Joint Venture Vs. Affiliate
July 10, 2000

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Reaching Great Minds Online
July 10, 2000 Issue #52
Mike Valentine, Editor,

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=> Feature article: Joint Venture vs. Affiliate
=> Guest Article: Unsolicited Email. Yes or No?
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Joint Venture and Affiliate Programs are Very Different!
by Mike Banks Valentine

New online business operators sometimes seem to confuse two terms
that are *very* different arrangements! Joint Venture Marketing
and affiliate programs.

1) Joint venture or partner promotions in which you arrange
mutually beneficial trades of services and/or marketing to
complementary, but non-competing businesses in order to gain
traffic and business in a win-win situation of joint promotion.
This arrangement involves far more on your part than providing
a link or a bit of promotion.

You must interact directly with customers and provide
excellent service before, during and after a sale, you
must have a merchant account to accept credit cards
and you must make your joint venture partners look good
to their customers at all costs! You must provide enough
traffic and business to your partner to make the
arrangement mutually beneficial. One cannot profit at the
other's expense.

Make certain you have an equitable arrangement with joint
venture partners and be prepared to renegotiate if either
partner feels shorted in the exchange.

2) Affiliate programs in which you choose specific products
and services with already established programs where they
share in a percentage of profit with those who promote their
sites and services. You gain from this in that you don't
need to provide anything but exposure and traffic to the
affiliate program to earn money.

They provide products or services, they approve credit card
transactions, they ship, they provide customer service,
while you provide exposure and minimal advertising via your
web site or ezine/newsletter.

The internet has reached a point at which all websites must,
absolutely and without fail, provide extraordinary service.
Beyond the need to provide stellar service is the need to
gain exposure and visibility for your website.

So no matter which business model you choose, you must first
and foremost be concerned with one thing -- TRAFFIC to your
site! Joint venture partners will insist that you offer at
least a minimum number of views for their ads in order to
make the cooperation worthwhile for them. Affiliate programs
will just not generate a dime if you don't generate enough
web traffic to click on a few of your links or affiliate
program ads.

If your site attracts no visitors, your site generates no
business. I will always emphasize the tremendous
importance of search engine placement to gain the
necessary visibility.

I have created two pages at WebSite101 of particular
interest to the question of content. First is focused
on content and is at:

The second is a particularly valuable article in the
WebSite101 Reading List, archived at:

I'd also highly recommend studying search engine
techniques and submitting to the top search engines
each time your site changes or grows. You can study
those techniques at WebSite101 through another archived
article at:

in which Search engine placement is discussed with links
to places to learn more. The guest article included
in that same issue discusses learning the basics of
HTML code necessary to master those techniques.

If you don't want to learn how to do it yourself, then
definitely pay someone to optimize your site for the
search engines in order to rank well and show up in the
top 30 positions of a search results for your chosen
search terms. We offer that service at WebSite101! Visit:


Mike Banks Valentine operates WebSite101 Short Course, Small
Business Internet Tutorial

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Unsolicited Email: Yes or No?
by June Campbell

If Internet marketing is on your list of things to do, you will
have to decide what role email will play in your marketing
activities. Unless you've been living in a cyber-cave, you
already know that the topic of bulk email is a contentious one.
While opponents and anti-spam groups protest and lobby to
ban the use of unsolicited email (spam), our mailboxes
continue to fill with well, crap.

And make no mistake; this influx is an inconvenience.
Yes, you can set up email filters that send spam to cyberheaven,
but in doing so, you risk filtering out what could be a genuine
message. I found this out the hard way a couple of weeks ago
when my filters trashed what turned out to be an authentic work
offer from a potential client.

In my view, the following activities are unacceptable under
any circumstances and are poison to relationship selling. Use
them and your reputation will be damaged and you leave yourself
open to all sorts of retaliations. If you're serious about
Internet business and if you see yourself as being around for
the long term, I can only say, don't go here:

Mass mailings of get rich quick schemes and other nonsense.
Mailings designed to deceive -- and they come in many forms:
Mailings with deceptive subject lines, mailings that remind the reader
of conversations that never occurred, mailings suggesting the sender
has visited my web site but containing subject matter that make
this impossible to believe, mailings erroneously stating that
"this message is in accordance with law such and such",
are deceptive. How many people want to do businesses with
someone who employs deceptive practices right from the beginning?
Messages sent to ezine addresses and autoresponder addresses.
Distributing opt-in email to other marketers without express permission.

Although the items above are clearly no-brainers, recent columns
published at ( offered some interesting
thoughts on whether there can ever be an acceptable use for
unsolicited email in B2B marketing.

Clikz readers raised some of the following issues:
If you attend a conference and collect business cards,
are you spamming if you use their email address to make contact?

Is it spam if a conference organizer emails past attendees to
notify them of another upcoming conference?

Is it spam if you email your customer list to notify them
of a time when service will be unavailable or to notify
them of a safety concern, for example?

Is it spam if a company with whom you have previously
done business contacts you without permission to announce
a new service that could interest you?

I suspect that for many of us, the issues raised above constitute
"gray areas." Some of us will say unsolicited email is never
acceptable. Others will say, "Yes, there could be exceptions."
On a personal note, I wouldn't object to receiving such emails
if I weren't already receiving a couple of hundred of the
unacceptable-under-any-circumstance spams every day.
The sum total just gets to be too much.

Many experienced Internet marketers advise that you use
bulk email only if your list has opted in and you are certain
that the list is "clean". If you decide to deviate from this
policy for some reason, consider your options carefully
and decide whether the risks are justified in your unique


June Campbell is a professional writer whose work has
appeared in several international publications. Visit her
on the Web for a FREE newsletter,FREE gifts, articles, guides
for proposal writing, business plan development and more.



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  June 9, 2001