Interactive sales letter

Associate Programs Newsletter #248

After a bit of a struggle, I now have a sales letter that asks my visitors questions - and answers them.

The potential is huge.


1. Whew! Here's my first interactive sales letter
2. ISL - it's just teething problems
3. A newsletter I strongly recommend for all affiliates
4. Want to compete with CJ and LinkShare?
5.New affiliate networks
6. Thought for today: Determination


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1. Whew! Here's my first interactive sales letter

I was fretting late last night, fiddling with what looks like a fabulous new tool - but whatever I tried, it kept misbehaving.

The tool is Scott Stevenson's Interactive Sales Letter (ISL), which I mentioned briefly in my last newsletter.

My plan was to write an interactive article showing you how brilliant this tool is.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, this morning I figured out how to use it (more about what was going wrong later).

Here's the interactive sales letter I wrote:

"How to increase website traffic YOUR way - choose the tactics which suit you best."

Here's how this interactive article works...

Imagine you're visiting my web page, trying to learn how to increase your traffic.

You answer two simple questions.

You don't have to type anything. You just check two boxes.

Depending on which answers you give, the page changes dynamically as you watch, serving up different articles.

If you don't like one answer, you can check a different box and read a different answer.

Scott suggests that you make the page changes occur well down the page, out of sight so your visitors won't know what's happening.

However, I reckon it's much more interesting and fun to let your visitors see that you're changing your answers to suit their needs.

I LOVE this tool, even if it is slightly broken.

You can use it to qualify your visitors.

For example, in my "Increase website traffic" article, if your conversion rate needs tweaking, I lead you to a Website Makeover book which is getting rave reviews. [UPDATE: No longer available.]

If you need writing skills, the script takes you to the classic Make Your Words SELL!

[UPDATE: Make Your Words Sell!, which used to be sold for $29.95, is now free.]

If you're looking for something new, the article leads you to The Stampede Secret [UPDATE: No longer available.]

If you want cutting-edge tactics, you're led somewhere else.

On ONE page, you can send your visitors to NINE different article endings.

Don't you love this!

Talk about qualifying your visitors! You find out what they want and you sell it to them, based on THEIR wants.

Can you see how exciting this is?

It's a bit like having an unpaid assistant answering the phone for you to find out what your customers are looking for.

This is truly brilliant.

I'm sure you'll see ways in which my page could be improved. I "finished" it only a few hours ago.

When I tested it on my site it worked lightning fast.

However, if several thousand of you try viewing and testing this interactive page at the same time ...

I hope my web server can cope with the heat!

When several thousand of you visited Scott's site all at once after my last newsletter, you slowed his site to a crawl.

If my server is overloaded, be sure to make a note to visit again at a less busy time. This is truly worth seeing.

Have a look at my first attempt and get excited by the possibilities.

[UPDATE: When we revamped the website, we struck problems trying to integrate the interactive pages with our new content management system. So the page was deleted. Sorry about that.]



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2. ISL - it's just teething problems

Scott Stevenson, the programmer who invented the brilliant Interactive Sales Letter (ISL), needs to fix at least one little bug in the software.

But don't worry about that.

I'm a non-techie and I figured out how to make it work, so I'm sure you can, too.

I had two problems.

First, I couldn't make words bold. To get the job done, I decided to ignore that little teething problem.

Second, I couldn't see how to place links in my article. The HTML I pasted in kept being corrupted by Scott's web wizard.

The answer was embarrassingly simple. I didn't need to paste in HTML.

Scott helped out with clear instructions.

The ISL Creator's editor has a button at the top that looks like a chain (link-chain). If you select a word that you want linked (by dragging over the word) and then click that button, a pop-up box asks for the URL that you want the word to link to. That should do the trick.
(If you place your cursor over the chain button the words "Insert Web Link" appear. Duh!)

Scott says he'll soon have video tutorials available.

As I said before, I LOVE this tool.

I reckon we're going to see a lot of helpful, sales-boosting, interactive web sites appearing all over the Net - and lots of very happy affiliates and merchants.

Here's ISL, the tool which makes your sales letters and your articles interactive...

(If you tried to sign up recently and were puzzled by words that Scott used, have another look. He's now using plainer language.)

[UPDATE: No longer available.]



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3. A newsletter I strongly recommend for all affiliates

I hardly ever recommend newsletters. All too often, they're useful for a while and then disappoint.

One which is consistently useful is published by Sean Burns.

For example, in his September 16 issue he explained his method of doing keyword research before building web pages. Even if you don't want to use his clever technical approach, you might want to pause and think about this sentence...
"I'm usually looking for product names, merchant names and brands..."
By building web pages around such keywords, Sean is building pages aimed at people who are actively searching for precisely the products he's promoting. It's a smart tactic.

In his June 3 edition, he described how he's building a massive affiliate-driven Shopping Guide, which goes against the current trend for affiliates to concentrate on small niches.

No doubt his shopping guide will target lots of product names, merchant names and brands.

He says the site might take five years to build.

In his newsletter, Sean explains how he's constructing the site.

You can find his newsletters archived online here:

A few months ago, Sean gave me a little tip, telling me how I could improve my search engine rankings for one of my pages. He did it publicly, on my affiliate forum.

The page targets a toughly competitive phrase, "site build it".

Eventually, I got around to taking Sean's advice.

Today, I checked my rankings in Google. For the phrase "site build it" I've shot up from No.17 to No.7 - just one spot ahead of Sean's own page on the same topic.

Thanks, Sean.

Sean is also the author of a much praised book on search engine optimization, Rankings Revealed 3.0.

In it, you'll find he cuts through the clutter and gives you important insights you won't find elsewhere. Writing in plain language, he has a way of forcing you think about the factors that really matter.

(If you think the author of a book on SEO ought to be in the No.1 spot, have at look at who he's competing with.)

Get Sean's book, Rankings Revealed 3.0, here...

Your rivals are already reading it.

[UPDATE: Sean suffered health problems and seems to be offline now.]

4. Want to compete with CJ and LinkShare?

Here's something new I spotted recently.

Affiliate Network Pro is software which enables site owners to start their own affiliate network site "just like CJ and LinkShare", says John Ross of AlstraSoft.

You can see the full features of the software and do a test drive here:

If you manage to create an affiliate network that's "just like CJ" be sure to tell me about it.

5. New affiliate networks

A couple of interesting new affiliate networks have popped up recently, looking for merchants and affiliates.

New network DigitalGrit has an eye-catching affiliate program, - an eBay rival.

Another new network is TrafficSynergy, run by some very talented guys. If doesn't offer many programs yet. I noticed there's one that gives you the opportunity to open your own pharmacy and sign up your own affiliates.

If you're looking for new affiliate programs which not many affiliates know about yet, keep an eye on the new affiliate networks.

Affiliate networks list

6. Thought for today: Determination

"An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men." - Thomas Fuller.


All the best

Allan Gardyne

October 7, 2004

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