3 years ago I wrote a blog post reviewing Matt Bacak’s Secret Email System.
Recently I looked up how much that article’s made me to date.
$4,631.47… $3000 of it passively.
Some nice pocket money here
Not only that, it got Matt Bacak’s attention.
Matt’s a legend in the internet marketing so it was a feather in my cap.
He cold DM’d me, I never shared the article with him
I wrote a case study about it in the Copy Campus Facebook group which I don’t believe I’ve shared with you.
So if you’d like to know how to make semi-passive income writing reviews of other people’s products, keep reading.
Easy Affiliate Marketing for Copywriters
I just wrapped up an affiliate promotion where I made a smidge over $1,800 selling a $6 ebook. And I’m going to show you exactly how I did it.
But before I do that, let me tell you why I’m writing this post I’ve noticed several posts in this group and in the RMBC group, as well as callers on RTAB, where writers mention they’re waiting to get paid or that they’re saving up money so they can buy RMBC, Justin’s Letter, or Copy Accelerator LITE.
The good news is because you’re a copywriter you don’t need to get more clients or wait on your clients paying your invoices to make some quick cash to pay for whatever you like. I honestly don’t think any other kind of marketer could pull this off. Not at this level of efficiency, anyway.
‘Cause during this week-long promotion:
- I sent just 365 clicks to a sales page
- Made 147 sales
- Converted at 40% and
- Made $5 a click
I did this with a tiny list of < 1,000 people half of whom weren’t signed up to receive content about internet marketing. I also used my small social media audience of ~11k across Twitter (10.3k,) Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. And finally, about $300 in paid traffic, using the most basic campaigns anyone can deploy in a few clicks.
In a minute, I’m going to break everything down for you, step-by-step. We’re gonna go over the content strategy, paid traffic and economics of a successful affiliate promotion.
But first, there’s a caveat. For this promotion, the offer owner gave all affiliates 100% commissions on the front end and OTOs. He also ran retargeting campaigns. And because visitors were cookied for 60 days affiliates made a ton of “free” sales. Given these conditions, when you attempt the affiliate promotion strategy I’m about to share, your mileage may vary.
But even if you made an extra $1k per month. It’ll be the easiest money you’ve ever made. And this strategy has the potential to earn you an extra $3-$5k per month on autopilot. So, with that said, let’s begin.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Email list
- Product to promote
- Google ads account
- Optional – Facebook and Twitter ads accounts
- $5-10 per day per platform for ads
- 30 to 60 minutes per day for 7 days
Don’t have a website? Don’t have an email list? Don’t want to run paid traffic? No problem. The strategy will still work. You’ll just make less money with it. And you’ll have to rely on a lot of social media promotion. And hope you get lucky with SEO. However, I’m presenting this strategy to you based on the assumption that you are willing and able to do all of the above.
Your affiliate promotion strategy:
- 8-day launch sequence with 9 emails
- Product review page + “bridge” landing page
- Branded keyword campaign on Google Search
- Boosted post on Facebook targeting page followers (optional)
- Follower look-alike campaign on Twitter (optional)
- I’ll go over each of these individually.
1. Content Strategy
The offer owner should’ve provided you with email swipes. This will cut your work in half. Because you’ll just take the swipes and improve on them. Otherwise, you’ll have to write all the emails yourself. Not a problem, because you’re a copywriter. Your email sequence will look something like this.
DAY 0 – DAY BEFORE THE LAUNCH
You’ll tease the promotion. A one-sentence survey email designed to get replies.
DAY 1 – LAUNCH DAY
You’ll reveal the product and send people to the product review. You should’ve already bought and gone through the product. One, because people who promote products they don’t own or don’t use are liars. Two, because it will make your review better than all the other affiliates who didn’t buy the product. Three, because knowing what’s in the product will allow you to create a bonus gift that you can offer people who buy using your affiliate link.
DAYS 2 TO 6 – CONTENT
The swipes I got for the offer I was promoting were all short and all hard sells. Now, I could’ve sent them as-is but I didn’t want to burn my list, so I added good content of my own and closed with copy from one of the swipes. For the call-to-action, I’d send them to either the product review or a landing page summarizing the offer, bonuses, and the exclusive bonus gift from me.
DAY 7 – CART CLOSING
Two emails on the last day. One at 8 am and one at 8 pm. With past promotions, I’d get a bunch of sales on the last day. Sometimes up to 50%. But with this recent affiliate promotion… The majority of the sales came during days 2-5.
RESEND TO UNOPENS
I send the day’s email between 6-8 am. Then I’d resend to unopens at 8 pm. But I never sent the exact same email. The subject line was different. And the body of the email was shorter. Sometimes linking to a “blog post” which was really just the morning email republished on my website. I also excluded customers from the segment I was emailing. They emailed me their receipts and I tagged them manually. The cart closing emails on the last day were not resent.
You only really need one piece of content and that’s the product review page. The “bridge” landing page can be helpful if you’re also promoting the product on social media, and to test against the product review with paid traffic.
I took the extra step of publishing 3 of my content emails on my blog. This gave me more options to promote on social media. I also republished a few of the emails as posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin. On Twitter, I’d summarize the day’s email in a Tweet and link to the blog version, the product review, or the bridge page.
