Building a Real Business: Tips From 9-5 Land

October 8th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

corpo-land

(Obligatory sentence about how I haven’t posted in ages + empty promise to keep doing so + you just want the tips anyway so let’s get down to business)

So I’ve been kinda sorta out of the affiliate game for the better part of a year now.  I’m still building and managing campaigns, but I’ve actually taken to doing it in a (gasp!) 9-5 marketing job.  For some affiliates working alone or for themselves is the only thing that matters, and they’ll put up with just about any level of hardship or bullshit to make that dream happen.  For me I can only sit in my apartment in my PJs like a fat slob for so long without losing my mind.

I’ve read a lot of posts about how the FTC “done changed da game”, and how the days of fast cash for the lone wolf might be over as larger affiliates come together to build their teams of super best friends, and dominate the lead volume of the ever decreasing numbers of networks that can even keep their doors open.  Time to build a real business folks; here are some tips, contrasts, and other random observations I’ve seen between AM and the “real world” that might provide some insight for you hustlers that may of never held day job before.

1. Enjoy Your Leanness and Mobility

Compared to running the one man show that most AMs are used to the world of real business moves at the speed of smell.  Have a new idea?  Ready to launch a new campaign?  Go ahead and do it.  Right fucking now. Corpo world doesn’t offer much of the freedom to run on whims or the seat of your pants.  Things take time, planning, and budgeting.  Is this all bad?  Not necessarily.

Next time you have an idea for a dating campaign; imagine yourself having to first wait 24 hours, call a meeting, explain it to a group of people, and then ask them to stop what they’re doing and start building dating creatives ASAP.  Suddenly that drunken idea you had for a campaign may not be worth chasing down instead of optimizing your current winner.

Moral: Use speed to your advantage, Don’t chase butterflies, build campaigns like you actually give a shit.

Spend Other Peoples Money:

In the corpo world money really does grow on fucking trees.  Why not buy the best of the best when it’s on the company dime?  For most companies not overspending on expenses is actually a “goal” and not a harsh reality.  From the free coffee to new software; corpo peeps know what it means to be ballin’.  No where is this more apparent than when it comes to advertising.  The hardcore and oh so beautiful vacuum that we affiliates live in when it comes to measuring campaign success just doesn’t exist for a lot of companies especially when you throw in all that wishy washy branding bullshit that AMs could care less about.

You’ll hear phrases like “lets get the word out”, “It’s okay we’ve got some extra budget to spend”.  Not only are marketing people comfortable with less than exact measurements they’re willing to spend several thousand dollars on mass media advertising in spite of it.

Moral: Don’t get emotional about your campaigns; don’t spend your last $100 hoping for 1000% ROI.  Make rational decisions and don’t be afraid to lose money.  Remember your business has “budgeted” this as an expense and a tax deduction.  So make a deposit to that media buy network and make it rain.

You’re An Entrepreneur: Most People Are Not.

If you’re even reading this blog, launching affiliate campaigns, or devising new schemes to line your pockets with cash then consider yourself a minority in society.  Most people don’t think the way we think.  They want security not risk, they’re willing to trade money for stress relief, they want consistency not revolution.

Working in the corporate environment I found myself with an abundance of free time (which has allowed me plenty of time to do fun projects and essentially get paid to learn.  (Why did I go to college again?) At first I seriously couldn’t understand why people take so long to get the simplest shit done.  Why didn’t they want to take on this new project?  Why can’t they write me that new copy by tomorrow?

Truth is most people in this world have priorities that don’t involve money, success in business, or any type of work at all.  You’ve seen the differences highlighted before about the difference between the rich and the poor etc.  Successful entrepreneurs are passionate and even obsessed with what they do.  The financial rewards are a by product of our hard work and willingness to take on risks.

If you need to hire people to do your creatives, translations, or even join your team as a full time employee it’s incredibly important that you understand how to create a comfortable work environment, create the same sense of ownership that you possess, and understand that most people have very different motivations in life than stacking paper.

