About 6 years ago now, Mike Filsaime released his insanely famous Butterfly Marketing product – which introduced the concept of membership websites and offers using the Freemium model of internet marketing. I think that the idea may have originated with Mark Joyner – but the basic concept is this:
- You give away a free entry to a membership
- You place a one time offer to them on their entry to the membership site
- Each member instantly becomes an affiliate for the product
- Your list/website grows virally, free members come in some upgrade, some promote.
Over the years, things change. Some methods become less effective, some die altogether and some evolve into something new and more powerful. With the Freemium model, for Soren, John and I – we have seen it evolve into a model that we get not only a large portion of our income from – but, close to about 60% of our traffic to our new offers, existing offers, and any affiliate offers that we promote.
Six years ago, every internet marketer and his dog aspired to create a Freemium (aka Butterfly Marketing) site – and people who did it well made a ton of cash. I am not exactly sure why guys have stopped. I have a few theories… of course, none are proven – this is just my thinking, so don’t pick on me too much!!
I thought it could be a few things. Perhaps that there is just so much information now available for free, that people might just read it on Wikipedia rather than joining up on a website – so maybe it wasn’t as effective as it used to be. I also thought that maybe there was just such a huge rush of ‘push a magic button’ offers, things that grab people’s attention and push us to have a short attention span. ’Butterfly’ marketing in a different way… not the Filsaime/Joyner version – but… a ‘look!!! there’s a butterfly‘ version instead… haha.
Whatever the reason, I still think that for hands-free, viral, lead and income generating methods – the Freemium model still works VERY well.
I have seen it done in several different models and wanted to share with you a few examples of how it is that we use and why it works. The beauty of this is, as you can see – the options are diverse… you can do it in a lot of different ways and in each of the following examples you can set it up as an Evergreen offer, so you can set these offers up, integrate them into your followup email series, place ads into your websites, download pages or whatever – and you will still be able to make money with these offers 6 months from now, or 2 years from now.
So, yes – I am a bit biased on this site, but it is one of my favourite websites – because, the way it is set up is just very cool in a lot of ways. If you want to check out the flow of a freemium offer you can sign up for a free membership by clicking above. Daily Niche Idea is a website that gives your members a daily niche suggestion, via an autoresponder series – delivering a PLR package to them from within their member’s area. One of the main reasons that I love this site SOO much, is because – I kid you not… I have not actively promoted this site for about 2 years, but due to the way that it is set up, I still get between 20-50 (sometimes 100+) new subscribers here every single day.
This site is hugely viral, it has a decent frontend offer, but the huge benefit comes in when you upgrade your account there because when you send a lead into DNI, they are tagged to you for life. Not by some flakey cookie system, but by your membership ID. DNI goes even further than just crediting you with commissions for and sales of Daily Niche Idea to your referrals. For upgraded members, you are given the ability to brand the entire site.
This means that for every person that you refer to DNI when we send an email to your referrals promoting ANY offer, it goes out to them carrying your affiliate link in the email. All of the promotional links within the site also go with your referral ID too, so you can give away a membership to a great product (for free) and have the upsell/ one-time offer process make the cash for you – when they first login – and in all future promotions too.
One more reason that this site continues to grow is because every person who creates an account instantly becomes an affiliate, they are encouraged to share it, with a fully packed out affiliate tools area in their member’s area.
So, even if you don’t plan on promoting it/upgrading etc, it is worth signing up, just to check out the process – I have had many comments on the OTO (One Time Offer) process!
X2 Formula is owned by Eric Louviere and Mike Brooks and the reason that I like this program is because even though it doesn’t totally adhere to all the rules of membership site based freemium offers, this is very clever – in that it has a free entry point and it then funnels them through an email series/followup process, including a ‘fakinar’ that sells them on why they need mentoring and coaching.
The beautiful thing is that on the backend, they are selling a $2,500 one-on-one coaching class access, with varied levels of entry, from about $37 – so if you guys only like to grab free stuff and buy the occasional under $50 product, it’s not a huge problem – you aren’t going to upset them, because there is a level of access for them too… and who knows… one of those guys might decide that they want to invest the $2,500 – leaving you a lot richer in the process.
This is a great offer to integrate into your thank you/download pages – or autoresponder series, because the email followup series is persuasive – but not overly pushy, and it is a free offer… so, as I mentioned before, it is easier to encourage people to take you up on the offer.
Membership Pirate is a collection (TEN of them in total) of fully maintained freemium websites that each come with a very well equipped, timeless product – and a fully functional free frontend angle, with upsells set up and in place. When you sign up, you get to add your Clickbank and PayPal ID’s in – and your name, and that is all you need to have done. After that, you get to choose one of two links to promote for each of the 10 websites. You can either charge for the silver and gold upgrade, or give away (recommended) access at the silver level, while keeping the gold level available for the upsell offer that people automatically see when they sign up for silver.
It might be totally cheating, but here is an image that has been put together, that might help to explain the flow of the freemium membership systems.
And if you want to have a look at how some of these work by signing up for the silver access and check out the demo flow, check these out! I think you will agree, they are pretty neat!!
The membership pirate product is ours, we bought originally bought access to the membership (of the 10 sites) from Simon and Jeremy, and we made about $30k into our Paypal by just integrating it into a few spots, basically download pages, members area bonus pages etc. ($30k giving away free content that we didn’t even create… so kinda cool!). Then Simon and Jeremy sold us rights to be able to resell the packages of 10 – which we have been doing now (through the membershippirate.com website).
So – long story short (sheesh…. I dunno why people even say that!), you CAN do this kind of freemium model, without having to even set it up – products like this are excellent for grabbing and integrating into your current offers for a bit of extra cash, with no extra work.
Anyway! I hope this has been useful to you! Basically, the Butterfly marketing strategy still works. From an affiliate’s perspective, giving away something is generally MUCH easier than selling it – and by getting them into a funnel, where you will get credited for future sales without having to do any of the testings, followup, updating the content etc. well… it leaves you free to create more offers, tweak your campaigns to get more people in there etc.
From the vendors perspective it lets you create the funnels and have a lot of the traffic that comes in, to be viral – so you only need to get a few people in every now and then to keep up momentum. Win-Win for everyone!
All the best with your marketing endeavours! If there are any topics you would like me to go into deeper, by the way, let me know and I’ll either share what I have earned – or if I am a bit rusty in the area – will approach a friend of mine who knows about the area much better.
Luis Rojas Alves