What Works In Internet Marketing Works Even Better In Other Markets

Published by 31 Comments

I just won a 40in Sony LCD TV in an affiliate competition, and that wasn’t even first place. In another competition this month I won a Rolex watch. During this year I won a Apple iTouch and some other prizes.

In July when I reopened Blog Mastermind, I ran an affiliate competition for my partners, giving away top 10 prizes, including a Mac Air as a first place prize.

These competitions are common place for Internet marketing launches. The people who sell products related to how to make money online know how effective a prize competition is for motivating affiliates to promote. Strangely enough, it’s not the prizes the affiliates really want since they could easily buy the items – it’s the glory and beating their peers that matters most.

Regardless of the motivation, affiliate prize competitions work and help you make more sales, so why is it that marketers in other niches don’t make use of this technique?

Prize competitions could be considered a standard in Internet marketing launches so it’s not going to surprise anyone, but if you were to run a competition in a non-IM market, you are going to be doing something new, something different – and I’m pretty confident it’s going to work REALLY well at motivating your affiliates too.

New is Powerful

What creates buzz in any market is something new. “New” is powerful, and while the bar is rising very high in the Internet marketing niche for what can be considered innovative, it’s still relatively easy to be seen as an innovator in online marketing if you just take what the Internet marketing crowd are doing as a standard and apply it to your non-IM market.

This is why concepts such as the product launch formula work so well. Outside of the film and television industries and a few innovative companies like Apple, most companies market their products with stock standard – and let’s face it – boring styles of marketing like dry television, radio and newspaper campaigns.

While affiliate competitions and product launch formula style buzz campaigns won’t work for every type of product, chances are what you are selling online could benefit from a few innovative techniques that no one is doing in your industry.

Let me ask you this – if you are currently selling in a non-make money online market right now, has anyone ever done an affiliate competition to motivate launch partners when a new product is released? Even the concept of affiliate marketing is not applied to a majority or products sold online.

This to me spells opportunity. All it takes is for you to put in a little extra effort and you could be seen as an innovator in your market – and best of all, a winner when it comes to your profits too.

Yaro Starak
Copy-and-Paste Marketer

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31 Comments

  • Wow, hey um Yaro … any chance you’d like to share the links to some of these contests? I’m not above winning a new TV :) BTW, to get in the spirit of the giving stuff away, I’m trying to an iPod over on my site :)

    • Yea I’m never against free stuff. Especially when they’re worth $1000. ;) So come on Yaro, show some love to us poor guys and give us the links.

  • New is very powerful, mostly as you said because it creates a hype and allot of talk about it, and thats a great idea about giving prizes as incentives too!, this would probably create a ton of motivation in people!!.

  • Hmm, perhaps I need to spend more time with affiliate marketing. Google has been quite kind to me in regards to monetary compensation for displaying their ads, but I’m still waiting for my TV. :P

    But, yes, I can see where knowledge of internet marketing tactics would give you a big advantage in other niches, and even with offline selling. So few businesses (even online businesses) make a newsletter a part of their selling strategy, and the ones that do usually just send you the digital equivalent of fliers stuck under windshield wipers.

    I don’t know about other folks, but I unsubscribe from a newsletter that doesn’t give me anything truly valuable in a heartbeat!

    • I believe that knowledge always gives an advantage in any sphere. Trade with fresh ideas just die on the stump.

  • You are absolutely right. This Spells – OPPORTUNITY.

  • Your Question below, definitely sparks interest in the fact that it is not worked enough online and I would agree with you that there is a rather large untapped market. We are based in South Africa and we are quite behind in many instances with our online marketing strategies. I think that its time for us to do some research to understand better how to take advantage.

    Let me ask you this – if you are currently selling in a non-make money online market right now, has anyone ever done an affiliate competition to motivate launch partners when a new product is released? Even the concept of affiliate marketing is not applied to a majority or products sold online.

  • You hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I wonder why I picked this niche but it is just too much fun. If I had gone into another niche I could surely be making even more.

  • I read many blogs. Use competition as the engine of sales – it is a fairly common idea. Interestingly, some people are lucky to competitions, and some are not lucky. I belong to the second category. -))

  • The other thing I like about the competitions on-line that the off-line world could use- Get the prizes from other sources. The host doesn’t even have to provide the prizes. How many bloggers get their goods from the affiliates programs? I have me a market leverage USB pen that is my pride and joy. It is worth only, what, $20, but the “earning it” was the fun part. I signed as an affiliate during a affiliate contest, made only $3.00, but that was enough to get me into the prize pool. As fun as recounting that story is, the point is that the host of the contest didn’t have to put up the prizes. His partner, market leverage, did. I see this with other programs all the time. This the offline world could use also, partner for the prizes.

  • And how do you find out about this contests, are there any specific sites you visit?

    It would be nice to try a contest and winning nice prices.

    • In my case I get emails of upcoming launches, most of which I decline to partake in, because I’m on the right email newsletters.

      If you are in the Internet marketing niche, just join a few affiliate programs from the top people (stompernet, strategic profits, frank kern, jeff walker, mike filsaime) and jump on board a launch and you will then find out about other launches because of the cross promotion.

  • These affiliate competitions are not random – they are based on merit – so the total number of leads you generate and sales you refer places you somewhere in the rankings for a prize.

    If you can’t deliver results, you don’t make sales. There’s no “secret” here – these are just affiliate programs for product launches with an affiliate prize competition as an extra incentive.

    There’s no luck involved with winning.

  • It’s amazing how you put into words exactly what I am realizing as a part of a marketing team. I’m currently developing content for a project launch of a travel site, and we’re employing the same methods in our endeavor. Great post!

