Not All Leads Are Equal
Something you’ll hear any salesperson tell you is that not all leads are equal. This is especially true in email marketing where buying leads are 10-100 times more likely to convert, depending on the niche in which you’re working. This goes beyond email marketing and hits on just about every facet of your business, because when it comes to generating leads and converting sales, your focus should always be on people who are ready to make the leap.
That’s why we focus our keyword research on product and author names and buying keywords, because someone looking to make a purchase is often using those keywords to do a final round of research. In terms of lead generation, you’ll find it a lot easier to make a profit by sending out emails to people who are already on the edge of the precipice – a light push can land you a nice profit.
Finding “Buying Leads”
To find and take advantage of buying leads, you need to first know where to look. There are plenty of good places to seek out people who are primed for buying. First, there are those that have already made purchases. These individuals will often frequent forums of other products. A trick I’m especially fond of is buying hot products in a niche I’m marketing within and then posting on the forums for that product. I can then link back to a squeeze page to gather email addresses or to a free product that I’m giving away. Trying to sell directly from the forums is not often effective, but lead gathering is extremely effective because these are people who you know for a fact spend money and are in the niche already.
Another effective strategy is to go to a lot of live events – seminars, meetings, and group outings around the country. These events are packed with people who are eager to learn more about products that you might be selling. This is more effective in certain niches than others. For example, the making money online niche is ideal for lead gathering at events. Create something of relative value and hand out CDs or business cards with links to your squeeze page and you’ll be surprised how many people gladly hand over their contact information.
Most of what we’ve talked about so far has to do with direct affiliate marketing of information products on sites like Clickbank. But, one of the biggest markets right now for affiliate marketing – both in volume and in potential – is the CPA market. This is somewhere that people have been making millions upon millions of dollars just by soliciting specific actions on websites to prospective leads.
There are a few reasons why CPA, or Cost per Action, is so popular. First, you don’t need to worry about actually making sales, and as a result, you don’t need to worry about refunds. Companies are paying you to get leads to perform specific actions on their site. For example, getting someone to submit an email address is worth between $0.50 and $3 in many industries while getting someone to fill out a short registration form with contact details can be worth up to $50 in industries like insurance or car sales. Here are some of the common ways you can make money with CPA:
• Zip Code or Email Submission – $0.50-$3 per submission
• Short Registration – $2-$50 per submission – Simple information and basic action for leads.
• Risk Free Trial – $30-$50 – Get someone to commit to a low cost, shipping and handling only scenario and you’ll receive huge commissions for those conversions.
• Sales – Sell a large scale product or service and earn massive returns, well over $50 in some cases.
And while CPA is generally very similar to other affiliate marketing actions, it has a few rules that vary slightly due to the signup process, the expectations of the marketers in particular, and how it all breaks down when you send people along to the target sites.
Signing Up for CPA Networks
Signing Up for a CPA network can be tricky. It is not automatic as most networks have an approval process. Keep in mind when you sign up that you need to use an actual email address and a phone number that can be reached immediately. If they call for verification and you don’t answer the phone, you may get denied based on that alone. Also, tell them exactly what you’re marketing, how long you’ve been doing it, and provide a website if possible.
Once you’re signed up for a CPA network, you’ll have access to an affiliate manager who can answer questions, provide tools and help you through the process step by step. This is an invaluable tool that too many marketers overlook. If you are, for some reason, denied, talk to someone and find out why. Most of the time, it is a simple misunderstanding or missing piece of information that can be fixed quickly enough.
Finding Offers and Getting Paid
Because there are so many networks and so many offers out there, it’s important to know where to look and how much of a profit you can make when you research the different potential super affiliate making opportunities on the market.
To start with, know that a good EPC (earnings per click) rate is $1. This means that for every 100 clicks you receive, you’re making $100 in action conversions. If you can get up to $3 or more, you’re doing fantastic and will make a tremendous amount of money at what you’re doing.
Regarding the niches you select, you’ll want to stick in the ones that are everyone is familiar with. The CPA networks are pretty much devoted to things that have long, proven, evergreen histories. They sell all the time and are worth a lot of money. This includes diet, insurance, business opportunities, mobile, education, dating, finance, or dating among others.
