Want to know what NOT to do during a promotion?

I’ve recently joined a launch as a affiliate, and since it was (and still is) a very interesting offer, I was pretty sure I can make a few sales and bucks. What I had no idea is how much I am going to screw this up, ending up with only one sale from the launch week. If you want to know what I have done wrong, read on. And remember.

Let me just quickly describe what I did.

In the beginning of February, a great software was launching – ClickDesigns. I learned about it sometime end of January, and I immediately applied for a link. I was quickly approved, so I’ve started my preparation.

By the way, ClickFunnels is a huge success. If you’re interested to promote it, you can PICK YOUR AFFILIATE LINKS HERE.

Putting it all together

I went through the entire preparation process to promote the software. I’m usually using my review sites (like this one), my blogs, plus social networks like Facebook and Youtube.

After some reading and watching the demos, I started downloading the resources that were available at the vendor’s JV page. This includes images, swipes, videos, everything I could get my hands on.

Images and videos

Having all these, I started preparing the graphics. I’ve created separate images to be published on blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.

Then, I started with the videos. I watched them first, to get to know the software as much as possible. I created a few videos then, separately for different modules of ClickDesigns – a demo for logo creation, boxshot creation, product bundle creation, and so on. All in all, I’ve ended up having 13 videos, including the main demo video.

Blogs, reviews and bonuses

I have also asked for a review access, for which I received my access data. After that, it was time to start writing the blog posts and partial reviews. This took a few hours to put together.

Next were the bonuses. Besides the ones offered by the vendor, I tend to give something that provides value to a customer. So I’ve decided to offer free accounts for two of the software I have an agency license for. I’m sure that these would come handy to someone picking up ClickDesigns, as they both add lots of value and open additional opportunities to make the best out of ClickDesigns.

You can check my bonuses here.

Connecting the machine

When all those things were tightly sitting on my disk, it was time to connect all the dots and make the machine operational.

So, I’ve created the link to the vendor’s salespage (with my affiliate link, of course) using my WordPress helper app (see here), tested it and went to input this link everywhere.

I had to input it into all the blog posts, all the video descriptions, and of course on my bonus page. When all that was done, all that was left was to test the links. It was great to see everything was working. 🙂

The last step

The last step was to create the mailings inside my autoresponder (Aweber) to promore the pre-launch webinar and the offer itself after the launch started. This as also done, and there was only social posting left to do when the time comes. So I left it and went on to do other things.

The launch

A week before the launch itself, the pre-launch period started. During this time, we were supposed to bring people in to sign up for the webinar, which by default sets a cookie that gives you the commissions if the customer later buys the software. My autorespondes sequence was working fine, email were sent and clicks started coming in.

Then, the launch day came, when the links changed from the webinar registration to the actual salespage. My emails were sent, clicks were happening and I was eager to see the results. All in all, I’ve seen over 400 clicks on my affiliate link at that time. Judging by the overall stats from the JVZoo pages, the software had a conversion rate of over 20%, meaning that at least some sales should have happened, even up to 80 if I would manage to meet the published average.

Boy was I surprised to see nothing happened for the first few days.

I’ve adapted the bonus page, changed some things and waited on.

The last day of launch I’ve checked the situation again. And yes, there were still no sales. What is going on here….

The revelation

At this time, I was both disappointed and angry a little bit. How come none of my hard-earned clicks turned into money?!? Slightly panicking, I started to check my whole setup.

After checking the Youtube videos, as well as all the other posts and blogs, I’ve finally came to testing my links again. Imagine my surprise – my affiliate link, which I have tested just days ago, DID NOT WORK. Upon clicking, the message came up that redirection is under way, but that was it. No actual redirection happened.

Each and every click that I have managed to get during the whole launch week was lost in the digital heaven somewhere. Bummer.

Yes, it still hurts.


The reasons?

I was mad and my first thought was to ask the vendors of my click-tracking software about it. Then, a little thought came to my mind….