Moral:  Just because some people won’t gamble doesn’t mean they won’t work hard.  Hire people who are smarter than you, let them do their jobs, help them emotionally invest in work the way you do, and help them be happy.  If you want to “be your own boss” start by being the person you’d want to work for.

Cheers to the real world,

Strov

Why Affiliate Marketing Is EXACTLY Like 50 Shades Of Grey

July 12th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

hook-line-sinker

 

I just killed two birds with one stone.  I gave you an example of one of the oldest CTR boosting headline tricks in the book and I’ve prevented all other bloggers from being able to subject you to such a horrific post.  WIN – WIN.

Formula:  {your product/Industry} is just like {Something stupid in pop-culture} = $$$

It seems like it’s almost to easy and it really is.  Time and time again I’m amazed at just how easy it is to find a niche and blow up my ad CTR by piggy backing on a fad/trend/event.  Of course there are drawbacks and things to consider when using this tactic.  The obvious is that unless you live in some remote part of nigeria chances are that associating yourself to closely with a person, brand, or copyrighted fad could land you in some legal trouble.  The second being that fads are completely short term by nature; so you’re really just in it for the quick buck .vs. a long term business model.  (but you’re an affiliate marketer so quick cash is probably your goal anyway).

I’ll save you the cornball advice about how to search for fads by using tools like google trends blah. blah. blah.  Need a fad?  Turn your brain off and watch some TV, read yahoo news, pick up an US weekly; it’s really that easy.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to integrate a fad or trend into your campaigns and do it well I suggest taking tips from the pros.

  • McDonald’s: Practically every animated movie made in the past 20 years has helped them sell more burgers and fries.  They  don’t even have to show pics of the actual product when there is a toy/movie tie in

happy-meal

 

  • News Coverage: Remember the Facebook IPO coverage?  Practically every story suddenly became more interesting by inserting the words Facebook IPO into the headline.  ”Toyota Prius sales are up! What this means for the Facebook IPO”
  • Politicians: This one kind of falls under the news coverage, but I find it hilarious how often they abuse this trick.  It’s only a matter of time before some yahoo is going to spearhead the initiative to pass more legislation against “bath salts” in order to score some easy votes from terrified mothers.  The take away is that trends/fads can be incorporated into a fear factor angle for your product.

The wins gained from using this tactic might be short lived, but from my experience they are well worth the work.  Just remember to think creatively, avoid copyright infringement and use this tactic to create more opportunities to SELL your product/offer.  If all you do is focus on getting a users attention chances are the traffic will convert, but the back out will suffer.

Cheers to trend setting,

Strov

Are You Don Draper Or Roger Sterling?

March 25th, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

rogeranddon

So Mad Men Season 5 is about to premier and I’m pretty freaking giddy about it.

Take a quick look around this blog and you can imagine why I would dig a show about the golden age of advertising.  Today’s post is less about lame topical link bait and more about a conversation I had the other day with a fellow affiliate.  (In before stupid post about how AM is like the hunger games)

I think most IMers including myself lean heavy into one of two categories of being either creative driven (the drapers) or system driven (the rogers).  Basically the creative guys and the account men.

Meet The Drapers

The creative AMs are all about the ads, the landers, the angles, and the ideas.  They think outside the box, they don’t copy ads, and they work as a one man wolf pack.  They like to research the target demographic, they want to put themselves in the customers shoes, they want to write the perfect LP copy.

These are the same AMs who are also hopelessly disorganized.  Need an image? Sure! I keep it in that one folder marked “photos” which is buried in one of these 20 unrelated sub-folders cluttering my desktop.  They get so excited about something new they find themselves always jumping from project to project.  They have all the best intentions of scientifically split testing and running multi-variate LP tests, but most of the calls wind up based in gut feelings and hunches.

They have a background in sales, entrepreneurship, and marketing.  They hate math.

