My passion for direct sales began before the web even existed. Back then, I studied the mail order business and came across a master of direct sales, Joseph Sugarman. He wrote an amazing little book called “Triggers” that examines and explains 30 powerful persuasion techniques for marketers. He also wrote a classic training manual for copywriting called “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word”. Continue reading “4-Day Special Offer Sales”
My 4 Day Cash Machine experiment has run its full course and I’ve got the results.
Much to my disappointment, Frank Kern’s 4 Day Cash Machine is not magic (my results might have been better if I had implemented it like this!) The cold, dead, untargeted list I used it on did not suddenly start beating new life and buying products as fast as I could process the payments. But, there were some surprises that give me confidence that it will be useful in the future when I am better prepared to take advantage of it. (My list building efforts are underway!)
Before I give you my detailed assessment of the 4 Day Cash Machine in action, let me break down my results.
Mailing # 1:
- 377 emails sent in total
- 34 emails bounced giving an effective delivery of 343 emails delivered
- 7 people unsubscribed from the list
- 2.6% open-up rate based on delivered emails* (open rates are highly unreliable measures these days, but I decided to go ahead and include them)
- 361 emails sent in total (I did not remove bounces but did scrub out some duplicates I found)
- 35 emails bounced giving an effective delivery of 326 emails
- 2 people unsubscribed from the list
- .6% open-up rate based on delivered email*
- 359 emails sent in total (I continued to leave in the bounces)
- 40 emails bounced giving an effective delivery of 319 emails
- 2 people unsubscribed from the list
- .003% open-up rate based on delivered emails*
- 356 emails sent in total (I continued to leave in the bounces)
- 39 emails bounced giving an effective delivery of 317 emails
- 0 people unsubscribed from the list
- .0% open-up rate based on delivered emails*
Final Results after 4 mailings:
- 1305 total emails delivered
- 11 unsubscribes – 3.2% based on initial deliverable list size of 343
- 6 page views on the special offer sales page – 0.46% based on total emails delivered
- 0 orders
- $0.00 earned
My Evaluation of the Results
While I was disappointed not to make any sales with this promotion, I was not surprised by the result. This was a very cold list that hadn’t heard from me in many months and wasn’t particularly responsive in the first place. The vast majority of the names had come from JV Giveaway events where everyone is signing up for dozens of lists in order to get freebies. A significant portion of the names you get during these events are either temporary accounts setup for the event, or secondary accounts that don’t get checked very often (and usually just mass deleted.)
Surprising Positive Outcomes
I was braced for massive unsubscribe rates with every email. This list was full of people who probably had no idea how they ever got connected with me. Before I even said hello, I hit them with a bunch of sales pitches. I was sure the number of unsubscribes would climb with each mailing (specially the last one with a ‘FINAL NOTICE’ subject line), but that didn’t happen. As a matter of fact, the unsubscribe rates went down over the course of 4 days. I’m confident that a promotion like this will not have much negative effect on my list sizes (I always worry that intense promotions will scare off the subscribers, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue. Other markets may have different results.)
The other thing I noticed was that the page views for the sales page tracked with the first and last mailing. I got a couple after the initial mailing in the promotion (as one would expect) and then the rest came on day 4 after the ‘FINAL NOTICE’ email went out. This demonstrates that the urgency created by the promotion’s deadline does have an effect on response rates.
I think that the ‘4 Day Cash Machine‘ approach would generate a spike of sales in a well targeted and maintained list. The persuasion tactics employed are founded in the fundamental principles of human decision making – a reason why, urgency, scarcity. The materials provided would certainly help to assemble one of these promotions quickly and the training provided helps you to resist the urge to ‘fiddle and fine-tune’ the promotion and just get it done.
Since first learning the details of this promotional strategy, I discovered someone doing an amazing version of the process. He automates everything (so each new visitor gets their own unique ‘mini promotion’) and ties in some powerful tactics to amplify the psychological tactics used. Check out this video – it explains the whole process in detail.
The sample webpage content I got from Frank Kern was provided in HTML and was relatively easy to modify. The sample emails, however, were provided in a PDF file. That made them a real pain to cut and paste. I wish they had come in a simple text file – I have them that way on my hard drive for future promotions.