  • I agree holding contests are great ways to get more sales, especially if the prizes are really good

  • Hey Yaro,

    I first did the Product Launch Formula in the scrapbook industry and I was impressed on how well it worked. The one thing that helped me is that I already had a list I’d been building for a few years so I was able to draw from that as well but of course I’ve already developed a nice rapport with my subscribers too before doing the launch.

  • I remember getting a Nintendo Wii online for free and then giving it away for an offline competition from a business I had at the time and I could not believe the overwhelming response I got.

    People love freebies and especially ones they can’t find at their local stores for months on end ;)

  • Yes, it is great when you can win in competitions, and get prices worth a lo tof money!. If you are entering 10 competitions and win one time you are doing realy well. just remember to read the fineprint in the competition before entering into the competition :).

  • yea it was u could win alot of money. always read the fineprint tho hehe

  • I think it actually works better in other niches because they have their guard down a little more. There is a lot of junk out there in the internet marketing niche and a lot of people have been burned.

    When you give a different niche quality information it is easy to build a relationship and make a sale

  • Rob

    What you say is true, Yaro, except in niches where they are so stuck in the CPM/CPC advertising model (or have been burned by scumbag affiliate marketers) that even using the best ‘affiliate getting letters’ results in no partners :-(

    Any tips on that one would be much appreciated.
    Cheers
    Rob

  • Hi Yaro

    Great post. Prize competitions always work and not only online also offline. When I was working in my offline job as sales and marketing manager for a small company here in Switzerland we sold a dog and cat food brand from the U.S. We had to fight against the big guys like Nestle, Mars, Procter & Gambel, Colgate Palmolive… We had only a very small advertising budget and we invested that in prize competitions and free seminars and training for our clients (pet shops). The result: we became number 2 in the pet shop market with our dog food and now this brand belongs to Mars!!

    So prize competitions work every where. And also marketing and sales training for your affiliates. This is something nearly nobody does. If these internet marketers discovered a new way to generate traffic they create a viral report or a new product and sell it. Why not give once in a while such a viral report to your affiliates? Or doing a webinar about it.

    I think with a combination of prize competitions and training the affiliates would generate much more sales which would make all happy, the vendor and the affiliates.

    These are just my 2 cents.

    Daniel

  • Hey Yaro,
    Relevant post!
    But the part that I think I will take away from this is using this strategy of incentives-for-partners/affiliates in niches that don’t use that as often or not at all.
    I am planning to start operating in a niche that I feel (based on some exceptionally pathetic research :/ ) is underserved to begin with.
    I will say this that I have somehow managed to live a few-hour-work-week bit as you live yourself, but not from the online world.
    Conditions in my sector in my country (Pakistan) are now in fact pushing me to consider areas that are insulated from ‘local conditions’. And what you have, my friend, is exactly that, a truly global enterprise if there ever was one.
    I think you beat Tim Ferris in the global bit because the product you sell – information – is as global as your medium. Good luck and God bless!
    Momekh.

  • This is a great idea, everyone loves a competition, It’s great to win a prize on top of the money from the sales.

  • It’s an excellent idea to test tactics in different markets. In offline marketing there are many versions of this. For instance, my mother-in-law sells mini-blinds, and by hitting certain sales levels with specific manufacturers she’s been able to go on several very nice vacations.

    Interesting idea to apply the competition tactic to non-IM niches online.

  • its nice to know that it works outside the MMO niche, when i got into blogging recently i actually started two blogs, an MMO and a non-MMO precisely to learn this kind of thing.

  • As someone who has just discovered how affiliates work I can see the potential of this exercise . I can see the diversity I can create with my own business giving me additional income streams.

    Thanks Yaro another great blog.

    John http://www.blacktienoni.com

  • Great article Yaro and so true. I’m always amazed at how many businesses fail to grasp this concept. Here’s another spin on what works in Internet marketing also works in other types of marketing.

    A client of mine runs a machine shop. I wrote several print ads for him and wanted to split test the best performing headline and lead sentence. I asked him if he had a website and he said yes but that it wasn’t very good. I told him we don’t care about how his website looks, all we care about are the web logs. He was shocked. What do you mean, he said. I explained to him that I was going to use Google Adwords to split test the 8 different headlines and lead sentences. The one that gets the most clicks is the one that I will use in the print ad. He was blown away by the concept as he never thought of using Adwords to see which of his ads received the most clicks.

    With the Internet, you can use Adwords to test which of your ads gets the most clicks. You could careless about actually making a sale. What you are doing is marketing research to find the best headline to use offline in a print publication. The beautiful thing about the Internet is that you can find out very quickly, usually in a matter of hours, which headlines will perform the best. With direct mail marketing, the same test would take many months to perform and probably tens of thousands of dollars.

    The print ad ultimately worked very well for him using this strategy. Good marketing is based on human psychology and as such will work across any medium you advertise in.

  • I agree holding contests are great ways to get more sales, especially if the prizes are really good,Then you’ll not only see upsurge in traffic but participants as well.

  • I’m a fan of proven patterns and practices.

    Cross-pollinating ideas works wonders. I think the book The Medici Effect talks to that.

  • ADD

    Although I’ve read this post before, I missed the comment about luck. Affiliate competitions are not sweepstakes. You do the work and you win. You don’t do the work and you don’t win.

    I’m a little sensitive about being called “lucky,” because the people calling me that usually haven’t put in the time and effort I have.

    Occasionally luck intervenes, but hardly ever unless you’ve done all the work in the first place.

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