Confused No More
Warning, when marketing goes bad, it’s usually because we fail to watch the signs or heed the omens…
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.
SelfGrowth.com 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?
Thirty friggin days and not a sound until “Hey Everyone I’m Back”.
Hey everyone? HEY EVERYONE!?
How about, Where The Frik Have YOU Been?
I can’t believe we even held out that long! I think we were so engaged with keeping the flames we had lit under the affiliates butts, that we damn near forgot he was gone.
No, that’s not quite right, not really.
Many of the heaviest of the heaviest JV hitters really required direct attention from the author.
Only legit engagement between peers are in order to keep the momentum. Anything less, or any ONE less, like a subordinate of the author would be an insult to the relationship of these mega marketers…
So, in the absence, while a background noise of whispers between staffers were inwardly breaking decibel levels. Outwardly they were silent as a church mouse.
Oh… This aint over, No No No My faithful reader, It gets better.
The mystery disappearance behind us, (the subplot to that, begs readership from The National Inquirer), renewed momentum was building. With the idea to bring this Juggernaut of a site into a Private Label Rights offering.
If you’ve had any idea what an undertaking it is to create a PLR of this magnitude?
You would have had us all lined up and shot on the spot.
I can’t even begin to drive you insane with the technicalities involved.
I can feel your angst praying I won’t go there.. No worries…
Hopefully you know what a PLR is. I’m so shot just from revisiting the moment I don’t even have the energy to define it… But we were going to roll one out,,, the following month.
We were to build up the same momentum we did 2 months ago with the same JV’s and affiliates. And they were gonna love it because this is just too huge a deal to NOT pass along to your subscribers, and billed as your own.
Or the ability for your subscribers to own their very own University Membership Site.
Oh yes my friends that’s right. This monstrous behemoth was about to go viral.
I don’t have to tell you, this was the hardest sell I’ve ever encountered. We literally signed up masses of free insiders, to taste the waters, get them hot and lathered up and ready for a the experience of a lifetime.
We did it. Yes, it took 3 months longer than the projected launch date.
Yes the pakistani mafia were still thieving hours from under our noses.
Yes everyone was ready to eat each others children by the end of each day.
But there it was in all its glory. A real live honest to goodness membership site with Private Label Rights. Fully equipped, & customizable, fully configurable and fully yours for a one time or multiple payment options.
This baby was alive.
Another sales letter in done ready BANG!
2% Conversion rate internally.
It was sell-able, not yet exactly considered a still-born.
Every hand was on deck to give this mastodon some wings.
We all went crazy doing what we thought to move our product into the green numbers for the affiliates…
The landing and optin pages had gone trough at least 8 different revisions. Mounds of new options were becoming available as deal makings were happening more and more every day.
We must have signed up at least 125 affiliates a day between the whole team put together.
After all, by this time, Everyone was a Joint Venture Graduate.
We all knew the material like we know our own bathrooms.
Men really don’t know kitchens, they barely see their own bedrooms, the bathroom is the one area of the domicile we can really truly rule.
Why do you think they call it the throne?
So, where was I? OH! Let me tell you!
We were on fire.. yes we saw April fly by and now its September but, we were ready, we’re stoked!
We’re gonna put all our investments into this thing if we have to sacrifice percentages and commissions to do it.Commitments were all in ready to go,
But THEN…. the author disappeared.
That’s Right,POOF, GONE, CYA, BYE BYE, LATERS…
Mind you… I still hold true to an earlier post.
I Am Responsible For Everything That Happens In My Life.
The decisions and the choices I make are mine and mine alone.
Could I choose to blame anyone or anything outside of myself for what happened? O yeah, it would be culturally natural to deny my part.
Was it a complete disaster?
Did we fall flat on our asses?
Listen carefully now.
If you wave this off, you’re gonna miss a huge payoff to your future…
We put our best into it and didn’t keep the unexpected as an expectation.
If we had, we would have had a second plan in place in case of such instances.
The team disbanded and went their seperate ways. The sentiment was of deep shattered moral all around.
But, feelings aren’t facts…
I learned about something called identification. Where some thing, or some incident becomes so identified within a persons psyche that nothing else exists.
We become the thing or the experience.
We develop tunnel vision with what we identify with.
In simple terms, its like a player losing a game after winning all season. That player suddenly identifies with the loss to the extent, that he believes he’s become the loss. And labels himself a loser.
Just like when someone asks, “what do you do for a living?”, the common response is not “I do this, or I make that, or I sell this or that”.
The common response is “I’m a cabdriver” or I’m an Internet Marketer,
or I’m a nurse, or I’m a doctor, or I’m a mommy-blogger”.
You see how these labels have become the personification of what someone believes themselves to be?
I suddenly affixed myself a label that needed to be faced and removed. In my eyes, I had become the bad situation. If I was to turn what happened into a learning experience, I seriously needed to alter my perception.
In Neuro Linguistic Programming, or (NLP), this is called re-framing.
It took me three years to accomplish what could have easily taken moments. I only needed to do ONE thing.
I felt like shit. I was in the game for a year and suddenly it was over.
The so-called (players), in the industry knew of me, they knew who I worked with. And they knew, this was not the first time such an event had happened…
Well,,, that was MY perception.
The truth was, most of them didn’t know of me. I thought the only credibility, to break into the industry on my own, was to lean on the history and legend of my friend.
Leveraging credibility in any industry is a very useful tactic.
Especially when you’re out to gain public perception.
I completely identified with a failure of unimaginable proportions.
That was something I just couldn’t shake. I was dying inside, because what I thought, would be my ticket to the big game of marketing, was hinged on being associated with someone who could make the leaderboards for affiliate marketing.
Someone who had studied under and created products with the great Jay Abraham. Someone who was billed with leaders like Rich Schefren, Stephen Pierce and featured in products from Mark Joyner.
Obviously, I was in good company, company I thought I could capitalize from.
But this? This was like everything I had been studying and applying, for the last year, had suddenly vanished. In my eyes, I was suddenly tarnished goods.
There was only one recourse…
Come clean, come honest and come out. To hell with what happened. If anything? It was a big fat juicy story to be told.
A story that could help others know that they’re not the only ones involved in an industry, where the behind the scenes nightmares don’t have to make or break you.
You are who you are.
Experiences CAN make you who YOU want to be, if you can just spin the experience in your own head first, and then take it out there in a way that you can benefit from it.
I know a dear friend who was threatened by some big names to play along or never get made in our industry. Yikes!??!
What friggin BS… As if these knuckleheads had the the power to manage billions of people. Pretty ballsy if you ask me. But, when you’re new, you can believe things that you’re not experienced in very easily.
Moral of the story;
You Are The Life,
You Are The Story,
You Are The Product,
You Are The Experience,
You Are The Unique Selling Position.
You Are What Will Make A Difference In Someone Elses Life.
Everything else, is an unadvertised added bonus.
Until the next post.
(I promise, if I write anything this long again, it’ll be a paperback)
Dan Lopez -TheUnguru