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Compensation methods can vary from one online affiliate program to another, and from one merchant to another.
Internet affiliate programs can be as unique as each merchant. If a merchant is concentrating on building brand awareness, he or she might pay for each click-through, while another might pay only for sales made. Yet another may by trying to drive up newsletter subscription rates and offer compensation for each new subscriber. Be wary of merchants that promise huge commissions as that may indicate that the merchant is having a hard time making sales, which would result in little income for your effort.
Most web site affiliate programs have a minimum payment threshold and will issue you a check within so many days of the end of each month in which you meet the threshold.
*Good landing pages can have a huge impact on your sales levels.
Your web site needs more than just one landing page; you should have a distinct landing page for each offer or type of link. Repeat the phrase used in the link from your online affiliate program on the landing page itself, because this reassures your visitors that they have come to the right place. Don't confuse them with multiple offers, but do drive home the one thing you want them to do, whether that's to sign up for your newsletter, register as a new member, or make a purchase.
Make it easy for visitors to complete their task. Your web site affiliate program will see huge improvements once you make the effort to develop good landing pages.
*Landing pages are special pages on your web site to which people are directed for special offers or specific advertising campaigns.
When a new visitor clicks on a link on an affiliate site and is led to your site, he or she has already indicated an interest in what you have to offer. At this point, don't make them search through your site to find what they're looking for. Instead, make it readily available on a landing page specific to the affiliate link.
Don't go through all the work of getting affiliates in your online affiliate program to send traffic your way only to dump them on your home page without guidance. Your web site affiliate program should have a plan for each campaign, including a landing page specific to each campaign.
*As a super affiliate, Internet marketing offers great options for earning income.
As an affiliate, you act as a salesperson for whichever companies you sign up to represent. Your web site generates sales for them, and they pay you through their Internet affiliate program. The more sales they make through your site, the more money you make.
However, you can't simply throw up a link and expect to become a super affiliate right away. You must set up your site to sell. Learn what works on the web and, more importantly, what works for your target customers.
*Will you run your affiliate program from inside your business, or will you outsource your program to an affiliate program manager?
Pay-per-click affiliate programs can be a great way to boost your revenue, as long as you understand what you are getting for the money. There are many web site affiliate programs to choose from, and the best affiliate program is the one that best suits your specific business needs in terms of advice, services, affiliate management, and price. Look for an affiliate program that can help you develop the performance-based offers that work best for your business.
A good affiliate program can help you generate more revenue by offering advice on affiliate relationships and helping you to generate new leads.
*You can represent more than one company on your web site (and increase your revenue) easily by signing up for an Internet affiliate program that offers multiple merchants.
The offline world works the same way. For example, sales representatives typically represent multiple manufacturers since they need to be able to provide their customers with the right products for each job.
There are some limits to what sets of affiliates your site can represent simultaneously. Internet affiliate programs will each have their own rules about accepting competitive ads. For example, you typically would not represent two strong competitors. Therefore, if you are signing up directly with merchants, you should read each agreement to make sure you understand what is and is not allowed by that agreement.
When you join a web site affiliate program, you enter into a partnership with the associated merchants: the merchants in the program each wants to sell its products and you become their online sales representative.
Most web site affiliate programs provide you with the HTML code for the ads that will go on your site, as well as banner graphics and marketing ideas. Furthermore, many web site affiliate programs will help you determine where to place these ads so that they have the greatest possible impact. Make sure the ads you use are tasteful and fit within the parameters of your web site. Most affiliate programs offer ads in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors, so you can find one that works for you.
Read the materials you are given when you sign up for an affiliate program and try out their ideas. If you don't have a background in marketing, you may be surprised at what methods of online advertising work to boost your income.
Whether you choose to outsource your affiliate programs or not, you'll still need to devote some resources to run an effective pay-per-click affiliate program.
Your success will depend heavily on your ability to actively manage your relationships with your affiliates and to recruit new ones. Here are some ways to manage your affiliate relationships:
• Provide your affiliates with graphics and other promotional materials to use on their web sites
• Motivate and reward your affiliates
• Track your affiliates' commissions and pay in a timely manner
• Provide ongoing and rotating campaigns to get people's attention
• Help your affiliates with ad placement
• Provide content for your affiliates to use on their sites, if appropriate
Designing your website in such a way that your advertisements blend in with the look and feel of your site can make users more likely to want to click on your banners or advertisements.
Too many loud and flashing banners or clashing colors can make the site hard on your viewer's eyes and will make it less likely for them to want to click on your banners. Having a well blended website can keep people browsing for longer instead of making them squint at flashing ads or pages that are too "busy".
Designing your website so that the advertisements blend in to the look and feel of the site will give your site more of an appeal to your visitors. While they will likely still be aware that you have advertisements on the site, not trying to 'trick' them into clicking with annoying pop-ups or flashing banners will lend credibility to your site.
*Study your Internet affiliate program.
Study general marketing concepts and online marketing concepts; as a super affiliate, internet marketing should be your passion. Here is a short study guide to get you started:
• Read the merchants' newsletters regularly and understand and exploit the latest promotions
• Find out what the hottest selling items are and create special landing pages for them
• Sign up for a few good newsletters on search engine optimization, Internet marketing, and online copywriting
• Create and test different approaches to see what works best for your audience
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|