You’re watching a television show and it ends with a dark scene of a hand firing a gun at the hero. You don’t know if the hero lives or dies.
You don’t know who shot the hero or why.
And you’re in suspense.
So what do you do?
You watch the next episode, of course.
Humans have a desire to KNOW stuff.
When they don’t know, it bugs them. It’s like an itch that needs to be scratched, and they’ll do whatever it takes to scratch that itch.
You can do the same thing with your emails – make it so your readers MUST read not only the email you just sent them, but also your next one and the one after that.
Andres Chaperone does a great job of teaching this email marketing technique.
In fact, here are three different open loop methods he recommends:
The Fake Out Open
You start out telling your readers that you’re going to tell them something. But then you tell them something else, instead. For example:
I’m going to show you exactly how I managed to lose 83 pounds while watching television, eating whatever I wanted and never exercising – other than to go to the fridge.
The secret to my weight loss involved three magic words, and I’ll tell you what those words are and why they work to make you effortlessly lose weight tomorrow.
But right now, I want to tell you about my 21 year old college roommate who died from a heart attack because of a single Oreo cookie.”
You’re telling them what you’re going to tell them, but you’re not telling them right now.
That’s because you have something else to tell them now.
This is an open loop – the magic 3 words that caused the 83 pound weight loss – combined with value stacking. They get a secret tomorrow, and they get a story about the dead roommate and the Oreo cookie today.
This makes the recipient feel like there’s a ton of great stuff coming from you.
This creates surprise, curiosity, desire and anticipation.
And they love you and your emails for it.
For this one, you’re going to throw in an open loop somewhere inside your content. It could be almost anywhere – near the beginning, in the middle, near the end… where you place it will depend on what it is and how it relates to the rest of your email.
For example, let’s say you’re writing an email about weight loss, and you’re telling the story of how one of your weight loss students lost 143 pounds thanks to your coaching. In the middle of your email, you might write…
“And when I told her how to perform the belly blaster technique in the shower every morning, and that she would effortlessly lose another pound of ugly fat every week… well, she just about lost it.
***If you’re not familiar with my belly blaster shower technique for losing fat, tomorrow I’ll tell you exactly how to do it. You’ll be shocked at the results.
So she tried the technique anyway, even though she thought I was crazy, and a week later she called with the results.
‘I lost 2 inches off my stomach, and I didn’t do anything else differently!’”
Notice how we mention something that’s bound to provoke curiosity, and then we tell the reader they will find out all about it… tomorrow.
3. Cliff Hanger P.S.
This is perhaps one of the most commonly used techniques for creating an open loop. It’s easy to do and keeps you on the minds of your readers long after they close your email.
You simply tack on a P.S. with a teaser for whatever you’re going to share with them tomorrow, like this:
“PS: Did you ever hear about the guy who decided to tie balloons to a lawn chair, to see if he could fly?
He did, with unexpected and totally scary results. In fact, he even scared the heck out of an airline pilot at 30,000 feet!
And what happened next, you’re not going to believe. In fact, I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow, I promise.
See you then!”
It’s easy to create open loops in your emails.
And don’t stop there. You can place open loops everywhere. For example, at the end of a blogpost, in your videos and so forth.
It’s a great way to get people to read several posts instead of just one, or to watch several videos.
You just keep ‘open looping’ them, and they keep clicking to satisfy their curiosity.
Using what I’m about to show you, you can build as many email lists as you want, make money while you’re building those lists, and do it without paying for traffic.
This system is simple, easy to implement, and requires no major writing of content – unless you want to.
Here’s how it works:
First, you’re going to need your own domain name for your own website. And you’ll need a way to make web pages.
But if you’ve never put up a site or made pages, don’t panic and don’t let it deter you – Remember, you can outsource anything you like these days.
You’ll need an autoresponder to build your lists.
And just like any good business model, you’ll need some tenacity and perseverance. You might hit a home run straight out of the gate, or it could take you a little time to get the hang of this and ramp it up.
But the only way you can fail is to either not do it at all, or give it a moment’s try and then give up.
Okay, let’s get to the meat of it…
To build a list you need traffic. Lots of it. And of course there are two kinds of traffic available on the internet – free and paid.
