Why You'll FAIL at AFFILIATE MARKETING

The super-affiliates don't want you to read this - but I just have to tell you the truth. If you've been struggling with affiliate marketing then you need to read this report.

The Master Affiliate Profits Course Contents

Breakthrough or Baloney? The Master Affiliate Profits (MAP) Ecosystem Reviewed

By Duncan Whitmore

[Disclosure: The author is a 'backer' of Master Affiliate Profits, and may earn commissions if you join the platform through links on this page. Nevertheless, this article aims to be a thorough, impartial and dispassionate assessment of the MAP "ecosystem" concept.]

PART I: Introduction

Imagine you are a member of the Amazon Associates Program. One morning, you open your email inbox to find a curious message bearing an extraordinary subject line:

"Attention Amazon Associates: Now Paying LIFETIME Commissions!"

Upon opening the email, you discover that Amazon will now pay you a commission not only for the first purchase you refer. In addition, they will pay you commissions for every single purchase made by that customer in the future for life.

But that offer scratches only the surface. Imagine further that CEO Jeff Bezos has personally assembled a team of the world’s very best marketers to train you in becoming top Amazon affiliates. Hours and hours of video coaching and materials are now sitting right there in your Amazon Associates account, waiting for your attention.

And as if that wasn’t enough, suppose that Amazon will also let you keep the lead whom you refer. In other words, you can populate your own email autoresponder with that lead’s details, mailing your own offers to them as and when you like.

You would think Amazon had gone mad. But some affiliate marketers could soon see this kind of offer become a reality – albeit on a scale far smaller than Amazon.

The Trend of Improving Affiliate Education and Benefits

The world of online affiliate marketing has advanced considerably over the last twenty years or so. Once, affiliates were lucky to earn a 5-10% commission on the single sale of a physical product. Scaling that up to consistent, reliable earnings was immensely difficult.

The increasing popularity of consuming products wholly in a digital format enabled a significant step forward.

For one thing, digital products such as software, videos, and courses are now downloadable in an instant instead of being mailed on a physical medium such as a CD. But, perhaps, more importantly, the market for eLearning and online education has seen unparalleled growth.

Indeed, one only has to glance at a vibrant and popular niche such as health and fitness to discover a myriad of videos, programs, eBooks and the like - all of which are designed for delivery over the internet before being consumed wholly on an electronic device.

As a result of this digital revolution, many online product vendors incur little if any manufacturing and delivery costs. Once a vendor has created a digital product, they can both replicate and deliver that product an unlimited number of times for practically zero marginal cost.

With costs vastly reduced, profits inflate. And with extra profits comes the wherewithal for increased generosity towards affiliates – generosity which has been manifest in at least three ways:

  • Improved educative resources and promotional materials.
  • Higher commission rates – sometimes 100% for low-ticket, front-end products;
  • Commissions on every product in a sales funnel – including as much as 50% on high-ticket, back-end courses which sell for thousands of dollars.

Essentially, an affiliate marketer can now earn hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars from just a single, successful referral – a referral attained by using the vendor’s promotional materials.

However, with the value of affiliate marketing now worth more than $12bn per year[1] – and with more than 53% of Amazon sales being generated by affiliates[2] – it is obvious that incentives to attract, train and retain good affiliate marketers are only going to continue to grow. Equally significant will be the number of students hungry for the opportunity to build their very own, online businesses through affiliate marketing.

Master Affiliate Profits (MAP)

Enter the Master Affiliates Profits (MAP) system. The brainchild of John Thornhill and Omar and Melinda Martin, MAP – at first glance – appears to be a giant, affiliate marketing training program which, once fully launched, a user can consume at varying tiers of membership.

In creating this training, the founders have pulled no punches in sharing their combined, internet marketing experience of several decades. Premium level MAP members will receive hours and hours worth of coaching and materials on practically every single promotional strategy under the sun:

  • List Building
  • Email Marketing
  • Traffic Generation
  • Video Marketing
  • Bonus Creation
  • Social Media
  • Ad Marketing
  • Banners and Graphics
  • Blogging

Add this to numerous live trainings and archives, together with ready-made materials and resources, and you are looking at a product which is easily worth tens of thousands of dollars. And yet, once the system is launched fully to the public, access to everything at the “Platinum” membership level will cost a relatively modest $797 per year. (For a limited time only, a Lifetime Platinum Membership is currently available as a one-off investment for the same amount).

The Founders of MAP

The MAP founders: John Thornhill (left) with Melinda and Omar Martin.
Thornhill's son, Alex (not pictured) is also a partner in the project.
(Click to expand).

The Founders of MAP

The MAP founders: John Thornhill (left) with Melinda and Omar Martin. Thornhill's son, Alex (not pictured) is also a partner in the project.

However, this comprehensive training – valuable as it is – barely scratches the surface. In addition, every MAP member receives their own, unique referral link – called the “MAP Link” or “One Link” – which members can use to promote the system in order to attract more members.

In other words, any member – at whichever subscription level – can become ambassadors simply by driving traffic to their link.

The referral benefits are twofold.

First, MAP will pay you a commission on all purchases made within the system by a new member whom you refer. This includes membership level upgrades, traffic purchases, and any other programs or products which are promoted through the system. Commission rates vary according to your own level of membership.

The number of products that will eventually be sold through MAP, and how, is as yet unclear. Most likely, it will not morph into another affiliate network like Clickbank or JVZoo.

But should it succeed in gathering a vast customer base, then MAP could attract an equally large number of product vendors eager to offer their products to that assembled audience.

The cardinal point, however, is this: you, as a MAP member, will be paid a commission for absolutely everything that members referred by you purchase through the system. Thornhill and the Martins are committed to ensuring that a member is rewarded for every single transaction made within the system by each one of their referred leads.

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MAP Simple Commission Structure

Diagram indicating how you are rewarded for each purchase made through the MAP system by each one of the leads whom you refer.

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MAP Simple Commission Structure

Diagram indicating how you are rewarded for each purchase made through the MAP system by each one of the leads whom you refer.

A major rationale behind this approach is to avoid what the founders call “list sabotage”. Traditionally, when an affiliate marketer mails an offer to their email list, a successful sale will mean that the product vendor captures the customer in their (the vendor’s) email list. From then on, the vendor (plus the platform on which the offer was hosted) can mail offers separately to that same customer without necessarily crediting the affiliate.

As such, the very act of a successful affiliate sale serves to dilute an affiliate marketer’s most valuable asset – their email list – creating, in turn, their own competition. Thornhill and the Martins – believing this to be either unjust and/or self-destructive for the affiliate marketer – are keen to find an alternative to this arrangement.

