According to the New York Times, Credit Karma is bypassing the IPO market and selling it to a financial firm for $ 7 billion.
We're talking about an affiliate site. An affiliate site is a site that earns commissions from promoting OTHER PEOPLES products (by linking to their website through a special link).
Credit Karma was founded by Ken Lin. It is a website that now contains a lot of content and generates commissions from credit repair sites, credit websites, etc.
While it started as an ordinary site, this is no longer an ordinary affiliate site.
They claim that a third of all Americans who have a credit profile have used their website.
So there are many names and email addresses that they have acquired in recent years.
They have grown huge and I don't want to make this sound as if it were typical in any way.
But it is inspiring and there are many important insights that can be learned here.
7 important takeaways
# 1 You don't have to be a product owner to build a big online business
I visited Clickbank headquarters for the first time over a decade ago.
And I asked them which vendors made the most sales.
They shocked me when they mentioned that 8 of the top 10 account holders at Clickbank were partners and did not even own their own products.
They were people I had never heard of, people who simply bought traffic, posted it on their own website, and earned affiliate commissions on other people's products.
While I was already a strong partner at the time and was also in the top 10, I was also a strong provider. So I assumed the top 10 would be full of providers.
In the case of Credit Karma, they pushed affiliate marketing to the limit.
# 2 leads are valuable
Affiliates can earn a lot of money without ever collecting a single email address or lead.
However, if you sell your website in the future, the money you get will not just depend on how much you earn each day.
… How much leads and how much data you have about these leads plays a big role.
You cannot legally share this information. However, if you are selling your business, it is legal for the buyer to collect the data in this way.
Credit Karma collected names, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, credit scores and more from MILLION people. This data is now worth billions from this sale.
If you are a partner on a smaller scale, the same principles still apply. In some cases, make sure you collect names and email addresses. And have a newsletter follow-up sequence that builds a relationship and promotes relevant products for you.
This way your website is worth more money if you ever sell it. AND you will still make more of your website, even if you never sell it.
# 3 Put Facebook pixels on every page of your website
When I look at the Credit Karma website, I see that 2 Facebook pixels are placed on each page.
This means that they can now target people again with ads on Facebook, Instagram and other web properties that Facebook has or with which Facebook has made agreements.
They do so much to get users to visit your pages the way they are. If they're not on your email mailing list, you can also use retargeting ads to get them to come back.
Warm prospects who have visited you will interact with you much more often and may make a purchase in the future than those who are cold (you don't know who you are).
# 4 Free software often results in more releases than other types of freebies
While it may have been more complex to create what they have today, the Credit Karma site actually started out as very simple software.
People loved it and shared it with their friends. This in turn contributed to organic growth and led to targeted attempts to drive traffic to their website.
I have done this in the past, created free software, and found that the Optins grow organically for years because of these software giveaways as users share the software.
For it to work, it has to be really useful and better than the other tools that people can get for free.
This is not always easy, but if you have a great idea for software that you want to make freely available in the niche of your choice, in many cases it can prove to be more valuable than other forms of free gifts to get people to sign up.
# 5 Optins are not everything
There are many ways to read your creditworthiness, etc. from other websites outside of Credit Karma without telling Credit Karma your name and email address.
They have such useful pages and recommendations that their website benefits regardless of the options.
I personally have found that sometimes as a partner it is not the right way to go to a login page as a partner.
Sometimes it is better to run ads that go to a "bridge page" or "quiz" or article and then lead directly to an offer that I advertise.
If that brings more profit, then join in.
# 6 A lot of money can be made in affiliate marketing
While Credit Karma is an extreme case (which may be sold for $ 7 billion), I see new partners starting and selling online every year.
This doesn't happen to everyone, I'm not saying it's just a push of a button, I'm not saying it's "typical", but I regularly see newbies coming in within a few months and doing very well.
Many niches (health, wealth, relationships, alternative beliefs, finance, education, and more) have many high-converting offerings.
And it's not rocket science.
Here's a simplified equation of what's in the game as a partner:
(Leads x conversion rates x Avg $ per customer) – Ad Spend = Affiliate Profits
If sending 2000 clicks on an offer costs $ 1000 and converts that offer to 2% and you earn an average of $ 40 per sale:
Leads = 2000 clicks
Conversion rate = 2% (0.02)
Average $ per customer = $ 40
Advertising spend = $ 1000
(2000 x 0.02 x 40) – $ 1000
= $ 1600 – $ 1000
= $ 600 (win for partner)
If you don't make a profit, then:
- Either the traffic bought is not the right audience (and the conversions will suffer).
- Or the offer isn’t proven (conversions are not good)
- Or you pay too much for the leads
- Or the average commission $ is just too low.
I know I've gotten into a tangent here, but I wanted to mention this because affiliate marketing costs a lot of money, but sometimes people make things too complicated when it comes to figuring out what's right and what's wrong running .
Sometimes words in your ad itself or on your landing page are the difference between a conversion rate of 0.3% and a conversion rate of 2% or more.
Sometimes multiple audiences need to be tried to find the winning ads.
And sometimes it's about capturing leads and tracking those leads with an autoresponder series of emails. This may take a little time to generate sales, but can lead to more sales of other products in the long run.
# 7 Dream big and take action
It takes just as much energy to dream big as to dream small.
You don't protect yourself or others by dreaming small.
Little dreams = less motivation to continue.
I don't see people aiming at the sky, reaching the top of a skyscraper and being too disappointed.
I also don't see people aiming at the top of a skyscraper and reaching the sky.
It is really important to remove invisible glass ceilings and have a dream that really inspires you.
Make a plan and work towards it.
Ken Lin had a dream and he was chasing it. His vision became clearer as he went on, but he took action.
I think the biggest difference between those who are successful in affiliate marketing and those who don't is that those who succeed have big dreams and do a lot.
When they take action and make mistakes, they take on the lessons they learned on their way as part of the journey.
They are ready to hit the club a lot, and all the mistakes make them self-correcting, learning lessons, and finally hitting the ball out of the park.
I hope you enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to get active in your online marketing dreams.
In the coming weeks I will share more tips and videos on affiliate marketing with my newsletter subscribers.