Posted on June 16, 2000
by Michael SouthonAre you frustrated with your affiliate programs?
I used to be. Very frustrated! One day, in sheer desperation, I wrote to one of my affiliate programs and suggested that the market was now saturated with their product - it was no longer possible to sell it.
The next day I received a very nice reply. "The Internet is HUGE", they said. "We predict it will be five years before the market is saturated with our product. And long before that, we will have introduced our next product." They were right, of course. The problem was not with the market (the Internet is huge). Nor was the problem with their product. The problem was in the way I was presenting it.
Since then, my affiliate sales have soared. Why? Because I learnt a few secrets to winning the affiliate game. Here they are:
1. Choose affiliate programs that relate very closely to the theme of your website. Let me give you an example. Of the three affiliate products I sell from my web site, the one that does best by a long way is an eBook that shows people how to generate free Ezine advertising. Why does it do so well? Because my website is a directory of ezines and most of my visitors are already interested in Ezine Advertising before they even arrive at my website - I don't have to persuade them very much.
2. Buy the product yourself! Research across dozens of affiliate programs shows that at least 70% of sales in any affiliate program are made by the small percentage of affiliates who actually buy the product they're selling. It makes sense doesn't it (how can you recommend something you've never used)?
3. Banners - they don't work anymore, and some experts believe banners will actually damage your affiliate sales.
4. Personal recommendation. The human factor is very important on the Internet - people want to know that someone else has bought the product and that it worked for them. But to write a convincing personal recommendation, you'll have to buy, read and use the product you're selling.
5. 'Over-selling' - this is the most common mistake of affiliates. Keep in mind that all you need to do to succeed with affiliate programs is to get your potential customer to click through to the affiliate website in an 'open-to-buy' mindset. If the affiliate program is good, the affiliate website will make the sale. So don't try to sell the product from your website - just aim to get a click on your affiliate link.
6. Standard Ads. When you join an affiliate program, you'll probably be given some standard ads to use. Don't use them! Why? Because your potential customer has probably seen those exact same ads on dozens of websites and in dozens of Ezines. And if that standard ad hasn't led them to buy the product so far, it probably won't now. Something new and original is required.
7. Back-end sales. Once you're succeeding in one affiliate program, join another program that offers a related product and use the technique that marketers call 'back-end' sales. It's a well known fact that people are much more likely to buy from someone they have already bought from. So when someone makes a purchase from your affiliate link, send them a nice follow-up letter. At the end of the letter, tell them about your other affiliate product and how it can help them.
Every success to you!
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