Feb 12

Turbo Charge Your Viral List Building

I’ve recently been inspired by a clever viral marketing campaign that I want to share with you.

Jon Leger had an eBook called “Search Engine Myths Exposed” which he was giving away for free. Of course the eBook contained links for his benefit, but more importantly he was building a mailing list. And he was doing it a little differently than I was expecting.

Not only was the eBook free, but he created a two tier affiliate program which paid out $.25 for every download. So given this was a two tier payout, each download actually likely cost him about $0.375.

Now giving an eBook away is a viral strategy on it’s own, and provided the content is worth giving away, it can spread reasonably well.

But it seems Jon was in a hurry to build his list so he created the two tier affiliate payout and all you had to do was give his FREE eBook away. Unfortunately giving things away these days isn’t always that easy and can take a while to build a substantial list with your giveaway. These days free is every where and hardly grabs attention.

So Jon focused on grabbing their attention by showing how they can make money by giving it away for him. Essentially what he was doing was targeting affiliates with his FREE eBook not necessarily just readers. But in order to be an affiliate you had to download the eBook! So wanting to be an affiliate also turns you into a reader, or downloader.

Just for fun lets run a few numbers. Lets assume he manages to give away 10,000 eBooks for a cost to him of $3750. Now he has a pretty sweet mailing list of confirmed opt-ins that also happens to be highly targeted to his niche. He essentially bought this list for $3750.

Now if he sells $37.50 worth of merchandise to 1% of his list he’ll have recouped his costs and will still have a 10,000 targeted list.

Anyway, I had signed up for the guide 6 weeks ago and was thinking them method of marketing it was clever, but I wasn’t sure how to cut off the payout responsibility once it had gone viral and you didn’t want to continue the program. Then last week I found the answer … I received an email from Jon telling us that the affiliate program would be discontinued. He was kind enough to give everyone a 2 week notice which was cool since he didn’t have to. Anyway, problem solved. Just simply stop it.

I think this approach is pretty interesting and I’m sure it’s done quite often in various ways (if it’s not common then hat’s off to you Jon).

It’s common knowledge that an eBook that’s obtained free of charge will have a lower reader rate than one that was paid for, so I’m certain that Jon’s real interest was almost entirely the list he was building.

I’m not sure how many people acquired on his list before he turned off the tap, but if my estimates are right it was only about 5 weeks.

He’s probably already recovered his cost!
hmmm wheels are turning ….

For additional reading on what you’re missing without a mailing list check out “Do You Need A Mailing List”?

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