Second, each time you refer a new member to MAP, the system will populate your email autoresponder with that user’s email address. In other words, not only will MAP send promotions to that user from which you will earn a commission, they also grant you ownership of the lead. From that point, you can develop a separate, private relationship with the lead through your own email list.

For those concerned about email marketing ethics, MAP’s approach in this regard is that each lead belongs to the referring member.

If you are a MAP member, you promote your referral link to your audience – through your social media, blog, or wherever. That link navigates a lead not to a sales page but to a squeeze page bearing your name. That squeeze page is where leads sign up to create their free MAP account. Only later is a user presented with options to upgrade to paid membership levels.

(In fact, the squeeze page contains a technical innovation designed to streamline the opt-in process, reducing drop-off rates).

As such, MAP is not a product which you promote as an affiliate in the conventional sense. Rather, it is the incentive for a lead to opt-in to your email list. This circumvents the ethical problem of lead sharing between multiple parties.

Needless to say, the value of this is immense. When the “money is in the list” capturing that lead is extraordinarily valuable for the affiliate marketer.

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MAP Autoresponder Population

Diagram showing how MAP will populate both your and its own autoresponders with the lead's email address. You are free to build your own, separate email relationship with each lead whom you refer.

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MAP Autoresponder Population

Diagram showing how MAP will populate both your and its own autoresponders with the lead's email address. You are free to build your own, separate email relationship with each lead whom you refer.

The MAP “Ecosystem”

MAP is therefore designed to provide three, primary functions for every member:

  1. It is a vast repository of educational material from which you can learn how to become a successful affiliate marketer.
  2. It is a generous affiliate program which will earn you commissions.
  3. It is a giant lead magnet which will build your email list.

Simultaneously, therefore, each member is a student of the training, a promoter of the system, and a list builder.

It is the combination of these three functions – plus a few other things – that Thornhill and the Martins like to refer to as the “MAP ecosystem”. You learn while you earn, you earn while you build your list. In fact, there is no bright line between any of these elements – together, they all form the MAP product.

Examining the implications of this "ecosystem" concept is the primary purpose of this article.

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MAP Membership Benefits

The MAP Benefits by Membership Level as of February 2024

MAP Membership Benefits

The MAP Benefits by Membership Level as of February 2024

An Affiliate Marketing Breakthrough?

So having outlined what MAP actually is, what can we say about the likely impact of the “ecosystem” approach on the affiliate marketing industry? Is it likely to prove revolutionary? Will it be a non-starter? Or perhaps it will fall somewhere in between?

To answer this question, there are quite a few matters we will need to examine in depth.

SPOILER ALERT!

Is the MAP ecosystem an earth shattering innovation? 
Within the sphere of marketing education, yes. As a way of “doing” affiliate marketing – not so much.

Could it have a profound effect on the industry? 
Yes – especially, again, on marketing education.

Is it a good product? 
Yes.

Will it grow into an even better product? 
Yes – potentially into a great one.

Is it worth your investment?
I believe MAP represents a brilliant opportunity – and to find out why, you'll have to stick with me until the end!

SPOILER ALERT!

Is the MAP ecosystem an earth shattering innovation? 
Within the sphere of marketing education, yes. As a way of “doing” affiliate marketing – not so much.

Could it have a profound effect on the industry? 
Yes – especially, again, on marketing education.

Is it a good product? 
Yes.

Will it grow into an even better product? 
Yes – potentially into a great one.

Is it worth your investment?
I believe MAP represents a brilliant opportunity – and to find out why, you'll have to stick with me until the end!


PART II: The MAP Ecosystem Assessed

Grasping the Ecosystem Concept

The first issue is whether MAP succeeds in communicating to users the “ecosystem” concept. In short, will people understand it?

Having participated in three months’ worth of weekly update calls with Thornhill and Omar Martin while the system was being built, I’m not entirely sure that initial backers of the program themselves fully understood the model’s implications. And to be frank, I’m not sure I did until I started typing this article.

To some extent, this is to be expected with a novel approach. What seems astonishing or bewildering right now may be commonplace tomorrow.

Nevertheless, whichever way you try and square it, combining multiple roles for a user within a single system does represent a departure from simplicity – a departure that could be a difficult hurdle to jump.

For one thing, should an individual view any one of MAP’s features in isolation then – as comprehensive and as brilliant as each of those features may be – the unique nature of the system dissolves:

  • If you look only at the training, then MAP is just a training product.
  • If you look only at the commissions, then it’s just an affiliate program.
  • If you look only at the list building, then it’s just a list building service.

However, an awful lot more hinges upon MAP’s ability to nurture within its members an accurate appreciation not just of how the “ecosystem” works but also of its true value.

The Illusion of Eternal Commissions

The biggest concern is that the obvious allure of earning commissions ends up becoming the primary motivation for users to join the system.

As an element of promotional rhetoric, then, yes, commissions will be an unavoidably major selling point. But once signed up, members must come to treasure everything else that is offered. Should they think that the sole purpose for joining is to promote the system, then we would end up with an obvious absurdity: the only reason for MAP’s existence would be to promote itself.

Unfortunately, such an outcome wouldn’t be merely academic – it would soon result in the system’s insolvency.

You see, in order to be profitable, MAP has to earn more money in revenue than it pays out in costs. Commission payments to members are a cost. Therefore, a considerable body of MAP users – possibly most of them – must pay more in membership fees (and other purchases) than they receive in commissions from signing up new members.

But if users are to accept this arrangement, then the system must deliver some other value – a final product that is worth the price of membership. Right now, MAP aims to deliver that value through the training, support and list building services – so everything hinges on how members value those elements.

Moreover, if earning commissions becomes every new MAP member’s sole objective, then they will eventually run into the brick wall of statistical impossibility.

The following, for instance, is what would happen if every MAP member joined with the sole motivation to sign up just 10 more members:

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Map Hypothetical Growth Rate

Hypothetical membership growth if each MAP member attempted to sign up 10 more members underneath them

Map Hypothetical Growth Rate

Hypothetical membership growth if each MAP member attempted to sign up 10 more members underneath them

When you reach the bottom level, the number of new MAP members needed to continue the rate of growth exceeds the world’s population. There is literally no one left on any continent to sign up as a new member.

Needless to say, MAP’s potential market is much, much smaller than everyone in the world. Plus each member will want to sign up far more than a measly ten further members. So the saturation point is going to arrive much sooner.

Once you run out of people to whom you can sell, the latest members to join the scheme lose money. So they start pulling out, no longer paying their membership fees. As a result of that loss in revenue, every member above them starts to lose money too, so they pull out in turn.

