Hard Realities About Social Profit Formulas And Online Marketing

Ready for some hard realities?

In prepping for the live Podcast Secrets presentation tonight (the topic – OffCasting – getting people off of you content and into your marketing funnel), I realized I had some killer numbers of what’s happening/working RIGHT NOW to share with my students because of my Social Profit Formula (AFF) campaigning that I wrote about earlier on this Blog and at PaulRecommends.com.

I thought I’d share them with you as well.

The metric I’m currently tracking is clicks to opt-ins (i.e., what percentage of people who click over to Don’s campaigns opt-in for more information). As the course hasn’t gone on sale yet, this is the only thing I can track at this point (if you’d like to know the final results of clicks to buys, because, yes, I’m tracking those as well, comment below accordingly).

  • Social Media Links Conversion – 7.6%. That’s right, it takes more than 100 clicks from social media to get 8 people to opt-in.
  • Website Links Conversion – 25.8%. I get 25 opt-ins for those 100 clicks at the previous blog post. That’s more than 3 times the results.
  • Email Newsletter Links Conversion – 29.3%. In my weekly “Heads Up Tuesday” email I mentioned Don’s program as a link worth clicking (there were 5 other links in the newsletter). Did almost 4% better on that random mailing than on the Web clicks.
  • Direct Email Links Conversion – 39.3%. The direct email piece on Don’s product saw nearly 40 optins per 100 clicks – around 5 times the rate of the social media clicks.

The numbers should speak for themselves but a little examination is in order. Yes, this is the only thing I’m tracking and the final results might surprise me still but plane and simple, if I want to see action, I want to send emails.

So what does this mean to Don’s Social Profit Formula and social media marketing in general? Well, I certainly hope you take 2 things from it 1) Social Media doesn’t replace anything well – the results are terrible for marketers when compared to other models and 2) what you need more than the latest version is Tweetdeck or the perfect iPad Twitter client is a model for how to use Social Media to bring people into the fold that does, in fact, work better.

Truth be told, a good amount of my list comes from social media efforts. I introduce myself in Twitter, Facebook, and the rest and when we are ready to take our relationship to the next level – I ask for an email address. It works wonders for both of us.

But regardless of what you strategy is – and who you pick to be your guru, have a strategy that works and can be backed up with real numbers. The real money is in folding Social Media into what you’re already doing.


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

  • http://twitter.com/LisaHartwell Lisa Hartwell

    Interesting figures. The thing I noticed about this campaign is that when I clicked on links from Twitter the landing page didn't tell me who was behind the product/information and neither had the tweeter. As a result I was not going to sign-up. And even some of my emails failed to identify “this guy” – as he was referred to.

    Your email and a few others then told me it was Don Crowther (and gave background to who he was and what qualified him to teach this).

    So, while I'm sure the return on social media links is lower than an email there are other variables to take into account. If someone had said on Twitter “One of the guys who helps Fortune 500 companies make money using social media – Don Crowther – is sharing his secrets:….” I might have signed up. But when people write “this looks interesting” or “this could be huge” and I click through to a site with a few bullet points and a sign-up box, then I'm not going to give it my time (or email address).


    Incidentally, the sign-up page had changed the last time I went there and there is now an introductory video. It would be interesting to know how the different pages test.

  • paulcolligan

    Thanks for the insights. Yes, hard to tell the whole story in 140 characters. This is another place where social media has limitations.

  • http://thesuccessfulgeek.com Adam Teece

    Thank you very much for sharing this. I definitely believe that in order to convert you have to take them through the funnel of Status Update Intro, to content, to eventual opt-in page for your list, then is when more effective marketing can be done. I just look at social media as another place to get in front of people with their permission and get some amazing feedback.

  • paulcolligan

    See, you have a plan – I appreciate that. The better the plan, the more effective the results.

    Too many see it as Tweet or Facebook a lot and you get effective results.

  • http://thesuccessfulgeek.com Adam Teece

    The only reason I have that plan now is because I used to think I could have effective results with just a status update. I screwed that up enough trying that I know much better now.

    I am very glad I learned the hard way and I'm glad you are sharing this so others can have a bit easier time with it.

    Now I just need to improve the quality of my content, and that is getting better over time.

  • http://www.MemberCon.com Tim Bourquin – MemberCon.com

    Thanks for the hard numbers Paul. Emile and I have found similar results in Facebook – both organic and buying ad traffic to our opt-in page on Facebook.

    Although we had decent conversion for the free content on our opt-in page on Facebook, a big fat zero in paid conversions nearly two months later. Not very encouraging, but we are working on several price points for products to see where we might find the conversion to be workable.

