For years, I’ve been begging affiliates to promote my offer and for years, it’s been the biggest pain in my ass. When I first got started, I did NOT have a list and the amount of time I spent begging, pleading and hoping for a promotion was insane.
Even once I had a decent sized list (100k+), it was still hard to get confirmed promotion dates from affiliates. In April of 2019, that all changed thanks to my business coach Rob Canyon pushing me and Mike Geary’s famous words “I think you should be more aggressive Scott”.
The way my Rob put it was like this. He said “What do you think would happen to the marketing manager of Agora if they didn’t spend the marketing budget by the end of the month?” I said what? He said, “They would be fired”.
Then he asked me to spend $10,000 in April on marketing or I would be fired (we both laughed). That was the mentality he wanted me to have and I am glad he framed it this way. Luckily at the time, I did have an extra 10k, but that was all I had to my marketing name.
So in April of 2019, I began reaching out to list owners/managers about pre paying for list rentals. The first thing I noticed is that everyone said YES and they immediately got right back to me and gave me a confirmed promotion date. In the JV world, I never got confirmed dates quickly, so this was a big surprise for me.
Before I dive deep into the details and mindset you’ll need to have in order to profit on list rentals, here is the first big lesson I learned on my way to making this strategy work.
Your creative is equally as important as your conversion rate!
Let that sink in!!
Here is why. If you only have a high converting offer, but your email creative costs you say $2 per click (spend $2,000 on a list rental, but only get 1,000 clicks), you better be converting at over $2 gross per click yourself to have any hope of profiting.
If you have a high converting offer and your email creative get lots of clicks that cost say .50 per click, you’ll be profiting like a boss if your offer converts (spend $2,000 on a list rental and get 4,000 clicks).
That’s why your creative is so important and that’s also the reason you can’t split test creatives on 1,000 clicks (split 3 ways) and think that’s the holy grail of data.
You really need at least 1,000 clicks to test each creative so you can identify a winner. What this really means is that you need to split test with big lists!
Back in September of 2018 is when I started split testing my creatives and I split tested 3 different lists that cost me about 5k each (15k total). After losing some money, but chalking it up to “gathering data”, I ended up finding one creative that gets 66.7% more clicks than my control.
Ever since I found that winning creative, my entire business changed and that initial loss was soooo worth it. I have always had a high converting offer, but now I had a creative that could generate .50 - $1 clicks with pretty much any list. Once you get your creative dialed in, it will make a huge difference in your ability to profit.
Just to note… for those of you who think the creative itself primes the audience to buy, it’s a great theory that can drive you nuts.
I prefer to measure 1 thing with my creatives and that’s clicks. It’s a simple stat to measure, but if you want to go down the rabbit hole and look at the revenue per email and give credit to the creative for making sales even though the website is supposed to be responsible for that, go for it. I just don’t recommend over thinking what a creative is responsible for doing.
Now, that I explained the basics, I am excited to share with you the mindset you’ll need to make this strategy profitable in the long term.
When is the last time you spent $5,000 or more on a list rental and had no attachment to the outcome? I remember spending 2k on a list rentals even as recent as last year and I was scared to lose that money. In fact, every time I ever rented a list until recently, I battled fear before and during the promotion.
Then if I actually lost money on a promotion, I often times cried like a baby & blamed the list. Plus, I was afraid to invest into other list rental opportunities. Looking back at it, this was not the ideal way for me to think about it and you’ll understand why as you read on.
There are 3 important keys to success that will help you overcome fear and more importantly get excited about these opportunities.
If you are going to rent lists, you want to make it your goal to have fun and unless you have all 3 of these things in place, I do NOT recommend doing it.
#1 Key To Success That’ll Help You Overcome Fear & Have Fun - Have an offer that converts (along with a high life customer value ALV of course)
If your offer is not converting the way you need it to, try hiring a sale copy writer. I have a friend Sandy who did this very thing and after a complete revamp of her front end offer, the conversion rate almost doubled and now she is able to rent lists and drive more sales and traffic than ever.
