DO you know that Agora Publishing, founded by Michael Masterson is a $100M company? Although they have physical products e.g. books, the bulk of what they do lies in internet marketing, and using internet marketing channels to market their products. And what’s interesting is that most Internet marketers don’t get that big.
Writer Michael Reining who analysed Agora’s success model, wrote a brilliant piece in evancarmichael.com. He said: “What Agora makes is almost akin to offline marketing giants like Boardroom and Weiss International. We need to start doing what successful businesses are doing, so I thought to myself, what is Agora doing that we aren’t?”
Below are 5 Lessons from Agora publishing model that we can emulate.
- Think like a direct response marketer
Not all the best sales copywriting is from website copy. Agora studied and replicated the formats of offline giants like Boardroom, Weiss International, and Clayton Makepeace whose quality of the direct response copywriting is extremely good. These people have been in direct marketing for decades. It is precise and extremely targeted. They know the market, and the key thing about thinking like a direct response marketer is — they idolize the prospect, who are the ones who hand you the money.
If you are marketing a product or a service, you must think like them: How do they search? What is their buying process? What is their relationship with you? It’s one-on-one marketing in its most personal and intimate form. Many internet marketers don’t do this, but Agora does this really well.
- Create newsletters for marketing
A newsletter is the ultimate form of relationship building because it is continuous. When people sign up for a newsletter, they want to know what you have to offer, and they expect you to keep in touch. They expect you to give them information and value. They are in a different frame of mind, and it drives lead generation because people freely give their email wanting to get something of value.
Agora has made newsletters their driving force and their main source of revenue, and that’s made $100M for them. This is the exact opposite of a free report, where you get a lead and you get them to give you their email address. A report is one-off, and they may not welcome what you have to offer later, whereas with newsletters, you have the right to keep bombarding them with messages, which has proven useful for Agora.
- Always be there
Dan Kennedy taught us that people are not loyal to brands. The key to getting money out of your prospect’s pocket is to make sure you are there when they need you. Most of the time, you don’t know when you are reaching people at their point of need. The solution, is to keep being there for them. Earlytorise is there Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. They are there first thing in the morning… so you turn to them when you have a need to generate wealth or health. And the more frequently a marketer communicates, the more receptive the prospect becomes, because the best friends are the ones who are always there (or they can unsubscribe).
- Build relationship before selling
Agora builds a fantastic relationship before they ask you to buy. A few of their sites have one-time offers, but this is very rare. It’s usually tiny, maybe a $37 book.
As their newsletters keep giving you value, they grow as a friend and become the authority, so the minute they give you something to buy, people usually do, as people have developed an emotional bond with the newsletters.
And of course, they treat their customers right, which is often seen with offline and direct marketers. Clayton Makepeace once said, the way to know how companies treat their customers is to keep buying their products. Create marketing materials which are targeted to customers — sales copy that brings value and offers people don’t usually get from the surface. After you’ve bought 3 or 4 products, they may offer you $10,000 products. You need to see the formula and replicate it.
- Use great content and copywriting
Think about what distinguishes your product, than what people can probably get online for free? The internet has opened the market, and an internet marketer has to work a lot harder than a direct response marketer. Agora’s model, in direct contrast to direct marketers, gives away a newsletter for which they should probably be charging you. Agora caught onto this early, so they don’t sell it to you, they give it away. They make you a buyer down the line.
The key is to create great in-house content, to give more value to your customers. They build up advertising students to become brilliant content writers, and copy writers who never leave because they get royalties. For example, their copywriting is so good, that they managed to generate $6 million from a $27 ebook, purely on email marketing and sales copywriting.
Their emphasis is on content and value – you do not get what you pay for, but you get something that you would pay to get. Michael Masterson has a lot of good advice that can actually make you money. And the only way to keep coming up with content like this 5 or 6 times a week is by investing in many in-house people to produce good and consistent content, which is the secret to Agora’s success.
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