Eventually, the mounting losses cascade all the way back up to the top, and the scheme collapses.

This is why Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) is often viewed as an unethical, if not illegal, business practice. There has to be a final consumer, someone in the chain who is happy to pay more in fees than they receive back in commissions. But if the primary incentive of every user is to earn commissions by referring more users then that final consumer will never arrive.

In sum, if users sign up with the sole motivation to earn commissions through promoting MAP, then the project will fail. Unless users embrace the synthesis of learning, earning and list building, then there simply won’t be a critical mass of users who are willing to pay in more than they take out.

The Environment of the Internet Marketing Industry

The previous section is enough to demonstrate why the MAP ecosystem cannot serve as an eternally growing "commission machine".

Without meaning to belabor the point, the present nature and history of internet marketing may well - unfortunately - serve to conceal this fact for the foreseeable future. As such, a "big picture" discussion of the industry can help us to grasp the urgency of communicating accurately the MAP ecosystem's real value.

The problem lies in the fact that internet marketing - in the grand scheme of things - is relatively young. Even the most successful of internet marketers have only, at most, two decades worth of experience under their belts – all of which has been in an environment of continual growth. The eLearning market alone - the one we mentioned earlier - was worth a mere $3.5bn in 2001; in 2022 that figure had grown to a whopping $281bn.[3]

An unfortunate by-product of an infant, consistently growing industry can be a degree of hubris amongst practitioners – the attitude that “new ways” of doing things have somehow unshackled everyone from basic laws of reality:

“This time it’s different!”

“X innovation has changed everything!”

“It’s impossible to lose money!”

Such words were uttered during the late nineties tech boom moments before it collapsed.

The continued growth in internet marketing, for its part, has spawned a number of mantras or "rules" which seem at odds with traditional business wisdom:

“Market your products in the biggest niches with the biggest players”

“Everyone is a partner, not a competitor”

“Every customer can earn profits as a promoter”

I have even heard marketers – sometimes highly respected ones – refer to the internet as an “unlimited market” or a “market of abundance” (or words to that effect).

Taken literally, that is nonsense. Markets, by definition, deal in scarcity – anything that is truly abundant (like the air you breathe) doesn’t command a price. Customers pay money because the supply of goods they want is finite and has to be produced through effort. 

Consistent periods of growth can easily lead to illusions regarding its sustainability. (Stock photo)

Consistent periods of growth can easily lead to illusions regarding its sustainability. (Stock photo)

Finite also, however, is the total number of dollars those customers have to spend. Everyone’s monthly pay packet is limited. After paying for the house, car, bills and so on, there is only so much left over for each of us to spend on products purchased over the internet.

Owing to three, related factors, internet marketing has, to date, succeeded in grabbing increasing numbers of those "left over" dollars:

  • Technological innovations resulting in a rapid reduction in costs, making a greater variety of products and services increasingly affordable and accessible to more people.
  • Changing consumer habits that favor embracing technology.
  • Increasing ability to exploit the absence of geographical limits that are faced by bricks-and-mortar businesses.

When factors such as these serve to increase either the number of customers and/or the amounts of money they are willing to spend online, then - yes - the number of available dollars to be swept up as revenue is growing also. In other words, there are enough unspent dollars sloshing around to enable aspiring internet marketers to find untapped custom relatively easily compared to a stable or stagnating sector.

It is this kind of growth - more customers and more dollars available for everyone - that creates the illusion of plenty. So only in this context does any notion of a “market of abundance” make sense. And only in this context do all of the internet marketing “rules” we just mentioned apply.

How long this kind of growth can continue is debatable. Nothing grows forever, or at least not at the same rate. So when the current expansion either stops or slows down then anyone who swears by these "rules" may be in for a rude awakening.[4] 

What matters here, however, is how much this current milieu of growth leads to a wrongheaded assessment of new schemes such as the MAP ecosystem. Because regardless of how much the market as a whole continues to expand - and regardless of how many numbers of dollars are increasingly up for grabs - there is no escape from one, basic, fact:

As soon as a person signs up as a MAP member, that person cannot be signed up again. Any existing MAP members hoping to refer more members will have to find non-members. 

And as we explained in the last section, it is not possible for absolutely everyone to find more untapped customers for the rest of eternity.

Here, then, we can circle back to the role and purpose of the MAP ecosystem. If the “ecosystem” concept is to succeed in the long run, then it is crucial for users to embrace it not as a money-printing "commission machine" that will grow and grow and grow. Instead, they must cherish it as an enhanced educational and support environment for affiliate marketers:

  • Each new member must value their education in becoming a strong, independent affiliate outside of the MAP system, developing their own promotions and earning their commissions from a number of different programs.
  • They must embrace the list building function, seeking to build their own relationship with their list instead of expecting MAP to do all of the marketing to their leads.

In other words, the ecosystem is like a super-college where aspiring football players are nurtured and grown before they join the NFL. It is not the NFL itself.

To avoid misunderstanding, I do think that these objectives are the founders’ intentions. In their own words, the long-term purpose of MAP is "to empower every single member with the tools and knowledge required to become a super affiliate."[5] Indeed most of the (truly excellent) in-house training can be applied to any affiliate promotion.

However – given that the initial objective of that training is on driving traffic to a user’s MAP link – there are obvious gaps. There is nothing (at the time of writing) on product selection, for instance.

So I suspect that MAP will broaden its training environment into a much fuller education in internet marketing in the near future. 

This is a theme on which we will continue to build throughout this article - and one which, as you shall see, is critical for why you should consider investing in MAP.

John Thornhill and Omar Martin

John Thornhill and Omar Martin working on MAP's development in Orlando, FL
(Click to Expand)

John Thornhill and Omar Martin

John Thornhill and Omar Martin working on MAP's development in Orlando, FL

Restricted Niche Application

A major limit to the extent of the MAP ecosystem concept is that it can apply only to one niche of the industry: the internet marketing/affiliate marketing niche.

In fact, it is fully applicable to only one subset of that niche: affiliate marketers whose primary customers are affiliate marketers who are themselves in the affiliate marketing niche.

Allow me to explain.

If you are a MAP member, you are an affiliate marketer. You sign up to MAP in order to absorb the training. All of that training and education is in affiliate marketing.

As such, if you promote MAP, then you can do so only to other people who want to absorb affiliate marketing training, i.e. other aspiring affiliate marketers. You can’t promote MAP while hoping to earn a commission from health and fitness or gardening enthusiasts who – by definition – are not interested in becoming affiliate marketers.