A great tool for finding and researching offers is OfferVault.com. This site will provide a variety of tools that allow you to research and learn more about specific niches.
Just enter a keyword for the niche you’re interested in and the engine will produce a list of offers related to that search term. You can then sort the offers by the highest EPC and payout amounts. You’ll need to join whatever network that particular offer is a part of as well.
Another good resource for finding new offers to market is to talk to your affiliate managers. Often, if a new offer has come into a marketplace, the managers will be able to give you a heads up on it. They also have all the numbers regarding how well it’s doing and how many people are promoting it. Most managers will provide this data if you ask. Most CPA marketers just don’t think to ask.
Making Solid Income with CPA Marketing
Because CPA is not the same as affiliate marketing, it can be hard sometimes to ensure you’ll make as big of a profit by doing it. That said, the majority of the tactics you’ll use are the same. You’ll still want to setup websites using the right keywords and sound SEO tactics. You’ll still want to place links throughout the page, develop plenty of backlinks and have strong calls to action. However, you’ll want to consider a few other things that can help a CPA offer flourish.
• Mass Appeal Marketing – CPA offers are generally things that will appeal to a large number of people. Because you’re not dealing with the same urgency that affiliate marketers do – you don’t need to sell anything, just create an action – your goal is to find high scale, hot offers that have enough attractive points to convince people to fill out a form or order a free trial of something.
Avoid limited markets like cutting edge technology or seasonal products.
• Checking Ads – Another easy way to ensure you’re working with offers that will earn money is to check the top sites on the Internet to see if their advertising is working. Use Quantcast or Alexa to check the top sites and then sort them by which ones accept advertising. Check to see if the ads on those sites repeat, and if they do, you know that niche will make money. They wouldn’t repeat ads on expensive sites like that if they didn’t make money.
From there, go to Offer Vault and find the highest paying offers in that niche.
• Presell Page Tactics – Because you’re not selling something directly, but trying to solicit an action, your websites will have a bit of a different approach.
Rather than just selling something, they will presell something – an idea or thought that will lead your prospects to fill out an offer or provide an email address. To boost these conversions, you can use the same conversion tactics we discussed before, as well as things like coupon codes to reduce shipping costs on free trials, expiration dates to make the offer look like it is scarcer than it is, dual offers to double your income, and exit popups to get people back to the offer when they try to leave the page.
• Getting Traffic – Getting traffic for a CPA offer is almost always the big obstacle that marketers will face. You can always use the standard SEO tactics and forum tapping tactics, as well as PPC advertising that we discussed before, but you can also use banner advertising and a few select tools that will convert very well to see if you’ll make an impact on the market.
To start, find a site like BuySellAds.com that provides ad buying services for sites that don’t have time to manage these things on their own. Then go to the buying ads section and look for the top sites:
You can sort the sites by the number of impressions per month they get, and then check to see how much they all cost. The total cost of the ads will vary per site and slot, but try to find something nice and affordable – less than $300 for 6 million+ impressions is often a very good deal.
Don’t assume that the deal is great though. Check to see where the ad will be placed, then go to the site and see how the ads look. Additionally, go to Google Ad Planner and research the site to see that the numbers are accurate, the demographics are what you need on the site, and the age range is appropriate. Sites with large numbers of under-18 users are almost useless because they do not have access to credit cards like adults do.
If you choose to use graphic banner advertising, make sure to have a professional banner created to keep it looking high quality. You can get one of these for as little as $20 on Elance or other freelancing sites and it takes only a day or two. Easy as that, you get huge traffic for less than $300 and you won’t need to worry about things like SEO or PPC advertising.
CPA marketing is not entirely different from affiliate marketing, but many times you’ll find that those who specialize in it will use it alone and vice versa. I won’t recommend any one type of marketing over the other – there are marketers who have made massive fortunes on both sides of the fence. However, I will say that you should focus on one method and poor as much of your energy into it as possible. If you’re serious about making a profit with your affiliate marketing efforts, you need to know one niche and field inside and out. Don’t hop back and forth or you’ll never reach that level of knowledge you need to succeed.
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