Increasing Affiliate Income
17 Of The Best Tips, and Ideas For Increasing Affiliate Income
If you’ve read the other guides in this series, then you’ve picked up a lot of great tips for increasing your affiliate income and sales. Now we’re going to continue in that vein with 17 of the best tips, steps, and ideas for really increasing your affiliate business. Take a look…
1. Ask for Perks
If you want bigger commissions, the first thing you can do is ask for them. If you’ve already generated sales for a vendor and proven yourself to be a valuable part of their business, then talk to the vendor about additional perks such as a higher commission rate. Many vendors already have a higher commission rate installed for “super affiliates,” so if you prove yourself, they’ll gladly extend the rate to you if you ask.
Of course, higher commission rates, while attractive, are not the only perks to ask for. You might also ask for:
- Unique landing page.
- Exclusive discounts for your customers.
- Special bonuses for your customers.
- Instant commissions (or perhaps weekly commissions).
- Notification of upcoming product launches, contests, and other special events.
- First promotion rights (meaning you and a small group of affiliates get to promote a new offer first before the general public is allowed to promote it).
2. Redirect Your Affiliate Links
Don’t use direct affiliate links in your promotions. Instead, create prettier links by redirecting them through your own domain. If anything ever happens that you don’t want to promote a specific offer anymore, or if the offer gets retired, you can change the redirect to a different offer. That way, you don’t end up with dead or unwanted links all over the internet.
3. Look for Vendors Who Value Affiliates
To some vendors, you’re just part of their advertising machinery. To other vendors, you’re a valuable part of their businesses. You’ll do better as an affiliate if you seek out vendors in the latter group.
Here’s what to look for:
- Vendors who are responsive to affiliate requests/inquiries/emails.
- Vendors who offer additional perks to affiliates.
- Vendors who offer recurring commissions and commissions on backend sales.
- Vendors who provide plenty of marketing materials
- Vendors who provide training materials.
- Vendors who stay in touch with affiliates through a regular newsletter, blog, or another platform.
When you find these vendors, develop good relationships with them and stick with their program, as they tend to have the philosophy that when you succeed, they succeed too (so they’ll do everything they can to make it happen).
4. Offer Help
Forget about aggressive pitches and hyped-up preselling materials. Instead, focus on helping your prospects. If you provide a lot of value upfront, you’ll develop great relationships with your audience. In turn, this leads to higher conversions and more sales, as people like to do business with those they
know, like, and trust.
How do you offer help? Get your platforms up and running (such as your blog, newsletter, and email) and the most useful, actionable content on them.
The content can be useful yet incomplete, with a pitch at the end for a paid
5. Sell High-Ticket, High-Commission Offers
It’s nearly as easy to sell a high-ticket offer as it is to sell a low-priced item. Generally, it comes down to picking a highly targeted audience and extending your email sequences by a few extra emails. But if you have to trust a good relationship with your prospects, they’ll just as happily purchase a $1000 product on your recommendation as they would a $10 product.
6. Cut Down Your Onsite Promotions
Some affiliates figure that the more links, CTAs, banners, and other ads they stuff into their blog and other web pages, the more likely they’ll make a sale. But in fact, the opposite is true. If your site looks like an advertising circus, your prospects will not stick around too long. Those who do stick around will develop ad blindness and ignore your ads. Instead, what you want to do is focus on promoting a small handful of offers. For example, instead of stuffing every square inch of your blog sidebar with ads, promote two or three of your best offers. You’ll capture attention better because the relatively few offers show that they’re all important, and likewise you’ll enjoy more sales too.
7. Create a Presell Video
When people are shopping in a retail store, they always pick up the products and examine every inch of them. If it’s a product they can try out right there in the store – like a laptop – then you can bet they’ll do it. This is part of the buying process because holding the product lets people imagine what it will be like to own the product. When you’re selling products online, people obviously can’t pick the product up, examine every inch of it, or try it. But you can provide the next best thing by offering a video of YOU holding the product, showing every inch of it, and trying it out.
For example, if you’re selling laptops, then show every part of the laptop and point out all the features, such as every USB port. Then start it up and show prospects what it’s like actually to use the laptop.
Be sure to zoom in for close-ups, as this creates an experience for the viewer that truly is the next best thing to them trying out the product themselves.
8. Plan a Sales Funnel
Plenty of affiliates work on a business model where they just promote every new product launched in their niche. Here’s a better idea: plan out a sales funnel and how you’ll cross-promote these products to your prospects and customers.