It follows from this that, by promoting MAP, you will be filling your list with aspiring affiliate marketers. To them, you can market only affiliate marketing training, software or other related products. You can’t promote to them exercise equipment or diet plans.

Your chosen niche as an affiliate marketer must, therefore, be what? Answer: affiliate marketing.

However, when another MAP member signs up under you – let’s call him Steve – to whom will Steve promote his MAP link? Why, exactly the same kind of person to whom you promote your link – aspiring affiliate marketers. With whom will Steve populate his email list? Aspiring affiliate marketers.

So which niche does Steve need to be in? Answer again: affiliate marketing!

In other words, MAP is only wholly attractive to a subset of all affiliate marketers: those in the affiliate marketing niche. But such a restriction is another reason why the ecosystem cannot become a closed environment.

For one thing, MAP would be purposeless. It would be like a driving school that teaches driving instructors how to teach more driving instructors to teach driving instruction. What would be the point if no one teaches people to actually drive?

Second, if I am a promoter of affiliate marketing training products, my market for students is much wider. Indeed, internet marketing isn’t even in the top five biggest niches, languishing behind Fashion (23.27% of the market), Sports & Outdoors (18.16%), Health/Wellness & Beauty (13.81%), Travel (10.74%), and Home & Garden (8.7%).[6] As such, my potential for growth is much bigger if I attract affiliate marketers looking to build their businesses in any of these other niches.

True enough, an affiliate marketer in, say, the Sports & Outdoors niche may well join MAP to learn from all of the expert training. As we have already mentioned, most of that training can be applied to promoting any kind of product in any niche.

But MAP’s unique value proposition for this kind of member is clearly diminished, for their main interest is in promoting Sports & Outdoors products to a list full of Sports & Outdoors enthusiasts. Except as a vehicle through which to earn their training wheels, they are going to be less motivated to join MAP, promotion of which would result only in a list full of other internet marketers.

As such, if each MAP member wants to grow their business to its true, full potential, then they will need to reach audiences to whom the MAP ecosystem has less appeal.

And so we come back to the same point that we made in the last section: the purpose of the ecosystem must be to serve as an educational environment, creating strong, independent affiliate marketers adept at building their businesses outside of that ecosystem.

The Product Vendor’s Point of View

The fact that the MAP ecosystem concept can be applied in full only within a subset of a single niche is one reason for suspecting that its wider impact on the industry from the affiliate marketer’s point of view will be limited.

But let us now turn to product vendors of affiliate marketing training products – the other major group in the niche. What might be the appeal of the ecosystem concept to them?

One possible outcome I envisage is this:

Suppose that – if successful – MAP spawns a plethora of competing platforms. Suppose also – to give this scenario its best possible case – these platforms all replicate the “ecosystem” concept accurately and honorably. That means no MLMs, no claims to be a magic black box spewing out commissions, etc.

Now suppose further that – as a result of this – the combined, gathered audience on what could be just handful of these platforms is absolutely enormous. In other words, every affiliate marketer in the affiliate marketing niche has membership of at least one of these platforms, receiving daily promotional emails from their chosen system.

If this was the case, a product vendor – let’s call him Bob – could be motivated to simply offer his products to each “ecosystem”, leaving the latter do all of the promotional work to the thousands of members signed up. Why would Bob bother recruiting affiliates independently if these “ecosystems” have the whole audience gathered?

Most likely, there will, indeed, be some incentive for vendors such as Bob to market their products in this way – indeed, I believe that MAP is hoping to attract vendors like Bob. But this incentive is likely to be limited, for two reasons.

1. Vendors Want To Build Their List

Bob's major motivation for selling products is that he gets to populate his email list with paying customers. Bob then markets more products to his list.

However, the ecosystem concept is committed to preventing “list sabotage” – the dilution of your email list that occurs when a vendor such as Bob adds a subscriber of yours to his own list when you refer a successful sale. Bob then competes with you for that subscriber's dollars, sending his own promotions and offers without necessarily crediting you for any subsequent sale.

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An Illustration of List Sabotage

An illustration of "list sabotage" resulting from a successful promotion of a product to a hypothetical subscriber.

An Illustration of List Sabotage

An illustration of "list sabotage" resulting from a successful promotion of a product to a hypothetical subscriber.

Before we look into the implications of this, we should mention a discrepancy: it’s not entirely clear whether MAP’s main aim is to prevent “list sabotage” by product vendors on the one hand, or by platforms (e.g. Clickbank, JVZoo, etc.) on the other.

Indeed, it shouldn’t be forgotten that platforms – whenever they facilitate a sale to a new customer – will later engage in direct marketing to that customer. My archive of emails from JVZoo alone numbers at more than 1,000 per year. Had I made a purchase from any one of those emails, JVZoo would have pocketed the revenue. Whichever affiliate first referred me to a product hosted on JVZoo, on the other hand, would have received nothing.

The initial MAP promotional webinar – released by Thornhill and the Martins to early backers in October 2023 – makes reference to both vendors and platforms as being the culprits of “list sabotage”. In fact, if anything, it focuses more on vendors.

However, in a document released in February 2024, the focus has shifted to platforms – with affiliates and vendors now treated as joint victims of “list sabotage” by platforms.

The cynic inside me suggests that this switch of emphasis has not been unwitting. Thornhill and the Martins are some of the biggest product vendors in the industry who have built their lists primarily with traffic sent by affiliates. I doubt that any of them, outside of MAP, will be giving up this practice anytime soon.

So for them to complain about product vendors “sabotaging” affiliates’ lists would be like burglars complaining about a rise in burglary. Hence, they divert the spotlight onto the platforms which, by comparison, are the organized criminals.

But whatever their motivation, Thornhill and the Martins do have a point. Platforms and marketplaces should act as neutral parties. They are there to facilitate transactions between vendor and affiliate, not to compete with them. They grease the wheels, but they shouldn’t be racing against you. A platform that markets to your leads is like an umpire who is playing for the other team.[7]

However, for the sake of completion, we will look more closely at “list sabotage” in its widest sense: i.e. encompassing any occasion on which a referral by you, an affiliate, results in another marketer adding that referred customer to another list.

So - to go back to a third party vendor such as Bob - suppose that MAP, or any other ecosystem platform, should turn around to Bob and say: “OK, you can sell your products through us – but you can’t keep the lead”. This raises an obvious question: why should Bob be interested in promoting through MAP? Why would he not just recruit affiliates independently, knowing full well that he can then keep the lead with each sale?

