Internet Marketing Case Study Part 1

Let me start with a little story:

There was once a farmer who had a donkey. The donkey was a real pain, it kicked and it bit...
One day the donkey fell into a well that was not in use.
The farmer tried to pull up the donkey from the well, but he did not succeed. He called for help and a few of his neighbors came, but even together they could not pull out the poor donkey.
The farmer had a change of heart and decided that the donkey was old, and it had only been trouble, so they will be all better off if they just bury the donkey. They will get rid of the old well and the donkey at the same time.
So they started to fill the well with dirt, one shovelful at a time.
The donkey, every time the dirt hit his back, shook himself and stepped up a little, on the top of the dirt. After half an hour or so, to the amazement of the farmers, the donkey stepped out of the hole and ran away. But before he ran, he bit the farmer well.
This story will play out well... in the following case study.

I will be painfully honest in this series of articles. It will be painful to me, because I will be admitting to some of my weaknesses. And it may be painful to some other marketer, who I decided not to mention by name, but he will recognize himself.

Now, the painful part: I have been in internet marketing, unconsciously and consciously, for 12-13 years.

I started by turning an offline wildly successful local magazine into an online venture, mainly because 1. printing was too expensive, 2. my health didn't make it easy for me to work that hard any longer, go to clubs, deliver magazines, go, go, go, work work work.

I didn't know I was in marketing. I was a publisher. I didn't know my main job was marketing, so I knew nothing about marketing. I did some stuff that I now consider marketing, but then... I didn't even have the word. I thought marketing was focus groups, and I despised that then.

So I didn't make any money, and only after quite a few years I started to make a full time income. By full time I mean I could pay the bills and eat. I mean I didn't have to have another job.

About five years ago I heard the word marketing in a different context, and this time it sounded like that is maybe what I should be doing... if I knew how to do it.

I started to study, but could not see how it applied to what I was already doing.

I learned that if I could build a mailing list, I could start to make more money than just paying the bills.

I met Tellman at the Underground Internet Marketing Seminar at breakfast, and shared with him. When he found out what kind of traffic my site had, he went ballistic. He was sure I was sitting on a million dollar goldmine. Everyone had always thought that, but all I could eke out is a meager living.

He told me exactly how to build a mailing list, then went his merry way. I tried. I failed at it.

I hired this coach for six months, that coach for six months... some increase, but still no mailing list.

Then I had a brainstorm, and managed to build a list of 278, fans, lovers of what I had to say, not buyers.

By that time I was successful with affiliate marketing in the self-improvement field, became good at ppc, could teach what to do (like a good basketball coach... not good at throwing baskets, lol), still no list.

In July of this year I took on a fellow bumbling, fumbling wannabe. I spoke authoritatively, so she trusted that I'll be able to guide her to make money.

She had few skills, little knowledge, so I decided that I'll teach her, but I'll use the energy of the relationship to fuel me to get through the stopping points, the rough spots, the walls I hadn't been able to go through. I wanted to scale high walls, I wanted to jump over big canyons... I wanted to become the basketball coach who can throw baskets. I wanted to become the internet marketing coach that made money doing internet marketing.

Continued in Part 2

Internet Marketing Case Study Part 2

... Go to the beginning of the article...

As I said at the end of Part 1: I wanted to become an internet marketing coach that made money DOING internet marketing.

Diana's job was to help me, just by being there, so I become unstoppable. I knew that if I didn't stop when it was hard, if I didn't stop when something failed, if I didn't stop when I didn't know what else to do, then ultimately I would get where I was heading: making at least a million dollars a year in internet marketing.I wrote out a check for 100K to my favorite cause, signed it, and put it on my refrigerator door.

I told my closest friends, my little brother, and my spiritual teacher what I was planning.

Warning: some of what I say next is going to be hokey, woowoo, etc. to you. Please stay with me, it will be short, and you can get the story without getting my spiritual explanation. And the story, the case study is worth reading, I promise.

Then the bottom fell out. The Dark Side of my nature started to put up a fight.

Monies that were coming in steadily, started to come in drops, dribbles.

Diana's income source died.

