This is Part 3 of a 7 part series called:
JOINT VENTURE TRAFFIC:
“The Best Source of Totally Free Traffic that’s Already Qualified to Purchase Your Product”
This training is called:
“How to Use the Power of Joint Ventures to Maximize Your Traffic, Sales and Profits”
Starting out online with nothing more than a dream and $30,000 in credit card debt, Marc and Terry Goldman grew a fledgling software company into a seven-figure per year monster by harnessing the power of joint venture traffic. Today, in another Trafficology exclusive, Marc Goldman is going to share with us exactly how you too can use the power of joint venture marketing to catapult your business to new heights, no matter whether you sell underwear or information products.
Hello, I’m Marc Goldman, and my wife Terry and I first got involved in marketing back in 1994. We were dating at the time and knew we wanted to get married. We also decided we wanted a career in which we could work together, so we set out to find the right job.
Long before the Internet boom, we got involved with mail order direct marketing. The expenses involved in running ads, mailing letters and shipping products meant we were just breaking even. So by 1996 we were ready to try out online advertising methods. We ran an ad in the AOL classifieds and within an hour we had our first sale.
Right then and there, we knew this was what we wanted to do. We were going to master the power of online lead generation to sell our mail-order products using less expensive online advertising methods. Using what I now call “spray and pray marketing” (marginally effective traffic tactics such as search engine submissions, banner ads, and AOL classifieds) we created a steady stream of sales. But when we stepped into joint venturing, we finally hit on what really worked. With joint ventures, marketing costs us nothing until the day a sale is made. It’s an amazing system that gets excellent results, and Terry and I can’t imagine doing marketing any other way. Let’s take a look at how joint ventures function and what you can do to put the power of JV marketing to work for you.
Why Try JV Marketing?
In a head-to-head comparison with all of the other traffic generation tactics out there, joint ventures come out on top for two primary reasons:
1. No Cost Up Front
While advertising can get you leads and sales, you have to pay before you receive traffic that may or may not provide the sales and profits you want. In a traditional advertising scenario you start out negative, putting money into something not knowing if you will reap the rewards later. In other words, you are attempting to recoup costs.
With JVs, you only pay a percentage of the profit, after a sale is made. Therefore you’re essentially paying for performance. If a JV partner doesn’t sell anything, there is no money out of your pocket.
2. Easy to Replicate Success
In joint venture marketing, you only have to write your sales letters and emails once. You then ask your partners to tweak the message and give it their own unique voice. If you have a good product and a good original sales message, it is going to be very simple to achieve success time and time again with a variety of different prospects lists.
Each partner likely has a list of people you’ve never contacted, so you’ll have the opportunity to connect with new people who may become regular, loyal customers; customers who will in turn refer you to more high-quality prospects. It’s a win-win situation.
Furthermore, when a JV partner emails your message to their list, it adds a huge amount of creditability to your already solid product and sales message. Through these ventures you are receiving a powerful endorsement—much different than an advertisement in which it is obvious your purpose is to brag on yourself to get sales. Your partners are promoting you to their valued customers. The relationship they have with their subscribers means readers are able to jump over the psychological hurdle of mistrust present in typical advertising methods. Joint ventures provide a built-in trust factor that you just cannot get with any other form of marketing.
How to Approach JV Partnerships
One of the key considerations in joint venture marketing is to make certain you have tested the product and sales letter before you send your proposal to potential JV partners. Never let your JV partners be the guinea pigs!
This is the one time I think paid advertising is worth it—if you need to test your product and you do not have your own in-house list with which to work. Releasing an unproven sales letter to JV partners is one of the fastest ways to ruin your business.
Once you have thoroughly tested your product and sales letter and know it is ready to go, you can begin to draw up a list of people who have the type of customers you want. In order to identify potential partners, first determine exactly who is your target audience. Who’s the perfect prospect for the product? What problem are you solving for customers with your product? What need are you meeting? Who else has customers with these problems and needs?
When you have the answers to these questions, then and only then do you begin to approach the people who already have customers in your desired market.
Additionally, you’ll want to make certain that you are getting involved with JV partners who have a good relationship with their list members. It is important that your partner has an affinity with clients and that subscribers trust him or her. It isn’t helpful to have someone promoting you when they have a disgruntled customer base who doesn’t value the endorsement.
How to Identify the Right JV Partners
The best way to find the right joint venture partners for your product or service is to use the power of NEER– Naturally Existing Economic Relationship.
That is, identify people who you do business with on a regular basis. Perhaps they buy from you or you buy from them. The idea is that when it comes to people who have a NEER with you, money changes hands on a regular basis. These are the very best JV prospect.
Because you have an existing relationship with these individuals, they almost have an obligation to listen to you. Ask potential partners to look over your product to see its quality for themselves. Explain what your product is all about and how a JV partnership works. Explain that you will do all of the work for them. Make it easy for them to agree to the deal.
If you get a “no”, don’t drop the line. Instead ask if they know anyone else who would be a good match for your promotion. Always ask for the referral! Also, remember: One joint venture can snowball into other opportunities. If you have a successful product, people will beat down your door to promote it.
