Affiliate Marketing – Simple to Make Money?
Affiliate marketing is where someone promotes (the Affiliate) someone else's products or services (the Merchant) on their behalf. The Affiliate earns a percentage commission based on the sales price of the product or service; This commission can be quite generous at 50% or more especially for digital products. The Merchant of the product or service typically creates the promotional information including a product sales page that any buyer is directed to. It is the job of the Affiliate marketer to send visitors to the sales page of the Merchant; the Merchant does all the work of selling, delivering and handling the payment. If the products are digital they can be shipped immediately on payment so it will be possible to earn receipts quickly. The process is simple and anyone can understand how to make money.
Benefits of using other people's products or services
1. You can immediately generate income based around the work someone else has done; This is known as leverage – you do not have to create a product, write the sales page, design the website, develop marketing materials, or set up the ordering, invoicing & delivery system.
2. The business is kept simple because there is no back office functions to manage; the Merchant deals with the customer support, the billing and answering technical issues.
3. Risk is minimized because you can select the products that are selling; find those that pay well and importantly ensure that the claims are paid promptly.
4. It is easy to switch to selling other products because you have not had to pay out for all the costs of developing and supporting the products.
5. If you promote membership sites then you can benefit from an on-going commission all the time the buyer keeps paying the site membership fee.
It is clear from this there some great benefits from affiliate marketing, simple to start and at low cost.
To be successful at Affiliate Marketing you need to manage visitors
It is well known in any marketing that people need to be offered something several times before they buy, only a small percentage buy on being offered something for the first time. If you just drive traffic to someone else's web site then you have no idea who your customers were. You need to do more than just drive traffic to the Merchant's website.
What can be done to know who your customer is?
Capturing the name and email address of visitors before sending them to the product sales page is essential if you want to contact them again. Capturing the name and email address is known as list building; for anyone wanting to make repeat sales it is paramount that a list is built and then nurtured. It may be necessary to build more than one list because each list should be relevant buyers for the products being sold. The list or lists become the primary asset of any internet business because the list can be sent further offers and be directed to the sales pages of affiliate offers more than once.
A list can be marketed to in a very cheap way because all that required is to send an email. The sending of emails can be pre-planned and automated.
To be effective, an affiliate marketer needs the following tools:
- A squeeze page (also known as landing page); basically a product promotion page that has a form where the name and email address of the potential buyer can be entered. Ideally this squeeze page should be on a dedicated website. Squeeze pages work best with some kind of video message, it is quicker and easier to watch and learn rather than having to read.
- Something to incentivize the buyer to want to leave their information such as a free report.
3. As a minimum a 5-part email follow up series, preferred using an autoresponder that can be set up to automatically send the emails at pre-timed intervals.
Making the effort of setting up the right process from the outset will increase your chances of making the sale up to 500% so it's well worth the effort of setting it up. Once the process is set up it can be to run automatically – you just keep sending visitors to the squeeze page.
If you have not got time to set up the right process then it is advised to outsource the work to someone; Elance is a website for finding people to outsource the work to.
Where can affiliate products be found?
For digital products ClickBank is a well known website where you can join and promote products straightaway.
Commission Junction is a marketplace to link Merchants with Affiliates
If you search on the internet you will find affiliate programs in all kinds of niches. Often if you look at the bottom of Merchants web pages you will find an affiliate link to sign up as an affiliate for the Merchant.