I am not going to bore you with a speech about why conversion rate is important, but just know that if at first you don’t succeed, try… try again.
Once you get your conversion rate dialed in, your next focus should be to getting a high ALV (average lifetime value of your customer).
If you don’t know the value of your customer over the lifetime, you are going to have difficulty making the right decisions on how much you can afford to pay per customer. So be sure to keep track of this!
Obviously, autoship or any reoccurring revenue is wonderful, but so are high ticket products or services.
Then, you have upsells and downsells that can add a lot of revenue to your ALV too. Plus, you might have low ticket/high volume offers where you are selling 1,000+ per day.
Obviously, test all of these and especially test your pricing if you are not in the low ticket game. From where I sit, I feel that many business owners could raise their prices (especially on physical products) and be shocked that the conversion rates stay the same.
Sure you might have to frame the pricing a little differently, but if you can compare it to some other expensive doctor visit or procedure they might “not” need later, it’s easy to justify a higher price than what you are currently selling for.
When it comes to LTV, don’t ever give up on increasing this!
I know a guy who raised his prices from $49 to $69 and then from $69 to $89 and then from $99 to the current $119 price.
How did he pull that off? Because he had the guts to try!
Do whatever it takes to get your LTV higher.
If you do not offer reoccurring, try that right next to your regular price offer. I feel many people could test autoship/reoccuring with a 15% discount right next to a regular priced product of the same. Look at how Dutch Brother’s coffee does it. https://shop.dutchbros.com/collections/coffee/products/single-serve-db-cups
If you do offer reoccuring and you want to increase the longevity of your renewals, try including a print newsletter in your package and offering an email program that gives pure value as unannounced bonuses.
I know someone who “doubled” his autoship renewal rate by giving away a print newsletter valued at $29.95 (in with the products they ordered), plus a 60 day personal development email series (1 email every other day) that was given away as a free unannounced $1,000 bonus to autoship customers.
When the customers opened up their package after receiving their products in the mail, there is a nicely written letter that thanks them for becoming an autoship customer and announces the bonuses in that letter. None of these bonuses were spoken about during the sales process.
#2 Key To Success That’ll Help You Overcome Fear & Have Fun - Use a creative that gets a butt ton of clicks (or pre sells well if you like long email creatives like Joel Marion. Note that what I spoke about above was different than this scenario.) so you generate lots of revenue from each list rental.
The bottom line with this is “shut up and pay”. We can’t mix words. It’s going to cost you to test. Remember I spent 15k split testing my creatives and what I didn’t tell you above is that I lost about $9,000 while split testing.
In the long run, it was so worth it because now that my winning creative performs so well, I’ve been running it for over a full year and I still can’t beat it, even when I try other split tests.
Who would have thought that 1 creative could be used like this?
Not me! I would have thought it would burn out, but that just isn’t happening yet.
#3 Key To Success That’ll Help You Overcome Fear & Have Fun – Have a marketing budget. If you can set aside $5,000 or $10,000 and let it ride, you can make huge strides and not care if 1 promotion bombs.
I have a friend Marc who is new to the game and has a supplement that I tested to my list. I sent 1,600 clicks and it earned me $1600. When I asked how much gross income that promotion earned him, he said $3200. That’s $2 per click.
When I mailed this particular offer, it was with a creative that had never been tested and I had hopes he could find a better performing creative. I urged my friend to spend 5k on a big list rental that would let him split test his creatives.
He was scared, but after a lot of going back and forth he agreed to try it even though he might have lost money. I estimated that he might lose 2k at most based on my small test. I only mentioned that to him as a worst case scenario so that he wouldn’t go into this promotion being scared. I wanted him to be excited!
My friend did split test 3 creatives and got about 5,000 clicks total from this particular women’s fitness list. Two of the creatives bombed and one of the creatives got double the clicks compared to the other two. His total sales were $7,000 and he proudly profited $2,000 (minus product costs of course).