The 7 Steps to a Successful Joint Venture Partnership
Achieving success with JVs really is a matter of taking it one step at a time. Once you’ve mastered the process I’m about to reveal, you will be well on your way to increasing traffic and sales like never before:
Step 1: Create an excellent product and good copy:
Ask yourself, Would I buy this? Do research to find out what people want to buy and then produce it for them. It is also important to write really good copy that sells. I prefer longer copy, because I believe it has been proven to sell time and time again. Others prefer short copy. Just be sure it’s powerful and persuasive, and pushes the prospects’ hot-buttons. Get inside their minds to find out what is going to make them buy.
Step 2: Test the product and sales message:
Whether you use an in-house list or paid advertising in newsletters and ezines, make certain what you have is a winner before you approach JV partners.
Step 3: Create a list of people who have your target market (your Link Up Map):
First use the power of NEER to discover who you already have connections with that might also have access to your target customers. Then, for the people on your list who don’t have access to your market, tell them what you’re looking for and ask if they know someone who does.
Step 4: Write a solid JV proposal:
When it comes to approaching potential JV partners, it’s always a good idea to make yourself stand out in the crowd, especially when you are dealing with people who are approached regularly for joint ventures. Create a video proposal or send unique gifts or champagne with your written proposal. Think outside the box!
Step 5: Get your product in their hands and prove to them how great it is:
Build a relationship with potential partners. Talk to them on the phone. Meet in person if possible. Discuss your product with them, so that they can easily see as much value in it as you.
Step 6: Do all the work for them so that it is EASY for them to say yes:
Top JV partners are busy people. The more you do for them, the happier they are going to be and the more willing they will be to continue the partnership with you. Set them up in your affiliate system. Write custom email copy for them. The only thing they should have to do is hit-send. And also, add a little extra to help them sweeten the offer to their list. Set up special deals and bonuses for their subscribers. Do things to make your partner and their customers feel special and valued.
Step 7: Get a great conversion rate for the offer
Initially, a good rate is 1-3 percent. That means out of every 100 visitors to your site, 1-3 of them will buy. With this rate, you can know you are on the right track. But the goal is to constantly tweak and improveuntil you achieve a significantly higher conversion rate. You should not ask JV partners to promote your product until you’ve tweaked the offer enough to achieve conversions in the rage of 3-10%, before then your promotion is not ready for other people’s lists. Launching it to them risks exposing top marketers to an under-performing offer, permanently damaging all of the work you’ve done building these extremely lucrative JV relationships.
Marc’s Top 10 Tips for Getting Even More Traffic and Sales Using Joint Ventures JV Traffic Tip #1- If The JV Deal Worked Once, Why Wouldn’t You Try it Again in the Future?
I can never understand why people stick with a onetrick- pony mentality when it comes to products and promotions – either their own, or for an affiliate. If the deal worked once, why on earth wouldn’t you run it again with the same partner?
There have been times in the past when I’ve had really successful joint ventures with partners, when I’ve written them checks for like $5,000 or $10,000 – all for doing just a little bit of work. And actually, we do all the work for them!
Assuming you’ve got a product that really works, and it’s not just something new you’re trying out, you should go back to the same partners again and again. Chances are they’ve added more people to their list since the last time they promoted it.
Or, maybe you ran a special that was time-limited, for example 20% off for the next three days. Some of the people on the list may not have been able to take advantage of the deal during that time. They may come back to you asking if you could extend the time limit. But in order to maintain your credibility, you have to close the doors when you said you would. There are people who will benefit if you run the same deal in the future.
We’ve got to go back to the old direct marketing rule of seven, where it takes seven exposures to product before a person is ready to buy. So don’t be afraid to run and re-run promotions three or four times. Go back three weeks or three months after the first promotion to try again.
Also, for some of the people on the list, something was going on in their life that prevented them from buying during the last promotion. Maybe they were busy. Maybe they didn’t have time to respond. Maybe they were paying off their car or just bought another product and didn’t have room in their budget for your product at that time.
All of those are good points that you can bring to your partners in the future if they object to running the same offer. Just say, “Hey listen, because of all these things, I’m quite sure that we’ll do just as well this time.” And the fact is, if the deal did work great, I just can’t understand why somebody wouldn’t want to run it again. A lot of times that we’ve run a successful JV offer, we’ve gone back to the well with the same offer again and done just as well, if not better.
Some marketers ask whether this is something you can do indefinitely. How many times can you keep going back? Of course there is attrition; eventually the list will dry up an offer. Let’s say you go back two or three weeks or even two or three months later with the same offer. That would be great. How many times could you do it? Maybe three or four times before their list might get tired of it. But if you’re working with partners who are constantly adding new people to their lists, you could do it quite a bit.
And here’s a great tip: Once something works really well, many marketers have an autoresponder setup so, as people are added to the list, new subscribers start to receive mailings. Often times, when they find an offer that works really well, they’ll just add you into their autoresponder series. As a result, you will get a steady stream of ongoing sales for the rest of your life.
Yanik Silver and I went over this in JV University. He talked about how when something works, he just sets it up in his autoresponder series to make it automatic. Just sort of set it and forget it.
JV Traffic Tip #2 – If You Can’t Get a Deal, Absolutely Get a Referral
I talk about NEER all the time, but sometimes people say, “NEER sounds great, it sounds good to go to someone I’m buying from and doing business with already. But they may not have a list in my target market.”
