"I would liike a review copy of your product..."

38 replies
"to see if it is something I want to spend time promoting"

I have had affiliates ask this time and time again for one of my products.

I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.

A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

What do you do?
  • Profile picture of the author Ruddy
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    "to see if it is something I want to spend time promoting"

    I have had affiliates ask this time and time again for one of my products.

    I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

    I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.

    A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

    What do you do?
    I do have provided free review copy like 3 times and all of them like it and back giving me review, however, if you think your membership site actually worth it, but people still ask for refund, it could be them who tried to "milk" from you. Probably they just want the free courses or something. But could be your bad guides as well. I never got any refund inquiry so far though.
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    • Profile picture of the author winebuddy
      Originally Posted by Ruddy View Post

      I do have provided free review copy like 3 times and all of them like it and back giving me review, however, if you think your membership site actually worth it, but people still ask for refund, it could be them who tried to "milk" from you. Probably they just want the free courses or something. But could be your bad guides as well. I never got any refund inquiry so far though.
      Customers almost NEVER ask for a refund (less than 1.5%) - just the supposed "affiliate" who wants to "check it out" before promoting.
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  • Profile picture of the author FriendlyRob
    I have never asked for a review copy and I never will. If I buy a product because I think it will benefit me, and it actually benefits me, then I will promote it.

    I think I do well this way because then I am truly promoting something I believe in.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lloyd Buchinski
      Originally Posted by rob123 View Post

      I have never asked for a review copy and I never will. If I buy a product because I think it will benefit me, and it actually benefits me, then I will promote it.

      I think I do well this way because then I am truly promoting something I believe in.
      That is really nice to hear. There have been a couple of threads lately practically saying you should ask for a free review copy before promoting something.
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      • Profile picture of the author FriendlyRob
        Originally Posted by Lloyd Buchinski View Post

        That is really nice to hear. There have been a couple of threads lately practically saying you should ask for a free review copy before promoting something.
        I think that you should be familiar with the product before promoting it, otherwise, how will you know it it provides value to your subscribers or not. So I can understand others wanting a review copy.

        But I just think that for my subscribers, if I won't buy it, then why should they?
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        • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
          But I just think that for my subscribers, if I won't buy it, then why should they?
          I am not going to spend money on a beginners course because I am light-years away from that point. But, my list is primarily made up of new marketers.

          So, I will not buy it because it will not benefit me, but it could benefit my list. I need to see the produt to make that judgment though. I have recieved review copies and made the owners a bunch of money. I have also received review copies and did not promote because the product did not deliver.


          Shannon
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark-Dickenson
      Exactly...couldn't have said it better myself

      I don't promote things that people email me because if I thought it was worth promoting or if it interested me in the first place, I would have already purchased it

      Originally Posted by FriendlyRob View Post

      I have never asked for a review copy and I never will. If I buy a product because I think it will benefit me, and it actually benefits me, then I will promote it.

      I think I do well this way because then I am truly promoting something I believe in.
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  • Profile picture of the author brotherpaulmiller
    It would depend upon who's asking for the review copy. If it's Willie Crawford, Patric Chan, Carrie Wilkerson, or somebody else I trust who could provide me with a great chance at break-through success, then absolutely. Or, if it's a reciprocal situation where they offer me the same deal with their product, then okay.

    It just depends upon the trust-worthiness or the reciprocality of the deal.

    Make it a great day!

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  • Profile picture of the author Shannon Herod
    I provide review copies all the time. It is actually part of my daily routine. I find good marketers with similar products and contact them with a review copy of my product and a little intro to myself.

    I do not ask them to promote untill a line of comunication is established.

    If an affiliate asks me for a review copy I will do a quick check to see if they are blowing smoke and then I will make a decision.

    If someone contacts me to promote there product they better come with a review copy or I do not pay them any attention.

    If I want to promote a product to my list I will ask for a review copy before I do. If it is a product I will use for myself I will buy it.

    Shannon
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    As an affiliate I have asked for review copies, sample products, etc. There are many products I may want to promote that I would not personally buy or need to use.

    Remember - you have someone coming to you interested in promoting your product and making you money.

    For a membership site you're not out any real money (as you would for a physical product) by giving someone some trial access, or even full access. Maybe they're trying to scam you. Maybe not.

    If I received the response: "give me money so you can decide to promote me and get me more money" - I wouldn't sign up either.

    And I wouldn't promote the product.

    You're causing your own poor response.

    On the other hand, if you said thank your for interest, here is trial access, here are promotional materials, let me know if there is anything else I can do to help your promotions or if you have any questions ....
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
    This is a funny little problem ... the really serious affiliates will just buy it most of the time to check it out for themselves. But at the same time I think a lot of affiliates rightly want to see how responsive I am by asking for a copy.

