What you need to know about affiliate marketing before you get started
Affiliate programs have gained popularity in recent years with people looking to supplement or replace their income through online marketing. Plenty of companies now have affiliate programs in place as they’ve come to realize the value of affiliates as extensions to their sales and marketing departments. For online marketing beginners, an affiliate program offers a great way to build a list to which they can either promote other companies programs and/or eventually their own products. But before you rush out and attempt affiliate marketing you should do some research on a company’s affiliate program.
Here are a few things you’ll need to know:
1. Is this a reputable company? Look for a company that has an established presence online. Check out what others say about the company. Reputation is crucial – do they pay on time? Have there been issues with commission percentages? Have there been issues with product/service delivery.
2. Understand the products or services they offer. Do they have value? Can you easily target a market for the products? Are the items ones you would or do use? Never join a company based on the commissions they pay. It will come back to bite you. Your image is at risk, especially when you are just beginning and want to build a loyal following. Look for companies that continue to build their inventory; you always want to have additional items to promote.
3. Look for companies that have a good commission structure. How much is good? Well that depends on the company and the number of products it has and whether or not it charges a fee to be an affiliate. Many pay an average of 20 – 25%, some pay 65% and a very select few now pay 100%. I only know of (1) that pays 100% commission with no dollar amount to hit before pay out. The ones that pay higher commissions will charge a monthly affiliate fee, which enables them to pay the higher commissions, check the fee structure against the products. Will you be able to promote enough items to earn high enough commissions to far outweigh the monthly affiliate fees? If you can get enough people to view the offers than the answer will be yes. The key will be getting enough people to promote to and that requires traffic – lots of it. (read more about traffic sources at http://thehubline.com
4. Make certain the company has a good tracking system in place. You want to make extra certain that you are receiving credit for the sales you’ve referred. But don’t rely only on the companies tracking system; you’ll want to track as well. You can track through your opt-‐in forms and autoresponder (for more on auto responders grab a free copy of Affiliate Marketing Quick Facts) . Clearly it will make sense to know which method of promoting is providing the best results. Affiliates can come through your site and the company they visit can track where that visitor has come from. Be aware though that some companies, like Amazon only tracks a visitor once. If the visitor doesn’t purchase on the first go around but returns the next day directly to Amazon, and buys you don’t get anything even though your site is originally where the buyer came from. In this way, online affiliate sales is different than offline commissioned sales where a live body has the ability to easily track where a lead came from. This is why it’s helpful to have a lead capture page or opt-‐in form where you can effectively build your list and send emails with your affiliate link directly to your list rather than relying on tracking via website views.
5. Check to see how often the company pays and is there a certain amount you must earn before a payout will be made. Some companies pay once a week and some once per month. Some only pay a commission once a certain figure is hit. For example, let’s assume you’ve sold (5) items totaling $50.00 in commission yet the company only pays once $75.00 in commission is reached, meaning you’ll have to wait until you hit that number. Just be sure to read the fine print.
What you need to do to become a top affiliate marketer
You can become an affiliate for many companies, there’s really no limit. I would caution you to align yourself with one company first until you have a grasp on the online marketing process. Also, look for a company with a high commission payout and a high number of people making a substantial amount of money. Work smarter no harder. Finally affiliate marketing online follows a systematic formula, understand that formula and apply it and your income will skyrocket. To help you get started I created a free Affiliate Marketing guide which you can access here:
To Your Success,