Chances are you’ve come across a “done for you” online business at some point.
These systems claim to give you an easier way to make money online, and that most of the ‘heavy lifting’ has been done for you. All you need to do, is send traffic into the funnel…
That is true to an extent, and there are some good aspects to these kinds of systems. As in, they really do take some of the heavy lifting out of setting up a typical sales funnel.
But it’s never as simple as just ‘plugging in’ and sending traffic to an offer either. Far from it.
Here’s what you need to know…
What Is a Done For You Online Business?
A “done for you” online business is a system that allows you to leverage an existing sales funnel. It’s essentially an ‘online business in a box’ where the sales funnel is already in place for you to utilise.
So (in theory) this means your biggest job is driving traffic (people) into the sales funnel. Just how ‘done for you’ the sales funnel is however, really depends on the system itself. And the ‘traffic part’ is not as simple as it sounds. At least, not if you want to make that traffic profitable.
In any case, your goal is to send traffic to a ‘front end offer’ which represents the start of the funnel. When someone buys this front end product through your unique referral link, you earn a commission.
You also profit from subsequent purchases made by that same referral too. These are called ‘back end’ products. Which are products your referrals buy once they’re inside the sales funnel at some point. Some companies even hire skilled phone sales people to ‘close’ these back end sales for you. And the profit per sale on these products can be significant.
So, as you can see, a done for you internet business is not about selling your own products. It’s about joining an existing company and promoting their existing products to customers as an affiliate.
With ‘regular’ affiliate marketing however, you can just sign up to any affiliate program and promote any affiliate offer, for free. But with many of these systems, there is a multi level marketing component and you are required to buy the products yourself to ‘qualify’ to promote them.
Why Do People Use Done For You Systems?
Let me start by saying, you do NOT need a done for you business system to make money online. Not at all. You can successfully promote your own products or promote other people’s products as an affiliate- without ever joining such a system.
But it’s no secret that setting up your own sales funnel from scratch takes time and effort.
Depending on how elaborate the funnel is, and your individual business, it can take a significant amount of time, effort and expense to create a profitable funnel. Like any good sales funnel, it takes testing, tracking and tweaking to get it performing.
So, some people would naturally rather just ‘send traffic’ into an existing funnel. It’s easier, and potentially profitable if the funnel converts.
But it’s not always that simple, and there is more you need to know about these types of systems.
How Done For You Sales Funnels Work
How a particular done for you sales funnel works, depends on the system and the funnel itself. But I’ll explain the basic concepts to give you some insight.
For starters, a sales funnel can be very simple, or very elaborate.
A sales funnel can be as simple as a basic landing page, that funnels traffic to a sales page.
For example, a regular piece of content, product review, or ‘pre-sales page’ of some kind that funnels traffic into someone else’s sales page, for a product you promote as an affiliate.
Content => Sales Page
That’s it! Two pages, one of which you don’t even own.
Affiliate review sites are a good example of this in action. The affiliate publishes useful and relevant content, which ranks in search engines, and brings in targeted traffic. From there, the affiliate can link directly to a sales page for a relevant product they promote.
You can also take this a step further. By sending people from the landing page to an optin page first, and then onto a sales page for a product you promote….
Content => Optin Page => Sales Page
This way, you collect email leads and you can followup. This is what I do, and it’s how I make a full-time income online. It’s simple, and it works.
However, sales funnels can also be a LOT more elaborate than this.
Just how elaborate, depends on a number of factors. Such as your niche and whether you’re an affiliate or selling your own products for starters. And also depending on how far you want to take your campaigns.
I could go into detail about what goes into a regular sales funnel (for a product vendor) such as order fulfilment, warrantees, returns, billing etc. But neither ‘regular affiliates’ nor affiliates who leverage done for you sales funnels, need to worry about these elements anyway.
So it makes more sense for you to understand how an affiliate sales funnel works. This way, you can more accurately compare ‘regular affiliate marketing’ with a ‘done for you system’.
Here are some of the core elements that go into an affiliate sales funnel:
- Optin page (AKA squeeze page)
- Thank you page (optional after they subscribe)
- Frontend offer sales page (where you make your initial commission)
- Followup emails (emails sent automatically to convince the person to buy)
- Subsequent backend products marketed to the customer
The only real difference between a ‘regular affiliate’ and an affiliate using a ‘done for you’ funnel is, you don’t have to create an optin page or an email followup sequence. And the backend sales are made automatically. Either through the system itself or by leveraging a dedicated phone sales team.
In other words, a done for you system handles everything other than the traffic part.
This is why many people like the idea of these systems. All you need to do is get that initial customer in the door, and you can make big commissions.
