Huge interest in staying healthy

Associate Programs Newsletter #24


CONTENTS:

1. Huge interest in staying healthy
2. Helping you create gateway pages - and make money
3. More CPMs calculated
4. Declan Dunn gives value for money
5. Put book reviews in your newsletter
6. How to earn bigger revenues
7. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks = opportunity
8. John Ferber's $50 challenge
9. Snippets

This week I look at two more two-tier programs - those delightful ones which not only pay you commissions but also reward you for referring associates. I've added some interesting programs to the two-tier list at http://www.associateprograms.com/articles/161/1/Best-two-tier-affiliate-programs this week.


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1. Huge interest in staying healthy
===================================

Are you trying to figure out what your visitors want? A lot of them are probably worried about their health.

Interactive Solutions reports that 43% of all Net users (more than 15 million adults) searched for online health information last year, Michael Tchong reported in Iconcast e-mail newsletter. "This figure is projected to grow to 27 million this year."

For the full story see:
iconocast.com/icono-archive/ICONO.100798.html

With such a huge interest in the subject, a new program listed this week - Dr Burke's Holistic Health SuperStore - is sure to attract a lot of attention.

The site offers extensive health information and stocks hundreds of alternative health products that have been reviewed by Dr Susan Burke, OMD (China), Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Her phone number is on the site.

Products stocked include medical magnets, massage products and a large range of educational videos.

The store had an exclusivity clause, which disappeared almost as soon as I heard about it. It's good to see another company which listens to its associates' wishes.

Dr Burke's Alternative Healthy Stores pay 15% commission, plus a 3% commission on the earnings of people you refer. http://store.yahoo.com/racer/index.html

Here are two more health programs:

Nature's Pharmacy pays 15% commissions on a wide range of natural herbal nutritional supplements, weight management training programs, herbal weight loss products based on thermogenesis, and alternative solutions for fitness enthusiasts and other health conscious individuals.
naturespharmacy.net

[UPDATE: Nature's Pharmacy has been discontinued.]

MotherNature.com - http://www.mothernature.com - is paying 20% commissions until the end of 1998, 12% thereafter. MotherNature.com says it is the leading retailer of vitamins and supplements on the web, selling 30,000 products at up to 50% off. It also has "the most complete product and health condition information available".


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2. Helping you create gateway pages - and make money
====================================================

If you're clever enough (or lucky enough) to have constructed a site which ranks highly in search engines - and then have been horrified to see your pages overtaken by other sites, you'll appreciate the importance of the product offered by SearchPositioning.com.

SearchPositioning.com helps you create bridge or gateway pages designed to be found. A good gateway page can have a dramatic effect on traffic.

When using search engines, how often do you hunt past the first page or two of results? Not often, probably. SearchPositioning.com says the top 30 search results receive roughly 90% of search engine traffic, with the top 10 results receiving almost 78% of the traffic.

David Gikandi, SearchPositioning.com's founder, says webmasters can get valuable top search positioning for words and phrases related to their products and services by simply filling in a short form at SearchPositioning.com.

By reverse-engineering search engine results, SearchPositioning.com has developed a system that creates doorway pages designed to rank highly on Excite, AltaVista, HotBot, Infoseek, Lycos, Web Crawler, and Magellan search results.

The system simply asks the webmaster for keywords or phrases that represent his or her products or services, plus the URL to their web site, and it instantly generates search engine-optimized pages that direct surfers to the webmasteris web site. You don't even have to know HTML programming or the workings of search engine algorithms.

The service costs $US34.95 a year for unlimited doorways and keywords.

"With 100 million people online today, the market is large and real, but you have to make it easy for it to find you," says David. "There is a concern that SearchPositioning.com's service is a form of spamming the search engines, but most engines do not mind our approach as long as there is no deception involved."

SearchPositioning.com also offers a directory of related services, tools, books, and software; in addition to an online forum, chat, and discussion list on search positioning.

