What Mailorder Publishing Can Teach You About Selling Online!

Written by Larry Stepanowicz

"Affiliate Programs," as they've been dubbed onrepparttar Internet, have actually been around for quite some time. In mailorder publishing we just called them dealerships, but they workedrepparttar 122614 same way. Someone would self publish a book or report, sell it through ads or by direct mail, and often allow others to sell it, for a commission, too. Becoming a dealer for a product sometimes required its purchase at full price, sometimes a fee, or sometimes it was just given away free. All three methods are used online, as well.

Today, those books and reports of by-mail selling have become eBooks and websites,repparttar 122615 camera-ready flyersrepparttar 122616 dealers had printed to promote them have became computer generated affiliate sites, and automatic tracking of credit card payments has replacedrepparttar 122617 cash, checks, and money orders that were sent throughrepparttar 122618 mail. Butrepparttar 122619 story remainsrepparttar 122620 same...

By having many dealers selling his product, a successful mailorder publisher was able to make a lot of money. As forrepparttar 122621 dealers, they were lucky if they could make enough selling it to coverrepparttar 122622 costs of their mailings!

What mailorder dealers needed were products they could sell forrepparttar 122623 small cost of having them printed, because 50% just wasn't enough. But unless a dealer could produce a product of his own, what he had available to him wererepparttar 122624 same schlock reports to which anyone could have reproduction rights by simply purchasingrepparttar 122625 report. Much of this marginally useful material has found its way ontorepparttar 122626 internet where it is given away byrepparttar 122627 diskful, often through affiliate programs!

Inrepparttar 122628 make-money-by-mail circle, most of which is now inrepparttar 122629 past, it wasrepparttar 122630 "prime source" or publisher who won. Inrepparttar 122631 make money-money-online circle, it's stillrepparttar 122632 prime source who wins, though he isn't called that, anymore. The more things change,repparttar 122633 more they stayrepparttar 122634 same!

One thing electronic publishing has made possible isrepparttar 122635 ease with which it can be done -- for practically nothing.

A mailorder publisher had to be willing to take a sizeable risk to get his work intorepparttar 122636 market. Typesetting, printing, and binding cost money. So did print advertising, direct mail, and shipping. But electronically, most anyone can now put together and promote a publication for little or nothing and deliver it free. And most everyone is!

Who fared best as a dealer, offline?

It wasrepparttar 122637 dealer with his own products who could offer someone else's products to his customers in what was called a "bounceback" or "back-end" offer. Any sales made this way didn't cost much becauserepparttar 122638 sales materials forrepparttar 122639 offer "rode along" inrepparttar 122640 fulfillment package to a highly qualified lead. Bounceback orders were almost entirely profit, sincerepparttar 122641 dealer simply forwardedrepparttar 122642 order torepparttar 122643 "prime source" ofrepparttar 122644 product along with his distributor cost, generally 50%, and a shipping label. The prime source, "drop-shipped" his product torepparttar 122645 customer, and everyone was happy.

Today, if you're dealing in online affiliate programs, you probably know they're tough to sell as stand-alones. Why? Because there are many such "opportunities" from which anyone can choose and because there are a lot of people trying to sellrepparttar 122646 very same things torepparttar 122647 same market. In plain English,repparttar 122648 competition is fierce!


Written by Lon Lindsey

Let me, first mentionrepparttar history ofrepparttar 122613 MLM/networking industry. Networking was founded onrepparttar 122614 principles of great products andrepparttar 122615 sharing of such. In fact,repparttar 122616 oldest direct sales company in America is now a network marketing company based onrepparttar 122617 sales of products and sharingrepparttar 122618 concept of retailing products to make money, but through a strategy of networking in order to find others who will dorepparttar 122619 same.

The answer torepparttar 122620 "Which Comes First" question really rests withrepparttar 122621 business opportunity seeker based on how he wants to build his business. What I am about to share with you may help you determinerepparttar 122622 kind of networking company you may want to align yourself with.

Let me start by saying "the face ofrepparttar 122623 network marketing industry has changed drastically inrepparttar 122624 past 15 years." Withrepparttar 122625 emergence of computer technology, network marketing has taken on a new look in terms of what is onrepparttar 122626 "front door" as you come knocking. Withrepparttar 122627 introduction ofrepparttar 122628 Internet as an additional medium for networking,repparttar 122629 whole MLM industry has seen a new emphasis.


Just to give you an idea what I am talking about, 20 years ago a prospective sponsor would sit down acrossrepparttar 122630 kitchen table with you . .pull out his catalog of products ... show you some sample products or may even have a small home meeting demonstratingrepparttar 122631 excellence of their product line and then tell you how you can make money, not only sellingrepparttar 122632 products, but having a distributorship. In so doing, you could set other people up with a distributorship which would allow you to retail products AND earn commissions fromrepparttar 122633 products sold by your distributors you signed up under you. In other words, they led withrepparttar 122634 products first. There are companies that continue to use that approach today and with certain companies, that is a necessary approach to take and certainly makes sense.


Inrepparttar 122635 eighties we started seeing an emergence of "business opportunity" inrepparttar 122636 headlines as a way to attract people to MLM. This emergence led to a new approach in network marketing ...

"Mail Order." No longer was it necessary to have local meetings or to meet acrossrepparttar 122637 kitchen table with people. Simply send out a mail piece and sign people up. Companies hadrepparttar 122638 ability to manage databases of people and to run commission checks so "business opportunity" becamerepparttar 122639 lead-in rather than products. Although these type companies were backed up by products,repparttar 122640 emphasis on products was notrepparttar 122641 same for some companies . . . and in fact . . .brought on certain companies that were "here today and gone tomorrow" becauserepparttar 122642 products were not good enough to keep people involved. Remember, itísrepparttar 122643 sale of products that generate commissions forrepparttar 122644 distributors.


Inrepparttar 122645 early nineties,repparttar 122646 personal computer became so popular that it was possible for "John Doe" to start up his own program . . .right from his own kitchen table. With this came onrepparttar 122647 "Make Money" approach to MLM. Many timesrepparttar 122648 word "business" was not even mentioned. It was about making money regardless ofrepparttar 122649 products and in some cases illegal MLM schemes were developed withrepparttar 122650 intention of going out of business at some point . . .even being put out of business due to attorney general probes or postal regulations. It was this phase of MLM that started giving MLM a questionable name becauserepparttar 122651 good,repparttar 122652 bad,repparttar 122653 ugly were all grouped under MLM . .even if they were illegal pyramid schemes or ponzi schemes.

At this point, I might add that there were still legitimate product oriented MLM companies continuing to prod along just as they have been doing for years, but due torepparttar 122654 hype of "make money" people were being lured toward these "make money" type companies. So what began to happen wasrepparttar 122655 truly product oriented MLM companies began having competition fromrepparttar 122656 short lived "make money" type programs.


Something else happened at this time as well. The "Make Money" programs hypedrepparttar 122657 "donít work hard" image and in some cases . . "weíll do it for you." Letís face it. If people could make money without working very hard . . either due to their not having time or their just not wanting to work hard . ..certainly people would jump onrepparttar 122658 bandwagon ofrepparttar 122659 "make money" type companies overrepparttar 122660 slower to build product oriented companies and that is exactly what happened. The result was, many people getting a bad impression of MLM due to a company going out of business or due to lack of focus on whatrepparttar 122661 company had to offer other than just making money. This is why you will see ads that say "this is not MLM" because they know many people have been hurt inrepparttar 122662 "not so legitimate" companies. Unfortunately it takes only a few bad experiences and negative publicity to giverepparttar 122663 whole industry a black eye.


Well, if that wasn't bad enough,repparttar 122664 Internet emerged and it was no longer just "make money." Now it was "Make Money FAST!" It was no longer good enough to just make money. You had to make it fast . . . you know . . . like $90,000 in three months or become a millionaire in six months! In addition to that,repparttar 122665 Internet began to attract another kind of person . . .the person who could barely afford his monthly ISP service, but accessedrepparttar 122666 Internet inrepparttar 122667 hope of getting his share ofrepparttar 122668 Internet Gold. Along came people who not only could not afford products to buy, they could not affordrepparttar 122669 cost of adequately marketing their business in a way to build a solid foundation for that business. The result has been a majority ofrepparttar 122670 business seekers who join one program today to "Make Money FAST" . . find they didn't make it fast so they jumped torepparttar 122671 next company and so on. These "jumpers" are spending $50 here and $50 there, but they are not spending what is necessary to build a solid business . . time, energy, focus and persistence. Now I realize I just made a generalization and realize not everyone does this, but I have personally noticed a tremendous number of people who basically can't afford evenrepparttar 122672 products to build their business. In other words, there is no such thing as product loyalty because people often times join a company or program based only onrepparttar 122673 dream and hype of making fast money. So . .why do they get involved? Because we tell them they can make money FAST and itís easy! In order to compete, networkers have had to learn how to hype and this hype has led to disillusionment and disappointment, especially torepparttar 122674 new networker who has no idea what it really takes to build a long-term successful business.


The good news is, there have been some legitimate networking companies that have come onrepparttar 122675 scene that have taken network marketing a step further. It isrepparttar 122676 new age of networking and leaves behindrepparttar 122677 days of stocking products, going door to door and emphasizingrepparttar 122678 retailing of products. This new approach is called "Referral Marketing." It is now possible for a distributor to simply refer customers and other "distributors to be" directly torepparttar 122679 company withrepparttar 122680 sponsor getting credit for any products sold from that direct referral. The question is still about do we lead with products first orrepparttar 122681 opportunity first, but with referral marketing, one can very easily lead with either one.

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