In March I participated in my first online bundle sale.
What is a Bundle Sale?
A bundle sale is a group of products sold together for a limited time at a discounted price.
The Write Life deal lasted only 3 days and sold $72,000 worth of packages.
I think coordinating bundle sales is a side hustle opportunity for bloggers — with or without an established audience.
Let me explain.
How it Works
As the bundle sale coordinator, your role is simple:
- Get people to contribute their product to the bundle.
- Determine the details of the offer: price, dates, etc.
- Set up a good-looking sales page.
- Set up affiliate tracking.
- Give half the revenue (or whatever percentage you agree on) to affiliates.
- Keep half the revenue as your profit.
All the product creators are essentially “donating” their course to you. They’re not getting paid a percentage of revenue outside of what they directly refer as an affiliate; even if their course is the most popular or most expensive item in the bundle.
Yes, that means I could have had my course included in the sale and made $0 from it if I didn’t make any affiliate referrals.
Affiliates are the key to making a bundle sale work. In the case of The Write Life deal, all the participants were affiliates for the bundle, as were several other interested parties with writer-focused audiences.
And as the coordinator of the sale, The Write Life kept all the money after paying out the affiliates — $49,000 in this case. Of course, they’re a popular blog and had their own audience and email list already, which helped, but wasn’t a requirement.
Why People Participate
I can’t speak for the rest of my bundle sale peers on this one, but I had 3 reasons to say “yes” when Alexis asked if I’d be interested:
1. Exposure. Through this deal I earned 395 new enrollments to my course. That’s nearly 400 new people exposed to my material and my brand. Had I been smarter, I would have figured out some way to get each of those people added to my email list first!
Plus, even for those who didn’t buy, my name got in front of a lot of new people that week. That kind of soft exposure is hard to quantify, but in this blogging/podcasting/content-marketing world, familiarity is worth something. Kind of like the “warm canvassing” Daniel mentioned on the podcast.
2. Association. It was really cool to be featured alongside some other inspiring and successful individuals. Again, I can’t pay the bills with association, but this kind of social proof does have value and helps legitimize my work.
3. Affiliate Earnings. Through this offer, I earned $594 as an affiliate. For sending out 2 emails with a high value offer, that’s not a bad trade. The top affiliate made more than 10 times that — $7500!
To come up with your offer price, combine the total value of all the participating products and cut it by 80-90%. I think 90% probably sounds better. It’s got to be a no-brainer for the target customer.
Timing-wise, 3 days seems pretty standard. It’s long enough to get the word out, and (importantly) short enough to create urgency.
The Sales Page
If you have a blog already, you can host the sales page there, as The Write Life did. (You won’t be able to see the “buy” button anymore since the offer is expired.)
The job of the sales page is to explain what the offer is, what’s included, overcome objections, and make it easy for customers to say “yes!”
Affiliate tracking is where this starts to get a little trickier. The Write Life crew used e-junkie, which works great and is very affordable, but has the disadvantage of taking visitors offsite and looking like it hasn’t had a design update in 15 years.
Your other alternatives are networks like Clickbank or JV Zoo, both home to some of Internet Marketing’s less-than-upstanding citizens. This $50 plugin promises to integrate with PayPal and Gumroad, so might be worth looking into as well.
Beyond just the participants in the offer, you can reach out to other influencers in the niche and explain the offer to see if they’d be interested in sharing it with their followers.
For example, Joanna Penn was a great affiliate for The Write Life deal because her audience is all current and aspiring authors.
How do I know she was an affiliate? When I sent out my first email on Monday morning of the sale, I got a couple responses that Joanna had beat me to it and they’d already ordered through her link She’s in the UK, so she’s got an 8-hour time advantage over me on the west coast!
When it’s “go time,” all the participants and affiliates send a message or two out to their audience letting them know about the limited time offer.
What do you think? Could you coordinate the next bundle sale for your niche and profit from it?
(bundle of sticks photo credit)