The Paradox of Joint Ventures


Know what’s really weird about joint ventures?   If you go after them the right way, you actually won’t need them.

Think about it for a minute…

Let’s say you control a 100,000 person mailing list.  Maybe you’ve generated through paid advertising.  Perhaps the leads cost you $15 each.  And to maintain that list, you’ve got to KEEP paying for new leads.  (One thing a lot of new marketers don’t realize is that once you get to a certain size with a list, you actually can’t keep growing it with the same lead source.  Because at some point, even with a very low unsubscribe rate, the number of leads dropping out exceeds the volume you can attract each month.  It’s just a byproduct of the math)

The “bandwidth” (mailing slots) on that list are therefore NOT really cost-free, despite what most people who’ll be pitching you joint ventures seem to assume.  You actually HAVE TO earn substantially on every mailing to “keep the lights on” for that particular list.  Plus, especially with a list that size, every mailing has it’s own costs…mostly in unsubscribes, but also in managing complaints, customer service inquiries, and the like.

The upshot of this is, before you’re going to agree to mail for someone, you really want some kind of proof their system is going to profitably convert your visitors into customers.  You’re going to ask to see evidence of previous mailings… or even better, paid advertising tests to a similar audience.

This is why it’s difficult to get major list holders to mail for your new offer.  What you really need to do before you approach a major mailer is develop PROOF that your system works. Which means, oddly enough, to get really solid joint venture partners you usually need to spend some money on advertising and conversion optimization.

Now, here’s the paradox…

If you develop your paid advertising funnel correctly (so it converts!) you actually may not need the joint venture partners at all.  Or rather, you may only desire them for extra volume… but most likely you’ll be able to buy all the traffic you need.

In fact, you should be able to approach the joint venture partners and just BUY traffic from them directly, rather than asking for a joint venture.  (For example, if you’ve got a proven list of 2,000+ responsive coaches, consultants, authors or speakers I would consider paying you $2 per visitor you send to my site via a specific email I’ve tested… contact me via www.PsyTechSupport.com if you’re interested)…

Of course you’d need to test this out slowly in order to protect yourself.  But if you CAN do it–and the fastest way to get there is by conversion optimizing your site on paid advertising–you’ll be in an incredibly powerful position…

Because it’s unlikely your “JV Partners” will want to reciprocate.  (Thanks to Bill Harrison for pointing this out to me originally)

On the other hand, if you have a brand new site with no proven conversion statistics, but you approach a power JV player to mail for you, what you’re really doing is asking THEM to take all the risk.

In a rational world, they won’t play ball…

Hence the JV Paradox.

However, we don’t live in a completely rational world.  Not even close!  And because of this, there ARE ways to convince power players to joint venture with you:

  • Perhaps they’re really in love with your idea…
  • Or maybe you’ve built the relationship in such a way as to imbue a feeling of reciprocity or obligation…
  • They could love YOU…
  • Or they really feel your free promotional series is valuable for their list and they’d like to use it to educate their own customers (Perry Marshall once told me I made his customers smarter, and that made it possible for them to buy more from him)
  • Or maybe you offer them a ridiculous commission to compensate them for the risk you’re asking them to take.  (But remember, 100% of zero is still zero if the system doesn’t convert.  And no matter how much of the work you do for your partner they STILL are spending their credibility and mailing-list-bandwidth on your promotion)

There are actually about 101 different ways you can compensate for asking a JV partner to take more risk for you… but before you can use them effectively you really need to understand and accept the magnitude of what you’re asking.

Asking for a serious joint venture is kind of on the level of asking to stay at someone’s house for the evening.  You kind of have to prove you’re trustworthy, have something to offer, and invest a little time in the relationship first.

If you’d like to learn more about using joint ventures to put cash in your bank account and visitors on your list year after year, please opt in to the JV Fast Track Sublist here.

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