Marlon Sanders on $90,000 a month from a free
A brief history of name squeezes, opt ins, ebook incentives and
other intriguing stuff related to how much you bank this
By Marlon Sanders
When you're just starting your online business,
here is the one key to your success:
With all the high tech and marketing wizardry on the Internet,
the basics have been, are and always will be -- basic!
Step one: Get
people onto your list using a FREE or highly
Step two: Get 'em
to make purchase #1 from you.
Step three: Get
'em to make purchase #2.
Step four: Go for
big ticket sales or recurring monthly billing. You could move
this step up to three or even two in some cases.
In the field of Internet marketing , step one has just gotten
pummeled over time in terms of what it takes to do it.
Here are the stages opt-ins have gone through:
Stage one: The
free report or newsletter
Originally, you could offer a free report or newsletter and get
people to join to your email list.
Jonathan Mizel coined and TRADEMARKED the term Name Squeeze. He
was smarter than me. I've originated and innovated many things
in this business but never had the smarts to trademark
Then, later on, people deny what you did. If you trademark, you
got the PROOF. Mizel? He's a smart man.
Oh, other people CLAIM they invented the Squeeze Page. Ask them
whose coaching club they were IN. And WHO owns the stupid
Yeah, ask them that. Watch them dance.
Stage two: The
Later, Terry Dean popularized the free ebook in exchange for
the opt in. The problem became that everyone started offering
low quality, crappy private label rights ebooks for the opt in.
(Not that all plr ebooks are low quality.)
So people stopped opting in for those because they figured the
value was equal to the information -- worth less than
Some people went to offering a BUNCH of plr. OK. If one piece
of crap doesn't get your attention, I'll throw in a whole bunch
Again, I don't want to be overly critical of reprint rights or
plr. I'm just explaining the history and psychology of what has
Stage three: The
seven day ecourse
About the same time, Ken Evoy of Site Sell fame started the
whole 7-day ecourse craze. That became watered down into 7-day
pitches and low quality information. Plus, the delayed nature
of the gratification didn't make it the ideal system from the
All of these incentives for opt ins were initially effective
but lost their punch as everyone and their dog jumped on the
Thus, Marlon's rule of the band
When everyone else jumps ON the band wagon, the results
diminish. That doesn't mean jumping on the band wagon is
always bad. For example, some would call video on the
a band wagon.
That's more like a here-to-stay thing. Not a band wagon.
like TV vs. radio. You couldn't really call TV a
although in the early days I'm sure some did.
Anyway, usually, when everyone starts doing something, the
effectiveness goes down. Often, way down.
Kinda like sales
When you see so many, the bar is raised as to what it takes
create a sales letter that works. You can't use the same
I used years ago. You have to adapt and improve.
Everyone says you can be lazy in niches. And it's sort of
But you know what? I often see the BEST sales letters and
marketing being done in niches. I can't explain why. But
what I observe.
Stage four: The
Rich Schefren wisely came out with a free report that was 50
so pages for his first launch. I don't know if he was the
person to do a lead generator like this.
But his certainly hit big. He repeated his formula with
Attention Doctrine" manuscript. I think Rich has added in
type videos to his mix.
Scott Boulch pioneered his List Virus software and method where
pay affiliates .50 to $1.00 per download of the free report.
is typically in the context of a big product launch.
Stage five: The
case study videos
Stompernet innovated by putting out extensive in-depth case
videos to get opt ins. Some of them are an hour long. I think
may have added in videos.
You will notice things went from simple free reports to
of very elaborate videos and PDF's. If you're competing in
Internet marketing niche, and doing big product launches, this
what it takes.
In most other niches, you can be 10X lazier. Although like I
sometimes the sophistication of what people do in niches is
beyond what you might expect.
So where does that leave YOU?
How do you get people on YOUR list so you can move on with
1. Test and try different things.
What's old can be new again. I know of one marketer just
it with a free ebook offer. Others have gone to offering
video downloads. Others have gone to a free members site
2. Whatever you use as your opt-in incentive, you have to
Don't assume people will want it because it's free.
There is no shortage of free information on the Internet
So sell your offer.
