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Unread 10-31-2011, 11:36 PM
Chad Chad is offline
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Default The "Pseudo-Merchant" - Creating Simple Lead Gen Funnels

Hi Everyone,

edit: after reading this thread, you should check out the in depth video tutorials we've posted on implementing it if you're interested, located here:

http://sixmonthsfromtoday.com/member...read.php?t=409


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As most of us know, in the CPA world there are 2 main sides, publisher (affiliate), and advertiser (merchant).

The publishers typically send traffic along with conversions (leads or sales) to the advertiser, and in return the publisher gets their commission. Simple stuff.

After some time, many publishers start to see that moving to merchant status can be very lucrative, and since they already know how to drive traffic, they're in a great position to do become an advertiser.

Make no mistake, becoming an advertiser has it's challenges. We'll discuss those in a bit, but first let's look at some of the main advantages of this model:

• You aren’t necessarily considered an affiliate which can help on some traffic sources.

• Ability to lose and/or break even on the front end lead acquisition while still generating longer term profits.

• Maximize visitor value.

• Once things are optimized, you're in the position for consistent lead flow and can purchase leads from other sources (CPA networks, private affiliates, etc.)

• Since you’ll ideally know your conversion rates on the front and backend, you can detect fraud more easily when dealing with affiliates.

• The most effective way to build a list is to have a converting offer.

• Gives the ability to sell and broker leads.

• Allows you to guage your market demographics and segments better, which lends itself well to product creation and launching later if you desire.

• Done correctly, you’re getting paid while building your list.

• Puts you in a better position to negotiate CPA deals with traffic networks and site owners.

• For certain markets such as bizopp, finance, debt, grants, and more, you have a great deal of monetization options.

• Very scalable and stable once mastered. You can take a proven offer to several different affiliates and/or traffic channels and be able to scale.

• Ability to duplicate funnels.

• The most stable offer is the one you create. (as long as it converts of course)

And now on the flip side, here are some of the disadvantages:

• Need to understand back end monetization since in many cases you won’t make money on the front end (especially if you’re simply arbitraging CPA offers which is how many will start.)

• More complex than the simple linear affiliate model of sending traffic to a landing page or direct to an offer.

• You need to come to terms with the fact that you may lose some money in the beginning testing, as you would a normal CPA or affiliate offer, but now you need to make yours convert and test backend funnels. You don’t just ask your affiliate manager about what’s working and what isn’t.


Now, there's many ways to go about becoming an advertiser or merchant, but for the purposes of this post, I want to discuss the one which is arguably the simplest to do, and the most similar to a traditional affiliate model. I call it, the "Pseudo-Merchant".

What is The Pseudo-Merchant?

This is a pretty simple way to start when looking to get on the merchant or offer owner side. The goal of this post is for you to start looking at offers in a different light.

Now, in the IM community, however, most people get into product creation right away.

Yes, product creation can be extremely lucrative and in my opinion is best long term, but not everyone is ready to deal with customer service, product development, merchant accounts, refunds, shopping cart systems, etc.

What being a "Pseudo-Merchant" does, is allows you to setup nothing more than lead capture systems to arbitrage other affiliate offers.

The basic model for these types of offers is similar to your simple squeeze page/e-mail followup that we're all used to seeing in the IM niche, except typically the "squeeze pages" look more professional.

Some examples of mine in the Government Grant market are as follows:

http://governmentgrants1.org/application1/
http://governmentgrants1.org/application2/
http://governmentgrants1.org/application3/
http://governmentgrants1.org/application4/

I've shown these before, but I wanted to list them again as they're pretty basic examples.

So, the basic model is:

Traffic ----> Lead Capture* ----> After Lead Capture, visitor is redirected to an affiliate offer.

*Not only is the visitor redirected to the affiliate offer after submission, but they are also then placed in an e-mail follow-up sequence.

A very popular and successful example of this is the CPA offer "Partner With Paul". This offer typically pays out $1.80 - $4 per lead for a simple name and e-mail submission. I'm not going to out their backend entirely, but anyone can see out in the open what I'm mentioning here.

They use a short form sales letter pre-selling the opt-in. Income proof video shown on the home page. When person opts-in they are supposed to receive a “members area” access.

After opting in, the user is taken to the second page of the funnel which is another short form letter pre-selling the income opportunity which helped Paul work from home and spend more time with his family.

The work from home opportunity is simply another offer named “The Online Business” (Online Business Systems). This offer pays out anywhere from $40-$45 on the CPA networks. It has a $9.95 cost to the user.

