Transcript of Frankel's Free Clinic December 4, 2000

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 8:59 AM): I'm early, but that should even things out from last week, when I was late! (12/4/2000 8:59 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 8:59 AM): Carla and Worthen....are you still here?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:00 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:00 AM): We always like to let the newest people go first.

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:00 AM): Hi Rob

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:00 AM): What can I do for you Worthen?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:01 AM): I'll tell you about my thoughts on a planned affiliate program and ask you to comment (12/4/2000 9:01 AM): Entered the room. (12/4/2000 9:02 AM): Filed a review with Boo Hiss on that Chile guy's review.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:02 AM): Hi Raleigh. Thom Reece plugged you this morning. Thanks for that Amazon thing. I saved all that guy's e-mails, but Amazon won't do a thing about him.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:02 AM): Okay, Worthen. Shoot (12/4/2000 9:03 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:05 AM): Did we lose Worthen? (12/4/2000 9:05 AM): Entered the room. (12/4/2000 9:06 AM): Hmm this refresh is not working properly today ?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:07 AM): We've been online a year, is a free guide to trading stocks online. All our revenue comes from our sponsors ads and book sales. Some banners are pay per click, some commission, and some our even pay per ticket for the life of each acc. a broker sets up thru us. Our book sales is an affiliate program we joined. It would be hard to track all this. We would like to pay a full 60% before gross to affiliates and simply divide that 60% between affiliates according to traffic sent, (unique users) we want to avoid a pay-per-click cuz we don't have boatloads of money and it would limit our growth rate.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:08 AM): So what's the question?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:09 AM): It would be unconventional - sort of reinventing the wheel - do you feel we can make it fly - or do you think a simple pay-per-click is better

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:09 AM): Yikes, I hate pay per click programs. Most of the time, they're an open invitation to arguments and measurement disputes.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:10 AM): I also believe that simpler is better. Anyone reading that paragraph below would go, "What?!?" Why not just simplify it with your own affiliate program? It really doesn't take much. (12/4/2000 9:10 AM): Hmm this refresh is not working properly today ?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:10 AM): Thanks for the comment - the measurement question is one I had not thought of

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:11 AM): Worthen, have you ever done affiliate stuff before?

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:13 AM): Only as an affiliate - not having our own program - I've read a bit - I'm familiar with all the major networks like CJ

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:13 AM): The reason I ask is that affiliate programs CAN work, but few of the existing networks like CJ do what you want them to.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:13 AM): I mean, they sign up a lot of people, but very very few of their affiliates ever perform. Do you know Allan Gardyne? (12/4/2000 9:14 AM): Entered the room.

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:14 AM): Heard of him and his book

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:14 AM): Allan is THE affiliate expert. He's at That's a HUGE resource for you.

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:15 AM): I think that's the one with a book

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:15 AM): Allan reprinted my article called Affiliate Chicken Soup, which you can find at the Archives at my site. The point was that only few affiliates out there know what they're doing. The rest just slap a banner on their sites and hope people click.

Worthen (12/4/2000 9:16 AM): Thanks Rob, I'll check out Alan and let someone else talk, Thanks

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:16 AM): You've got to design a program that's generous, easy and motivating. I have over 125 affiliates for my book, but only 6 of them produce sales....

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:16 AM): No problem, Worthen. Hope that helps.... (12/4/2000 9:17 AM): Entered the room. (12/4/2000 9:17 AM): Why only 6 Rob?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:17 AM): Anyone else? Just jump in. Lambert, are you still having trouble? If so, try re-booting your browser. The refresh rate seems to be okay for everyone else.

erik ( (12/4/2000 9:18 AM): And what do the 6 do different? (12/4/2000 9:18 AM): And what can one do to get the other 99 up to speed? (12/4/2000 9:18 AM): Thanks Rob, I switched browsers and seems ok now :-)

Al (12/4/2000 9:18 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:18 AM): Raleigh, probably because those 6 are motivated people who understand that they have to promote the stuff they represent, not just sit back and wait. Great affiliates have lists of people to whom they promote.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:19 AM): Raleigh, I pay WAY more than Amazon. $8 per book and $50 per tape set. So we know it's not the money. I also pay monthly, not quarterly....

