Our latest Subscription Site Insider Case Study profiles Teen Life Ministries – a site that has 3,000 paid subscribers. Co-founder Paul Evans learned the hard way that you can’t always turn subscribers into affiliates. Fortunately there’s a take-away lesson from his approach.
Teen Life Ministries has a small affiliate program and like most sites, only a few affiliates bring in any real money. Evans gives a generous payment of 33% for the lifetime of the subscription. His best affiliate is YouthMinistryIdeas.com which comes up around #5 on Google in a search of many youth ministry keywords.However, Evans efforts at turning current subscribers into affiliates backfired and can be a lesson for other sites of a similar nature. He sent out an email to his subscribers about the affiliate program and Evans says the general response was “How dare you ask me to make money off of recommending a religious site – we’ll recommend it for free.” An alternative would be to just ask subscribers for referrals – see this email from our sister site WhichTestWon.com.