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Affiliate Program Articles
Affiliate Marketing Nightmare - Don't
Let This Happen To You!
by Chris Ellington
Everyone knows that affiliates can make or break a company's
success rate. Ken Evoy has a whole army of people motivated
to earn click-through commissions on his Site Sell program.
Marlon Sanders and Yanik Silver have made fortunes with
(and for) their affiliates.
"If you've got an e-commerce website," I was
frequently told by my internet savvy friends, "you
have GOT to have an affiliate program." I took that
to heart. "Ok!" I said, and when I created www.ArticleMarketer.com,
I made sure that I developed a compelling offer for affiliates.
So what's the nightmare? Here I had created the perfect
program for affiliates and what kind of results was I
getting? None. Nada. Zilch. A big fat zero. There was
no lineup of affiliates banging at the door.
Has this happened to you? Is your affiliate program going
nowhere? Here is the step-by-step analysis of what makes
an affiliate program take off, and how my results were
impacted by each one.
Offer a good deal make it worth their while
Affiliates will not promote your product because it "feels
good". An emotional payoff might be sufficient for
non-profit organizations or political campaigns, but that's
not enough in the cold, hard world of e-commerce. Affiliates
are looking for products and services that quickly convert
Affiliates don't mind pre-selling your goods to their
lists and visitors, but you have got to make it worth
their effort. Don't be cheap. Give your affiliates a good
deal. Unless you're selling Lear Jets or Rolls Royces,
that 5% commission you are thinking about isn't going
to get anyone excited about being your representative.
How did I fare against this point? I nailed it. I made
sure to offer 50% commissions and a lifetime customer
program. Residual and recurring revenue are automatic.
For any customer that one of my affiliates sends to my
site, they get paid. Not just on the first sale either.
They get paid every time that person spends money, renews
a subscription, or buys something else.
But evidently that was not enough. I had my program set
up to offer a good, profitable deal for affiliates. So
I moved to the next point:
Provide personal service be responsive
Affiliates are your business partners, not cattle to be
herded. Treat them with respect, provide them with the
tools they need to be successful, and be responsive when
your affiliates ask for help, guidance or tools. In the
end, it will make things better for you. Make sure you
take care of your affiliates.
Well I am a naturally outgoing guy, so I have a tendency
to reach out to customers, partners and business associates.
It's just who I am. I like people. I send email, write
articles, post in the blog I'm a communicative
guy. I've got my phone number on the site, and I personally
answer my phone. So personal service couldn't be my problem.
But still, why weren't people signing up to be affiliates?
I moved on to the next point:
It's likely that you're not the only company offering
the chance to sell a product or service like yours. Give
your prospective affiliates a reason to choose your program
over your competitor's. Do you do it faster, better, cheaper?
Why is it going to be easier and more profitable to sell
for you than for someone else? Why do you deserve their
attention? Why do you deserve the attention of their visitors?
With 20 years of direct sales under my belt, I certainly
know how to craft a presentation to crush my competition.
I put direct comparisons to other article submission services
right on my home page. I created an instructional video
to make it easy to submit articles. Audio prompts explain
every step of the way. I have a long listing of places
that articles are submitted. There is no reason someone
would want to do article submission on their own (because
it's tedious) or with any of my competitors (they don't
have the reach, and their prices are exorbitant) so I
knew that there was no problem in this area. So I moved
on to the final point.
Promote! Promote! Promote!
You have to be as diligent in promoting your affiliate
program as you are in promoting your products. You have
to let people know that you've got a great deal for them.
You must let people know that you have an affiliate program,
you must provide tools, banners, graphics, articles, ads,
and links that they can use to drive traffic to your site.
This was my problem. I was suffering under a "If
you build it, they will come" delusion, and it almost
killed my response. I didn't even know how hidden my affiliate
link was, until I had a conversation (remember, I'm a
talkative guy) with a new affiliate. She was an existing
customer. She had been to the site, pored over it, in
fact, and had asked questions. She had used our services,
so when I asked her what prompted her sudden interest
in joining the affiliate program, I was shocked by her
response. "I didn't even know you were set up for
affiliates until I read it Michael Campbell's Internet
Marketing Secrets newsletter. (www.internetmarketingsecrets.com)
When I saw that he was telling people how great your service
was, I said, "Hey, I can do that!"
So it wasn't until I started promoting the service that
I discovered how important it is to promote the affiliate
program as much as it is to promote the article submission
service itself. To ensure that it's easy to find, I have
moved the affiliate link on my site. It's now prominently
displayed right in my main navigation and clearly marked
"Become an Affiliate".
I hope that you'll take this story to heart and implement
these four techniques. Start by adjusting your program,
make sure you talk with your customers, check your value
proposition, and then begin trumpeting your affiliate
program from the rooftops. You'll see a quick improvement
in your affiliate sign ups!
About the Author
Chris Ellington gives effective and easy to implement
marketing strategies to small business owners and home
business entrepreneurs. His Article Marketer website drives
thousands of targeted web visitors to your site by distributing
your articles to editors and publishers around the world.
Try it for free at www.ArticleMarketer.com.