The Guide To Selecting Profitable Products
17 Questions To Ask When Deciding What To Promote
You’ve got your eye on an affiliate product. Maybe you’ve just discovered it, or maybe it’s something that it seems like everyone else is promoting. But before your grab your affiliate link, you’re going to want to check out these 17 things to look for before you promote an affiliate offer.
Take a look…
1. Does the product solve a problem?
Sometimes people judge an info product based on how entertaining or well-written it is. Yes, it’s good to have an engaging product. But you need to set that aside for a moment and check that it actually solves a problem. Don’t just review the product – use it and see for yourself what it does.
As you’re reviewing it, keep the audience in mind. For example, if this is a beginner-level product, does it provide enough information so that the average beginner can indeed solve their problem?
2. Is this product something your audience wants?
No matter how stunningly awesome the product seems, you need to determine if it’s something your audience WANTS. Not just needs, but WANTS. (Your audience may need something, but if they don’t also want it, then they’re not going to buy it.)
As always, the answer here is to do your market research to determine whether your audience is already buying this product or similar offers.
3. Is the product well-written and engaging?
Yes, now here’s the question of whether the info product reads well. An engaging product will keep people hooked and reading through until the end, which in turn boosts their satisfaction and lowers refund rates.
Here’s a related point…
4. Does the product present a professional image?
First off, look at whether the product looks good on the inside and has been proven. If it’s riddled with typos and errors, people will form a lower opinion of it (and likely ask for a refund). So, be sure it’s laid out nicely and polished to present a professional image.
5. Does the product include professional cover graphics?
Now look to the outside of the product. Does the vendor provide high-quality cover graphics that will make a great impression on prospects? Remember, people judge a book or other product by its cover, so be sure anything you promote uses attractive cover graphics.
6. What are the product’s weaknesses?
No product is perfect, so you need to take a moment and catalog the perceived weaknesses of the product. Then ask yourself, are any of these weaknesses dealbreakers?
Secondly, take a moment and think about how you can handle these objections (the weaknesses), and perhaps even turn them into assets to persuade people to buy.
For example, maybe you’re selling an ebook that’s short compared to other similar products in the market, but it carries a high price tag. Some people may feel like they’re not getting their money’s worth if the product doesn’t have X number of pages. You can turn this perceived weakness into an asset by talking about how the ebook isn’t full of fluff or filler, making it an excellent guide for busy people who don’t have time to read extraneous material.
7. Does the sales page look professional?
Your next step is to glance over the sales page. Does the overall design, layout, and graphics look professional? Will this page make a good impression on prospects?
Here’s a related point…
8. Does the sales letter convert well?
Having a beautiful sales page doesn’t mean too much if the sales copy doesn’t convert prospects into buyers. If you know a little something about writing good copy, you can probably look at the sales page and instantly know whether it’s something that will convert.
However, you’ll also want to get in contact with the vendor to learn more about their conversion rates. Be sure you understand what sort of traffic created the conversions they’re giving you. For example, there’s going to be a big difference in conversions from the vendor’s own mailing list versus conversions coming from affiliates, paid ads, and so on.
NOTE: A low-converting sales page isn’t a dealbreaker if you can do the heavy lifting with your preselling material.
9. Are there any “conversion leaks” on the sales page?
For example, a sales page may link to a FAQ page about the product (and this FAQ should also link to the order form). The sales page should NOT link to a general FAQ that has nothing to do with the product.
10. Are there any commission hijacks on the sales page?
Here you need to carefully examine the sales page and order form to ensure your affiliate link doesn’t get hijacked (either on purpose or inadvertently). Pay particular attention to the following:
Are there any popups, lightboxes, exit redirects, or similar that hijack the affiliate link?
Do all payment methods give credit to the proper affiliate?
Are there any links anywhere on the page that go to other offers, overtake your affiliate link, or similar?
Does your affiliate link remain intact during the ordering process? (This is important to go all the way through the process to double-check that tracking stays intact and you get credit for the sale.)
11. Is ordering easy/user-friendly?
As you’re going through the ordering process, could you take note of how easy it is? Do you have to jump through any extra hoops, such as filling out extraneous information on the order form? Are there a ton of upsells/cross-sells that could potentially dampen conversions? (Upsells and cross-sells in moderation are perfectly okay – it’s only a problem if there are so many placed between the prospect and the order form that they get frustrated trying to order.)
