Practical Steps to Affiliate Marketing Success


Establishing an affiliate business

There are literally hundreds of thousands of affiliate programs available in this eCommerce marketplace, and they all claim to be the best, while many of them try to create the impression that all an individual has to do in order to make money on the Web is use their links and banners, and then wait for the money to start rolling in. That is obviously not the way affiliate marketers begin to make money; although money can, and often does, start rolling in once the groundwork is laid and fundamental steps are taken by new affiliates; so the impression is primarily a false one.

That having been said, an affiliate marketing career can only be successful if the affiliate is ready, willing and able to commit significant time, energy and resources (financial and otherwise) to building the necessary relationships and “following” that s/he can convert into return visitors, referals and buying customers (traffic) that is the cornerstone of an affiliate marketer’s business. Establishing this cornerstone is not accomplished overnight, and is not made possible by simply placing banners/links on a website and then wait, although links and banners are part of the overall affiliate marketing scenario.

First things first

Individuals who aspire to be affiliate marketers must first determine what kind of merchants (companies that own products which affiliates market and sell) they want to work with from a product-to-website compatibility standpoint; and they must also do the necessary research on a company’s credibility, reputation and commission payout history. Once these two steps have been completed, first-time affiliates can then start thinking about links, banners, buttons, badges and such as well as how they fit in with the design and theme of their websites.

Choosing banners

With most affiliate programs, affiliates are offered a variety of banners to display on their websites; but very few of them will be effective if those banners are not compatible with a site’s content, or if their placement takes away from the sites appeal. The problems with most banners are their size in the sense that if a banner that is overly large (in pixels and kilobytes or kb), it will take a long time to implement (render) and use. Therefore, it is recommended that affiliates use banners that are no more than 15kb in size.

When you, as an affiliate, select any kind of graphical advertising, you should try and keep the theme of your website in mind; because even though graphical ads are meant to stand out and catch the eye of website visitors, they should not be so overbearing that everything else on the page is completely ignored. On the contrary, banners should be placed on website in a way that their presence is complimentary to the site’s design, format and content.

Pop-ups, pop-unders and text link ads

Many eCommerce companies that takes on the role of affiliate merchants now give their affiliates the opportunity to use pop up or pop under ads which, according to popular opinion, are not the way to go; because these types of ads have been known to annoy visitors, and therefore are normally closed before they even have the chance to load. However, if you must use one or the other of these ads, you should opt for pop unders which only display once per visit, and usually after the visitor finishes his/her visit.

One of the most successful and popular methods of advertising among affiliates is text link ads, because they are easy on bandwidth; they don’t use a lot of space; and they can easily be implemented into most types of page layouts. Good text links provide some information as to why your visitor should investigate some of the offers being made from your website.

Email advertising

The direct promotion via email has really taken off over the last several years, although it has brought tons of spam with it, and was almost entirely responsible for the now famous Can-Spam Act of 2003; so if you plan to use email as a major part of your advertising campaign in promoting your affiliate products, make sure to stand behind what you sell, and make yourself available to answer any questions.

Keep in mind also that many email service providers, including Hotmail (by Microsoft), Yahoo! and Comcast, among others, have installed spam blockers and other software to prevent your marketing emails from getting through to their intended recipient.

Patience

If you feel confident that your website can generate great sales for certain companyies, you should contact them to negotiate an arrangement; but if they don’t seem too enthused to begin with, you should remain patient as companies are approaced every day with affiliates looking to make better deals. The reality remains that most affiliates can’t deliver what they promise, and companies are aware of this fact.

You should always keep in mind that most forms of advertising will take time no matter what methods you plan to use, so devote some time and a lot of thought before you make any type of decision. Although something might not happen overnight, it doesn’t mean that it won’t happen because some things take more time to develop than others; and if you want to get the best out of your efforts, time and resources devoted to an affiliate marketing career, you’d probably be better off if you take your time and get it done the right way, whether it takes a few days or even weeks.

Ensuring the Motivation and Success of Affiliates


Happy affiliates will enhance program

Managing an affiliate program is easier than ever with the software and help made available via today’s technology. However, managing your affiliates and keeping them motivated and selling isn’t quite as easy to do; so if the success of your business rests upon how your affiliates perform, you might want to provide them with the tools and resources necessary to get the job done successfully.

If you are already running an affiliate program for your products, you should know that there’s a large number of individuals who sign up for your program never to be heard from again. You can, however, reduce the number of non- productive affiliates by keeping in touch with them on a regular basis, thereby giving them a sense of belonging while availing yourself of their continued interest, motivation and degree of success in your program.

Some affiliates may require more attention than others, so you might have to remind this group of their usernames and passwords on the one hand, and tell them where to log in to check their stats, or get creatives on the other. whatever method you use to interact with these affiliates, you must always keep them informed of new product lines and changes in policy and/or procedures.

Education plus information equal motivation

The key to motivation is education and information, so make sure that you stay in touch, always pay attention to who your top sellers are, and make sure you provide them with enough information and educational resources to keep them engaged and motivated. You must also pay attention to who your worst producers are, and make sure you stay in touch with them constantly as well; but make sure you have a clear understanding of what problems they are having and try to provide solutions where possible.

The main reason many affiliates don’t perform well is because they don’t possess the self-starter characteristics, leadership qualities or guidance; but this can easily be changed by writing a marketing course, which you can even offer for sale to non-affiliates, but you should make it available to your affiliates at no charge.

In other words, by providing this kind of training (education) to your affiliates free of charge, you will create the conditions for two things to occur. You’ll motivate your affiliates and, in so doing, increase your long term financial objectives through increased sales and affiliate retention and perhaps, even loyalty.

Proper tools and resources beget success

If you want to operate an effective affiliate marketing program it is, of course, important to keep your creatives and sales copy up to date; and you should also always provide new material for your affiliates to use on a regular basis, because providing them with nothing more than a text link and one banner just doesn’t generate much excitement at all.

Providing your affiliates with sales letters, reviews, ads, banners of different shapes and sizes, and anything else that promotes their business – which in essence is your business – will go a long way in maintaining an effective marketing strategy and successful affiliate business. Be sure that your affiliates know the material is there for them to use, and always listen to their input in order to get the proper feedback on your material.

You should also hold virtual meetings. Just set up chat rooms where your affiliates can attend virtual meetings on a weekly basis, so you’ll be able to answer any questions. Invite motivational speakers, technical professionals and marketing sdtrategists, plus anything and anyone else you can think of to make the meetings more motivating.

A pat on the back can’t hurt

Giving your affiliates the credit they deserve is also very important, so each month you should give credit to the best performers in your affiliate newsletter. Give small bonuses to those that perform well, and you can even set up a payment structure that rewards higher commissions and bigger volumes of sales.

Always make sure you do everything you can to help your affiliates succeed and make money in your program; because in the end if they are making money – you are also succeeding and making money. When you think about it practically, their success is your success, so do whatever is withion your power and budget to ensure the success of your affiliate program by making sure your affiliates are successful.

Easily Create Strong Passwords Without Software!