Convert Your Affiliate Mindset: From Competitive to Cooperative
Searching for ideas on how to turn your internet based business into a profit and passive-income generating machine? One concept that online business owners may take a while to grasp is that your competition can actually become your collaborators. How can this be? It’s all because of the beauty of affiliate sales.
Before we go into the finer points of affiliate sales, let’s talk about the type of business you might be into as an internet seller. You could be a writer who gets paid to create content for other people. You could be a designer who builds websites and creates graphics for money. You might be a business coach teaching clients how to market their own businesses. Or maybe you sell physical products, like handmade jewelry or printed tees.
Whatever you happen to sell online, there are a lot more people like you out there, doing exactly what you do. You could view these other folks as your competition, and you could go around sneaking peeks at their techniques to swipe for your own use. Or… you might just decide to team up with them, and become affiliates of each other’s products.
It’s worth considering that affiliate sales of information products sold by individuals in the internet marketing and online business niches generally pay out at 50%. That means you make HALF of every sale. Who wouldn’t want to team up knowing the profit potential of promoting other people’s products?
It’s also worth considering that online business and internet marketing are two of the most competitive and dynamic fields, bursting with new developments and fresh information all the time. EVERYONE wants tips, freebies, shortcuts and help. So you’ve got your audience cut out for you, as an affiliate marketer in these niches. And believe it or not, your audience of email subscribers will expect you to sell to them. They’re looking for a deal, they want to learn and they want to pass on good info while making money via their effort. So list-building, referrals, product creation, information sharing, and teaming up as affiliates of each other’s products are all just part and parcel of the industry.
Think of it this way. You could do all of the heavy lifting and all of the selling on your own. But if you consider that there are people out there just like you, pitching products like those that you might create yourself, it means the work is already done for you. All you have to do is write up a review, share a how-to, or give a recommendation, and provide the link to their product that has your affiliate cookie attached. Now, each time the product sells, you receive a commission.
Likewise, suppose you just created a really great information product that you’re excited to get the word out. You could spent 20 hours logging in and out of your social profiles and telling everyone the news about what you made and how awesome it is. But the truth is that people are more likely to trust a recommendation and referral than a self-promoted product. So when you get affiliates to promote your creations for you, you’re saving yourself a ton of time and paying a veritable sales fleet to keep the money flowing in.
Affiliate Marketing Preliminaries
People who know how to successfully build a business online are able to do so because of affiliate marketing. Not only is affiliate income extremely commonplace in the world of online business… but if you’re not taking advantage of this simple method of making money online, you’re making it really hard on yourself and probably not bringing in nearly as much income as you could be.
When considering how affiliates compound their income online, we first need to think about where customers come from. They arrive on your website or blog by way of a search engine. When they search, will it be you whom they find? It will be if you’re regularly posting great information that helps people.
Before you can start making affiliate sales, you must develop a following. To do this, start publishing content online by way of a blog or website. Post high value information that will help earn you the unofficial title of expert in your field. Be consistent with your publishing. So if you’re just getting things going, you might start by posting one article per day, and sending out an email newsletter to your followers once or twice per week.
How to get followers? Post about topics that you know a lot about, and can teach or explain to others. People follow people for the below reasons:
They follow people who appear to have what they want: wealth, knowledge, prestige, happiness, a charmed life, etc.
They follow people who have information that they want to learn about. So if you’re clearly an expert on something, you will get followers if you start talking about said topic of expertise.
They follow people whom they feel an emotional connection with. What that connection is, exactly, will depend on the follower and the person being followed.
Once you have followers, you’ll want to capture their email addresses. This way, you can communicate with them each time you’re ready to share a new idea, recommend a tool or technique, or explain a concept.
This is called list-building, and it’s essential if you want to sell products online. You may not think at first that people want to be sold to via email. But this is extremely commonplace. People sign up to hear from this or that person, knowing that they will receive new information, learn new things… and they also will be marketed to. So, knowing that you can build a list of followers who will likely buy what you sell… what types of products will you sell?
The best types of products to sell online are information products, or sharable, sellable content. Why? Because if people are hunting online, they most likely want information. Information products and different forms of content are simple to put together. You can create an ebook in a night simply by opening up a Word document and typing what you know for a few hours, then adding some pretty pictures and turning it into a PDF.
