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Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing Programs Are The Best For Sales Tracking

Affiliate Marketing ProgramsAffiliate marketing programs are the way to go if you’re trying to track which one of your sales people made the sale so you can pay them their rightfully earned commission.

Before jumping straight into the topic, I just want to bring newer people up to speed on what is affiliate marketing.

Internet entrepreneurs sell their knowledge through courses mostly available digitally. It’s got a low overhead and huge profit potential.

Once the business owner releases a new product, he could sell everything himself or he could get an army of sales people to promote his products.

In the traditional world, you’d call this your sales force but online, it works a little bit differently.

Lots of blog owners or people of influence have large audiences and in order to monetize their efforts, they’ll partner up with an internet entrepreneur and promote his stuff.

We call this form of partnership “Affiliate”. So in our example here, the internet entrepreneur would release his new product with an opportunity for people to become his affiliate. The affiliates can then in turn have a product to sell and would get like 50% of the product sale.

In order to keep track of who signed up as an affiliate, who made how many sales and how much the “internet entrepreneur” has to pay them, he either works with affiliate marketing companies or uses an affiliate program software to keep track of everything.

Most of these companies you have to sign up as a vendor at a onetime cost. If you just want a merchant account and collect money online and don’t want affiliates then you can get a merchant account at PayPal.com. But remember, the purpose of this article is to give you options that allow you to track your affiliates. There are different solutions here they are:

If you’re just starting out and want the simplest solution Clickbank.com would probably be your best option. Sure their monthly transaction fee is a little bit more but you also don’t have to worry about paying your affiliates and collecting tax information on what you paid to whom. Clickbank takes care of all that for you. Truly, set, forget and peace of mind.

The next option is PayDotCom.com. This offers you to keep more of the percentage of your sales but you are responsible to pay your affiliates and make sure they are “tax compliant”.

This solution is good if you have an accounting department and that could be one of their extra responsibilities. They’d go in the back office regularly and pay the commissions. If you’re a solo entrepreneur, you’ve got to be very disciplined and not forget to pay your affiliates otherwise you’ll carry a bad reputation.

Next are the self hosted affiliate marketing tracking programs that are installed on your website. PostAffiliatePro.com and iDevDirect.com. Because these are paid solutions they have good customer service available to help with one phone call away. These software allows you to have a back end on your website and see all your affiliates, you have control to accept or reject their application and you are responsible to make sure they get paid on time.

It also allows you to have more “link juice” on your website because the affiliates would be promoting your url with their affiliate ID, which is your domain with an extension ex: careerfh.com/?bob, that means Bob would make a percentage commission on whatever the prospect bought on my website because they came in through his website.

But for me as the owner, Bob advertises careerfh.com/?bob instead of clickbank.com/product=86259?affiliateIDnumber, which works to my advantage in link building. The drawback from these again is that you have to micromanage everything. So if your organization is big enough and you have that as part of an employee’s responsibilities, then that’s cool but if you’re a small business, I’d say leverage your time and partner up with Clickbank.com.

Another one falls in this category but it’s open source it’s called Butterfly Marketing Open Source Code. It’s the same technology that PayDotCom runs on, it’s made by the same guys. This was originally part of the Butterfly Marketing Home Study Course that used to be sold at $1997 back in 2006. Now in this code, the course doesn’t come with it but you have access to the infrastructure that you install on your servers.

Think of it as a WordPress platform but instead it’s called the Butterfly Open Source Code and it’s specialty is to allow you to track all the affiliates on your site for free. It’s pretty cool, but you’ve got to be way more tech savvy to figure that one out. It doesn’t really offer peace of mind if you’re not the greatest with computers, that’d be ideal if you have a programmer in your business then by all means go for it.

Affiliate Marketing Programs With Shopping Carts

If you’ve got more than one products and you want to integrate all that with a shopping cart solution where you can measure and track your affiliate marketer’s sales then 1ShoppingCart.com is the solution for you. It’s kind of a mix of all the above but doesn’t run on your servers.

It’s supercharged with e-mail list integration, shopping cart capabilities, you can fully control the affiliates that want’s to joined, is affordable, and quite simple to use.

Now for the ultimate beast that top internet marketers are using is Infusionsoft.com. This is by far the absolute best option on the market if your business is big enough to support it. It’s the priciest and not the most user friendly but the level of customization that you can do is absolutely insane.

It also does e-mail list integration, it also does list segmentation, changes an e-mail from a buyer to a different list, has shopping cart capabilities and can fully control affiliates. One of the best thing is that say your affiliates sends you a prospect, well this prospect is coded to that affiliate for all future sales.

