The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

How to build a successful online business, without relying on any third party (Ecommerce)

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
Hi,

I received quite a few pm's lately of wannabe entrepreneurs looking to start their first online venture.
Here's the most simple business model I found, after few decades of internet marketing.

The key to making money through your eCommerce store is building up your email list and then market your products to it. (any sort of direct contact database does the job - SMS, push notifications, email..)

In fact my success over the years has been built doing just that. I have done it with everything from books, through fashion to phones.

A database is the most precious asset you can have online, it raises the value of your business, and permits you to be independent of any algorithm.

Here's an example of a business I used to own few years ago..
1) Buy leads for $0.x/lead to a cheap third party traffic provider
2) Enter them in your mailing sequence. In my case, I was selling niched e-zines. If you're bad at email marketing, just team up with somebody, and learn on the way.
3) Keep market to them (for free) until you succeed to raise the average value per lead above what you paid them for
4) Then, it just becomes a number of game

Hint: Yes, you need money to start. You're starting a company.

I'm happy to help whoever I can.

Monkeycom
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

Scot

Salad Dressing Empire
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Jul 10, 2016
2,890
13,258
2,796
Florida
1) Buy leads for $0.x/lead to a cheap third party traffic provider
I’m assuming this was before GDPR?

Especially with you being Uk, and a lot of EU members here, that could be a quick way to trouble.

But you’re right, email lists can be a valuable asset if you manage it right.
 

pkom79

Facebook Marketing Enthusiast
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2012
607
786
319
40
South Florida
I'm happy to help whoever I can.
I'm interested to learn more about it.

Buy leads for $0.x/lead to a cheap third party traffic provider
Are you talking about buying an e-mail list? In my experience, third party lists usually have a crappy open rate and don't convert very well. Wouldn't it be better to run a lead gen campaign on FB to get the emails?
Keep market to them (for free) until you succeed to raise the average value per lead above what you paid them for
Can you share how your sequence look like? Do you offer the same product over and over again until they buy or die or had different offers in rotation? How frequently did you email your list?
 
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
I’m assuming this was before GDPR?

Especially with you being Uk, and a lot of EU members here, that could be a quick way to trouble.

But you’re right, email lists can be a valuable asset if you manage it right.
Only spamming lists is reprehensible by GDPR.
I never send email to prospects who haven't opt-in.

There's quite a few companies that send traffic to my offers, which I pay only per opt-in leads.
 
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
I'm interested to learn more about it.
Happy to help. You can ask me anything here, or in pm if you have informations that you don't want to share publicly.

Are you talking about buying an e-mail list? In my experience, third party lists usually have a crappy open rate and don't convert very well. Wouldn't it be better to run a lead gen campaign on FB to get the emails?
I never directly buy email lists.
As stated above, you cannot, in the EU, spam leads that haven't opt-in for your offers.

I only buy opt-in leads.
I work a lot with co-reg companies (you can find a lot on Google - you have to test them one after another), and, indeed, media buyers, on different PPC platforms.
The goal is always to acquire cheap leads, and monetise them for more than you paid for.

Can you share how your sequence look like? Do you offer the same product over and over again until they buy or die or had different offers in rotation? How frequently did you email your list?
I pay highly skilled individuals to do the sequences for me, as it's the most time consuming part of my model.

There's a lot of variables that you can control with your own email servers.
Who click on your links ?
Who bounced ?
Who bought ?
Who view the mail ?
Who ignored it ?
Who bought the upsell ?
How much time did they spend on the mail ?
The heat map ?
and a lot more..

Each prospects enter in a specific sequence based on their reactions, with different products based on their interests.

I've done email marketing for the past 20 years, so I've a lot of experience under my belt to offer the right product, at the right time, although, I love to sell the equivalent of water in a desert.

The frequency of my mails varies a lot.
I used to mail two times a day on coupons lovers lists.
I also used to mail one time a week on the gardening niche, with a killer conversion rate.

As said above, I've done A/B testing during the past 20 years or so, and can instinctively guess the best frequency depending on the niche I'm targeting.

