How To Win The Affiliate Game
By Michael Southon
Are you frustrated with your affiliate programs?
I used to be. Very frustrated! One day, in sheer
desperation, I wrote to one of my affiliate
programs and suggested that the market was now
saturated with their product - it was no longer
possible to sell it.
The next day I received a very nice reply. "The
Internet is HUGE", they said. "We predict it will
be five years before the market is saturated with
our product. And long before that, we will have
introduced our next product." They were right, of
course. The problem was not with the market (the
Internet is huge). Nor was the problem with their
product. The problem was in the way I was
Since then, my affiliate sales have soared. Why?
Because I learnt a few secrets to winning the
affiliate game. Here they are:
1. Choose affiliate programs that relate very
closely to the theme of your website. Let me give
you an example. Of the three affiliate products I
sell from my web site, the one that does best by
a long way is an eBook that shows people how to
generate free Ezine advertising. Why does it do
so well? Because my website is a directory of
ezines and most of my visitors are already
interested in Ezine Advertising before they even
arrive at my website - I don't have to persuade
them very much.
2. Buy the product yourself! Research across
dozens of affiliate programs shows that at least
70% of sales in any affiliate program are made by
the small percentage of affiliates who actually
buy the product they're selling. It makes sense
doesn't it (how can you recommend something
you've never used)?
3. Banners - they don't work anymore, and some
experts believe banners will actually damage your
4. Personal recommendation. The human factor is
very important on the Internet - people want to
know that someone else has bought the product and
that it worked for them. But to write a
convincing personal recommendation, you'll have
to buy, read and use the product you're selling.
5. 'Over-selling' - this is the most common
mistake of affiliates. Keep in mind that all you
need to do to succeed with affiliate programs is
to get your potential customer to click through
to the affiliate website in an 'open-to-buy'
mindset. If the affiliate program is good, the
affiliate website will make the sale. So don't
try to sell the product from your website - just
aim to get a click on your affiliate link.
5. Standard Ads. When you join an affiliate
program, you'll probably be given some standard
ads to use. Don't use them! Why? Because your
potential customer has probably seen those exact
same ads on dozens of websites and in dozens of
Ezines. And if that standard ad hasn't led them
to buy the product so far, it probably won't now.
Something new and original is required.
6. Back-end sales. Once you're succeeding in one
affiliate program, join another program that
offers a related product and use the technique
that marketers call 'back-end' sales. It's a well
known fact that people are much more likely to
buy from someone they have already bought from.
So when someone makes a purchase from your
affiliate link, send them a nice follow-up
letter. At the end of the letter, tell them about
your other affiliate product and how it can help
Michael Southon is the publisher of
'The Free Directory of Ezines'
Discover 'The 3 Keys To Ezine Success':
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