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:19 AM): Carla you still here? Al? Jump in if you feel like it.

Al( (12/4/2000 9:19 AM): Entered the room.

Joel ( (12/4/2000 9:20 AM): Entered the room.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:20 AM): GREAT affiliates are the ones who have followings. They'll have newsletters and the like and feature the affiliate link in those. THAT'S where the sales come from. VERY FEW come from off a site.

Joel ( (12/4/2000 9:20 AM): Good Morning All! (12/4/2000 9:21 AM): Do you qualify your affiliates when they sign up? Do you ask them if they have a list? Do you offer them tips on promoting you?

Al( (12/4/2000 9:21 AM): Thanks. I'm looking for feedback on our new site, if there is anything there or not there that should be changed to strengthen our brand, and for advice on how to reach local government managers online -- they don't have much presence.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:22 AM): Hi, I am here. I was wondering if it was possible to somehow develop an affiliate program that is region specific?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:22 AM): Al, shall we go to

Al( (12/4/2000 9:22 AM): Have at it.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:22 AM): Sure it is, Carla. The question is what are you trying to affiliate?

Al( (12/4/2000 9:23 AM):

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:23 AM): Al, have you read my book?

Al( (12/4/2000 9:24 AM): No.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:24 AM): NTN sports and trivia

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:24 AM): BAD AL!!! BAD BOY!!

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:25 AM): Just yanking your chain, Al. I can tell, because the line, "Our software is designed specifically for public-sector organizations that want fixed asset property record software that meets their needs simply and reliably" is typical.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:26 AM): Al, you gotta show them -- real quick and right now -- that your software solves their worst problem.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:27 AM): NTN sports and trivia

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:27 AM): You've got to take the emphasis OFF how great your stuff is, and get them into how you solve their problems. THEN, once they see you know what their worst nightmare is, THEN they'll be ready to hear why your stuff is fabulous.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:27 AM): NTN sports and trivia

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:28 AM): I also wish your site had a more distinctive look that made it more memorable. The generic look is detracting from your memorability and brand strategy.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:29 AM): This is all from the home page only....where there is a simple description of what your software does, but NOT why it's the solution I should choose. And if I don't find it there, am I going to go to the other pages? Nope.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:29 AM): Carla. define NTN?

Al( (12/4/2000 9:29 AM): OK. But we have not narrowed our target to a single problem. Some have little technical expertise and want to buy know-how. Some are simply overworked and want to buy a time-saver. Should we try to focus on just one of these categories?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:30 AM): Al, did you know that 80% of all visitors on the web NEVER get past the home page?

Carla (12/4/2000 9:30 AM): Could we just go to instead?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:31 AM): Al! That's perfect! Why aren't you leading with that? "Save time" "you don't have to be technically savvy". "This is the product that makes all that stuff so much easier because it was written with the over-worked, non-technical person in mind"

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:31 AM): Sure Carla. let me just wrap it up with Al....

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:32 AM): Al, if someone were to read that, they'd be nodding their head in agreement as they read it. They'd recognize themselves and be more likely to click to the next page.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:33 AM): ok

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:33 AM): Well, Carla, at least we know your last name now....

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:34 AM): Okay, Carla, what's your question. Thanks for being so patient.

SageRock (12/4/2000 9:35 AM): Entered the room.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:36 AM): My question was.. Is it possible to set up an affiliate program that is region specific?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:36 AM): Sure it is. I guess the first question is why you'd want to limit it to a geographic area. Then I'd want to know what you were trying to set the program up for.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:36 AM): The program is NTN Sports and Trivia and can be better explained by going to

Carla (12/4/2000 9:37 AM): Geographically set because I am an Independent Rep for ND, part of MN, and part of SD.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:38 AM): I haven't yet found a reason to limit anything on the web to geography, if only because there may be people OUTSIDE your area that want to reach people WITHIN your area.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:38 AM): Oh, my last name is Hillstrom.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:38 AM): Yes, it says so on your site.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:39 AM): What's the affiliate program structure? What do you want them to do -- send advertisers?