Once everything is set up, it's basically a fully automated system that you keep feeding with new leads, knowing how much $ each lead will produce.

I hope it helps you a bit!
Do not hesitate if you have any other questions!

Monkeycom
 

pkom79

Facebook Marketing Enthusiast
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2012
607
786
319
40
South Florida
I decided to run a test. I'm generated my own leads with a giveaway funnel. So far leads are cheap at $0.26 and it's only been 8:30 am here so the cost per lead should get even lower.

Once people get in the funnel, they are offered the same product as the main prize of the giveaway at $50 off. Which would be basically breakeven.

In the coming days, I will be sending them offers with other items from the same niche.
 
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
I decided to run a test. I'm generated my own leads with a giveaway funnel. So far leads are cheap at $0.26 and it's only been 8:30 am here so the cost per lead should get even lower.

Once people get in the funnel, they are offered the same product as the main prize of the giveaway at $50 off. Which would be basically breakeven.

In the coming days, I will be sending them offers with other items from the same niche.
How did you end up the day ?
The giveaway funnel is one of the model I applied over the years, well done!
The aim is to breakeven on the front-end.
The real money is made on the backend.

Basically, you're building yourself an asset, for free!
In which niche are your working on ?
You've a good cost per leads, well done on that. It shouldn't be too difficult to have a positive ROI on that.

It seems that you're in ecommerce.
On my ecommerce lists, after the trust has been established, I was able to make anywhere from $1-$10/month/lead, depending on the niche.

You're on the right path!

Oliver
 

pkom79

Facebook Marketing Enthusiast
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2012
607
786
319
40
South Florida
We're running a small $50/day test. At the end of the day, we got 220 leads at $0.22 CPL. We got 9 ATCs out of that. No sales. All the cart abandoners will be hit with retargeting ads and cart recovery sequence, so we might convert some down the line.

It's in a golf niche. We have quite a few products we can offer subscribers along the way.

So far we offer them $50 off of the giveaway main prize (retail $149-$169), then less expensive product (from $14.95).

If we could make $1 per lead per month and we can acquire them for $0.20 each I would it all day any day.

So far today CPL is $0.17/2ATCs.

So far conversion rate from visitor to lead is crazy 83%!
 

100k

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Oct 20, 2012
1,149
1,414
446
Happy to help. You can ask me anything here, or in pm if you have informations that you don't want to share publicly.



I never directly buy email lists.
As stated above, you cannot, in the EU, spam leads that haven't opt-in for your offers.

I only buy opt-in leads.
I work a lot with co-reg companies (you can find a lot on Google - you have to test them one after another), and, indeed, media buyers, on different PPC platforms.
The goal is always to acquire cheap leads, and monetise them for more than you paid for.



I pay highly skilled individuals to do the sequences for me, as it's the most time consuming part of my model.

There's a lot of variables that you can control with your own email servers.
Who click on your links ?
Who bounced ?
Who bought ?
Who view the mail ?
Who ignored it ?
Who bought the upsell ?
How much time did they spend on the mail ?
The heat map ?
and a lot more..

Each prospects enter in a specific sequence based on their reactions, with different products based on their interests.

I've done email marketing for the past 20 years, so I've a lot of experience under my belt to offer the right product, at the right time, although, I love to sell the equivalent of water in a desert.

The frequency of my mails varies a lot.
I used to mail two times a day on coupons lovers lists.
I also used to mail one time a week on the gardening niche, with a killer conversion rate.

As said above, I've done A/B testing during the past 20 years or so, and can instinctively guess the best frequency depending on the niche I'm targeting.

Once everything is set up, it's basically a fully automated system that you keep feeding with new leads, knowing how much $ each lead will produce.

I hope it helps you a bit!
Do not hesitate if you have any other questions!

Monkeycom
I keep reading this, but I just suck at e-mail marketing. I've dabbled with it a few times, and always failed.

Could you tell us what people are required to set this up properly and where to find them.

For example; copywriter, funnel designer, a/b analytics person etc.

I'm in talks right now with a guy to try this model once again, I hope I can make it work this time around.
 

