[Case Study] How $500 Worth of E-book Sales Could Have Been $3000

Filed in Case Studies, Sales by on April 30, 2015

This is a guest post from Brad Greyeyes-Brant, and he’s giving away something pretty cool at the bottom of this post for any Nichehacks.com readers who are interested, so read on and don’t miss the full details.

So you decided to step up and create something to sell and call your own, eh?

Smart move.

While it’s nice to make some money as an affiliate, let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that there isn’t a boatload more money to be made in actually selling your own product.

More importantly, in your business, when you control the assets that bring in the money, you’re in control of your future.

Plus, y’know, there's the perks that like the greater authority status and credibility within your niche that makes life easier, which is nice...

So why aren’t you making as much as you thought you would?




Don’t Pass over Dollars To Pick Up Pennies

Here’s the skinny:

It’s awesome that you got something for sale. For real. It’s a step not everyone is willing to make, so you should be commended for taking it.


If you’re just throwing a single product “out there” and then figuring out what comes next, there is a lot of money that isn’t being made.

A lot.


And Now, A Quick Detour To Talk About Strategy (You Got To Look More Than One Step Ahead)

Now, I’m a sales funnel guy, so you’re probably already know the direction that we’re heading.

And let’s not get it twisted; if you’re selling your own stuff, a sales funnel isn’t just something you “should” have, it’s necessity (unless you don’t like money.)

But let’s put that aside for a moment and get something out there in the open first. Something that few people seem to pay attention to.

Y’all need to start thinking strategically about your online business.

Most everyone wants quick, actionable tips, they can implement right this second.

Something they can DO right now that you can see some kind of result right away. Something that gives you the sense of action.

And that’s all well and good. But realize those are tactical level decisions, and tactics only take you so far.

Tactics may turn a battle, but strategy wins wars.

Look at some of the giants in the marketing world.

Master marketer, Rich Schefren has said,

“Books are read from front to back, but businesses are built from back to front”

Ryan Deiss mapped out a million dollar business onto the back of a napkin.

Neither of these juggernauts got to where they are by chance or by looking only a step ahead. They had strategic visions and goals, then built their businesses around that.

Jigsaw_puzzle_01_by_ScoutenPut differently, think of your money making efforts kind of like completing a jigsaw puzzle (bear with me here).

You’d probably finish the damn thing much quicker and easier if you started by finding all the outside pieces and then built your way inward rather than starting at the centre and scrounging to find the next piece.

Same goes online. If you don’t have the edges of your business defined, you don’t really know what you’re looking at when you're building it.

One last thing: mapping out your business from back to front is also a pretty darn good way to cure shiny object syndrome. Just sayin’...


Now It’s Case Study Time!

Ok, so we know two things by now:

1) strategy is important
2) a sales funnel is a great ace up the sleeve to get more money.

Let’s combine the two and apply it to the real world, shall we?

Let’s take our friend Irfan from the Nichehacks private mastermind group.

You might remember Irfan from Stuart’s post a while back on the success he had with his first ever product launch.

Here’s a lil reminder of how well Irfan did.




As you can see, Irfan smashed it. Who wouldn’t be chuffed if that were your results from your very first product launch?

Let’s break down those numbers in case they don’t make a lot of sense to you.

  • So over the two days Irfan promoted this test-launch to his list:
  • 504 people from his small list of a couple thousand visited the sales page (or Irfan already had a small segment set out just for this launch)
  • 104 people bought his e-book at $4.95
  • Irfan made a grand total of just over 500 bucks cash money for sending a few emails.

Since Irfan now had a proven winner on his hands, his plan was to recruit affiliates and turn this puppy into a full-time cash cow.

In a nutshell, here’s the workflow Irfan was using:

Develop a product (e-book) > do a quick launch to email list to see if its got legs (real smart move, actually) > if it goes bang start recruiting affiliates > make it rain




Here’s the first order of business:

Offer some fries and a drink to go with that burger

Remember me asking how chuffed you’d be if you made 500 bucks by sending a couple of emails over 2 days?

And also remember me saying that by just getting a product “out there” you were leaving tons of cash on the table?

How would you feel knowing that there was potentially around 3000 bucks that was ready to be scooped up during those two days?

Ok, you’re probably wondering where I pulled those numbers from.




I plopped Irfan’s numbers into Perry Marshall’s 80/20 tool.

Really, just read Perry Marshall’s stuff and buy his book for a freakin’ penny. Best penny you’ll ever spend. Serious.

So the area in pink (salmon?) is the money Irfan made. The rest of the area under the curve is all the money that was out there during that campaign.

Here’s the intuition behind the curve:

Clearly, 104 were happy to part with $4.95.

However, it looks like around half of the buyers would have happily spent another 5 bucks if the price was twice as much or if they were just presented with something else that was relevant.

Maybe a quarter would have spent 25 bucks, and a couple even would have spent over 50 bucks. Again, if there was something else for sale that day.

Going the other direction, you can see that there were several hundred people that weren’t going to part with $4.95, but would probably have happily spent 2-3 bucks for the book.