Meet The Rogers


The systematic AMs use all the tools imaginable.  They scrape ads, they scrape, urls, and they automate as much as possible.  They hire VAs, freelancers, desginers, and copy writers.  They run everything by the numbers.  Who gives a shit what the images mean to people just find out which one gives me a profitable CTR.  They have a system in place for determining ad performance and everything else.  They are highly organized.  They split test in a much more scientific manner.  Their copy sucks, their ideas are unoriginal, and they don’t understand people.

They have a background in programming, web dev, and love math.

The point is neither is better than the other and most of us have at least a few qualities of both.  Some people come up with the best ideas ever, but lack the organizational skills and technical ability to make them come to life.  Some people optimize all their campaigns by the book, test everything, and still can’t make a fucking nickel, because they just don’t know how to sell.

Who do you think you are?  What qualities and skills would you like to inherent from the other side?

Me? I’m definitely a draper (but I drink like roger).

Cheers to 3 martini lunches and smoking indoors

Strov

 

 

Ad Tool For The Lazy Split Tester

March 23rd, 2012 § Comments Off § permalink

 

[Disclaimer:  The following post is not paid and contains no affiliate links]
So recently I was contacted to checkout a new tool for FB/POF advertisers called FBAdsToolbox.

Pretty simple concept, you upload an image, quickly crop it to 110×80 within the tool and it spits out currently 82 variations of that image.

beenhadbadgers

The tool works really fast and you can simply download the images you want to split test.  Currently there is a suggested FF plug in to download them all, but the creator has stated this feature is coming soon.

So are these variations any good?  Personally I really like a lot of them, but of course there are a few I wouldn’t use.  To put this tool to good use I decided to whip up a quick test on POF with some of the variations the tool created.

So here are the results!

Control:  0.000% CTR

 

 

 

Test 1:  .072% CTR

 

 

Test 2:  .138% CTR

 

 

Test 3:  .060% CTR

 

 

 

Test 4:  .038% CTR

 

 

Test 5:  0.000% CTR

 

So it looks like honey badger #2 was the clear winner.  He could give a shit.

Obviously I didn’t run the real test with honey badger photos, but these were the effects I chose to use.  I was pretty surprised at how much of a difference the narrow border made.  This isn’t anything ground breaking, if you split test creatives and effects you will find differences and winners/losers.  For an AM like me a tool like this is really helpful since I spend more time testing copy and angles than I do making a bunch of little effects.  Could I simply do them myself?  Yeah sure, but I could also roll my own cigarettes too (god I miss smoking).  I’m a photoshop monkey at best so doing some of these effects myself would be more time than it’s worth.  Overall I’d say the FBadstoolbox is pretty sweet for POF/FB affiliates and word is new features will be coming soon.

If your interested in the tool feel free to check it out, and never stop split testing.

Cheers,

Strov

 

I Hate The 1K Rule: Test & Invest

January 11th, 2012 § 1 comment § permalink

scotchbarrels

Look at all those posts

Cheers to 2012!  I haven’t posted in a million years, which means like a fine oak barrel i’ve been holding in some well crafted ranting that’s finally ready to be poured down your throats.

A constant reminder I  preach to myself is to approach campaigns with the same zeal and thoughtfulness that any top notch business/company would use.  This means doing research, crafting great copy, and plenty of split testing.  Doing these things takes time and investment.  The more I invest in campaigns the more I see returns.  Half-assed efforts are easy to give up and move on from and almost every affiliate has chased that dragon of hopping from one thing to the next. (it never ends well)

So with the idea of investing in mind lets get to today’s topic: I FUCKING hate the 1K rule.

I’m really not sure where it came from or who first started using it, but they have royally mind fucked me and hundreds of other affiliates out there into ditching perfectly good adverting and investing in shit ads.   If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m referring to the idea of killing an ad if it doesn’t get a click/conversion after 1K impressions.  I’m sure in it’s original form it made sense, but it seems to have really caught on and spread to multiple traffic sources to the point of stupidity.

A scenario for you.