PartnerWithPaul even offers to pay the $9.95 for a customer if The Online Business program isn’t suitable for them. Keep in mind that the payout for the sign-up is $40-45 (possibly more since there is so much volume being sent). Also, understanding that the majority of people won’t bother even contacting him for only $9.95 if they aren’t satisfied, and you have a recipe for a very lucrative arbitrage based offer.

If you take a look at that page and go through the offer, you'll see that the concept isn't necessarily overly complex. Now, their lead sources and such are another story.

What I really want you to get used to is that just because you see an offer on the CPA networks, doesn't mean that it's overly complex by nature. Yes putting offers on networks brings a set of different challenges, but running your own traffic to your own lead gen offer, where you simply promote affiliate offers on the back, is one of the oldest plays in the book.

Some Key Considerations

When embarking on the journey to create one of these simple offers, first and foremost get the idea of putting it on affiliate networks right away, out of your head.

Yes, you can attempt this, but you’re going to want to know your EPC (earnings per click) and visitor value with “cold” traffic ideally, so you undersand how much you can pay per lead. Also, you’ll definitely want to have conversion rates tested for various traffic sources if possible.

The first step is to hone in on a market, as always. Refer to the Advanced Market Series in the Copywriting and Conversion Boosters section. You can make a mass market front end, but consider testing more target specific front ends based on your traffic.

If you decide to go mass market with your offer, then understand it is a game of distribution and traffic generation.

Deciding on How to Start

People often ask me about landing page creation for these types of offers. I typically recommend a 700 x 700 to 800 x 800 lander, with an opt-in form on the top right. The right and top right have historically higher click through and opt-in rates. Most advertising on people’s websites follows this pattern for a reason but feel free to experiment of course.

The PartnerWithPaul offer mentioned has more of a pre-sell via a short form letter. The reason for this typically is that there is a cost to the user. As a very general rule, the higher the cost to the customer, the bigger/longer pre-sell is needed. PartnerWithPaul is not only selling the optin, but also selling the $9.95 fee.

For creating and testing landing pages, the process isn’t much different than when testing a normal landing page for CPA/affiliate offers. Basically, at the end of the day, you're creating a squeeze page.

In terms of autoresponder and e-mail sequencing, as mentioned your most accessible option is probably going to be GetResponse. iContact is also a bit more loose on their restrictions when compared to services such as Aweber.

The next level up are services such as Office AutoPilot and InfusionSoft.

And finally, the other option is to set up your own Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). An example is PowerMTA. However, this is the least accessible and least needed model for most. Costs are high, and I'm definitely not the guy to teach you about that stuff

For most everyone watching this and for the purposes of simple lead gen offers, using out of the box services like GetResponse, iContact, and Aweber will more than suffice. We’ve scaled bizopp campaigns well past $1k/day using these services. If you're worried about getting banned and losing your subscribers, then I recommend just setting up multiple accounts and spreading out your risk... again this is mainly if you're dealing in markets such as bizopp and IM.

Common Pitfalls

1) Not Testing Enough

This goes without say. For these simple lead gen offers we will test 3-5 variations of the lead capture page. These variations will be very different and not simply have different headlines. We like to get 100-300 uniques per lander before we start making decisions. Obviously this is dependent on budget.

Once I have a winner out of those 3-5 variations, I will then choose the most successful one and start split testing headlines and calls to action. Again, ideally driving 100-300 clicks.

Once I have a winner from there, then I’ll look at split testing simple changes such as colors, etc.

The other thing I will test is subject lines for e-mail follow-ups. We like to have 5-10 subject lines and measure open rates from there.


2) Not Following Up Enough or Quickly Enough

I've mentioned in the e-mail marketing section, that frequent follow up is important, not only for conversions, but for pruning your list.

We don’t pitch hard for these types of offers, we have a very caring tone and make soft recommendations. The entire e-mail is positioned in a way that we are really trying to help our subscribers. This is very important since we would prefer each subscriber to fill out more than one offer eventually, if we're pitching multiple offers in e-mail follow ups.

We want to stay fresh in their minds. Out of site, out of mind, and we want them to open our e-mails feeling we have their best interests in mind.

3) Not Having Enough Data Before Approaching Affiliates

I’ll discuss dealing with affiliates in other posts, but I figured I’d make a quick note here.

The dream for most is to start getting affiliates to send them traffic, but there is far more to it than just contacting your affiliate and assuming they will just love to send you traffic.

At a bare minimum you want to have opt-in rate data to give to potential affiliates, and ideally let them know the traffic type you used to gather that data. E-mail traffic typically has higher conversion rates than PPC or Banner, and if you’re going direct with CPV traffic, this will skew results even more so. You should be able to tell your affiliate that if you’re paying $1 per lead, they can expect a certain EPC promoting your page.

