The Right Way and the Wrong Way to Initiate Joint Ventures

At least once a week, I get an e-mail from a newbie Internet marketer presenting the same problem…

The marketer has created his first product, along with a landing page on which to sell it.

Now, how does he drive traffic to that landing page to generate clicks and sales?

The most effective method is to send an e-mail marketing message advertising the product to your opt-in e-list.

But if you’re like most beginning Internet marketers, you have either no list or a list so small that no significant sales will result from e-mailing to it.

The only way for you to access large, responsive e-lists is to do joint ventures with the big Internet marketers who own those lists.

Unfortunately, the successful Internet marketers with the big, profitable e-lists (a) don’t know who you are and (b) are bombarded by people asking them to promote products every day.

Therefore, they have little or no inclination to promote yours.

So what are the do’s and don’ts of asking medium-size (like me) and big Internet marketers (like Early to Rise) to joint venture with you?

To begin with, never send your product unsolicited, without getting permission first – especially a physical product like a book or DVD set.

The recipients have neither the time nor the interest to read your book or watch your DVD, and your expensive materials will go straight into the trash.

And don’t ask the big Internet marketers to look at your e-book and offer advice and suggestions.

That is presumptuous and potentially insulting. My clients pay me hundreds or thousands of dollars for my critiques and editing. So why I should interrupt my paying work to review your e-book for free?

That said, here’s a 5-step process that can lead to success in establishing joint ventures with other Internet marketers, even those much bigger than you.

1. If there is any connection between you and the marketer, even a tenuous one, mention it in your first communication with them.

The connection could be as solid as having a common friend or colleague, or as negligible as you being a fan of their work.

One online marketer I know got a major guru to endorse his e-book because they live in the same city and swim in the same lake.

2. Briefly describe the product for which you are proposing a joint venture.

Give its title and a one-paragraph summary of the contents, purpose, and intended audience.

3. Explain why you think your product would appeal to the marketer’s list, and also how it offers them unique content they cannot get elsewhere.

For instance, an aspiring Internet entrepreneur put together a guide on how to write copy and suggested I offer it to my list. He was shocked when I turned him down. Why did I do it? Because I ALREADY have several of my own products that cover the same territory. Since I’d have to split the profits with him in a joint venture, why wouldn’t I just sell my own products and keep all the money?

More recently, I was offered the opportunity to joint venture on an e-book about how copywriters and graphic designers can work together. It’s a topic with great appeal to my list, and I don’t cover it in any of my own products. This combination makes it ideal for a joint venture.

4. Make sure the price of your product is high enough that it allows the marketer to make a profit when he promotes it to his list.

I have been approached by marketers about doing joint ventures on small special reports that cost seven dollars. I tell them there is not enough money per sale in it to pay off for me.

5. Offer a generous commission.

For most information products – e-books, audio CD albums, DVDs, multimedia programs – I give as well as get a 50% commission on each sale. Anything less than 50% is usually not enough to interest me.

There are exceptions. On high-priced items, such as seminars and conferences, a 25% commission is sufficient compensation. One colleague, CM, asked me to present his $5,000 bootcamp to my list and offered $1,000 commission on each sale. I was more than happy to oblige.

Some Internet marketers add extra compensation for joint venture partners – prizes for the partners who generate the most sales for a product. This is typically offered for product launches.

I would never promote a product I don’t like to my list just to win a prize, even if it is substantial. (And the prizes can be anything from an iPod up to an automobile!) But if I would promote the product to my list anyway, I certainly don’t mind getting a modest prize. (I won an iPod a few months ago and gave it to my son.)

[Ed. Note: Setting up successful and effective joint ventures should be a priority in your Internet business. But there is plenty of other stuff to learn and take care of: search engine optimization, copywriting, landing pages, e-mail list building, social media… you’ll learn it all in Bob’s Internet Cash Generator program.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter and the author of more than 70 books. To subscribe to his free e-zine, The Direct Response Letter, and claim your free gift worth $116, click here now.]
  • Chude Muonelo

    I love this website!!!! You all are always giving great advice that doesn’t take long for me to soak up. Thanks for another great article!!

  • Denise

    Hi Bob,

    How would a JV opportunity work for a fellow writer? I’m interested in approaching JV prospects who work in the marketing and non-profit arenas. My goal would be to have them promote my copywriting services somehow (yet I don’t have a product to pitch or sell). Could I offer them free work in exchange for their putting in a good word for me?

    • ttcert

      Why not give them a commission of 25%?

  • ttcert

    Thank you, happy to help!