Lets say you have a demo of 2 million people on a social traffic source (FB,POF, etc.)

Now you’re testing 20 ads a mix of images/copy changes.

Ad #1 has accumulated 1000 impressions with no clicks and no conversions.  Time to die right?

Put down the axe and think about this.  I’m going to pull a number completely out of my ass and say your ad received a frequency of 5 impressions per user. (this number depending on a lot of factors can be lower, but is usually a lot higher on certain traffic sources. –>facebook)

So what does that mean? 1000/5 = 200 users saw your ad. 200 users of a 2 mil demo means you’re ad was seen by .01% of the demographic.

Now lets pretend we are a real business and it actually costs money and takes time to create advertising.  If you spent 6 hours of your day and $1,000 to create an ad would you only test it against .01% of the target market? Hell no, if you spent that much time you would see that shit through until you were 100% positive it’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Now luckily we don’t have to spend hours or thousands to make ads, but that doesn’t mean we can skimp on proper testing and data collection.  The point is that every campaign is unique and requires a common sense analysis based on the idea that you’re marketing to real people.  Saying an ad has to get a .15% CTR or better to work or you have to kill/keep at 1K impressions is just fucking silly.

Let your campaigns run and hopefully profit will come back to you.

Cheers,

Strov

Getting More Volume From Plenty Of Fish

October 23rd, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

bigassfish

Been a hectic month and I’ve been neglecting this blog so time for a post!

This month I’ve decided to jump back into to doing more with POF ads.  I’ve always had the good luck of finding great niche’s to target and creating ads that get good CTR’s, but I still have a lot to learn about bidding and optimizing the platform.  One of my goals is to learn how to not only make profitable camps on POF, but how to scale them up into larger volume producers.  I see plenty of people make comments that POF doesn’t have enough volume and based on this months results so far I would say NAY!

There is a lot of untapped volume to be had if you know where to look.  Firstly if you’re like most affiliates your bidding in the ULTRA-compeititve less than 50 logins market.  As ben has mentioned on the POF Blog, before there is a TON of volume available for logins above 200.  If you’re not testing these login counts your leaving a lot of money on the table.

Today I’ve decided to share a quick tip, to help you get more volume out of your campaigns and that is to do what Ben has advised me of frequently and start your bids low and increase them.

It’s important to understand how bidding affects the delivery of your ads.  Bidding higher basically does two things.  It gives your campaign priority (your budget gets filled first) and it gives your ads priority to be shown first.  He who bids highest gets the first dibs on having the ads for the users he/she targets shown.

However there is still a LOT of volume to be found in bidding lower and taking the remnant inventory available.  A great strategey for testing this is to simply duplicate your camps at different price levels.

For example:

Camp #1 bid .25 cents

Camp #2 bid 35 cents

Rinse and repeat.  When you let these run you might be surprised at how much volume you can pick up on the cheap.  The trick is to find patterns in what bid levels convert the best and optimize your ads/landers from there.  The conversion rates among different bid amounts vary wildly, but even I was surprised to find some epic wins bidding much lower than I ever have before.  As the rule always goes TEST TEST TEST and you’ll no doubt find some winners!

Cheers to making plenty of money!

Strov

If You Don’t Buy It Why The Hell Would Anyone Else?

September 20th, 2011 § Comments Off § permalink

99% of internet marketers are either lazy or uncreative.  Sometimes both.

You’d think in a world where the motto is “hustlin & ballin” that nobody would ever dare consider doing anything even remotely lazy, but it happens to us all.  No I don’t hate the player, I hate the game baby. (I can’t even fathom saying that in real life with a straight face)

What I mean is that affiliate marketing is just too damn easy.  Want to start selling diet products? Here’s your link.  Congratulations your now a business owner!  Hell I see threads on forums all the time where most guys can’t even explain how to explain what they do to regular folks and out of all the suggestions one you rarely see is “I own a small business”.