Now, if you don’t feel like creating an ebook, the great news is that someone out there who likely knows what you know has already created one. So if you sign up as an affiliate of their products, you can tell the people on your list about them, and you will likely make a flurry of sales.
The other type of product that you can become an affiliate for is a physical product. In this case, you can sign up as an Amazon affiliate and share recommendations to their products in your blog. But you must be careful, because if you only share lists of products and never post articles or information, people may start to consider your site spammy and boring. This is no way to slay in the affiliate marketing department.
So make sure that as you build your following, you’re sharing lots of great information that teaches people things they want to know. And also make sure that you’re recommending useful products that will help them solve their problems or satisfy a need in some way.
What Types of Information Products Lend Themselves to Affiliate Marketing?
Hoping to learn how to make money on the internet while saving yourself countless hours of sweat and toil? If done correctly and consistently, affiliate marketing may be the way to go.
Successful affiliate marketers have a few things in place.
- They publish content regularly via a blog or some other platform.
- They collect the email addresses of people who want to hear from them.
- They either have products set up for other people to sign up and become an affiliate of or they sign up to become affiliates of other people’s products. (Ideally, both would happen.)
So now you may wonder what types of products you can recommend to others and make commissions on as an affiliate. Well, this depends on where your expertise lies and what you talk about in your blog and social posts.
In general, the following types of products readily lend themselves to making affiliate commissions:
- Coaching packages
- Ebooks, e-guides, reports and whitepapers
- Email courses and email challenges
- Journaling courses
- Social media and blog challenges
- Video tutorials
- Audio courses
You can also make some good affiliate cash by sharing links to the following:
- Done-for-you articles (PLR, or private label rights content)
- PLR images and social graphics
- Blog and website templates
- Done-for-you planners (PLR)
- Low content such as printables, including planners, calendars, journals, coloring books
- PLR Images
Finally, tech-related products can be an excellent source of affiliate income, including:
Your internet marketer audience will always be on the hunt for low-cost programs that help them accomplish their goals. There is a vast array of programs online that you can recommend to the people on your list. Most good ones have a tiered membership set up. So there might be a level one or free trial, then a level two or basic paid membership, and level 3 or advanced membership with added features.
Some typical paid software programs that work-from-home business owners might opt to pay for include:
- Antivirus software
- HTML editing programs
- Desktop publishing software
- Ebook creation programs
- PDF makers
- Video editing software
- Image editing programs
- Cover art creation programs
- Content management systems
- Website creation software
- Database management programs
- Password management programs
- Audio recording programs
- Many others
People love apps. They download right to your phone and offer all kinds of functionality.
Internet based services
Most every online marketer pays for web-based services that are managed by logging into a member area on other people’s websites. These might include but are not limited to:
Domain name purchases and domain pointing
- Website and blog hosting
- Permission-based email management software
- Stock photo memberships
- Done-for-you content memberships (aka PLR or private label rights content)
Who is Most Likely to Buy Through Your Affiliate Links?
Remember that the people who find your blog will arrive there based on a word match. So if you’re posting about how to make origami animals, then the blog or website visitors who find you will have already been looking for that topic. In this case, it makes the best sense for you to share affiliate links to things like…
Instructional books on how to make origami animals
Ebooks that explain how to make origami animals
Origami kits that people can physically order by mail
Origami videos that share step by step tutorials
To further emphasize the point; don’t try to sell gourmet dog food to people who found you while searching for how to do calligraphy. It’s just not going to work. Your plan to become an affiliate of other people’s products should involve a very targeted marketing campaign. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to start blogging about topics that interest you and then find affiliate products to match those interests. You could also do it the other way around – find some good affiliate products and then post content to attract people who may want to buy them.
But whatever you do, you’ll want to become an affiliate of companies or individuals that you know, like, trust, and can count on for scrupulous business practices and exceptional customer service.
Where to Find Affiliates to Promote Your Products
Hoping to learn how to turn your online business into a passive income-producing enterprise? Affiliate sales could be the way to go. If you have a mailing list of subscribers, then you’re already one step ahead of the game. But now you might be thinking about how to make more money from the products you devise, yet save yourself long hours of sweat and toil. One way is by finding good affiliates who will happily and willingly promote what you create.
