Product Launches and Joint Ventures — Three Perspectives, One Launch, Many Lessons

By Corbin Links

It’s “IM Launch”, or “Joint Ventures” time again. And it looks to be a BIG one. (No, this has nothing to do with our firm, or is this a pitch. It’s a powerful set of business lessons for your business, so keep on reading…)

How do I know this alluded launch will be B-I-G? Three of Internet Marketing’s biggest and most respected experts all sent me mails about it. And they all sent them within 11 minutes of each other. (Read on for why…)

Prior to opening each message, my assumption was that each one would either provide me valuable business information (which they all do), or offer me one of their own products or services (which they did not), or both.

And…no, I’m going to say what product the launch is for — that’s not the real point. The point is: how B-I-G launches, use B-I-G lists, to market them, and what we can learn from the experience.

Why am I not mentioning the product all three experts are promoting? Four reasons:

  1. Even though the lists I’ll be talking about are ginormous and publicly available to join, the mails are sent to members only.
  2. The JV-promoted product (a course, actually) isn’t one I have personally used; as such, disclosing it would be against our ethics and affiliate guidelines to mention.
  3. The focus here is on the JV approach itself, and not the actual target product. The promoted product itself is almost irrelevant to this example. Our interest here is in seeing how experts effectively work with their lists.
  4. If you listen to all three experts (and/or others), only one of them can get credit for your purchase of the promoted product. Best to decide that on your own.

But — I will be sharing the names of the experts in question, and what can be learned from their joint venture / pre-launch approach.

What can we learn?

Quite a bit, actually. Let’s take a look at:

  1. JV launch warmups.

  2. Potential best times to send JV emails.

  3. Smart marketing methods to tie personal stories and messages back to a product promotion.


The pre-launch scenario

It starts with joint venture mails. In case you’re not familiar with these (and if not, you should), joint ventures or “JV” are similar to a product affiliate agreements. Except bigger — and badder.

With many JV deals, there are agreements to cross promote a product on other large lists; JV commissions are often (but not always) higher than standard affiliate commissions. Plus, there is often an option for JV promoters to cross promote their own products. In fact, most any really successful Internet-distributed product you can think of: from six-pack abs to social media marketing, has some type of affiliate and / or JV component.

Let’s break down the mail sequence:

Time of Email Delivery:

Checking my morning email (but not first thing in the morning, because that would be unproductive…), I received the following messages:

  1. From Amy Porterfield @ 10:43am EST.

  2. From Melanie Duncan @ 11:50am EST.

  3. From Social Triggers (Derek Halpern) @ 11:54am EST.

Lesson 1 — Experts seem to mail at very similar times. Note the 11 minute spread between mail 1 (Amy Porterfield) and mail 3 (Derek Halpern). I’ve read dozens of studies about the “best time to deliver emails”, which, frankly, don’t fall within this particular 11 minute window. It’s naturally interesting — and highly instructive — that these three mails arrived when they did.

Also, the mails went out on a Thursday, which according to Mailchimp and other providers (and in our own experience) is a “high open” day.

Next, the subject / headline…

Email Headline:

  1. Derek Halpern’s headline was about being offended.

  2. Melanie Duncan’s headline was about “Are You One of These….?”

  3. Amy Porterfield’s headline was about “…holding nothing back”…

Lesson 2 –Two of the headlines were very introspective. Personally, I think #1 and #3 above assume a much more personal interest in the sender. If I were unfamiliar with Derek Halpern or Amy Porterfield’s work, would I care as much about one of them being offended, or the other sharing a business ‘tell all’? Probably not. But I was, so I did.

The second “Are you one of these people?” headline really makes you want to keep reading, and see if you’re one of them. Doesn’t it? The main point is that all mails were unique, and built on strong, time-tested advertising principles, and all got opened. (Hence this article 🙂 )

NOTE: To see their full headlines, please subscribe to their respective lists. Their launch promotion cycle is just beginning and I’m sure they have more on the way.

Email Body or “Copy”

Again, all were really unique:

  1. Derek Halpern’s email copy related a really interesting story about himself and the promoted products creator. In fact, the story — related to how some people are pompously dismissive others, why we’re in business in the first place, business exit strategies, and several other elements — was very engaging. In fact, whether or not one even cared about the product mentioned in the article, the story itself was full of valuable lessons.
  2. Melanie Duncan’s copy was more action and bullet-item centered. It took the more direct approach of qualifying the reader into one of three categories, then addressing each one.
  3. Amy Porterfield’s copy was, as her title implied, a personal story about her own business start. An avid listener to her podcast, I’d heard much of it before. But what was most interesting to me, was how she directly related her original business experience and mentorship back to the product creator.

Lesson 3 — Build rapport, make it relevant, educational, and/or interesting. If you have a product to introduce, weave it in effectively. All of these elements could be found in each of the three mails.

Learning email marketing from email marketing lists

Lesson 4 — When creating your own campaigns, learn from the pros, but keep it unique, relevant, entertaining, and personal. Selectively subscribe to a few key lists.

If you’re saying at this point, “not more lists!”


“I can’t handle more lists!”

You may want to rethink your position. I went through the list cleansing exercise too — but carefully.

Yes, it’s true. At the end of last year, I unsubscribed from over 30+ mailing lists. On an average day, I may get hundreds or even 1000+ emails. (Check out my article on reducing your email by 80% if you’re feeling overwhelmed.) But once my system was tuned, and I figured out what lists provided the most value, I kept those. Ditched the rest. The simple equation is:

  • Is valuable = yes? Keep it.
  • Is valuable = no? Ditch it.

Personally, I’ve found some value in each of the three websites (and their respective lists) mentioned in this article. Yes, they are all business people with products and services to promote. But they also have value and “show by example” opportunities to take advantage of as well.

Check them out here:

All the best to you in 2014 and beyond!


About the Author

Corbin Links --> Data Security and Enterprise Workflow Automation Specialist, API Integrator, Identity Access Management (IAM / IdM) Consultant and "Other Duties as Required"