How To Manage and Sell Affiliate Programs
How To Manage and Sell Affiliate Programs – Advertising and Marketing Your Affiliate Programs I don’t care what business you are in or what the owners of the company tell you or what the ads say, you are going to have to advertise your affiliate program to be successful.
There is a reason why 95% of the people working programs do not make money and the reason is because they do not advertise. If you were to establish rules, then rule number 1 would be to advertise and rule number 2 would be if you have any questions about what to do to succeed, then see rule number 1.
There is a saying that goes like this:
He who has a thing to sell,
And goes and wishes in a well.
Is not as apt to get the dollar,
As he who climbs a hill and hollers.
Think about all the advertising the large companies do. Wrigley’s gum, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, HP, Dell Computer, AT&T, Holiday Inn, Southwest Airlines. All of these companies are household names, yet they continue to advertise and market their names and their products and services.
They do this because if they did not, even as large as they are, they would quickly lose market share. Lost market share results in lost revenue and lost revenue results in going out of business.
The following story is a good indication of why repetition sells.
Frank Was the Leader
Read this short story:
Frank was the leader of the football team. Joe carried the water. Mike carried the equipment. Phil handled the schedule. The team played well because Frank was the leader. Everyone looked up to Frank, because he was the leader. The other members of the staff did their jobs and did them well, but because Frank was such a good leader, everyone else had an easier time with things.
The team won the championship this year because Frank was the leader and made sure everything was in order. Thank you, Frank. After you have read this story, click here for a short quiz.
I want to repeat what I said earlier. If you are not going to advertise your affiliate program, you are not going to make money.
Okay, so you are ready to advertise your opportunity: Where do you go? What do you do? Who do you trust? How much do you spend? What type of advertising works best? I am going to explain some of these issues in this book, but keep in mind that entire books have been written about advertising. If you have additional questions, please see my bio for my contact information. I am more than willing to answer any additional questions you might have.
I have spent thousands of dollars in the last 3 years with every type of advertising vehicle you can imagine. Guaranteed hits, search engine submissions, email campaigns, solo ads, sponsor ads, articles, Press Releases, classified ads—free and paid, Safelists, FFA’s, Banner and pop-up ads, Radio, newspaper, reciprocal links, copy writers, telemarketing, direct mail, teleconferences, and the list goes on.
For the Internet and for my money, the best advertising opportunity available is solo ads in reputable ezines. Hands down, nothing comes close to the results I get from these ads. I will cover these in more detail later, but first I am going to give you an overview of some advertising options in general.
Warning 1 – Do not expect sales with guaranteed hits: All you are going to get are hits. Hits do not generate sales; qualified customers generate sales. Too many people on the Internet are still under the assumption that if your website is getting a lot of hits, then it must be good. This is far from the truth.
I would rather have 100 people come to ISORegister.com and have 9 joins, than get 10,000 hits and 2 or 3 join. This is the same rationale as you working with 5 affiliate partners. You will have a lot more time to work with 5 people and give them quality time, than work with hundreds of people and multiple programs.
We would rather devote our resources and time to work with those people who are sincerely interested in making a positive change in their life and income as opposed to dealing with people who cannot or will not make a decision regarding their financial future.
Warning 2 – Be very careful where you spend your advertising dollars: There are a lot of scams on the Internet. Many companies will promise you the world and you will only get dirt.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Read the testimonials on sites and if there are none available, ask for references. Be cautious of sites that do not provide contact information such as phone numbers or physical addresses. Send an email request and see how long it takes to get a response.
Now, it is not always possible for an Internet owner to respond to every request instantly, however same day responses must become the rule not the exception. You as the buyer of advertising must dictate this to people you do business with. I just bought an ad blast of 300,000. I was told the ad would run on one day, but it did not run until 5 days later.
I tested these 300,000 blasts vs. a solo ad to 5,100. Cost for the blast was $75, the cost for the solo ad was $15. I used identical subject lines and ads for this test. The blast received 49 hits and 0 sales. The solo ad received 45 hits and 5 sales. The blast was a complete waste of money and most likely a scam. There is no way the discrepancy can be this great between 2 campaigns.
Final Warning – Be very careful of FREE sites: You are going to come across a lot of sites that tell you that you can make money online with no investment or advertisement for free.
These are all hyped up ways to either get your email address and bombard you with ads, or get you into a program only to get you to upgrade your free membership to a paying status. Be careful when reviewing Free offers.
All sites use the word FREE and most use it correctly in that you will get a FREE e-book for buying their product or service or they will give you a FREE upgrade when you buy their basic service or product.
However, anyone who tells you that you can make money online for FREE is telling you an outright lie. If you can make money for Free, or by only working a few minutes a week, then everyone online would be millionaires. Nice to dream, but it just does not work like that.