If you have any specific questions about my experiment with ‘4 Day Cash Machine’, leave a comment below and I’ll post a reply.
If you are listening to the podcast version of this article, please visit us on the web at: www dot go to guy enterprises dot com.
Today is the second day of my ‘4 Day Cash Machine’ test promotion. ‘4 Day Cash Machine’ came as a bonus module when I purchased Frank Kern’s Mass Control course (check out this video of a wicked automated implementation of the 4DCM).
The second email in the 4 email sequence went out just after midnight last night (eastern standard time.) Continue reading “Mass Control – 4 Day Cash Machine Experiment Part 2”
In an earlier post I mentioned that I planned to put the ‘4 Day Cash Machine’ bonus module (check out this video of a wicked implementation of the 4DCM), that came with Frank Kern’s Mass Control training program, to a hard test. Well, that test started in the early hours of this morning. Anyone who has signed up for the updates list on this website should have already seen the first email in the sequence (the sign-up box for the list is in the right hand side of this page.)
I’ve made this a very hard test. I’m mailing to a small list of people and the majority of them are from a ‘very cold’ set of names that I haven’t contacted in months and who have already received a promotion for the featured product about 8 months ago. These leads came mostly from a couple ‘Fire Sale’ events (not sources of high-quality email leads.) To give you a sense of how cold they were, I had 34 hard bounces out of the main list of 360 – that’s a bounce rate of 9%.
Part of the reason I went with this list is that I wanted to really test the capabilities of this technique to motivate sales. If it works with this group, it should be a huge success with higher quality lists that I have a better relationship with. The other reason is that the primary list I’m building right now is for my first big product launch. I’ve had successes with the pre-launch and I don’t want to hit this list with tangential promotions until after the launch.
It took me a few hours to set everything up. Even though there is a cut and paste template to use for the sales page and the emails, I still had to pick 5 bonus products and write blurbs about them, and customize the emails before loading them into my email broadcast cue. In addition, I had to do some maintenance work on the older list to make sure that everything would go out smoothly (I have switched to Aweber for my email marketing since the list was created, but didn’t move this list due to the low quality of the leads.)
My immediate results are 34 bounces, 5 unsubscribes, 1 page view on the special sales page, and 0 sales. But, it is important to remember that the email only went out a few hours ago and many people have not had a chance to open it yet. I’m expecting that a significant number of the people on the mailing list gave a secondary email address to begin with – so they might not check it as frequently. There are 3 more messages in the email cue ready to go out before the end of the promotion.
My ‘4 Day Cash Machine’ promotion ends at midnight EST, February 14, 2008. Given the quality of the list, I’ll consider the experiment a success if I get even 2-3 sales. More than that and I’ll be stunned!
Look for a full debriefing when the promotion ends and additional updates when I have more results.
If you are listening to the podcast version of this article, visit our website at: www dot go to guy enterprises dot com.
That was all I could manage to say when I saw the traffic stats for my personal blog on Thursday February 1, 2007. I had looked at the stats earlier in the day and they were clicking along at their usual rate. There are a couple of articles on the site that turn a good amount of natural search traffic and also have some inbound links from a couple of blogs. But, around 11:00pm things went nuts!
Continue reading “The StumbleUpon.com Traffic Hose”
Fellow email marketers, does this ever happen to you when trying to build a mailing list?
Recently I purchased a copy of John Reeses’ ‘Traffic Secrets 1’ course to try and improve the success of my online marketing efforts. Continue reading “Email Marketing: Building A Trust Relationship”
There are many advertising sins you can commit online – you can focus on features instead of benefits, you can try to promote too many things at the same time and diffuse your message. But, there is one sin that is unforgivable.
Before I start, I must make a confession. I have committed this sin. I am guilty. But I am doing my best to “Go forth and sin no more!”
So, what is this horrible sin?
Failing to Capture Email Addresses
When the first thoughts of Internet profits dance in your mind, people (like me anyway) rush out and start trying to drive traffic to affiliate sites or their latest Adsense niche sight. In all of the excitement about starting a new venture, new marketers often miss one of the first truths of marketing:
Attracting a new customer is the most expensive and least profitable portion of your business.
