The Offer I Made On Twitter – And What It Means To You

At 910pm last Tuesday night, I made the following Tweet

“Check this out – – enter “friendofpaul” in the coupon code box.”

It took me 13 seconds to write.

Did it “work?”

There were clicks, we know that. There are always clicks. More than a thousand? Nope. More than a hundred? You bet.

And yes, I checked, these were clicks from unique ips that weren’t know robots. Real people clicks.

O.k., so there were clicks? Who cares. Were there conversions?


So, Paul, you’re saying nearly one out of every 10 people who clicked bought from a Tweet you wrote in 13 seconds?

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying.

The experts are completely and totally right, you can’t sell anything via Twitter. Don’t even try it. Please let me continue to fall flat on my face with this one. There is no money in it. Enter cool person social media cliche phrase here.

P.s., what is means to you … a) you might want to consider the offer – it’s a good one b) you can make sales by Twitter. it won’t happen if you just sling deals at people but if you build a rapport with people who know, like, and trust you … 9% conversion on 13 seconds of effort.

p.p.s., ’nuff said. Or is it? Would love your thoughts …

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Nickolove Lovemore

    Hi Paul,

    Practically everyone using Twitter is selling something. What offends some people is the manner in which people attempt to sell. For instance, when you follow someone and they immediately send you a link to a sales page that’s a turn-off.

    However, when you build relationships and aim to create value for your Twitter friends then they are generally willing to purchase from you as well.

    Best wishes


  • Jeff Jung

    Like any technology, the trick is to understand which products and services can be sold via twitter or any other technological means. I’m sure there are products that are not suitable for twitter. But, obviously there are some that are.

  • Dan Safkow

    The term “user generated content” has been around for some time now, but now we’re in an era of “user defined content” (my apologies to anyone who has already coined that phrase). My definition of “user defined content”, when it comes to Twitter, is … “when you stop being compelling, I will unfollow you”.

    Twitter is the great democracy, be compelling and people will always follow you, even if you, sell them stuff (as long as it’s within context of your existing “relationship”).

    In other words, if we’ve come to rely on you for Internet marketing tips and tools, and you, on occasion, promote/recommend a premium Internet marketing tool, no harm, no foul. But if you try to sell us, say … a Sham Wow!, then you’ll see Twitter democracy in action faster than you can say, “But wait, there’s more…”.

  • ian

    I say Great Paul !
    Is twitter going to be better than say, sending emails?
    I think it will be, if not even better as an email only reaches somebody on your list, tweets are not restricted to just people following a person, anybody can see them.
    Onwards and upwards everybody
    Ian Hagerty

  • Daiv Russell

    Absolutely well done Paul. But you didn’t “sell” on Twitter. You simply directed your audience to page that did the selling for you. You page made QUITE an offer.

    First, you got your audience used to seeing meaningful tweets from you about ISSW, then in the middle of your stream, you threw in a “blind” link, since no one really knew what they were going to expect.

    Your sales page delivers a great copy about a very compelling offer. A limited time pricing provides scarcity combined with a great price to create a low barrier for people to jump over. 36 hours of podcasting content for $20?! It almost seems like a no-brainer. You could’ve put that offer in ANY medium and it would fly off the shelf. I can’t wait to get MY hands on it. 😉

    – My hat’s off to you
    – Daiv

  • Brady Irvine

    *Gasp* So what you’re saying is that selling stuff online is exactly the same as selling something face to face with someone? I’m glad I’m following you and not these other “experts”. Keep up the great work.

  • Colin Noden

    I agree that there has to be some sort of relationship developed before I click on a link in a tweet. And when I post a recommendation I am aware that the tweet will also be posted in my blogs through a feed. I haven’t checked on the clicks from a dynamic post vs a blog feed. ( actually I don’t know if I have the testing software to do this!)

  • Michael Lofton

    I echo in agreement re: Build a Relationship first… However, many of us want sex the second night of that relationship. In other words, many think their relationship is secured much faster than others.

    I would only ‘wish’ that -2- platforms of Twitter might be available… one for, ‘Anything Goes’ and another for, ‘No Solicitation Allowed!’.


