How to get more from your membership sites

One of the most powerful ways to get more out of your membership sites is to utilize email. Whether it’s a traffic exchange, a service, or any kind of website where people can pay or upgrade, email is a crazy awesome tool.

Now some people do this really great, and others are missing the power behind using an autoresponder like RocketResponder. Almost everyone understands that sending out email newsletters is powerful. That one is easy, but here’s the super cool thing you should be doing..

Use the followups feature! Now you’re gonna read this and think wow it’s so simple yet I get it. But we use this with Trck.me and RocketResponder heavily.

When people join we give them a 30 day free trial, so we immediately start sending them a follow up series. And the whole point is to get them to convert over to a paid customer. Now we don’t email them every day, but often enough to remind them that we still exist and they still aren’t a paid customer.

The end result is more people convert from being a paid member to being an upgraded member. What’s even better is we use the RocketResponder API to automatically unsubscribe them from that list the moment they upgrade. Then we use it to subscribe them to our paying members list, where we can give them tips on how to use their membership to get the most out of it.

This can be used in any kind of membership site, especially when there is a free trial or a free tier. If you want to get really fancy, we also move them over to a list if their account expires, to remind them that they need to update billing.

It works great..  In fact services I’ve used that use the same tactic have gotten me to pay because I tend to miss emails. Sometimes I even see the email but it just takes a few reminders before I have the time to get to it. The key is the emails kept coming until I did it.

The fun part..  We charge $20/mo for unlimited subscribers. So as you come up with creative ways to make new series, you don’t have to worry about your costs going up. Other services charge based on list size, and every new list – even if there are duplicates – counts towards your total fee. But not with us ;-)

Grow your list with us!

We sorta just realized we didn’t make a big deal about this. But we decided to have a flat monthly fee for RocketResponder. We were trying to be like the other guys and have it cost more as your list grew, but we found it complicated things for us and our customers.

So if you haven’t heard..  RocketResponder is $20 for unlimited subscribers! This is super exciting, especially for people who are new to list building. When you first start out you don’t know how many subscribers you’ll get, and you don’t know how to turn those subscribers into more income.

Take my blog for example.. It would cost me between $80-$130 just to send out emails whenever I make a blog post if I used one of the other guys. And if we wanted to use them for our membership sites it would cost well over $400.

Now those are scary numbers when you don’t know how to benefit from your list yet. But with RocketResponder you can build your list with us and never worry about having to decide between deleting subscribers or paying a higher bill!

The secret to winning affiliate contests

For years I’ve always enjoyed a good referral contest. There is something about the competition that gets me excited, especially when you’re winning them ;-)

Over the years, I’ve figured out the secret to winning contests. And while I’m no longer doing contests as “Tim Linden”, we do the same secret as “TimTech”. Now I want to be clear, this worked before when I was a little guy, so no excuses ;-)

The secret is..  email.  I know, right? Not really a secret.

But honestly, the big difference was when I started building my list. Before having a list, I would try to email out to my traffic exchange members with the built in mailer. I’d try promoting the link directly in traffic exchanges. And I wouldn’t place.

Once I started to build a list, something crazy happened. I started making the top 10!

What I soon came to realize was, even though my list was small, all I had to do was send an email and I’d get people to join under me. It took time, but here’s what I did:

  1. I created a list using an autoresponder service (since then I’ve built RocketResponder cuz the rest were either too much money, or too difficult to use).
  2. I created squeeze pages with my autoresponder code on them. This is where Trck.me came in. I would try different pages, and see which would get the most subscribers from 1000 hits.
  3. I emailed my list periodically. I used my blog but some people like to write the email directly, either way works. The key is for the people subscribed to your list to not forget who you are.
  4. When a contest came up, I would email about it. Repeatedly. Not over and over and over again, but a few times the first day, then maybe one time the next, and then every few days after that. Being sure not to send at the same exact time every day.

That’s really all there was to it. As my list grew more, I’d find the next contest or next thing I promoted would get more signups. But what I soon realized was..  I could email that list, anytime.

That is why you need to be building a list. When you promote a page directly, and someone signs up, the next thing you promote they won’t know about. But if they’re on your list, they will. So you get way more bang for your buck.

The rest is just trying out different methods and seeing what works best. And that was always the fun part. If you’re tracking you’ll learn some really cool stuff!

Machine Learning is Amazing

I’ve been starting to use machine learning here at TimTech. If you don’t know what it is, here’s a very basic run down..  You track what people do, and can use that to predict what they’ll do next.

