SFI News

SFI's Official News Blog

Did you see this week’s TCD item?

For flawless foundation applications every time, this four piece Mini Waterdrop Makeup Sponge Puff set can’t be beat! Guaranteed to become a must-have for your cosmetic bag, these sponges are perfect for liquid, cream, and powder makeup applications on your face, neck, and around your eyes. The waterdrop shapes are ideal for even distribution and seamless blending.

Each sponge is approximately 2.25″ x 1.5″ x 1.5″ and is made from durable latex that will hold up to repeated use. Wash after each application for best results.

Earn 245 VP and $1.47 for each sale of this product! Ships FREE to most countries.


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Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.

Localvantia: Get ready!


It’s set! Localvantia will officially go live on Tuesday, December 5th.  And so that everyone can hit the ground running next week, today we are providing important information for all affiliates who have pre-registered merchants.

First, let’s go through the process of closing pre-registered merchants…

Closing Pre-Registered Merchants

Okay, so you’ve pre-registered one or more merchants.  Great job!  But starting on Tuesday, it’s time to begin closing these accounts you’ve opened.

Here’s how it will work…

1. From the My Merchants report (the list of all your pre-registered merchants), you’ll click the new “Contact” link that will be displayed (starting Tuesday) beside each merchant’s name, located on the right side of the screen.

2. A modal will open.  Click the “Print Close Letter #1” link.  The letter for closing your merchants will open.

Following is a sample of the letter.  Note that the letter will automatically be populated with:

  • Today’s date
  • The merchant’s name and address
  • The merchant’s unique invitation code (necessary so they can open their merchant profile page with the pre-registered information and photo—credited to YOU)
  • Your email address (so they may contact you)
  • Your first and last name

CloseLetter1 (1)

3. Print out this letter (preferably using a color printer and on a nice grade of paper) and then sign it above where your name appears.

4. Now it’s time to get the letter into the merchant’s hands.  You can put it in an envelope and mail it.  Or, you can personally deliver it (walk into the merchant’s store and hand them the letter).

Note: So that you can better track your follow-ups, the modal also allows you to designate your delivery method (Postal Mail, In-Person Delivery, or Other).  There’s also a free-form notes field in which you can enter any notes that you wish.  We also will automatically record the date and time you printed the close letter, and this information will be added to the My Merchants report for your future reference.

Now, it’s very important that you understand the following:

The close letter, all by itself, CAN be enough to get the job done, but you will likely significantly increase your chances of closing your merchants by adding one or more professionally-printed pieces to your presentation:

Envelopes & Letterheads

If you’re mailing the close letter, consider using a Localvantia envelope.  We’ve just made available both regular #10 business envelopes for this purpose, and also #10 window envelopes.  The added value of the window envelope is that you can print out your letters, fold them outwardly, and the merchant’s name and address will show through the window (no need to hand address the envelope or add a mailing label).

Localvantia_MktgAids (1)

  • Order the regular #10 Localvantia envelopes HERE.  50 envelopes are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints.  Envelopes can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.
  • Order the Localvantia #10 window envelopes HERE.  50 envelopes are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints.  Envelopes can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.

Either envelope can also be used for general correspondence, additional follow-ups, and so on with your merchants (or prospective merchants).  Similarly, Localvantia letterhead is available for general correspondence, etc.  Order Localvantia letterhead HERE.  50 sheets are just $5.95 and come with 72 VersaPoints.  Letterheads can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.


We’ve also made available full-color brochures, one for Localvantia, and another for Rewardical, both of which are designed specifically to accompany the close letter.  That is, to add impact to your presentation, you can have one or both brochures accompany the close letter.

The Localvantia brochure is a professional, full-color, classic “bi-fold” brochure printed on 100 lb. glossy 6″ x 8.5″ stock, two-sided, then folded in half vertically to 3″ x 8.5″ to fit perfectly in a standard business envelope. This eye-catching brochure provides a quick, professional, effective overview of merchant benefits with the Localvantia program.


Shown from left to right:The inside of the brochure when opened, back cover/front cover.

Order the Localvantia brochure HERE.  50 brochures are just $6.55 and come with 79 VersaPoints. Brochures can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.

Similar to the Localvantia brochure, the Rewardical brochure is a professional, full-color, classic “bi-fold” brochure printed on 100 lb. glossy 6″ x 8.5″ stock, two-sided, then folded in half vertically to 3″ x 8.5″ to fit perfectly in a standard business envelope. This  brochure provides a nice overview of the Rewardical rewards/loyalty program as it relates to merchants.


Shown from left to right:The inside of the brochure when opened, back cover/front cover.

Order the Rewardical brochure HERE. 50 brochures are just $6.55 and come with 79 VersaPoints. Brochures can also be purchased with MRP or TCredits.