12. Is collecting the product easy?
Once you’ve placed your order, how do you collect the product? Do you get instant access the moment you’ve completed the order form?
If it’s not an instant-access type product (such as a physical home study course that needs to be shipped), does the confirmation page and emails clearly lay out what happens next? And are you kept in the loop with tracking numbers?
All of this is important because it’s part of what will contribute to the customer’s satisfaction (or lack thereof), which impacts refund rates.
13. What happens after you order?
Another factor that will impact satisfaction and refund rates is what happens in the coming hours, days, and weeks after the order is complete.
For example, does the customer receive a nice onboarding sequence that offers additional information, encourages them to use the product, and promotes additional related offers? If so, that’s good because an onboarding sequence will boost satisfaction.
On the other hand, if there’s no onboarding sequence and instead the customer starts receiving a flood of promotional emails (sometimes even more than once per day), the customer’s satisfaction may drop. If they’re not 100% thrilled with the product, then a poor after-purchase experience can boost refund rates.
14. Does the vendor have a good reputation in the niche?
Even if absolutely everything else about the product is wonderful, you need to be sure the vendor has a good reputation. Your customers won’t forgive you if you send them to a vendor who has poor customer service, doesn’t honor their refund policy, etc.
To that end, you’ll want to do some research if you’re not already familiar with the vendor. Run the vendor’s name, website, business name, and product names through Google. While it’s fairly normal for a business to have some complaints, you want to be wary of any vendor with an unusually high number of complaints (severe complaints), and/or they don’t seem to resolve the complaints.
15. What is the commission rate?
If everything above is passing muster, then now is the time to get a little selfish and start seeing what’s in it for you. Namely, what is the product price, and what sort of commission rate do you get on this price?
This obviously shouldn’t be at the top of your list. The big thing is whether the product is a solid, useful product that will solve your prospects’ problems. However, if you’re deciding between promoting two or more very similar offers, they are basically equal to helping the customer. You can make your decision based on commission rates.
If you’re selling digital products (such as apps, membership sites, ebooks, videos, and similar), then in most cases, you should be making right around a 50% commission. In some cases, you may be able to secure higher rates, especially if you’re a perfect affiliate.
If you’re selling services or physical products, then expect much lower rates.
For example, some physical products offer as little as 1% to 2% commissions, while others may give as much as 10% to 15%.
Bottom line: be sure the offer gives you at least the “industry standard” in terms of conversion rates. You’re providing a great service for the vendor, so don’t promote offers that don’t value the customers you’re sending. (E.G., if a vendor selling a digital product is offering you 20%, they don’t really value what you’re offering.)
16. Do you get commissions for any upsells/cross-sells/backend sales?
Most vendors offer some commission on any order from upsells or cross-sell. In many cases, these commissions may be lower than the frontend commission, and that’s okay.
For example, you may get a 50% commission on the main product and then get 30% on upsells. (If they give you 50% or more on upsells, that’s excellent – but it doesn’t always happen.)
The other thing to look at is if you’re selling subscriptions or memberships, if you get a recurring commission for as long as your customer remains a paying member. It’s a good idea to promote recurring offers, as this creates a passive income for you (sell it once and make money on it month after month).
17. What sort of marketing materials does the vendor provide?
One more factor to look at is if the vendor makes it easy for you to promote by offering marketing materials such as rebrandable reports, graphical ads, and copy-and-paste articles, emails, social media blurbs, ads, and similar.
You don’t necessarily want to use all of these materials as-is. However, it saves you a lot of time to start with these materials – such as a blog article – that you tweak to add in your own voice and insights. This saves you time while ensuring your promos are unique and stand out from other affiliates.
TIP: While many vendors give you a free license to modify the marketing materials they provide, some don’t. Be sure you’re allowed to modify the materials – and if there is any doubt, get explicit permission in writing from the vendor.
Now let’s wrap things up…
What is certain is that selecting profitable products is a vital part of creating a successful affiliate.
You just discovered 17 things to look for before you promote an affiliate offer. Some of these items are absolutely disqualifying, such as if the product is low-quality. In other cases, you can work around the issue. For example, if the sales letter isn’t all that professional, you can do a great job of preselling the offer to where the sales letter doesn’t even matter.
The point is, use this list as a mini-checklist before you select an offer to promote, be wary of the red flags, and be prepared to “repair” some of these issues yourself. Good luck!
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