Got a sobering story today:
One of the companies that a client and I promoted on an affiliate basis went belly up.
We used to send their affiliate offer to our list once a quarter. These emails always did well, put some extra money into our pockets, and delivered truly unique and delicious packs of trail mix to our customers.
Since I handle all the email marketing and list management for this client, they sent me a bunch of free packages of their healthy trail mix to try.
This stuff was delicious.
It was made with top-tier ingredients.
It was healthy — and had a bunch of “functional” health benefits depending on the flavor of trail mix you ordered. Think nootropic trail mix.
Their copy was leagues above other trail mix companies (obviously) and even other health brands.
And their offer was good too. Sure, it was more expensive than your typical bag of trail mix but they justified the cost with their offer and the high-quality ingredients they used.
Despite all this, they went out of business.
When I reached out to my contact at this company to schedule our next affiliate push, I never got a response.
It wasn’t until a month later when I finally talked to someone who told me they were going out of business.
Now, unfortunately, I don’t know why they went out of business.
My client wasn’t the only name in the health space promoting their offer.
But if I had to guess, I’d guess the following reasons:
1. They relied too heavily on affiliates promoting their deal.
While we consistently sent their offer once a quarter, they always reached out and wanted us to send more often. In hindsight, mayhap this was a sign.
2. They didn’t support their affiliates as best they could.
If you’re gonna run an affiliate-heavy business, you need to get even more creative with your offers and promotions. Another affiliate offer we promote always has a cool deal. They have multiple product options — from healthy laundry detergent to healthy soaps to healthy cleaning products. And they always switch up which products they want their affiliates to promote.
Not this trail mix company.
They only had one offer. And they only had one affiliate email swipe, which I used and put my own “twist” on it.
The problem is people get used to seeing the same offers over and over again. And methinks that this trail mix company simply didn’t brainstorm other offers they could’ve created because they thought their main offer would do as well each subsequent time they offered. Alas, that wasn’t true.
3. Their trail mix (probably) became too expensive for most people due to inflation.
There are two reasons inflation tanked this business:
First, it was probably more expensive than ever to get their healthy ingredients.
Second, inflation makes everyone’s dollar less valuable, and people have to justify each cost more when they have bills to pay.
This second reason here is one that applies to every business:
When your customers can’t afford your products because of their bills, then, well, the best copy and offer in the world won’t do a damn thing.
4. They didn’t have a B2C email marketing strategy.
Besides their overreliance on affiliates, I signed up for their email list (as a consumer) and can’t even remember the last email I received.
Long story short: They ignored their own email list, and it cost them.
Many lessons embedded in this email.
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