How To Best Select An Affiliate Program

Broad appeal of Web marketing

Marketing products and services (‘products’) via the Internet is unquestionably easier, and exponentially more rewarding, than traditional marketing methods, based primarily on a worldwide market of prospective customers in the millions getting online every day and creating an enormous potential for a merchant to sell his products and generate huge income.

However, merchandisers are not the only ones who can benefit from online marketing, because Web marketing has grown into a booming industry that provides great opportunity for individuals as well as corporate and organizational marketing entities. In affiliate marketing, the affiliate marketer need not have his/her own products to sell. On the contrary, all s/he needs to do is refer people to a merchant’s business site (often described as product pages) for them to buy products and, as a result of such purchases, earn a commission.

The key to affiliate marketing success is the affiliate’s ability to choose a good affiliate program and to utilize excellent marketing techniques in promoting or selling the products to consumers. Why good and not the best affiliate program? Because there is no “best affiliate marketing program,” as one program might make one affiliate marketer a millionaire and the other, a frustrated marketer. In other words, it can be a success of one and a failure of another.

Can affiliate marketing work for you?

However, there certainly is a good affiliate marketing program to start with; and implementing it in the best and most effective way would depend on you. But before you think of how you are going to make it a best and most financially rewarding program, you must first thinkof how you are going to choose a good affiliate program from the thousands of such opportunities being offered on the Internet today. Try to look into the following tips and suggestions on how to best select an affiliate program that’s right for you.

Let’s begin with information, which is what you will need in order to make the right choice. It is helpful when you have already focused your search in a specific area of interest, which might also be the theme of your website (if you already have one). In this way, you would be able to direct your attention towards a program that really matches your needs, wants and resources. It would be easier for you to eliminate options that are not suited to your own criteria for a good affiliate marketing program.

You can join affiliate forums and learn some tips and get suggestions from experienced affiliate marketers, but be wise enough to weigh their ideas before you buy them.

The Internet Affiliate marketing program networks are also good places to look for choices, since this is where merchants and affiliate marketers like you meet; and merchants advertise their affiliate programs to interested affiliates who sign up with the networks for free. Third party affiliate program networks are helpful because they provide you with access to a large number of advertisers (merchandisers) simultaneously. You can easily track and compare their sales records, performances, benefits, credibility and products.

Choosing the right affiliate program

So now you have choices, and the next question is, which among those options is the right one? Here are some things to consider in deciding which program(s) to take up with and which one(s) to reject. First is the quality of the products, because as an affiliate marketer your goal is not only to induce your website visitors to click the product link; but more importantly, to promote the products so they would be interested in buying it.

If customers are not convinced on going to the merchant’s business site, then you obviously don’t earn. So it is important to make sure that the products you endorse are worthwhile, or in the business vernacular, saleable. Question yourself about each product: If I were the customer, would I buy it? Would I recommend it to my family or good friend? If you can’t convince yourself or your family and friends to buy it, then you should move on to your next option.

Another criteria for choosing a good affiliate program is the merchandiser’s credibility (history, customer support, timely affiliate payments, etc.). Take a serious look at their past and present sales data, the track record of affiliate marketing systems and their partners’ experiences with them. While the success or failure of any program ultimately depends on your efforts, the merchant’s credibility is still a very important criteria in selecting a program.

Excercise diligence & patience in choosing a program

The sales records don’t only show how good affiliates are, but they speak about the products’ reliability, market availability and the company or the merchandisers’ reputation as well. Moreover, you should look into and carefully study the company’s compensation plan. Your purpose for joining the program is, after all to earn, so make sure you’ll be paid fairly and in a timely manner for all your efforts.

If you do not have much time to passionately promote affiliate products by creating banners, graphics and articles, then it might be a good idea to choose affiliate programs that assist you in creating these marketing tools for your web site. It would be great if the company provides training on how to effectively market products online; but remember that affiliate marketing is a partnership, so make sure your partner is able to support you as you help him promote his/her products.

On a sheet of paper or on your favorite editor, write down all the advantages and disadvantages of each program you are considering so you can clearly see the difference among your options. Then later compare the advantages of each program with your own checklist. Just make sure to take time to gather all the info you need to choose the right program. Remember an informed choice is the best choice!