The SearchPositioning.com service was just listed in the Associate Programs Directory today and I haven't tried it. There has been some discussion over whether gateway pages are still useful. I've seen conclusive evidence that a well designed gateway page can achieve dramatic results. (No, the webmaster doesn't want me to tell you the URL. He doesn't want to risk losing his No.1 position on Infoseek, for a very useful phrase.

For further research see:

Bridge or gateway pages explained by search engine guru Danny Sullivan
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/webmasters/bridge.html
A Bridge Page Too Far?
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/sereport/9802-bridge.html
I-Search mailing list archives
adventive.com/
SearchPositioning.com pays 20% for direct referrals and 10% on the earnings of associates you refer.

It's one of the new two-tier programs I've added to
Best two tier affiliate programs this week.

[UPDATE: Hardly anyone recommends doorway pages these days.]


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3. More CPMs calculated
=======================

Leo Sheiner of Safe-Audit told I-Sales recently that Click-through and CPM (cost per 1,000 impressions) campaigns on Safe-Audit achieve between $1CPM and $10CPM. Affiliate campaigns now get between $0.50CPM and $5CPM. "That of course is an average and many well targeted sites do even better," Leo said.

John Reese has a few more CPM results to share:

Dear Allan,

You and many others have requested statistics from affiliate program members. I have been learning a lot over the past several weeks on click-throughs (CTRs) and CPMs . . . I want to share some figures with our fellow readers.

I am webmaster for the virtual community of Quincy Illinois and surrounding communities which extend over into Central East Missouri and Southeast Iowa. Our site is broken down in approximately 50 thematic directories. We have a very comprehensive listing of all local businesses, organizations and personal websites. In addition, we provide under each directory interesting and content rich websites.

As this is a community website our intentions was not to make money off this venture. We have several local businesses that pay for banner advertising. We wanted to add some affiliate programs that could benefit our local visitors because the goods or services are not readily available without having to drive 100 plus miles to St Louis, Peoria, or even to Chicago. The money we receive from affiliate programs goes back into our cash box to help offset our yearly hosting cost and other incidental charges.

Here are figures for several of our affiliate programs, Electronic Newstand, Barnes & Noble, LinkShare and WebSponsors.

Electronic Newstand (1/1/98 to 11/5/98):
- Total number of impressions: 72,713
- Total number of click-throughs: 1,995
- CTR: 2.743%
- Total number of sales: 54
- Total commission from sales: $82.75
- CPM: $1.14

Barnes & Noble (1/1/98 to 11/5/98):
- Total number of impressions: 19,068
- Total number of click-throughs: 2710
- CTR: 14.21%
- Total number of sales: 18
- Total commission from sales: $16.46
- CPM: $0.86

LinkShare - Liquor by Wire (5/31/98 to 11/7/98)
- Total number of impressions: 866
- Total number of click-throughs: 18
- CTR: 2.078%
- Total number of sales: 1
- Total commission from sales: $2.35
- CPM: $2.71

LinkShare - Omaha Steaks (5/16/98 - 11/7/98)
- Total number of impressions: 3122
- Total number of clickthroughs: 63
- CTR: 2.018%
- Total number of sales: 5
- Total commission from sales: $5.75
- CPM: $1.84

BTW: I have received my commission checks from the above two LinkShare programs.

WebSponsors - M&M's Sweepstakes Banner - pays 0.75 for
qualified lead (10/14/98 to 10/30/98)
- Total number of impressions: 6237 (number of impressions
taken from my stat program)
- Total number of click-throughs: 12 (number of leads)
- CTR: 0.192%
- Total number of sales: 12
- Total commission from sales: $9.00
- CPM: $1.44

If people are interested in more stats in the future, I will be happy to post them. I hope to see other affiliate members share their program results in the future.

John Reese
Virtualquincy.com


====================================
4. Declan Dunn gives value for money
====================================
People who took the plunge and paid the $97 Declan Dunn is asking for "The Complete, Insider's Guide To Associate & Affiliate Programs" are finding they received value for money.

