I've sold thousands of copies of ThriveCart as an affiliate over the past few years. I was the number one affiliate for ThriveCart for quite some time.
Admittedly, when I started promoting ThriveCart, I didn't have a real roadmap or game plan of how I was going to promote it. I threw a lot against the wall and tested all types of tactics until things really started to work.
After selling my first six-figures worth, I decided to audit what I'd done and really analyze what made the promotion work.
I tested these ideas on other products once I had a clear understanding of everything I had done, what had worked, and what had not. The experiments that came out of these served as the framework for my "Affiliate Promotion Engine" course.
In this piece, I want to consider and analyze the key factors that helped this promotion bring in close to $1.8 million.
Connection To The Founder
In the past, I've received some criticism from people who said, "Of course you did well with ThriveCart, you knew the creator personally."
The point is valid, however, there's a lesson in their statement. If I'm trying to promote a product, I'm going to stack the deck in my favor.
The number one piece of advice that I give to every single person I've ever taught affiliate marketing to is that you should build relationships with the founders of the products that you promote.
I personally got to know Josh Bartlett, the creator of ThriveCart, back around 2009, right as he was about to launch his first Easy Video Player product. We connected in a forum about marketing, bounced ideas around together, and eventually started chatting on Skype.
That early relationship helped me get a slight leg-up on promoting every product that Josh released from that point on.
Because of that relationship, I was able to acquire early insights about new developments, chat to the founder directly about which bonuses could help the promotion convert better, and conduct interviews directly with Josh.
I never received any special treatment from the ThriveCart team in terms of special pricing for my customers or additional bonuses. I tried, believe me. Josh always stated that he wished to be fair to all affiliates.
Anyone can contact a product creator and begin to build a relationship, especially if it means the creator will likely make more sales as a result.
A Killer (Ever-Growing) Bonus Package
Because I knew Josh, I was able to pick his brain around which bonuses could provide the best additional value to customers of ThriveCart.
I went all out on the bonus package and have continued to add more and more over the years, making the decision to buy through my link more valuable over time.
I frequently receive emails and direct messages from people who say that purchasing ThriveCart through my link was one of the best decisions they ever made. Not only did they enjoy the tool, but they also received additional value in the bonuses as time passed.
Someone purchasing ThriveCart through my link received:
- Three different interviews that I conducted with Josh, the founder
- Ongoing tutorials and tactical videos on how to best use ThriveCart
- A mini-course on how to rapidly create a product
- A course called "Rapid ROI Tactics" that literally taught people how to make their entire investment back on the purchase of ThriveCart if they followed the tactics.
- Templates for emails, chatbots, receipts and more that they could use with ThriveCart
- Landing page templates that they could import directly into ThriveCart
- The "Online Business in a Day" course, which taught them how to build an entire business using simple tools and artificial intelligence in a single day.
I also made a nice bonus page with a video and text description of everything they'd get if they bought ThriveCart through my link. The page is still active and highly effective today. You can see it here.
Investing this much time and effort in a bonus package is almost certainly the single most important factor in the success of this promotion. I wanted people to think that if they were going to buy ThriveCart, they should do so through my link.
An Entire Blog Dedicated To ThriveCart
I've never been a fan of doing one promotion and then moving on to the next. When I invest time and effort into developing a promotion, I want it to pay off in the long run.
The best way to do this is to ask yourself, "If this were my product, and I had to make sure it sold continuously, what would I do?"
At the very least, you'd have a website!
So I created GetThriveCart.com and dedicated the entire site to sharing ThriveCart-related tips, updates, interviews, and strategies. I wasn't just an affiliate; I was a valuable resource for both prospective buyers and existing customers.
This worked so well that people would buy ThriveCart and then refer others to my site to learn more about it rather than going directly to the main ThriveCart website.
This site was not only a useful resource, but it also provided significant SEO benefits. The site had so much ThriveCart content on it that it began to appear more and more in Google when people had ThriveCart-related questions.
As time passed, organic Google searches drove more traffic to our site (and, ultimately, our affiliate link) than any other source, including paid ads.
Side Note: I don't create a website for every single product that I promote. This is referred to as a "Phase 3 Promotion" in the Affiliate Promotion Engine course. Only products that perform well in phases 1 and 2 advance to phase 3 and are given their own website.