Tourmaline

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 4, 2019
537
487
167
Texas
@Monkeycom Thanks for this! This is a big help for me, I'm in the process of getting my email campaign going.

What is your setup for an email server? If I can avoid using mailchimp and the like that'd be great.

I have heard of concerns with getting blacklisted however if you're not a major email providers? Do you have any information regarding that?

What do you look for when finding someone to help you write emails and copy for the email marketing campaigns?
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
We're running a small $50/day test. At the end of the day, we got 220 leads at $0.22 CPL. We got 9 ATCs out of that. No sales. All the cart abandoners will be hit with retargeting ads and cart recovery sequence, so we might convert some down the line.

It's in a golf niche. We have quite a few products we can offer subscribers along the way.

So far we offer them $50 off of the giveaway main prize (retail $149-$169), then less expensive product (from $14.95).

If we could make $1 per lead per month and we can acquire them for $0.20 each I would it all day any day.

So far today CPL is $0.17/2ATCs.

So far conversion rate from visitor to lead is crazy 83%!
Interesting results. You seem to have a good offer, and a good experience with PPC. Congrats!
Now, it's your job to work on them until they produce in average $1/lead/month.
Test different offers, different parameters, analyse and adjust.
Then, it's just a number of games.

I usually stop the campaign when I reach 1000 leads. It's enough to have meaningful data.
Feel free to pm me if you want that I take a look at your funnel/sequences.

I keep reading this, but I just suck at e-mail marketing. I've dabbled with it a few times, and always failed.

Could you tell us what people are required to set this up properly and where to find them.

For example; copywriter, funnel designer, a/b analytics person etc.

I'm in talks right now with a guy to try this model once again, I hope I can make it work this time around.
Ahah, I rarely reveal my little book of contact. They are the reason of my success.
I can send you a few contact via pm, so feel free to reach me in private.

You should seriously consider to learn email marketing. You probably know the quote: The money is in the list! That's the only way to be independent of any algorithm, and to sell your business at a way higher multiple than the average 20-30x.

@Monkeycom Thanks for this! This is a big help for me, I'm in the process of getting my email campaign going.

What is your setup for an email server? If I can avoid using mailchimp and the like that'd be great.

I have heard of concerns with getting blacklisted however if you're not a major email providers? Do you have any information regarding that?

What do you look for when finding someone to help you write emails and copy for the email marketing campaigns?
Congrats for taking action!
I hate autoresponders.
I use my personal servers, only.

I own my data, my leads, my IP's.
It's always the same issue when you hire someone. It's a lot of trial and errors.
Hiring is guessing, firing is knowing.

Oliver
 

pkom79

Facebook Marketing Enthusiast
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Sep 24, 2012
607
786
319
40
South Florida
I usually stop the campaign when I reach 1000 leads. It's enough to have meaningful data.
Feel free to pm me if you want that I take a look at your funnel/sequences.
I will definitely take you up on this offer!

I should have 1,000 leads by Monday, and I want to run them through at least a few emails in my sequence to get some data.

CPL is $0.20 with 542 leads collected.

When I tried this method before I never had issues with getting leads at a fairly low price but converting them into buyers was a big problem.

So far the stats of the first three emails of my sequence are as follows:
Email 1 Open Rate - 51% Click Rate - 6%
Email 2 Open Rate - 26% Click Rate - 1%
Email 3 Open Rate - 18% Click Rate - 1%

The first email goes out immediately after people sign up, second after 12 hours, third after 11 hours.
 

Tourmaline

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 4, 2019
537
487
167
Texas
@Monkeycom Thanks! I will celebrate once I get it really producing results.

What softwares do you use on your own server? Or is there a typical stack that I should use and not worry much more about it?
 

AllenCrawley

Legendary Contributor
Staff member
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Oct 13, 2011
3,967
16,313
3,356
48
Scottsdale, AZ
I never send email to prospects who haven't opt-in.
I only buy opt-in leads.
I work a lot with co-reg companies (you can find a lot on Google - you have to test them one after another), and, indeed, media buyers, on different PPC platforms.
The goal is always to acquire cheap leads, and monetise them for more than you paid for.
But these leads never opt-in to your specific list? They opted in a different list and you buy those leads?

