Sunday, January 27th, 2008

Email Marketing – The Art Of List Bribery

This can apply to almost any niche. It’s not some spectacular secret but since I dont see many people talking about it, let me introduce this concept and follow up with it on some ideas of how and where to implement it. See one of the biggest things about marketing is that most typically if you want to make serious money in a relatively short time you have to surpass all the known efforts that you have already heard and come up with something not so typical but bound to work better, faster and more efficiently. Most of the content I right on tutorials, ideas and tactics pertaining to making money are almost ALL tests. I’m testing you as the reader, opportunist, marketer to surprise me, entice me, hell DEFY me.

However almost every topic I write about I get QUESTIONS instead of SUGGESTIONS. That’s not at all bad, I just try to throw some things out there to see what other people will come up with. With that said let’s try and shift that focus towards BRAINSTORMING instead of THINKING. When you think, you tend to rely on your brain for answers thus if you cannot come up with one, you go and ask for it. However when your brainstorming you tend to find answers first then coming up with the questions pertaining to them. If you dont get that quite yet, no worries because it will come to you.

The Art Of The Bribe

Unethical? Preposterous? Aggressive? Some may consider that, yes.

Profitable? Fast? Easy? You bet your ass.

Let’s put this in perspective and pick out a niche. I feel if we do just one  in particular you will be equipped better to shift that focus into other niches. Besides, we dont want to be vague here, we want to provide the exact answers on how to entice people to optin to our email lists. A step by step tutorial if you will.

First identify a product. I’ll choose the Hoodia (diet pills) program. We’ll say it’s from CPA Empire but you can probably pick it up on other networks. This one pays out $32 per lead and only requires the user to pay $5.99 shipping for a free bottle. This is a good payout and relatively simple for this type of industry. Besides, you have 60 minutes, NBC and Oprah pimping it so it makes it all the sweeter.

Great we have a product so let’s design a webpage. You can use whatever you want here really as we have covered this alot already. You should have a simply graphic of the bottle on it and text. Since we are dealing in the weight loss industry there are bunches of other products to promote so consider that when you get a domain and hosting. Get a generic domain catering to the entire industry as you will probably be catering to each product individually on a new webpage each time. However, you will be funneling everyone into a giant list. This again is up to you. I find it easier to write a year’s worth of newsletter content over an industry than for a product.

Basically you will want to know where the weight loss industry hangs out at. This is dead simple:

  • Weight Loss forums
  • General Health Forums
  • Yahoo/Google Groups
  • Social Networks with Groups

Those are just a few to get you started.  Knowing where they hang out is the most important part of this to keep your cost down. If you were to go into PPC in this industry chances are that if your not a hotshot or really know your stuff, you’ll probably get burned. Besides, with what we are going to offer we expect a viral campaign to take place here. I will show you how to do it.

After getting your webpage up (which is a dead simple squeeze page) it’s time to put it together to entice people to optin. With a nice graphic on it displaying the bottle of Hoodia we would simple say:

5 Free Bottles Of Hoodia Up For Grabs

After filling out your name and email here please click the verify link we sent you in your email and your all set to receive the free bottle of Hoodia. On top of that we are sending you our 5 weight loss tips ebook that you can download instantly and read right now.


Privacy Policy

Dead simple right? Here’s the kicker though. You will definitely want close contact with your list members. This is the most important part of list building. I would simply go to the Hoodia website myself and actually purchase the 5 bottles. My whole intent is to ACTUALLY give away 5 free bottles. I could do this later on and state it on a blog or website later on to get people interactive. I could also set this up many times over for each weight loss product I pushed and here’s how.

In my newsletters people will be getting you will want to mention to your list members that they should forward this to their friends so they can get in on the free bottles as well. You can even get sneaky and say something like this:

Hey even if your not interested in the free bottles your friends might be. If they are not interested they could at least signup and you will have even more of a chance of receiving a free bottle.

There’s a whole ton of things you can do here. The whole idea is that once you get one signup to optin, you want this list and the members who signup for it to do a lot of the work themselves. They just dont know it. :)

So in a nutshell let’s recap.

  • Optin page – Explains the contest and calls to action the user wanting the free bottles YOU will reward
  • After opting in and confirmation we can simply redirect them to the actual affiliate link as well. This is sneaky and kind of underhanded since your already going to give away 5 bottles someone might get two. It doesn’t matter though because this is how to pull profits from the front end and to fund other things later on. (Umm, like buying the rewards maybe?)
  • After redirection they’ll automatically be receiving that free weight loss 5 tips ebook. If your smart you will have affiliate links in it right?
  • Followup Newsletter of content – Calls to action to forward this to their friends and get them to signup to the free 5 bottles, ebook and newsletter your putting out. This is what we refer to as *making your list work for you*
  • Rinse and repeat to every product in the industry but keeping your newsletter generic and not specific so it looks like it’s going to each niche product individually and catering to them.