An attractive part of the deal was free access to Declan's online Links to Sales Journal. Topics Declan covers very thoroughly in this month's issue are:

A. How to Turn Your Customers Into Affiliates
B. Beyond the Banner: ActiveBanners, Sponsorships, and Banner Ad Forms C. The Truth About Internet Merchant Accounts
D. How To Position Your Affiliate Programs for Optimal Profits
E. Case Study: Habitat's Online Plan (and much more)

If you're thinking about setting up an associate program or even if you're just interested in e-marketing - and isn't that all of us? - check out:

"The Complete, Insider's Guide To Associate & Affiliate Programs"

[UPDATE: This product is no longer available.]


======================================
5. Put book reviews in your newsletter
======================================

Sunni Freyer writes:

Allan:

I read this post from Gordon Currie in your newsletter:

> One thing we have have found at RivenGuild.com is that our
> online bookstore (we are an Amazon.com affiliate) is
> generating more than just CPM. It draws loads of traffic to
> our site and fares well in the search engines.

I wanted to let Gordon know that while not a RivenGuild fan - too much business, not enough fun - I visited his site, in particular to look at the bookstore. Very nice bookstore, especially the addition of author interviews, bookcovers and easy navigation within a frames environment.

I was surprised to read that despite the storefront he has created for the bookstore and the very targeted audience he attracts that the bookstore is not generating, it appeared from his post, good CPM. I agree with him on the import of analysis of spin-off value from such value-added site content. I take it that the referral logs must be demonstrating that the traffic to his site is entering through his bookstore?

I had to wonder, though, if inclusion of book reviews in emailed zines would improve that CPM? Time and time again, our stats demonstrate that:

1. More inquiries and/or sales are generated from email than a web page (in reference to affiliate programs).

2. Inclusion of the item being sold within editorial copy at a web site generates more sales than a simple link or banner ad.

Case in point, on the last example: I authored an article on The Basics of Writing a Professional News Release in response to numerous email inquiries on how-to's. (I've taught PR and newswriting at the local universities for many years and am a 26-year PR practitioner.) Within that copy, I indicated that one of the basic tools needed is the AP Stylebook. That's not puffery and press-agentry. It's a must. I also included a link to Amazon so that the purchase could be effected.

The result is excellent. The do-it-yourselfers are buying the stylebook. And, I'm pleased at that because I believe it's critical to pick-up to have that book. The blend was perfect and natural. And it takes advantage of the interactive benefit of the net.

Just my 2 cents.

Cynthia (Sunni) Freyer
CFNA Inc: The PR Agency
http://www.cfnaonline.com

I agree, The Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual is excellent. I wish some of the people who post messages to the Message Board would read it and learn to criticize a company without using words such as "fraud" and "criminals". I welcome the useful information, but we're supposed to be presumed innocent until a court rules otherwise. Cost: $12.


==============================
6. How to earn bigger revenues
==============================

Site owners who develop their audience can turn their unique audience into money, says Mary Kolacki, writing in the PulseTV.com newsletter.

"Below is an article written on targeted content.
searchz.com/zcommerce/110598.shtml

"The gist of the article is that if you have targeted content, finding products that match that content is a way to earn bigger revenues," Mary says. "If you are affiliates of Amazon.com, PulseTV.com, or BarnesandNoble.com, it is always best to choose the TITLES that best correspond to your content. Put that content in front of your audience."

[UPDATE: PulseTV closed its affiliate program.]


=======================================
7. Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks = opportunity
=======================================

Mike Curtis of One & Only says a coming marketing opportunity involves the movie, "You've got mail", set for wide release on December 18 - http://www.youvegotmail.com. It's a love story starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, who meet each other online in a chat room.

"This is a great tie-in for the One and Only matchmaking service," Mike says. "Some of you are probably one step ahead of us and have already thought of a super duper creative idea to capitalize on the buzz surrounding this new movie."

As well as the 15% first-tier commission, for every webmaster you refer to the One & Only Network, you earn 33.3% of their earnings.

[UPDATE: This program has closed.]