Q: You referred to the close letter as “Close Letter #1.”  Does that mean there are other close letters?
Yes.  We can’t assume, of course, that every merchant is going to opt in after only a single follow-up.  Indeed, traditionally, in sales, multiple follow-ups are required to close a sale.  So, we will be adding additional close letters in the near future.

Q: I want to increase the impact of my follow-ups by including at least one of the full-color brochures.  Which should I use?
Ideally, you’d include both, as they will really help “tell the story” of Localvantia and Rewardical.  However, you can use just the Localvantia brochure if you wish to save a little money (providing information on Rewardical at this point is a good idea but not critical).

Q: Can I use the full-color brochures in prospecting merchants (BEFORE pre-registering them)?
You can, but we don’t recommend it.  First, note that the brochures do not have anywhere to put a code or ID for crediting.  This is by design.  Our program is designed to always operate with a pre-registration being the first thing that happens.  The pre-registration is what locks you in with crediting, so that if they end up a Localvantia merchant, YOU will be listed as the person who referred them.  Pre-registration also plays a very important role in making it so merchants can get started quickly and easily.  That is, when the merchant receives the close letter, he/she can go to Localvantia.com and they will already be 80% ready to go (because their business listing is almost entirely already pre-populated).  With just a few quick clicks, they can be off and running, live in the Localvantia.com search engine, and attracting new customers because of it!  We consider this to be critical…and that’s why you will continue to pre-register merchants.

Q: Okay, but let’s say I run into someone who owns a business and I decide to bring up Localvantia…but I haven’t pre-registered him yet.  Can I not hand him a Localvantia and/or Rewardical brochure?
You certainly can, but if you do so we’d recommend you let him know you’re going to pre-register him and he’ll be receiving a letter from you shortly with his invitation code to get started.  That is, clarify that you’re just giving him some advance information now, but you’re going to follow up with an official invitation.  If you don’t do this, you risk letting someone else wind up as their referrer/account manager.

Q: I want to hand-deliver my close letter and brochure.  What’s the best way to do this?
Ideally, you’d put your materials in an envelope addressed to the merchant.  Using a window envelope eliminates the need to separately address the envelope because the address, as printed on the close letter, can show through the window.  You may also want to add your business card.

Q: So after the merchant receives the close letter from me, goes to Localvantia.com/go, and enters the invitation code…what happens next?
The merchant will see what will become their merchant profile page in the Localvantia.com search engine.  It’s populated with all the information you pre-registered (name, address, category), and the photo you took.  From here, the merchant can make any necessary edits.  Next, they’ll proceed to add some basic additional information to fill out their profile and account. Next, they’ll choose their participation rate.  And that’s it.  They’ll immediately be live in the Localvantia.com search engine and we’ll begin promoting the merchant to all area affiliates and members.  They’ll also immediately receive a welcome letter (email) from us confirming they are officially onboard…and they’ll start to receive Localvantia merchant training, tips, newsletters, etc. intermittently from us.  We’ve also created a nice Localvantia Merchant “getting started” guide that they can start reviewing to maximize their participation in the program.

Q: The photos I’ve taken for pre-registrations may not be perfect.  Can the merchant replace the photo I took with their own, better photo?
Definitely, yes!  The merchant will be able to modify/update all elements of their profile.  And for photos specifically, they’ll also have the option of adding several more photos so they can have an entire “gallery” of photos for viewers of their profile to browse through if they’d like.

Q: What’s the minimum amount a merchant has to pay to participate in the program?
Currently, for grocery stores, gas stations, and automotive businesses, they can participate for as little as 1/2% ($.005 for each dollar in sales).  For all other types of businesses, the minimum is 1% ($.01 for each dollar in sales).  Of course, it is in the best interests of the merchant to participate at the highest rate that is feasible for them, as this means a higher number of Rewardicals they’ll be putting out to attract and retain customers.

Q: So where/how does the merchant choose how many Rewardicals they want to award to their customers…and how does the merchant get Rewardicals, and how does the merchant pay the rewardicals to their customers?
The merchant doesn’t have to do ANY of that.  All they have to do is choose to participate at the 1/2%, 1%, 2%, 3%, or whatever, level…and we take it from there!  That is, once they’ve chosen their participation rate, everything happens automatically.  Here’s the process:

  • Customers make purchases like normal at the merchant’s store.
  • The customer now submits a claim for his/her tokens at Localvantia.  Alternately, the merchant can instantly verify the purchase when customer checks out using a smartphone–eliminating the need for submitting a claim form later and the need to upload a copy of their purchase receipt.  More on this in next Tuesday’s announcement.
  • We now invoice the merchant for the cost of the Rewardicals (via email).
  • Once the merchant has paid the invoice, we then deposit the Rewardicals earned by the purchase into the customer’s Rewardical.com member account…which they can now redeem at their convenience!