Even if you send out an e-mail broadcast later on, the original affiliate’s code is still attached, hence making more money to your affiliates. The big boys with HUGE mailing list look for that. They’re not going to send their traffic for only one commission. They want to know that their buyer is assigned to them for life.

All that said, there are tones of affiliate marketing programs out there and I didn’t even touch on CPA (Cost Per Action) which very similar but totally a different topic on its own. Chose a program that best suits your needs today and as you grow and evolve, then you can upgrade to a different affiliate marketing solution.

What about you, which affiliate marketing programs seems the most interesting for your needs?

Affiliate Marketing – How Can I Make Money from It

Affiliate MarketingSo what is affiliate marketing you said?  Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest growing trends on the web.  It’s also true that it’s one of the simplest ways to make money on the internet and to start your career from home.

“Ok André, you’ve told me about affiliate marketing but it still doesn’t answer my question!  What is affiliate marketing?”

Well, to put it in a simple way, affiliate marketing is selling other people’s products in exchange for a commission.  Think of it as a real estate broker.  The real estate broker sells and promotes what’s available in the inventory, like what’s in the MLS listings.  They’re not in the business to build houses, just like an affiliate marketer is not in the business of creating or making products.  The affiliate marketer sells and promotes products that other people or companies have created.  And since we are talking about the internet, most of the time, they are info-products, which is short for “information products”.

Nothing stops you from creating your own product over time but you don’t need your own product to sell when you first get started.

Affiliate Marketing Tips

In order to be successful in affiliate marketing, consider these:

  1. Your personal website where you brand yourself as the expert in the market you’re targeting. That’s the place you make your marketing efforts count, you’ve got to build credibility, trust, loyalty and connection with your audience or your target market. You can achieve that by giving value (your opinion, reviews, stories, etc). You want to keep in mind that in order to be a successful at affiliate marking you want to have an awesome, user friendly, professional looking website that will compel people to follow your recommendations. I personally use IMX Productions for all my design and website needs. If you’re more of a “Do It Yourself” kind of person, there’s nothing wrong with that either, a WordPress.com blog is a great platform to build your website on and if you’re more advanced, a self hosted WordPress blog is in my opinion the best way to go about it. You can get the package at wordpress.org.
  2. Once you got your site up and running you got to have some products to sell. There are sites that take care of all the “paper work and agreements” so to speak to help you connect with product owners of all genre from fitness, to dog training or to whatever you can think of, chances is are, it exists. Such sites are Clickbank.com, (click bank is like the granddaddy of them all, it’s been around since 1998 and for the internet, that’s old) haha. Another one is PayotCom.com. Generally speaking these sites have a broad range of commission split but generally speaking 50/50 is the norm. Sometimes you’ll have 70/30 (70% for the seller and the product owner keeps 30%).If you chose the marketing and promotion arena, there have been some private exclusive membership sites, that if you’re part of the community, you got access to top quality info products and you can therefore get 100% of the commission. A site that comes to mind is MLSP.com which I personally use myself. I think it’s great! Don’t worry about all the links, I’ll put them down below and/or the description.
  3. Once that figured out, you’ll need to market and promote your site or affiliate sites. This is where you’re advertising and promotion come into play. Basically you’ll have to keep track of how much you spend vs how many sales you make. If you earn a $1 commission for every $1 in advertising spent, congratulations, you broke even, if you earn $2 for every $1 in advertising spent, congratulations, you’re doubling your money every time you do that campaign.The challenge is to get more earnings than what you paid in advertising. Sounds simple but it’s not. Most people fail at this hence why they’re losing money but it’s not the system that fails, it’s the ability to keep track of their metrics (meaning the stats, dollar received per dollar spent). To put all odds in your favor, you got to know the secret formula for success, after all, it is a calculated risk. This affiliate marketing formula goes like this: test, measure, keep track, tweak and repeat. Once you apply this formula, then you have the unfair advantage against the odds of failure.
  4. The reality is you don’t need your own website and you can only promote your affiliate marketing links. However times have changed, people don’t want to be pitched and bombarded with ads anymore. With all the information available online, you’re audience is more educated than ever and they do not want to get pitched at. This is why having your website and connecting with people will help you in your business. Think about it, people love to buy things that they need but hate being sold to. If your recommendation is genuine and you’ve build that trust, connection and loyalty by giving value, then your audience will support you by purchasing through your affiliate marketing link when that product is right and beneficial for them.

What about you, what does affiliate marketing mean for you?

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