Where am I going wrong? - Trying to sell affiliate products to my list

by mc9320
29 replies
I am in the music niche and have been building a list for the past couple of months.

I have 300 subscribers so far and I have an an e-mail series that lasts for 70 days (about 13 e-mails). My open rates are ok, at about 33%. I recommend an Amazon or Clickbank product once every three e-mails and offer to send them a bonus if they purchase. All the products for this prospects list are priced under $20.

However I am really struggling to make sales and don't know what should be my next course of action. I have only made 4 sales since August for a grand total of $38. What should I do next?

1) Drive more traffic to my site and continue to grow my list
2) Accept that my niche just does not have many buyers and move on, although I've spend so much time on this site and it is a subject I know a lot about

I have 12 years experience of working in music and I've even had one or two e-mails from subscribers saying that I offer great value in these e-mails.

I feel like I've tested, tested and tested with the order of the e-mails, subject lines, although this idea of offering a bonus is something I've only added in the last week or so

Any suggestions?
#affiliate #list #products #sell #selling #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author Blinking
    Originally Posted by mc9320 View Post

    I am in the music niche and have been building a list for the past couple of months.

    I have 300 subscribers so far and I have an an e-mail series that lasts for 70 days (about 13 e-mails). My open rates are ok, at about 33%. I recommend an Amazon or Clickbank product once every three e-mails and offer to send them a bonus if they purchase. All the products for this prospects list are priced under $20.

    However I am really struggling to make sales and don't know what should be my next course of action. I have only made 4 sales since August for a grand total of $38. What should I do next?

    1) Drive more traffic to my site and continue to grow my list
    2) Accept that my niche just does not have many buyers and move on, although I've spend so much time on this site and it is a subject I know a lot about

    I have 12 years experience of working in music and I've even had one or two e-mails from subscribers saying that I offer great value in these e-mails.

    I feel like I've tested, tested and tested with the order of the e-mails, subject lines, although this idea of offering a bonus is something I've only added in the last week or so

    Any suggestions?

    I would always stick with option 1 ('drive more traffic to your site and continue to grow your list'), however find things that they might be genuinely interested in. Instead of trying to sell a CB Product every 3 e-mails for example, send good information, build a relationship, and then offer honest things. Pretend you will not make any money from it, and you will provide them with content they will stay for and read.

    Another tip for the open rate - Try and avoid any generic subjects, they tend to get avoided.

    You could also promote Amazon Products, as for your niche instruments for example may be more profitable, as you start with 4% commission, and with enough sales get up to 12% in that month.

    Best of Luck!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7133168].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mc9320
      Originally Posted by Blinking View Post

      I would always stick with option 1 ('drive more traffic to your site and continue to grow your list'), however find things that they might be genuinely interested in. Instead of trying to sell a CB Product every 3 e-mails for example, send good information, build a relationship, and then offer honest things. Pretend you will not make any money from it, and you will provide them with content they will stay for and read.

      Another tip for the open rate - Try and avoid any generic subjects, they tend to get avoided.

      You could also promote Amazon Products, as for your niche instruments for example may be more profitable, as you start with 4% commission, and with enough sales get up to 12% in that month.

      Best of Luck!
      Thanks for the advice. However, in my first e-mail, I do disclose that I am an affiliate for the products I recommend. Do you not think being honest about this from day 1 can help build trust with your subscribers? I never mention that I am an affiliate in any other e-mail afterwards. What do you think about offering a bonus if a subscriber purchases an item?
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134378].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author djax3000
    I would say that you should probably try and increase the size of your list, but you may need to switch up your offers. If your offers are not converting with your 300 subscribers, then they probably won't convert for new subscribers.

    Or, you may just need to find a niche where there are hungry buyers. Some niches just simply don't have the numbers to sustain your income.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7133210].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author celente
      Originally Posted by djax3000 View Post

      I would say that you should probably try and increase the size of your list, but you may need to switch up your offers. If your offers are not converting with your 300 subscribers, then they probably won't convert for new subscribers.

