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 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!

12 thoughts to “The secret to winning affiliate contests”

  1. I use the same footer pop-up box plugin I think on some of my sites. It seems to work well because it gives people the option to click the banner/ad etc… or if they don’t want to see the pop-up they can easily click the x to exit it and continue browsing. It’s a nifty little thing…. anyways moving back on topic :-D

    I agree a list is extremely important when you want to make income working from home online/if you want to be an internet marketer, I had gotten away from promoting and getting more people on my list for a while because I was working on building some products and what not, and boy do I regret it. I think it’s best to work on your projects and stuff and remember to continue to promote your stuff to continue to grow your list so that you have fresh lead possibilities/people being added to your list. Anyways that is just a tip I recommend from my past error lol

  2. Tim, this post delivers amazing value, for those that read it carefully and understand everything you are saying. I’ve been really into list-building since even BEFORE I discovered Traffic Exchanges (in mid-2010) and I had already built a (very simple) autoresponder that my web hosting clients are now using. It allows you to set up and send a series of scheduled emails to your list as well as sending broadcasts to the entire list. Once my clients develop lists of more than a few hundred people, I’ll urge them to upgrade to a more professional autoresponder — like RocketResponder ;)

    I use both TrafficWave and RocketResponder and both work well, but TW is more complicated while RR is a pleasure to use. (I’m checking my stats there nearly every day.) I’ve never really been into the referral contests, because I don’t usually promote anything heavily until I’ve had at least a few months to work with it and can wholeheartedly recommend it — and by then the typical launch contest is over. But perhaps I’ll use your technique with the RocketResponder contest happening now. ;) ;)

    One question: I’ve always found that the best autoresonder series is an ongoing related thread of emails, like telling a serialized story. How do you keep your contest broadcast emails from interrupting that story thread, especially for the people who have just joined your list?

    1. It would really depend on how your story is going. But essentially I’d make the email something like, “I couldn’t wait to tell you this, so we’ll get back to [xyz] next time I email”.

      As for your thoughts on RocketResponder, love it! We’ve got some really awesome things coming too ;-)

  3. Thanks for the tips, only one thing you said I wouldn’t recommend, multiple emails in the same day? Wouldn’t that make them sick of you?

    1. One of my friends in Empower claims that if they are going to leave because of multiple emails, they would have never bought anything from you anyway. Never quite sure if I bought into that principal, but he’s made close to a million dollars with it.

    2. Depends on the content of the emails. I had one guy email me 4 times in 12 hours but the content was good. Had another email me 3 times but his tone was annoying and I unsubscribed that day.

  4. “we’ll get back to [xyz] next time I email” is an open conversation loop that is supposed to really entice people to come back for the next email like the cliff-hanger at the end of the season on a TV series.

  5. sometimes you need to almost push it on people, other times you need to go subtle, like hiding behind a good stache…

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