Starting Over – Part 3

In the first 2 posts in this series, I’ve described what I would do in the first week in the fictional case of having to start all over again with nothing — none of my previous products, partners, mailing list, or other assets.

Up to this point, I’ve researched a need that exists in the current marketplace, picked out a couple of affiliate products to represent, and have created or found something I can give away for free to encourage folks to join my new mailing list.  I’ve also set up a basic website and mailing list management system to handle actual visitors and new subscribers.

I’ve even set up some advertising to get people to the new website.

Starting on day 8, my plan of action starts to depend more and more on the actual results I get from the things I’m doing.

As mentioned in my previous post, I’ll need to track the results of my advertising and tweak it until it becomes profitable.  This may happen right away, but it may also take a few days to get the right mix of marketing messages.

The better my research, the less time this testing phase will take.  In fact, if I use the same key points used by the merchants selling the popular products in my chosen market, there really shouldn’t be much testing and tweaking needed.

Before I go any further, let’s make sure everyone understands how this plan is moving towards becoming profitable.

With Google Adwords PPC advertising, I can run my ads for a month before I need to pay for them.  So, for the next couple of weeks, this isn’t costing me anything, although I will need to make sure I have the money to pay for the ads before the month is over.

My ads are displayed whenever someone does a search involving the specific “key words” I’ve chosen.  In the ideal case, someone searches for one of my chosen keywords, they see my ad, click on it, go to my website where they sign up for my free offer, and get the free gift.

Once on the delivery page, they see an ad for one of the products I represent as an affiliate, click that ad, go to that website, and purchase the product.  When they do, I’ve just earned a commission, usually about 50% of the product price.

If I’ve selected the right products, used the right marketing messages, and have set up my system to work as it should, I may already have a profitable business, and just need to get as many folks to my website as I can.

If anything in the system isn’t quite right, I can tweak the system until it is profitable.  In fact, I can still tweak the system to make it MORE profitable, even if it starts out okay.

Okay, so that was the BEST CASE SCENARIO.  What if my visitors don’t buy the affiliate product right away?

That’s where the mailing list system comes into play.  Once they’ve joined my mailing list, they’ll start to get the sequence of emails I’ve programmed into it to go out over the next 7 to 14 days.  These emails introduce me, my ideas, and why I feel the products I represent will benefit my new subscriber.

If they did buy the product, this just helps to reinforce their wisdom in doing so.  Remember, I’m writing my emails with a soft sell approach, so I’m not hitting them over the head to buy anything.  I’m just recommending they check out the products I’m talking about.

If they didn’t buy the product right away, these emails will give them new information, and possibly a new reason to make the purchase.  The more emails I send out giving useful tips and good information, the more my new subscribers will pay attention to what I have to say, and the more my recommendations will influence their decisions.

On days 8 and 9, my primary focus is on writing as many good emails as I can to add to the autoresponder sequence going out to my new subscribers.  At this point, it doesn’t matter that I probably only have a few subscribers on my new list.  I’m not working to educate just a handful of people.  I’m working to educate the many thousands to come.

There is absolutely no reason for me to hold anything back when writing these emails.  In my 15+ years of being in business online, I’ve found that the better the information I give my subscribers, the more they buy from me.

Notice I didn’t say “the more information I give them”, but “the better the information I give them.”  It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality.  It’s definitely possible to give too much good information.  You don’t want to overload them.  You want to give them the sweetest part of the fruit.

That’s what makes them want more.

While you don’t have to mention a product in every email you write for your new subscribers, it’s usually a good idea to mention a product here and there as a followup resource through which they may learn more, or get additional benefits in the case of a non-information product, such as a guided meditation, software program, or template.

When you work as an affiliate, you’re free to talk about your experiences with different products, and what you noticed as you worked with each one.  Tell your subscribers what you liked and what you didn’t like.  Telling folks what you don’t like about a product lets them know that you’re not holding anything back, and they trust you more because of it.  This way, when you recommend something, they’re more likely to take action on your recommendation.

And here’s a great opportunity for me to show you exactly how this works.  I’ve just given you some of the basic rules I’ve learned about how to write effective and profitable emails.  I really don’t have time to write down everything I know, and I’m probably not the best person to explain this anyways.  If you want to learn more, I can recommend a great resource that will serve you much better than I can.

It’s called Autoresponder Alchemy, and it’s a course created by Terry Dean, who happens to be one of the nicest and most down-to-earth “internet gurus” you’ll ever find.  Terry’s personality, his caring, and his experience really comes through in the 14+ hours of video in which he teaches this material.  (BTW – there are PDF resources included with the course as well, so you don’t have to watch videos for everything.)

I bought this course about 2 years ago, and found it to be a much better product than I expected.  Terry covers a lot more than just how to write an effective email.  He also explains how to position your business so people don’t take you for granted, how to discover the secret reasons people buy products like those you represent, the current “hot buttons” your competitors may be missing, and how to present yourself and your offers so people quickly see why your product is worth much more than you’re asking for it.

I honestly believe that my business has benefited more from buying this one course than any other course I’ve bought for my online business, and that includes Jeff Walker’s Product Launch Formula, which was a $2000 course.  (A topic for another day, but PLF was a severe disappointment.)

Terry’s Autoresponder Alchemy is less than $200, and well worth your time to check it out.

So, to recap, on days 8 and 9 of this fictional 30-day process of starting over, I’d spend my time writing the best emails I could to introduce myself, my ideas, and my affiliate products to the 1000s of subscribers I plan to attract, and get these emails into the mailing list system I selected earlier.

Since I can normally write a good email in 30 to 60 minutes, this should give me another 15 to 20 emails for the autoresponder series.  With the handful of emails added earlier, I now have at least 21 days of emails to develop a strong relationship with my new subscribers.  Plenty to start bringing in a nice cash flow.

Let’s continue this on Monday.