As a marketer, how do you know if you're getting the most out of affiliate marketing? It the income which guides your success, the analytics, the response from your advertisers - with the ever changing online world, are you REALLY making the most of our the infinite opportunities in the affiliate marketing world?
I'm sure everyone understands how the affiliate marketing process works, for those new to the process it's broken down into a few simple steps:
• User visits publisher's website
• User clicks on an advertiser's creative ad
• The visitor's browser receives the tracking code embedded in a cookie
• Information in this tracking code (including advertiser, the publisher, creative info and commission amount) is then stored
• Marketer receives the commission
• The process continues
Payment terms differ, and affiliate marketers can earn money using a range of terms including pay per sale, pay per click and pay per lead. All of this is set up at the beginning of marketing a product, so it is always clear ahead of commencing.
Top affiliate marketers make some serious coin and done well the monetization of the online world provides an enormous world of sales opportunities. Affiliate marketers are pretty similar to a sales person, cloaked under the veil of the online world and for each product that is sold they receive proceeds from the merchant. The idea is not new, and the process is quite simple, however doing it will is the true art form.
How marketers succeed in affiliate marketing:
Keep it simple - Some of the smartest strategies are often the simplest and if you find a product you like and promote it to others via affiliate marketing earning a commission off any proceeds is usually a relatively easy process.
Be genuine - Marketers who often succeed back products they genuinely like and have used, and see value in. Let's be honest; you're not going to market a set of steak knives if you are a vegetarian.
Only support products with customer service and guarantees - you don't want your followers begrudging you if the product you promoted is a hunk of garbage. Do your research and back products that have customer service lines and a genuine care for their customers. You'll ruin your reputation if you partner with shonky partners.
Ideally, you would have used the product/s yourself - we all know when a product works and when it doesn't so take the time to test run the products you want to endorse and promote via affiliate marketing so you are completely familiar with them. Don't sell your soul for a product, if it doesn't do what it says on the packet or it won't positively help people don't promote it.
Market products that fit your niche - find products that not only provide a passive income but match the key messages and compliment your business as well content and branding wise. Avoid controversial products or scientifically unproven which may be more trouble than they are worth.
Recommend - don't sell - affiliate marketing needs to be subtle to be successful. Recommend products to your followers based on your experience, rather than peddling your product in a salesy way. This strategy will be more engaging for your followers and be far more subtle than a sales drive (which is off-putting).
What can be earned from affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a lucrative business with some people earning an income of $20,000 per month from affiliate marketing, while at the other end some individuals are earning a few dollars a day -- whichever way you look at it, you can earn coin from affiliate marketing it just comes down to your choice of strategies and the products you are marketing.
What ad networks to use and check out:
While there are heads of ad networks, as a starting point you might want to check out these networks:
LinkShare - probably the leading ad network for affiliate marketing, the site offers a stack of tools to use to maximize earnings. LinkShare can create rotating banners, which helps to get the attention of your target audience.
CJ Affiliate - another popular choice, this site has been operating since 1998 so it has quite a bit of history behind it. Working with over 2500 advertisers using CPA, the network has a Wordpress plugin and a handy control panel.
Amazon Associates - As a big online retailer, Amazon has also created a popular ad network as well. There are some fairly low commission rates which can earn affiliate marketers some passive income. It has a massive inventory. However, the commissions may be a deterrent.
ClickBank - higher commission rates and a tonne of creative to lure visitors to click on products. There is a super easy user interface. However, I'm not convinced about the product range as yet.
ShareASale - with over 4000 merchants this is also a good option is you're looking to earn commission from affiliate sales. The network is well worth a look, and you can set up products on a pay per sale or pay per lead basis.
As well as these networks check out Avangate, ClickBooth, AvantLInk and FlexOffer. It is a case of checking out which network meets your needs and asking around to your affiliate marketing buddies to see what works best for them.
Why people rave about affiliate marketing:
Apart from being one of those passive incomes which are highly lucrative and fairly simple to set up once you know how affiliate marketing offers a stack of benefits for savvy marketers including:
• Cost effective for people who want to run their race and work from their laptop anywhere in the world
• Online market of global opportunities awaits, which is particularly appealing when it comes to developing a captive audience
• There aren't any fees to become an affiliate marketer, so you can try it and see how it fits for you
• Shipping isn't your problem, so you can work as the middle man to get the sale or lead and then the seller manages the rest
• Passive income, this is the best bit, in my opinion, put in what you want to get out and have a steady income flow from your work
• No customer support, meaning you don't have to handle complaints or any issues from the buyer, which are all managed by the seller.
What's your secret, any tips for affiliate marketing that I've missed? Feel free to share.