So you have decided to give Affiliate Marketing a go. The tendency here is to sign up to whatever you can get your hands on but the first rule is always to find a product that fits your audience. If you haven’t got an audience then find a product for a hungry market and try to sell this through pay per click advertising or social media.
There are plenty of affiliate programmes out there and it’s easy to see, simply google for affiliate programmes or networks and you will get pages after pages of results. Given time, you will get to know some more than others. We take a look at the 5 basic steps in choosing an affiliate program and ultimately the right product for your market.
How to Choose the Right Product and Affiliate Program
1. Look for a viable product with clear demand in the market
We spoke briefly about finding a product that fits your audience if you already have a website and loyal following. But you should always start by researching your market place. Often you find that you have a tendency to start from the product and work to find a market and people to buy it.
Most people make the same mistake by developing a product or invention then look for potential buyers. Always, start with the buyers and market in mind and ask about the demands, what specifically are people looking for and when. Only then should you find a viable product. Finding the right product means you won’t be wasting your time trying to sell something that nobody wants.
2. Priced to sell and with good commission rate
This is likely to be the second criteria for choosing the right product or products to sell. You want to meet the needs of your audience and offer them something of value to them AND at the same time, give them a product at a price that they are likely to buy. Don’t just sell the highest ticket item or one that pays the highest commission rate. Consider a balance between the two.
While it make sense to sell products that gives you the highest commission, think about the price point to the end user. Your audience will appreciate your effort to help them get the best bang for their investment and in time build their trust.
3. The Front and Back Office
So you found a viable product and one with a price point and commission that your audience and you are comfortable with, now what about the buyers’ and your experience in buying and selling the product. Does the front office provide sufficient information to the buyer, a good and easy buying experience with fast and secure check-out or does it confuse them with offers after offers on something that no longer represent your original product?
Do you have sufficient information, appropriate sales and marketing support (text, banners, marketing creatives and email copies) you need to effectively promote the product? Study the front end and try to approach this as a potential buyer, sign up and login to the back office and look for as much information and tools that will help you promote the product.
4. Promotions and New Products
While signing up with an individual company’s affiliate program meant that you would only offer products by the company, signing up with merchant networks meant you have access to a directory of companies offering different products from a single affiliate account.
For your marketing to be successful, you need to identify from the network what is currently on promotion and any new products added. The network must also provide information like what sells well and what doesn’t. You can do this by choosing a category and sorting them against a list criteria including the ones I have just mentioned to help maximise your earnings.
5. Traffic, Earnings and Payment
It is good to know that the efforts you put in to marketing a certain product are being rewarded. If the action you take are converting to sales and how well this performs. If there are trends and information that will help you make the best decisions for your marketing strategy.
All this is only possible with affiliate programmes that provide you with accurate and real time traffic information, from those that clicked on your affiliate link to actual purchases to timely notifications, earning report and receipt of monthly commission in a timely fashion.
Reporting tools must be rel time and include advanced features that compare the different metrics such as referred traffic vs actual sales and hour, day, month breakdown of sales activities and actual earnings.
With time, you will find that such information not only give you a real indicator of what is working and work isn’t but the motivation it gives you to continue to expand your market, reach and working on the relationship with your audience.
Over to you
Remember, signing up to become an affiliate with any affiliate program, does not guarantee you success. You and the merchant network will need to work together. Your chosen affiliate program needs to provide you with all the support and information you need and keep its end of the bargain by paying on time as agreed. Use the basic 5 steps above to choose the right product from the right affiliate to sell and you are on your way.
Do you have a favourite affiliate network or had experience with different affiliate networks that you would like to share? We would love to hear from you, whether it’s comments, questions, thoughts or ideas. Feel free to leave them here or get in touch.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it useful.