In today’s blog post I want to share with you a business strategy that can greatly reduce your eBay fees or even eliminate them completely! This strategy can be applied to ANY eBay business, at any stage – even if you’re just starting out you can still use this to great success. And if you’re already an established seller on eBay, making hundreds of sales per month, then this strategy can save you thousands of pounds in eBay fees every year!
In my Easy Auction Business video course I mention countless times how important it is to collect the email addresses of your eBay customers. If you’re still not familiar with how this works, here’s a quick overview:
To be able to collect email addresses from your eBay customers, you need to use an autoresponder service such as AWeber, MailChimp or similar. I myself use AWeber but it’s a personal choice really so feel free to use any other service out there.
But what is an autoresponder in the first place? To put it simply, it’s an online service which you use to collect and store customer information (such as name, email, address, phone number and any other related data) and communicate with them using email marketing. This essentially means that you can send out mass emails to your customer base whenever you want.
You can also use it to set up an autoresponder series of emails to be sent out automatically to a new customer when they’re added to your database. For example:
- Send out a Thank You email once a customer is added to your database;
- Send out a Feedback Reminder x days after purchase;
- Send out Up-Sell Offers for related products;
- Send out FREE Gifts (manuals, guides, videos, upgrades);
- Send out Coupon Codes (for example – FREE Shipping coupon for your online shop).
And all these emails are automated! You don’t have to lift a finger as once you set up your autoresponder emails; they’ll be sent out exactly when scheduled, all on auto-pilot! Apart from autoresponder emails, from time to time you should also send out product related newsletters or simply promote a sale on your eBay shop or eCommerce shop.
I hope this quick explanation gives you a good idea of how an autoresponder email service works. It’s something every online business should use to build their database and to build relationships with their customers. So if you don’t already have one, I strongly recommend you get an account with an autoresponder service right now! Every day that passes by without you collecting your customers’ details is money lost – so don’t wait any longer!
But this is only the beginning – you can actually make INSTANT CASH from each customer you add to your database using an autoresponder service. How? Here it goes…
How to copy Amazon.com, VistaPrint.com, HostGator.com and other multibillion dollar companies to reduce or even eliminate your eBay fees!
This is where all the fun begins!
Have you ever ordered anything from Amazon? If you have, chances are you have received LoveFilm or Vista Print flyers in your package. Have an account with Host Gator? What do you see when you login into cPanel? Yes, related special offers for WordPress themes, site security and other products targeted to webmasters and website owners.
What do all these companies have in common?
They maximise their ROI from each customer by promoting related offers to their list! They work smart and create joint venture campaigns with large companies to share their customer base. They make millions of pounds this way! They effectively exchange customers between each other, creating a true WIN-WIN situation!
And you can and SHOULD do the same!
While an average eBay business is too small to create joint venture campaigns with large companies, CPA programs are available to everyone! And so these are the offers you should be sending to your customers once they’re added to your database.
AFFILIATE MARKETING EXPLAINED…
CPA is a term used for a specific type of affiliate promotion. If you’re not aware of affiliate marketing and what it is, here’s a quick explanation:
- Affiliate Marketing is a popular way of selling products online. A business will look for “affiliates” to sell its products.
- Affiliates work on commission – meaning that, for every product they sell, they get a percentage of the selling price.
For businesses, affiliate marketing helps sell more products. After all, having 50 or 100 affiliates showing off your products is going to result in a whole lot more sales than if you were to solely depend on your 5-person sales staff.
For affiliates, there’s also plenty to gain. Even though you only work on commission, you can be an affiliate for as many products as you want – meaning you can make money from a virtually endless array of sources. Plus, you don’t have to worry about developing products, maintaining inventory, or shipping anything. Instead, all of that is handled by the parent company.
To sum it up – with Affiliate Marketing you’re promoting other businesses’ products, services and offers to get a commission from each sale. It’s sort of similar to the classic sales-person business model OR catalogue businesses where your earnings are based on sales you generate for the company you work with.
What are CPA programs?
CPA stands for Cost per Action. In other words, affiliates get paid based on some sort of specific action a customer takes. What kind of ‘actions’ are we talking about?
Two of the most popular actions are:
- Sale – yes, the same-old, classic affiliate marketing model where you get paid for each sale you deliver to the merchant. But usually, in the CPA world, you won’t receive a percentage but a fixed amount instead.
- Lead – this is the biggest sector in CPA and lead generation is truly a phenomenal, multi-billion pound business! More and more companies are realising that it’s so much easier to sell to pre-qualified leads rather than generic traffic; hence there are thousands of lead generation CPA offers available these days.
So, in CPA marketing you’ll get a fixed commission for each action your traffic creates. The best part is that if talking about Lead Generation offers, you don’t actually have to make any sales to make money! For example, for a simple email sign-up, you would receive £1.00.
For more competitive markets, the rewards are even higher. For example, mortgage companies pay up to £30 for each application, Payday loan companies pay up to £50 for each application and so on. And that’s all for a simple (and free) form submittal – it doesn’t even matter if they don’t end up buying anything – you still receive your commission.
How it Works with eBay
Ok, now you know how affiliate marketing works and what CPA stands for. But how do you use all this to reduce your eBay fees and even make some extra money along the way? It’s quite simple – you’ll copy what eCommerce giants like Amazon and Vista Print do!
You’ll monetise your eBay customer database by promoting CPA offers to them!