A Lead-Magnet & Follow-up Sequence
As a digital marketer, it would be a sin to not collect emails if I have an entire website dedicated to a product.
I made a lead magnet called "The Perfect Opt-in Page" that was a visual representation of how to structure your checkout page for the best conversion rate.
To create the lead magnet, I literally built a checkout page inside ThriveCart that had all of the optimized elements on it and took a screenshot of it. I wrote a little bit of text to explain each element, and that became my lead magnet.
Once I had something that people would be willing to opt-in for, I built out an email followup sequence. The sequence followed up with subscribers over the course of about a month. It provided insights and tactics that could be implemented with ThriveCart. Each had a call to action to buy ThriveCart through my link in order to receive the bonuses.
When people visited GetThriveCart but did not purchase, I had many more chances to get in front of them with my affiliate link.
A YouTube Channel Dedicated To ThriveCart
I also created a YouTube channel, as I would if this were my own product. I named the channel "ThriveCart Power Users" and began uploading all of the tutorials, interviews, and update announcements to it.
As time went on, I had more ThriveCart content on YouTube than any other creator. Once again, I was a trusted resource. People would send potential buyers to this YouTube channel to watch my videos.
Every single video included a call to action to buy ThriveCart through my link in order to receive the incredible bonus package that I'd put together.
I was also able to cross-promote the GetThriveCart blog and the ThriveCart Power Users channel between each other. Every time a new video went live on YouTube, there would be a corresponding blog post to go with it with the video embedded in it.
YouTube was never a big source of direct sales for me. However, the blog posts in which I embedded these videos continued to generate sales, and we continue to receive a large number of views on them to this day
A Facebook Group Dedicated To ThriveCart
This is something I've only seen one other affiliate do. Joe and I started a Facebook group to share and discuss ThriveCart tips and ideas with other users.
This group further solidified us as the "goto experts" for ThriveCart and gave us the ability to answer pre-sale questions for potential buyers. When they were ready to buy, we pointed them to our affiliate link and reminded them about our bonuses.
Once everything mentioned above was in place, I began running Google Ads, which were very effective for a long time.
The Google Ad strategy was simple...
Since ThriveCart wasn't running any ads on Google internally, I wasn't afraid of competing directly with them. I simply targeted people searching for ThriveCart, ThriveCart Price, ThriveCart Bonus, and a few other "buyer intent" keywords.
When someone clicked on our ad, I'd take them to our bonus page, which detailed everything they'd get if they bought through our link.
I began by creating two ads that promoted ThriveCart's one-time-only price, which was its biggest competitive advantage. I'd check in on the ad account once a week to see which ad had the highest conversion rate, kill the other ad, and create a new ad to try to beat the control.
I repeated that process every week for years, only stopping recently because so many other competing affiliates began modeling my exact strategy and driving up ad costs.
Those were the core strategies that I used to generate nearly $1.8million in sales. I experimented and had success with a few other strategies but that's the 80/20 of what generated the largest results.
I'm breaking this all down right now because it's the absolute best example of a "Phase 3 Promotion" from the Affiliate Promotion Engine.
...And, this week, I'm doing my last discounted promotion on The Affiliate Promotion Engine (APE). Roughly once per quarter, I'd drop the price on APE by 25% and do a 4-day promo around it and tomorrow (12/9/22) is the the start of the last time I'm going to be running this promotion.
The APE course is literally every single affiliate strategy that I've ever tested as well as additional strategies from guest experts like Pat Flynn, James Schramko, Matt Diggity, Stephen Esketzis, and more. It includes templates, checklists, case studies, and everything you'd need to get pointed in the right direction to have success in affiliate marketing.
I'm not discontinuing the course but I won't be discounting again.
I'm in the process of building a brand new course around practical uses of artificial intelligence for marketers and entrepreneurs and I need to shift my promotional focuses towards this new endeavor.
The 25%-off sale starts tomorrow but, if you're reading this before it's live, you can actually use coupon code "DEC25OFF" to claim 25% off right now. But the code will expire on Sunday (12/11/22) at midnight. If you're a supporter here on my website, there's a different coupon code for you below that's and even larger discount.
I hope you enjoyed this breakdown. I'll be doing many more case studies like this in the future on this and can't wait to share what I've been working on with you recently. It really is some mind-blowing stuff that will change how you think about marketing and automation forever.
Thanks so much for reading! Everything below this portion is for supporters only!