I tell them all the time, “You have to ask for referrals.” Network marketing people understand this instinctively. I think that as direct marketers, we should take a lesson from them on this and learn to ask for referrals.
The best example I have of this is, once I had a customer who came to me because he had a great product on setting up trusts for really wealthy customers. The idea was that the trusts would protect their assets.
I said, “That sounds great, but to be quite honest with you, I don’t think this is going to do very well with my list. My list prefers to hear information about how to grow a business and about marketing. There might be some who would respond, but I just don’t think you’ll get the best results with this offer from my list. But, I’m in pretty good with the guys over at Agora Publishing, and I know for a fact that Agora’s got a number of lists with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people on them. And this would go gangbusters with them.”
See this wasn’t just setting up trusts. They work really closely with the people, looking at all the pieces of the puzzle. It was really specialized, customized, personalized service. So, I contacted Agora and made the referral, and it worked out so well for that client. I mean he gave me the most glowing testimonial from that!
To me, that is one of the best things I could have done for my customer. And a lot of people are going to feel the same way, it just may not be instinctive for them. So if you’re approaching somebody and you’re looking for a JV deal with them, and they say it’s not going to be a good match for their lists, the worst thing you could do would be to not ask them for a referral. The best thing would be to go ahead and ask them, “Do you have someone who would work out really well to do a JV with, or someone you could introduce me to?”
Harvey Mackay talks about six degrees of separation. We all know somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody. If I ever want to reach out to somebody, I’ll start by asking people in my own network to see if someone could make a referral. Chances are you can get access to pretty much anyone by thinking like that.
You may wonder about what, specifically, you should say when asking for a referral. And it really depends on how well you know the person. If you know the contact well, you could say, “Hey, listen. Could you refer me to X, Y and Z?”
For example, I have a copywriter I work closely with. He knows a top super affiliate really well, someone I’ve just never gotten the chance to be introduced to. And because he works for me, I just asked him to set up an introduction. Nothing overt, or something where he has to promote me. I just would like to get to know him, and build a relationship with him. I asked, “Can you introduce me?” Something as simple as that, depending on the relationship, can do it.
If it’s something more overt, it’s just a matter of picking up the phone and getting it started. Like with my client, I called the guys at Agora and said that this looks like a great match for them. I knew they did JVs all the time, and that it was a constant source of revenue feeding their bottom line. I told him I had reviewed the product myself, and that it wasn’t going to be a good fit for my list, but that it would be great for theirs. So if you’re after something like that, you could just follow that example or some variation of it.
Sometimes you might just be interested in getting the contact information. So here’s a look at the actual process for that. The absolute best way is to ask if we could just do a 3-way call. Because if you think about it, the person you’re being introduced to is their friend, their contact, not yours. So if you just say, “Hey here’s my number. Can you give it to them and have them give me a call?” that’s not so great. There’s a better way. Just ask if they would schedule a 3-way call. Once you’ve been introduced, you can take it from there. You can leverage off the fact that you both know the contact person providing the referral. You have something in common. To me, that’s the absolute best way to do it.
If you can’t get the 3-way call, then ask them to arrange a time on that person’s schedule, convenient for them, that they’d be available so you can get acquainted. Remember, you’re asking them for the JV deal. You don’t want to ask them to call you. Do everything on your dime. Be respectful of their time. Do everything you can to make it easy for them.
If you are asking your contact to make a referral on his own—without you on the line or in the room—you may have to provide some additional information, some JV education. It depends on how well the contact understands the basics of joint ventures.
For instance, when I reached out to Agora, I already knew that Agora loves joint ventures and always has. I knew that JVs bring in a large sum of money for them, and that they’re open to it. But you’ve got to know the people to talk to there. I mean you can’t just call up Agora and get a deal. I happen to know the person who basically ran Agora. I knew already that he understood joint ventures. So, when you’re asking someone to make a referral, you might need to do a little educating on the basic what, why and how of JV deals. And that can be difficult sometimes.
For example, if you go to someone who doesn’t really understand joint ventures and ask them to refer you to someone else, that could end up just creating a mess. A better way to do it is to see how well the referring person understands marketing and specifically joint ventures. The best thing is to try to arrange a 3-way call so you can get them all together, and explain joint ventures in a nutshell. Keep it brief but exciting for them. Then explain how the deal will benefit them.
Whether you are presenting the proposal yourself, or you are preparing your contact to make a referral, it is always important to use the old copywriter idea of WIIFM (“What’s In IT for ME”). It’s the same thing for joint ventures as it is in copywriting. Talk about how this benefits their list, about how you’re going to take care of their list as if they were gold. And remind them of the key benefits of being a JV partner. Do this well and you can be assured that, if someone is even the least bit interested, you’ll have a deal.
JV Traffic Tip #3 – Work Hard to Hone Your “JV Sixth Sense”
What I mean by this is, no mater where you are or what you’re doing, always keep an eye out for good Joint Venture opportunities. The more you think about JV deals, the more you’ll see new, innovative and lucrative opportunities. Do this faithfully and very soon you’ll find yourself almost instinctively thinking: “I smell possibilities, I see a JV Deal”.
You may remember the movie “The Sixth Sense” with Bruce Willis. The memorable phrase from that movie was “I see dead people.” When you hone your JV Sixth Sense, instead of ghosts, you’ll be seeing money making opportunities. “I see a JV deal!” Always be thinking to yourself, “Who would be a good match for this person?”
