I always get a good laugh when a newbie advertiser reaches out to us and postures as if they’re bringing a good deal to the table.  Here’s an example of a conversation I had today with a nice guy that has no clue about online direct response marketing:

“Could you send me over details about the type of value you can add to my campaign and why I should choose you over the affiliate networks we’re working with right now.  I’m going to take my ecig online and start a penny auction.  Right now we’re working with Copeac and think they might do a good job.”

Nugga Pleazzzzeee.   Nobody on the face of the planet is working with Copeac these days.  I mean come on, where were you when their fraud schemes were exposed by the Federal Trade Commission this April???

Copeac Get’s Hit By The FTC
Official FTC Lawsuit

Business is all about bringing the better deal.  And shrewd leaders in any industry can quickly sniff out bullshit.

That’s why it is so important to act with candor when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.  i.e.  We have taken on clients in the past that have come to us and said “Look, we are superstars in TV and Radio advertising, however we just don’t understand the online space.  We respect your time and  we’re more than glad to pay for it if you would educate us during a campaign buildout.  Afterall we don’t work pro bono, so we wouldn’t expect you to either.”  EXACTLY!!

There’s good reasons why my team rejects 99.99% of the “opportunities” that hit our desk.  Some opportunities could potentially make millions, but after legal reviews, often the risk just doesn’t outweigh the reward.  Think about it, who in their right mind would want to create an offer that makes $350 million dollars, only to have it taken from them under a FTC forfeiture claim ( just like Jeremy Johnson did – who by the way is still sitting in jail).   HINT: Making a few hundred million dollars with a non-compliant offer doesn’t make you invincible.  It makes you a target.

Other opportunities might present challenges that we simply cannot in good faith get past.  i.e.  We received an email from an advertiser who owned a new clothing line.  After one look at the clothes I just couldn’t imagine for the life of me who in their right mind would buy his brand.   The jeans were ugly as shit, skin tight, and SELLING FOR $400+!!!  Ouch.  I’m not even sure if these would make it on South Beach.  Even though the advertiser wanted to drop a good dime to “test it out online,” I told him that I didn’t feel comfortable spending his money because I was convinced we’d lose it.  Even though we would have received a $10,000 management fee for the 7 day campaign, it just wasn’t worth it.  In the end the owner of the tighty blues would have been an unhappy camper – not worth it.

Back to “Brining The Better Deal.”  The wealthiest people on the planet have mastered this concept on all scales.   Take for instance Steve Jobs and his Apple iPad.  Steve master-minded a device that brought more value than the present value of $599 for many Americans.  By bringing the better deal, people forfeited their money in exchange for his device.

Same principle is applied to the world of online direct response marketing.  There are thousands of offers in this space.  If you want to gain traction from the top agencies or a tier-1 traffic source, then you need to have a rock-solid value proposition.  i.e. Arguably the members of our group are the best in the industry at creating offers and running traffic.  That means that we can take any ideas that cross our desk and build out top convertering/viable offers.  Therefore when you present an offer for buildout, the deal needs to add more value than the current value of the deals we already have in place.   The deal also needs to have an element that would add more value than we’d receive by building it out and owning it ourselves.  Otherwise it just doesn’t make good business sense.

Everybody has their masters.  There are people in the industry that I work with that add ENORMOUS value to our clients.  These groups are our masters.  When I ask them to handle an aspect of the campaigns, they already know I’m bringing them a 1+1=10 deal.  Unless things are rock-solid, I’m not going to waste their time.

You don’t want to get labeled as someone that brings a lot of frivolous deals to the table.  That’s a surefire way to lose credibility in the industry.  Instead garnish the reputation of someone that ALWAYS BRINGS THE BETTER DEAL.  You’ll win every time.