Escalating the Value Chain

Disclaimer: Before anyone thinks I’m the King of CPA, don’t be mistaken – I’m nobody and still trying to walk.  But I can smell short-sighted fools a mile away.

Why are you promoting a Zip Submit? Why are you promoting that eBook? Why are you promoting X?

The dumb answer: “To make money”

The smart answer: “To figure out how to make money”

If you’re not actively figuring out how the next link in the chain is making money off of your actions, and intend to take over the next link as soon as you understand your current part and the next link’s part, then you’re wasting your time and should be looking elsewhere for something you can expand vertically – not just horizontally.

Ever take the time to see what the hell happens after you buy a snuggie via an affiliate marketer online? How about taking the time to follow an e-mail submit and see what happens and what offers are behind it? Work out the math?

You don’t even have to dream up a fake names or addresses anymore.: Try the Fake Generator.

Of course you’re not about to create an Auto Insurance company, but take a peek. Is it really Geico? You’d be surprised at the incredible number of intermediaries. Imagine instead of taking your commission for the silly submit, adding the $$$ for all brokers in the middle. Couldn’t you later offer your own Submit offers to the networks?

Maybe this is obvious.. I haven’t seen people comment on this anywhere, really…

I’ve spotted several instances of offers on networks that payout for example $120 for a Business Opportunity (might cost the consumer $500 over several months, or it might be an aggregate or lifetime-value calculation), then someone builds a fake blog landing page and puts it up as an offer that pays out $50 per person that signs up to the $120 Business Opportunity offer I just mentioned. Looking at the blog or the offer individually doesn’t give you a clue what’s going on, until you realize these are indeed not the same business – these are different companies and different people both with offers on the market, one encapsulating the other and while not really skimming off the top, adding some value – after all, the buy rate from the flog is probably higher than sending cold traffic straight to the offer.

Or you’ll see lead generation in the insurance industry, with a payout of $15. Then there is a Zip submit with a payout of $2, which when activated leads to a page that shows the visitor three insurance offers from other affiliate networks – those same offers you can get for $15.

Do you see the value chain?

Its not about driving the traffic straight to the ultimate destination. You could, but it won’t work. Its really about building the entire road that takes your customer/lead there, and keeping all the money along the way.

You have to learn how to walk before you can run… You have to learn how to market the stuff at the bottom before you can move higher in the chain…. By the same token, you’re not going to learn how to walk by picking your nose, and you’re not going to move higher in the chain by promoting things you can’t replace the next link with yourself.

This is something to think about next time you’re picking offers to promote.