Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

29 replies
There has been a huge amount of hype out there this month about Affiliate Marketing. People are questioning it's effectiveness and asking if it is even possible to make a living as an affiliate.

So I thought I would put in my 10 cents worth, having been doing precisely that for quite a while!

It all comes down basically to knowing how it all works. You have to learn about funnel dynamics. Like any profession - you need to study some stuff.

People create and build sales funnels with one goal in view - to get a return on their investment. For a sales funnel to work properly it needs traffic, And the better quality of the traffic - the better the funnel conversion rate. An affiliate marketer relies on his 'affiliates' to provide that traffic for him/her, and pays commissions to them on the front end sales for all their time and effort.

Imagine a funnel with a $20 front end product, on which the marketer pays out 100% commission? 'Why would he do that?'' you may ask?

One simple reason - to build his list from your traffic. Your precious and expensive traffic! Traffic which YOU should be earning from - not somebody else.

So how does the marketer make his money if all he ends up with is an email address?

Simple - once you get your commission - then that's it! The lead is now his to start making the real cash. Remember that this isn't just any old lead. This is now a BUYER Lead - somebody who has already spent money with that marketer - or rather - with YOU!

Have you ever thought what happens to that lead after you are paid?

Think about it....You can probably work it out, but the next question you will ask is "so how can I do this as well?"

SO
The answer to the original question?

Affiliate marketing is alive and well and it works extremely effectively, but not if you are trying to make it on somebody else's front end commissions... There is only one real winner in affiliate marketing and that's the guy who controls the funnel.

You can be that person so easily - it only requires a bit of work and study...
#affiliate #marketing #work
  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

    Hope this interests somebody
    The post, the PM request, or the signature, Richard?
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  • Profile picture of the author Omarkenawy
    I think the only one real winner in affiliate marketing who can build his a list for himself not for anyone else. That means you as an affiliate should capture your visitors details (names and emails) before forward them to the merchant sales page. So you will be able to send them as many offers as you can and make as many commissions as you wish.
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    • Profile picture of the author Devilfish168
      I do affiliate marketing.

      Well to be frank , Sales is not always every day. Hard true.

      Unless you come out a super product which affiliates promoting for you of course also depend how much commission they get.

      Next on list also subjective.

      For instance how many times you open up that marketer emails?

      I also have a lot and open rate is just 1 percent I will open

      again depend your headlines , etc

      I notice a lot of tricks ...some will put head line like YOU GOT PAY , OR YOUR SUBSCRIPTION APPROVE

      The main idea why they use these headlines is make you Check it out and read.

      But I never use these head line lol actually I intended to use sometimes but never.
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Richard,
        Too much Self promotion with the PM thing. This is a no - no and has been talked about a whole lot here.
        Your Post is a very good read, but this really takes away from it to be honest

        A forum is supposed to be transparent and all inclusive...why do people need to PM you to ask that question? Why not contribute and let that person ask that question right here and you answer right here so everyone can se and benefit


        - Robert Andrew
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        • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
          Originally Posted by discrat View Post

          Richard,
          Too much Self promotion with the PM thing. This is a no - no and has been talked about a whole lot here.
          Your Post is a very good read, but this really takes away from it to be honest

          A forum is supposed to be transparent and all inclusive...why do people need to PM you to ask that question? Why not contribute and let that person ask that question right here and you answer right here so everyone can se and benefit


          - Robert Andrew
          Thank you for the TIP I have taken it on board and edited it - we are all here to learn thanks...
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      • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
        I agree about headlines completely. I work really hard on copy, and often use a professional copy writer for launches. The title is so important.

        I have a file on my Desktop for title ideas, and do you know what - the crazier the title the more opens I get. I have 30 great titles which I have personally used and got results from.

        I might sell when it gets to 100 lol
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  • If your list see's you as their leader, that helped them in anyway shape or form achieve success I believe no matter what you sell them, they will buy and look to you to help them.

    That's from my experience.
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    • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
      Originally Posted by AffiliateRockstarr View Post

      If your list see's you as their leader, that helped them in anyway shape or form achieve success I believe no matter what you sell them, they will buy and look to you to help them.

      That's from my experience.
      I totally agree with learning to provide value and support to other people as the priority. I am still getting the hang of finding the right balance with this, but I love the learning process. I have been advised by many people to concentrate on building Know Like Trust relationships with people, and that is where I am trying to focus. I have the tech skills in hand but improving the human interaction is where the focus is going
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    • Profile picture of the author Omarkenawy
      Originally Posted by AffiliateRockstarr View Post

      If your list see's you as their leader, that helped them in anyway shape or form achieve success I believe no matter what you sell them, they will buy and look to you to help them.

      That's from my experience.
      Totally agreeing with you in terms of treating your subscribers as students and you`re leader who try help them solve their problems by giving them the best solutions.
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  • Profile picture of the author @tjr
    Originally Posted by Fingertips

    Hiya Can you clarify? Richard
    You see, if you wanted me to clarify, like actually cared, you'd ask in the thread. You didn't. You didn't want anyone to see what I'd potentially say, because you knew what I was getting at. Not today. Maybe I'll get banned for this, because I'm going to tear this post apart. In the grand scheme of things it won't matter. There's a thousand of you on here every day, making posts like this.

    But today, just one time, for just a little bit. I want newbies that come across this thread to see this post type for what it is, to protect themselves from being pulled into another sales pitch. I'll clarify my post for you. Let me break out the trusty red pen and break down this (elementary in my opinion) attempt to get some new people into your funnel:


    Does Affiliate Marketing Work? Does a bear **** in the woods? Let's not fault this right away though. People who would ask this question are either complete novices or novices recently burned by a product offering the stars. You can go one of two directions here. You can either 1) give an explanation to how affiliate marketing works, reassurring the reader while showing them "hey, people out there do this stuff, it works, and they'll tell me about it without bilking my last few pennies" or 2) you can give "kind of" an answer, that jumps from point to point before soliciting the reader to get "the real secret". You know, sales copy.
    Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

    There has been a huge amount of hype out there this month about Affiliate Marketing. Qualify this statement. Where's the hype. Where are the doubters. Did you make this up? People are questioning it's effectiveness and asking if it is even possible to make a living as an affiliate. Where? How often? Can you point to examples or is this just elementary copywriting (sticking thoughts you hope your target audience has in the copy so they go "yeah, this guy gets it")?

    So I thought I would put in my 10 cents worth, having been doing precisely that for quite a while! I mean, your blog post history is just a lot of, frankly, rehashed material. Your posts are vague, don't really get into the meat of anything. But a newbie who doesn't know to do the research might be fooled.

    It all comes down basically to knowing how it all works. You have to learn about funnel dynamics. Like any profession - you need to study some stuff. #brave statement there. Let's see what you do with it.

    People create and build sales funnels with one goal in view - to get a return on their investment. For a sales funnel to work properly it needs traffic, And the better quality of the traffic - the better the funnel conversion rate. An affiliate marketer relies on his 'affiliates' to provide that traffic for him/her, and pays commissions to them on the front end sales for all their time and effort. You've mixed definitions here. A produce owner recruits affiliates and pays them out. An affiliate marketer, by the common definition used in this field (read: the one the target audience for your post will most likely be exposed to) is the person that drives traffic to an offer and makes a commission off of the sale.

    Imagine a funnel with a $20 front end product, on which the marketer pays out 100% commission? 'Why would he do that?'' you may ask? Why are we talking about this? We've gone from "what is affiliate marketing" to "traffic" to "loss leaders" in three short paragraphs. I'll play devil's advocate with myself here and act as if you wrote this thread with no intent beyond helping a newbie understand what affilaite marketing is all about. You've failed already, on a fundamental level. You've jumped from vague definition of a topic to vague definition of a topic, with some incorrect information thrown in there to boot. What the heck are you doing?!

    One simple reason - to build his list from your traffic. Your precious and expensive traffic! Traffic which YOU should be earning from - not somebody else. Let's prove this wrong in two ways. First, let's say we're the product owner (as you incorrectly identified an affiliate marketer to be). I'm not paying for the traffic. That's the entire point of hiring affiliates. They do the leg work for me to get the sale. And they can't steal my opt-ins if I have prepared my sales funnel properly as product owner. Were you going to mention that at all? Did you know to do so? Alright, second option. If I'm selling as an affiliate marketer (the correct definition) I'm earning from that traffic if it converts. Period. They buy a product, I make a commission. Now, can I get those buyers onto my own list, along with (or in spite of) the owner possibly trying to capture them as well? Yes. That's the subject of its own post, WSO, course, whatever. That's a lot of words to say your premise is false, but it is what it is. Were you trying to drum up fear here?

    So how does the marketer make his money if all he ends up with is an email address?

    Simple - once you get your commission - then that's it! The lead is now his to start making the real cash. His, or mine? Am I the owner or the affiliate? Gah. Remember that this isn't just any old lead. This is now a BUYER Lead - somebody who has already spent money with that marketer - or rather - with YOU! Incorrect again. If this is fresh traffic that I'm sending to the owner, they spent money with the owner. I just put them in the shop. If I organically grew that lead, say through content marketing, then they're still mine. I've just shown them something worth checking out. People can be on more than one email list you know, but that doesn't fit the fear mongering narrative we're building here, does it.

    Have you ever thought what happens to that lead after you are paid? No, I guarantee you the majority of the target audience for this post hasn't. Because, if they still have to ask whether or not affiliate marketing works, you can bet your bottom dollar that they probably don't know what a lead is or how it works in general.

    Think about it....and PM me if you want the definitive answer to that question. This is where your post went from making me feel kinda pissed and uncomfortable to "you gotta be kidding me". No. If you want to write on the subject, and act as if you have the answers, then you'll write what needs to be written here. If you want a lead page you can: 1)let your signature stand on its own merits 2) open a paid thread. This section is for discussion. You don't want to discuss everything? Fine. It's when you're blatant about trying to suck people in, out of the public eye, for more that you become a problem. You can probably work it out, but the next question you will ask is "so how can I do this as well?" More fear building. For a newbie reading this: if you can work out the first thing, you can work out the next thing. Congratulations, you're one step closer to being a real entrepreneur.

    SO
    The answer to the original question? You never stated (or implied) that we were dealing with anything other than the original question. I'm sure this is meant to be the lead in sentence to the conclusion, but the execution is poor here.

    Affiliate marketing is alive and well and it works extremely effectively, but not if you are trying to make it on somebody else's front end commissions...Plenty of people make it on front end commissions, especially if they're recurring. But to admit that would be to admit that they don't need to PM you for more secrets, so I understand why you'd say it. There is only one real winner in affiliate marketing and that's the guy who controls the funnel. You know, if this were the truth affiliate marketing wouldn't be a thing.

    You can be that person so easily - it only requires a bit of work and study...And your help, apparently.

    Hope this interests somebody It didn't.
    Richard
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    • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
      @tjr

      I have had time to read through your crit on my post, and I have to say - you actually made some excellent points. In fact I can hold up my hands here and say that my post was shallow and self-promoting with a blatant spin on it. I have actually gained from reading through what you said, and thank you for putting the time in. This is not a sarcastic reply - I seriously mean what I say. I will definately be more cautious in future posts Thanks - Richard
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      • Profile picture of the author JWC
        I have read this thread with interest and can see both sides of the discussion, @tjr obviously has a lot more experience than Richard. It was good to see Richard take the criticism on-board and hopefully learn from it.
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        • Profile picture of the author @tjr
          Allow me to apologize Richard. If your responses are honest and are any indication to the kind of man you are, then I've misjudged you. My bad.

          Glad you can take the critique as something to move forward from.

          Originally Posted by JWC View Post

          I have read this thread with interest and can see both sides of the discussion, @tjr obviously has a lot more experience than Richard. It was good to see Richard take the criticism on-board and hopefully learn from it.
          Appreciate the compliment, but I'll take a moment to highlight something else novices should be aware of: it is very easy to sound like you know what you're doing. All it takes is at least some base knowledge and a lot of confidence. In this particular instance, my ability to "red pen" things also added an air of authority that may or may not be deserved.

          I probably have more experience than Richard, but not more success. Always verify when someone makes a point as strongly as I did above.
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          • Profile picture of the author James Baker
            I agree that affiliate marketing alive and well. It always will be. The main thing is people are becoming more web savvy about there purchases, product research, choices, etc. and there BS meters are on full alert in this day and age. Affiliate marketing is changing not dying.
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          • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
            Originally Posted by @tjr View Post

            Allow me to apologize Richard. If your responses are honest and are any indication to the kind of man you are, then I've misjudged you. My bad.

            Glad you can take the critique as something to move forward from.


            Appreciate the compliment, but I'll take a moment to highlight something else novices should be aware of: it is very easy to sound like you know what you're doing. All it takes is at least some base knowledge and a lot of confidence. In this particular instance, my ability to "red pen" things also added an air of authority that may or may not be deserved.

            I probably have more experience than Richard, but not more success. Always verify when someone makes a point as strongly as I did above.
            To be honest - I highly value any honest and informed criticism because that's the only way us humans learn and break old patterns. Yes - my responses are genuine and as I said - I valued what you said and appreciate you apologising - although I think you comments were correct although pretty direct - you obviously know how to write incisive pros LOL thanks
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      • Profile picture of the author discrat
        Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

        @tjr

        I have had time to read through your crit on my post, and I have to say - you actually made some excellent points. In fact I can hold up my hands here and say that my post was shallow and self-promoting with a blatant spin on it. I have actually gained from reading through what you said, and thank you for putting the time in. This is not a sarcastic reply - I seriously mean what I say. I will definately be more cautious in future posts Thanks - Richard
        That is 'manning' up Richard. You are miles ahead of the typical Newbies who come in here and do this.
        They either get vehemently angry towards the 'outters' or just do not show their face again.

        You will do good here with that attitude
        Just keep learning and implementing and staying on the straight and narrow
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

        @tjr

        I have had time to read through your crit on my post, and I have to say - you actually made some excellent points. In fact I can hold up my hands here and say that my post was shallow and self-promoting with a blatant spin on it. I have actually gained from reading through what you said, and thank you for putting the time in. This is not a sarcastic reply - I seriously mean what I say. I will definately be more cautious in future posts Thanks - Richard
        I know I'm only echoing what Discrat said, but this impresses me as a very wise and mature response to criticism that, while true, was pretty pointed and harsh, and would have been hard to handle for many if not most people. Our egos so often compel us to be defensive, although it rarely helps us and usually hurts. Your response is a good reminder to me to step back and be thoughtful, rather than reactive to the initial sting of any harsh words that come my way.

        I am not trying to increase my post count with trite responses, and I hope this isn't one (if post count for self promotion were my thing, I'd have launched a WSO by now, right? ), even though this post is redundant, but this merits praise, and I wanted you to know that more than one person was impressed with how you "manned up" and acknowledged your critic's points.

        Cheers
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  • Richard,

    Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

    [A merchant or vendor] relies on his 'affiliates' to provide that traffic for him/her, and pays commissions to them on the front end sales for all their time and effort.
    A merchant / vendor has affiliates, and not affiliate marketers, unless of course you're talking about tier one affiliates who have tier two affiliates? Anyway, this is just semantics, yes, but I'm just clarifying this for those who are just starting out ...

    Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

    Affiliate marketing is alive and well and it works extremely effectively, but not if you are trying to make it on somebody else's front end commissions... There is only one real winner in affiliate marketing and that's the guy who controls the funnel.
    Not always. Many don't want to become merchants or vendors. They just want to invest their resources in media buying / SEO / content marketing campaigns so as to drive traffic to the affiliate offers of their merchants and vendors so as to earn affiliate commissions. That's all, but some of them are earning a lot. Besides:

    Many of them don't have the resources to invest (or just simply don't want to be bothered) with product development, content creation, support services, order and payment processing, chargebacks, refunds, etc. However:

    Smart ones try to convert their traffic to their own subscribers before sending them to affiliate offers -- I think this is what you're getting at? Well yes, this is the best way to do it ...

    ... BUT:

    There are certain instances where directly sending your traffic to affiliate offers converts better than trying to build your subscriber list from your traffic before sending them to your affiliate offers. For example:

    With some of our clients -- We have an arrangement where they post the content that we produce for them (they pay for this content at an exclusive discounted price) in their networks along with banners, buy buttons and text links that are anchored by our affiliate links for their products; and

    When a customer clicks these, they're taken to a page hosted by our clients. This page has our Facebook retargeting and Google remarketing code. This page then redirects the customer to the target page in the sites of our clients. So, we still get the customer in our invisible opt-in list ...

    As another example -- Some of our affiliates for our multilingual call centers can't try to convert their traffic to their subscribers because their traffic is from their call generation campaigns. SO:

    What we do instead is to provide them with a number that they can use for their call generation campaigns, and all call records are stored in a database that the affiliate and us can both access and have mutual ownership rights to, depending on our agreement with the affiliate ...
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    • Profile picture of the author discrat
      Originally Posted by Marx Vergel Melencio View Post

      Smart ones try to convert their traffic to their own subscribers before sending them to affiliate offers -- I think this is what you're getting at? Well yes, this is the best way to do it ...
      Yes Max, and I hope people here do understand this basic but very important assertion you point out.. I know the very first year I started IM 8 years ago, I would just direct link to offers and cross my fingers and hope for a sale lol

      Soon after I learned that getting that email info. upfront with a Capture Form would enable me to build a relationship with the potential customer and present quality offers over and over and over again to that person.
      NOT just one time !!

      However, there are a few instances in CPA offers where it was NOT beneficial for me in building a List. I did build a List and actually lost money in the long term ( Survey Site CPAs on a blog) . I reverted back to just letting Organic traffic clicking on these banner Ads at my Blog much like Adsense

      But this is far and few between.


      - Robert Andrew
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      • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
        Originally Posted by discrat View Post

        Yes Max, and I hope people here do understand this basic but very important assertion you point out.. I know the very first year I started IM 8 years ago, I would just direct link to offers and cross my fingers and hope for a sale lol

        Soon after I learned that getting that email info. upfront with a Capture Form would enable me to build a relationship with the potential customer and present quality offers over and over and over again to that person.
        NOT just one time !!

        However, there are a few instances in CPA offers where it was NOT beneficial for me in building a List. I did build a List and actually lost money in the long term ( Survey Site CPAs on a blog) . I reverted back to just letting Organic traffic clicking on these banner Ads at my Blog much like Adsense

        But this is far and few between.


        - Robert Andrew
        Hi Do you mean capturing the leads on to your own list and qualifying them before sending them on to the affiliate offers you are promoting? That's roughly where I am right now, trying to make that happen regularly. I would love to know how to do that more effectively! I have been taught to engage with the list at least once a day to make sure they remember who I am - is that too often do you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
    @tjr
    Thanks for your very thorough reply - I am still getting my head around WF to be honest, being a beginner in marketing, and several people including yourself have been kind enough to warn me about self-promotion. I care very much what you had to say, but you ONLY said "The post, the PM request, or the signature, Richard?".

    Those nine words were not very clear so I asked you to clarify what you meant. Thank you for doing that.

    I'm not going to waste time going through your red ink corrections, because everyone will clearly understand where you are coming from, but I will pick you up on one thing. My posts are not rehashed material. I try to write things from where I am and share what I am learning.

    I am still at the beginning of my marketing career, and everyone is mostly helpful and supportive in my experience. Thanks for your response
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    • Profile picture of the author lgibbon
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Fingertips View Post

      My posts are not rehashed material. I try to write things from where I am and share what I am learning.
      Why not just come clean and admit you were sent here to advertise an affiliate offer?
      We all recognise the face at the end of the link.
      He's been doing it for years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    Hi Do you mean capturing the leads on to your own list and qualifying them before sending them on to the affiliate offers you are promoting?
    Build your list. If there are affiliate products that you think your subscribers will benefit from, share it with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vendzilla
    I'm launching a 10 tier program shortly, so I don't believe it's dead!
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  • Profile picture of the author dlane1987
    I have asked myself this question a lot. I have been on both sides of this particular fence. I have used affiliates to generate sales and then drive them through the funnel on the backend. I have also promoted affiliate links.
    In my opinion you can make money either way and you can lose money either way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fingertips
    My final post on this thread

    Yes. It was a harsh crit and very painful - but it was all true and any attempt at discussion would have only highlighted my ignorance. My main motivation with marketing is to learn all the time.

    @tjr did a very skilful piece of surgery on my thread, and I expect to make a full recovery on Warrior Forum and return to continue with my new-found insights.

    Lesson learned - so onwards and upwards.
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