  • paulcolligan

    Hopefully folk can learn from your experiences Adam – and thanks for being honest about them.

    And, yes, quality needs to be improved (always) but a strategy for how all this fits together is more important than anything else (and why I'm promotion Don's product).

  • paulcolligan

    What do you think accounts for the lack of paid conversions? Are they still clicking through and not buying – or are they quickly bored?

  • http://www.MemberCon.com Tim Bourquin – MemberCon.com

    My sense is that our product (a membership for $499) was too expensive. I'm hopeful that a $99 product will do better.

    On the other hand, we targeted the audience pretty darn laser-like so I would have thought it would convert at around the same percentage as other lead sources.

    More work to do – I'll keep you updated.

  • http://www.schoolofpodcasting.com Dave Jackson

    But wait. Isn't email dead?

  • paulcolligan

    So it was an issue of conversion, not clicks?

  • paulcolligan

    O.k., you caught me. 😉

  • http://www.MemberCon.com Tim Bourquin – MemberCon.com

    Yes. Clicks were OK, although below other lead sources as well. But strong enough to be OK

  • paulcolligan

    good to know

  • Danica Bailey

    I love number crunching. These numbers really surprised me, though they shouldn't. I fell into thinking that tweeting all day and not really worrying so much about great content would work. I thought ok content was totally fine if I got enough people to it.
    Now I look back and wonder what in the world I was thinking!

    Thank you for posting this!

  • http://www.webchessblog.tritschard.com Terry

    Thankyou for the information, I was wondering how effective social marketing would fair against the more conventional means of IM. … also of interest was your comment of how you use the social network.

    Terry Ritschard

  • paulcolligan

    No problem. Hopefully this spurs you onto developing a killer social media strategy that makes sense to your business. As you can tell from Don's videos – there is some amazing stuff – but no need a plan.

  • paulcolligan

    Remember again, not an issue of social marketing not working – it's an issue of not using it to do the right things. It works very well – it's just part of a bigger picture.

  • http://www.bighelpconsulting.com Bill Bean

    Fascinating that email still pulls in the clicks. If you only hear the hype about new social media, you'd think email was dead. I like the idea of using social media as the initial step to getting the email connection.

  • paulcolligan

    There we go.

  • Lain Ehmann

    Interested to know what percent of people are on multiple lists (e.g. follow you on Twitter and get your newsletter), and what the timing was for the various promos. Obviously, if I see your tweet about it but have already clicked thru a link in your newsletter, I'm not going to click again.

  • http://twitter.com/LynnJordan Lynn Jordan

    Social media (I'd rather call it social networking) builds relationships, not customers. People need a relationship of some sort before they become paying customers.

  • paulcolligan

    That's a huge question – and I'm still trying to figure out how to really track something like that. But, I have been doing the newsletters last and still getting the highest numbers.

  • paulcolligan

    Absolutely. And, I'd even go as far as to say that social networking only starts relationships – it doesn't take them to any level of depth.

  • Bart van der Velden

    Tim Bourqin says it's more a matter of conversion than of clicks and I believe he's right. We allready know that the length needed of a salesletter grows with the price of the product. Why would Social Media be any different? One tweet couldn't possibly be enough to convince me to buy a $500,- product…
    In I believe in the second video of Don's productlaunch he talks about a strategy that consists of giving 100 free video's to subscribers with actual valuable content before a product with a price is even mentioned to them…
    After consuming say 40% of that content some degree of trust has been established and one would be (more) willing to buy, don't you think?

  • paulcolligan

    Always a fan of Tim's. And, yes, trust has to be established before anyone buys. I also think really hard to establish trust 140 characters at a time.

  • Carrie

    You really have to think hard about this? Step back and take a look from the surfer's point of view.
    1. Click here to get some free content!
    2. Now buy my $499 product!
    Do you hear the sound of screeching brakes? I do… :)

  • http://www.MemberCon.com Tim Bourquin – MemberCon.com

    That's not how it works actually Carrie but thanks for trying. The point is that all other traffic sources convert well but not Facebook.

    We work on converting them over time – not instantly. Consider looking a little deeper next time before commenting.

  • John Young

    Hi Lisa…
    Great lesson from you and most likely countless numbers who go to the landing page and it’s “give me your info or forget it attitude”.  Although, I have moved to the next level with some video and a short explanation but if it’s one of those $49.95 greatest thing since sliced bread up sale deals, then I move on….give me great content that works, then I’ll move to the next level.
    John Young 

  • Anonymous