  • Doug Sandquist

    I agree with b) you can make sales by Twitter. it won’t happen if you just sling deals at people but if you build a rapport with people who know, like, and trust you … 9% conversion on 13 seconds of effort.

    I bought it a few days ago and didn’t even use the discount code, (forgot to put it in…!) there’s lots of great content. I tend to believe in the 90/10 rule with twitter, if you provide useful info 90% of the time and talk about what your doing 10% of the time..

  • John Waller

    I feel that most people who choose to follow you via twitter will already have some sort of relationship and a level of trust established. I purchased website templates from you like a hundred years ago and was happy with the product and the price so I have kept tabs on you and watched you evolve into the podcast/social media expert you are today. My point is I tend to follow people I already know and trust and would be interested in the occasional twitter offer they present to me.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Krishna De

    Congrats Paul. When we come to trust people on Twitter or any social network and they have been delivering us helpful useful content in their Tweets or links, then we are more likely to click through links for things they recommend.

    I personally don’t like to be taken through to links that are cloaked affiliate links, but that’s me – if I am going to register for something via an affiliate programme I’d rather do so to someone I know and like. But hey that’s my problem.

    One well known internet marketer offered a great free product that I would have happily recommended to others, but then they had 7 or more goes at trying to upsell me. I could never have shared that link with my community as they would have wondered what I was up to as that’s not cognisant with my personal brand.

    Oh and guess where I found out about this article – following you on twitter of course!


  • Zeb Olsen

    That’s excellent Paul. I do the same thing. Provide nothing but value, even in the affiliate links that I post. Keep up the great work. Like you Paul, people who follow me, know, (at least I hope they do, lol) That I stand behind anything that I promote 100% and, that credibility adds credibility to the links that you post, thus a higher click ratio, and likely higher conversions as well.

    Credibility matters. The problem many people have is that they try to “market” before they personally have established any amount of credibility.

    So, my advice, credibility first, followed with promoting quality that you can personally stand behind 100%, and only promoting occasionally: value, value, value, value, value, value – LINK.

  • Alice Flanders

    I have a company I sell for (both Avon and Fuller Brush). I also “sell” the opportunity. I have no idea how to properly let people know I am there without doing something I am not supposed to do. alice

  • Keith H.


    I have been following you for a while because you have interesting and relivant information to empart to me and I assume others.

    I did not feel that your tweet was blatent sales, just another opportunity to investigate something that might be of interest. No fault, No foul.

    It is all in the relationship, Thanks.

  • Homerescue

    I totally agree, you aren’t selling on Twitter you are directing them to a link where a mature responsible person can decide if they wish to partake of offer.

    I also agree it should not be abused or over done

  • Leigha Baer

    I hate getting a blatant sales page for something when I follow someone on Twitter or any other social media format. However, I think that “selling” something via a social network is no different than telling someone about a great restaurant or movie. We all “sell” things in our day to day lives. This is relationship marketing at it’s finest. As long as it is done in a way that provides value to our social circles, it’s fine and hey…If the restaurant is owned by us or the movie was written by us more power to us.

  • Dianne

    Great info! I enjoy developing realtionships, and I am really starting to understand all of this. Thanks!

  • Melanie Jordan

    The problem with social media sites like Twitter is there is always a group of people who self-appoint themselves as experts who are not business-oriented, and because they say what people want to hear, everyone thinks what they say must be right.

    There is no right or wrong on Twitter, unless it comes from Twitter itself that you broke a TOS.

    Ultimately, as long as you maintain balance between business and social messages, I think you’re fine. Just like any other list, if someone likes what you say, they stick with you; if they don’t, they unsubscribe. Same options are available on Twitter.

    Melanie Jordan
    Author of “What You Know Is Worth More Than You Know –
    Achieving The Life You Were Meant To Have By Making Money
    From What YOU Know!

  • Yudi

    Paul – as someone who took you up on the offer, I’d have to say that for me the most compelling part of promoting an offer on twitter, like you did, is the genuine feel of scarcity and time limits. When someone tweets “this will be gone soon”, it feels ALOT more real than a website that says “we could withdraw this offer at any time”. It feels personal and subject to dynamic change at any point (the whole idea behind twitter) which makes the scarcity of the sale much more compelling.