3. Watch your opt ins live!
This is a great idea I picked up today from Jason "video
Moffatt. He keeps his aweber open live and watches opt ins as
come in. That's just to keep opt ins on his mind.
I love that idea.
What you pay attention to grows.
What you don't, withers.
So now back to my grabber. I love that term. I guess Gary
started it way back when by calling the dollar bill at the top
direct mail letter a "grabber." More recently, terminology
picked up in an outstanding book called Neuromarketing by
Renvoise & Morin.
My grabber to get you to read this article was the $90,000 a
from an ebook.
So I have a new friend/consultant. I paid him for an hour of
time 'cause he's an Adwords guru and "old school" marketer,
Anway, he's killing it on Adwords with a front-end opt-in
of a free ebook. Yeah, that's it.
A free ebook.
Terry Dean would smile and feel vindicated. Personally, I
So what's his secret formula?
Step one: Offer incentive -- free ebook
Step two: Get email address
Step three: Send emails
Step four: Ask for money
How's that for back to the basics?
The one thing he does is builds a little more credibility for
free ebook vs. what you normally see. Frankly, the campaign in
terms of execution is underwhelming.
The graphics are kinda ugly. The content is nothing
There isn't a real USP that screams at you.
It's just the basics very well executed.
But WHAT you offer doesn't matter.
Could be videos. Could be a printed book. Matt Bacak is using
free CD. Could be a free membership. Could be about ANYTHING
that lights a fire under your customers and gets their tail end
sofa, as I think John Carlton would say in a little more
So my new friend gets 22% to 30% opt ins on the front end. I'm
really sure the exact numbers. He changes the story a bit
Doesn't really matter. And he's in a niche vs. competing in
fast-paced life of intensely competitive, superstar
marketing "guru" launches.
My numbers right now are around 15% at my current name
That's the page I'm using as my opt in from a Google
I'm still an Adwords hack to tell the truth. But I'm learning
I've never been super fast out of the gate. I'm more of a keep
it and keep learning type.
Do you know what your numbers are on your opt-in page? Or if
have a sales letter with an opt in somewhere within the page,
know your numbers?
Do you track them?
Have you tried a different incentive lately?
My new objective is 25% opt ins. If you get 1000 clicks from
organic or paid search and you get 250 opt ins, then convert a
decent amount of those into customers (2% to 10%), you have
something you can make bank with.
It's all numbers.
My friend spends $1.00 a click. 25% opt in. So out of 1,000
that's $1,000 spent and 250 opt ins. 10% buy at around
That is $1,000. So basically he breaks even on the front end
first sale and makes money on the back end or follow up
That's pretty much the formula that makes any business
Now, most people only get 5% to 15% opt-ins from Adwords from
what I hear. Like I said, to date my best is 15%. And
converting 10% of opt-ins is a challenge. 2% to 5% would
probably be average,
although I haven't looked at the numbers lately.
Conversions depend on the offer -- what is the price and what
get for your money?
You test and try different things.
Oh, I'm NOT telling you WHO my friend is or what his business
Why? 'Cause I don't want people copying my friends ads and
to destroy his business.
The point of this article is: If you aren't getting enough
into your marketing funnel, increase the attractiveness of
If you compete in the arena of Internet, using flanking and
guerrilla moves to avoid the need for Stomper style content
to generate leads.
If you're unfamiliar with flanking and guerrilla moves, you
need to get my Red Factor training. I can't even remember if
still available or not. I think we took the offer off the
Oh well. You snooze, you lose.
I hope this article has given you insight. To reiterate,
a simple formula that works online. It IS the basis of what I
wrote about years ago in "The Amazing Formula." And it still
today and will always work.
Step one: Generate a lead by
offering a very attractive low cost
or free offer
Step two: Follow up
Step three: Ask for money
Step four: Build customer
relationships and provide good service
Step four: Ask for money again and
Step five: Treat your customers
well. They are the goose that lays
the golden egg
Step six: Smell the roses. None of
us are here long enough.
Marlon Sanders is the author of "The Info Product
If you want to create your own info products, go to:
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