      Or, you may just need to find a niche where there are hungry buyers. Some niches just simply don't have the numbers to sustain your income.
      list size and creating a good relationship with them, is like having gold bars in your pocket.

      You could try a few solo ads too, to add to the mix for some testing.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7137778].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author gcbmark20
    Hi MC,

    Considering that the average conversion rate is at 1% you must understand that only 1 out of every 100 people may buy your recommendations.

    This is not set in stone though but 300 subscribers is small but again you sound as though you are providing real value to them first and building up that realtionship first also.

    I first of all want to congratulate you for taking action and aiming to go through the processes first before asking for the sale.

    I am just wondering whether the products you are promoting can be accessed for FREE at YouTube for example.

    I have seen countless videos at YouTube providing music tutorial training from guitar lessons to piano lessons etc.

    It sounds like you have gotten everything right apart from the fact that these people can access the same info for FREE at YouTube.

    Maybe I have got it wrong and you just have to keep building up your numbers of subscribers before you get too frustrated.

    Hope this helps and keep us posted on your results!!!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134442].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    Are the clickbank products you're sending to them actually decent targeted products with good sales pages etc? Or are you just sending anything that's vaguely niche related?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134486].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mc9320
      Originally Posted by gcbmark20 View Post

      Hi MC,

      Considering that the average conversion rate is at 1% you must understand that only 1 out of every 100 people may buy your recommendations.

      This is not set in stone though but 300 subscribers is small but again you sound as though you are providing real value to them first and building up that realtionship first also.

      I first of all want to congratulate you for taking action and aiming to go through the processes first before asking for the sale.

      I am just wondering whether the products you are promoting can be accessed for FREE at YouTube for example.

      I have seen countless videos at YouTube providing music tutorial training from guitar lessons to piano lessons etc.

      It sounds like you have gotten everything right apart from the fact that these people can access the same info for FREE at YouTube.

      Maybe I have got it wrong and you just have to keep building up your numbers of subscribers before you get too frustrated.

      Hope this helps and keep us posted on your results!!!
      Thanks for your suggestions. At the moment, I recommend books on Amazon and some digital products on Clickbank.Although there might be some free info on YouTube, I don't think this a real issue. The niche I am in is not related to instrumental tuition.

      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      Are the clickbank products you're sending to them actually decent targeted products with good sales pages etc? Or are you just sending anything that's vaguely niche related?
      The products are targeted and I make sure I pick those with good sales pages, although there are only a small number of music products in my niche on Clickbank that fulfil this criteria!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134570].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
        Originally Posted by mc9320 View Post

        The products are targeted and I make sure I pick those with good sales pages, although there are only a small number of music products in my niche on Clickbank that fulfil this criteria!
        Yeah I would have thought it was quite difficult to find good relevant products on Clickbank for sub niches in the music field.

        Someone suggested a survey to find out what your readers think of your emails. That's a good idea. Ask them some questions to find out what they like / dislike and try and find out what they think of your offers.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134591].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author charidemos
    300 people doesn't sound like a lot... try to raise the number to at least a 1000 to see some results. Also are the offers converting? Are they solving their problem? Is the problem even big enough for them to bother and go out of their way to find a solution?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134546].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author imageworx
    Like others have said keep building/growing the list, but I would also set up a free survey for them to take and ask them what they are having the most trouble with...ask what they need that would help them further their music career. The answers might be varied, but you might find a common problem that the majority of them have in common that needs to be solved. Offer products that might help them solve that problem.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134554].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author mc9320
      Originally Posted by imageworx View Post

