Tested and proven
Interview with Corey
The best part is that if you are using the right tools you can completely automate the entire process. You can be running a multi-million dollar company with only a few staff in the office. We have over 60,000 affiliates promoting our products on the Internet and it literally only takes us a couple of hours every month to manage our program using our AssocTRAC software. At the end of the month we hit a couple of keys, it prints out the commission checks, and we mail them to the affiliates.
There are no overhead costs, no employees, and no hassles. You only pay your affiliates when they bring you business, and the software does all the work for you. And the whole thing only costs about $45 a month to run! This would be absolutely impossible offline, but the speed and scope of the Internet allows us to do it at almost no cost.
When we built the second generation of AssocTRAC software, we compiled over 5 years of first-hand experience so that our customers could apply this powerful strategy to their business without having to spend the hundreds of thousands of dollars and months of time it took us to develop it.
I could talk about affiliate programs all day as it is a huge topic but since we only have a limited amount of time, I'm going to recommend that if you are interested in learning more about how affiliate programs work and how you can start one of your own, visit our AssocTRAC web site. There you will find over 50 pages of killer strategies and ideas that will help you get your own affiliate program started right away.
Could you tell us a little about the second strategy you mentioned: opt-in e-mail marketing?
The second marketing strategy that every e-business definitely needs to employ if they want to be successful is opt-in e-mail marketing. And to get started building an opt-in e-mail list you NEED to be collecting e-mail addresses at your site. I can't stress this one enough. If you aren't doing this, you need to start right now!
Here's how it works: You need to offer every single visitor to your site a reason to leave you their e-mail address. It can be for a free newsletter, a free report, a demo version of your software, a contest... Any reason you can think of to get people to leave you their e-mail address.
If someone visits your web site and actually takes the time to subscribe to your newsletter by giving you their name and e-mail address, this obviously means that they are interested in what you have to offer. Congratulations! You have just captured an incredibly hot sales lead!
By simply following up with these people and e-mailing them quality information and facts, you will instantly build your credibility by developing the rapport that is needed to close sales.
The bottom line is this: Most people are simply not comfortable shelling out money the first time they visit your web site. Unfortunately, the Internet is a big place, so the chances of them finding you again once they leave your site are pretty slim. By capturing their name and e-mail address, you can guarantee that they will not forget about you.
What are some things that people should keep in mind when sending e-mail promotions?
First and foremost: The names and e-mail addresses you collect on your web site should be treated like gold and never abused. If you constantly e-mail these people with blatant advertisements and plugs for your products and never actually send them any valuable information, you will ruin any chance you have to sell to them in the future.
Also, opt-in e-mail is impossible to manage unless you have the right tools and information. In my "Insider Secrets" course I have almost 100 pages of cutting-edge information on this topic alone that will show you how to build an extremely responsive opt-in list very quickly and then show you how to follow up and sell to these targeted customers again and again and again.
We use a powerful e-mail automation tool called Mailloop that automates all of our e-mail promotions. I personally started using this software over 5 years ago and it quickly became such an indispensable part of my business that I actually bought the rights to it from the developer so that my customers could benefit from all of its powerful features.
This software is so cool… It is like having your own personal e-mail secretary -- but it does not take any breaks, does not talk back, does not ask for vacation, and did I mention that it works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
It handles almost all of your e-mail: It subscribes and unsubscribes people automatically from your opt-in lists, it merges your orders into your customer database, it automatically sends out your promotions, it automatically responds to your customers' commonly asked questions, and much more.
It just leaves you with the e-mail that you need to handle personally -- it takes care of the rest. We use it every day to automate our business and stay in contact with our clients; it is solely responsible for generating over $100,000 a month in new business for us. You can check it out at www.marketingtips.com/mailloop.
Rapid growth and expansion can be a “good” problem for businesses. How can you handle your company's growth?
You automate. That is the beauty of the Internet. It is the first environment where you can truly automate your entire business. You can even run it from anywhere in the world -- as long as you have a laptop and a phone line, you are in business.
I'll never forget the day I was on a beach in Hawaii, drinking a Corona, when I decided to log on to the 'Net for a few minutes and check my sales. I discovered that I had made over $37,000 that day! This could only happen in today's online age!