This complete disconnect, lack of investment, and separation from ownership has its perks, but it’s also responsible for a lot of people getting into a cycle of churning out absolute dog shit for campaigns.

As this post is titled “If You Don’t Buy It Why The Hell Would Anyone Else?”

Take a step back and review your campaigns.  Read the advertisements you’ve made.  Take a very close and thorough look at the advertisers offer page.  Sit and stare at the landing page you just built and read the copy over to yourself a couple of times.  Do you believe any of this crap?  Now I’m sure that you have yourself convinced that you’re quite the genius, but does that mean other people are really that dumb?

Walk a mile in your user’s shoes and think about the real thought process that goes through every one of your campaigns from a user perspective.  If you clicked an ad that said “Meet Hot Russian Women In Alabama Tonight!” and that took you straight to some random sign up form that appears to be a dating site would you sign up?

We marketers whisper a quite chuckle, because “we’re in the know”.  I think this is what allows us to under estimate the consumer and forget to do things in our ads such as actually be convincing.  Don’t get me wrong people as a whole are dumb, narrow minded, and complete A-holes, but the consumer these days is a lot sharper than they used to be.

Z6 Marketing knows (We Are Not Our Target Demographic), and its not always easy to share a users perspective.  However spending a couple minutes to review that campaign that didn’t work and asking the question “Do I believe this?” might just be enough for you to find the answers your looking for.

Cheers,

Strov

Creating Profitable Campaigns: The Rick Ross Method

August 27th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

hustlin

Hustlin Hustlin Hustlin…

 

Want to start making more money this month?  Time to grind.  September 1st is coming up and the first of the month is your opportunity to step your game up.

A little background.  I’ve was in a slump, a bad one.  I was making a decent living (nothing baller, but comfortable) as a full time affiliate and 2011 was my first year living strictly off my affiliate income.  Then things took a turn for the worse.  I had several campaigns go down some were just burned out and others were just some bad luck.  Ups and downs are just part of the game, but understanding that is one thing and taking action against it is another.

Complacency is probably my #1 enemy to stacking paper.  When my income took a big hit I was left with nothing, because I had gotten to a point where I had a few good camps going that were making 90% of my income and I like many affiliates got lazy and lost my hustle.  Sure I would get a random idea and launch a campaign here and there, but really if I had to make a pie chart of what my actual online activity was looking like it would be large slices of bullshit and stat checking.

When things go sour getting motivated can be even more difficult.  Years of outside sales experience have taught me the importance of a positive mindset and how it can effect your business.  It’s no coincidence that I would get on “hot” streaks where closing deals was a habit and seeing the money rolling in only made me want to hustle harder.  Affiliate marketing is no different in that when I have a hot campaign I suddenly find all of my focus goes into work and other things in life…well they just don’t matter as much.

Right now I’m back on track and it’s really, because of two things.  First I joined the Stack That Money Forum.  No this isn’t my attempt to push guru shit, it’s about what I found inside.  Several people on the forum have follow along campaigns, and there have been a few contests that centered around picking a traffic source, a niche, setting a budget, and jumping in.  I recently participated in one of these and although I wasn’t able to get the campaign profitable  it got me back in the habit that has brought me success in the first place and that is…

LAUNCH CAMPAIGNS DAILY!

Seriously.  If your not setting a goal of getting new camps/ads/etc. launched on a daily basis your not working hard enough and you sure as hell ain’t hustlin.  I don’t care how many hours you sit at your desk, none of it matters unless your taking action.  (in fact my earnings this month have gone way up and i’m spending a fraction of the time working on AM stuff that I was before)

I’ve seen not only myself, but several other affiliates on the forum show profitable progress from doing nothing other than setting a challenge such as launch a few camps per week.

Affiliate marketing isn’t just about throwing shit at the wall and seeing what sticks (although it’s the reason plenty of people with relatively little marketing experience are able to find success), but it is about testing.  Testing means actually launching camps, spending money, collecting data, and trying over and over again until something works.  Sometimes you win based on pure grit and determination and others it’s the pure luck of stumbling into something profitable in your mad dash to meet that daily hustle goal.  Either way if your not playing the game you have no fucking chance of winning, so mark that calender, write on your white board, set a goal, and get paid in September.