Simple, right? Not quite…
Positive Aspects of a Done For You Sales Funnel
Done for you funnels are good because they’re simple, yet potentially very lucrative.
Rather than spending potentially $10,000’s developing, testing, and tweaking your own sales system, you can simply use an existing system. One that is proven to convert.
The landing pages, email followups, products, sales, and customer support are all taken care of. So your primary role is sending as much targeted traffic to the offer as possible, in a way that makes you profit.
With some of these systems, there’s also the added advantage of having phone salespeople close sales for you on the backend. Which can result in larger commissions per sale.
So there definitely are some good aspects to these systems, and they are not all scams. But at the same time, there is more to know about these before diving in based on an exciting sales pitch.
Negative Aspects of a Done For You Sales Funnel
Many of these ‘done for you affiliate sales funnels’ are geared for promoting the same system. So the biggest problem comes about when the masses are all promoting the same funnel.
Thereby, flooding the market.
This is especially true within the big niches like ‘make money online’ where these systems are most commonly found.
It starts out great, until you’ve got 10,000’s of affiliates (or more) ALL promoting the same sales funnel. The same landing pages, same products, same email followups, and in some cases, many affiliates use the same traffic sources.
This leads to lower conversion rates and makes it hard for people to turn a decent profit.
Especially when you consider the costs involved.
As mentioned, when you promote these funnels, you are promoting the same system you joined yourself. And to qualify, you must buy the products yourself. So the cost is high for both you and the customers you bring in.
Some of these systems start at a $49 frontend offer and lead you into $30-$50k worth of ‘upgrades’ to qualify to make the real money.
And that’s not factoring in the cost of traffic to promote these systems, which can be massive.
In any case, this ‘market saturation’ and heavy cost burden is why people often fail with these done for you systems.
Another aspect I don’t like, is the level of hype I’ve seen associated with some of these systems. People are led into these funnels expecting that for a small amount of money, they are getting everything they need. When in actual fact, to make the real money there are WAY more costs involved.
Higher costs aren’t the problem, assuming the program is worth it. But misleading people is a huge problem. Which is why I am very hesitant to promote any such system myself.
Why It’s Never As Simple As ‘Just Sending Traffic’
Regardless of the system itself, and the niche you are in, nothing is ever THAT simple. Real money online, is not made when someone or some system ‘does it for you’.
They may handle parts of the business for you, which does help. But that still leaves you with (arguably) the hardest part of all, driving as much high quality traffic to the offer as possible. In a way that makes you profit.
Anyone telling you that you can simply ‘plugin’ to something without putting the work in, is not being straight with you. Because even if you do ‘just send traffic’… that is a task in itself!
There are two types of traffic online: free and paid.
Paid traffic is instant. This is the most popular traffic source among most done for you online businesses. But unless you qualify to earn commissions off ALL (or most) of the products in the funnel, it is very difficult to make a profit this way. Because you don’t make the ‘real money’ on the frontend offer with these systems. You make it with the backend offers. Where many come unstuck here, is making the traffic profitable. They can buy it, and make sales, but actually turning a PROFIT is another story. This takes time, learning and a considerable budget to get things to the point of profit. And that’s with a good system.
Free traffic takes time. There are many ways to obtain quality free traffic. But the key differentiator with this method, is that it takes time to build. This is what I do myself with my websites. Create simple websites, publish useful content, and get rankings in search engines like Google. Which brings quality, targeted, and free traffic. From there, promoting relevant products is easy and profitable. It does take time, but the rewards are well worth it.
In either case, it is not as simple as funnelling people into a done for you system. If it was, everyone would be rich. In reality, it takes time and effort to learn the relevant skills to make ANY type of traffic profitable.
The people who are most successful with any kind of affiliate program, or traffic source, recognise ONE important aspect. Something that no system can ‘give you’.
The importance of building an audience of people who know, like and trust you.
And you build that audience based on the value you can give, based on helping people in your niche. As oppose to thinking about the money first, second and third.
When you understand this (the most important element of all) you can promote any relevant product that people find value in. And you will make a lot more money than someone who does not grasp this concept.
There are some great aspects to a done for you internet business. Systems like this can make your life easier in some respects, and can potentially earn you a decent income.
However, just as there are positive aspects to them, there are negative aspects too. Such as the high costs involved and competing with countless other affiliates who are all promoting the same system with the same marketing materials.
In any case, it’s important to do you research so you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. Before you potentially wind up $1000’s in the red, with nothing to show for it.
Systems come and go. So you really want to build your own audience and assets, based on offering genuine value. Otherwise, you’re just another person ‘selling’ the same old system as everyone else. And if it goes down, so does your business.