With paid traffic you can turn on the traffic waterspout anytime you’re willing to pay. It’s a great system once your funnel is profitable. Spend $1, make $1.50 and you’re doing great.
But in the beginning it can be downright scary to pay for traffic, especially when you don’t know if your funnel is going to work or not.
So I suggest you pay for traffic later, and in the mean time you use a free traffic method like the one I’m about to show you.
Of course, there is no such thing as ‘free.’ If you’re not paying money, then you’re putting in effort. You’re ‘paying’ with your time. Fortunately, this system is not time intensive at all.
Monetizing – this is optional, but I’m going to recommend you monetize from the very start. Why not put a little money in your pocket as you build your lists?
This also gets your new list members used to and expecting offers from you, which will increase your conversions later as well.
We’ll use CPA marketing to monetize this system. I like CPA, or cost per action, because you don’t have to create your own products. You don’t have to compete with other affiliates. And sometimes you even get paid just for leads without the prospect having to buy anything. Now that’s an easy sale.
If you’ve never joined a CPA network, check out the companion article in published earlier, “How to Get Accepted into a CPA Network.”
Okay, we’re going to be using StumbleUpon to get our free traffic. Thanks to recent changes, StumbleUpon can be quite effective at driving traffic if you know what to do.
And by the way, with 25 million monthly users, I can just about guarantee that your customers are already on the platform, waiting for you to find them.
What you need to know:
Long winded content does NOT work on StumbleUpon. No articles and no blogposts, please.
StumbleUpon likes images, which means you don’t need to spend tons of time creating content.
Think in terms of simple and quick when it comes to content creation, and you’ll do fine.
How is this possible if we’re promoting CPA offers?
One word: Infographics.
No worries, I’ll show you how to get them created for cheap in just a moment.
First, let’s look at the big picture of what we’re doing…
1. Find a CPA offer to promote and make sure it’s a good fit for one of StumbleUpon’s categories (or pick a category and then find an appropriate offer)
2. Create an infographic
3. Create a lead magnet
4. Set everything up and make it go live
5. Rinse and repeat
Seriously, it really is one of the simplest systems I’ve come across.
Let’s get started…
1: Find a good CPA offer
You can either start by finding offers, or start by finding StumbleUpon categories. Your goal is to do a good job of matching one to the other, so that people looking in that category will want to see your related infographic.
This is perhaps the trickiest part of the sequence.
Do your research, spend some time on this, and realize you might not get it exactly right the first time or two. That’s okay, because you’re learning.
Here’s a little trick – pick a StumbleUpon category and just starting clicking to see what pages come up. This will give you an excellent idea of what kinds of content people are looking for in that category. Then find an offer that matches.
For example, a muscle building product for fitness, and so forth.
2: Create a related infographic
Let’s stick with the muscle building product trial. What do people who are into body building want to know? Maybe the top 5 body building exercises, or 5 things NOT to do when lifting weights.
Do some research on Google to get ideas and take notes. Keep in mind that you want content for an infographic, not a 3,000 page article.
Once you’ve got your content, either make your infographic yourself (if you like doing that) or go to Fiverr and hire someone.
You will likely have to pay more than 5 bucks, but it’s worth it to get a great looking infographic that captures eyeballs.
3: Create a lead magnet
While you were doing your research, you no doubt came up with plenty of ideas.
Use one of these to create a quick and easy lead magnet.
It should be something people WANT enough to give up their email address to get it.
Create the lead magnet, or hire someone to create it for you. Don’t overcomplicate this.
For our example, I did a quick Google search and found these ideas in about 30 seconds:
The Most Hated Man in Bodybuilding – Is He You?
Body Building for Beginners – 5 Little Mistakes That Cause Massive Injury
From Skinny Geek to Massive Muscle Machine In 7 Simple Steps
Is Cross Fit Killing People? What You Need to Know
You don’t need to be a skilled writer to create your lead magnet. In fact, you can create a video, hire a writer, create an audio… it’s up to you.
What’s important is that your lead magnet be enticing enough to make people say, “YES, I want to read/watch/listen to that.”