Where do you find affiliates? Well, you can start by building a network or professional tribe of connections online. You might do this by joining online groups where there are already good conversations taking place. A carefully moderated group run by a smart coach or business expert could offer you value as a participant. You want to be surrounded by smart, savvy, intelligent, hardworking people. Your perfect affiliates should be people who, like you, are knowledgeable and generous with their time as well as what they share.
Another method for getting affiliates to promote your products is by setting yourself up on the open selling market. Websites like JV Zoo and Warrior Plus have a solid affiliate system in place. Their software allows you to create listings of your products on their site which is where you upload your own info products to sell for instant delivery. This is great because it eliminates the need for you to install and manage affiliate software on your own website. You can also link from your listing on their site back to your own sales page hosted on your site, where customers can place their order and have the products sent via email or downloaded via a link.
Here are some ideas to help you nurture affiliate relationships:
Be generous with what you share on your blog and social posts. Go into detail and write with explanation. The more people whom you help, the better you will become known as an expert in your field. Experts attract affiliates who want to utilize their knowledge for profit.
Approach potential affiliates by setting up an offer that will appeal to them and that speaks to the people on their list. In the same way that you want the search engines to match up info seekers with what you’re sharing, you also want to be matched up with affiliates whose audience can benefit from what you sell and share.
Become an affiliate of their products, then see if they will reciprocate. Just know that if this doesn’t actually work for you, it’s not the end of the world. There could be any number of reasons why a potential affiliate doesn’t end up promoting your products. These reasons may not have anything at all to do with you. And even if they do, it doesn’t matter.
Offer an easy way for them to sign up. This means getting your ducks in a row on a site like Warrior Plus or your own, self-managed member site, then communicating that you’re searching for great affiliates via the emails that you send to your list.
Best, Most Reliable Affiliate Software
Whether you’re looking to become an affiliate of other people’s products, or you’d prefer to sell your own products that other people promote as your affiliate, one thing is clear. There is no way on earth you could run an affiliate program manually on the internet and expect it to be a success. Don’t even bother to try this, as you will very likely end up with a mob of angry customers and affiliates.
There are several options for having a program that keeps track of all aspects of affiliate sales.
Option 1 is to purchase the license to software that you can then add to a MySQL database on your hosting server, and log in as the administrator. All member accounts, products, emails, and affiliate details would be in your full control as the admin. Your affiliates would log on as a member of your website and activate their affiliate status. From there they would grab links to your products and begin promoting.
Option 2 is to use the affiliate tools provided by someone else’s website. From the product creator side, you would have your own login and be able to upload info products that you create and then have those websites host your files for you. The file would get emailed to your customer each time someone new orders. The payment would route from their site to your PayPal or other type of payment account.
If you opt to host your own membership software on your own site that has an affiliate sales feature built into it, then you’ll need to be sure of a few things:
You’ll want to have a close relationship with your website hosting company to be sure that every transaction is secure and that your data is protected.
You’ll want to make sure that either you or a virtual assistant whom you hire has a full understanding of the software, which may seem a bit complicated at first.
You’ll want to have spam protection in place to guard against hackers, scammers and info pirates.
Hosting affiliate sales on your own membership site will require that you and your team become comfortable with the following:
Logging in and out
Navigating the member area
Customizing the member area
Creating products, uploading files, organizing the content, setting up automated emails
Managing affiliate accounts, tracking affiliate sales and paying affiliates
One of the best programs for hosting a membership site with built-in affiliate program is Amember Software. The license is relatively low-cost, considering the many useful features and customizations that are in your control as the administrator.
The biggest perk of using Amember’s software is that many internet marketers and online business owners are familiar with the software. People gravitate to what the know and trust. So if you run a membership on your site, customers are likely to feel confident logging in and using the provided tools.