Cheers to the hustle,

Strov

 

Facebook Bid Lowering Strategies: How To Get Cheaper Clicks

August 12th, 2011 § 3 comments § permalink

lemon

No reason behind this photo other than it's one of my favorite classic ads

 

Lets talk about magic.  Not the stupid kind that people put on capes and wait in line at the movies to see, but the kind that makes you money.  I’m talking about the black magic that is lowering bids and reducing CPC’s on FB ads.

Disclaimer: Everybody has their own formulas and theories about how to do this and what works the best.  The info I’m going to share is based around what has worked for me and will hopefully give the clueless some light on the subject.

I don’t think I even need to explain the importance of having a good method of lowering lowering CPC clicks on FB thanks to increasing competition and companies with more money than brains the click costs on most demos (especially US) are very high and if you want to make even the best converting low payout offers work you better know how to drop it like its hot and do it fast.

While I do miss the good old days of cheap US suggested bids this new age of high click costs can actually have some positives as far as reducing competition.  It’s rare that any demo especially in the US has low enough click costs to easily back out and produce a profit with anything less than decent to good CTR’s.  Lazily slapping up an offer with a little targeting just doesn’t work anymore and as you’ll see in the strategy that reducing the CPC’s requires spending some money and that barrier to entry helps reduce competition from other marketers in an already saturated market.

So lets get down to it.

What You Need First:

  • Good performing ads: .100% CTR was soooo last year .2% is the new shit dude get on it. (the higher the CTR the better, but I’ve noticed .200% and above ads are much easier to get down to the sub .20 level) If you can’t pull that high of a CTR then you have a lot of work to do.
  • A good offer that converts: Before making a real investment you should collect some data and know that the offer converts at a level your happy with.
  • Budget: This will vary wildly depending on your offer, demo, country targeted, etc.   I pointed it out, because as stated before at the suggested bid price hardly anything can be profitable so you’ll need to “invest” in your campaign knowing that you’ll most likely be losing money before you make it.

 

Now that you’ve launched your well targeted campaign with a solid offer, good targeting, and you’ve achieved a high/good CTR (this is where most people ask “what do I do next?”) it’s time to start working on driving down the CPC’s.

Step 1: Let Facebook do it for you.

When you launch a campaign in the suggested bid range and achieve a good CTR of lets say .200% FB will immediately start lowering your average CPC.  You don’t have to do anything, but let volume come in and the CPC’s will decline on their own.  The higher your CTR the faster and larger of a drop you will see.   This is why it’s important to bid initially at a decent rate somewhere near the suggested so your ads have a good chance of getting good CTR and some volume quickly.

Now where some of that “black magic” comes in as far as how many clicks you want to let roll in before making any bid adjustments.  I can say from experience that 25-75 is going to be a minimum depending on your demo and how high your CTR is.

Don’t get antsy and drop the bids to early! You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you do as the initial high bid/launch phase is where you see the highest decrease in CPC.

Step 2: Pause and Lower.

Once you have collected about 25-75 clicks, you now have some data on how good the CTR of the ads will be and you’ve seen a drop in you average CPC’s already.  Typically I let ads run as long as possible for day one and eventually will pause the campaign once things start to level out.  Some people will say just lower your budget don’t pause, but I’m not in that camp.

Now comes the fun part while the campaigns are paused this is when you want to lower your bid.  I like to drop mine to match the Avg. CPC I’m paying or slightly above by .10-.20 cents.  We don’t want to go to low, because that could hurt volume and impressions.

A key to getting your avg. CPC down is understanding that FB does things on a daily basis.  Once lowering my bids I keep the camp paused until the next day.  Then I unpause with my new much lower bid.  If your ad is able to maintain the same high CTR from day one chances are you will see yet another big drop in CPC.

