FEATURED ARTICLE ON AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
7 Ways To Increase Affiliate Commissions
By Chris Coffman
Suppose you could launch an online business in the next ten
minutes? Suppose that this business did not require your own
website, dealing with customers, refunds, product development
or maintenance? This is the ideal world of affiliate marketing.
Made popular on the internet by Amazon.com, marketers can now
earn a referral fee for directing visitors to countless merchants’
website. According to Forrester Research, affiliate program
earnings will represent $53 BILLION of all e-commerce sales
by 2005. How could you earn a sizeable piece of this pie? Here
are some powerful tips that would get you rolling in those big
commission checks and laughing all the way to the bank.
1. Know what programs and products to promote.
Of course you will want to promote those programs that will
bring you the greatest profits in the shortest time. There are
several factors that play into selecting such a program. Choose
programs that have a generous commission structure, products
that fit in with your target audience and a solid track record
of paying their affiliates on time. If you cannot recoup your
investment, then prune such programs and keep looking for better
ones. There are tens of thousands of affiliate programs online
so you can afford to be picky. This is a case where you will
want to choose just the cream of the crop and so reduce the
risk of losing your advertising dollars.
2. Write free reports or short ebooks to distribute from your
Most likely you will be competing with other affiliate marketers
who are promoting the same program. If you write a short report
on a related topic to the product that you are promoting, then
you can distinguish yourself from all other affiliates. In this
report you can provide valuable information for free with a
“recommendation” of the product. This is often referred
to as a ‘soft sell’.
The report or ebook allows you to develop credibility with your
audience and your readers are more likely to follow your recommendation.
There is less resistance to this type of selling because the
prospect doesn’t feel ‘sold’, just informed.
The next step is to make this ebook ‘viral’ by allowing
those who bought the product through your link to ‘brand’
the ebook for their own promotional use.
3. Collect the email addresses of those who download your free
Research has shown that over 60% of the sales of any product
are made after the fifth exposure to the sales message. In other
words, most people do not make a purchase on the first solicitation.
You may need to send your marketing message over six times before
a sale is made. This is the reason why you should collect the
contact information of those who download your report. You can
then follow up on these contacts to gently remind them to make
4. Never send prospect directly to a vendor’s website
without collecting their contact info first.
Affiliate marketing is ideal but not perfect. You must keep
in mind that you are providing free advertisement for the product
owners. The merchants only pay you when you make the sale. If
you send prospect directly to their website then these prospect
are lost to you forever. If you collect these names instead,
then you can always send other marketing messages to them and
earn an ongoing commission instead of making a one-time sale.
5. Publish an online newsletter or Ezine.
It is always easier to recommend a product to a friend than
to sell to a stranger. This is the philosophy behind publishing
your own newsletter. A newsletter allows you to build a subscriber
list and develop a relationship of trust with this list. Your
subscribers will then trust you to recommend products that will
This strategy requires a delicate balance of providing useful
information along with a ‘sales pitch’. In other
words, if you send out frequent advertisement to your list and
little valuable information you are likely to lose credibility
with your audience. But if you write informative editorials
you will build a sense of reciprocity in your readers that will
lead them to ‘support’ you by purchasing your affiliate
6. Ask merchants for a higher than normal commission.
If you are very successful with a particular promotion you should
approach the merchant and negotiate a higher percentage commission
for your sales. If the merchant is smart he or she will likely
grant your request rather than lose you. Keep in mind again
that you are a zero-risk investment to the merchant, so don’t
be shy in your requests. Just be reasonable.
7. Learn to write strong Pay Per Click (PPC) ads. One of the
most effective means of advertising online is through PPC search
engines. As an affiliate, you can make a sizeable income by
just managing PPC campaigns on services such as Google Adwords
and Overture. Monitor your campaigns to see which ads are pulling
their weight and trim those that are not.
You can use the ClickBank™ Market Place, for example,
and just choose a hot-selling product and start promoting. Once
you are earning a decent return on your investment then you
are in profit! Just this strategy alone can make all the difference
to your commission checks.
Affiliate marketing is an entrepreneur’s dream come true.
Minimum investment, zero inventory, no employees, no product
development—just BIG checks!
About the Author
Chris Coffman is the publisher of Net Marketing Daily. Visit
http://www.netmarketingdaily.com for internet marketing news,
tips, articles, and much more!
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