IDEA: Arrange a cross-promotion with a related blog, website, magazine, etc. They send visitors your way; you, in turn, give the people they send something for their trouble (OK, an enticement) — say, a valuable free PDF ebook they can download. You get new warm bodies, the warm bodies get gifts, and the referrer gets…
Well, there’s the hole in this scheme, huh? The referring media outlet pretty much gets bupkus out of this arrangement (hence, it’s not really a cross-promotion, now is it). It’s normal and expected too, this kind of one-sided relationship, and this is pretty much true among all media platforms. Not really a problem — referrers are either in the business of sharing this kind of valuable heads-up info with their readers, or it benefits their business one way or another to inform their customers, etc. — but it is definitely a head-scratcher for the unknown little guy (us!). Why? Because, Grasshopper, we have to convince the media outlet that we’re worth the ink, risk and trouble! Paying for advertising usually takes care of the convincing part, but if we’re doing a guerrilla and trying to pull off a promotion without spending anything out of pocket, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that giving the prospective media partner a bit more than just spit may be in order.
Well, here’s something that may do the job: Offer to set up an exclusive arrangement, where only the media partner’s readers, customers, site visitors, etc., get your freebie when they visit your site. This puts us right back in cross-promotion territory, Grasshopper — with the media partner now finally looking forward to a more tangible payback loompa to his oompa.
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Nothing new about this, and good bet you’ve seen all this before. Probably even know that one typical way this sort of thing is implemented is through the use of access codes — in a nutshell, the media partner gives out access codes, which the reader/customer then takes to and enters at the cross-promoted site to redeem the swag. Again, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that those access codes can and often do get out, allowing leeches to bypass the media partner (so no benefit to them) to pick up goodies. Obviously, there are ways to technically fix or improve this approach — unique access codes, for one — but that takes it out of the realm of the easy and cheap.
Especially when you consider this: What if I said there is a way to technically pull off this kind of exclusive cross-promotion easily, ensuring that everyone will need to pass through the media partner’s link or site to get to the freebie on yours? Wouldn’t our proposal be more attractive now to the media outlet? Of course it would! And get this: It’s a free solution to boot!
Free, if you’re operating a self-hosted WordPress blog, that is. The WordPress blog/CMS app itself is free to begin with, as you probably already know. So, besides that, what’s the software that makes all the above cross-promotion stuff possible? And for free? Its all courtesy of this plugin…
That’s it. It’s not even the first time I mentioned WP Greet Box here, which was back in January of 2010. Not surprising, considering what this nifty WordPress plugin basically does: It detects what site a visitor came from, enabling its ability to be set up to display a referer-dependent custom greeting. All the biggie sites are covered, of course — Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Twitter, etc. — so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if it turns out that most users are perfectly satisfied with the plugin’s preexisting selection of common referrers without fully realizing that with very little effort, the plugin can be set up to recognize incoming traffic from pretty much any site out there.
Example? Go to my Braintropolis site. On the right sidebar, you’ll see a Blogroll link to Wordpreneur. Click on it. Check out the lightbulb icon and unique message that’ll appear underneath the headline. The only people who’ll see that are those who come to Wordpreneur directly through a link on the Braintropolis site. Neat, huh?
That cross-promotion scheme coming together in your coconut yet, Grasshopper? No? Here you go then: Set up WP Greet Box to detect incoming traffic from your media partner, displaying a custom message with a link, special message, etc., when it does. Tell your media partner to tell its audience about your promotion and “special exclusive gift” (or something along those lines) for them, and to start sending them to your site through a link on their site.
Voila! Instant exclusive cross-promotion mechanism in place… free!
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