Monday, 26 May 2008

Selling Ring-Tones

I once dabbled into selling ring-tones online, gospel ring tones. My ring-tones were actually customised. I recorded some popular Christian hymns and choruses individually, converted them into mp3 formats, sent them by e-mail to a ring-tone company that converted them into monophonic and polyphonic ring tones, which were e-mailed back to me. I uploaded these tones on the website, set up the procedure to download them and started marketing. I bought a banner space on a Christian radio website and, voila! I started getting traffic within a few days! I actually succeeded in selling a number of tones before the advert campaign ran out.
The first noticeable problem was that of ‘non-deliverable tones’. Some of the subscribers would purchase up to five or six ring tones and only one or two would be delivered to their phones, and I only got paid for the ones delivered. I called the ring- tone company about it and, trust them, they put the blame on the subscribers. The second problem was not completely unrelated to the first one. I reckoned my ROI was not good at all. It was in the negative integer actually.
I then devised a solution to the problem, I would not reduce my advertisement expenditure but I would have some more affiliate links on the site. It was close to Christmas 2005 so I decided to include affiliate links to sites selling Christmas presents. I also started a PPC (Pay Per Clip) campaign with Overture and I guess the traffic really trooped in because the site crashed! Oh yes, it did. I reckon it was because I did not increase the bandwidth after adding those extra affiliate links and the site could not cope with the extra traffic coming from the PPC campaign. I was really disappointed and gave up completely when I should have rebuilt the site with extra bandwidth.
One lesson I learnt, which would always stay with me is that Affiliate-marketing is good business if you sort out your ROI, that is, if you are making more money than it is costing you to get traffic.
One last word about selling ring-tones online. It’s probably not such a good idea anymore. I invested quite a bit on making customised monophonic and polyphonic ring tones but hey, what happened shortly afterwards? Phones that could play real tunes started becoming popular and right now if you’re not using a Nokia 3310 or some other archaic handset you probably won’t even know what a monophonic ring tone sounds like. Most of the latest handsets in the market now support real tunes and there are ways of getting real-tunes without paying a dime. Especially with some of these phones that come with voice recorders. Apart from that most Networks also offer real-tunes for sale to their subscribers.
So if you are thinking of joining a ring-tone affiliate programme please consider what has been said above.

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