Passing of Billy Mays

I probably appear strangely obsessed with Billy Mays, but the reason his passing has had such an impact on me is because I’ve built up the BillyMays.TV website and have kept up on his doings the past few months.

BillyMays.TV is a blog featuring Billy Mays, the products he pitches, and his show, Pitchmen, on Discovery.

I started promoting Billy Mays products through the As Seen on TV Network, and after a dinner meeting with then in Vegas last January, moved on from a single product to anything Billy Mays pitched. The stories I heard about Billy were great, and I had hoped to meet him someday. We even talked about a custom, Billy Mays ringtone! “Hi, Billy Mays here for your cell phone…”

Yesterday I opened my email, after being offline for 3 days, and found my entire inbox flooded with Billy Mays e-mails (from YouTube comments, Twitter followers, etc). Clicking on one, I read “RIP Billy Mays” which was a complete shock to me.

The fan base of this infomercial superstar is amazing. There’s no middle ground – you either loved him, or hated him. However, after the past 24 hours, all of the comments I’ve seen on the blog, the YouTube channel, and even the Twitter account have been positive.

Traffic to BillyMays.TV increased over 5,500% yesterday – Billy Mays was a superstar amongst all marketers and will be truly missed.

Building your business on a single company, product, or person is a huge mistake (heed the warning, Apple!). Luckily, this was a small portion of my affiliate business – it was more of a pet project, rather than a big income producer.

Remember Billy Mays this Wednesday starting at 11am on the Discovery Channel with a Pitchmen marathon.

Life’s a pitch, then you buy.



Pros & Cons of Promoting “As Seen On TV” Products

I’ve been pretty successful pushing “As Seen On TV” products (available via the As Seen On TV Network), and have learned quite a bit. I’ve come up with a few pros and cons to consider before starting a new campaign for a TV product.


  • Free advertising – I don’t know about you, but I’m not running commercials to sell affiliate products that I promote. As Seen on TV products sell the user over the TV, but consumers still buy online.
  • Pre-sale already done – the user typically has already been sold after watching the infomercial. Reiterate the points, but get them to the buying page ASAP.
  • Online video – these offers replicate the infomercial online, but you’re not allowed to use their video on your website. First free tip: make an image that looks like a video player and link it via your affiliate link.


  • Single provider – if the provider pulls the offer, there goes your source. It’s happened to me before. And again. And it’ll probably happen again.
  • Shady sales process – I wanted to test tracking and see the order process for myself, so I ordered a product I was promoting. My confirmation said I had enrolled in an auto-renew service, but I never had the chance to opt-out of that. I had to call to cancel it.
  • Bad tracking – Of the products I’ve seen, the user orders, and is then asked if they want product A, B, C, D, E… M, N, O, and P. If they give up before they get to the end, your tracking pixel isn’t shown and you don’t get credit for the sale, but the user is still charged and the order is processed. So even though you gave a valid lead, you don’t get credit for it.
  • Typically flat rate commission – even though the user goes through an up-sell process, you don’t get a percentage of that. So don’t bother selling the additional pieces.

So if you’re just starting out, look at the As Seen On TV Network for some infomercial products to start promoting.

Here’s a bonus hint: brand bidding on Looksmart and Ask.com give terrific ROIs, but horrible volume. I think it’s worth taking a few minutes and throwing the product name in a quick adgroup. 410% ROIs are great 😀

SUPER-DUPER BONUS HINT: Get a .tv domain name. Yeah, they cost more than your typical .com, but the user just saw the ad in TV, so it’s a perfect fit!

Final hint of the week: Don’t mention PPC when signing up for the As Seen On TV Network. Get your account, then tell them you want to do PPC.

How To & Tips