This doesn’t mean approaching everybody that you meet as if they were a piece of meat. It means spending the time to get to know the other person. Spend your time talking about them and their business. Get to know what would be helpful to them in their business. You’re constantly thinking about how you can benefit them. You ask them what they do, what is their market, do they have a market? What is their market interested in? As you’re doing that, your brain should be working, figuring out how you can best position your products and services to help them, what you can bring to the table to benefit them, and to benefit your own business.
On the other hand, if you are a JV deal maker, you should be thinking about who you know that this person could work well with, even if it’s not you. Consider how an individual could match up with someone else you know, or how you could provide a valuable referral. When I have customers who come to me asking for a deal, or I run into people who have an offer, my JV sixth sense kicks in and I am already thinking about who I know that could help them. I’m thinking this person would go great with that person, or that would be a great deal for this other person. Even though I’m not a professional JV dealer, I’ve trained other people on how to do this. I always try to advise marketers to think like this, when you meet people, learn all you can about their business.
JV brokers must possess this train of thought and have a sixth sense tuned into what a particular person brings to the table. That can result in a ton of traffic. It’s kind of esoteric, but be thinking all the time in the back of your head, “How can this person benefit me? How can I benefit them? How can the people that I represent benefit each other?” Then you always can be tuned into new and emerging traffic sources. That can be a lot to keep straight – all of these contacts, deals, opportunities, and matches. Some people rely on process mapping, and software, and all kinds of things. My wife is my best asset in this. Our brains are almost scarily in sync. As we’re talking with someone, we’re matching them up. She’s quite organized and detail oriented, which is the opposite of me. So she can keep track of all this.
I don’t encourage people to go too crazy. I might set up Post-It notes and go in once a month to add these into my Rolodex or into a document, but I don’t try to think too much about this. Instead, I try to act as fast as I can on these things. And that’s what I encourage others to do, rather than to let the idea slip by them.
When you spot a potential JV partnership, ask for contact information and try to set up a meeting right away. At times, you must be very persistent to get on the phone with someone. Don’t give up, because the result can be quite lucrative. Persistence is key. You don’t want to be a pest, but if you really want something, you’ve got to be persistent.
There was a time when I heard about a potential JV partner’s offer and I just kind of got this tingling in the back of my head. I was so sure that this would be a great JV opportunity. It took about a year to make the contact. I wasn’t a pest or anything, calling every day, but I was persistent. It turned out not to be good match after all, so it didn’t happen. But the lesson is that if you get that sense that an opportunity might work, you’ve got to follow through with it.
The key is to always follow up on your sixth sense. Furthermore, once you make the connection be sure to follow up effectively. Always fulfill the contact’s “WIIFM” (What’s In It for Me). It’s just like any other courtship or relationship. Try to do for someone else before you go looking for yourself. Fine-tune it so you can evaluate whether the other person is receptive. The only way you can do that is by talking to them.
JV Traffic Tip #4 – Do Not Rely Only On Cookies for Tracking
One of the biggest mistakes I see in JV marketing is people depending on cookies to track JV activities. If you get a bunch of affiliates signed up and just rely on cookies to track them, you will run into problems.
While in the past people could get away with this, today’s anti-virus software and different computer system blocking programs can prevent accurate tracking processes. If you use a cookies-only tracking system, blocked-cookies can mean that your JVs are not receiving the appropriate credit and rewards for their efforts. Unless you want to spend a significant amount of time contacting JV partners to find out who belongs to what sale, find another way besides cookies to track JV IDs. If you’ve got several JV partners sending sales all the time, you want to be sure you know exactly who they referred.
We learned in our own business that we had to develop a better tracking program. There were times we ended up on the phone for hours just to make sure our affiliates got credit for all of their referrals. That’s not exactly an automated process. So, going forward, we worked with our developers who added to our affiliate software program. So when a JV partner sends a referral, it puts an entry in a database identifying that a particular visitor was sent by a particular JV. This has worked well for our business.
There are actually different items you can track— email addresses, unique IP addresses—just avoid relying on cookies only. Since we have incorporated a different system we have had almost zero incidences of missed JV sales. This is important because you want to make sure your partners are rewarded for each and every referral. That’s how you encourage them and maintain their loyalty.
What could go wrong if you rely on cookies? You could spend days on the phone tracking down your affiliates sales. Some JVs have been burned in the past and actually have their list send them a receipt when they buy. And with those receipts, they’ll track the sales you’ve credited them with. Even if it’s unintentional, you could create a situation where they no longer trust you because you didn’t credit a sale. Worse case scenario is that you miss JV sales and in turn lose JV partners who are angry. And it can create mistrust among current and potential JV partners.
JV Traffic Tip #5 – Turn Your Customers into JV Partners
People tend to look at their customers via a one-way street. They don’t consider that they could be excellent JV partners with a little coaching.
This is faulty thinking that needs to be changed. In fact, several of my best JV partners have been customers who loved our products and then asked me if they could bring them to their own clients.
When I realized that these customer-turned-JVs were some of my most productive JVs, and that I really didn’t have to do much to make them happen, I decided to make an effort to reach out to them first.
