If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll have noticed that ripping in to rebills is one of my favourite subject matters. I’ve got a love/hate thing going on with the rebill. I loved the fact that while I was promoting them, I was banking left right and center. And I hated the fact that I was contributing to some of the lowest customer satisfaction numbers in the world.
I’ve said over and over again that the rebill needs to change to survive. Not just the essence of the deal itself, but the entire promotion that we as affiliates use to sell them.
It’s over three months since I last pushed a mainstream CPA rebill. While I took a big hit when I decided to stop slinging them, I’ve stabilized my business with offers that I’m not too guilty to talk about when somebody asks me “so what do you actually sell for a living?”. We’ve all gotta have values as affiliates. I made a fortune without stopping to consider mine, and now I’m backtracking to make sure I do things in a way that isn’t going to end in a lawsuit.
That said, I’m thinking of dipping back in to the rebill market. I miss the sweet ca-ching of another $35 being credited to my account when I refresh the page. I don’t want to touch another Google bizopp. And I’m definitely not slinging an acai berry supplement having actually bought a bottle of the damn thing from Marks & Spencers the other day. What was I thinking? I’ve been doing this shit so long, I’ve sabotaged my own shopping habits.
It was an acai berry smoothie, if you’re wondering. No need for weight loss here. I’m a lean mean commission machine.
So, I’ve been signing up to various obscure networks in the hope that I’d find an exclusive offer. Something that inspires me to crack open Adwords. The trouble is, a lot of the offers that I’d like to promote…don’t exist.
I’ve spoken to a couple of networks about pitching a variety of new products to the advertisers. This is an open plea to any advertiser who happens to be reading. The offers I’d like to see…
The “give up smoking” rebill
I can’t believe there’s no sign of this on any of the major networks. If you asked the UK smoking population to name one habit they’d love to kick, it’s probably going to be the smoking. There’s a HUGE demand for giving up cigarettes and as we all know, a rebill works best when it appeals to the desperate nature of a poor helpless mope with nowhere else to turn.
The concept it simple. If a $39.95 monthly rebill doesn’t shock you in to kicking the habit, the $19.95 upsell certainly will. If you don’t kick that habit within 15 days, we’re gonna rebill your ass so hard that you’ll be puffing sweet nicotine forgiveness for the rest of your life.
In all seriousness, why isn’t there an offer? I can think of a million keywords that would convert. I’m practically salivating when I think of all those dating websites that list “smoker/non smoker” as an option.
Just imagine the upsells. If you’ve got somebody who wants to give up smoking, it’s likely that they want to live a healthier life. They probably want to restore some youth along the way, right? Christ, I bet that ass is ridden in cellulite.
A little persuasive “offer-shotgunning” (that’s a double barrel hit), and you could have this desperate mope eating supplements for breakfast. My ethics are escaping me fast here. But you get the idea. I’m not suggesting for an instant that we, the affiliate marketing masses, would resort to such mindless aggressive marketing – but it’s easy to see how this niche market could be jacked up and turned in to a multi-billion sunlounger fetcher for some deep pocketed son of a bitch advertiser.
Quality products delivered by quality advertisers
Now, about those ethics. I honestly do believe that most rebills are a joke. Consumers have every right to feel ripped off by some of the products that I see shoved in to my weekly newsletter.
I don’t have a problem with the weight loss vertical, or colon cleansing, or skincare – or any of them. But what the industry needs is a bunch of advertisers with products that deliver the goods. Or more importantly, products that justify their monthly rebilling structure. We have some of the best marketers in the business making hundreds of thousands of dollars. Just imagine how well they’d perform if you gave them something to work with.
The Google bizopp is a prime example of a product that has no rebill value. Have you looked at the inside of these “cash kits”? I have. Pretty much everything that you see on day one, is what you will see when the merchant processes your next charge.
Likewise, I don’t think a Google bizopp is the end of the world. As a concept, it’s perfectly legit. People really DO make money on Google. But if you’re going to sling a rebill without the General Attorney baying for your bacon, you need to justify that recurring charge somehow. Give the product some accumulating monthly value. Even if it’s just staggered delivery of the existing content. Anything.
I’d be happy to accept a $15 payout on an offer that doesn’t generate a firestorm of bad press and converts better as a result.
This is all nice to talk about. But the reality is that too many people are filling their pockets with money for there to be the significant changes that would be required. Unless, of course, drastic legal action says otherwise.
Tutoring style rebills
I’d love to see some rebills that aren’t designed to cater for a) the dumb, b) the vain or c) Middle Class America.
Let’s be honest. The last time you sat down to do a character assessment of the target market for your newest rebill – did you really branch beyond those characteristics? Yet the problem with appealing to these people is that they also happen to be some of the most indecisive motherfuckers walking the land. They want to lose weight one day, and they’re stuffing their faces the next.
I’d like to see some rebills designed for people who are genuinely committed to a cause. Take learning guitar for example. A lot of people out there are looking to learn an instrument and they’d probably pay for lessons to do so, in fact I know they do. One of my friends charges Â£25/hour to teach guitar. He books them in for a lesson every week.
If an advertiser could structure a good online program, providing additional content every month, you’d have a rebill that was perfectly justifiable and maybe just maybe I’d feel like less of an asshole when I went to sleep at night.
What about learning a language? A self help program that “slowburns” over time? There are so many concepts that would sell, that don’t have to be about popping pills and posting links online. These are markets that while profitable in 2009, will ultimately, in my opinion, be found out over time.