Affiliate Marketing: Electronic Word of Mouth
By: Akhil Shahani
Take this seriously. This isnít a joke.
Youíre going to start a business in the next 10 minutes! Whatís more, you donít have to deal with customers, make products or even offer money back guarantees.
Does that sound too good to be true? Welcome to the world of affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing holds interesting possibilities for entrepreneurs like you who want to try a new business option. Almost anyone who sells online has an affiliate marketing program to help expand their business. This article will give you a few tips on how to improve your chances of success as an affiliate.
What is affiliate marketing?
In simple words itís what you get paid (also called ďreferral feeĒ) for directing visitors to your website to other merchantsí sites. Compensation is based on the value of each visit, and could take the form of a pay per click or a commission for each sale.
This might shake you up, but according to a study by research firm Forrester, affiliate marketing earnings were worth over US$ 50 billion in 2005. We see weíve got your attention. Read on to find out how you can get a share of those billions.
1. Test the waters: You must know a program and its underlying products inside out before signing up. Start by listing out the top selling items which will fetch profits quickly. Select programs that have a bighearted commission structure and products that cater well to your own websiteís audience. Also make sure they have a solid track record of paying their affiliates on time. There are a zillion affiliate programs available on the web, so you can afford to be choosy. Take your time while selecting.
2. Rediscover the writer in you: Címon, donít worry about not having any writing skills. Itís simple! You can write free reports or short e-books related to the product you want to promote. This will set you apart from the others who promote the same products. The report should provide valuable information and a recommendation for the product. Your audience will trust you more.
3. Publish online: Your own newsletter can do the trick for you! This will help you build a subscriber base and develop a relationship with them. That might give you an opportunity to recommend products to them. Remember, itís easier to recommend to a friend than selling to a stranger.
4. Collecting helps: Collect contact information of the visitors who download your report. Research proves that over 60% of sales of any product are made after the 5th exposure to the sales message. A regular, but not too aggressive follow up schedule might fetch good results. Try and offer real value at each contact Ė for example, an alert about the launch of a new book in the customerís specific area of interest.
5. Design to impress: This is often a point of neglect. Itís very important that you design your website so that it makes a positive impression on visitors. People must be willing to believe what you say, before they can be enticed into visiting an affiliate website.
6. Stay away from banner ads: This is not the best strategy as visitors tend to avoid them. But if you must have them, use sparingly. Avoid placing the merchantís banner on the same page as your report or any other reference to the product you wish to promote. Otherwise, it might make your article look like a well written advertisement, and negatively affect the visitor.
Remember that your role in any affiliate marketing program is only to pre-sell. Once youíve done your job correctly, itís the merchantís job to close the deal.
About The Author
Hi, I am Akhil Shahani, a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed. Over the years I have run many successful businesses & made many mistakes on the way. I have created http://www.aykya.com
to help you benefit from all I've learned on my journey. Please visit us & download our special 'Freebie of the Month' as a thank you for your visit.
This article was posted on October 12, 2006
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