Simple as that. It takes a little cash yes to fund the products. However at $32 per lead and you redirecting after the optin, buying 5 bottles at $5.99 a piece sets you at $29.95. 1 lead and its profit from there on out. Using all the free traffic methods out there and tons of them written on this blog you should have no problem implementing a simple marketing method such as this one.

Category: Email Marketing
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33 Responses

January 27, 2008

Hi Ruck- Great post! I think I’m a little slow today and this might be a stupid question. You mention ” Knowing where they hang out is the most important part of this to keep your cost down. ” Are you suggestion just to use specific content placement PPCs on these forums and groups?

January 27, 2008

No. Although you can, I am talking about your market research and where you can go freely to see what’s going on.

Forum signatures giving those free bottles away can be real eye grabbers in this instance. With the payout being really good here $32, that’s why its worth it to hop in there and try it. Anywhere this niche is talking is a good place.

Of course a Placement Targeted campaing can be good just depending how advanced everyone is with their marketing.

January 27, 2008

Ruck- Thanks for the quick reply. Please correct me if I’m wrong- you are suggesting holding a contest where 5 free bottles are given away and when somone opts-in they get one entry and they get additional entries for each person they get to opt-in.

I guess I’m still a little confused about where the leads develop- just the ebook, the re-direction and follow-up offers?

January 28, 2008

Yep, find out where they hang out. I use all the time. It’s a fairly comprehensive list of the biggest forums on the internet.

Nice post.

January 28, 2008

@ mike – Yes, they get an entry. No they dont get additional entries. That would be up to the users. Like have thier sister optin so then they have 2 chances of being picked. Viral effect.

The leads develop when they optin. After confirming their optin that is a lead. On your list until they unsubscribe or you delete it.

When making your list in your autoresponder it would be set to an optin form, user opts in, confirmation page telling them to check their email and a link to the offer or you can redirect straight to affiliate here, after confirming an automatic message hits them with the free book/info.

January 28, 2008

I was also a little confused about the contest. When/how do these bottles that you have bought go out? Who wins and how? And can you as the contest holder buy 5 bottles yourself by only paying shipping like you suggested? Seems they would only allow one per person/credit card or something.

January 28, 2008

Ok this is your own email method that can start/end whenever. Set it for 60 days, 6 months or whatever. Who would win? Pick out 5 email accounts from your autoresponder list and contact them until you get 5.
The idea to get 5 bottles would be to have 5 credit cards…Ding.
It doesn’t have to be 5 bottles. This is an example. If you were in a toy niche you could give away some big giant stuffed teddy bear. Outside the box here….

January 28, 2008
The OA

Thank you for this post Ruck. I have been tinkering with ideas on how to build a list virally (using all sorts of different tactics and techniques) for some time now. A niche I have been researching and doing some marketing work with can follow your writings almost perfectly.

Thanks again for enlightening us.

January 28, 2008

I’m glad you talked about email marketing as its something I’m getting onto rite now.

Also, how often do you send followups., do you have many. For me, after about 3 followups in a dating niche, giving an ebook and a affiliate link to dating site, I dont know really know what to send them next.

January 28, 2008

Slightly confusing post. In your example, I don’t understand the point of actually buying the 5 bottles. If you’ve got a 4 figure list for example, who would get the 5 bottles and what would be the point/benefit for the whole campaign?

January 28, 2008

Hey rare,

Just send them content. Lots of article directories out there and you can keep the content going for years. Every now and then at the end of an article you could have a recommendation :)

I like to send 2 emails per week if I can. This is why I take on a broad niche such as this, break it up into sub niches and then write to cater to the entire industry.

Of course you can always broadcast as well.

January 28, 2008

very good advice there Ruck, tnx

So do you actually spend time participating in forums you have no interest in?

January 28, 2008


This is a great post. Do you do the redirection to the affiliate link when they fill out their info on webform? (That is one place aweber will redirect) and also when they confirm it can redirect then too? Would you do it both times? And then they get the weight loss tips ebook via email in the first autoresponder followup?

I guess a way to get people to not to unsubscribe is to also say you’ll announce winner within the newsletter.