Here are some examples..   The biggest is Amazon..  When you’re browsing items they have recommendations that are similar to what you’re looking at. This has worked many times, as I’ve thought I wanted one thing and saw something that was more what I wanted in that list.

Another is Google. Ever have a time where you go to search something, and the query suggestion is spot on? I’ve had it happen to me on some real bizarre situations. It’s not a coincidence, it’s machine learning.

And another that you might not know about..  Some of those really addicting games on your phone use it to predict when you’re going to turn the game off. They can tell that after certain events you’re likely to stop playing for a bit. So they see that situation coming up and all of a sudden you open up a magical box of something cool that keeps you playing for another hour.

Right now we’re using machine learning to detect fraud. We were starting to get up to $1000/day of fraud so it had to get stopped. Since using machine learning, we haven’t had an issue in weeks. And now I’m starting to use it to predict recommendations and other fun stuff.

Now what is really neat for all you privacy wizards. Machine learning actually doesn’t know who you are or what about you. When I first thought of it, I thought it was like learning people and such. But really it’s all anonymous data because the computer doesn’t use your name or any personal info.

Anyways, that’s what fun I’ve been up to. What are you doing that’s fun?

How to get your emails into the inbox

There is a lot of confusion about emails going to spam. As an email provider, we know this first hand. People sending blatant spam complain that it’s our fault. Now these people don’t read my blog, so it will still happen, but for you guys here are some tips for getting to the inbox..

Understand email has changed. All the major providers understand that most emails come from the top 10 providers. They don’t base delivery on the provider. They now base delivery on the individual sender. This is why some emails will go to the inbox and others to spam when the email is sent on the same provider. So the major thing to take back from this is you need to have a good personal reputation. Once you understand that, you’ll see why these tips make a huge difference:

Quit using aster*sks in your emails. Still to this day people are using them thinking they are tricking spam filters. Well guess what, normal people don’t spell fr*e that way, and so spam filters flag your email harshly if there are asterisks within words. It’s worse than saying free.

Don’t send from a yahoo address. Yahoo made a change to their email policies which tells every receiver if Yahoo didn’t send it, mark it as spam. For best results you should use your own email address on your own domain. So far Gmail isn’t bad, but they could make the change too.

Get people to interact with your emails. If users don’t open your emails, email providers know. At a minimum you should be sending emails that actually get opened. Clicking on links is great, and replying to emails is the holy grail. I know blast marketers don’t want to have to respond to emails, but it does some remarkable things for your email delivery.

Use a valid email address. Seems simple, but yet many people still send from fake email addresses like [email protected] Guess what, when receivers get your email they check if the email address is real before accepting it. Use a fake email and you might not even make it to the spam bin, some just delete it on the spot!

Don’t copy and paste emails. The number of people following some old school ebooks or PLR email series is crazy. The problem is email providers are smart. They know that same copy was used before and wasn’t wanted. So when you send it, they’ll know it wasn’t wanted again.

Quit saying you’re not a spammer. Every spam email I get has an explanation of why it’s not spam. But I’ve seen legit emails with that same description get to my spam box. If you talk like a spammer, you’ll get filtered like a spammer. If you have to convince someone it’s not spam, you’re not sending emails people want.

Those are the major ones. The general concept is..  Be yourself and send things people want. If you’ve been doing it all wrong, make changes. It might take some time but your reputation will improve.

The backups I’ve been waiting for

I’ve always been a guy who likes to back things up. The problem is, it’s always been difficult or costly or slow. I found a solution that fixes all three which makes me super happy. It’s called CrashPlan.

The concept is simple.. You want to have backups that are both nearby and far away. Nearby because restoring your backups from a local copy is super fast, and far away because a fire destroying both copies does nobody any good.

Well CrashPlan does this by allowing you to backup your computers against each other. So I’ve got my laptop and desktop copying backups to each other. If I’m out on the road and someone steals my desktop, I’ve still got everything on my laptop. And if my laptop gets lost, I’ve still got the desktop.

On top of that, they have a cloud backup, which has unlimited space and keeps a copy far far away from your house so fires aren’t a concern.

But what makes this really really cool is there is a friend code option. I can give you my friend code, and then you can send your backups to my computer.  Fully encrypted so I can’t mess with your stuff, but storing it on my system which is free, and which has an added benefit: being close by.

So say Larry and I swap share codes. If his hard drive fails he can buy a new one and come over with an external drive to my house, I can then copy the backup to the external drive very quickly, and he can bring it home and be restored. No waiting for downloads. How cool is that?

This is the kind of system I’ve been wanting to setup with a few family members, but never did because it was too complicated. But they make it super simple.