Thursday, December 28, 2006

Swaps & Opt-Ins On “Like Sites”

I often mention that you have no "competition"... just potential business partners. (This must be your mind set) These industry related companies have clients... buyers... and you need those names for your business.

How do you get access?

Show your "competitor" that they have a valuable resource and so do you. It's in both your interests to work together. Both will profit and grow.

You see, subscribers wants access to good offers... if you only give them a limited board of fare they will stop reading, stop clicking, and leave. But if you give them value, constantly changing, up to date value... be it additional offers, editorial, reports, etc., they keep reading, keep clicking, and remain a solid asset. Heck they will even invite their friends to join your community.

Don't be afraid... you may lose some subs but you may have lost them anyway, right?

AND you gain more in additional sales and the goodwill of the increased value.

Where do you find these partners?

I start with & Google. Research the niche, research the "competition" and you'll find numerous threads to follow. You can also hire so-called Competitive Intelligence companies that will research individual sites and give you a great breakdown for the source of their readers, buyers, or and/or leads.

When you contact these companies I'd suggest swapping editorial first. Introduce your editor and your voice to the new audience. Prep the file, as it were.

Editorial swaps are successful because publishers are always looking for articles to run on their websites, and eletters. Whether you re publish one of your articles or write something new for the target audience, make sure you include the URL to your sign-up page at the end. Remember the concept is to swap value. List space for list space.

From exchanging editorial... move to swapping "opt in" copy for your free eletters, i.e., a free offer, recommending each others e-letter to your respective subscriber bases. That should get you a real good amount of new subscribers.

Last but not least, now that the relationship is established with the publisher and their audience... swap paid offers.

Warning: If you have less than 1,000 subscribers on your list, ad swapping won't appeal to most publishers. But you could provide articles, content, research, or some other needed service in exchange for promoting your publication and sign-up page to their audience. Sell it to them - it's worth begging. Really...

Why not just pay for the space?

Some sites prefer that, but other don't allow it. They may still see you as the dreaded competition. It's a shame but they don't see the big picture. Or perhaps they are just dumb. It's a case by case determination. But keep in mind... just selling without a "prep" of the file doesn't work as well as using editorial to build credibility. So I prefer to start with swaps. No out of pocket cost either!

So try a reciprocal swap... it's a great tool with "like-minded" sites.