That’s it.  For merchants, so very easy!  Special note: Merchants will also have the option of funding an account so invoices can be paid instantly, automatically, and customers can receive their Rewardicals immediately.  More on this in next Tuesday’s announcement.

Q: Can a merchant change their participation rate?
Essentially whenever they want, yes.

Q: For the envelopes, etc…is it possible that the artwork could be provided (digitally) to a local printer so I could have them printed locally and avoid high shipping costs and delivery delays?
Yes.  Submit a ticket to Support if you are interested in doing this.  Please keep in mind that quality control is critical and we will NOT allow just anyone to do this. We will need to be convinced of your capability and trustworthiness.  You can also speed up the process by providing information (their website would be ideal) on the printer you intend to employ so that we can do our due diligence on the company that will be printing the materials.

Q: Can I use the Rewardical brochure to help in referring new Rewardical members?
No, it’s not designed for consumers/prospective members.  Rather, it’s written specifically for merchants and, hence, presents the merchant benefits of the program, NOT the benefits that a consumer would care about.

Q: So what exactly are my responsibilities as a Localvantia merchant’s account manager?
For most merchants, it will likely be very simple and easy.  That is, you’ll go through the close process and get them formerly onboard, and for most merchants that might be all you ever have to do.  But some merchants may be “needier” than others.  Some may want to talk to you before and/or after signing on.  Some may have questions occasionally you’ll need to answer for them.  Some may want your advice about how to promote Rewardicals to their customers.  You need to be ready to provide this assistance.  And then there’s the concept of being “pro-active.”  That is, getting merchants officially onboard is great, but if you’re in SFI to create financial freedom for yourself, you don’t want to stop there.  No, you want to “size up” every merchant and try to gain an real understanding of how their business operates so that that merchant can flourish in Localvantia.  Remember, the more Rewardicals they dish out, the more YOU will receive. So, for example, if you think your merchant could increase activity by installing signs in their windows, or putting flyers in all takeout orders, or putting table tents on tables, etc….it’s in your best interest to suggest these things.  Don’t sit around and hope the merchant figures it out on their own; MAKE IT HAPPEN; be pro-active.

Q: Yikes, closing merchants, following up, etc. is way more work than I want to do.  Am I really required to do all this?
If you want to be listed as their account manager and be the beneficiary of all the referral tokens generated by the merchants, of course, yes.  This potentially very large benefit is not for pre-registering. Rather, it’s for your efforts in closing the merchant and for any needed ongoing account maintenance.  If you’re not willing to take on these responsibilities, or you prove to be unable to achieve typical results, some or all of your accounts may be transferred to another affiliate in the area.

Icons of people with speech bubbles..Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.

New Internet Income 2.0–Lesson #36: Google Analytics

InternetIncomeLogoWe continue our revised course with Internet Income 2.0, Lesson #36: Google Analytics. Course author George Little, introduces us to Google Analytics–a Website information activity measurement tool–and discusses how to use that information to improve your site for better performance, and therefore, a more profitable Website.

About Internet Income: Each new lesson of SFI’s revised, exclusive course contains updated tips, real-world advice, and in-depth, step-by-step instructions on setting up your Internet-based business. Author George Little uses plain English to explain the ins and outs of starting and running a profitable online business in today’s ever-changing global market.

Forum Discussion

DISCUSS IT!  Log in at the SFI Affiliate Center, then head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers.

DON’T FORGET! Thursday, November 30th, is the deadline for…

icon-blog_sfiThursday, November 30th, is the last day…

1. To get in on the November S-Builder Co-op. Just plug in to our global advertising co-op and within a few weeks begin receiving signups (both SFI affiliates and TC members). Just 72 cents a day gets you on your way; it’s one of most economical ways to build an online business ever! For complete details, extensive FAQs, and an order link for S-Builder, see the S-Builder central info page.

2. To retain your Executive Affiliate status for November. If you’re under 1,500 VersaPoints for this month, get to your SFI Homepage at the Affiliate Center right away and see your SFI To-Do List for a list of ways to acquire the points you need.

SFI turns 20!

anniversary celebration gold icon

We are now officially into our 20th year!  From but a small acorn, SFI has grown into a tall and mighty oak tree, with strong and deep roots.  But you ain’t seen nothin’ yet…because we planted an entire FOREST…and it’s spreading across every country in the world.

Happy anniversary to SFI and all its thousands of awesome affiliates across the globe!