Attracting New Customers
Think back to the days of the first Internet boom. Companies were spending thousands and millions of dollars trying to get their names “out there.” In many places you could not buy ad space. I remember seeing signs posted along highways (like political campaign posters) and taped or tied to every imaginable surface. Getting your name “out there” takes time, money, creativity or all three.
People who are new to marketing often get focused on the advertising side of things. There is a lot to think about and you can spend months and years studying and practicing the art and science of advertising. But, to get the best results from your advertising you must know why you are doing it.
The Primary Purpose of Advertising
The primary purpose of advertising is not to sell products, it is to acquire customers.
The customers you are acquiring may not buy from you initially, but they will give you permission to contact them again directly. Eventually, many will buy your products or services and you can send follow-up messages that build on each other and lead people through the buying process.
Most purchases are made after the sixth or seventh time a person is exposed to an advertising message. Repetition is key. The first time they see your message, you are a stranger. By the sixth or seventh time, you are familiar. If you have provided trustworthy and valuable information inside every one of those messages, you may even be a trusted friend.
Of course, you need to sell products and your products will attract customers. But, you must remain focused on customer acquisition so you do not waste your efforts and money.
To acquire customers, every advertising effort should include at least one way for a potential customer to subscribe to a newsletter or email course. If they are not willing to give you money, but are intrigued by your advertising copy, there is a good chance they will give you their email address and name in exchange for a sample of your product.
How to Build a Mailing List
A common way to build mailing lists is to give away a free course or e-book as a thank you for joining your list. I used this technique to begin my own marketing and e-business mailing list.
Another approach I used was to include a sign-up check box on an email form. One site where I used this technique had an “Ask an Expert” feature where people could get personalized answers to their questions. They had already agreed that the site’s authors were experts by taking the time to write, and it wasn’t a big leap to request more information. The plus side of this approach was that the newsletter subscribers were “pre-screened” which resulted in a very low un-subscribe rate on future mailings.
Information marketing expert Fred Gleek uses something he calls a “bounce-back” with everything he does. He creates a sign-up system that only requires a person to send a blank email to one of his email accounts which adds them to his list. He then forwards them a special gift of some kind. He includes text that says, “For free gift on [subject] worth $35 send a blank email to [email@example.com].”
That line goes on every item Fred Gleek publishes and is included in every joint venture project he participates in. I bought two of his books, sent in an email (the “bounce-back” was printed at the bottom of every page) and hear from Fred on a regular basis.
Go Forth and Sin No More
If you do not have a mailing list, stop everything and set one up. There are a number of online services like Intellicontact, Aweber, and Get Response that will provide mailing list management for a nominal fee.
There are other software solutions that you can use on your desktop, or server to do the same. My Autoresponder Pro, SendStudio, and Follow-Up Mailing List Processor are just a few of the commercial applications available. Infinite Responder! and PHP List are free mailing list managers that run on your server. PHP List is very feature rich and Inifinite Responder is a simple program for managing auto-responders.
Managing a mail server is a big job (it takes a lot of work to ensure that marketing emails do not get filtered out before they reach your subscribers.) Plus, most of the hosted services, to protect against spam accusations, will not allow you to upload a list of addresses to your account. So if you use a do-it-yourself solution and change later, you will have to ask your subscribers to re-subscribe (and you WILL lose subscribers in the transition.)
Finally, some hosting providers (like the one I use for this site – 1&1 Internet, Inc) also provide a newsletter tool as part of your service package.
However you decide to manage your mailing lists and newsletters, make sure you include a sign-up method in every advertising campaign you create. Always find something valuable to offer to people who are interested in your product but not ready to place an order. And then, follow-up and build relationships.
The Go-To Guy!
P.S. Would you like to gain free access to a large and growing collection of e-books that you can use as bonuses for your mailing list subscribers? Sign-up for Platinum Access to the Go-To Library today!
Email autoreponder software is a powerful lever to move your online business ahead.
Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world.
Leverage. Using a tool to magnify a small effort into a large result. The Internet is a powerful leveraging tool. One person can spend a few hours creating a webpage and find hundreds or thousands of people around the world to read it and be influenced by it. And, as long as the page is online, it can continue to be discovered and read by new audiences – month after month, year after year.
