicks and sales. You don’t write your regular emails to friends and colleagues so don’t do it on your newsletters either.
2. Email is the best place to describe the content or product.
FALSE. Your email message has one, singular, all-encompassing, nothing-else-matters, job: getting the recipient to click on the link. If you need four paragraphs to explain why the recipient should click on the link, you’re doing it wrong, and missing out on a huge number of clicks that you could be getting.
We all know that people have zero patience these days. I personally have -4 patience. Email is a notification tool – not a sales tool. Check that: you are selling something in the email – you’re selling the recipient on clicking the link. You are not selling the content or product itself.
We’re marketers – not information newsletter senders. If you’re sending a true newsletter – the job of that email is to include all the pertinent information in the email itself. But that’s not what we’re doing as email marketers.
Our testing has shown that the link in your email should be the second line of the email and no later than the third line of the email. This does two things:
1) Forces you to get to the damn point of why they should click and to be efficient with your wording you use
2) Trains your recipients that whenever they get an email from you, you want them to do one thing and one thing only: click on that link.
It takes practice to use fewer words than more, but it’s definitely something anyone can learn to do well. Now, I’m not talking about the lazy email marketer’s sick and twisted idea of this. We’ve all seen it:
You gotta see this!
[link to video content]
Shame, on you, lazy email marketer. That may work once – and only once. After that one time, you’ve used up your magic “click this link” potion and you’re going to need to put more work into your first two lines.
What I have seen work, when you absolutely, positively can’t convince the recipient why they should click on the link in one or two sentences, is something like this:
This morning I came across something that truly surprised me. I’ve seen this before but I never stopped to think about it until I saw it presented this way.
If you’re in a hurry, here’s the link: [link to content]
What struck me about this was, blah, blah, blah longer explanation of why they should click the link…
You can use the “if you’re in a hurry” tactic a lot – in fact it trains your recipients that all they really need to do is find that line and click the link immediately – once you’ve convinced them that the links you send are worth clicking!
Lately the email marketing trend has been to have longer emails with the link near the very bottom of the message. If that’s actually testing well and showing those marketers better click-through then it goes against every test I’ve ever done. Nothing is absolute – maybe those emails are for the “People Who Want To Read Long Emails” newsletter, but I bet it’s just because that’s what everyone else seems to be doing and no one is really testing it.
3. A nicely formatted html email newsletter with images is best
FALSE. When was the last time you got an email from a friend or co-worker that had a nice header image at the top along with nicely formatted graphical borders and images between each bullet point?
Plain text is still king. It’s as simple as that. Actually, there is one trick – making your email look like plain text but in html format so that the size and the font are what you want it to be. But it should look the exact same way whether or not images are loaded or not. Almost all browser-based email services (and desktop too) have image loading turned off by default. (Yes I know Gmail recently changed this, but you want to make your emails look readable everywhere)
We put a snippet of html at the beginning of every html email that says the text should be Arial and the font size 12pt.
Why? Because Arial, 12 point font tested best for clicks. Other than that, we use some bolding to highlight the links and a few key phrases, and double line breaks between paragraphs to break things up. But that’s it – an html email that reads like plain text works best.
4. Double opt-in is best.
FALSE. This will likely be the most controversial of the 5 points, but hear me out.
I’ll admit it. I’m a recovering double opt-in zealot. I used to be adamant that a modified double opt-in email list was the best way to go. In other words, my feeling was, “If the recipient can’t even be bothered to click on that very first email that gives them the content they wanted, what’s the point of having them on the list?”
But I’ve changed my mind based on our tests and how the behavior of our recipients is changing.
The “If the recipient can’t be bothered…” argument only works if you assume that your recipient actually glances at the sender and subject line of every message they get. That’s simply not happening.
These days the vast majority of people signing up for your email list are giving you their 2nd or 3rd or even 4th tier emails. You know – that Hotmail or Yahoo or Gmail address they maybe check once per day – more likely every couple of days.
That type of email is being checked like a Twitter stream. They are seeing your email only if it happens to be delivered around the time they are checking that “stream” of email. Sent yesterday or the day before? Forget it – they probably aren’t going to get that far and your email will just be deleted.
Think of your recipients email inbox as an actual river and your message is a boat. If they are standing by the riverside while a boat is going by, they’ll see it. If they aren’t by the river during that time, they won’t.
We found that double opt-in gives your recipients a single chance to be by the river when your email comes by. Single opt-in will give them multiple chances to be by the river and see your boat come by. When we used single opt-in our list was bigger, but I’m not concerned about the size of the list. The important point is that our open and click rate were higher too. People were missing emails, of course, but they were clicking when they were by the river and seeing our boat.
Most email services will automatically delete “hard bounce” emails anyway every 30 days, which solves the “what about bad emails” issue. We just clean our list out about every 6 months now instead of every year. If someone hasn’t clicked on any link we’ve sent in six months, we say good-bye and unsubscribe them. Remember, the single goal of my emails is to get the recipient to click and if they aren’t doing so in six months, then it’s time to show them the door.
Which leads us to a bonus myth:
4.5 Never send to your list more than once per week
FALSE. Once you think of your recipient’s inbox as the river of mail, can you see why this is false too? If you’re only putting your boat down the river once per week, what do you think the chance of them being by the riverside at that time?
I recommend sending to your list at least three times per week – even every other day if you have enough content, information and promotions to support that. It doesn’t mean send crap to your list just because you need to send them a message. It takes hard work to make each email you send worth opening and clicking. But do that hard work and you’ll find your clicks and sales going up as you increase the volume of email you send.
