Affiliate marketers.. Listbuilding is not for all?

15 replies
OK,

I try to go straight to the point. I have been lately talking to superaffiliates across different niches that usually promote products/services that pay $100+ per lead, sometimes much more.

The thing is... Vast majority of them don't even build a list, yet they make $30k - $50k per month. Some of them even more and it's stable.

It's seems like WF is somewhat biased towards listbuilding and most folks say that this is a "MUST". However, I don't agree any many others do not as well - different business models/different approaches.

When I asked from superaffiliates why they don't build a list then most of them said that they just don't have time to write reports, free giveaways, manage email campaigns etc. They basically told me that they better spend that time on scaling up their traffic & sites + split-testing/tracking.

They also told that listbuilding is mostly for getting small sales here and there and creating value&relationships towards your visitor/buyer. In short, it's for bloggers who have huge audience, but not for affiliate marketers who mostly operate through PPC/Media buys. They are basically hunting for decent ROI and that's it. When it works, they scale, when it doesn't they take a step back... and no listbuilding is involved at all.

They are very passive, no time for relationships, no time for repeat sales - just the ROI & scaling.

What are your thoughts?
#affiliate #listbuilding #marketers
  • Profile picture of the author Jassen
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    • Profile picture of the author dropout
      Originally Posted by Jassen View Post

      The problem with that approach (from the perspective of many of us) is that it's not really a business. They're not *building* anything. It's a never ending series of projects. If they don't do the project, they don't make money.
      To an extent I agree with this paragraph, but how about this: if I make a PPC campaign that I have to spend 3 hours maintenance/month on and it generates say $5000 in profits from lead generation every month for a year and then falls off - would you not be interested in such a business at all? What if I can make 5 of these campaigns by working for 80 hours and then spend 10 hours a month to maintain them?

      When we are talking PPC we should never underestimate how much traffic is out there and how you can scale your campaigns.

      I can't help but feel that sometimes when people talk about list building on this forum, they do not clearly see their own prejudices.

      It is true that there are many people out there who love to get newsletters that feel like there is a passionate person behind them, who love the persona and who want to be fans of you.

      However, is it not equally true that there are just as many who don't like this at all, who think that business should just be an impersonal area of life, and who are quite happy to do a search on Google, click an ad that seems to fit their need, buy the product/service and get on with their lives?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by dropout View Post

        To an extent I agree with this paragraph, but how about this: if I make a PPC campaign that I have to spend 3 hours maintenance/month on and it generates say $5000 in profits from lead generation every month for a year and then falls off - would you not be interested in such a business at all? What if I can make 5 of these campaigns by working for 80 hours and then spend 10 hours a month to maintain them?
        I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that the vast majority of the people who will read this don't have the skills to do this, nor the budget and patience to learn. For those forced (or choosing) to substitute sweat for a bankroll, list building is often the most effective method of sustaining a business.

        Originally Posted by dropout View Post

        When we are talking PPC we should never underestimate how much traffic is out there and how you can scale your campaigns.
        I don't think anyone underestimates the just how much traffic PPC or media buys can generate. If you have the skills and the budget (either through bankroll or reinvestment of profits), the sky is the limit. And, unlike most free methods, you can pretty much turn it on and off as needed.

        Originally Posted by dropout View Post

        I can't help but feel that sometimes when people talk about list building on this forum, they do not clearly see their own prejudices.
        I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm quite aware of my own prejudices on this matter.

        Originally Posted by dropout View Post

        It is true that there are many people out there who love to get newsletters that feel like there is a passionate person behind them, who love the persona and who want to be fans of you.

        However, is it not equally true that there are just as many who don't like this at all, who think that business should just be an impersonal area of life, and who are quite happy to do a search on Google, click an ad that seems to fit their need, buy the product/service and get on with their lives?
        I imagine that there are indeed both sorts of people in the world. That's why both models can work.
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  • Profile picture of the author xohaibx
    I agree that list building doesn't work in all niches and for all products/offers. But then again, I think it's also about the mindset. If an affiliate marketer understands the "lifetime" value of a customer, he would definitely focus on building a list because a list is afterall an asset.

    As an affiliate marketer, when you're not building a list, you are leaving a lot of money on the table. It's just harder to gain a new customer each time when compared to selling to your previous customers. Your ROI is much, much higher when you have a huge list of prospects/customers who trust you and your advice.

    I feel the only reason why many affiliates choose *not* to build a list is because they don't like the waiting part. But in my opinion, when you are focused on building your list, you are in fact building a real business. Even if Google disappears and PPC dies, you will still have your *own* list that you can promote to over and over again.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Taylor
    Different strokes for different fols. It largely depends on your
    business model.

    The type of affiliate marketing you describe is usually based on...

    1. Find a product with a good profit potential
    2. Run a paid traffic campaign with targeting
    3. Quit while you're ahead and return to #1

    I'm sure some folks are happy with that model and I can see its
    attraction.

    However, that's not for me... it has no long term potential. You
    have to keep doing the same thing over and over to sustain a
    reasonable level of income. And, you can't specialise... you just
    keep looking for new products to promote... it doesn't matter
    what niche those products are in.

    I'm building a retirement income... something that has long term
    potential. So, I focus my affiliate efforts on one market and I'm
    building a responsive list. Every new subscriber adds incrementally
    to my long term income, because I get to promote multiple products
    to my list. When I step back I have options... I can hire a manager,
    I can form a JV as a silent partner or I can sell what has grown into
    a very valuable asset and buy an annuity.

    The choice of affiliate marketing model depends on your long term
    aims. Or not, as the case may be.