I sent out a mailing to our customer base and made an offer for them to get involved in promoting one of our seminars. Many of those partners produced some of the greatest referrals you can imagine. Since they experienced our products and got great results from them, they were the perfect endorsement. I didn’t have to convince them that we would take care of their customers – because they already were our customers.
This goes back to the NEER principle. But what made this so successful?
Our customers already knew us. I didn’t have to convince them of our credibility. They knew what to expect and the kind of value we deliver. These kinds of contacts can speak about you with the highest, most genuine praise, which is what makes them the best JV partners. You don’t have to train them to say great things, because they are already saying them.
So when you’re looking for new JV partners don’t discount your existing customers. Word of mouth marketing has been and always will be the most effective type of marketing there is. When you combine the power of word-of-mouth with the power of JV marketing, I guarantee you will immediately see a huge impact on your success.
JV Traffic Tip #6 – Make The JV Deal Easy and Appealing to Customers
What should you say when you approach your customer base about joining your affiliate program?
There are a couple different ways we’ve done it in the past. For our own first product, which was an online marketing directory, or Rolodex, we made it so one of the bonuses was that only customers could become affiliates, sharing the 50% commissions we were going to give out. Nobody else could sign-up.
We had people asking, “Can I sign up?” And we actually turned them down. Our feeling was that we wanted people to love what they’re promoting, to be passionate about it. That’s one of the intangible things.
Someone’s going to drive traffic when they are passionate about what they’re promoting. We see this a lot, especially with new product launches. So many people are promoting it, sending out the same promotional emails. And for people who are on multiple lists, they’re receiving the same promotional offer, using the exact same wording. It really loses some of its credibility.
I’m on lots of people’s lists. And I see what’s going on in marketing. I know who’s promoting what; and I know who’s using their own copy, and who’s not. In my opinion, you just lose a little bit of credibility when you’re talking about something that you don’t use yourself. You can’t say. “here’s why I like this”. So that’s one way this works for us – having a customer-only JV programs.
Another way to encourage customers to promote your products is to simply write them an honest, heartfelt note saying something like: If you’ve gotten value from using our product, I’d like to give you the opportunity to introduce it to other people you know who would be interested in getting the same result.
You could go into all the benefits, trying to convince them, but you really don’t have to. They are already sold to begin with. It’s kind of the same when you see a real estate agent who swamped because they’ve gotten so many referrals. They delivered so well from the beginning there’s really no sales involved as they ask their customers to refer to them.
Presumably you have an excellent product that your customers absolutely love, your customer service is great, your delivery is great, any hiccups that came along, you’ve smoothed over, any problems that arose, you’ve already fixed. You’re not hiding behind your email. You answer your phone. When customers call they can reach you. That speaks more highly of you more than anything that you could say in an email.
Simply reach out to them. In fact the best way is to pick up the phone. Ask whether they have a list of customers, prospects, or contacts that might be interested in this. Explain that you pay a commission. Although I’ve even had people turn down commissions. They were so happy to endorse the product to their list because they gotten so much value out of it. That’s the kind of thing you’re looking for.
Tools to convert customers to JVs
We have a very powerful viral marketing tool called Viral One, which is built into our Member One membership site tool. It has the entire suite of tools, but the helpful Tell-a-Friend script allows customers to import their Facebook lists, MySpace contacts and email address books into the system. ViralOne is an effective way to leverage the power of referral marketing.
The reality is that, although people may want to endorse you, they may just be too lazy or busy to type in all of their contact lists. With this script, you can tie in referrals easily. They’re on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other business networking sites already. This just makes it easy for them to spread the word.
We actually created our membership software to contain a script that pops up a Tell-a-Friend screen after the customer has logged in a certain number of times. This screen allows them to invite their friends to become a member of our site. Presumably, they would invite friends because they continue to come back and use the site and must be happy with their membership. You could also offer free membership months in exchange for referring their friends—tying it to a referral ID. It’s a different way to reward them. It’s almost like getting paid if they’re getting free months in their membership just for referring others.
The main idea is to make it as appealing, easy, and rewarding as possible for your customers to get involved in a JV partnership with you.
JV Traffic Tip #7 – Avoid Focusing on Just One JV Partner at a Time
Many people identify the one big dog in their industry and put all of their time and energy into attracting that one JV prospect. Unfortunately, doing this can cause you to miss out on other powerful opportunities that may reap even more traffic and sales generation.
Working with several smaller, more easily attainable partners at one time can create a funnel of sales—a little money here and a little money there really adds up. What’s more, if you keep rewarding commissions to multiple JV partners, you will:
a. Produce more sales for you,
b. Produce more traffic for you, and
c. Produce all of that in a shorter amount of time.
Putting all of your focus on one or two “big dogs” might produce good results if your efforts are successful, but at what cost? It depends on how much time you are spending trying to win them over.
Meanwhile, you could have been building relationships with more people and creating a network of JV partners on which you can rely long-term.
One possibility is to hire a relationship builder or JV manager whose focus is to attract the big dogs. That way, you still have time to focus on building other relationships with smaller prospects. Ideally, when you are working with JV partners, both you and your relationship builder or manager will communicate with them.
Avoid cutting off personal communication with JVs, especially if you have a previous relationship with them. In fact, when we hired a relationship manager, I kept a list of my existing partners and continued to deal directly with them. He dealt with new partners, and it worked out better without offending anyone.