When you are first starting out, keep it simple so that you can get up and running fast, but also realize that you'll need to automate soon after you start. We use software to automate most of the daily tasks like processing orders, managing e-mail, and such. Not only is the cost savings huge (one piece of software can literally replace at least 1-2 employees!), but the real benefit is that you don’t get caught up working IN your business instead of ON your business.
If you don’t automate soon, you will find that the mundane work will become overwhelming and you will be filling orders and reading e-mail all day long instead of growing your business. Be careful, because this is a real trap for so many people.
We teach a ton of ways to easily automate your business without a lot of work. We've tried a lot of things, and we show you what works and what doesn't -- and where to spend your time and money for the biggest growth and the biggest profits.
Unfortunately, we don’t really have time to go into this today during this short interview. But remember that you need to automate so that your business can run automatically whether you are there or not. It sounds complicated -- and it was 3 years ago -- but now there are inexpensive software programs and simple techniques that allow anyone to do it easily. I go through a lot of this in the course as it is a fundamental key to success. You need to automate before you can really grow.
Just as an example, my CarSecrets.com site practically runs itself. It automatically takes and fulfils orders, deposits the money in my bank account, takes care of most of the e-mail by autoresponding to customers, automatically promotes its affiliate program, and so on.
It generates hundreds of thousands of dollars in yearly revenue, yet I have an employee who spends less than 10 minutes a day running it. I have not looked at the site myself in over 2 years and it still generates a ton of money. That is the kind of business you want.
How do you stay up-to-date on an industry that is constantly changing?
We have a team of people who are cranked up on coffee at their desks, testing new ideas every day; we have to be ahead of the curve. We have to update our information and products constantly because the Internet changes so quickly.
The key to really exploiting marketing techniques is that you have to be using them before they become popular, because once people know about them, your audience becomes saturated, and they are not as effective anymore.
Pop-ups are a perfect example. We were using pop-ups way back before anyone else -- they were EXTREMELY profitable back then. As soon as people found out how great they worked, everyone started using them. Of course, as soon as every site had them, their effectiveness fell off quickly. I should say that pop-ups are still a great tool, but they are 50% less effective than they used to be.
Our job is to find the hot marketing techniques before everyone else picks up on them -- and let our customers know so they can use them and profit.
So, where do you see the Internet taking us in the future? How much additional business will be conducted on the 'Net and how important will the Internet be to the business ventures that our kids will be involved with?
Here's a fact: The Internet is becoming part of our lives more and more each day. Just about everyone uses e-mail now. If you want to know the weather, you check the 'Net. You check the 'Net for movie listings in your city, you use it to pay bills, you can use it to educate yourself on just about any subject.
Today there are university classes being held online for people around the world that cannot get to a classroom. There are pay-per-view movies that can be delivered to your computer in DVD quality anytime you want through a broadband connection. I mean, it might not be too long before we all say goodbye to the video store!
Nowadays, your sales force can access order and inventory data from their wireless handheld computers while at a customer’s location. Your fridge can automatically order your milk from the local grocery store for delivery when you are low. (I've actually seen this -- it weighs the area where the milk goes in your fridge and determines when to order more.)
The dot-com days are over, but the Internet has just begun! It will become more powerful and more useful as time goes on. It offers an entirely new level of communication and convenience, which gives home businesses the ability to compete with large corporations, not to mention the ability to run a business from anywhere in the world with next to no overhead or risk.
I personally know janitors and waiters that are making $100,000 a year now with their Internet businesses working only a few hours a day! If they can do it, you can too -- no excuses!
Any last words?
The only thing stopping you from making more money is YOU! You may read this interview and say, “Wow, that sounds great!” But unless you actually do something and take action -- at least get your feet wet -- you will stay at the income level you are at today. Do you think my first site looked great and worked perfectly? Of course not!
If you're thinking about starting a small business, just do it! Get your feet wet, make some mistakes -- once you've started, you'll never look back! And you don’t have to be a computer geek to figure it all out, you just need common sense and the determination to get it done.
And take the time to educate yourself. Heck, if nothing else, sign up for a copy of our free newsletter at our site. Of course we save the best stuff for our course, but we still reveal tons of killer tips in the free newsletter. We distribute it every two weeks or so. Just go to www.marketingtips.com and enter your first name and e-mail to receive it.