Here’s a quick example of how it works:
1. You sell a DVD on eBay;
2. The person who purchases your DVD is added to your customer database using an autoresponder service, such as AWeber.
3. 3 days after the purchase, an automated email goes out to your customer with a message along these lines:
Why pay premium prices for DVDs when you can watch an unlimited number of movies every month for the cost of one DVD? Join Love Film now, Britain’s most popular DVD rental company, and claim your FREE 30 Day Trial!
…followed by an affiliate link to Love Film’s CPA offer page.
Now, if this customer joins Love Film through your link, you earn a £7.50 commission! And all this happens automatically, without you lifting a finger!
You may think – but Andrew – if I do this, I’ll lose a customer that could come back and purchase more DVDs from me!
Well no, not really, as it just doesn’t work like that!
How many DVDs would you have to sell on eBay to earn £7.50? 5? More? How many repeat purchases does your average eBay customer make? I bet not that many…
It’s all about customer lifetime value here!
Besides, this offer somewhat conflicts with the product you sell, but that’s not always the case. Most of the time you’ll promote CPA offers that won’t take any future business away from you at all!
Here are a few additional examples:
- You sell baby clothes and promote a ‘scholarships for mums’ CPA offer that pays you £4 for each application.
- You sell Poker supplies and promote online poker rooms that pay you up to £100 for each new customer.
- You sell books and promote audio book membership that pays you £15 for each new customer.
- You sell tablets and promote 4G internet service that pays you up to £50 for each new customer.
- You sell car accessories and promote a super competitive insurance deal that pays up to £30 for each application.
- And so on!
As you can see, these offers are not taking away any business from you! You’re simply exploiting your customer base and making extra money from related offers. Just like Amazon, Vista Print, Love Film and other online retailers do!
What You Need To Get Started…
Thirdly, you need at least one account with at least one CPA Company. Here are some good CPA companies targeting UK traffic:
Next, you need to set up your autoresponder account and configure your PayPal IPN settings so that your eBay customers are automatically added to your list. Detailed instructions on how to do this can always be found on your autoresponder’s site.
Once all that is done, you can look for the most suitable CPA offer for your eBay business/niche and set up the actual emails that will be sent out automatically.
Tips & Tricks
Here are few tips and tricks you may find useful when getting started:
- Always, ALWAYS find laser targeted offers that will be of real interest to your customer list! If you sell tooth whitening kits, find similar CPA offers but do not promote free business cards! Target your customers down to interests and country level, as most CPA offers will have regional targeting in place.
- If you don’t sell in a niche market then promote general, but still highly valuable, offers! The DVD rental example is a very popular offer. FREE email submits to win some sort of prize would also work great with the general public. Coupon sites/saving club style sites are also both very good for eBay customers as they’re always looking for the next bargain!
- Do NOT over promote! While it’s great to make extra money from your customer base, the last thing you want is to be called a spammer! That’s why you only want to send out select offers and mix them up with your own newsletters and special offer promos. I wouldn’t send out more than 2 CPA related emails per month.
- Do not try to hide or remove the un-subscribe link from your emails. You want to keep 100% transparency with what you’re doing and your customers should ALWAYS have the option to unsubscribe from your list whenever they want. With email marketing services like AWeber it’s very easy to do as an un-subscribe link is included in every email you send out.
- To mask your affiliate links, always use a re-direct through your domain name. If you have a WordPress blog, you can simply use a free re-direct plugin such as Pretty Links! This will also allow you to track how many clicks you’re getting to your affiliate offers. Use sub-ids in your CPA program account to track different campaigns. If you don’t have a WordPress install, you can still create simple re-direct links via your hosting account, using CPanel tools.
- Always test CPA offers and your email copy! Ideally you want to use a link rotator script (you can find free ones on the Internet) to be able to test several CPA offers simultaneously. If that’s too complicated, simply run one offer for a week, and then change it to a different offer for the following week. Measure results – keep the winning campaign and replace the losing one with a new offer. This way you’ll constantly be improving your ROI and will ultimately achieve a high converting, well-suited CPA offer for your target audience.
These are the most important things you should remember when using this system. Sure, there are many more, small & technical things that will need to be taken care of but if you follow these guidelines, you should be able to achieve at least a 2%-5% conversion rate for your campaigns.
I truly hope this opens your eyes to the endless opportunities CPA marketing and customer lists present.
Don’t forget that your customer is your most valuable asset! Use this and become a real friend by giving away added value to your customers – the more creative you are, the more money you’ll generate via CPA marketing.
Here are some quick examples on what can you do:
- Create a short PDF guide or video showing how to make the most out of your product. Give it away for free to your customers and include CPA offers within to make commission.
- Create a TOP 10 list that targets your product! For example, if you sell camping products, create a list of The Top 10 Camping Accessories You Can’t Live Without! All with affiliate links of course.
Be creative and genuinely HELP your customers! This strategy has been proven to make money for me and millions of other entrepreneurs worldwide.
Lastly, even if all you take from this blog post is to start using an autoresponder service, I have accomplished my goal!
You’re leaving loads of money on the table if you’re not collecting your eBay customers’ emails! So at least create an account with an autoresponder service and start doing that today! Market your eBay shop to them, let them know about related items and special promotions! You’ll easily make back the small AWeber monthly fee from just a few of the extra orders you’ll receive.
I look forward to hearing your success stories from implementing some of these ideas!