Think about it. If all of a sudden, after dealing directly with you, they no longer hear from you but instead receive form letters from your new relationship manager, these long-time partners are going to be offended, and they may just go away.
On the other hand, with some JVs, as long as you are involved in the process and personally introducing your relationship manager to them, you should be able to maintain good relationships. If you approach it with their best interests in mind, and let them know that the manager is there to serve them, to make sure they’ve got all the information and resources they need to be successful, it’s a lot better.
One way I’ve successfully introduced a relationship manager to existing JV partners is to position it as a benefit to them. I just explained that managing everything myself had become too disorganized and my professional relationship manager will be able to take care of them in a way that’s really going to serve them better, make everything run more smoothly and ensure they make even more money from promoting our products and services than ever before.
Once you get over the initial hurdles of utilizing a manager to work with JVs and it becomes a regular part of your traffic and marketing arsenal, consider hiring a full-time relationship manager to help you with this important aspect of JV communication. Having someone constantly bringing in a steady stream of new JV partners is one of the best investments any business can make.
JV Traffic Tip #8 – Use JVs for SEO
Let’s say you are good at creating content, such as blog posts, informational articles, search engine fodder, etc. If this is the case, you should definitely get out there to find people who need your services.
Many, many people are interested in breaking into SEO and cannot seem to get the traffic the need. They may think that the customers must come running in order to obtain the high search engine rankings and they are at a loss as to how to bring them in.
The reality is that if you can create the content and know how to utilize video optimization, Web 2.0, and SEO strategies, you can become a valuable asset to others, because you can bring the customers to them. You can get businesses listed near the top of the search engine results. You can take existing video content and get it listed in a number of services.
You can write fresh content or recreate existing content to obtain features in places such as YouTube, TubeMogul, WikiHow and other places that get search engine love from Google.
How can you ensure someone that it is worth it to use you as their content manager? Ask them to track all of the results from your work through an affiliate id. You do the work, upload the content, and then wait for the results. You agree upon an appropriate commission. In this way, you leverage your expertise to become a content, SEO-driven JV partner who is able to use the new technology that many people do not know how to incorporate into their businesses.
In most cases, people will gladly pay for you to do this for them. It’s a great way for you to benefit from joint venture marketing, even if you do not have your own product or customer list.
JV Traffic Tip #9 – Two Common Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs
1. Sending Out an Offer that Hasn’t Been Tested.
This is a recipe for a failed joint venture. It can significantly harm your credibility with partners and customers. Not to mention that sending out an untested product wastes both time and the opportunity. If your response drops off with your in-house list, you know it will tank with the people who do not know you. Make sure that your JV offer works consistently and well before you start recruiting JV partners.
2. Trying to Connect with Unfamiliar JV Partners
Avoid approaching JV prospects who do not know you and you have never done business with.
Instead, reach out to people with whom you have a relationship. People think if they don’t get a big JV with a big name—even if they don’t know him from Adam—then they are finished. That’s faulty thinking and a waste of energy.
Focus on perfecting your copy, your product and on building relationships. Often, it’s the JV prospects with the small lists who has the close relationships with their list members and, therefore, create higher conversion rates.
JV Traffic Tip #10 – Never Stop Learning about the JV Process
There are always new techniques to be learned about any marketing tactic and it is no different with joint ventures. Cultural changes, economic fluctuations and technology updates are great reasons to stay plugged into a JV community where you can keep up with the latest changes and learn from others.
My wife Terry and I created JV University to be a teaching medium that helps you achieve the most success possible in joint venture marketing. We took all of the information from our popular product JV Secrets Revealed as well as other critically acclaimed tools and put them all in one place at JV University.
There we share case studies, break down proposal letters, discuss NEER and how to find prospects, and explain how to build profitable JV partnerships.
Now we are even offering a free membership to JV University. By filling out a simple web form at JVUniversity.com you’ll get complete access to the best resource on how to create JV traffic, all the information needed to build a successful JV business for both beginners and advanced marketers.
Final Thoughts on Getting More Traffic and Sales using the Power of Joint Ventures
No matter what business you are in or what product you are selling, joint ventures will take your business to the next level. JVs have changed my business and my life. They are not just for people with a huge customer list or for people with lots of Internet marketing experience. Joint ventures are both a great way to break into the online business world and the perfect tool for igniting an existing online business, literally driving its traffic and sales through the roof.
The most important thing to remember is that you must have a high quality product you feel passionate about. You must have confidence in what you are doing and selling. You must know who your target market is and what your product can do for them. Once you know these things, nothing can stop your potential. The truly amazing thing is that none of this costs you money until you are reaping the rewards of increased traffic and sales.
This is Part 2 of a 7 part series called:
JOINT VENTURE TRAFFIC:
“The Best Source of Totally Free Traffic
That’s Already Qualified to Purchase Your Product”
A good friend of mine wanted to know what the real top secret tactic is that the best marketers use to build massive email lists and sell thousands of products quickly. The fact is, professional marketers will use ANY traffic tactic that is profitable. People who depend on the Internet for their livelihood quickly learn that the real secret to online success is taking consistent action and not relying on a single source for all new customers.
But, there IS one strategy that every great marketer has used to produce dramatic increases in sales and get the most value from customers they already have… that is creating Joint Ventures.
If you want to make a lot of money online quickly, this is what you do!
So what is Joint Venture Traffic?
The most basic form of a Joint Venture (JV) is nothing more than two people working together. We all have different strengths and weaknesses. By building strategic partnerships everyone can focus on what they do best, working as a team to create synergies and produce results simply not possible by any one person working alone.
The classic Internet Marketing JV is where one partner with a quality product and a proven sales process joins with another partner who has a source of traffic or a targeted email list.
The product owner gains instant access to customers (and sales) they otherwise would have spent years creating. The website or email list owner acquires a zero risk source of extra profits and the ability to maximize the value of traffic they already have with very little effort.
Why Joint Venture Traffic?
If structured properly a JV can be absolutely no cost, take little time to set up and produce a huge influx of sales in as little as one or two days. Additionally, if your partner has built a strong relationship with their list, a Joint Venture is the best source of pre- sold, pre-qualified web traffic.
Finally, unlike Search Engines & Pay-Per-Click, there is almost no limit to the amount of visitors you can drive to your site using JV’s. With a good product and a proven sales process, you can easily create more traffic just by setting up additional JV partnerships.
How to Create JV Traffic?
The process of creating a Joint Venture starts with understanding what you have (or can do) that will be valued by potential partners. If you have a large volume of traffic or a large email list, you can easily build a profitable business relationship with people who don’t. Once people discover you’re looking for partners, JV offers will literally beat down your door. Your job is to carefully evaluate potential partners to find the best match for your traffic or list. Don’t wait for the “perfect offer”, but also make sure you don’t promote something inappropriate or totally unrelated.
Your most valuable asset is the bond you’ve built with your customers. All JV’s should benefit your customers and yourself. If you’re looking to create traffic, the #1 thing you can bring to the table is a killer product with a proven sale process. If you have a compelling offer for a unique product with a sale process that will convert visitors into sales, people with traffic want to meet you.
Research shows up to 94% of sites are leaving money on the table. They have poor a conversion process, they don’t market to their email list enough (or at all), and they’re not utilizing basic marketing techniques such as an upsell offer or exit traffic promotions to generate the maximum visitor value.
For you, this means opportunity…9 of every 10 sites that already have traffic need help making money online. You can learn to build a sales process for your product that is proven to convert visitors in to buyers. Then partner with people in your niche that have the traffic you need and show them why working with you is in their best interest. In most cases, they’ll listen because it is a no-cost, zero-risk, win-win opportunity for everyone involved.
Now, if you have no traffic and no product there are still many ways to form combinations that will create a valuable, compelling JV offer. Many people take for granted what they have and what they can do. First, you must do an honest assessment of your strengths and weakness.
Things you should consider using to build JV’s are:
- Specialized knowledge or in-demand area of expertise
- Hard-earned experience working in the field
- Access or relationships with key players in your niche
- A well known brand you’ve built or been part of
- Access to technology or software that solves a problem.
Remember, an asset’s value is based on how hard it is to replace. If you have something unique that someone else can use to create profit (and you’ll make money by letting them use it) then you should consider combining your efforts and share the benefits of working together.
Where to find JV Partners?
The fact is, if you don’t have traffic, someone else does. Right now, people are looking online for the product or service you have. If they are not finding you, they are finding someone else. It’s your job to find out where all the visitors are going and put yourself in front of them.
One good way of doing this is searching for your keywords in the major search engines. Sites that rank in the top 20 are already getting the traffic you want. Visit these sites and find out how you can work with them to drive traffic to your site.
Another good source of JV leads are the sites already linking to your competitors. Use Google or Alexa to identify who’s linking to your competitors or other major sites in your niche. Use the Alexa Toolbar to find out which of these sites get the most amount of traffic.
Generally, sites in the Alexa top 100,000 are good JV candidates. But, don’t let that stop you from approaching smaller sites in your niche that are a perfect match for your offer. Often, smaller sites have a better relationship with their customers and are in the most need for someone to help tap the potential of that relationship.
Since setting up a JV is no-cost, no-risk and takes very little time to set up, focus on the volume of JVs not the size of each individual partnership. Rule of Thumb: ten JV’s with lists of 1,000 members each is equal to one JV with a 25,000 member list. The smaller lists will be much easier to approach, will have a better conversion ratio, and are better prospects for long-term business relationships.
Finally, there are plenty of websites and tools you can use to automate the process of finding JV partners. One good one that I’ve used (and has a free trial) is the Arelis Link Popularity Tool from Axandra.com. The link currently to download it is here. (but as you know stuff changes online – so just look around for this software or others. Also Chris Brisson has a killer new tool that is in Beta right now called JV Genie – be on the lookout for the launch. There are other good tools available, so look around)
Normally used to find reciprocal linking partners, Arelis can also be an effective JV research tool. Just enter a few keywords or the URL of a competitor and it will return an exhaustive list of sites related to your niche or linking to your competitors. It also automates the process of sending out JV Proposals via email & provides convenient contact tracking.
If you are serious about using JVs to create web traffic, I highly recommend using a program or tool described above to help you do it. Just like with building incoming links to your website, networking and building business partnerships should be something you spend at least a couple hours a week on – every single week!