Carla (12/4/2000 9:40 AM): There are IR's set geographically and there is no credit if a sale was made in someone else's territory. The only control over commissions that I have would be in my own territory.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:40 AM): I am looking for sales people.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:41 AM): And the sales people are selling ads?

Carla (12/4/2000 9:42 AM): Commissions would depend on the number of playmakers sold. Other details could be negotiated, such as help with bulk mail, etc.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:42 AM): The sales people would be selling the NTN system to prospective establishments. I could provide contacts.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:43 AM): The sales people would be selling the NTN system to prospective establishments. I could provide contacts.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:45 AM): NTN system info. can be found at

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:45 AM): Well, based on what I can see, I would scour the web for newsletters and e-mail sites/lists that are specific to the area and publicize the program there... we had an advertiser on FrankelBiz last month who creates daily online newspapers for every community in the country. Let me get you his name.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:46 AM): That'd be great. Thanks!

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:46 AM): They are a big outfit, call

Carla (12/4/2000 9:46 AM): Thanks!

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:46 AM): Send Bob Leonard an e-mail at He's a great guy and I think he might help.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:47 AM): The biggest problem is that there is not a lot of activity up North. Any other suggestions?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:47 AM): Other than that, Carla, seriously think about posting a NEED request to FrankelBiz. We have thousands of small and large business and all of them are great. happy to help you grow your business. There's a lot of geo-specific people there, too.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:48 AM): Thanks for the e address, I'll try that.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:48 AM): Carla, this should be your biggest season. Winter. Everyone stays indoors.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:49 AM): Ah, the NEED request. Could you please e me with the list directions again. It's been quite a while since I last posted. Would appreciate it.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:50 AM): If you're still subbed, send your post to

Carla (12/4/2000 9:50 AM): Yes, it should be the biggest season. That's why I'd like to find some good sales people. I work a full time job and do NTN part-time. I do what I can with NTN but, sales are slow due to the time frame for calling upon establishments.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:51 AM): I'll give you another clue: Have you tried e-mailing a press release directly to bar magazines in your area?

Carla (12/4/2000 9:51 AM): This is my lunch break now.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:52 AM): (TEN MINUTE WARNING)

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:53 AM): I have had such great success with this. If you get a good list ( and write a good release, you can get great press for not very much.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:53 AM): Bar magazines... now that is one I didn't think of. Have 2 lists set up and have been working with present NTN establishments to set up leagues and local competitions.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:54 AM): We just sent out a few hundred pitches for the book on Friday. This morning we have 25 requests for review copies! YOW!

Carla (12/4/2000 9:54 AM): does gebbie provide email addresses too?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:55 AM): Oh yeah! E-Mail is the ONLY way I publicize stuff.

Carla (12/4/2000 9:56 AM): It takes a lot of time to gather/find email addresses. My database is lacking in the email category for bar listings.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:57 AM): And one more hint: If you attach a TINY JPG or GIF to the press release, you'll get way better response. but it's gotta be UNDER 5K. Preferably 3K.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:57 AM): (TWO MINUTES)

erik ( (12/4/2000 9:57 AM): Rob, can branding help a new venture raise the barrier to entry for competing companies and how?

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:58 AM): Of course Erik. Mainly because most new ventures DON'T have their brands developed before they go to market.

Al( (12/4/2000 9:59 AM): Thanks much for the once over, Rob.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 9:59 AM): If you dig the idea about choosing your business as THEIR best solution, you know that most of the competition is STILL stuck on boasting how great they are.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 10:00 AM): But if you have a brand, you bolt out of the gate with a strong position that the others can't touch.

erik ( (12/4/2000 10:00 AM): I mentioned it because a friend of mine started a new company and spent all his resources on securing a patent and nothing on branding. Now he's spending all his resources trying to protect the patent while his competitors are killing him!

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 10:01 AM): Welcome to my world Erik.....

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 10:01 AM): I see that happening SO much. By really big companies, too, not jus startups...

Carla (12/4/2000 10:02 AM): Thanks Rob.

RobFrankel ( (12/4/2000 10:02 AM): Okay, folks, I gotta split. Thanks for a great session today! (12/4/2000 10:03 AM): Thanks Rob and 'bye all - will go look at my daughters' web site entry page now LOL :-)

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