Now that my friend had $7,000, he could buy more list rentals and really start to make some money. When I asked him when he is going to buy some more a couple weeks later, he said he ran out of money and was basically back to begging for jv’s again (without a list to offer recips too…. Uggg).
I was stunned that he didn’t put that money back into his marketing budget and keep things rolling, but then I realized that I did not do a good job of guiding him.
At the time, I didn’t even realize that having a marketing budget was one of the keys to my own success. Since I started this journey, I always set aside funds and kept at least 10k and as much as 20k in my budget at any one time. There have been months that I spent 50k because it all keeps coming back to me so quickly.
Since money is always coming in and out, the marketing budget set aside does vary, but by constantly replenishing my budget, this has helped me over come fear to pre pay and has kept my revenues on a steady uphill path.
So the lesson here is to start with a marketing budget and always replenish it and do not question where the money came from to fund it. Just fund it and don’t ever stop renting lists and funding unless you actually run out of money. If that happens, fix your offer!
One other little dirty secret I’ll share with you is that many companies use their list revenue to fund marketing if the list rentals or even paid ads aren’t profitable. I have done this myself just to keep the momentum even if I lose money on a few list rentals. If I didn’t do this, my business would stop growing and I’d probably just pout about losing money on a few list rentals.
This whole game is about momentum and the fact is, you will not profit with every list rental, so you need to fund your marketing budget however you can as long as your entire business is still on the up-swing and profiting.
Once you start building relationships with list managers or list owners directly, there will be times when your offer just flat out bombs. Sometimes, your creative didn’t perform well and other times, the list just wasn’t a good match for your offer.
Since you are looking for long term traffic sources and list managers are looking for long term deals, it’s perfectly fine to ask for a make good… especially if you communicate with the list manager/owner that you want to keep buying from them.
With that being said, first impressions are everything and if the first deal you do with a list manager specifically goes bad and you ask for a make good, that might affect your long term relationship.
Ideally, you want a long term relationship with list managers, so be prepared to take some on the chin and ask for make goods only if it’s a complete bomb.
Remember that since your goal is to always replenish your marketing budget, even if you spend 3k and only make 1k back, that 1k should go back into your marketing budget, so it’s not a complete loss.
It’s fun getting to work with people who have regular offers that convert. I however have an optin funnel and when I rent list, I often times have to wait weeks to get my investment back.
It’s a completely different game vs renting a list and getting your money back quick. I however am playing the long game as I build my list and eventually get my list rental investments back.
When I pre pay for a promotion, I do add the revenue for each drop, but I also add $3 for each subscriber I got because I know what they are worth in the long run.
So if I spend 5k and only make 2k in sales, but gather 1,000 subscribers, I’ll add $3 per subscriber to the 2k in sales to tell me if I should run with that list again.
In that example, I’d add $3,000 in subscriber value + $2,000 in actual sales. That would put me at break even on that list and I’d have to decide if it’s worth running again.
Ideally, I would like to profit and build a list, but with an optin funnel (mine particular), that does not always happen, but since I know the value of each subscriber and know I’ll eventually get that money back, I am able to make decisions based on real stats and again use any other money to keep funding my marketing budget.
Once you start renting list from individual companies or list managers who have access to many lists, there is a chance that they’ll mail you on straight CPA once you prove that your offer can make them lots of money and you pre pay or pay fast if it’s a CPA deal.
I have another friend Eric who started buying rentals from two particular large list managers and after the first buy and a conversation about conversions, they opened his offer up to all of their lists with straight CPA deals so he didn’t have to pre pay again.
They are thrilled to have found a winning offer, but if he didn’t offer to pre pay in the very beginning, that relationship would have never gotten started. So you never know where pre-paid relationships can lead you.
I have had that same experience and I love not having to ask, beg or pre pay to get promoted.
If you follow the big boys in the health space, you know that Agora and Golden Hippo have created machines that consistently produce profit. Their marketing managers just focus on feeding the machine and the revenue + profit continues to grow overall.