You’re unsubscribes will go up – but so will your sales. If you’d rather have no “unsubs” then just don’t email your list at all. Of course you’ll have no sales, but you’ll feel the warm glow of seeing your email list grow and grow for no purpose at all. (Yes that’s sarcasm.)
5. Don’t sell to your list too soon.
FALSE. Oh. My. Goodness. Bloggers and website owners love to talk themselves out of making money. Your list doesn’t hate when you want to sell them something. You know what your list hates? When you sell them something and they weren’t expecting it.
The more free content you give them, the more free content they will want. Set the tone right up front that, while you’re going to be giving them some great information, you’re a business and a business sells stuff.
You want to be loved and feel nothing but love from your list? Great, get comfortable working for free.
I don’t work for free. I deliver great content and information and I sell stuff too – and the recipient knows this from the very first email they get.
Here’s a snippet of the first email our recipients get:
We’re going to be emailing you ideas and tricks we use but never publish on our blog. And we’ll explain it in a step-by-step way that you’ll be able to understand and use them on your own website right away to make some coin (or euros, pounds, dollars, pesos, etc.).
That’s what makes our list so valuable to subscribers.
But we’re also going to introduce you to products and services we think are top notch and worthy of your attention and dollars – things we’ve bought ourselves.
In other words, we’re going to ask you to buy stuff too.
So if capitalism, grandma’s apple pie, or marketing offends you, you’ll want to find that unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email and put yourself out of your misery right now. Go ahead, we’ll wait…
Yep. You read that correctly. The first email they get asks them if they want to unsubscribe. Very few people do.
But we set that tone and we’re just getting rid of non-buyers sooner in the follow-up chain. Which is A-OK by us. If there is no chance they are ever going to buy something then the sooner they are off the list, the better.
Don’t wait until auto-responder #24 to sell something (your own product or an affiliate offer) thinking that because you’ve sent them 23 emails of nothing but great, feel-good content that they will now throw open their wallets to give you their money out of pure gratitude for all the free stuff that has come before.
Kiddo, I hate to tell you this, but it doesn’t work like that. In fact they get weirdly upset that you are not giving them freebie email #24.
The trick to keeping subscribers on your email list, even while you are pitching something, is to set the stage early and simply tell them to expect it – then pitch early – email #3 at the very latest. It’s a simple idea. Manage your subscriber’s expectation right up front and when the sale pitch comes, they won’t be surprised.
It’s a bit like how Zappos.com offers new employees $2,000 to quit after the training program. They end up with committed employees who understand what they are getting into.
The corollary to #5 is that people think that if you promote anything other than your own stuff, they’ll be less of your stuff.
Simply. Not. True.
The Internet is a big place, and if you think that your email recipients stop visiting all the other sites out there once they join your newsletter, you’re kidding yourself. People do all kinds of research and join all kinds of newsletters. Don’t be afraid to promote other products. Your subscribers probably already know about them so you might as well get paid to make the introduction. They’ll meet those folks whether you open the door or not!
Now go out and tell those experts their wrong.
And go re-do your funnel!
Tim Bourquin is the Co-founder of AfterOffers.com, a tool that helps website owners build their email list and monetize their opt-in paths the moment someone joins your list.
First of all…MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
What an amazing time of year.
I’m hopeful you’ve been able to spend it with family and friends, while appreciating the TRUE meaning…not just the ‘stuff’ 🙂
As you can tell…it’s been a while since my last post here, so I thought I’d catch you up…then tell you the future 🙂
Let’s work our way backwards starting most recently…
My wife is pregnant with our 4th child, due in February. On Monday the 16th she was admitted to the hospital as our little girl’s heartbeat was 220…when it SHOULD be 150. So the past 8-9 days I’ve been playing full-time daddy, hospital visitor, christmas gift buyer (AND WRAPPER), farm manager, and everything in between! Praise the Lord Aubree and baby are SUPER healthy, and the doctors are hopeful that after seeing the baby’s heartbeat run at 220 without ANY hiccups/problems, Aubree was able to come home last night (24th) Another Praise right there :).
Doctors are still watching everything but are truly amazed that the baby is so healthy!
Work wise it’s been an interesting past few months…
John Carter‘s last launch did 1.6 million in sales…ONE MILLION SIX HUNDRED THOUSAND!! The formula we’ve put together there, the content, and the TEAM are without question one of the best in the space. Affiliates are making tons of money, not hurting their lists with dozens of blasts, and are freed up to market an affiliate offer with a VERY high CPL affiliate payout. We’re working on the dates for John’s next one…
TradingConcepts, has had a VERY event filled Q4. Todd and Doc were disappointed with the results of the last two launches, decided changes HAD to be made and the future is looking VERY bright. I’ve taken on a larger role with TradingConcepts with my partner and together we will have TradingConcepts delivering content, converting leads, and PAYING AFFILIATES better then ever before. We’re already testing new processes with content and product delivery, conversion and timing sequences, and copy changes that WILL make 2014 the best in TradingConcepts history.
There are BIG things coming down the pipe this year and I want you to be a part of it.
I want to help YOU have more success in this niche…but I’ll need your feedback.
If you have a topic you want me to cover, let me know!
Here’s to a GREAT 2013…and a BETTER 2014!
P.S. Aubree and baby are healthy, and I wanted to thank the many of you who’ve prayed for us!!
P.P.S You probably picked up on ‘my new partner’…if you want details just ask…he’s shy 😉
P.P.P.S. If there’s a spelling or grammatical error…forgive me, Diane has the day off 🙂