Unseen and Untapped Lists Within Your Niche
How to get Clubs, Organisations and Brick-and-Mortar stores to sell your products.
There may be a rich vein of gold within your niche that you have never considered before.
- I aim to show you how to uncover “hidden lists” that contain thousands of people who match your ideal customer profile.
- I will share where the lists are hidden and how you can use partner relationships to have your product or service mailed to these lists.
- I will use this case study to outline the process you can use and evidence the effectiveness of this strategy.
Affiliates are really valuable to have on board. You get that. I get that. Nuff said.
All the “getting affiliate” advice is about sending emails and inviting others who serve a similar market to participate in the launch of a product or idea in return for a commission. This is all good and well if your target affiliate has ‘a list’ and gets the concept. But what happens if your target affiliate has never even heard of the word ‘opt in’?
You may have never considered “unseen affiliates” because when we think “affiliate,” we think fellow online marketer with a list. What about clubs, organisations, brick-and-mortar stores? They too have lists. Are we overlooking them in favour of the more traditional picture we are fed of what an affiliate should look like?
Below is my case study outlining how to target, engage and convert an unseen affiliate.
This is linked to my niche, when you read it try to think how this same strategy can be adapted to fit your business.
Brick-and-mortar magic dealers now have websites, but only out of necessity. Their websites run e-commerce platforms built by someone else and these platforms send them an order form when a purchase is made.
I found that when I e-mail magic stores, it takes 3 to 10 days before I get a reply—if I get a reply at all. That is as a customer, looking to buy some magic props, not someone trying to sell them something. These guys simply don’t look at their email too often—they are not online people.
I know these magic dealers have a customer database list from their e-commerce platform. However they use this mostly to send monthly newsletters enumerating what customers can buy from them. The newsletters are like an electronic brochure outlining specials and new arrivals. They’re great if you want to buy magic tricks but not so helpful if you are in between buying sprees.
Knowing their potential, I wanted to reach out to these dealers. So I did. But in testing the magic shop market for affiliate opportunities, I was met with a big fat NO—and that was if the dealers even bothered to get back to me at all.
I then came up with a novel solution that guides an “offline person” into being an online affiliate. The process took me 6 months to develop and it is converting like crazy.
To date, this outreach has yielded a 50% success rate. From 0 to 50%—that is significant growth, and the process I used to get this result may be valuable to others who face challenging markets.
The process is this:
- The Postcard
- The Video
- The Lead
- The Partner Pack
- The Phone Call
- The Skype Call
- The Pitch
4. Deliver beyond expectations
5. Create ongoing relationship
Below I describe each in detail.
A: The PostcardEngage the prospective affiliates on their home turf. Meet them in their comfortable offline world using an attention-getting, impossible-to-ignore piece of marketing that has a strong call to action. Make sure they feel you get their problem and hint at a solution within easy reach.
I did this using a postcard sent by snail mail.
The only job of this front is to get the receiver to turn it over. One simple step.
The only job of the back is to guide the receiver to the URL. One simple step.
The call to action is for the dealers to take a tiny step into your online world. You ask them to visit a URL that has their name in it and watch a 5-minute video you made especially for them.
Further down on the postcard back, you see “HINT,” and it mentions their business by name. Very important.
The postcards are printed and personalised and cost us around a dollar each.
B: The VideoOut of curiosity, the dealers visit the URL and BANG—they are now in your territory. They find themselves on a custom-made webpage with their name, and there they see a video that is also personalised for them.
Now you may be thinking, “But that’s just too much work.” Let me clarify that the video has a generic main body (I used it for all the videos I sent to my prospective affiliates), but its introduction and sign-off (top and tail) are customised for each dealer.
The video has only one job: get the prospect to click the Download Button (opt in) right below it. Take a look at one of the videos I made to see the effect and imagine how the prospect feels.
C: The LeadAt this stage, our prospect has now grown into a lead.
When the partner pack is downloaded, it triggers a message for me to contact the dealer. I do this as quickly as possible before their “online fear” returns. Their experience so far has been painless and everything has worked smoothly, so it’s time to lead the prospect into the “Educate” phase by making a meeting.
A: The Partner PackThe partner pack is actually the first piece of the “Educate” stage. My business partner, Julian Mather, and I used an infographic for this. It had simple messages written in headlines and loose blocks of text. The partner pack can be read in less than a minute and it has only one job: create interest.
Julian wrote the copy, created the headlines, and made the infographic. He has a good eye for design and the guy is a copywriting genius so the download is great-quality.
To see the infographic Julian did, just click on the link below.
B: The Phone CallBecause they’ve taken the action described in your partner pack (that is, reply with a date and time when they are free for a telephone meeting), your prospective affiliates are expecting your call. They know who you are, they know why you are calling, and they are intrigued by what you can do for them so they want to speak with you. The phone call has only one job, and that’s to get a meeting with your lead on Skype.
C: The Skype CallSkype is easy to download and install which gives “Mr./Ms. Offline” yet another online success.
In most of the meetings I’ve had, I found out that my Skype call with the prospect was actually the person’s first experience of Skype. That alone changes lives. One chap told me, “I have been meaning to try this for years. Now I can speak to my kids in Canada.”
The beauty of Skype is visibility—you can see them, they can see you, and you can share your screen. It makes communication so much easier. And of course, a face-to-face interaction inspires more trust in your prospective affiliate than a purely e-mail correspondence.
D: The PitchWithin 20 minutes of speaking with your lead, build commonality and present your idea. Keep in mind that the pitch has only one job: get a new affiliate.
Julian made 32 slides which walk the magic dealer through the process of profiting by selling our products to his/her customer base. In other words, being an affiliate.
Click on the image below to get the slide pack that Julian created.
We kept the language simple and used terms such as “your profit” as opposed to “your commission.” At the end of the presentation and the Q & A session, I asked if they would consider being our partner. We call this the invite.
The invite ends the pitch. In this step, I simply directed the prospects to our affiliate sign-up form via a follow-up email after the meeting.
I was pleasantly surprised by how warmly the invite was received.
At the time of writing this case study, the uptake rate is 50%. This, I feel, is a proof of the effectiveness of this approach.
4. Deliver Beyond Expectations
When an offline person sees online results for the first time, they are delighted.
The affiliates sent the e-mail out to their list and at the end of the month, I e-mailed them saying I have deposited money into their PayPal account.
This blows them away. They are used to generating invoices, posting them out, and waiting for 30 to 60 days before getting any payment. To have money just magically appear in their bank account makes a significant impact on them. I found them saying, “When can we do this again?”
5. Create Ongoing Relationship
The one thing to remember in this step is consistent communication. And it doesn’t have to be daily, just consistent. What I do is I e-mail our affiliates monthly updates and make suggestions on what products I think will best match their audience. The partners reward me by sending out my e-mails to their customers.
And there you have it, a 5-step process on how to turn an offline business into a profitable online affiliate. We’ve found that the key to success is this: gently take your prospective affiliates by the hand and show them step by step that it is safe to do business online. The process requires you to listen to these people. They have their worries, fears, and suspicions. Respect these emotions, allow them some time to test the waters, and you will find yourself a new income stream.