In fact, if we look at it this way, then we have to acknowledge that “list sabotage” is actually inherent to the affiliate marketing industry. A vendor such as Bob doesn’t sell little $10 eBooks hoping to get rich; he wants leads on his list. So he pays affiliates to send those leads, remunerating them for their services. That is the agreed arrangement.

If affiliates truly wish to avoid “list sabotage” then there is only one realistic, long term solution: become a product vendor. We will look at this in more detail later.

Could MAP allow vendors like Bob to capture a lead of yours so long as Bob pays you commissions on all of his future promotions to that lead?

Conceivably, yes. MAP could promote, to your leads, Bob’s front-end product backed by a lucrative sales funnel. When one of your leads buys that front end product, you could earn a commission for every subsequent purchase made by the lead in that funnel:

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MAP Third Party Vendor Possible Commissions

Possible Commission Structure When MAP Promotes a Third Party Vendor Product Backed by a Sales Funnel

MAP Third Party Vendor Possible Commissions

Possible Commission Structure When MAP Promotes a Third Party Vendor Product Backed by a Sales Funnel

But that is probably the extent of it. At some point, Bob is going to want to market promotions to each of your leads outside of the initial funnel. Any further arrangements – such as Bob paying lifetime commission payments to you on everything he promotes, to be paid back through MAP – start to become unduly complicated.

What would happen for instance, when Bob markets promotions to his list not as a vendor but as an affiliate? In other words, Bob promotes not his own products, but, say, Sally’s products to your leads. Is Bob going to have to pay a portion of his commission from Sally back you via MAP? A commission on a commission?

And what happens with Sally? Can she keep the lead? Or does Sally also have to start paying commissions to you through MAP? For how long can this go on?

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Unworkable Multi Party Commission Structure

Any serious attempt to prevent "list sabotage" would end up with deep and complex reward structures that begin to resemble a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) scheme

Unworkable Multi Party Commission Structure

Any serious attempt to prevent "list sabotage" would end up with deep and complex reward structures that begin to resemble a Multi Level Marketing (MLM) scheme

In other words, when you extend the effort to prevent “list sabotage” to its logical conclusion, you end up having to build commission structures involving multiple parties and products stretching across many links of an extended chain. Such a gargantuan effort would generate a level of complexity and opacity that is too difficult to comprehend and – more importantly – to trust.

Remember that – in the online world especially – simplicity and transparency themselves are of value. Indeed, there is a degree of elegance to affiliate marketing as it is presently done: you, the affiliate, are paid a flat fee by a product vendor for a successful referral. End of story.

If, therefore, MAP is insistent on preventing “list sabotage” by other vendors, then third party promotions made through MAP and similar systems will be either:

  • High ticket items where the value of the sale, to all parties, renders the “list sabotage” problem less of an issue; and
  • SaaS programs such as autoresponders which sell only their core product to each lead.

2. The Personalized Service Affiliates Deliver

One reason for the success of the affiliate marketing industry is that customers trust the affiliate as a person. Large brands – Adidas, Amazon, Microsoft etc. - each run an affiliate program because they know that affiliates can communicate with potential customers on a level that traditional advertising by corporations cannot.

Indeed, this is one way in which the internet has “democraticized” the process of buying and selling. Ordinary people can build their own businesses by acting as users, reviewers and promoters of products, to everyone’s benefit.

Re-centralising all affiliate marketing in a “hub” such as MAP would essentially reverse this progress. If a large entity, instead of an individual, makes every single promotion to its members, the real value that good affiliate marketers can deliver is impaired.

Moreover, there is only so much promoting that a system such as MAP can do. It can’t send 300 emails on behalf of 300 vendors to each member in one day. Opportunities for vendors to promote would therefore need to be rationed.

True enough, MAP could segment its members, tailoring promotions for different segments. But how likely is MAP to get this right compared to an individual affiliate who owns, knows and – above all – cherishes his own list?

In my opinion, therefore, vendors will still, for the most part, want individuals to promote their products.

So again, we come back to the same place: if the MAP “ecosystem” concept is to be a success, it must be as an educational environment that creates strong, independent affiliate marketers who market their own product selections to their own lists.

Improving the Vendor-Affiliate Relationship

Having said of all of this, I do actually think that the ecosystem concept has the potential to make a positive impact on the vendor-affiliate relationship in the wider industry.

This impact is unlikely to be on commission rates. For one thing, rates these days are already pretty high, and have not much farther to go – unless vendors want to pay 100% on everything they sell!

Moreover, a free MAP account earns a member a maximum of 25% in commissions for referrals – which, although recurring, is quite low. To earn the top-tier 75% commissions, you have to start paying for Platinum membership.

However, it is certainly conceivable that the ecosystem model could induce vendors to offer more to affiliates – perhaps by replicating the MAP “ecosystem” in miniature through their JV pages:

  • Offering extended or lifetime commissions on all products that a vendor markets directly to an affiliate’s referred leads. This is seldom an issue with digital products, which - as we mentioned earlier - usually have surplus value to distribute.
  • Offering enhanced educational and training materials, and promo resources – possibly also creating a “community” of affiliates.
  • Sharing each captured lead with the affiliate, and more visibly crediting the affiliate as a partner in the transaction with the customer.

These improvements would be possible in any niche, and they retain the clarity and elegance of the present affiliate marketing model. Moreover, they are likely to foster closer, perhaps longer lasting relationships between the best vendors and the best affiliates in the industry.

Why “List Sabotage” is Essential For the Marketing Industry

In a previous section, I made a number of comments regarding MAP’s aim to avoid “list sabotage” – the effective dilution of an affiliate marketer’s email list as a result of a successful sales referral.

None of these comments was intended to dismiss MAP’s commitment to never “sabotage” the lists of its own members. If MAP wishes to pay you a commission for every single sale made within the system to one of your referred members, then all well and good. In fact, in Part III, I will explain why this can be helpful in a training environment - and why Thornhill and the Martins are wise to implement it in this context. 

Rather, the issue was whether any endeavor to eradicate or reduce “list sabotage” could change the vendor/affiliate relationship in the wider industry. In that regard, the conclusion was doubtful.

However, I now wish to go much farther: not only is “list sabotage” scarcely a problem in need of a solution, it is, in fact, an essential mechanism that ensures the best value is continually delivered to consumers.

In a numerical sense, list dilution does indeed occur each time you, an affiliate marketer, refer a lead to a product vendor and achieve a sale. From then on, that vendor can market offers to the referred lead in competition with you.

However, to look at the situation in this way is to view building and marketing to an email list as purely mathematical exercises.

Consider your own experience with email lists which you join. I, for one, am subscribed to dozens of lists, and join a new one each time I make a purchase. Technically, everyone who emails me is now jostling for my attention with any new sender.

And yet, in spite of this, I still find myself opening and reading the emails of the same half dozen or so senders whom I know and trust.

In fact, I still receive emails from a guy called Tom Woods. It was Woods’ promotion of an offer from John Thornhill that was my gateway to internet marketing. As a result of that one purchase, my inbox is now chock full of emails from dozens of marketers from whom I have subsequently purchased products - all of whom are competing with Woods for the short amount of time I have each day in which to read emails. And yet I still open and read every single daily message I receive from Woods.

On the other hand, most of the emails from everyone else – new and old – get sent straight to the archive. Lowest of the low in this regard is the emails I receive from platforms. Almost everything from Clickbank, JVZoo, WarriorPlus+ etc. never gets opened.

I am willing to bet that you have the same approach. That, in spite of however many lists you join, you have a core list of favorite senders whose emails you frequently read and open. The rest you may open occasionally, but the vast majority you probably delete on sight.

Yes, once in a while, you might add a new sender to your list of favorites. And yes, once in a while, you may cease opening emails from someone of whom you were once an avid fan. But whether such changes should occur depends not solely on the number of emails landing in your inbox. Rather, it is governed by which marketers are sending you the best, most valuable content.

What is the real reason people open some of their emails and not others?

What is the real reason people open some of their emails and not others?

What we can see, therefore, is that the determinant of your success with email marketing is not whether your list is being diluted; rather, it’s the relationship that you have with your email list. From this, it follows that there is only one, obvious antidote to “list sabotage”: build a better relationship with your list.

That in turn, means that you must be doing a number of things that will keep subscribers coming back to your emails instead of going to someone else’s:

  • Nurturing your relationships the long way round by building an audience through organically discovered content, instead of bombarding paid traffic from a squeeze page with affiliate promotions.
  • Keeping subscribers exposed to your content on as many of your channels as possible, not just your emails.
  • Sending more personalized and targeted content.
  • Encouraging reciprocity through quizzes, surveys, feedback and prizes.
  • Offering more original bonus products with each product promotion.
  • Ensuring that the vendors and products you select for promotion continue to meet the needs of your subscribers better than any other affiliate’s selection.

Above all else, however, it probably means this: that affiliate marketers should become product vendors themselves. Because being a product vendor is probably the best way to establish a relationship with a lead, deliver value and, as a result, for building an email list that is impregnable to “list sabotage”.

For one thing, as a product vendor you are now the “list saboteur” – affiliates are giving you their leads, not vice versa.

Second, when you make sales to those leads, you are populating your list with paying customers – those who have demonstrated their willingness to spend money in your niche. Such people are more likely to respond to future offers than mere leads. Hence, John Thornhill himself has said “a customer is worth one hundred subscribers.”[8]

Third, you can prioritize promoting your own products to new subscribers – no risk of “list sabotage”.

Fourth, as a result of having bought one of your products, a customer has multiple exposures to your content outside of your email list: they are in your members’ area; they are absorbing your products; they might join your Facebook group; they may need support requests or personal help from you.

Fifth, a customer is consuming your paid content, which – by definition – is more likely to showcase valuable knowledge and expertise than free content. Which incidentally, is a reason for over-delivering with your product: in a $10 eBook, deliver $100+ worth of content.

Sixth, given that a customer is paying for your content/services, they are more likely to actually consume/use them compared to, say, a free blog, which they may visit as and when they feel like it.

An email list is your most valuable asset, and building a list should be the center of your operations. But that doesn’t mean that getting people into your list is the only thing that matters. Encouraging people to engage with your emails is a multilateral exercise that requires as many points of contact as possible through which you are delivering value to a given subscriber.

It is the combined weight of that delivered value that enhances the likelihood of a customer opening and reading the emails you send. And a product vendor is more likely to be successful at delivering this combined value than an affiliate marketer.

Indeed, there is no avoiding the fact that the affiliate marketer can offer only a finite degree of value in the marketplace. When you strip it to its bones, that value is to drive traffic by discovering offers suitable for their audience. This means that there will, and should, be a limit to the amount an affiliate marketer can expect to be rewarded. 

The final value, however, is created by product vendors. They are the ones who put all of the effort into producing the highest quality content which commands a market price. They are the true experts on the actual subject matter of the niche, and are likely to build the best relationships with customers.

True enough, an affiliate's remuneration will rise and fall inline with however difficult it is to source paying customers. Plus it makes sense for that remuneration to be spread over a sales funnel as subsequent purchases serve to "prove" the worth of the customer.

But in all market conditions, once a referral has been successful, the affiliate’s job is effectively done.[9] As time elapses, the contributing value of that single act of referral to further sales becomes progressively insignificant. If a customer - whom you refer to a vendor - buys more products from that vendor months or even years later, then there is one, main reason: the vendor has succeeded in sustaining a valuable relationship with the customer over that time. 

Similarly, if the vendor promotes other people's products as an affiliate to that customer, then it is because the vendor, not you, has succeeded in selecting offers that suit that customer.

So, if the key aspect that keeps a lead’s attention on your emails is the delivery of value, then this takes us to an obvious conclusion: that the threat of “list sabotage” is not an industry blight. It is an important mechanism that fosters healthy competition, encouraging vendors and affiliates to keep offering as much value as possible to their subscribers.

Right now, the mere threat that, following a successful referral, your subscriber could be pinched by someone better than you is an indispensable mechanism for ensuring that you continue to stay ahead of your game.

The promise of eternal commissions for each single act of referral, on the other hand, would breed laziness and idleness. It would lead to a handful of players “locking up” large portions of the customer base with a myriad of legacy rights to sales for which they need to create no further value in order to secure.

Less motivation to create further value would lead to a decline in the quality of content over time. A decline in the quality of content would mean that consumers struggle to discover solutions to their problems. If consumers struggle to discover solutions to their problems, then they spend less money on products.

In short, everyone would suffer - vendors, affiliates and, above all, consumers.

Indeed, there is one party whose interests matter the most in the “list sabotage” debate: the consumer. The success of the industry as a whole depends on the ability of vendors and affiliates to serve consumers' needs ahead of their own.

This means that whichever lists a consumer joins or leaves should, in the main, be that consumer's decision. Neither a vendor nor any affiliate should “own” their leads.

If a particular lead is eager to start opening someone else’s emails instead of yours then the problem lies not with “list sabotage”. Rather, it is with the (lack of) value you are offering in comparison.

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To reiterate, nothing I have said in this section means that Thornhill and the Martins are wrong to prevent "list sabotage" within the MAP environment. In fact, I wholeheartedly endorse this, and many other of their decisions.