Most active internet marketing affiliates trust JV Zoo and Warrior Plus for their outstanding, long-standing affiliate programs. Here are the perks to using these programs:
- Member area is intuitive
- Reliably and securely hosted
- Backed by a customer service team
- Tons of help and support
- Free to set up an initial membership
- You have the option to pay for ad exposure
- You get to share links to your own sales pages hosted on your site, with their button code added
- Number of sales for each affiliate is tracked so you can choose to work with only experienced affiliates
- Denying or approving affiliates based on their stats is in your full control
- Ability to create sales funnels for increased profits
The best way to figure out what type of affiliate management software is right for you is to try out the product. If you’re hesitant about investing in a self-hosted software like Amember, then you might approach affiliate marketing by going with the well-known sites like JV Zoo and Warrior Plus. It will also be helpful to start networking online with people who buy, sell and promote from these websites. You can find support networks on websites like Facebook, where you’ll find thousands of users who can help you dip your toe into the affiliate marketing waters.
Once you become familiar with all of the steps and expected practices in affiliate marketing online, you may then decide to manage a member software on your own website.
How to Transform Your Virtual Services into Affiliate Products
One of the more confounding concepts to wrap your head around as an online consultant is that you can morph your services into products that people will want to become an affiliate for.
Why must it be a product? Because a product has a flat price. It’s hard to become an affiliate for someone who is being paid hourly. There would need to be a transaction and an automatic payment that can be calculated to include a percentage paid to the affiliate. Then there would be the question of a rebill. Does the referrer get a percentage of every invoice based on services rendered? You can see where so much of a gray area could cause problems.
There are a number of well-known affiliate systems run by reputable and reliable software that performs all of the necessary calculations. The software will permit you to set up the product(s), add a description, create a buy link, and have affiliates sign up to promote that particular product. Once customers buy through the affiliate’s link, their unique tracking cookie tags the buyer so that the total sale registers as being referred from that particular affiliate.
This is all automated, and isn’t something that you’d want to handle manually because things are likely to get out of control.
So, knowing this, you must now consider how you can transform your hourly services into flat-fee products that people will readily order online. Here are some ideas:
Article writing becomes an affiliate-friendly product when you sell the articles as a draft that gets automatically downloaded once the online purchase goes through. This is known as PLR or private label rights content. The end user pays for the right to publish the content however they like, under their own name.
Website design becomes an affiliate-friendly product when you pre-design templates that customers can order for a set price.
Coaching hours become an affiliate-friendly product when you bundle the hours into a segment of time (10 hours for $800) and then set up a buy link from your sales page.
Graphic design becomes an affiliate-friendly product when you package up the images and infographics and offer for a set fee when customers sign up to instantly download the files.
Courses and live events can be transcribed into ebooks which your affiliates can get access to the link that they make a percentage of every sale.
Virtual assistant services can be bundled into pre-paid time slots such as 10 hours, 15 hours, 30 hours, and so forth. Your referrers can be a percentage of any booked hours that come in by way of their referral link.
As you can see, if you want to play the online affiliate game and play it well, it pays to start thinking of your hourly services as a product with a set, flat-fee price that people can purchase online through a link.
Once you’ve figured out how to package up your offerings in this manner, you’ll be on your way to creating a mutually beneficial relationship with your affiliates.
Putting Your Affiliate Sales on Autopilot
Each time you create and launch a new information product, there will be many steps to follow in order to make that product go live and become available for purchasers to buy and affiliates to promote.
One challenging aspect of running an affiliate program is that you will be creating lots of new info products, writing tons of product sales pages and typing lots of emails.
Not only is this monotonous, but it’s extremely time consuming. No matter who does the work, it’s going to cost you time, dollars, or both unless you figure out a way to streamline the process.
The solution is to develop plug-and-play writing and website page design templates.
Let’s start with the sales page copy, since that will have the most details in one spot and should be persuasive in nature. The thought of having to craft a high energy persuasive message can be overwhelming at first. But it doesn’t have to be if you follow a formula.
The Simple Formula and Template for Creating Sales Pages
Your info product sales page will follow a simple writing formula.
First, you’ll come up with a compelling and keyword-friendly headline and lead-in first paragraph.
Next, you’ll address the problem of your ideal customer and get into the emotions behind their need.
After this, you introduce the product as the solution. Follow with some bulleted features and benefits of the product.
Next, describe in detail what’s included with the purchase of said product.
If applicable, explain how to use the product and what they’ll get out of it.
Cover pricing next. What’s going to win the sale? Come up with an offer people can’t refuse and give it a start and end date so that people will know that time is limited.
Add your product cover art and screen shots of what’s included and writing samples, if applicable.
Include testimonials if you have some good ones.