I knew I was attempting a major overhaul of my life. That amount of resistance from the Dark Side indicated that. I was overjoyed. I must be on the right path, I must be doing what I am supposed to do.

We tried the usual things, but nothing looked like a good path. We bought some products, but the spark didn't ignite.

Then, at the darkest, I received an email from a marketer whose offers I have bought before.

I read it, and knew that it was the answer to my prayers.

The offer was: buy a lot of leads of people who requested money making information, and they will also set you up with a site from where you can mail them, and even an optin page and an upsell... Sweet deal.

It was cheap. The whole deal was inexpensive. I bought 4 times the amount of leads. The leads were to be delivered in five days.

I aroused Diana and infected her with hope.

We were going to make it rich. 15,000 strong instant mailing list.

But what are we going to sell? We got to work. We scoured our hard drives for plr products, and found more than 200 of them. Then we evaluated, and created pages, audios, rewrote, salesletters, emails, the whole nine yards.

We changed direction a few times, and it took us three weeks to be ready to mail...

Continued in Part 3

Internet Marketing Case Study Part 3

>>> go to the beginning of the article

As I said in the previous part, we were ready to mail.

We added 2K leads that Diana got from another source, so now we had 17K hungry prospects... right?

I decided to "clean" the list before we start to bombard them with frequent emails.

I imported the data into a database program called Filemaker Pro (I used to be a Mac person... back in my paper publishing days, :-), the Filemaker is a Claris program...)

Anyway, Filemaker can email personalized email through your own email client, like Outlook Express, or in my case, The Bat, and the recipient's ISP won't know it is not a hand sent, personal email.

I have 3 gmail accounts, each with 500 sends limit a day, 5 yahoo premium accounts, each with 250 sends limit a day, we'll get through this mailing in a few weeks, but by then we'll have, as I hoped, no, strike that, expected 300 buyers, which could be the seed of a great business. Right?

First I was segmenting the data by ISP. Gmail is an ISP. Yahoo is an ISP. Hotmail is and ISP. Aol is an ISP.

I found only 175, circa 10% gmail accounts. 100 of them came from Diana's 2,000. Hmmm. Interesting. In my experience, any internet marketing list has at least 30% gmail emails... and it is also my experience, that gmail is the most deliverable email address given google's very good spam filter that does not catch many legitimate emails as spam.

8161 yahoo,
813 hotmail
221 aol

I emailed the yahoo people from my yahoo accounts.

The rest of them I emailed from my gmail accounts.

I am exactly half way through. I have had 2134 undeliverables (about 25%). 90% of the hotmail accounts were returned undeliverable. Verizon: ditto. Bellsouth: ditto.

No gmail was returned.

I have changed the email I sent every day...

As a test, I posted one email as an article on my blog, and it attracted 78 visitors that came to read that article from bookmarking services.

I expect that I'll chuck the whole 17108 leads... I won't even bother removing the bad emails... why bother.

I paid $400 for the list. I have wasted more money before...

I have an option to be resentful, to be depressed, to grieve my losses, to demand my money back, or be grateful for the sudden injection of urgency that helped me over some barriers I could never get over before.

I have finally become good at using Dreamweaver. I have finally set up my account correctly with 2checkout. I have seen my way through a funnel system that can and will make money, as soon as I drive real prospects to it.

I have become clear about what I need to get better at:

writing sales copy, both salespages and email.

Crafting an offer

Credibility... why they should buy from me

What's unique about me. Half of the time I was trying to be someone else, other than myself. I thought modeling meant trying to be that other person, the successful one, because I am not successful because I am me...

I got really clear for myself that no one can be coached who is not in action. I am now sure that the only kind of person I want to coach in the future who is attempting to do something and needs my coaching and teaching.

I am immensely grateful. I spent the best 400 dollars I have ever spent. Including everything. Because it has brought me to a place from where I can see. And I didn't even know that I was in a deep hole trying to see beyond the walls of the hole. Those 400 bucks brought me up to see out of the hole...

I am looking to spend the next 400 bucks to put me on a mountain... Any suggestions? :-)

Remember the donkey story from Part 1 of this case study?

Be the donkey... indomitable spirit.

PS: I'll put all the findings in a follow up as soon as I have it. Stay tuned.