      Like others have said keep building/growing the list, but I would also set up a free survey for them to take and ask them what they are having the most trouble with...ask what they need that would help them further their music career. The answers might be varied, but you might find a common problem that the majority of them have in common that needs to be solved. Offer products that might help them solve that problem.
      This is a good idea and I added a survey to my e-mail series about a month ago. I ask info such as what topics they want to receive by e-mail, what instruments they play, what music they listen to and how often they would like to receive e-mails. Although most don't fill it in, it has been useful and I seem to be fulfilling their requirements.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134604].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author athusbangk
    With 300 subscribers you still need to continue to build your list. When we refer to the 80/20 then you at least have 1000 subscribers on your list to begin promoting affiliate products.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134596].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Manie Amari
    Originally Posted by mc9320;7133147I

    have 300 subscribers so far
    This is such a small number. You've done well with it but just think if your getting results so far then what would happen with a large audience.
    I'm currently partnering with another marketer who has over 40K subs and he said he gets on a good day 500 opens. Now you've got 300. So don't be distraught your doing well. Just be patient and it will come.

    Originally Posted by mc9320;7133147I

    1) Drive more traffic to my site and continue to grow my list
    Definitely stick with this one always. Keep building and making those relationships.


    Manie
    Signature

    This will NOT be up for long. Get it now whilst You still can. Btw it's FREE...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134603].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JabMonkey
    Well, I'm starting to really question the whole "bonus offer" affiliate strategy. When I have done it, conversions suck; but when I just let ride with no bonus offer, conversions rise.

    And I have to admit that I'm guilty of wondering about the quality of something when I receive an email from an affiliate offering a big bonus.

    I purchased 4 WSOs this week (2 plugins, 1 software, and a wp theme)

    Did I use affiliate links? Yes. Were any of those affiliates offering bonuses to use their link? No.

    How many affiliates offered me bonuses this week to use their link? I would say 15 roughly. Did I use their link? No. Did I buy the product they were promoting? No.

    Maybe it's not typical (I'm a strange one), but bonuses don't work for me as a promo tool either, so...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134611].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wAvision
    Is promoting Amazon products via an auto-responder allowed?

    Thought that I read somewhere it is not...?
    Signature
    They Say You Can't...Show Them How
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134670].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ownergolan
    Change you offers.

    getting more traffic isn't the cure for everything, and conversion is the key here.

    check what's working, then drive more traffic.

    Good luck.
    Signature
    "Aiyyo I'm gonna be on ti-dop, that's all my eyes can see..
    Ill put in work, and watch my status escalate"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134679].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author JeremiahSay
    Always offer great value to your readers/subscribers. Talking about building a list. I think it's not wise to sell them the way you did, even though it's 3 emails, 1 affiliate link..

    Pat from SPI said that the best way to offer great value to your subscribers is to have them come back to your site again.

    Pat himself is not a hardcore seller (or affiliate marketer is this case) but yet he's able to generate an average of $50,000 per month in residual income. All he do, is offer top notch content to his readers/subscribers.

    You can find out more about building a list in SPI here: Email List Strategies

    You're doing great, don't give up and hope this helps
    Jeremiah
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7134711].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author retsced
    Wait a minute.

    What did they sign up for? Are they learning guitar? Are they looking for guitars? Are they blah blah blah...

    If they're learning. Then you should be guiding them every step of the way with valuable content and recommendations for products that you KNOW will help them further. Just promoting products related to guitars is NOT enough to build a relationship. Where's the congruency. Wheres the step by step hand holding?

    If i sign up to your list and I'm just learning how to play guitar./ I will be looking for you to guide me. I'm more than capable of going online and buying stuff myself. I'm a big boy. I know how to use a credit card. What i want from you is a whole lot more than product promotions. If you're teaching me. If you're guiding me and I believe in you. Then I will buy products you recommend, but only if you know that they will take me to the next step on my journey - and ONLY if you have proven to me that you have MY best interests at heart.

    That's all I care about. Once again, I am capable of going online and buying stuff all by my lonesome self. You have gain my absolute trust before I decide to listen to you and buy what you recommend. You also have to guide me through the process of learning everything needed up to the point where the product is necessary for my continued growth.