4: Setting Up Your Funnel
You’ve got a CPA offer, an infographic and a lead magnet. Here’s what your funnel will look like:
A: Prospect sees infographic on StumbleUpon (hosted on your website)
B: Prospect clicks on pop-up and joins your list
C: Prospect is taken to the thank you page which is actually your CPA offer
Seriously, that’s it – just 3 simple steps.
Now you might be wondering why we don’t send prospects straight from the infographic to the CPA offer.
You could, but if you do, then you’re losing money.
By building a list, you can market to those people time and time again. You can even send them the same CPA offer if they didn’t sign up for it the first time.
Seriously, if you think of this first as list building and second as CPA marketing, you’ll get the idea.
The initial CPA profits are icing on the cake. The real money is going to be in the list you build.
And by the way, there is no reason in the world why you can’t do this as many times as you like in as many niches as you like.
Hmmm, gets you thinking, doesn’t it?
Okay, here are the basics of how to set up your funnel:
Pssst… if there is something in your list here that you haven’t done before, go to YouTube and find a video that shows you how to do it. Or outsource it.
First, create a new post on your website and title it with something similar to your infographic title. Add your infographic to that page.
Second, go to your autoresponder and create a new campaign (or new list, same thing.)
Third, if you don’t already have pop-up software, go to WordPress and pick one out. Add it to your site.
Create a pop-up for your new page that offers them your lead magnet. Make it sexy and enticing – it should be too good to pass up.
Delay the pop-up so the visitor has time to look at the infographic BEFORE they get hit with the pop-up.
How long you delay it will depend on how detailed and interesting your infographic is.
You’re going to have to experiment to find just the right time. Have it pop too soon, and people get annoyed. Pop too late, and people are already gone.
Fourth, use your CPA affiliate link as your thank you page url.
Tip: Also add an autoresponder sign up box next to your infographic. This way if they click your pop-up away and then decide they want your lead magnet, they can still join your list.
Once you have everything set up, go to your StumbleUpon account and add your page.
You’re now live!
Since StumbleUpon is a social networking site, you’ll want to build your authority by making posts, leaving comments and sharing things.
You can begin by going to ‘trending topics,’ clicking on the speech bubble above trending items in your category and joining in on the discussions.
Experimentation is key. Sometimes your pages will get tons of traffic, other times they won’t. But the only way you can fail using this method is to give up and do nothing.
Of all the free traffic methods I’ve seen out there, this is one of my favorites. It’s fun, it’s easy, and you can make some serious CPA cash for the cost of creating an infographic or two (or 10 or 100, if you’re ambitious.)
And these pages can work for quite some time, too, driving traffic onto your lists and to your CPA offers.
Be sure to work your lists as you would any other lists. Mail often, deliver lots of value and offer something in every email.
Eventually the money you initially earn from new traffic should be dwarfed by the income you get from your lists.
HINT: Pick niches that are also good for affiliate products, such as weight loss, dating, body building, making money, etc. This way you can promote Clickbank, JVZoo products, etc., to your lists as well.
One last thing – this method should be fun. If it’s not, you’re doing something wrong.
Think about it – content creation is a breeze and it looks really cool, too. You get to promote just about any CPA offer you like. You’re list building for essentially free, while making money on the backend. And you get to spend time on StumbleUpon being social and getting ideas for your next infographic.
So go have some fun – and build your lists and make money in the process, too.
You get paid because you caused a prospect to take some sort of specific action which creates a lead or new customer for a company.
It could be as simple as joining the company’s mailing list.
Or it might be to hand over not only email, but also a phone number so the company can call them.
Some CPA offers are product trials – the prospect pays a token amount of money to try a product.
CPA offers differ from affiliate offers in that you’re harvesting leads more than making sales.
Even in the case of the trial offer, the prospect or customer is often paying just a few dollars to get a product sample.
It’s up to the company to turn that person into a real customer.
For example, you sign up to promote for a weight loss company.
For every prospect who agrees to sample the product, you get paid $20.
But the prospect only paid $7 for a one month’s supply of the product.
How does the company make their money? On the backend – if that customer continues to buy the product month after month, the company makes a profit.
The benefits of promoting CPA offers over affiliate products is that it’s generally much easier to get conversions.
