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Forming Profitable Joint Ventures

You won't be involved in Internet marketing long before you see the term "Joint Venture." Perhaps you are familiar with the term from its application in the business world but don't see how it would apply to Internet marketing.

Actually, it is one of the most exciting ways to generate targeted web traffic that you will find.

For purposes of definition, you could say that a joint venture is an operation involving two or more Internet marketers, each contributing unique resources for their mutual benefit. That may sound a little stuffy, so look at it this way. Say you and your neighbor both need to plant trees in your respective backyards. He only has a wheelbarrow and you only have a shovel. Neither of you can do the job effectively by yourself, but together you can accomplish the job for both of you. That's a joint venture (backyard variety!).

Similarly, in Internet marketing, each of you contributes something that the other lacks, so that you both benefit by gaining more sales, site visitors and subscribers. In the majority of cases, this involves a product and a list. You may have created an explosive eBook (like this one!) but since you have been in marketing only a short time you don't have a very big list of people that might be interested in your eBook. But you have a friend who is also marketing online, and he has an opt-in list of 5000 subscribers that have already expressed interest in the topic of your eBook. In a simple joint venture, he emails his list about your eBook and keeps a commission on any sales. You make a percentage on every sale and get a large number of targeted traffic to your site. The traffic may turn out in the long term to be more valuable than your immediate eBook sales. That's because, if you have an attractive site set up to entice visitors to leave their email address, a good portion of your friend's list becomes your list!

Joint ventures often are more complex than the simple one described above. You will see many joint ventures involving several marketers, perhaps a dozen or more. Sometimes a product isn't even sold ? the main purpose is to get traffic to the web sites of the marketers and build their opt-in lists. In this kind of joint venture, each marketer contributes some product they sell or own. Then the JV may proceed any number of ways. The marketer (or marketers) with the list(s) may set up a contest, where the winner or winners gets all the products. Another way is to offer the participants the choice of one or more of the products if they visit all the web sites involved and sign up for all the opt-in lists of the marketers.

You could also do ad or article swaps (assuming you and your JV partner both have an ezine or newsletter). You could offer an eBook you have written to another marketer to be given away on his or her site. You have your name and affiliate links inside, and may give the eBook both more value and a viral quality by allowing the recipient to change some of the links to their own so they will want to pass it on. Your JV partner, in turn, has something of value to offer to his or her site visitors or subscribers. These are just a few possibilities; the options are limited only by your imagination. To summarize, here are some general types of JVs for you to think about.

Cross promotion ? promote each other's product or service, such as ezine ads in each other's ezine.

Co-development ? work together with another marketer to create a product such as a book, which you both can sell.

Product endorsement ? pay a percentage of profits to your partner who endorses your product to his list.

Cooperative list building ? similar to cross promotion, but concentrates on building the opt-in lists of each.

Regardless of the details, all the participants get a large number of visitors to their sites and the opportunity for their op-in lists to grow dramatically.

Are you ready to start a joint venture?

There are several things to consider before you rush into your first JV. First you need to select the right JV partner. A wrong choice can spell disaster for your project. It's best to start with people and businesses you already know and trust. If you have already decided all the parameters of your joint venture, it will be easier to choose the partner ? it is someone that can complement what you already have.

Using a simple example, if you have the hot eBook, you need a partner who has a list, not another hot eBook. But if you have bigger plans for your first JV, you may want to partner with another eBook owner and together seek out additional JV partners with complementary resources. To help you get ideas and pick up additional JV partners, talk to your marketing friends about your JV idea and see what suggestions they might have.

If you can't find the JV partner you need from among your friends or business acquaintances, you may need to seek them out other ways. If you subscribe to several ezines (and you should!), their publishers may be good candidates since you presumably are subscribing to ezines that target your area of interest. If you don't know of any good ezines that target your market, look at http://www.directoryofezines.com/.

What about the details of your JV? That will vary greatly depending on the type of venture you have in mind, but here are some general guidelines. If you will be offering a commission on sales, be aware that the average is about 50%. This may seem high, but, to restate the old adage, would you rather have 50% of the profit from 100 sales or 100% of none? You are unlikely to attract any serious JV partners if you are only offering a commission of 15 or 20%. Also, you are unlikely to attract many quality JV partners if their commission is less than $25-30. So a $10 eBook simply isn't a good JV attraction. And when you talk to someone about a JV, if you will be proposing to provide a product, offer it free so they can properly evaluate it ? don't expect them to pay for it.

When you get ready to contact site or ezine owners you don't know, you need to create a good JV proposal letter. Remember they are busy just like you and won't read a long letter, so keep it short. Since the recipient probably regularly receives JV offers, you need to make yours stand out.

Following is a sample JV proposal you can learn from. It will of course need to be modified to fit the details of your proposed JV. In addition to an email (or instead of one), try faxing a copy to your potential partner; it is more likely to get their attention.

Dear ________,

My name is ______ and I visited your web site at http://www.________.com today and was extremely impressed with the quality and content of your Internet marketing articles. The article on _________________ was especially helpful to me. I run the _______________ site at http://www._____________.com and would like to offer you a free copy of my package. I would also like to discuss the possibility of a joint venture between our companies which could significantly increase the profits from your web site. Please call me at ____________ or email me at __________________ at your earliest convenience.

Thank you, ____________ ________@___________.com http://www.___________.com

Darryl DeLong is an established Internet Marketer and Ezine Publisher. Learn how to build up your opt-in list, increase site visitors and sales with my brand new ebook entitled "Viral Internet Marketing Strategies" get a free copy here: http://www.viral-internet-marketing.com

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