Another powerful tool of the Internet age is the email auto-responder (also known as a sequential emailer.) With one, you can leverage the direct communication power of email with the set-it-and-forget-it cababilities of a webpage. You can use auto-responders to deliver a carefully constructed sequence of emails at precisely controlled intervals, with no human intervention.
Why Would You Want to Send Automated Sequential Emails?
There are a number of reasons to send out emails in this fashion.
Auto-Responders for Sales and Marketing
If you are marketing a product or service, you may already be aware that it can take 6 or 7 contacts with a potential customer before they make a purchase. It’s not easy to get someone to visit your website 6 or 7 times and you never know what pages they’ll choose to look at.
What if you could persuade this same visitor to sign-up for your 5 part email course or a series of special reports? These emails would teach them a little information aimed at answering the need that brought them to your site. But, in this case, you decide what messages they receive, what order they are delivered in, and how much time will pass between each email.
Step-by-step you will be demonstrating your expertise, building a relationship with your visitor, and creating the trust required to convert them from lookers to buyers. It’s like having an automated salesperson greeting everyone who expresses an interest in what you have to offer.
One well written sequence of emails can be leveraged, using an auto-responder, into hundreds or thousands of sales.
Auto-Responders for Content Delivery
Selling is not the only use for an auto-responder. It can also be the delivery mechanism for content you sell or give away. If you offer your visitors a daily inspirational message, or a reminder service, your auto-responder will deliver the goods. It is also an excellent way to deliver an educational course.
Other Uses for Auto-Responders
Another creative use that occurred to me is using your auto-responder to send blog updates when you are on vacation. Instead of posting the usual ‘on vacation’ message, letting the site go idle, or finding a guest blogger to fill in, write a special series of posts and load them into your auto-responder. Set the responder to deliver messages every day and then, when you get ready to leave, add your blog’s email posting address into the subscriber list. (Many blog software packages, like WordPress, allow you to submit posts via email.) Everyday a new entry will be posted to the site and your readers (and the search engines) will keep checking in for the latest updates.
You might also set one up to email your mother every year on her birthday, anniversary, and Mother’s Day! (Or at least email yourself a reminder to buy a card.) The Journal of Medical Internet Research even has the results posted about a study to “assess the feasibility of using sequential email messages to promote physical activity and increase fruit and vegetable intake among employed adults.”
I’m sure there are other creative ways to use an auto-responder. If you’ve got a clever one, leave a comment and share it.
Where Can You Get an Auto-Responder?
There are 3 ways to get an auto-responder. You can pay to use an auto responder service provided by a 3rd party, you can license a commercial software package and load it (or have it loaded) onto your server, or you can scour the open source community looking for free stuff and then tweak and customize it – guess which route I’ve chosen?
There are a number of companies who provide subscription based auto-responder services. They usually have a very rich set of features and are simple to use. GetResponse is one such company. Aweber and Intellicontact are 2 others. These companies often offer extended features like list splitting, campaign tracking, and click-through tracking. If you are looking to do sophisticated online marketing, the extra features and reduced technical maintenance requirements may be worth the monthly fees. GetResponse and Aweber both offer a free 30 day trial to let you test out the service before subscribing.
My Autoresponder Pro, SendStudio, and Follow-Up Mailing List Processor, all offer commercially licensed software that you can load onto your server and run yourself. Most of these packages offer plenty of features and are reasonably priced. If you have trouble with the installation, you can expect some level of technical support. The costs are usually pretty low and, if you know your way around your server, installation isn’t usually very tough.
Being the Go-To Guy, I like to hunt down open source solutions and customize them to my needs and whims (I’m even thinking about making my own software as a PHP/MySQL learning project!)
Open source means no fees, but also no guarantees and no tech support. I’ve found an open source package that I like called Infinite Responder! The interface isn’t beautiful to look at (it was designed by a programmer!!!) but it handles double opt-in sign-ups and unsubscribes, HTML and plain text email options, and multiple lists.
Installation was pretty simple (the developer will install it for you cheap if you need help.) I’m working on customizing the look of the interface to my liking and will post an video installation tutorial soon to guide folks through the installation process.
The Go-To Guy