  • Yogiwan

    There are several thoughts that come up as a result of your question.

    First should “you” sell on Twitter. Obviously there are a number of selling bots that use Twitter to present products and offers. So selling is certainly going on and, if you present a gathering of tens of thousands, there will be those who hawk goods (surprised we don’t see Willy Mays there).

    Second, Paul Colligan is making offers (or at least directing people to a site to sell stuff) is different than Yogiwan making offers. You have a brand and reputation that prequalifies you to the market so that there is already a trust and confidence in place resulting in no barriers in clicking on you offer. 9% conversion is more about your offer than anything to do with Twitter.

    Third, the rest of us who have products and services to present for sale have to build the relationships with this gathering so that we can eventually present offers and have the results of click throughs to the offer site. Then it is up to our skill and offer to garner conversions.

    I am not sure how well the sales bots do in getting Tweeps to click or buy on their offers. I guess if there was a really good deal presented in an area I was looking at previously, it would be worth checking out. But normally I just skip over them and have been considering “unfollowing them”

    My hope is to gain sufficient credibility in my space (cookware bakeware and related) as you have so that I can present offers and gain both click throughs and conversions from Twitter Followers.


  • Tim ‘Gonzo’ Gordon

    I think it was a good job of walking a fine line between pitching something and sending out information relevant to your target.

    Lots of people say “check this out” and you never know what you’re getting.

    The follow up after the link “enter XX in the coupon code box” was an overt tip that if you clicked you were being sent to a sales page of some sort.

    If your followers were aware of you and your products and had interest no doubt it made sense to click through. On the other hand if they had no interest in viewing a sales page the clue was obvious: don’t click.

    I’m stealing this idea.


  • Sheree Motiska

    I think that’s so awesome, Paul!

    I love Twitter and I am so proud to see you talking about a 9% conversion rate. That’s HUGE! The thing is, it was the way that you did it. As a few people have already said, you weren’t blatantly trying to sell anyone on Twitter, you just “did us a favor” and let us know about it.

    Want to hear something really cool?

    I wasn’t even following you and found you through a retweet. I am now. That, to me, shows some serious power from Twitter. The reason was because the retweet came from someone I follow who always provides great value through Twitter.

    Oh, by the way, I also took advantage of the great offer as well.

    Sheree “The Social Media Butterfly” Motiska @web20empire

  •, Thomas C. Roquemore

    No you didn’t do a bad thing. Skittles is in the game now and what do they want to do? Sell Skittles. Not sure how that’s going to tie in with social networking, but, they’re doing it. Most of my tweets are personal, but I do throw in a blurb for my web sites and blog now and then. Don’t know yet how I’ll track the people that come from twitter yet, but I’m sure there’s a way. The purpose of twitter is to network as well as help people. If you have a product that has a good value and can help people, why not let them know it’s out there?

  • Scott Miller

    Seems to me that you did GOOD!

    You are bringing value with everything you do, how could anybody seriously object to that?

    I want more information from you! I look forward to what you have to say and value what you bring to the table. If you didn’t help me in some way I wouldn’t follow you on Twitter or anywhere else for that matter.

    There are many examples of people all over the internet who are constantly in “Pitch mode” and turn me off. You, Paul, are not one of those people. Anybody who took offense to what you did isn’t truly serious.

    Furthermore, I’m with Tim “Gonzo” Gordon… I’ll be borrowing (Tim called it stealing) this idea!

    Thanks for all you contribute,
    Scott Miller

  • Twitter Marketing Lover

    I love Twitter, it’s a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of your market. Nice short quick messages, no long drawn out emails to read, ideal for this day and age.

    I just hope it doesn’t end up like the status message on Facebook. You know the people who change their status every 5 or 10 minutes; “I’m just eating my tea”, “Now I’m washing up” “just sitting down after my tea”. Ok a little exaggerated but you get the message :) They just take it a little too far.

    9% conversion for a 13 second Tweet is pretty impressive. It was a great offer though :)