How Back-End Selling Impacts Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the kind of business in which all participants – most active and a few who still receive residual income – in the program will benefit in the sense that each time an affiliate refers one of his/her website visitors to a merchant’s website s/he will earn income. On the other end, the merchant will benefit by being able to produce sales without spending a lot of money for advertising and promotion.

Since the primary objective of Internet-based marketing is to increase earnings, both affiliate and merchant should consider the practice of back-end selling and apply the concept to their business models. Back-end selling is a great and well known support mechanism for affiliate marketing, as it can greatly enhance all earnings produced from the business of affiliate marketing.

The simplest way to describe back-end selling is, “selling after the sale.” In other words, when a buying customer is referred by an affiliate marketer to a particular merchant, any sale that is made to that same customer after the inital sale is referred to as a back-end sale; the product is referred to as a back-end product and process is known as “back-end selling.”

As a result of any initial sales made to the customer, a three way relationship will have been established between the affiliate marketer with whom that customer came in contact first; and the merchant, from whom the customer made a satisfactory purchase; and as such there is a level of trust between them.

Therefore based on this level of trust, selling the back-end product may actually be easier than making the initial sale. It is for this reason that back-end selling has helped to boost sales for both online and offline businesses for so many years, and thus has been recognized as an effective method of increasing sales and doing more, and better business.

The method works for a variety of reasons, the most logical of which is, if the customer is happy with an initial product that was purchased, s/he’ll likely be happy with other products from the same merchant or offline distributor and therefore make another purchase the same day or return at some future time to buy again.

The normal technique with back-end selling is to make the customer aware of other products, as these
products can cater to other needs that s/he may have; so that when the customer becomes aware of
the second or back-end products, s/he will take a look at it and perhaps make a purchase of that and future products offered by the same business.

The technique of back-end selling has been both known and proven to be very powerful in augmenting
the income of numerous companies. Furthermore, back-end selling has helped hundreds of online companies to flourish and expand. Back-end selling is a proven sales strategy which, when used correctly, can work very well in affiliate marketing and other sales oriented industries.

Affiliate marketing will attract many new customers and leads to both marketer and merchant as a result of the initial sale; and while this strategy will certainly build loyalty among the buyers, it will also continue to be a major ingredient in creating a winning formula in affiliate marketing.

Each and every affiliate should look into the financial promise held by back-end selling; and when such a sales and marketing strategy is combined with affiliate marketing, the two of these elements can greatly enhanced the earnings of affiliate marketers big and small for years to come.

A Few Survival Tips for Affiliate Marketers

Affiliate marketing is not unlike other Web-based businesses in which participants, especially the marketers who accept responsibility for driving traffic to product/service (‘product’) pages of their merchants. Web-based businesses rely on – among other things – a sustained Internet presence, quality content and, perhaps most importantly, visitors (generally referred to as traffic) to their product pages; and affiliates are often tasked with generating that traffic.

Affiliate marketers accept this responsibility as a condition of an arrangement made with product owners, advertisers and vendors (‘merchants’) pursuant to which they will be paid a commission or flat fee when they have been instrumental in bringing about a sale (or sales) of the merchants’ products. In other words, when the affiliate marketer refers his/her website visitors to a merchant’s product page and any of those visitors purchase a product, the affiliate gets paid.

However, the mechanism (system) set up to automate an affiliate marketing program must be carefully monitored by the merchant; and records of referrals and sales verified by the affiliate in order to sustain a healthy business relationship. This is important because, once an affiliate has signed up for what appears to be a great affiliate program, developed a marketing strategy and is provided with an affiliate ID, affiliate links, product links, banners, and other marketing materials, s/he is still only in the beginning stages.

Once an affiliate thinks s/he has figured everything out, there is usually additional problems to be dealt with, which includes developing an effective marketing strategy. So it is not uncommon for a new affiliate to have established a relationship with one or more merchants and received all the necessary marketing materials and still find him/herself questioning the ineffectiveness of the job s/he is doing.

That having been said we’ve outlined below, some of the most common issues that affect an affiliate marketer’s sales, commissions and leads:

Soggy cookies

The majority of affiliate merchants utilize cookies for tracking referrals, since a majority of customers do not make purchases on their first visit. These cookies are capable of tracking the activities of potential referrals by creating a “tag” unique to a particular referral which associates that referral with the referring affiliate’s ID; so that if they do purchase at a later date, the referring affiliate will receive credit for the sale.

The durations for these cookies will vary from merchant to merchant, and generally range from thirty days to ninety days; but some last for as short as a single session, while others are known to have lasted last for years. It must be pointed out here, though, that if the visitor flushes his/her cookies on a regular basis, or has cookie blocking software, there is very little to no recourse an affiliate has to receive credit for any purchases made by that visitor.

Multiple payment methods

If you are a new affiliate marketer – or even a seasoned affiliate – and have joined an affiliate program through one of the networks that process payments of product sales on behalf of merchants, it’s not uncommon for merchants to offer several methods of payment. While this is great for customers, it is less than optimum for you as the affiliate, because you’re now dealing with a third party which is given complete control over your earnings; and this can create many conflicts.

So before you begin to advertise any products or services as an affiliate who must deal with, and rely upon, a network to conduct your business effectively and profitable, make sure to always check the merchant’s site carefully; and if you have any doubt, contact that merchant before you proceed any further. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time, energy and advertising resources on any affiliate product just to find out further down the road that you’re not getting paid.

Monitoring your arrangements

Even the most honest of merchants will have problems with their affiliate software at some point in time, so if the merchant’s affiliate program isn’t operating correctly (due to a software glitch, attempted hacking or a number of other reasons for the malfunction) you need to know about this and take steps to protect your commissions. One way you can be made aware of such a problem, is to check cookies and merchant sites regularly for any changes that may affect your pay. That’s it for now. Good luck!