Most probably know, but EPC is Earnings Per Click and is calculated by earnings divided by clicks.

So, let’s say you’ve tweaked your page and are getting a 20% opt-in rate on e-mail traffic. You could tell a potential affiliate that they can expect a $0.20 EPC via e-mail traffic (If you’re paying $1 per opt-in, they will generate about 20 leads per 100 clicks. Those 20 leads will earn them $20 for 100 clicks. $20/100 clicks = $0.20 Net EPC for the affiliate.)


So in conclusion, what we're basically doing here is setting up a simple lead capture or "squeeze page" for our target market, then placing other offers behind it and in our e-mail follow up series.

This is basic, simple list building, while getting paid to do it.

The offers behind the lead capture page don't need to be your own offers, and once you understand your dollar per lead for a specific traffic source (the average amount each lead is worth that goes through your funnel), you're able to scale up quickly, and if an offer you're promoting dies out, you can look to plug other offers in where needed.

Thanks very much, any questions let me know.

Chad

Last edited by Chad; 12-15-2011 at 04:33 AM.
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Unread 11-18-2011, 07:42 PM
cedric cedric is offline
 
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This is excellent. This will be my business model :-)
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Unread 11-18-2011, 11:35 PM
Chad Chad is offline
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cedric... great to hear. It's basically creating your own front end offer, a lead capture of sorts or very low priced offer, then just delivering leads to other cpa offers on the backend. I'm gonna go into a bit more detail on this as I feel it's one of the more stable cpa/affiliate models.
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Unread 11-19-2011, 05:28 AM
justm justm is offline
 
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Brilliantly explained Chad - i totally get it. When i've heard people talk of this "pseudo-merchant" type of thing before, I think it's been over-complicated.
I understand there's a lot more to the detail, but the principal is simple.
Really, it seems that if you are doing anything other than direct linking, then building a list and having multiple back-end opportunities to monetize it is the way to go.
Now I'm thinking on what markets (other than IM and bizzop) this would work well for? It seems to work best with people who are needing something constantly - hmmmm... health, wealth, relationships.....
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Unread 11-19-2011, 03:27 PM
Will Will is offline
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I think every member should be doing this as part of their business. Me included.

LOL

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Unread 11-20-2011, 07:25 AM
Chad Chad is offline
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Originally Posted by justm View Post
Now I'm thinking on what markets (other than IM and bizzop) this would work well for? It seems to work best with people who are needing something constantly - hmmmm... health, wealth, relationships.....
You can do this in several markets outside of IM and bizopp. Finance markets like payday loans, credit, debt relief, anything where people need a lot of options or quotes, yes health will work, weight loss works, especially if the front end is a tool like a BMI calculator. Dating can work too... think of the "dating coach" type of character, and when people opt-in you say "ok first thing you gotta do is go to these 3 dating sites and sign-up, these ones have the easiest girls to get with". Thats if you were targeting guys of course.

I encourage you guys to opt-in to those grant ones I made, look at the thank you page. The thank you page is basically a list of 4 relevant grant offers, so I can typically make back 60%-80% of my money immediately, and still have the lead. If you can break even on the front end, that's fantastic.

I'll probably do more posts on this if you guys are interested. It's the most accessible way to stabilize CPA income.
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Unread 11-22-2011, 05:22 AM
andrew jacobsen andrew jacobsen is offline
 
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I want more info please! This seems like a great place to start, but will need guidance. One thing I hate is that the bizop stuff is so scammy that people will be pissed off that you got their credit card charged and they can't stop it!

Andrew
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Unread 11-22-2011, 05:23 AM
Chad Chad is offline
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Hey andrew.... ok I can add that on the list of guides and new posts. To go into some more detail, create a flowchart, etc.
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Unread 11-22-2011, 09:34 PM
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Thanks, this is great info Chad! When writing the detailed post could you also include some info/examples/previous data on which ctr/opt in rates/cr we should aim for with this model?
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Unread 11-22-2011, 10:25 PM
Chad Chad is offline
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Glad you guys like the info.

What I'll do is go into detail on the actual layout of the funnel in respect to how I did the grant setup as it's a simple one to emulate.

I'll tell you right now usually the ctr/optin/cvr are dependent on your funnel epc, and the offers you place in the funnel. Some payout higher so you can afford lower numbers on the front end. It all comes down to your dollar per lead (ie: what's the amount you earn per lead in a given time frame).
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