List the price and add a buy button.
Explain how to access the purchased product. Add a “PS” with a bonus gift if you have one.
Once you have all of the above filled in, you now have a standard formula for tackling each sales page of each new product. Chances are, the details will vary from one product to the next. But much of the information will likely stay the same. So use the template as a guide for writing each new sales page going forward.
A second step in the creation of the template is to have a basic style of your sales page using CSS (cascading style sheets). Once you have styled every headline font, inserted all the little things like graphically enhanced bullet points, and other style elements, you’ll want to save this as a template page that you can copy and paste or apply the style to use again and again.
You’ll save yourself a huge amount of time and you’ll be able to launch much more quickly than if you created every new page from a blank slate.
Automating Your Affiliate Emails
So we discussed the benefits of making a sales page template to use each time you launch a new product that your affiliates might want to promote and your customers will want to buy.
It’s also important to create affiliate email templates so that each time you reach out to let affiliates know about a new launch, you won’t have to write from scratch. This will save you tons of time and keep your information organized. You can avoid the time-suck of counter-productivity of having to field a ton of questions from confused affiliates looking to promote but who can’t seem to locate the needed information.
The first really important step is to have a permission-based email management software system in place. Most of the common ones that online marketers know and recognize include:
- Constant Contact
- Mail Chimp
These systems are necessary to use because they comply with current spam regulations and give your users full control of their subscriptions. With a permission-based email software management system like the ones mentioned above, you will be able to easily manage your affiliate system in the following way:
- Automating emails that go out after people sign up
- Setting up and managing multiple lists that segment your audience
- Integrating your current list with the affiliates who sign up via software such as Amember that you manage from your own website.
- Creating autoresponders that you can schedule in advance, to go out over the course of a week
Making an Affiliate Email Template
To help affiliates make more sales of your products while saving time for everyone, this is what you should do. Create a version of your sales copy that affiliates can swipe to use in the emails that they send out when promoting to your customers. The email should include the following:
- Open with a brief greeting.
- Introduce the product and reason why their customers will like it/what the product is good for.
- Explain the offer, detail the discount, coupon code if you’re offering one, and expiration date.
- Detail what’s included with the product.
- Describe any additional bonuses that they might receive an incentive to take action and buy.
- Add a spot to include the affiliate’s unique link so they’ll get the commission.
- Thank them and sign off.
Repeat this process for all customer emails that go out, and all affiliate messages that you create. Copy and paste the emails into an autoresponder series that you pre-set to send out to a specific list (your affiliates) over the course of several days.
Paying Your Affiliates
One important aspect of running an affiliate program for the products that you create and sell online is deciding how often and how much to pay your affiliates.
If you’re just getting started with affiliate sales, 50% of each sale may seem like a lot to be giving away. However, it’s important to realize that many affiliates of yours will do a really good job nurturing their list.
Your best affiliates will have cultivated thriving relationships with people in the internet marketing and online business niches. These may be people who would not have otherwise come across your name or your website.
The people that your affiliates refer may become lifelong customers of yours, or you may develop a fruitful business relationship with them over time.
For this reason, most internet and affiliate marketers would agree that 50% of each information product sale is a fair price to have someone push your good name farther out and support the sale of products that you created.
Another reason to get excited about 50% commissions is that it works both ways. Sure, you might be hesitant to part with half the sale on that product you worked so hard to develop. But think about when it comes back around. Another hardworking marketing professional will be more than happy to send over half the sale of every product of theirs that you promote.
Fifty percent is actually an extremely fair number. In fact, many marketers looking to up their game and bring in more customers will offer their affiliates 75%. They’ve perfected the art of selling online and nurturing their list to compel repeat customers, so much so that it’s worth it to them to offer a higher reward to their supporters.
Affiliate Cautions, Scams and Fraudsters
One concern that most everyone who gets into internet business has is that they won’t be scammed out of their hard earned money, and that their website won’t be hacked.
Wait, that’s two concerns.
To avoid being taken advantage of while doing business on the internet, you’ll want to be choosy about the people whom you permit to promote your products.
The fact is that many people who sign up to be your affiliate won’t likely try to rip you off or scam you in some way. But there are definite risks, so you want to be careful.