    I obviously prefer to see these requests coming from people who show me their website, and when I look at the site it's actually a good site. No problem with that, win-win for everyone.
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  • Profile picture of the author SMP
    Generally speaking I buy the product to make sure I'm happy with the quality of the goods I'm promoting. Even if it's not something that's useful to me, I can see how it would be useful to the demographic I target.

    Keep in mind that you want to develop a long term relationship with ALL customers as you would ideally want to sell to them again and again.

    I won't put as much effort into traffic generation and marketing as I do only to offer an inferior product and lose the trust of my customers. I definately won't offer an inferior product to any of my existing lists.

    Steve.
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Simply put, if you are not offering review copies then you are loosing out on what could be LOTS of profit.

    If it's such a "pittance to join" then you should have no problem with giving up a small amount now to potentially earn a mega amount later on.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by Justin Mandel View Post

      Simply put, if you are not offering review copies then you are loosing out on what could be LOTS of profit.

      If it's such a "pittance to join" then you should have no problem with giving up a small amount now to potentially earn a mega amount later on.
      Agreed!

      I helped my partner setup a site recently and she made several requests to the site owner of the product she was hoping to promote and she received not one response.

      All she wanted to know was what she was promoting so that she could structure her site accordingly.

      Put simply we were pretty dissapointed and went with another product.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bingo123
      Originally Posted by Justin Mandel View Post

      Simply put, if you are not offering review copies then you are loosing out on what could be LOTS of profit.

      If it's such a "pittance to join" then you should have no problem with giving up a small amount now to potentially earn a mega amount later on.
      I'd have to agree with that. You can always kill the membership after a trial period. It may result in you getting a new affiliate and lead to new sales.
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      • Profile picture of the author paulie888
        Originally Posted by Bingo123 View Post

        I'd have to agree with that. You can always kill the membership after a trial period. It may result in you getting a new affiliate and lead to new sales.
        Exactly - especially with a membership site, it'd be easy to control access to your product and give the affiliates just enough information for them to be able to make an informed decision about promoting your product.
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  • Profile picture of the author gyar29
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    "to see if it is something I want to spend time promoting"

    I have had affiliates ask this time and time again for one of my products.

    I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

    I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.

    A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

    What do you do?
    You find out who they are, then if they have the potential to increase your income you let them in for free. You allow them to do your work for you.

    They will promote your site. They will drive traffic to your site. They will increase your membership. They will generate income for you...

    And yet you require them to give you their monthly pittance.

    Are you sure that is the strategy that you want to use?

    Gene
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  • Profile picture of the author SteveJohnson
    Originally Posted by winebuddy

    I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

    I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.
    That's just hilarious. You must not want JV partners or affiliates very badly.

    No way on God's green earth that I'm going to buy everything that I might want to promote. If you want me to sell your stuff for you, whether it's a product or a membership, you have to prove to me that what you have to offer is going to be good for my customers and good for my reputation.

    You want me to PAY for the privilege of promoting your stuff? I don't think so.

    You're distorting what "you've always heard".

    I get Mike Filsaime or John Reese on the phone. "Dude, I've got this great membership site that will just kick ass with your list. It's full of good stuff that they'll really be able to use. I'll up the normal affiliate payout for you if you'll promote it to your lists."

    Mike: "Maybe. I need to see what you're site's about, what's in it, what it can do. Gimme some login info."

    Me: "No way, dude. Sign up for a membership, pay the first month's fee, look around, tell me what you think."

    Click. Buzzzzzzzzzzz
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
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      • Profile picture of the author Jay Jennings
        Originally Posted by alexa_s View Post

        I explain why, how, where and when I'm going to promote it, who I am, list the relevant domain-names I already own which are suitable for the purpose, give a summary of my previous affiliate history, mention that I'm an active member of this forum, and so on.
        What Alexa said is very smart -- give the merchant you're asking a *reason* why they should consider your request.

        If I get an email simply asking for a review copy I'll put it aside and maybe get to it when I'm not busy (as if that will ever happen).

        But an email where someone asks for a review copy and tells me *why* is a whole other ball of wax. Now I have some data to help decide how to reply -- it takes up less of my time.

        Jay Jennings
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        • Profile picture of the author Chris Thompson
          What Alexa said ... BANG ON.

          If a vendor won't even bother to reply then they do not care about affiliates, and they probably don't care about customers. Now, there is an off chance they missed your email, it was put into spam filter, etc ... so you might send a reminder the next week. But 90% of the time it means they are crappy vendors. Don't promote their stuff.
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        • Profile picture of the author halmo
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          I sometimes ask for a "review copy" if I'm considering becoming an affiliate.