SFI President & Founder Gery Carson remembers the day SFI was born:

gerycarson_headshot“As an entrepreneur, there have been very few holidays where I haven’t worked at least a few hours, and this day in 1998 was no different.  I went into my home office that morning planning to spend a few casual hours—on nothing in particular.  It was a holiday after all, and no one else on my staff at the time was working. So it was just going to be a relaxing day where I’d let my mind have a break from the typical daily grind.

I remember at the time that affiliate programs were becoming a big deal, thanks to the Internet, which made it very easy to track sales using affiliate links.  Numerous big-name companies were now employing affiliate programs as a part of their marketing strategy.  And I thought…why not us, too?!  

I remember being particularly impressed with Amazon.com’s affiliate program.  The word was, they had 60,000 affiliates.  60,000!  At the time, that number seemed enormous to me, a nearly impossible number.  But I couldn’t have been more wrong of course because, in just a couple years, we would be experiencing days where we’d sign up over 60,000 affiliates in a single day!  

But on this morning, I was simply sketching out a few basics on how our affiliate program would work.  At the time, we were publishing our magazine, Six Figure Income, which featured exclusive interviews with home-based entrepreneurs who were earning at least $100,000 USD annually from their business.  This magazine was essentially our one and only product.  By the way, it’s from the magazine’s name that the SFI Marketing Group name came to be (a few years later we changed the initials to stand for Strong Future International to better align with our vision for the program).


Six Figure Income magazine’s premier issue was the March/April 1998 issue.  Prior to this, and stretching all the way back to 1986, we had published other newsletters and magazines devoted primarily to mail order entrepreneurs, including Mail Dealer Newsletter, Mail Profits Magazine, and Profits Magazine.  During those years, marketing by mail was the “Internet” for many entrepreneurs.  At least for entrepreneurs like myself, virtually all my marketing was mail-based (with a little bit of help from phone, fax, and conference calls).

Six Figure Income magazine was published just four times per year, and a one-year subscription was $49, so we had a healthy margin…enough margin to pay a handsome commission to anyone who wished to be an affiliate of ours and sell subscriptions.

Within days of deciding to create our affiliate program, I had published information on how to sign up online (supplemented, if I recall correctly, with a small direct mail campaign ironically).  To my pleasant surprise, sign-ups starting coming in almost immediately.  Not a lot, maybe a dozen or two a week, but that number rapidly accelerated.  Soon it was hundreds of sign-ups a day, then thousands, then tens of thousands!

Sashen_Strayer_WallenDriving this now hyper-growth was our decision to expand the program and compensation plan—many of the details of which were hammered out during a weekend at SFI affiliate Steven Sashen’s Boulder, Colorado, home with affiliates Gump Wallen and the late, great Richard Strayer (we miss you, Rich!).  By January 2001, we had exceeded one MILLION affiliates.  By the way, with our most recently assigned ID number, over 17 million others have joined SFI since, more than 18 million in total!

Yet, like many great accomplishments, it all started with a simple idea, a simple inspiration.  Today, SFI is the online home for millions of entrepreneurs from every country in the world.  Indeed, SFI today is very possibly the largest and most successful affiliate program in the world, and I couldn’t be more proud.  As for the next 20 years, look out, ’cause we’re just getting warmed up!”

New TCD Of The Week: Meizu Pro 6s Dual Sim Smartphone

The Meizu Pro 6s (4G RAM+64GB ROM) Dual Sim Smartphone comes loaded with all the bells and whistles today’s consumers demand in a 9mm ultra slim Android phone. In addition to a 5.2 inch screen with 1920 x 1080 high resolution screen, the Meizu packs a standard 4GB of RAM with 64GB of internal storage for plenty of your favorite music and pictures. The 12-megapixel rear camera and the 5-megapixel front shooter makes sure you’ll never miss that special shot, while the Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth capabilities will keep you connected no matter where you are!

Earn Earn 4,059 VP and $24.35 for each sale of this product! Ships FREE to most countries.


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Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.

New TCD Of The Week: Natural Freshwater Pearl Jewelry Set w/Sterling Silver Chain

Get all the necessary tools you need for your body and skin care in this Natural Freshwater Pearl Jewelry Set w/Sterling Silver Chain.

Give her a gift she’s sure to love! This elegant 100% natural freshwater pearl pendant and earrings set with .925 sterling silver chain will enhance any style and shine at every occasion! Wear them at the office, on the town, at special events, or at a casual get-together; these beautiful pearls, are sure to turn heads and produce lots of compliments!

Available in four gorgeous colors (black, white, pink, or purple), the Natural Freshwater Pearl Jewelry Set w/Sterling Silver Chain also comes in an attractive gift box.

Earn 661 VP and $3.96 for each sale of this product! Ships FREE to most countries.


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Head over to the FORUM–to the SFI NEWS DISCUSSIONS section–to discuss this announcement with your fellow SFI’ers now.