When working with new affiliates, you’ll want to watch out for people who engage in the following:
- Unscrupulous business practices
- Misleading sales tactics
- Spamming their lists
- Running their businesses in a slapdash or unprofessional manner
- Unauthorized use of the content you sell or give away
- Mud-slinging other marketers
- Not making good on their promises to customers
- Posting offensive or inappropriate content
- Attempting to send viruses and pilfer personal information
- Using your email address to set up a “Joe job” spam bot system
Here’s how to retain quality of the type of people who promote your products:
Never auto-approve new affiliates who apply either by way of your website software or by a third-party system that you use to manage affiliate product sales.
Screen each applicant and check out their online profile and connections before activating their affiliate status.
Ask new affiliates to include a note when applying to promote your products.
Delay payments to new affiliates until it has been established that they are reliable and trustworthy.
Use word-of-mouth to form relationships with potential affiliates.
Be patient and take baby steps with your affiliate program. Things will go wrong in the beginning. If you’re working with good people, they will be more likely to offer pointers and hand-hold as you progress through the learning curve.
Lead Times for Your Launches
One legitimate concern that you may have as a marketer launching new business products for other people to promote, is what’s the timeline from start to finish of each new product launch?
The simple answer is two weeks. Two weeks is a good time frame because of the natural flow of information on the internet.
If you announce a new product that’s in the works for your target customers to buy, it will likely take about 2 weeks for the information to hit the search engines so that seekers can find your website in the search results.
Two weeks will give you time to cycle through all of the steps needed to make this a success. You’ll have half the month to complete the following:
Put together the product and bundle up different types of content if that’s what you’re planning to sell
Create the sales page and set this up to go out automatically via email.
Enter the product in your member area or on a website that hosts sellable content, such as JV Zoo or Warrior Plus.
Write all of the related content such as product welcome emails, autoresponders if you plan to include those.
Set up your sales funnels if that will be part of your selling effort.
Create affiliate marketing materials and email swipes, and write up a new product announcement.
While two weeks is a good rule of thumb to follow when timing your product launches, there are other factors to consider.
What’s the season of the year? Major holidays definitely affect internet sales. You’ll want to time your launches and message your affiliates around the timing of the seasons and holidays. Christmas week is not the best time to roll out a new product and expect affiliates to drop everything and start following along with what you’re doing.
On the other hand, Christmas week might be a good time to put up a quick sale of an existing product, to squeeze out every drop of profit potential and catch people during a festive time. If you do involve affiliates in this effort, don’t expect a huge response, but it may be worth it to get a few people supporting your sale effort.
What’s an Email Swipe and Why Is It Important to Your Affiliate Sales?
As mentioned earlier in this publication, affiliates can be the lifeblood of your online business if you nurture the relationships in just the right way.
One method for making things super simple for your affiliates to just pick up some quick content and run with it, is to create email swipes for them to copy and paste, and send out to their lists.
You will notice that the best marketers with the most experience in affiliate sales always create done-for-you emails that their affiliates can just grab and go.
It may seem odd at first to just lift copy that someone else wrote, and use it as your own, to share with people who signed up to hear from you.
However, if this concerns you, it’s super easy as the affiliate, to open up the email swipe and customize it with a special message from you.
You’ll already have all of the pertinent details in place. So all you’ll need to do is just add some of your own original thoughts, and edit in spots if you feel the need. Then just copy, paste, and send it off.
If you plan to send out a series of emails during a week-long sale or launch of your new product, then you’ll definitely want to set up email swipes for affiliates to send out that are timed with your own weekly reminders.
It’s even better if you remember to set these up in advance on your email management software. So you write up a series of emails, grab your trusty VA, have her pop in the messages and time them to go out on specific days over the course of the week.
Your affiliates will then follow suit, pick up the email content that you supplied, and then turn around and email it to their own lists. And that’s how email swipes make affiliate marketing super simple, fast and fuss-free… while helping both you AND the people who affiliate with your company, make more money and help more people, while working less.
What to Do if Your Affiliate Program is a Flop?
If you’re new to running an affiliate program, you might wonder what constitutes a successful endeavor?
Probably the most obvious marker of success is if you’ve managed to create healthy relationships with your affiliates and they’re helping you to bring in more business revenue.