Now you’re starting at a lower bid and FB will once again lower your CPC using your starting bid as reference point as long as  you maintain CTR and collect more clicks.

Step 3: Repeat and Tweak

Repeating steps 1 and 2 will continue to drive down your CPC to a point.  Eventually with bid lowering you should start to see a bottom, which means you will have trouble getting impressions.  This is when you simply raise until you can find that happy medium between volume and ROI.

So that’s basically it.  It’s not rocket science, but it works.  The key to success is first creating high CTR ads and making sure that you collect enough data to know that the CTR is some what maintainable for your demo size.  In other words no “woohoo! I got a .635% CTR with 1,200 impressions!”

I know it’s tough to let ads run at a loss initially, but if you know the offer works and the target click cost is obtainable then it’s totally worth it.  Example, a few months back I ran a gaming campaign that required me to invest nearly $40-50 bucks per ad to get them down to a profitable level.  Once they were there all I needed to do was raise my budget and turn up the volume.

When you hear some one say to stick with one offer and focus on it this is partially what they are talking about.  If AM was as easy as slapping up an ad or two and making an instant profit then we’d all be making bank.

Cheers

-Strov

 

WARNING! This Post Will Self Destruct In (10) Seconds.

July 18th, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink

 

leathal weapon

 

Are you using scarcity to drive up your conversions?  You should be.  They don’t call it Cost-Per-Action for nothing.

Scarcity is one of the key differences between direct response campaigns and branding campaigns.  If your promoting any type of CPA offer you are being paid only for fresh juicy leads that you produce right now.  Ads with high consumer recall rates are great for branders. (ex: hilarious bud light commercials), but for you the opportunity is long gone if you can’t get the user to take immediate action on your offer.

Confession time I used to suck at producing scarcity or applying any amount of sales pressure, and it’s still a skill I can always improve upon.  Long before I ever heard of affiliate marketing I was working in outside B2B sales.  I did fairly well as a salesman, but my weakness was always in applying sales pressure.  I think this stemmed from my own personal hatred of “pushy salesmen” and I decided that I wouldn’t want to be perceived like that.

Consumers are blessed with a talent, and that talent is pulling excuses out of their ass.  In my biz sales days I learned the hard way that “let me talk to my wife about it she handles all of ______ for my business” or “come back tomorrow and I’ll be ready to sign up” really means “Go F$%# Yourself” about 99% of the time.

Ever wonder why someone would bother to click on your ad, read your lander, click on another link, and then not sign up for a free offer?  It’s because their excuse was better than your sales pitch.  Basically you failed at convincing them to take action right now.  When you look at your own campaigns think what if some one were to say “I’ll sign up later” or “I don’t have time to fill out this form”.  What could you do to combat this excuse?

Quoting my favorite bible of direct response Ca$hvertising “There’s no skill involved.  It couldn’t be easier.”  Dr. Direct is certainly correct.  Creating scarcity isn’t terribly difficult, in fact its often as easy as simply placing a deadline on your offer.  Here are examples and ideas for producing scarcity in your copy.

“Sign Up For Free Today Only

“Offer Expires XX/XX/XXXX”

Only (7) New Members Will Be Accepted

“Supplies Are Limited

“You have X:XX minutes left to use this coupon”

Limited, left, only, and expires are just a few words that can make a drastically different impact on how your offer or campaign is perceived in the users eyes.  Search around and you’ll find several free scripts for count down clocks, date scripts, etc. that you can use to automatically add customized scarcity to your landing pages.

If you want to see some awesome scarcity in action of course late night infomercials are a great example, but one of my personal favorites is the site GILT Groupe.  Big discounts with limited time sales is what makes this company such a winner and it really works.  I don’t even want to say how many damn pairs of shoes I’ve bought from them, because they crushed me with impulse.

So Tick-Tock guys time is running out to start putting scarcity in your ads if you don’t just remember you won’t get another chance.

-Cheers

Strov