As we move now to the concluding part of this article, I will explain why. 


PART III: Should You Invest in MAP?

So having spent most of this excessively long article explaining some of the limits of the MAP “ecosystem” concept, it’s time for the part you have all been waiting for: should you invest in MAP as a member?

Here, I am proud to admit: I am a MAP backer, and I will be promoting this system. And without beating about the bush, I will now hold myself to account by explaining my reasons.

First, the obvious reason: I believe that MAP will sell well and that I will earn commissions from my referrals!

Second, I have little if any doubt that the quality of affiliate marketing education delivered through MAP will be second to none. I have consumed a number of low and high ticket products from John Thornhill and the Martins for quite some time now, including the former’s flagship coaching program. In an industry which is rife with unscrupulous actors, I have come to know and value their integrity and ability to deliver.

As such, I am confident in the sincerity of their desire to build a system that truly benefits its members.

Third, one gets the impression that, in building this system, the founders’ primary motivation isn’t to earn money. Needless to say, the system will have to be profitable. But Thornhill and the Martins - having each earned millions of dollars in revenue many times over - can afford to rest on their laurels. They don’t need to spend fourteen hour workdays getting a complex and innovative system up and running.

Instead, the real purpose seems to be to leave a lasting influence, or legacy, on the marketing industry. In other words, the kind of stuff that creates legends and prompts the writing of books.

Such an enhanced, vested interest in MAP’s success means that Thornhill and the Martins are likely to bend over backwards in helping students succeed through this system. 

In fact - and somewhat incredibly - the founders are dividing all of their own traffic that they drive to the system between the Platinum members. In other words, if you are a Platinum MAP member, the founders will send a portion of their traffic to your MAP link - thus earning you commissions on traffic that you aren't even driving. 

I, for one, have never heard of a product vendor who is willing to literally gift their own traffic to their affiliates. But it shows the founders' eagerness to create satisfied members. And I think students who take advantage of this opportunity now will be the biggest beneficiaries of this fervor.

Fourth, that, in spite of its wider limitations, I do believe that the ecosystem concept represents a significant step forward in the field of marketing education. In fact, I think this will be a great environment for marketers to educate themselves in a way that transcends traditional ways of building a business.

At the moment, such traditional ways take (broadly) two forms:

  • You can buy training or coaching. Upside: You gain knowledge and experience. Downside: you have to implement everything yourself.
  • You can buy a done-for-you system. Upside: Quick results. Downside: you gain neither learning nor experience.

But with the unique synergy between each of the ecosystem’s functions, MAP somehow succeeds in fusing the benefits of those approaches without the downsides. Students are actively learning, building their businesses and earning from the system’s done-for-you promotions, all at the same time in the same place.

Fifth, an especially important part of the ecosystem, in my opinion, is the list building function.

As I detail in my forthcoming book, The Commission Collector – stay tuned! - regardless of whichever terms in which they describe the “secrets” of their methods, successful marketers have one thing in common: they place their email list at the de facto center of their operations.

Successful affiliate marketers don’t drive traffic to other people’s products. Instead, they drive it towards squeeze pages where they capture emails. Only once that customer is in their list do they turn serious attention to promoting products.

Nevertheless, as much as marketers may scream at their students “The money is in the list!”, list building is still too often treated as just “one of those things” that marketers should be doing. And a lot of the time, they don’t.

By practically “forcing” leads upon their users, list building takes it rightful place amongst MAP members.

Sixth is a benefit I am yet to hear trumpeted by the founders themselves: using the system induces a “cost-benefit” approach to building a business, encouraging also the reinvestment of your earnings.

If you are a new member, you start by joining MAP for free, absorbing the free training. You implement the lessons in order to refer some other users, from whom you earn commissions.

The commission rates you earn from your members are tiered according to your membership level:

  • Free: 25%
  • Silver: 40%
  • Gold: 50%
  • Platinum: 75%

Now, here’s the clever bit: the site displays for you the dollar value of the commissions you could earn from your members if you upgrade your own membership.

So assume your members are currently paying a total of $1,000 in membership fees per month. As a free user, you would earn $250 in commissions from this revenue. But the site will be telling you that you could earn $400 by upgrading to Silver, $500 by upgrading a Gold, or a whopping $750 by upgrading to Platinum.

Remember, these figures aren’t mere projections or promises – it’s real cash coming in from real members whom you have already referred. All you need to do is upgrade your MAP membership for you to start earning a bigger share.

By presenting you with these figures, the site lends you a tangible frame of reference for judging the value of your membership. If the cost of upgrading your membership is less than the extra commission revenue you will earn, that means your commissions will fund the upgrade. As such, it makes sense for you to upgrade.

The following are the relevant figures for $1,000 worth of monthly revenue at the current commission rates and membership prices:

MAP Revenue Projection by Membership Level

Monthly net profit for MAP membership levels earning $1,000 in referrals (as at Feb 2024)  

MAP Revenue Projection by Membership Level

Monthly net profit for MAP membership levels earning $1,000 in referrals (as at Feb 2024)  

In this instance, we can see that it would make sense for you to upgrade from any of the lowest membership levels up to Platinum.

So in other words, the system encourages you to treat the price of upgrading your membership as both an appreciable cost of doing business, and a reinvestment of your earnings in order to earn a real profit.

With upgraded membership comes more training, so you become more adept at referring more members. As such, the results could snowball.

In short, MAP members don’t just learn affiliate marketing in real time – they become accustomed to thinking with a business mindset.

Seventh, and finally...

...My BIGGEST reason for investing in MAP:

As we mention earlier, the published, long-term plan of MAP is "to empower every single member with the tools and knowledge required to become a super affiliate."[10]

All and well and good.

However, I am going to gaze into my crystal ball in order to make a prediction:

I don’t think MAP will stop at affiliate marketing. 

Instead, I expect it will grow into a much broader environment for marketing education. And should that be the case, then the impact could be huge.

Now, I’m speculating here, so anything I say shouldn't be read as ascribing any intentions to John Thornhill or Omar or Melinda Martin. But I think you'll agree that what I have to say here makes a lot sense.

In an earlier section, we detailed the limited value that affiliates can offer in the marketplace; product vendors, by comparison, are more likely to build successful businesses.

John Thornhill himself has gone farther than this, writing in black and white that affiliate marketing “doesn’t work when you are starting out” with internet marketing. Instead, you should look to creating your own products - even as a beginner.[11]

I expect the Martins have similar views.

Assuming this opinion hasn't changed, it raises an obvious question: why on Earth did they create a system, suitable for beginners, that is all about affiliate marketing? Why not create something which, according to Thornhill's own words, is more likely to deliver long term success?