Another thing you may consider is visiting sites like:
These online meeting places bring together people specifically looking to set up a JV. If you can’t find a match there, try searching Google for your keywords and the term “Joint Venture”. You may find a few JV sites for your niche.
Three final places you can find good JV partners are niche specific eZines, blogs & newsgroups. They constantly report insider info and by reading them you’ll find out the who’s-who in your industry. Also don’t forget about the people running these online communities. They naturally have targeted traffic & email lists.
How to Approach JV Partners
If you have a product and are looking to partner with someone who has a large email list, before you even think about contacting them you need a proven sales process. That means at a minimum you test your site and know your conversion rate and average visitor value.
If you don’t know your numbers don’t even think about approaching a professional marketer. If you don’t have enough traffic to determine your numbers just spend $50- $100 to drive highly targeted visitors to your site using Google Adwords. Not only will Adwords create sales, it will also quickly determine your conversion rate and average visitor value with easy to use tracking tools. It is well worth your time and money.
If you find your site has a low conversion rate, use the lessons in the Trafficology copywriting and conversion training (or another reputable expert) to make improvements and create a site that will turn visitors into customers. The absolute last thing you want is to have a major Internet marketer agree to drive traffic to your site only to discover the site is inept at selling your product a service. Not only will the whole experience have been a big waste of time, more importantly they’ll never work with you again.
Once you have a proven sales process you also need to create a set of promotional tools. At a minimum you need to prepare an endorsement email, classified ad, and an article that publishers in your niche feel is informative enough to publish but also encourages people to visit your site.
Other tools you may consider preparing are exit pop-ups, upsell promos, audio/video clips, flash presentations, digital product samples, flyer inserts, blogs, graphics, twitter posts, facebooks posts, and anything else that will help partners promote your product or service.
Now that you have a proven sales process, a suite of promotional tools and a list of sites in your niche that have traffic or an email list, you need to start contacting people. This may seem intimidating at first, but there are a few things you can do to make the process quite easy.
First, know what you want to say. Think about your offer and write out what they will gain by working with you. Practice several times and prepare answers for likely questions.
Second, start out by contacting smaller sites. They are less daunting and will be good practice for when you are ready to contact your industry’s heavy hitters.
Third, if you are contacting someone with a newsletter or an email list, then sign up for it and become familiar with the topics they discuss, their preference regarding niche specific issues and common topics that you can bring up during your discussion.
Fourth, get a reference or an introduction. If you have a friend who knows someone you want to contact, have them mention you. Alternatively, when you make the first contact state specifically who recommended you to speak with them. You’ll find people are more likely to open up if someone they know and respect referred you.
Finally, lead with their interests in mind. Explain how you can be of service. Provide specific, believable numbers. And most importantly keep it short, but include enough details for them to say yes.
Email, Phone or Fed-Ex
Most JV proposals will be sent via email. That is fine as long as you can find something to distinguish yourself. Be sure to include your conversion rate, average visitor value and specific information about their site. You must assure the reader it’s a personal email from you and not a form letter you’ve sent to everyone.
TIP: an insiders trick is to put “(personal)” in the subject line like this:
Subject: (personal) from Jimmy Davis
For major players my preference is to pick up the phone and give them a call. It only takes 5-10 minutes to set up everything up. Plus, you are more likely to get a yes if you’re mano a mano.
Conversely, some people consider the telephone to be a distraction and recommend sending a JV proposal to key players via postal mail. The theory being a physical package will immediately be opened. This can be enhanced by the higher perceived value of sending your offer via FedEx.
Actually, the most successful JV approach is a combination of all of these methods used together. The best kept secret of success is persistence. Do not ever forget this. First you send your offer via email, if don’t get a response pick up the phone and make a call. If you can’t get thru on the phone and never get a call back, try sending a letter. I’m not saying you should be badgering, but you should not give up either. Keep track of your attempts to make contact and keep trying until you get thru.
And ….be creative!
One time a guy sent me a real coconut in the mail with a note that said “I’ve been going NUTS trying to get in touch with you!”
I called him back and we wound up doing a JV together.
Did I mention to get creative with your contacts?
PS: There is a totally different and new way that I’ve been using to quickly get lists and incoming traffic. It’s a little advanced, but really works well for me. You can learn more about it here at “List Riches”
This is Part 1 of a 7 part series called:
JOINT VENTURE TRAFFIC:
“The Best Source of Totally Free Traffic that’s Already Qualified to Purchase Your Product”
How can one red paperclip get you all the web traffic you can handle to your website?
To understand, first you’ll need to watch the video below to hear the story of the red paperclip. Then proceed to the 2nd video below in this post to learn how to apply this concept to a true powerhouse of a web traffic to get tons of pre-qualified web traffic flooding your website:
STEP #1: WATCH THIS VIDEO
STEP # 2: WATCH THIS VIDEO:
Joint Venture Traffic Explained “Red Paperclip-Style”
This is one traffic method we constantly see people getting wrong. But when you use this powerhouse of a traffic-getting method properly.. then you locate where your ideal customers are already congregating in huge swarms and then just basically stand in front of all that traffic - but you must start with the red paperclip you have in hand first, and then trade your way up the ladder of JV’s. In the video below, we’ll show you the 6 key ways you can leverage this tactic and turn it into life-changing traffic for you and your offer.