I’ve written before about Running An Ethical Online Service.
At the time, I wrote about not spamming your members with every link you wanted them to join, but respecting the reason they joined your service. But I had in the back of my mind an image of my ideal online service. The sort of service that truly did all they could to help you succeed, including forgoing their own affiliate commissions on products in order to get you a lower price.
This sort of thing goes against the typical Internet Marketing model, which can be summed up in, “Once you have a customer, sell them as much as possible”.
But imagine what it would be like…a company totally dedicated to helping you succeed. A company that prices its service fairly enough so they don’t need to milk you for affiliate commissions on back end products. A company that has a vested interest in making sure its tools work for you, since it’s those tools that keep you paying your money.
I’d had in the back of my mind a long-term goal of starting that company, since I hadn’t seen anyone else doing anything remotely like it.
Since then, I started my Site Build It! series, and have discovered that the company that produces SBI!, SiteSell, is just such a company.
I’ve written before about the tools provided, and will write more as I get farther along with the process. So here I’ll focus on what SiteSell does on the backend for its members.
There’s a resource section for SBI! members where you have links to recommended online services and ebooks. This is the section where, in a normal online service, the company would make a large portion of its money from you through affiliate links. For example, there’s a link to Ann Seig’s The Renegade Network Marketer there that would normally earn them $33.50 (50% of the purchase price) when you bought through their link. Instead, they provide you with a special link that gives you a $33.50 discount when you buy.
There are other ebooks there that SiteSell has arranged to be provided free to SBI! members. An example is How To Create Web Content Fast, normally offered for $37, is available free through the resource center.
The mindset behind this sort of technique is, “We will provide you with the tools and resources you need to be successful”, with the underlying assumption being that if you’re successful, you’ll continue to purchase more SBI! sites, which is where SiteSell makes money.
Finding a company that truly links the success of its members with its own success, rather than seeing them as potential customers for other offers, is a very nice change of pace.