These people prey on lazy people who don’t want to put forth any effort and want the world handed to them on a silver platter.
The reality is, the money has to come from someone and that someone will be the people who think they are getting the program for free.
Solo mailings and Paid Safelists:
Solo mailings work very well, but be careful with free Safelists as they rarely do anything more than fill up your mailbox. There are some good paid Safelists available but be careful when you join these groups as you will receive a lot of offers from other Safelists members.
The benefit of a paid Safelist is when people pay for something they tend to be more responsive to reviewing your offer. You can get very high-quality solo ads for less than $40, and even if you only get one new affiliate partner, you will more than recoup your cost.
One affiliate selling for you can be worth over $2,000 per month in revenue if you work with that person and help them succeed with you, and not for you.
The other huge benefit of solo ads vs. mass emails are that you can subscribe to the ezine you are placing the ad with and make sure it is sent the day and time requested and looks the way you wrote it.
Paid Classified Ads:
These can be a great source to test the waters of an ezine before you spend money on paid ads. This assumes you are tracking your hits and sales using an ad-tracking program.
The problem is it takes a lot of time to find and pay and write these small ads and place in a variety of ezines. You can use an ad blasting services such as My Wizard Ads, but you will not be able to track each ad in each ezine.
However, using a service such as this is a good way to get a lot of advertising out for a little money. Don’t expect too much of a return as these are classified ads and are not read by a lot of people.
It is a good source of branding for a program, just getting your name out in the marketplace so people will know you are a legitimate program.
Free Classified Ads:
These ads are usually given away in most ezines to maintain and increase their subscriber count. The better ezines will place classified ads throughout the ezine and not just at the bottom.
This gives your ad a better chance of being read. Similar to paid ads, these can be a good source to test the waters for future paid advertising. These are time consuming, but if you are tracking your ads, you might find a good resource for paid advertising.
As an example, I ran a free ad in one ezine in early March 2003. I was considering running a solo ad in the same ezine in April 2003, but when I researched the hits of the classified ad, I found it had zero hits. If the classified ad had even received one or two hits, I would have bought the solo ad, but with zero hits, it became too much of a gamble.
These ads are located in the top, middle or bottom of well-known ezines, and are good if you choose an ezine that fits the criteria of your target market. It is also a good idea to get your sponsor ads in an issue with a compelling article.
If the ezine has a good readership, then these ads make an excellent tool, as they will be placed right before or after the articles. They are more affordable than solo ads and you will get a better response rate than classified ads.
Prior to placing an ad in any ezine, you should subscribe to the ezine and read it for a few weeks to make sure it is well written and informative and not full of links and free ads. This will also help you to verify that your ad was sent on the day and time promised.
Also, you want to make sure the ezine is not sending several ads per day every day of the week. Research you’re advertising very carefully. Cheap is not always better. In October 2002, we ran an ad in one ezine that boasted they had over 300,000 readers. The cost of the ad was $90 and they were supposed to run it twice.
We got a total of 9 hits from both ads and 0 sales. In another instance, we ran an ad that went to 5,500 people at a cost of $20. We received 2 sales from this one ad and more importantly each of the new members joined the affiliate program and has made several sales each.
Target your mailings regardless of the median you use. It does you no good to send 100,000 ads, if the people receiving the ads have no interest in your offer. It is much better to send a smaller number of ads to a very focused group of people. Your response will be better and your cost will be less.
Free for All (FFA):
These are similar to free Safelists, you are going to get a mailbox full of ads, but little more. FFA’s were great when they first came out, but just like most free ad opportunities, they were quickly inundated and became a lost cause.
One thing to also remember is that a lot of companies that will tell you they will send your ads to millions of people are simply posting them on FFA pages. They are doing what they say, but they are not doing justice to you. The upside of FFA paid sites is you get a lot of email addresses that you can then send your private ad to without worrying about Spam.
This is another area you will want to be extremely careful of when using. You have probably seen the companies that promise to send your email to hundreds of thousands of people for a very low fee.
Most of these are scams and should be avoided. There are some very reputable email companies on the Internet, however it has been our experience that even with the reputable companies, you will not get a very good response and the costs are a lot more than solo ads in the best ezines.
How Much Do I Advertise?
The short answer is as much as you can. If you invest $100 in advertising and you get $200 in business, then you would be wise to take $150 and reinvested it back into advertising. Continue this cycle until you have built up a solid line of affiliates and then show your affiliates this method of advertising.
Remember, free advertising is a long-term process. Paid advertising will get you quicker results and that is your goal. There is no reason to wait 4 – 6 months to get a return on your advertising just because it is free. Your market competitors are going to use paid advertising and they will be eating at your market share while you are waiting for the free ads to work.