However, running an affiliate program takes much more effort than most internet marketers may realize. It’s an aspect of your business that can certainly take up a lot of your time, especially if you’re doing most of the work on the fly rather than setting things up in advance and automating your systems and communication.
So what happens if your affiliate program does the unthinkable – ends up in angry customers, affiliates who don’t follow up, and sluggish or even non-existent affiliate sales.
You may have seen that quoteable quote: Success is falling down nine times, and getting up ten.
That’s a very good analogy for how things might go when you’re new at running an affiliate program in your internet based business.
Any number of things can go wrong when you’re new to running an affiliate program.
One, you might not have organized your communication. So maybe people are confused or have lots of questions. You’ve wasted a ton of time fielding emails from disgruntled affiliates and customers.
What to do now? Just manage the chaos as best you can, and maybe offer a thank-you gift to people for being patient with you as you embark on this uncharted territory.
Another problem might have to do with product dissatisfaction. Maybe some customers weren’t happy and your affiliates who referred them got an earful.
If you try to right the situation as best you can and take the high road in your communication, you will find that people eventually calm down when they see you trying your hardest.
One way to keep your affiliates by your side is by being honest and forthright with your shortcomings. Maybe some people didn’t get paid on time who were supposed to. It won’t take much more than the owed cash to fix that and get in the good graces of your affiliates once again.
What if customers claim that they didn’t receive what they were promised, or that the wording was misleading in some way?
You can always offer a special sale, coupon or freebie to help smooth things over with the people on their list who purchased from you and weren’t happy for whatever reason.
If managing an affiliate program proves to be a huge headache for you, it might be time for some brutal honesty. This could be a bad time in your life for such an endeavor. If that’s the case, it’s okay to step away from affiliate marketing for a bit.
You can always come back when you have a plan of action ready to implement, and see where it takes you the next time around.
How to Set Up Special Sales for Special Affiliates
One thing you may notice after you’ve been running an affiliate program online for a while, is that some affiliates tend to be more flaky and inconsistent, while others are out there killing it every day.
So what happens is that the some people seem to have more available time and require some routine instruction and direction from you – a go signal – to communicate with their own lists about whatever you have going on as far as new product launches or a sale.
But the people who have their affiliate stuff together ONLY yield more profits for you at the times when they’re actually paying attention. And most of the time, they have their own plans that they’re executing so they’re very busy and typically occupied.
So the really strong go-getter types are rarely paying attention because they’ve got so much on their plate already. BUT you can change that to set things up and make it easy for them.
If you want your stronger affiliates who have bigger lists to promote your information products on a more consistent basis, you’ll need to create an incentive for them to do so.
Remember, the strongest marketers online are typically highly sought-after by other people hoping to soak up their success and reap the rewards of partnering with them.
One way to succeed at this is by setting up special sales that your best affiliates can turn around and offer to the people on your list without requiring a lot of back-and-forth between you.
So this is why automating all communication about your product sales, setting up sales page in advance, supplying your affiliates with swipe email copy, and creating unique offers, is so critical in the process.
Before you approach a highly sought-after marketer to promote your products, you’ll definitely want to have all elements in place and be very organized in your presentation. Cover every step in the process as mentioned in the prior paragraph.
You’ll also want to set up a coupon code that is unique to this particular affiliate. If you have a thriving relationship with said person, you might even wish to create a private sales page that their customers will see when they click through via the affiliate link.
It also helps to hand-select affiliates of this type who create content in complimentary fields as yours. So for example, if you know that one of your affiliates has released a journal and planner package covering Online Business Burnout, and you happen to have written 25 private label rights articles covering this topic, you can create a special sales page and bonus coupon offer that is specific to this affiliate.
You might even suggest to that affiliate that they can supply an add-on product as part of the special offer. Maybe they have a collection of 50 images that speak to business burnout which customers of their and yours can use to publish on social media and spread the word about their products.
You could even make it a double sale, where you send people from your list over to their sales page, in anticipation of the extra bonuses that they will receive if they order through this person’s link.
This is just one of many exciting and profitable means of partnering up with other people online who create similar products as you do. Whatever you do, keep an open mind, seek out opportunities, streamline the basics, and be flexible in your thinking. You might just learn some new tricks for building your list, cultivating profitable relationships with other marketers like you, increasing sales, and greatly compounding your business revenue.