==============================
8. John Ferber's $50 challenge
==============================

John Ferber of Teknosurf says he is so confident that your earnings are higher with TeknoSurf than any other pay-per- click ad network that he challenges you to prove him wrong.

"Run a controlled experiment and earn $50 dollars with Teknosurf, if you earn $50 dollars with ANY other pay-per- click ad network using LESS exposures we'll pay you a bonus $50. Valid evidence required!"

John also says that from December 1 you will earn a percentage of revenues from ALL referred webmasters to date.

At the moment Teknosurf pays $5 for every accepted website you refer, and $2 "for every accepted website a webmaster you refer refers" but "mom and pop" sites don't get accepted.

[UPDATE: TeknoSurf is now Advertising.com.]


===========
9. Snippets
===========

Alert - Magic Button
A few hours ago I received a very serious complaint about the Magic Button credit card service. I haven't had time to investigate it. Be cautious.

"Burn Rate"
I was intrigued to see that experienced e-marketer John Audette included a book review in his premier issue of his Adventive newsletter this week. He gave a favorable review of Burn Rate: How I Survived the Gold Rush Years on the Internet by Michael Wolff.

Complete storefront link
Donald Ayers complained that it was much too time intensive to build a bookstore bit by bit at barnesandnoble.com. Michael Kelley disagrees: "Barnes and Noble now has a COMPLETE STOREFRONT link available to associates. You can check out the modified version at our youth group site: http://www.gbgm-umc.org/FieldsUMOH/barnesi.htm Pretty nice, and it eliminates the patchwork method mentioned."

Finding exclusivity clauses
Andrew Starr of http://www.emailman.com doesn't like being told he can have only one bookstore or health shop on his site. "With the disclaimer that I recommend reading the terms and conditions in full, sometimes I take the initial step of using my browser's 'find' feature to search for 'excl' and 'termi' to try to quickly determine if the contract has an exclusivity clause (which I try to avoid) and whether it is terminable immediately with notice (which I like so that I'm not locked in)."

Holiday art galleries
Stepheny Lauer of Artuframe.com says that for November and December Artuframe.com is paying 15% commission "so don't delay in getting your art gallery ready for the holidays". And http://www.barewalls.com which sells prints, posters, and greeting cards, has raised its commission rate to 18% for direct-to-product links, and 15% for all other links.

Big bad business
Barnes & Noble has agreed to buy the Ingram Book Group, the largest book distributor in the U.S. - and Amazon.com's biggest supplier, for $600 million in cash and stock. Apparently B&N will get to learn quite a bit about its competitor.
mercurycenter.com/business/top/061581.htm

Name change
SportSite.com is now called Fogdog Sports. It sells a huge range of sporting goods, and pays 20% commission. "We encourage affiliates to buy products through their links for a discount," says Michael Feldman. Good on you!
http://www.fogdog.com

[UPDATE: I've changed my opinion on that. Merchants should NOT allow affiliates to buy products through their own links. If they do, the affiliate who did the work of sending the traffic isn't rewarded. Instead, merchants should offer their affiliates discounts. That's fair for everyone.]

Avoiding scams
"They ARE out to get you. How online scam artists are stealing your money. (And what to do about it.)
anchordesk.com/a/adt1109ba/2724
"How to Avoid Being a Victim of Fraud Over the Internet"
zdnet.com/icom/e-business/1998/11/sec.sweep/index.html
Hint: Be wary of sites which don't offer a person's name and a way of contacting someone.

Free third level domains
Hi Allan, I read your "Intriguing amateur sells charcoal portraits" article . . . and thought you might be interested in my site (or at least Nancy would), which offers free third level domains - so now Nancy can have portraits.findhere.com and email anything AT portraits.findhere.com . Sincerely,
Luan Huynh
findhere.com

People keep asking me
OK, this week's new readers, you don't have to write and ask me. The associate program I'm regularly making the most money from is Corey Rudl's marketing course. It's No.1 on my Top 10. Here's the signup page
http://www.AssociatePrograms.com/coreys


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All the best

Allan Gardyne

November 13, 1998

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