Quick Summary of Automated Wealth Network
Rating: 1 You do get some training, but it's weak.
The Good: It gives you basic info about how affiliate- I mean incentive- marketing works.
The Bad: For the sign-up cost ($20-60 or more) and monthly subscription charge ($27/month), AWN is not a good investment. Plus, your "automated wealth" is largely based on how many people you can add to your MLM-style downline.
The Bottom Line: There are far better affiliate marketing training programs out there, including my top recommendation.
Automated Wealth Network Review
Automated Wealth Network. The name alone should make you instantly leery of this work-at-home system. There is no such thing as “automated wealth,” not unless you count inheritances and online scams.
When you first go to Automated Wealth Network, or AWN as its members like to call it, you encounter Tim Chesonis (portrayed on the screen shot below) talking about how he and his business partner (Michael Cocan) “discovered a predictable systematic approach for creating an online income” that is “100% free.”
Sorry Tim, but nothing, especially when related to online business building, is 100% free. Good training, good products, and good support all cost good money. A business is not a charity.
The half-truths begin
Once you provide your name and email on the right side of the screen, you are shown a second and much longer video, where Tim tells you how he will train you to make an automated online income “without having to join an MLM company, network marketing opportunity, where you bug friends & family.” Tim says that most people generate an online income by joining an affiliate, MLM or network marketing program.
However, AWN is different. AWN isn’t affiliate, MLM or network marketing. It’s…get ready for it…
Tim explains incentive marketing by describing how Fortune 500 companies and major brands work with advertising networks to bring more customers and traffic to their websites. These advertising networks offer incentives to marketers who get people to fill out company or brand-specific offers.
Tim next states that he will show you how to make $30 commissions for getting people to try free or trial offers.
OK, you say potato, I say pomme de terre. This IS affiliate marketing.
Tim next states that these ad networks with their commission-based offers are an “unreachable world of marketing” for common (i.e., not marketing) folk. Why?
Because, apparently, it’s really hard to apply to get accepted by ad networks (also called “marketing agencies” in the video).
If that’s the case, I must’ve really lucked out to get accepted into the Clickbank, Google AdSense and Amazon Affiliates ad networks. I have no “background” in marketing; my degrees are all in science!
The only people who are really going to believe these half-truths are people who have absolutely no affiliate marketing or other marketing experience. And there’s nothing wrong with being a marketing newbie. But if you are new to marketing, you can find far better tutorials on marketing than the ones provided through AWN.
AWN’s “big reveal”
Eventually, once Tim gets done scaring you about how difficult it is to crack into the world of marketing and how much money he had to personally spend in order to become a marketer, he lays out the 5 steps of AWN’s “incentive marketing.” Here they are:
This is your basic online sales funnel, as it’s known in the unattainable world of the elite marketing folks.
To be fair, Tim does elaborate on these steps. He provides individual steps to generate targeted traffic, build a traffic-generating website, etc.
The problem begins when Tim claims that it would cost you $500 to obtain the tools necessary to set up your “incentive” website to capture leads and convert them. In contrast, here’s all the stuff that AWN gives you, and for a lot less money and time:
Admittedly, this looks like a good deal. In the video, Tim asks if you’d pay $500 for all this stuff (a marketing tactic known as price anchoring). But for you, if you sign up today, you get all this stuff not for $500 or even $7, but for FREE.
What’s the catch? Upsells!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about online marketing, it’s that nothing is really free. So, what’s the catch with AWN?
You need to fill out “free” offers.
AWN operates an ad network called My Cash Freebies. This ad network has lots of offers. In order to access this network, you’ll first need to fill out at least four of these offers.
At first, you might be thinking, What’s so bad about filling out free offers?
Well, these free offers aren’t truly free. In order to attain at least 1 full credit, which grants you access to using this ad network, you’ll need to spend some money on accepting and completing these offers. In exchange, you’ll be enrolled into all manner of book clubs, cable/Internet/phone subscriptions, computer service plans, etc. These enrollments will all cost money, from $1.99 every 16 days to $59.99/month. Product purchases will cost even more.
So much for free.
After you get through this first round of upsells, you start hearing about the Power Lead System, or PLS. This system offers you the following tools:
- Lead capture page creator
- Auto responder
- Pop-up creator
- Google Hangout page generator
- Sales funnel generator (another sales lead page creator)
This item is offered for “free” for a 7-day trial period, after which you are asked to pay $27/month.
But…wait a minute here. Weren’t these tools all part of the “free” package deal that Tim first talked about when introducing AWN? Why am I suddenly being asked to pay money for these tools?
Furthermore, while these tools are nice to have, assorted WordPress plugins can help you create sales lead capture pages, auto responders and pop-ups for free. Email programs like MadMimi allow you to email people and include call to action buttons for free. And Google Hangouts is a free service that enables you to do a number of cool things beyond just having a static page- like host webinars, for example.
Don’t forget the MLM-like referrals
If you peruse the AWN website, you’ll eventually come upon the following statement:
If you are here, more than likely you were “referred” by someone else to complete offers on the site. Then in turn they place an order with our network for their free gift (incentive). The system then continues, in that once you have completed your offer requirements for the person who referred you, you can then send your own referrals to the site, and do the same thing for them, and so on…
When I hear about referrals and referrals of referrals, I instantly think of multi-level marketing or MLM. Oddly enough, Tim’s initial claim about AWN is that it is NOT an MLM and that you will never have to “bug friends & family.” If that’s the case, however, how do you explain statements like the one above or the referral page shown below?
Let’s face it- if your ad network offers consist mostly of third party advertisers like credit card companies or “book-of-the-month” clubs, most of your (un)willing recruits will come from your immediate circle of (soon to be ex) friends and/or family members. You’re not marketing athletic shoes or gelato machines or goods that a wide range of customers would be genuinely interested in. All you’re doing is pushing the same stuff that you see a lot of spammy survey clubs offering online.
My AWN recommendation? Don’t bother
While AWN isn’t a scam per se, the feeling I get about this affiliate network (yes, it is an affiliate network) is that it’s just not worth the investment. Not having products that actually support a real audience need is a major detraction of this system. Likewise, the bait-and-switch tactics it uses, like having you sign up for “free,” followed by its numerous upsells and MLM-type incentive structure, give this program a spam/sham-like feel to it.
Look elsewhere for a genuine affiliate network that’s an actual and worthwhile investment.