To clarify, this is co-registration marketing. This type of marketing has a bad reputation and rightfully so. Mainly because when people end up getting emails for products that they have no interest in its viewed/reported as spam and this hurts the brand rep and email deliverability. This is why those that engage in this practice set up their own email servers.

I would genuinely like to know how you went about this type of model ethically and transparently.

Maybe the better question is, how could one implement this model ethically and with transparency?
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
I will definitely take you up on this offer!

I should have 1,000 leads by Monday, and I want to run them through at least a few emails in my sequence to get some data.

CPL is $0.20 with 542 leads collected.

When I tried this method before I never had issues with getting leads at a fairly low price but converting them into buyers was a big problem.

So far the stats of the first three emails of my sequence are as follows:
Email 1 Open Rate - 51% Click Rate - 6%
Email 2 Open Rate - 26% Click Rate - 1%
Email 3 Open Rate - 18% Click Rate - 1%

The first email goes out immediately after people sign up, second after 12 hours, third after 11 hours.
Nice CPL.
It shouldn't be a problem to at least break even at that cost.
Then, you have a list for free, on which you can work on at no cost.

It's just a matter of time before they convert.

Keep us updated!

But these leads never opt-in to your specific list? They opted in a different list and you buy those leads?

To clarify, this is co-registration marketing. This type of marketing has a bad reputation and rightfully so. Mainly because when people end up getting emails for products that they have no interest in its viewed/reported as spam and this hurts the brand rep and email deliverability. This is why those that engage in this practice set up their own email servers.

I would genuinely like to know how you went about this type of model ethically and transparently.

Maybe the better question is, how could one implement this model ethically and with transparency?
I always wonder why co-reg has such a bad reputation.
But I'm happy it has!

Did you ever try it ? You seem experienced in email marketing, it's an easy and scalable growth channel to implement.

As said above, I never buy lists. Buying a list fall into the spamming category, which is illegal in EU, in B2C.

The prospects initially sign up for an offer. Let's call it offer A.
The offer A is a lead magnet.
The prospect enter their email to receive the offer A.
Once done, on the thank you page, appears my offer. (Offer B)
They need to tick a case if they are interested in my offer, or any other action depending on the companies.
The prospects demonstrate an active intention to receive my offer. They ask for it. They wait for it.
Hence, they usually open my first mail.

Then, it's our job to build trust and to market our offers correctly.
The main advantage of co-reg companies is the scalability.
But I also work a lot with PPC managers and media buyers. It's exactly the same process, but in-house.

My spam rate never raise above 0.15%.

Oliver
 

Sethamus

New Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Sep 13, 2019
10
4
15
32
Northshore area, New Orleans
Completely new to this stuff, would something like this work for someone starting Amazon FBA? Get an opt in list, offer reimbursement for 5 star review to first xx many people and then give a coupon to to the rest. ?
I will be ordering my first product soon and will be needing reviews. This might be a way to get them without paying a review professional, while also getting emails for any future products.

Thanks - Seth
 
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
Completely new to this stuff, would something like this work for someone starting Amazon FBA? Get an opt in list, offer reimbursement for 5 star review to first xx many people and then give a coupon to to the rest. ?
I will be ordering my first product soon and will be needing reviews. This might be a way to get them without paying a review professional, while also getting emails for any future products.

Thanks - Seth
Why it wouldn't ?
 
OP
OP
Monkeycom

Monkeycom

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Aug 20, 2019
184
164
80
UK
Just wanting to know who some examples are of these traffic providers? Are they legitimate searchers or just anybody drifting by? Or worse, bots?
I am looking for adverts at Self-Publishing sites for my Business Author Academy.
Thanks, Jennifer
There are of course legit companies.
You need to be able to make an ROI on the leads you buy.
Hence, they are obviously not bots.

As said above, I prefer to not share my little book of contact publicly, for obvious reasons.
Feel free to send me a pm, I guess I can send you some reliable contacts for your needs.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.


Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom