Confused No More

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Filed under: Copywriting 

Warning, when marketing goes bad, it’s usually because we fail to watch the signs or heed the omens…danlopez2012

One such time, was while enjoying an internship of sorts as an email promotions manager…

Sorry bud, this story is just too friggin juicy…

Lessons learned; get all agreements in writing and have them notarized and or signed by both parties.

Failing to do such is well… Just plain stupid in the business world…

Between friends, it would be considered a given, not so in everyone elses reality.

While your friend may be insulted, (frik that), says this more enlightened individual.

It’s not that you don’t trust your friend, it’s just professional practice which should be admired and accepted.

So, always get it in writing.


The story begins back in early ’08.

I was commissioned to take a boat load of material that sold in its hayday for a handsome purse and turn all of it into a membership site.

After what seemed like weeks of waiting for the designers to move their thieving bodies to get the design work done. I began in earnest.

I grabbed a survey that had been done against the massive subscriber base. I narrowed down the pain points and created a curriculum based on the greatest number of questions in the poll.

Then I was ready to grab the PDF reports, audios, seminars and ebooks and break them into content pages within the site.

After 2 weeks of editing copying and pasting over seven years worth of material, I was ready to show my work to the author.

It was met with astonishment. I had “Over Delivered” I quote, because those were the exact words told to me. I had done such a great job that everything that was to come of that project, was promised to yield me 30% of the earnings thereafter.

Nice, considering I was looking at 2% commissions from everything I had been doing up to that time. Mind you I was managing a list that raked in $10k a month. A list that just prior to my arrival was pulling $300 a month, due to lack of attention.

Brushing ego aside, I continued with draft after draft, cleaning up design issues that would occur whenever the pakistani midnite raiders would trash my content layouts with their framework & design updates.

I had created a tiered program that had mindboggling amounts of data for a mear $14 a month. And then, I had meaty seminar videos and downloadable sections which easily fetched $30 a month.

Okay, site done, last fires put out, everything worked fine inside and out.

Time for the launch.

Salesletter done, refined and done again. I had created a video I put out there for a mock Frank Kern campaign that crushed clickthroughs and readership. For a short run anyways b4 the seo gods tookover.

So, I was volunteered to create one for the landing page of the site.

Time to mail for the internal list, because we were already wetting the lips of affiliates salivating to push this to their subscribers.

We had tons of material from the marketers of the day back in ’03…

Can you name 5 such marketers?

Okay well, just to drop some friggin names on ya, cuz I can…

We had Mark Joyner, Shawn Casey, Rosiland Gardner, Allen Bechtold, Stephen Pierce, Jeff Paul and the list literally, goes on and on…

So when the affiliates heard the names, they were sure it would be of interest. After all, these were staples in the industry at the time.

This was before the new guard finalized their JV strangle hold on the internet marketing industry. All the affiliates were waiting for, were the numbers.

Conversion rate numbers specifically.

You see, if you have a rabid list of faithful loyal fans, the given acceptable conversion number should be around 1.8%, or just almost 2 out of 2 should convert on an internal subscriber base. That number outside to other lists should convert around 3% or higher.

Preferrably higher of course, but you can’t be selling to the “everyone” market. And most affiliates with a track record understood that.

Week one of mailing… 2.8% conversion rate.

Breathe now… find & fix the problem.

Week two of internal mailings.. 2% conversion rate. BINGO! We have a winner!

Next test, was to send to one affiliate’s list.
Emails scrambled to be written especially tailored for affiliate promotion.

Otherwise known as swipe files, or swipe copy…
Affiliates aren’t incredibly lazy, but if you have a winning converting email, give it up. After all, You’re the author, You know the product, and we have a months worth of promotions scheduled to send out.

We rarely have time to sit and review huge membership sites,
even IF we’re granted free access.

Okay where was I.. Ahh yes. I have no idea how we pulled that rabbit, but they were the target turkey willing to risk a test mailing to one of their 100,000 based subscriber lists… (whew…)

Swipe copy written and ready to fire BANG!

15% conversions out of the gate. Now, I did the math on that one and the details weren’t exactly kosher. They claimed that was the number of conversions… but the traffic was only 1,ooo uniques to the site.

From our side, we converted 10% which gave us 100 paid subscribers.

Mind you we were offering a free side as well so we had built a sublist of 900 out of 1,000 into the free side.

Numbers weren’t great, but this was only the first mailing.. we still had 2-3 days left in the campaign.

We never saw another mailing, in fact we never saw another affiliate for the campaign.

Somehow, the author had disappeared from the face of the earth.

We raked in a little over 4grand that first month of mailing and were primed for improving conversions and crushing it with all the JV’s we had recruited.

We were close to 1000 affiliates strong on this promotion and the owner flew the coup. Not for a day…
Not for a week.. Not for 2 weeks….

Want to know how long?

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