I said in Monday’s post that I’d post more when I’d had a chance to think about what my ideal advertising co-op would look like. Here are some of my thoughts so far.

Inexpensive to Join

This is a big priority, because many people who could benefit from an advertising co-op are people just starting out in Internet Marketing. They can’t afford big ticket co-ops, but need something that provides a ramping up process. This is where, in my opinion, Rick Katz’ co-op fell down, when he eliminated the lower price points.

If it costs more than $50 for someone to get started, then you’ve priced yourself out of the majority of Internet Marketers out there.

Profit Sharing

Paying to advertise is one thing, but getting cash back when you do so is the big win. In some way your advertising must generate income for you. Revenue Magic does this by forcing you to buy into a co-op that advertises Revenue Magic itself. Rick’s co-op did this by having all advertising promote the co-op itself (you advertised your own programs to leads you received as part of the co-op).

Some part of the co-op must be targeted toward getting more members in order for profit sharing to work. Having multiple levels of paid participation helps to continue to bring more profit to share, as members upgrade to higher levels as they make money.

Lead Generation

Getting people signed up under you in an advertising co-op is nice, but you really want leads you can use, whether they sign up or not. Revenue Magic’s non-co-op advertising is all among the members of the program, so you’re not reaching a wide audience.

What would be ideal is for co-op members to get together and buy outside advertising (safelist solo ads, banner ads on popular web sites, magazine ads, etc), so that they can promote what they want to promote to people other than other members of the co-op.

In this, I think Rick Katz had the right idea, getting leads by advertising a squeeze page that provided a free report. Those leads were divided among each member who had paid into that advertising co-op, and they could then start trying to build a relationship with those leads. Some of them would also join the co-op, and part of their membership fees would be split among the people who’d paid into the co-op. It was possible that you’d make more back than you spent in advertising.

My Ideal Co-op

My thoughts aren’t completely cooked on this yet, but here is how I think a co-op could work to satisfy my requirements.

You join the co-op for a relatively small fee. This entitles you to participate in one campaign at a time. Higher levels of membership are possible that increase the numbers of campaigns you can join at one time.

Each campaign focuses on a specific topic (earning online, golfing, losing weight, etc), with the aim to generate leads of people interested in that topic, via a squeeze page/free report combination. 10% of the funds for each campaign will go into advertising the co-op itself, and any income that comes from that 10% is split among the campaign members.

By participating in the campaign you get targeted leads and, perhaps, a bit of cash back. Note that membership upgrades would be tracked through the lifetime of a member, so if a member joined due to a campaign you were in two years ago, and then upgrades to a higher membership level, that upgrade is also shared among the campaign members.

There would be a lot of details to be worked out, but that’s as close as I can come right now to my ideal. An advertising co-op that gets you targeted leads on a subject of your choice, with the possibility of profit sharing and future earnings.

What do you think? Does that sound like something useful?

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