For example, it’s easier to get a prospect to agree to join a list or even sample a product, than it is to actually sell them a product at full price.
To promote CPA offers, you need to join a CPA network.
And this is where it can get a little tricky.
A CPA network acts as the middle man between the company looking for new leads, and the affiliates (that’s you) bringing them those leads.
The CPA network takes care of everything like tracking, conversions, payments, support and so forth. And in return, the CPA network takes a cut of the earnings.
Now you might be thinking you’ll just bypass the CPA networks and go straight to the companies, but this is actually the hard way – especially if you are new to CPA marketing.
Most companies don’t want to deal with individual affiliates. Instead, they prefer to hand everything off to a CPA network and just receive the leads.
Most affiliates feel the same way, because CPA networks streamline the process for everyone.
And when you are accepted into a CPA network, you’ll generally have hundreds of different offers to choose from.
Join more than one CPA network and you’ll never run out of offers, even if you specialize in only one niche. Every CPA network will have different offers, different commission amounts, different payout schedules and so forth.
So how do you get accepted by a CPA network?
It’s not as easy as simply signing up. There is an application and approval process you’ll need to go through.
No, the CPA networks aren’t trying to be jerks and exclude new affiliates – not at all.
But they are trying to prevent fraud. Imagine if a new CPA affiliate gets bots to fill out the CPA offer forms – let’s say a million of them. The new affiliate is a millionaire, the CPA network has just paid out a boatload of money for bogus leads, the company who ordered the leads is mad as heck, and … well, you get the idea.
Fraud is a major problem the CPA networks must constantly guard against, which is why there is an approval process in place to try to filter out the fraudulent affiliates before they ever get started on their evil schemes.
Which is to say, the CPA networks aren’t trying to filter you out just because you’re new. They’re simply trying to eliminate fraud and keep everything legit.
If you’re new to CPA marketing, the choices of CPA networks can be almost overwhelming. But I suggest you start with one of the following three, for a couple of reasons. First, they tend to be fairly friendly towards new CPA marketers. Second, they have lots of offers to choose from and they’re trustworthy, too.
Check out their websites, pick one out and click the link to become an affiliate or publisher.
They’re going to ask you a bunch of questions, and here’s how you handle it – be honest. Remember, they’re not trying to filter out newbies, they’re trying to filter out scammers. If they catch you lying, they’ll assume you’re a scammer. Give your correct address, your real date of birth and so forth.
HINT: While it’s not required, it is helpful to have your own website to get approved. Your website should have some good content on it and not look spammy or questionable. It’s fine if your website is new.
Be honest about your CPA experience or lack of experience. If you have affiliate experience, by all means highlight this. If you’ve purchased any CPA courses or done extensive reading about CPA marketing, tell them this.
You want to emphasize that you are 100% serious about this business.
They’re going to ask what your monthly marketing budget is. How you answer is of course up to you, but I highly recommend saying that you plan to invest $1,000 or more per month – perhaps on Facebook ads, or your advertising space of choice. Anything less than $1,000 a month and you won’t look serious.
Upload any documentation they ask for – this is simply to verify that you are indeed REAL.
In a day or two you will receive a phone call from someone at the CPA network. They’re going to basically ask you the same questions about your experience and intentions that you answered on the application. Again, they want to verify that you are for real and not some scammer. Be friendly, be helpful and don’t get stressed out – and remember that they want to accept you. Without affiliates promoting the CPA offers, they have no business.
Now here’s a way to show just how serious you are about joining their network – don’t’ wait for them to call you. Instead, after you fill out your application and submit any documents they ask for, you call them. This tells them you are excited and ready to get to work.
Above all else, be honest, be confident and be yourself.
Even if you are a total newbie, nine times out of 10 you will get approved.
But if you’re not approved, politely call or email them and ask why you weren’t approved.
Then use this information the next time you apply to a CPA network.
Don’t stress about any of this. Even if you aren’t approved the first time, simply apply to the next CPA network and the next one after that.
It’s only a matter of time before you get into one of them, and then you can parlay your experience in that network to get into any network you want.
All it takes is that first one to get you started on the road to becoming a CPA pro.