Archive for October, 2007

Affiliate Marketing: Promote Your Affiliate Program

Finally, once you have your products or services you’d like others to promote, and you have a system in place to track visitors, sales and affiliate commissions, you’re now ready to start promoting your affiliate program.

A good place to start is a list of your own clients or customers. If your clients promote your stuff, their credibility is going to be very high, since they’ve purchased from you, so they can talk from first-hand experience. You may even consider running a closed-door affiliate program by only allowing your clients/customers to be a part of it. A good example of such closed programs is Audio Acrobat (for recording and hosting audio and video online) and SendOutCards (to send automated postcards and greeting cards – the real ones, with a stamp and all).

Obviously, you’ll want to have your affiliate program featured on your web site and in your ezine for example.

In case you’re looking for products & services related to email marketing, you may want to join my own affiliate program, it pays up to 50% commission on products and 10% on services.

Promoting your affiliate program is like building a list: you can use the same tactics and strategies. Try visiting and contributing to online forums and blogs where your potential affiliate partners hang out. Write articles. Run a pay-per-click campaign. Contact people of influence you think may be interested in promoting your stuff. To get on their good books, buy their product or attend their seminars, then contact them by phone or send them an evaluation copy of your product by post.

Once you’ve recruited a bunch of interested affiliates, who have access to lists of thousands of people you may find that you don’t need to promote your affiliate program that much anymore as your affiliate partners may be just the ticket for your business’ success!

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Affiliate Marketing: Use Affiliate Program Software to Track Sales

The easiest way to manage an affiliate program is to use shopping cart softwarethat also has the affiliate module available, either as an add-on feature, or it is included in the basic package.

The system I use is 1ShoppingCart (you may have heard of it under a different name, such as KickStartCart). This is a well-known and respected shopping cart system that is used by the majority of Internet marketers I’ve come across. Apart from the affiliate module and cart features, it also allows you to set up ad trackersauto-responders and ezines.

It allows you to create an affiliate program, have a web page where people can sign up, then the systems gives each affiliate his or her own link code for each product or service that you offer, and tracks visitors, sign ups, and purchases made that came from those links, for a period of time that you define.

In other words, if one of your affiliates sends you a visitor that signs up for your free ezine today, but makes a purchase a year from now, your affiliate partner will still get his/her commission.

Alternatively, if you’re technically inclined, you may choose a stand-alone script, orsoftware that you install on your own server to manage your affiliate program. I’ve never personally used any of these programs myself, so I can’t recommend any one in particular, but I do know that there’s one important advantage to having your own affiliate script installed, and it has to do with search engine optimization.

You see, if you’re using 1ShoppingCart, or a similar solution for managing your affiliate program, when your affiliates promote your products the links are always going to look like this: http://www.on2url.com/app/adtrack.asp?MerchantID=94277&AdID=333732

However, if you run your own script, however, you can set it up that those links actually point to your web site, such as this http://YourWebSite.com/affid?2847

Why is this important? Well, from the point of view of search engine optimization, it’s better for you to have pages around the web have a link back to your site. However, if the majority of your affiliate partners are going to be using email to promote your products then this won’t matter.

To find about these alternative software solutions, simply Google “affiliate program software”, or, if you’re part of an affiliate program that uses one of these scripts, and you like its features, log in to your account and look at the bottom of the page. That’s where you can usually find a link to the person or company that created it.

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Affiliate Marketing: How to Run a Successful Affiliate Program, step 1.

Create a Product or Service

The first step in creating your own affiliate program is having something that others would be interested in promoting. Digital products, such as software, music, and ebooks are easiest to promote and sell. With products that are delivered to the customer digitally, there are no production, fulfillment, or printing cost involved.

Digital products are also easy to create. For example, if you’re a life coach, and you have regular monthly tele-seminars, you could record your tele-seminar in digital audio (most often in MP3 format). It doesn’t take much effort to turn that recording into a sellable product.

On the other hand, if you have physical products, such as CDs, or DVDs, or printed course books, you have to consider the cost of shipping and handling, production, etc. to set the affiliate commissions appropriately to reflect those extra costs.

The trickiest kind of product to promote and collect affiliate commissions on are yourservices. To be able to attract people to promote your services, you have to have in place an all-digital tracking system, and sell those services online as well. If you sell a service to a client that was referred to your web site by an affiliate, you should bill him in such a way that your affiliate would be able to have a record of that transaction.

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Client Testimonial: Carol Ann Chyz on Services

Carol Ann ChyzBoris listened to what our likes and dislikes were. He created an effective and unique marketing piece. He brought several concepts to us to work with, and provided excellent advice throughout the process.”

Carol Ann Chyz,
Mississauga Wealth Management of yourCFO Advisory Group Inc.
Mississauga, Ont., Canada

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Hear Carol Ann in her own voice!

If you’re a client, customer or subscriber, please leave a comment in the space below (your email address will be kept confidential)

Thanks!

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Affiliate Marketing: the 3 Most Common Mistakes to Avoid

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest and most effective ways of earning money online. Since these programs are easy to join, implement and pay a commission on a regular basis, more and more people are now entering this business.

Committing some of the most common mistakes can cost you a large portion of your affiliate marketing profits. Here are three things to avoid:

1: Choosing the wrong affiliate program to promote.

Many people want to earn from affiliate programs as fast as possible. In their rush to be part of one, they tend to choose a popular product.

Don’t choose a product that is in demand without actually considering if the product appeals to you. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, try to choose a product in which you are truly interested in.

Promoting a product you are more passionate about is easier than promoting one for the sake of the earnings only.

2: Joining too many affiliate programs.

Since affiliate programs are very easy to join, you might be tempted to join multiple affiliate programs to try and maximize the earnings you will be getting. Besides, you may think that there is nothing wrong and nothing to lose by being part of many affiliate programs.

True, that is a great way to have multiple sources of income. However, joining multiple programs and attempting to promote them all at the same time will prevent you from concentrating on any one of them in particular, in effect you’d be spreading yourself thin.

The result? The maximum potential of your affiliate program is not realized and the income generated will not exactly be as big as you were thinking initially it would. The best way to get excellent result is by joining just one or two programs that pay 40% commission at least. Then give it your best effort by promoting the products enthusiastically. As soon as you see that you’re making a reasonable profit, then you can join another affiliate program.

3: Not buying the product or using the service.

As an affiliate, you main purpose is to effectively and convincingly promote a product or service. For you to achieve this purpose, you must be able to relay the features and benefits of that certain product and service to your prospects. It’d be difficult for you to do this if you yourself have not tried these things out.

Try the product or service personally before you sign up as an affiliate to see if it really delivers what it promises. Your customers will then feel the sincerity and truthfulness in you and this will boost your recommendation significantly.

Many affiliate marketers are paying dearly for making these mistakes. Try to do everything you can to avoid them yourself.

Time is the key. Take the time to analyze your marketing strategy and check if you are on the right track. If done properly, you will be able to maximize your participation in an affiliate marketing program and to earn higher profits.

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