          I explain why, how, where and when I'm going to promote it, who I am, list the relevant domain-names I already own which are suitable for the purpose, give a summary of my previous affiliate history, mention that I'm an active member of this forum, and so on.
          That's the fair way to handle it. It shows respect, and it shows that it's not only the product owner's responsibility to please "all" affiliates regardless of their intent or qualifications -- but the fairness goes both ways.

          Not all affiliates are created equal; and I am not sure I would want the type of affiliates who think that I should give a review copy without a chance for me to know anything about them, or because "if you want me to sell your product then you have to do it."

          Ideal way would be that the initiating party provides the information about the why, and how, and where ... etc. -- as Alexa said she does, (but at least upon request). On the other hand, if a product owner approaches an affiliate, the product owner should provide the information to gain trust and make it easier for the affiliate to promote it. It's a two-way deal for both people's benefit.

          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post


          If they send me a copy, that's great. If they say "no", then I'll decide whether or not to buy the product using my own affiliate-link. If they don't reply at all (and many don't), then I firmly cross their product(s) off my list out of concern that if they won't even reply to someone who's considering becoming an affiliate, they might not reply to people who buy their product either, in which case I wouldn't want to be promoting them.
          Fair again.

          Originally Posted by Jay Jennings View Post


          But an email where someone asks for a review copy and tells me *why* is a whole other ball of wax. Now I have some data to help decide how to reply -- it takes up less of my time.

          Jay Jennings
          Yes. It has a whole different feeling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bob Willoughby
    I have asked for review copies and received them.
    There will always be people that ask just to get a free copy. And there will always be people that try to find your thank you pages. Nature of the beast.
    The only concern I would have is if you turned an affiliate away, he may promote another product and sell thousands of copies.
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  • Profile picture of the author drmani
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

    What do you do?
    If YOU are approaching an affiliate to promote for you, you should ALWAYS offer
    a trial/review copy - but that changes when affiliates approach you.

    When I was getting started online, on very few occasions, I have asked for a
    review copy before promoting something. The reason was that I did NOT have
    enough money to buy all that I wanted to promote.

    Today, I often buy products from people I *know* will gladly let me have it for
    free - because I prefer telling my audience that I paid for what I'm promoting
    to them.

    As a product/membership site owner, you have no way of judging which of the
    two categories your potential affiliates fall into.

    So the decision is to be made on the basis of two things:

    * what do you stand to lose (by not giving a free review sample)

    * what do you stand to gain (by getting a potential affiliate to promote you)

    Depending on what the answers are to these 2 questions, you will either
    give freebies or not.

    Hope this helps.

    All success
    Dr.Mani
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Jacobs
    What country are these 'affiliates' from and how old are they? Do you know who they are actually?

    Some people make a sport out of buying/refunding and then distributing. I bet they figured to just skip the buy part...

    but then again, legit affiliates will sometimes want to see the product buy will never bother to buy because the product is below their current knowledge level/interests - or they are professional affiliates, who really don't care about whats in your course, but just want to make sure that it is quality enough to promote.

    As mentioned above, a few probing questions should do the trick - and in the meantime give you the potential to establish relationships.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I've never given a review copy of my ebooks except for a
    JV proposal but have given reviews for my copy coaching
    membership site. Most of these reviews were by marketers
    who already had an active 'product review' site so I know
    they were serious and not just trying to get something
    for nothing.

    So it all depends on how 'serious' the requester appears
    and my own judgment of this.

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author Lou Diamond
    Hello,
    a friend of mine wanted to be a member of my website for free.
    I said to him if I give it to you for free you will never use it.
    He paid and he uses my website and has learned how to make money.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Carl Kelly
    I provide review copies, but I ask for more information from the requestor and assess them first. I ask for specifics about how they will promote, and I ask to see their sites and other promotions. If they seem serious, I provide the review copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author sylviad
    I equate this to my work in journalism. People send their books and other products in for reporters to review and write about it in their papers. If the products are unique or offer something of value to our readers, we might agree to do a review, provided they also buy an ad. Sometimes, we just did the review.

    Part of marketing is distribution of product. As an affiliate manager, you must promote in order to get people to sell your product. It's not unlike other shops that offer samples that people can try before they buy.

    It seems counter-productive to ask people to buy your product when they are going to be working "with" you to sell your product. Some affiliate managers just ship the product without the affiliate having to ask. I've received several without asking, and several by asking.

    Consider... you get the product, write up a review, submit articles and reviews to the directories - which is work on the affiliate's part. They can only do their job if they get a copy of the product.

    If you are that concerned about people "stealing" your product, create a short version or pull out 5-6 chapters and put them into a small report so the affiliate has something to see - much like sampling. This should give them enough information to decide whether they want to promote the product or not.