As you can see, every customer has a different capacity and willingness to spend.

But if you just offer one single price on one single product, you are essentially treating all your potential customers alike which couldn’t be further from the truth.

table-349678_1280Here’s where a sales funnel comes in handy because a sales funnel allows you to pick up that money just sitting there on that table.

For the sake of brevity, I can’t get deep into the nitty grit of upsells, downsells, one time offers and the like.

But that’s beside the point.

The big takeaway is to think of a sale as a process rather than a momentary event and a sales funnel as a tactic that helps you to capture as much money as possible.

Wherever money is coming in (or out) of your business, apply this knowledge and think how you can fill the gaps.


And Here’s How To Put That Funnel Into an Overall Strategic Context In Your Business

Iceberg3Ok, so let’s assume Irfan puts a funnel in place so that he’s now making significantly more cash from his ebook.

He’s got something offered at a higher price point after initial point of sale for those that want to spend more, and perhaps something on the bottom end for those that don’t want to spend as much. Sweet.

Now what strategies can we put into place to really kick it up a notch?

First, look up to the iceberg above.

Think of everything above the water as the “front end” of your business (or, as the money you give your affiliates) and everything under the water as your “back end.”

The front end is usually defined as the first sale (getting a customer) and the back end as every other transaction (keeping a customer).

It’s a fundamental business truth that there’s more money to be made in selling to the customers that you already have than getting new ones.

This is something all the massive publishing houses and gargantuan businesses all understand intimately.

You see, the affiliate/launch strategies that everyone wants to believe will make them rich are actually customer acquisition strategies.

They are NOT meant to be the cash cows that let you live on a hammock on the beach.

That’s what the backend is for.

So if Irfan wants to run with his affiliate strategy, all he has is the tip of the iceberg at the moment.

His funnel should be a vehicle to bring in as many customers into his world as possible at little to no cost to him.

It is NOT supposed to be prime money maker.

If he treats it as such, he’s leaving even more money on the table because all the money he’s making on the frontend should be used to reinvest in his business to get more people into the backend of his business.


Woah That’s A Lot To Take In All At Once

I know, I know. Internet marketing just got a lot more complicated than “make website, post article, ????, collect money” but that’s business for ya.

Let me make this clear though, I didn’t figure this all out on my own, and it wasn’t easy. Certainly wasn’t cheap either, in both time and money spent.

One of the smartest decisions I made was to back away from lame WSO’s and questionable JVZoo product launches.

Sorry, but no 7 dollar “course” is going to take you from zero to five figures a day with only 20 minutes work.

The rich might be selling you that dream, but they ain’t buyers.

Instead, I chose to invest my money learning from real high-level marketers. Cost me a small fortune, but worth every penny.

But I know that’s not realistic for everyone, so let’s do something… a little different.




Got 20 minutes? Let’s Chat

My life and business motto is simple: give more than you take. And I truly believe in it.

So here’s what I got for you as a special for nichehackers:

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll open up somewhere between 15-20 spots for free consultations.

We get on skype, you tell me where you’re struggling and where you want to go, and I’ll tailor a plan specific for you and your situation.

And I do really mean free and no strings.

I’m not going to try to sell you some products after the 20 minutes, not going to try and put you into some high-ticket coaching program… heck, there’s not even going to be an opt-in.

Just click here to go to my site, and if spots are available, book away, friend.

Cool? Cool.

Now start strategizing!

Author Bio: Brad Greyeyes-Brant is a digitalmarketer.com certified funnel expert and profit strategist. When he’s not growing his own list, he likes to hang out in the Nichehacks.com private mastermind group and chat strategy with other marketers.

To date, Stuart has revealed well over 1,500 hot niches.

He's living his dream of being location independent, and having traveled the world, thanks to internet marketing.

The aim with Niche Hacks is to help you live your dream thanks to online marketing, whatever that may be.
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Comments (3)

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  1. Richard says:

    Again well done Stuart and thanks Brads for the paradigm shift of perspectives.

    This is like a direct punch to the facts behind the scene and there lies the goose that lays the golden eggs.

    I hope everyone is reading this right now.

    Cheers !!


    • Brad GB says:

      Hey Richard real glad you liked it.

      Kind of like how Eben Pagan talked about 'moving the free line', it seems like the 'affiliate line' that will get the affiliates attention is really putting the squeeze on new product launchers.

      50% commission was once enough to get attention. Then 75%. Now it's 100% across the entire damn funnel. Not to mention the cash you got to put up for the launch contests...

      Unless you're really strategic in your thinking and start with a well-thought out backend to make up for all that cash you gotta give away, it's going to be a pretty hard-fought battle to get that tidal wave of affiliate promoting for you.

      • NicheHacks says:

        Yeah now 100% on FE and through most of the OTOs / upsells etc is normal and expected. Without a strong back end funnel in place you're not gonna be making your money back let alone a profit.

        It's so hard for new product launchers to break into the scene as they just can't compete with the big llaunch competitions and payouts. I mean who wants to promote an untested vendor, product and sales page when you can promote someone you know will convert and pay you big bucks?