What Mailorder Publishing Can Teach You About Selling Online!

By: Larry Stepanowicz

"Affiliate Programs," as they've been dubbed on the
Internet, have actually been around for quite some time. In
mailorder publishing we just called them dealerships, but
they worked the same way. Someone would self publish a book
or report, sell it through ads or by direct mail, and often
allow others to sell it, for a commission, too. Becoming a
dealer for a product sometimes required its purchase at full
price, sometimes a fee, or sometimes it was just given away
free. All three methods are used online, as well.

Today, those books and reports of by-mail selling have
become eBooks and websites, the camera-ready flyers the
dealers had printed to promote them have became computer
generated affiliate sites, and automatic tracking of credit
card payments has replaced the cash, checks, and money
orders that were sent through the mail. But the story
remains the same...

By having many dealers selling his product, a successful
mailorder publisher was able to make a lot of money. As for
the dealers, they were lucky if they could make enough
selling it to cover the costs of their mailings!

What mailorder dealers needed were products they could
sell for the small cost of having them printed, because 50%
just wasn't enough. But unless a dealer could produce a
product of his own, what he had available to him were the
same schlock reports to which anyone could have reproduction
rights by simply purchasing the report. Much of this
marginally useful material has found its way onto the
internet where it is given away by the diskful, often
through affiliate programs!

In the make-money-by-mail circle, most of which is now in
the past, it was the "prime source" or publisher who won. In
the make money-money-online circle, it's still the prime
source who wins, though he isn't called that, anymore. The
more things change, the more they stay the same!

One thing electronic publishing has made possible is the
ease with which it can be done -- for practically nothing.

A mailorder publisher had to be willing to take a sizeable
risk to get his work into the market. Typesetting, printing,
and binding cost money. So did print advertising, direct
mail, and shipping.

But electronically, most anyone can now
put together and promote a publication for little or nothing
and deliver it free. And most everyone is!

Who fared best as a dealer, offline?

It was the dealer with his own products who could offer
someone else's products to his customers in what was called
a "bounceback" or "back-end" offer. Any sales made this way
didn't cost much because the sales materials for the offer
"rode along" in the fulfillment package to a highly
qualified lead. Bounceback orders were almost entirely
profit, since the dealer simply forwarded the order to the
"prime source" of the product along with his distributor
cost, generally 50%, and a shipping label. The prime source,
"drop-shipped" his product to the customer, and everyone was

Today, if you're dealing in online affiliate programs, you
probably know they're tough to sell as stand-alones. Why?
Because there are many such "opportunities" from which
anyone can choose and because there are a lot of people
trying to sell the very same things to the same market.
In plain English, the competition is fierce!

But that doesn't mean that quality affiliate programs can't
make money for you. They can, if they are used properly.

As in mailorder, the best possible use you can make of
online affiliate programs, not your own, is to tie them into
whatever it is that you're doing, as ride-alongs, whether on
your web site, in your eZine, or through an eBook you
publish. By finding the programs that mesh with your own
business, you set them up to generate added revenue for you,
much like a bounceback in mailorder. These select programs
can be things that tie into your product or service directly
or indirectly.

What's the difference?

Let me give you an example.

I've recently completed an eBook called "Build It Online!
- How to Find, Sponsor & Duplicate MLM Success Over the
Internet." The book is a product, my product. But I've been
able to use it to introduce some things that I can recommend
to readers who may need them. These include a lead program
that's directly tied to Multi-Level Marketing, and a very
helpful piece of software that is indirectly related, since
it can benefit anyone doing business online including those
who are involved in MLM or Network Marketing. What's
important is that both are products I can feel good about
showing my readers. Take the lead program. When searching
these out, I came across one that I wouldn't use myself. So
why offer it to others? I believe in being able to stand
behind my recommendations, so should you.

It's easy to find products that you can tie into your
own online business. But take care that you only "affiliate"
yourself with things of value. Just because you joined a
program is no reason to promote it, especially if you're
linking it to your products and your reputation.

In my "studies" in online marketing -- why not call them
that! -- I've bought into far more things than I've ever
promoted, but there are only two business angles I want to
work online, anymore.

The first is to continue to develop and sell my own
products. I'm working a couple of niche markets now, and
know it's easier to sell what I produce than it is to market
someone else's product.

The second is to continue to promote the select MLM companies I can believe in.

In fact, if you don't have the interest in creating your
own products, to which affiliate programs can be tied, I'd
urge you to get yourself into a good MLM company and work
that instead of an affiliate program.


Because working an affiliate program is self-limiting.
You make a sale, you get a cut. But the program owner gets
the customer!

With MLM it's a little different. When you make a sale, your
customer, in a sense, becomes an affiliate or associate of
yours! And you earn on his sales and on the sales of those
to whom he sells. This can go "multi-levels" deep, so that
eventually, you can be earning bonuses and commissions on
the sales of 100's or 1000's of people, not just your own.
It's called leveragingFind Article, and it's something else being an affiliate dealer won't give you. Why not check it out?

Much success!


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