    People are not buying from strangers anymore. You can't just build a list and make money. That's not how it's done. It used to be a novelty for people to buy stuff online, now it's all about the trust factor... nothing else really matters.
    Signature
    -----------------------------------
    SKINNYTACTICS
    Give Yourself 20 Minutes to Improve
    Your Business and Marketing IQ

    -----------------------------------
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135015].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ahmed Auf
    You should drive more traffic to grow your list that's the first thing.

    Then you should send them more optin forms to further segment your list and know what each specific group is interested in.

    This will help you do more targeting and you will better tailor your offers and autoresponder series.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135627].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    The first thing that you should do is to consistently build your list.

    2. You should find other products on Clickbank that you can earn more money from. Instead of having a $10 per sale or close to it, why not find offers that can make you $60-$100 per sale.

    3. You should find products that can also upsell their customers. Let's say that someone just bought what you are selling. You made $60 commission. Then the vendor offers more products on the back end and you are able to earn $50-$200 more per customer.

    This is something you should learn more about. Upsells makes you more money from the same customers that you brought in.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135679].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    Your 2 problems are: 1) List size is too small to make too many conclusions, and 2) You are promoting offers that are probably not that interesting. Try Amazon physical product recommendations. Those convert decently, usually better than ClickBank.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135693].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author O0o0O
    IMSince2003 is right. Your list is too small to make any conclusion at all. More testing is necessary. Try putting your affiliate links inside every email signature. Then that way it will get more exposure and not take away from the value of the information you're providing.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135862].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    1. Find out what it is they really want to buy.
    2. Create that product yourself and sell it to them.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135902].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author James Clark
      To the OP. With 300 three hundred subscribers you are working with a seed list. However, I must point out there is very training that is, to my knowledge on how to grow a seed list. But I would recommend that you learn how to warm-up your list.

      If you are sending them to a sales page they are cold. What I teach my clients is send them to a blog post and warm them up before you try to sell them something.

      Most importantly, if your marketing is done correctly, selling is not necessary! I know that is going to be hard for some people to accept. But I would look at the words. It says "internet marketing" not "internet selling".
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135976].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Troy_Phillips
    How tight was your targeting funnel? If the list members were extremely targeted 300 people should be converting a lot better.

    Are you sticking to the target or at least navigating correctly between targets?

    In other words if you are not being extremely relevant to your initial bait offer ..are you making sure the next offer has been warmed properly?

    Just how good is your follow up/sales copy?

    List numbers and relative offers go out the window if your message is not hitting emotional points and conveying your message in a way that gets the reader in the mood to buy.
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7135946].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author APRAffiliates
    Traffic for sure... Increasing your numbers... 300 is nice but you can't expect all of those people to be buying consistently... It's always a numbers game.
    Signature
    Real Estate Websites, Print Marketing, Email Marketing, Lead Generating Tools for Real Estate Agents

    Earn Up To $50 for new subscribers with Auto Pilot Realty's - Real Estate Affiliates Program
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7137374].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author samjaynz
    I would recommend giving more away to your list. Rather than trying to promote so frequently, give loads of quality content away for free. Once you've built up the level of trust, then you can start to promote to your heart's content.

    I've always found that by giving more than I sell, when it actually comes to promos my sales always increase.
    Signature
    Sick of over-hyped, dishonest product and course reviews? Check out Reviews Boss for detailed, ethical reviews of leading IM courses, SEO software, web marketing SaaS and more.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7137450].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author TimothyTorrents
    Increase your list and test different offers for a certain period of time until you find a offer that people want to buy and then expand on it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7138242].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author RobertoM
      Music niche is tough. My son is a musician and I know that things are not easy there.
      Getting more traffic is your issue #1.
      Outsmart your competence, having in mind the bunch of free offers out there is your issue #2.
      Don't give up. Keep on going!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[7138934].message }}

Trending Topics