You need to create a mini machine of your own to truly be successful. When you have this mindset, you don’t care about winning on every list rental as much, because you know that feeding the machine will always lead to more riches.
This brings us back to what I said above about using other funds to feed your marketing budget as long as you are profiting. This is the mindset you must have to truly be a winner in the list rental game. Feed your machine!
As for me personally, I can honestly say that I only win on list rentals about ½ the time. But I do such a good job of feeding my machine that I am able to keep buying more rentals and the profits keep coming in.
Sometimes when I am running low on my marketing budget, I’ll use extra money from autoships, sales or even 3rd party offers I ran to my list to fund it. I make it fun by saying to myself… “any money that comes in today will go directly to my marketing budget”.
If I am desperate to fund my marketing budget, I’ll run a free shipping offer to my list (with a countdown timer “today only”) for my own products and I’ll use all the revenue on that special offer to fund my budget for my next buys.
I do whatever it takes to keep my budget full so I can keep spending and I recommend you have that same attitude. When you are focused on feeding your machine no matter what, money will show up from places you didn’t calculate and you can keep your momentum going.
I know a lot of people who run facebook ads and CRUSH IT. I am always proud of those people who pull that off and I love buying traffic from them directly.
As for me personally, I never once had fun running fb ads. I hired some of the best guys in the industry and tried and tried again, but failed every time. After a while, I realized it just wasn’t fun.
Plus, I remember the day back in 2012 when I got the adwords slap and I probably would have been a nervous wreck even if I did get fb going. Getting slapped when you have 20k worth of payroll to make every month because you were “scaling” sucks!
Anyways, the thing I love about renting email lists is that it’s simple and fun. Plus, if you know where to go to rent the top lists, you can generate hundreds of thousands of clicks per month.
So if you want to have fun and unleash a long term consistent source of traffic, try renting email lists and follow my advice above for best results.
I hope this guide helps you make wise decisions for your business and I especially hope you are able to grow a long term profitable business while helping people from around the world look and feel better about themselves and their health.
As more and more businesses enter our health market place, the importance of mailing your list daily and building a long term relationship with your buyers and subscribers is super important for the longevity of your business.
Over the past year, I’ve met close to 1 dozen people who have NOT been mailing their list and that’s a huge mistake!
Luckily for those people, I’ve played match-maker with proven list managers who are now helping them generate revenues they didn’t even think were possible. One guy in particular is making an extra 30k per month by simply have a list manager (Liss) mail his list.
I always feel good when I can play match-maker and when you think about it, these lists have added traffic opportunities to our health marketing place as a whole.
It’s my hope that we all learn work together more and more to promote each other’s offers so we can control our own destiny instead of being so reliant on what fb or google.
The thing I love about this industry is that we are all real people with products and services we know can help others. Just because google of fb doesn’t think our products are helpful doesn’t mean squat.
Let this be a reminder to keep growing your business and your list while having as much fun as you can along the way. When someone new enters into our marketing place, please do your best to support them. Remember that was you at some point and especially remember how someone helped you whether by promoting your offer or giving you advice.
I hope someday we can have a network of health business owners who all agree to support each other in a simple, easy & fun way where it’s win/win for everyone every time.
That’s why I created the Good Ole Boy & Girl JV Network. Right now it’s just a dream, but I do believe this could benefit all of us in a much bigger way if we all agree to support each other in simple defined ways that don’t waste anyone’s time and guarantee clicks for product owners + revenue for list owners on a specific date.
We can make fb and google ads irrelevant if we all learn to work better together. The traffic all of our lists can generate can be just as good as traffic from their platforms and some would argue that email is even better. Imagine being 1 of 1,000 lists who agree to support you via swap or pre paid promo (discounted on a CPA hybrid) as you support them. That is my dream!
Either way, I hope this article helps you prosper for years to come.
Written by Scott Palat
Good Ole Boy & Girl JV Network