January 28, 2008

<p>@ rare pennies – No, I have and do hire this out. But forums are really only one medium. Using this niche as an example (weight loss) I figured everyone would tap into other areas as well such as Yahoo/Google groups, Yahoo Answers..hell even Craigslist if your slick.</p>
<p>Ahh see with Aweber it’s whatever you want to do really since its mandatory double optin. You could redirect the first time to a confirmation page telling them to go confirm their email as well as maybe a bright blue link saying “click here to check out the free bottles”…anything like that really. </p>
<p>But no I would not direct them both times to the affiliate link. Yes they will get the ebook (which can be anything really, maybe another prize) whatever you can do. Typically with a niche like this we could give them a short tips ebook and recommendations to other weight loss products.</p>
<p>In this niche I wouldn’t promote another ebook really. You could but that will most likely cut your own throat down the road as those ebooks are built on marketing principles with affiliate links as well.</p>
<p>Your followups could very well be reviews over things such as Hoodia, Green Tea, etc…Those all pay above $20 for free bottle shipments as well.</p>
<p>A great way to NOT have them unsubscribe which they probably would not in the first place as long as we aint spamming them is really to put up a blog and have them participate in the progress. This is another viral medium as well.</p>

January 28, 2008

Hey, Ruck. I just noticed I’ve been typing my website in wrong when I post a comment.

Is there any way to go back and fix that?

Yes, I know I’m a total dumbass. Thanks.

January 28, 2008

Yep Done – I believe I corrected 10 or 11 of them just in case. No worries.

January 28, 2008

You ‘da man! Seriously, thanks.

January 28, 2008


Do these CPA offers only last a specific period of time? Or do the CPA networks always have them, but the commissions may change on a monthly basis?

Trying to figure out how I’ll approach doing running a campaign for them. Seems like they all need to be done with CPC campaigns and not article marketing.


January 28, 2008

The Cost Per Sale items usually stay the longest. This can work with any product though.

Actually article marketing is another medium as well but if the product falls out your SOL. The smart thing is to put the link in your author box on a redirect so you could at least redirect it to a closely related product. Some sites may not allow this though so use at your own discretion.

January 28, 2008

Ruck; Thanks. I think I have a handle on this! Your post is a huge help. Now just to clear a space on my desk and write some darn e-books!

January 28, 2008

Hey Sparky,

You dont necessarily have to write them. Save yourself some time and pick up a rebrand, resell or rip a few articles :)

January 28, 2008

Ruck that was another banger man! One way that I have found that works on some of my lists is to diguise it as a newsletter. When people signup for newsletters, they are looking for something from you on a regular basis. per week, bi-weekly, monthly and so forth. So, you can hit them up with your adverts on those increments and then in between that you can send them alot of content so it builds credability for you. e.g. you send them good content (from wherever you choose to get it) every week but then on every other week you throw in your “recommendations” with your content.

January 29, 2008

That was a great post! Is SPAM another word for these emails? i would have thought that these will be caught by good email systems like yahoo & gmail !
Ruck, Correct me if i am wrong??

January 29, 2008

They aren’t spam when someone opts in to your mailing list and definitely aren’t spam when you require them to confirm their subscription.

February 14, 2008

I started reading your blog a couple weeks ago and I’m still going through all the posts. It’s been very helpful because I am very new to affiliate marketing. That being said… One way you might be able to use your credit card for multiple signups is to get one that has the single use, numbers that you can apply for online. Every purchase will have a different card number. Not sure if it will really work, but doesn’t hurt to try.

Keep up the good work.

February 15, 2008


I just re-read this again and it’s really good.

1) If you do article marketing, is it okay from the cpa company to put a redirect in the resource box? (Would that be only for offers that allow for web placement? Is there a potential problem is someone reads article and then sticks it in their newsletter and the cpa company didn’t have it allowed for email promotion?)

2)When I asked the AM at one CPA company about sending out an email with an offer he said that if you use aren’t doing a solo email but using as part of a newsletter with content you don’t need to use the suppression list. Do you know if that’s true for azoogle too?

3) Do you stick cpa links within a pdf ebook (via redirection) too or just affil links?


November 23, 2008

Great breakdown on a tactical level, on the macro level, I’d say it boils down to:
1) Understanding your prospects key issues/problems
2) Creating a persuasive argument/reason why your product or service is an ideal solution to their problem.
3) Presenting it to them and showing them that product x (hoodia, acai berry, etc) will address their problem.
4) Follow up via email if appropriate (you’ve collected their contact info, right?).


November 30, 2008

Its almost a given that if you’re into making a list you have to offer something for free like some cheap ebook like most of the marketers nowadays do.

They buy it off somewhere rebrand it and offer it as if it was their own – same rehashed info in new package.

November 30, 2008


If you’re just rehashing crap, then don’t even bother.

The name of the game is creating value for someone coming into your list.

If you destroy the relationship at the beginning, you can forget about any future sales.

February 21, 2009

skywatcher, I’d wrongly subscribed with some non ethical webmaster offering something free without rebranding or anything like that, but poorly giving me free ebook that they got it for free in the internet. Really disgusting.

Andrew, yes, never destroy the relationship at the beginning, but how to create good ebook without stealing other’s ideas especially for non pro writer?

March 22, 2009

Appreciate the info guys, thanks