Sometime between preparing everything and the start of the launch itself, I have tested some plugins for another functionality. So I’ve installed this plugin, played with it, and I was actually pretty satisfied with the outcome. What I forgot about costed me some money.

To be exact, I forgot doing two things:

  1. Testing everything
  2. Deactivating the plugin I have used for testing

It turned out that this new little plugin somehow deactivated my redirections, meaning EACH AND EVERY LINK I had in my portfolio failed to work for that period.

The results

I’m still banging my head about it. It’s a fact, everything that happened in this time was worthless, as none of my affiliate links were working. None. I was promoting it only to get people click it and end up on a page that said “Redirecting, please wait a second….”.  You can probably imagine how happy I was.

I have no way of knowing, but judging by the usual rhytm and stats I should have gotten at least 5-10 sales on ClickDesigns, plus  a sale or two from other affiliate promotions that are evergreen and published. So, my loss could easily be estimated to around $1,000 at least. With some OTO sales this could easily double.

Now I’ve immediately deactivated this plugin and magically all my links started working. But it was late, my email list was tired of me sending them to the empty page. An hour later, I’ve made a single sale that very final day of the launch. A very small patch that cannot really heal my ego. Nope.

Final words and a piece of advice

So, instead of earning a thousand bucks or even more, I have ended up earning $30. I’ve put quite some hours in this launch, and it felt really sh**y.

I’m a positive person otherwise – although this statement can be deceiving during these Corona times. I’ve immediately grabbed this as a learning opportunity, and I sincerely hope I will not forget the lessons learned. Right now, I’m looking in diferent directions and what I can really suggest to you is the following.

About using WordPress

WordPress is ok, and by itself it will work as intended. When you install plugins, though, you have to be very careful not to create mayhem. This means that you have to test everything after any such change, and better – test it twice.

And, no matter what, use a good backup plugin. Personally I’m using UpDraft Plus, and it saved me again this time. True, it was late in the launch, but that was on me completely and software is not to blame.

About testing new software (plugins)

From the website creator standpoint (I do that too), installing unknown plugins – even if they come from good vendors – requieres a test site (staging site). Copy your site to a different location and play with it there. And, again – test, test, test. Only when you’re completely sure everything works as intended, publish it on your production site.

About additional tools

If you have many links that you’re using for business, look around for another solution. I’m talking about a page builder that has more options and supports other functionalities, as well as tools for click redirections and things like that.

Page / Funnel builder

I have tested a few, including ClickFunnels (see the DotCom Secrets ebook) which seems to be the best known funnel builder around.

But, the one I found to be the best suited for my particular use is Convertri. It’s a powerful software that does almost everything ClickFunnels can, and have one additional benefit that seems to be very important lately: pages built with it are blazingly fast. I don’t know how they do it, but compared to a similar page built with WordPress and Divi, pages built on Convertri are at least 10x faster to load. This by itself is worth something, as Google and others continue to take page speed into account. Anyway, if the page takes more than a few seconds, you’re losing your traffic, so it makes sense.

It is not so cheap, though. On the other hand, you can grab GroovePages immediately, which is free to start with and also has some great functionalities.

Click stats and redirections

In this moment, I’m still using the good old WordPress solution, called Smart Links. It works (untill you make a mistake….blah…). It suffers from a few problems though, one of them being slow, which is a WordPress burden. The other one that bothers me even more is it’s unable to do certain things, like rotate the links automatically, plus the stats are relatively poor. While it supports UTMs, this is almost it. So, I began looking and ClickMagic. It’s not that cheap, but again, if it saves me from the mistakes I’ve made during this lunch alone, it’s worthed. One of these days…


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Partnership to success - John Thornhill


We are in affiliate business with many of the vendors who's products we mention here and write reviews about, which means we could get a certain commission from them should you buy their product via our links. We are however not connected to them in any other way, nor we receive any special commissions for making good reviews. We try to hold our opinion fair and honest, giving you both the ups and downs where we see them. Everything written here is our own opinion and assessment of the possibilities that software provides.