A rule of thumb is to spend a minimum of 40% of your gross receipts on advertising. If you make $1,000 a month, then spend at least $400 on additional advertising. Test different ads and different ad opportunities. Track your ads and reinvest in those places where you see a solid return.
How Much Will Advertising Cost?
This varies by vehicle. I have purchased email campaigns for $250 that got nothing and I have spent $15 on solo ads that gave me a 1,500% return on investment.
Stay away from the super-cheap advertising opportunities. I have seen guaranteed hits of less than $10 for a million hits. I don’t think much of guaranteed hits anyway, but this was just a pure scam.
Again, the best rule of thumb is to plan on spending 40% of your income on advertising. However, do not spend money just to spend. Use your money wisely. Ask other people what works for them, think about what works best for you when you are reviewing a product or service.
What catches your eye? What ezines do you read? What don’t you like? What makes sense to you will most likely make sense to other people.
Be consistent with your advertising and your advertising will be consistent with you. Do not run an ad one week and then wait 3 or 4 weeks to run more ads. You are much better off running ads each day or every other day than running a bunch of ads for a week and then stopping for a couple of weeks.
Ad and Link Tracking:
This is one of the most important things you can do when advertising. If you are not tracking your ads, you are simply wasting money.
When I first started advertising online, I used Excel, MS Word and Outlook to track my ads. I am also creating a new sales page for each campaign. This took hours to track my ads. It did save me money in advertising, but cost me money in time and lost productivity.
Ad-Tracking programs allow you to create special links that you can insert in your ad copy and these links will direct people to your sales page. The beauty of them is they will keep track of your hits and some will even track your sales. You will know exactly what ad or ad copy, place of ad or search engine is bringing you the results you desire.
Even if you only use free advertising, it is imperative that you track your ads as even free ads take time to create. If you have ads running in 10 places, but 9 of them are not producing, then dump those 9 and concentrate more energy and resources on the one place that is working.
At Ad-Alyzer.com you can easily and affordably track, manage and analyze all your ads, web links and ad campaigns. Save money and time regardless of the number of ads and links you need to track.
Well, there you have it, managing and selling your affiliate programs is not a magic pill and it is not rocket science. It is pure business 101. Working affiliate programs puts you in control of your own destiny. It can and will be extremely rewarding to generate your own income and build your own little empire. It can and will be something you will be very proud of, as it is an accomplishment that not many people achieve.
Do not believe the hype, but instead believe your heart. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. The unfortunate reality of the Internet is that there are many people who only want to take advantage of you and your money. They only care about themselves and they do not care what happens to you once they have your money.
Research any affiliate program before you commit any money, even if a friend recommends it highly, you should be skeptical. Good companies have nothing to hide and are willing to share whatever information you need to make a decision.
Do not join any program where email is the only contact option. If a company will not talk with you or provide a physical address, then they are most likely not a real company, but a computer in someone’s basement or garage.
Advertise your affiliate program aggressively but be smart about where you spend your dollars. Work with your affiliate partners and make them successful and you will be successful.
Be honest and upfront with new affiliates and do not tell them what they want to hear, but tell them what they need to hear. You might lose a few sales upfront, but you will have better affiliate partners in the long run and the long run is what you are after.
There are no instant millionaires on the Internet. You can make money, but it is going to take time and patience and resources. If you are unemployed, do not attempt to start an affiliate program. There are no sure things in affiliate marketing and there is no way to guarantee your income.
If you have additional questions regarding affiliate management or marketing, I am more than willing to share my successes and failures with you and give you whatever guidance I can to help you succeed.
You can contact me using my contact information on my bio page, but remember, I am not going to be a rah-rah for you and hype you up with visions of million-dollar paychecks. I will tell you what I have done and what has worked the best for me, and that is all anyone can do for you.
Your ultimate success relies on your own desire and creativity, and tenacity. Without looking back at the Frank story or below for the answers, answer the following:
1) Who was the leader?
2) Who carried the equipment?
3) Who handled the schedule?
4) Who carried the water?
Most people who read this know that Frank was the leader, however less than 1% gets more than one of the other answers correct. This is not a measure of intelligence; it merely shows that people need to see and hear about something multiple times before they remember it. This is why we all need to constantly advertise.
Read Much More Inside…
Super Affiliates – Their Success—Their Words
Michael Hooker – Team Success #1 For All Your Marketing Needs
Damon Smith – http://www.haileyscometweekly.com/
Patricia Creasy http://22.214.171.124/727/ISOLeads
John Olson http://shop-money-time.com/
How To Manage and Sell Affiliate Programs $14.97
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