    John
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    John's Internet Marketing News, Views & Reviews: John Taylor Online
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  • Profile picture of the author online only
    Great replies so far. Makes much more sense now.
    Thanks for your input.
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  • Profile picture of the author vedremo
    Banned
    Think Mustafa's nailed it. I can understand why those affiliates wouldn't see the necessity to build a list, but I think list building is a worthwhile pursuit. It's a safety mechanism, another asset to an online business, another (usually passive) income stream, usually fairly easy to set up and maintain. If suddenly lost affiliate accounts/sites for some reason, what's to fall back on? Especially if they're working for themselves and relying on the income.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Most of the list building love around here comes from the fact that the "make money online" info product niche still revolves around email newsletters. Just take a look around this forum. Tons of people have income opportunities offered in their sig.

    List building still has its place, but not as a primary sales vehicle. It's for supplemental income or just as a way to keep in touch with site visitors.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

    Most of the list building love around here comes from the fact that the "make money online" info product niche still revolves around email newsletters.
    Respectfully, I don't agree with this observation at all. (I know the second part of it's true but I don't think that's what the list-building love comes from, at all, and I think that's shown by the fact that some of the forum's most enthusiastic list-builders aren't in those niches at all. I think, if anything, that - for a variety of reasons - "newsletters" actually have less value in IM-related and MMO-related niches than in about 298 other niches.)

    Originally Posted by online only View Post

    What are your thoughts?
    Mine are the thoughts of an affiliate marketer (only - I don't do anything else) promoting products which earn me commissions ranging from tiny (low-cost Amazon products promoted only to ensure, by increasing my monthly number of sales, that I get the highest percentage Amazon commissions on the other, more expensive stuff I promote), up to about the $300/$400 range ... with a very high proportion of my income coming from commissions in the $50 - $100 range.

    I look at it like this: in order to make a living from affiliate commissions, I need to do three main things:-

    (i) Keep potential customers returning to the sales pages (because so very few people buy anything significant at their first visit to a sales page);

    (ii) Earn repeated commissions from continued sales (typically at increasing prices) to the same people, who have bought on the strength of my recommendation, been pleased, and will do so again (because that's where most of the money is, in affiliate marketing);

    (iii) Build relationships with prospective customers so that they'll value and trust my recommendations enough to be able to buy anything in the first place (because the most important "decision-making factor" resulting in the purchase is usually "the trust the customer has in the recommendation").

    I'm a full-time affiliate marketer, so I need to do all three of these things to build my business: on a very fundamental level, they're "what my business is about" because they're what my short, medium and long-term income all depend on - and I can't do any of them effectively without list-building.

    My more detailed reasoning is in these four recent threads ...

    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...ml#post7110523
    Is it a good idea to spend some time on building a mailing list ?
    Without Building a List, How Consistent is Your Income from Affiliate Marketing
    Does anyone even make money online without an email list?

    I also agree unreservedly with Mustafa's point above - my lists are my business's primary asset: without them, I'd feel it isn't so much a "business" as a "job I've created for myself".
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  • Profile picture of the author LimitlessTraffic
    Love this thread.

    I've been focusing on PPC and direct linking them straight to the offer.

    (I know it's not what the book says)

    My EPC is greater than my CPC so I guess I could say it is a winning campaign BUT I don't have a list at all.

    I've generated thousands of clicks and I always wonder how many subscribers would I have had if I had a squeeze page. Also, how would that squeeze page affect the number of sales.

    My thought on this is if you are making money as an affiliate without list building. Keep it like that
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  • Profile picture of the author iNeverBehave
    If you don't list build you're losing the potential sales you can get from every customer. They might buy 1 thing from you then move on... but if you're sending emails and building rapport they stick with you, trust you and are willing to buy your products multiple times
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  • Profile picture of the author sidneyng
    LOL. Good discussion.
    I think some in the forum make renting out their lists here.
    Ultimately its not just building a list but engaging with your list that really makes it work.
    I think we have all subscribed and unsubscribed to numerous email lists
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      I'm also in the list-builder camp. Most of what I would have said here has already been said, so I'll just add this...

      I think much of the disdain for newsletters in the IM/MMO space is because so many who claim to offer them have no clue what a real newsletter is.

      It's not an endless flood of affiliate offers copied and pasted from the vendor's affiliate page.

      It's not a barrage of hard sell sales copy and then nothing.

      It's not a seven-day ecourse followed by the flood or barrage, as above.

      It's a News Letter, with interesting articles, links to something besides a sales page, ads and promos that are clearly ads and promos which are well targeted to the audience, and evidence that the publisher of said newsletter has both a pulse and a personality.

      Outside the IM/MMO space, newsletters still work - IF you do them right.

      If you're careful about what content you select, you can even run them via an autoresponder sequence, simply adding each new addition to the end of the sequence.
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      • Profile picture of the author BritishMike
        If you're generating leads via PPC and selling them, you're selling the email address too so usually you wouldn't be list-building. You can still make money without a list
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg Ray
    There are a number of good points in response here, particularly from Lexy and Mustafa.

    It truly is the distinction between long-term value and short-term wins... while both can be effective, only list/relationship building yields results over and over again - without completely "starting over" again.
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    Kindest regards,

    Greg Ray

    gregrayonline.com
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  • Profile picture of the author dropout
    Thanks for the replies JohnMcCabe & Jassen, gave me some food for thought.

    At the end of the day I guess that most people on here started with list building, it's the business they know and one should definitely stick to what one knows in business instead of reaching for new territory all the time.
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    I mentor in CPA marketing, especially lead generation. PM me for info.

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