    You both save - the affiliate doesn't have to buy the product that could end up being worthless - and you don't get ugly looks from Clickbank when your affiliates buy and return your product.

    Sylvia
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    • Profile picture of the author edgegirl
      I think it depends on the product and your business model.

      I know of one super successful Internet marketer in my niche that I did not promote initially because I didn't know much about the model or the guy.

      He has done some amazing things and later gave me an advance copy of a product when I requested it.

      I would not buy into his program because I am not interested in it at all.

      Now I've reviewed a few other ebooks in my niche (other authors) and have not been impressed--so I've chosen not to promote the work because I don't want my name attached to it.

      I have not negatively reviewed them either. Should I do a blind promotion? Maybe, but I don't like promoting substandard products or services.

      For my product (soon to be released) I offered it to select people to review in draft format.

      Now it would depend on the person requesting it and where I am with the process as to whether or not I'd hand out a membership or product.

      On the other side of things, I've reviewed a few programs by taking advantage of a Beta participation or trial deal as an affiliate.

      I think that is a better way to go.

      Once I get in I can look around as a member and see if the program fits my needs or whose needs it might fill.

      Also, because I paid (even if it is a dollar) my review won't be swayed by the complimentary copy.

      That said, I review books and products periodically and those come without strings for a review.

      Part of business is the costs associated with producing and promotion--for them the trade off is that I provide a review (which gives it buzz and buyers hopefully).

      At the moment I am selective about what I attach my name to but if you don't care--it might not matter.

      So, my long winded answer :-) is that you have to make that decision and go with your gut as to what works for you. If you feel like it is an imposition without benefit--don't do it.

      It might be a great opportunity in disguise or it might be useless.

      My review drafts so far have returned testimonials and new affiliate interest so that when I launch I expect great things...and I think that has been worth it.

      Will I do the same for my membership course? Probably not, but I will offer a Beta short-term opportunity because I see how that can work well.

      I've taken advantage of several now myself which is why I think the model would work (Yara Starak, Michelle MacPhearson, and only one other that I did not enroll in).
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  • Profile picture of the author JWB
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    "to see if it is something I want to spend time promoting"

    I have had affiliates ask this time and time again for one of my products.

    I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

    I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.

    A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

    What do you do?
    You always have " tire kickers" who will ask for a refund...I would
    say for the people who stay with your membership site, survey them as
    to what they like about your site and build future content with that in mind..
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  • Profile picture of the author JMarno
    Why not make a "sample" with a single chapter or a few pages and send it to them?
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  • Profile picture of the author petevamp
    Originally Posted by winebuddy View Post

    "to see if it is something I want to spend time promoting"

    I have had affiliates ask this time and time again for one of my products.

    I run a MEMBERSHIP site that's only a pittance to join. And I have always heard that it is best to promote products that you have purchased and you like and really believe in.

    I just tell them to pay them money, come in and have a look around, and if they find it's valuable enough, they should promote it.

    A few have done so then ask for a refund. Most don't ever sign up.

    What do you do?
    You should expect this first off. Now I understand you do not want to be giving away your product for free. What you should do is segment out sections of your product or service to those such members. Now you would not lose sales from giving them the full product. You save face with the affiliates who may be promoting your product. Remember this your affiliates are your advertisers. With out your advertisers you may not make any money. The more advertisers you can get the more money you will make.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Mark-Dickenson & WD Mino & petevamp

    Do you realize you just revived a 2 yrs old thread without adding anything important...?
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  • Profile picture of the author Coby
    I got a lot of these when I released my first clickbank product. Most people I gave a copy if their request was legit. But I also offered it to the War Room first and got good reviews so I was confident and didn't mind "losing" a sale. Granted, probably half didn't promote, but the ones that did made up for it

    Now, I have a new PDC product that I just added to the War Room today, and it is actually a viral software rebrander. So I actually wouldn't mind "giving" away that so much, because if they use it and one of their copies 'goes viral' it will gladly make up for any sale I loss.

    However, if I had a membership site, since that is what is in question. I would offer them a 7 or 14 day trial access. If they can't decide within two weeks if they want to promote it or not then they are just full of it. Or maybe even just do a 3 day trial?

    Good Luck
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    I don't have an affiliate program for my membership and never will. So no need to have review copies either.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Lianelli
    My affiliate program is a closed one, meaning by invitation and/or by purchasing the product only. This differs with every product I make, most aren't targeted at all to convert buyers into affiliates.

    However, when I invite someone or I get an occasional request to see a product before joining the affiliate program - I always give it to them. At that point, either they bought one of my products already or was invited by me or a friend of mine.

    To me, that's enough to trust them with a free product - to know that they aren't going to let it catch digital dust.
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