Marketing Jargon Explained

Back end

Selling stuff to people who’ve already bought from you. Once they’re on your mailing list you can keep sending them offers for new products. This is where most of the profit is. If they’ve bought from you already and found that they can trust you, and they like you and your products, then they will generally buy from you again. You no longer have to overcome the trust barrier that prevents them from buying from you in the first place.
Typical back end products include audio recordings of your e-book, more expensive e-books, e-book bundles, courses, software, videos, seminars and workshops (online or real life), gadgets, kits, materials, and so on.

Front end

Selling stuff to brand new customers. Some people sell a good product at very low cost just to get people onto their mailing list, because they believe that all the money is in the back end. Acquiring new customers is generally said to be the most expensive part of marketing. This isn’t the same as giving things away for free, because you want customers on your list who are proven buyers, not a bunch of freeloaders.
You can see this in action if you watch shopping channels such as QVC, where they have a “Today’s Special Value” product at a low price to try to get new customers to buy things from them. Once they’ve bought something once, they’ll probably buy again in the future – as long as the first product was good and they had a good buying experience.
An e-book makes a good front end product.

Joint ventures (JV)

You can boost your sales, newsletter sign-ups, etc, by joining forces with someone else who’s targeting the same market.

For example, lets say you’ve written a book about the care and breeding of horses, and you send out a monthly newsletter. You search around and find another writer who’s written a book on another horse-related subject, such as what to look for when buying one, or how to train them to win races. Having assured yourself that their book and/or newsletter is something that you’d like to recommend to your readers, you can then contact that person to see if they’d be interested in a joint venture. You’re both in the same market, but you aren’t competing directly with each other, so why not?!

You have a mailing list, they have a mailing list. Both lists target the same market. Wouldn’t it be great to have access to both lists rather than just one? Of course!

When someone signs up for your newsletter, on the “thank you” page you could put a sign-up box for your friend’s newsletter. And they can do the same for you. It’s a good idea to include a personal recommendation as well, saying why you think your subscribers should sign up for this other newsletter as well as your own.

When someone buys your book, again on the “thank you” page, suggest that they might also like to buy your friend’s book. (And he’ll do the same for you.) Perhaps your friend will make his book available to your buyers at a specially discounted price. Or perhaps he’ll pay you a referral fee for sending him extra customers. You’ll do the same for him in return.

It doesn’t have to be books of course. You might have a joint venture with a supplier of equestrian equipment. You recommend that your readers get their supplies from this particular company, and the company sells and recommends your book (or whatever products you sell) to its customers.

And you might even consider a joint venture with a direct competitor – if you write about a subject where people tend to buy every book on the market, for example.

You can probably think of many more joint venture possibilities. They can be extremely productive and lucrative for both parties.

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers,