Afilliate marketing online
Partner up with appropriate companies and increase sales
Do you want to increase your web business cash flow? If you're selling products or services via the web and you're not already running an affiliate marketing program, it's time to start and reap the rewards.
Affiliate marketing is one of the best online marketing programs available for small businesses. Why? Because, there's no risk. You only pay if the customer makes a purchase, signs up for your newsletter, joins your emailing list, or takes whatever action you want them to take.
Unlike advertising, where you pay an upfront fee with the hope it delivers customers, affiliate marketing programs allow you to pay only if and when the results are delivered. For a marketer, that's a very favourable option.
With affiliate marketing you agree to pay other businesses (your affiliates) a referral fee (commission) for each customer who completes an activity at your website. Big online players, such as Amazon, have turned affiliate marketing into a significant source of new customers. You can do the same for your small business.
One of Harry Ganz's secrets to attracting 100,000 visitors per month to The Garden Pharmacy (www.garden.co.uk) is affiliations. The site currently has a network of 900 affiliates through AffiliateWindow.com that generates 12-14% of his traffic. And Harry has now introduced a direct feed between his online catalogue and the affiliate shopping portals, so a visitor at one of these sites searching for a specific perfume, for instance, gets a list of stockists with a link to buy at Garden Pharmacy at the top.
Here are five tips for making affiliate marketing live up to its potential.
1. Reward Affiliates With Good Offers That Increase With Performance
2. Create a Variety of Links and Graphical Elements
You'll want to provide your affiliate partners with creative material to put on their sites to compel people to click. The more variety your program can offer, the more popular your affiliate programme will be.
3. Find the Right Affiliates
If you're like most small businesses, you'll find that 80% of your affiliate sales come from 20% of your affiliates. Sourcing more of these top performers is the way to reap the best rewards, So, how do you identify them?
4. Actively Recruit Affiliate Partners
The consistently successful affiliate marketers all have one thing in common. They actively recruit new affiliates to their program. You should do the same. Here's a few ways to reach potential affiliates.
Says Harry Ganz of The Garden Pharmacy, "Affiliates are paid commission and I've opted for 10%; double that of the majority of beauty sites, but I'm more than pleased with the results."
5. Care For Your Affiliates And Feed Them
Once you've found good affiliate partners, it is critical to nurture those partnerships and build loyalty. Send your affiliates a welcome email when they join the program, plus a monthly or quarterly newsletter telling them about new products. Develop a place on your website focused on helping your affiliates be more successful. Include suggestions for how they can make the program work better for them.
One good example of this is Ken Evoy's Make Your Site Sell and subsequent information products. When you join his affiliate programme, you receive a large manual along with regular mails, to help you generate better results. And if your affiliates are generating better results, so will you.
With a bit of effort, an affiliate marketing program can increase your online sales noticeably. It does take some time to administer the program and to make sure that your affiliate partners are legitimate websites with complementary content to your own. But with a small time commitment and small up-front financial investment, you can start a low-risk marketing program that has proven to be a great customer generator for larger online companies.