Well – on account of its apparent ease and simplicity – affiliate marketing is undeniably more attractive to beginners. Just a cursory glance at the WarriorPlus+ network shows that more than 14% of all products listed for sale are either in the affiliate marketing niche or otherwise have the word “affiliate” in the title.

So if I was looking to "revolutionize" the marketing industry, it would make sense to start with one of the biggest areas which will attract the most interest.

However, this then leads to a conundrum: having assembled all of those aspiring affiliate marketers on the MAP platform, how does one explain to them that they are unlikely to succeed solely as affiliates? How do you break it to them that marketing their own products is the real way to go without shattering their illusions of "easier" success as an affiliate marketer? Won't they just shuffle away with their tails between their legs?

It is here where I think Thornhill and the Martins, with the "ecosystem" concept,  have hit upon an ingenious solution - and why the whole effort to avoid "list sabotage" finally makes sense.

The Hypothetical Journey of a MAP Student

Imagine this:

You are an aspiring internet marketer. As you are brand new, you think affiliate marketing is the way to go. There is no way that you are interested in product creation – too difficult! So you shun anything that smacks of having to create and sell your own product.

In searching for affiliate marketing education, you come across MAP. It’s aimed squarely at affiliates, so you think it is for you. Plus it’s free to sign up!

Once signed up, you follow the training before promoting your MAP link. You succeed in signing up a few members under you.

As a result of the “ecosystem’s” in-house promotions, you start to earn some commissions from sales to those members. Not huge amounts – perhaps a few hundred dollars a month. In fact, you probably won't even be technically profitable once you account for all of your training costs and other expenditures.

But the important aspect is this: it is enough for you to keep up the effort.

Here, then, is why the “no list sabotage” mantra is important within the training environment. With most affiliate marketing education, the "mentor" peddling the course will - conveniently enough - recommend their own products for you to promote. 

But what happens when you refer a sale? Why, your trusted mentor adds that customer to their own list, marketing their own promotions to the customer thereafter. 

Does that mentor give you any commission for those sales? Of course not! So the only thing your teacher has taught you is how to prop up their own business. 

With limited success from the fruits of your labor, you lose your faith in affiliate marketing, and the aspiration of ever running your own, successful, online business goes down the drain.

With MAP, however, this doesn't happen. By seeking to maximize the amount of commissions you can earn, MAP prevents you from succumbing to the number one cause of failure: giving up. By continually marketing, on your behalf, to each of your referred leads, MAP helps to ensure that you never hit that wall of despair.

So you continue with the training, upgrading your MAP membership level, which grants you access to more educational resources. You become increasingly active on your blog or YouTube channel, producing more quality content. You dive into some of the more advanced promotional methods such as bonus creation.

As a result, you succeed in signing up more MAP members, earning further commissions in the process. Again, the money is not enough to retire on. But it is enough for you to see that your efforts are proving successful.

Now suppose that, after all of this, John Thornhill turns around to you and says:

“OK, you’ve made a start. You’ve earned some good money. But look. You’ve been publishing all of this content on your blog, and you’ve been offering to your list all of these bonuses that you created. You’ve been producing original, valuable content in ways you never thought possible.

Well, why not take that just one step farther? Why not use your content creation skills to launch and sell some of your own products? Why not get affiliates working for you rather than vice versa? Because selling your own products is where the big money is really made.

Does that sound good?

If so, then here is my premier coaching course, Partnership to Success, where I and my team of experts will personally help you create and launch your first product. In fact, I’ll even be your first affiliate, and promote your product to my list of 80,000+ subscribers!”

Given that you have already come so far in building your business, the thought of product creation is now nowhere near as scary as it was when you were a novice. And so you follow Thornhill’s advice: you launch your first product through his coaching program, earning your first profits from your very own creation. Then you launch another product, and another, then several more.

Before you know it, you have dozens of your own products for sale that affiliates are promoting for you. Your list is now filling not with mere leads, but with high quality, paying customers to whom you can make sales over and over again.

So what started out as an aspiration to be a “mere” affiliate marketer has resulted, through this incremental journey, in something far bigger: you are now a creator and merchant of original value in the marketplace, earning thousands and thousands of dollars from your own products.

Now I am not a mind reader. I don’t know for sure whether Thornhill and the Martins are hoping to implement this educative progression through MAP. But let’s just say that I would be monumentally surprised if they were not.

What I do know is that there are plans to at least promote programs such as Partnership to Success to MAP members (plus there are already a number of more comprehensive "VIP" Packages available above the regular membership levels). Better still would be for them to offer an integral product creation program available at the regular MAP membership levels.

If that was to be the case, then MAP truly would be a holistic, cradle-to-grave educational environment - one in which marketers are nurtured and nourished unlike any other program, product, system or course. And the budding marketers ready to take advantage of this new marketing "university" could easily number in the millions.

That is the potential in which I have invested – and you could too.

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Notes

[1] Zippia, 30 Incredible Affiliate Marketing Statistics [2023]: Facts About Affiliate Marketing In The U.S., Zippia.com. Sep. 10, 2023.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Zippia, 25 Inspiring Elearning Statistics [2023]: Trends in Online Teaching in Schools and Businesses, Zippia.com. Jan. 16, 2023.

[4] To avoid misunderstanding, this doesn't mean that online marketing will cease to be unprofitable after this point. It just means that strategies will have change. Most likely, untapped markets will become more profitable than the biggest markets; and suppliers will have to compete more vigorously with each other to deliver innovations that result in both price reductions and improved quality for consumers.

[5] MAP Knowledgebase as of February 2024. 

[6] Zippia.com, 30 Incredible Affiliate Marketing Statistics.

[7] Having said this, one should bear in mind that the revenue generated by these direct marketing efforts may help a platform to lower its transaction fees.

[8] John Thornhill, 101 Internet Marketing Hacks, John Thornhill's Blog.

[9] To anticipate a rejoinder: yes, affiliates can promote the vendor's upsells after a front-end sale. But they usually don't, and, in some cases, it is wise not to if the vendor has constructed a careful upsell marketing plan which is best left undisturbed.

[10] MAP Knowledgebase.

[11] John Thornhill, Rapid Digital Assets: Your Step By Step Guide to Creating 6 Figure Digital Products in Record Time, p. 31. At the very least, Thornhill believes that there is no successful affiliate marketer who is not also a product creator.

Unless specified otherwise, images used on this page are the intellectual property of either Duncan Whitmore or Allied Internet Marketers (AIM) LLC, and may not be reproduced without permission.

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