For example, if you’re selling some dieting guide, you’ll also want to promote tools and additional resources to anyone who purchases that guide. This might include meal-planning apps,
cookbooks, specialized reports on topics such as nutrition supplements, exercise videos, and more.
Can you still promote every new thing that comes along? Of course. But whenever you promote something new, always be thinking about what ELSE your audience needs to solve their problem, and design a bonus and follow-up email sequence that promotes these items.
9. Stop Promoting “The Last Thing You’ll Ever Need” Products
You know what I’m talking about here: marketers who promote a product and tell their audience it’s the “last thing they’ll ever need” to solve their problems. And then next week they promote a new product and use the same line. And then next week… well, you get the idea. Don’t do this. Prospects will see right through this, and eventually, your recommendations won’t mean anything because you hype up everything; instead, be honest with everything you promote. Share the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let your prospects know what part of the problem this product solves and what sort of person will get the most benefits out of the offer.
For example, if you’re selling a marketing guide, let your readers know the guide’s focus (e.g., social media marketing) and who would benefit (beginners who are just getting started).
10. Create Multiple Calls to Action
Most of your preselling content should include at least two calls to action. For example, if you’re sending someone a 500-word email, you’d include a call to action once in the body of the email (usually near the end) and then include a second call to action in the P.S. (postscript). Secondly, be sure your links and calls to action stand out from the rest of the content. Someone should be able to scan your content and locate the CTA in a second. You can use big CTA buttons to accomplish this or simply create a lot of white space around the CTA so that it stands out.
11. Optimize Your Product Reviews for the Search Engines
Before buying a product, most people tend to look for reviews and feedback on that product. That’s why you’ll want to make sure your product reviews are optimized for the search engines. E.G., optimize for keywords such as “[product name] review.”
TIP: Develop relationships with vendors and get on their early notification and prelaunch lists. That way, you can start optimizing before the general public even knows the product exists.
12. Check Cookie Length and Terms
When you’re debating whether to sign up for a particular affiliate program, be sure you understand how the tracking cookies work for that particular program.
- Are first or last, cookies used? Focus on programs where “last cookie” gets the sale because you’re using your bonus and preselling content to close the sale.
- What is the length of the cookie? Focus on programs with long cookie lengths. Granted, some users delete cookies regularly (sometimes after every browser session), but the key here is that you don’t want the affiliate program itself erasing your cookie after a day or even a week.
13. Make Your Site Sticky
Not everyone will join your list, which is why you need to make your blog sticky.
- Install quizzes and other interactive features.
- Let people use a piece of software on your site, such as a calculator (e.g., mortgage calculator, calorie counter, etc.).
- Create regular content features, such as a Friday “group coaching” session.
- Upload a blog series to keep people coming back.
- And yes, focus on creating really high-quality content to keep people coming back for more.
14. Stay Focused
Don’t pitch anything that’s not related to your niche. Don’t repurpose your blog or newsletter by sharing non-niche news or events. This includes promoting non-relevant charitable causes and promoting something unrelated “just once” for a marketing friend. While some of these may seem like no big deal and may even seem noble, your audience may unsubscribe or stop reading if they see you sharing content that has nothing to do with their interests.
15. Showcase a “Featured Product.”
Create a special place on your site, such as on your blog or in a notification bar, where you showcase a featured product. Rotate this product regularly, such as once per week. (Ideally, offer a special bonus package or discount, if available, with your featured product.)
16. Create a List of Recommended Resources
Another good way to boost your sales and commissions is by creating a list of recommended resources on your site. While you may list a mix of free and paid resources, be sure to link the paid resources using an affiliate link. Then be sure this list is prominently displayed, such as linking to it in your main navigation menu.
17. Research Two-Tier Affiliate Programs
A two-tier affiliate program is where you get commissions on any sales you make, PLUS, you get the opportunity to recruit other affiliates into the program. You then make a small commission on any sales that affiliates in your “downline” make.
Note that sometimes affiliates focus on recruiting other affiliates, and no one is actually promoting the product (thus, no one is making money). That’s why if you find a two-tier program in your niche, be sure that it’s an in-demand, high-quality product. Focus on making direct sales first and foremost, and then secondarily, you can focus on recruiting others into the program.
So as you can see, there isn’t just one little thing that separates the best affiliates from the average affiliates. Instead, super-affiliates take small steps to boost their conversions, sales, and commissions every day. If you want to become a top affiliate in your niche, too, then you need to do the same thing – starting with the 17 tips and tricks you just learned about inside this guide.
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