2. Paid Traffic
This was the easiest part of the entire promotion. I ran 3 campaigns across Google Search, Facebook, and Twitter from day 2 to day 7 of the promotion. Some of the campaigns ran longer than others.
Google search ads sent the most clicks and was the cheapest. Twitter was expensive but sent a lot of clicks. I messed up the objectives on the Facebook ads so I didn’t get as many clicks there but got a lot of impressions.
In total, I bought 1,041 clicks for $258.
- CPC on Google was $0.16c and $0.35 for 2 campaigns.
- CPC on Twitter was $0.21 and $0.31 for 2 campaigns.
- Average CPC on Facebook was $1.68 across 4 campaigns (I think I screwed up somewhere when setting these up.)
GOOGLE SEARCH ADS
I ran two branded keyword campaigns. One campaign sent traffic to the product review. The other to the bridge page. The campaigns took me 5-10 minutes to setup and launch. Both campaigns targeted the same keywords, the product name and the author’s name, using what’s called a “single keyword ad group.”
So the campaign structure looked like:
- Campaign » 2 ad groups » 1 ad per group
The budget was set at $10/day for both campaigns.
The product review performed better, sending double the clicks at half the cost per click. Total, I got 503 clicks for $106.
This couldn’t be simpler.
- I posted to my public page
- Hit the boost button
- Selected engagement (wrong) or website clicks (right) as the goal
- Chose “people who like my page and their friends” as the audience
- Set the region to “Worldwide” and age to 18-65+
- Set the budget to $5/day
- And clicked submit.
I did these for 4 posts. The most expensive one, I turned off after a couple of days. I let the rest run until the end of the promotion.
And I don’t know if it was user error on my part (probably) or if the numbers on the ads manager were glitching, but Facebook shit the bed. 300 clicks but only 40 landing page views for $67. I know it wasn’t a website performance issue, because both the product review page and the bridge page loaded in less than 2 seconds.
I ran 2 campaigns on Twitter. One targeting people who had engaged with my Tweets. The other targeting followers of the book author. I only promoted two tweets. But tweeted 18 times over the week promoting the offer.
Between organic and paid, I got 498 clicks for $85.
WHICH CAMPAIGNS TO LEAVE “ON”
At the end of the promotion, my EPC was $1.75 and my average CPC was $0.25. I would leave these on indefinitely:
- The branded keyword campaign on Google
- The follower look-alike campaign on Twitter
I could probably fiddle with the Facebook campaign so it’s working properly and run that indefinitely too. Now, based on these numbers, this strategy worked like gangbusters but only if exclude “labor cost.”
Which is why it’s important to talk about…
To earn those 1041 clicks, I did about 10 hours of work. It might have been more, but I wasn’t tracking my time. Assuming my effective hourly rate is $100, $1,000 of labor should be included in the CPC.
In which case:
- My CPC becomes $1.20
- Against EPC of $1.75
- For an ROI of 1.46X
And even though the math is still in my favor, it’s much less profitable that I thought. However, in doing far too much work…
I DISCOVERED A MINIMUM VIABLE PROMOTION
Of which there are 2 parts.
The first part is this:
If I focused only on writing the copy – that is, the emails, product review, and bridge page and delegated all the publishing to a Virtual Assistant, I could cut my work down to 3 to 5 hours. And the remaining 5-7 hours of work will cost me $5-10 per hour instead of $100, cutting the total cost of labor in half.
And in this case:
- The CPC would drop down to $0.73
- Against EPC of $1.75
- For an ROI of 2.4X
The second part is this:
Because the paid traffic was so cheap, once the promotional assets are created the ad campaigns can be run indefinitely, as long as EPC > CPC.
The email campaign can be automated and run several times a year by getting subscribers to opt-in, or by delivering to new subscribers as part of a welcome sequence or some other automation.
Then, the labor cost amortizes to zero over time and the only expense is paid traffic.
Summary & Conclusion
You don’t need to go out of pocket to fund your copywriting education. Find a product you can sell, sell it and get paid. It’s far more enjoyable and exciting to use your skills as a copywriter to conjure money from thin air, which you can then use to pay for whatever luxuries you wish.
And there are five more benefits, for a total of six:
- You can supplement your income without adding more client work. Just 10 hours of work and you’ll make money for years.
- You gain “FU Cashflow” which is similar to “FU Money” in that it gives you balls. The difference is, it’s immediately accessible to you and you don’t have to wait years to amass enough of it to feel the benefits.
- You hone your craft as a copywriter. You’re risking your own money and time and this will give you both experience and perspective.
- You demonstrate to potential clients that you walk the talk, that you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is. Because who the fuck wouldn’t want to hire a baller who runs his own promotions, spends his own money on paid traffic and understands the math that governs all of Direct Response.
- It’s better than writing free samples because you get paid to write the copy. And if you keep the campaigns running you’ll get paid commissions FOREVER.
You know, somebody messaged me the other day, interested in joining CopySkills™, and asked me whether I teach direct response principles.
No, MF… I don’t teach direct response. I LIVE IT.
P.S. If you’d like even more detail about this affiliate promo strategy, my friend Dennis Demori interviewed me about it. Watch it here: