Tool & Updates
7 Secrets Of Affiliate Marketing Secret Techniques To Boost Your Earnings
By: Kathy Graham
Dear Affiliate Marketer,
It is my pleasure to create this special report for you. This report will help both beginning and experienced affiliate marketers in their affiliate marketing business, and should help put extra commissions in your pocket. If you adopt these secrets into your marketing mix, you should be able to sell a lot more products than the average affiliate. In fact the average affiliate doesn’t even get a commission check with any regularity. If you offer the right products to the right target market at the right time, there should be no reason why you cannot beat the majority of affiliates and sell more. That being said, I cannot guarantee that you will make much more because I don’t know you. In fact, I cannot guarantee that you will earn any money by using these secrets.
Are you ready to boost your affiliate marketing to new levels? Let us begin with the first of the seven secrets, in no particular order.
Secret #1: Pre-Sell The Product
When you are sending traffic to an affiliate product, master the art of the pre-sell before you even take your visitors to the product page. This means – never send your traffic directly to the affiliate page. Always have an intermediary page that explains to your visitor why they should clickthrough to the product and purchase it. But don’t do a hard sell here. Just get them into a nice frame of mind as to what this product will be able to solve for them, so that they are in a better frame of mind, pre-disposed to buying the product when they are brought to the product sales page.
If you are offering a bonus for purchasing the product through your link, make sure to mention that fact, and hard-sell the bonus if appropriate. For example, if you have created a complimentary product that compliments or addresses some shortcomings of the product on sale, then be sure to mention what having your bonus will do for them.
Your bonus can be a tutorial, some videos, audio, and ebook or even a software that helps one who is going to purchase the product. Remind them that the only way to get your bonus is to purchase the product through your link. (If your visitor has already purchased the product through someone else’s link, and writes to you to get your bonus, you can choose to offer it to him at a price – one well known marketer recently got into trouble with Payzeno when he suggested refunding the product and purchasing through his link instead, Don’t do this – it is not ethical and causes plenty of problems for the merchant, affiliate and payment processor)
You can also just give your visitors a bonus for signing up to an opt-in list. People nowadays are cautious about signing up any email newsletters or ezines without a strong reason and privacy guarantee. Make sure your provide the obligatory text that says “We do not sell, rent or barter your email addresses. We take your privacy seriously” and let them know what they are getting in return for giving you their email address.
Once they have opted in, you can then send them straight to the sales page of the affiliate product.
Secret #2: Build Your Own Targeted Opt-In List
Thats right, most successful affiliate marketers and super affiliates have their own super targeted opt-in list. If you want to multiply your marketing efforts, this is the best way to do it.
Since you are the one generating all the traffic to affiliate program, make sure you get the chance to use that traffic over and over again. If you send 100 targeted visitors to the affiliate product, and only 1 out of that 100 purchases the product, what happens to the other 99 visitors? You’ve lost them forever if you did not capture their contact information.
Before sending the visitor on to the target program, create an opt-in page to capture the name and email address of the visitor before sending that traffic to the affiliate program. That way, should they decide not to purchase the product at that moment in time, you can send them reminders of the product, or even
recommend an alternate or a complimentary product. This will put you in front of your subscribers and help him/her to remember you.
To follow up with your subscribers, you will need a sequential autoresponder so that your communications with your subscribers can be automated.
You can choose to use either an autoresponder service such as Aweber that will handle all aspects of your communication such as email deliverability, double opt-ins.
you will need to write your autoresponder messages that will bring your subscribers back to view the product you are offering. A series of five to seven automated email follow messages will see your affiliate commissions increase by a significant percentage, based on the same amount of initial visitors you send to the affiliate program.
Secret #3: Use A Redirect Or Cloaked Link
Two Main Reasons:
ONE: People don’t like to click on a link that looks like an affiliate link. Psychologically, they do not want you to earn a commission or get the credit for them purchasing the product.
TWO: Other affiliates often do some aggressive and silly things when promoting a hot and heavily promoted affiliate product. These things result in spam complaints and a large volume of email that causes large ISPs and web hosting
companies to blacklist the affiliate product’s domain, even if temporarily. This means bad news for you: If you promote using the URL given by the affiliate program, then you will also be blocked and banned by the ISPs and hosting companies, thus your email will not be delivered.
As you use your own domain in your promotional materials, advertisements etc, you will begin promoting your domain and branding your domain in the eyes of your subscribers and visitors.
Another advantage of using your own redirect URL and our own domain, is that you can easily change the affiliate program that your are promoting, just by changing the destination URL in your redirection program. Imagine if you were using the affiliate programs’ URL in your promotional materials such as emails, adverts, adwords, classifieds, articles etc. You will have a really hard time changing all the links to point to the new program that you are recommending. In fact, for some of the promotional channels that you use, it will be impossible to change it once you have promoted it.
This can be solved by using a redirect program on your own domain, such as Aweber or by using a promotional domain just for this purpose. Many domain registrars allow you to redirect all traffic to that domain to a URL of your choice.
Secret #4: Always Track Your Promotional Efforts
Tracking and Testing – two of the main ingredients for assessing the success and failure of your advertising campaign.
If you don’t track where your visitors are coming from, and you don’t track whether they eventually purchase the product, you will not be able to get an accurate picture of which promotional methods are working for you. You can get very scientific and analytical about this (“micro or small picture”), or you can measure things at a “big picture” level.
Lets say for example that you are promoting the same affiliate product through multiple channels such as Pay Per Click Search Engines, Ezine Marketing, Article Marketing, Banner Ads, Blog Entries, Forum Signatures etc. How will you know which of the above is giving you the highest return (or even any return at all) without doing some tracking?
Payzeno.com added a tracking facility which allows affiliates to track the traffic that they send to the merchant, and to know which has translated into sales (or more sales). You can and should use of this facility to track your advertising campaigns, and kill those that do not have a good/positive ROI (Return on Investment)
Use the conversion tracking in conjunction with a redirection or cloaking program like Aweber, so that you can track the visitor stats, as well as track the conversions from that traffic. This will give you enough data to determine if a promotion/promotional channel is cost effective and profitable.
For “big picture” tracking, you can track by the type of promotion, ie PPC, classifieds, articles, ezine ads etc. This will give an idea of where the traffic is coming from and which is converting well.
If you track at the micro or small picture level, you can even track such things as the actual keywords usedin your PPC campaigns, the placement of the ads on your webpage, which article directories send you more traffic (and sales).
If you measure only traffic, you are not getting the full picture. Poor quality traffic will not convert into sales, and is probably not cost effective. For example, some traffic is incentive driven traffic, ie the visitor is given a reward for clicking on the link or visiting your web site. Such traffic (visitors) is only interested in the incentive being offered, and not in your product or service. Hence even though they can send a large number of “HITS” to your site, it will not convert at even a halfway decent rate as proper legitimate targeted traffic.
One guru I recently heard at the World Internet Summit defined HITS as “How Idiots Track Success”. In other words, hits mean nothing, only sales matter!
Secret #5: Create And Use Your Own Ads
Many affiliate programs nowadays provide you with promotional materials that you can use. These sometimes cover the full spectrum of advertising, such as banner ads, PPC ads, classifieds, text links, ezine recommendations, solo ads, forum signatures, and even blog posts!
My advice to you is to take the provided material and see if it is appropriate for your list. Always rewrite what was provided in your own words, using your own usual tone of voice. Trust me, your subscribers know how you normally write to them. If you use the text provided by the affiliate merchant verbatim, they will know that it was not written by you.
Also, many of your subscribers are also subscribed to other online marketers’ lists and they will be receiving the same promotion from them. If your email looks exactly the same or even similar, your subscribers are going to lose some respect for you, as you have just regurgitated an email supplied by the affiliate merchant.
It is important that you provide your own perspective on why they should purchase the affiliate product in question. One of the strongest perspectives that you can provide is that of someone (you) who has purchased the product and is giving a review and letting them know how it has helped you, and how you are using the product in your everyday life.
If you can create or offer a unique and special bonus that ties in and compliments the product, then make sure you do that. This bonus could be as simple as a tutorial, a field book, or a companion guide. It can be in the form of an ebook, audio or video (so long as it is digitally delivered).
This will make your email, ad or promotion stand out and avoid the problem of being just another “me too” ad which your subscribe will be tired of getting.
Secret #6: Write Articles and A Mini Ebook
Write articles to promote the product – this can be a very effective and subtle way to promote a product. Whats more, this method is absolutely free – and many ezine publishers and web content providers are always looking for good content to offer their subscribers.
You job, within that article is to provide very good content and information, so that people looking for content will be more inclined to include your article in their ezines and content sites.
You also have to subtly and gently point the reader toward the product being promoted. Don’t be blatant about it, as that will turn off both the content publisher as well as the reader.
Writing articles and distributing them is a very effective secret technique used by many of the top super affiliate marketers, such as Ewen Chia and Willie Crawford. You write the article once, and distribute it to hundreds of article directories and ezine publishers, and just watch traffic and sales roll in. Now that you have an article (or two or more), just expand on it and create a mini report or an ebook. The ebook will have a higher perceived value, and people will keep a PDF ebook on their computers for a long time, unlike viewing an email or a content website.
If you make the links in the ebook rebrandable, thats even better (If you are promoting an affiliate product, look for those with a two-tier commission structure so that you can allow them to rebrand with their link). This can easily make your book go viral as more and more people start giving away or selling your ebook.
Do remember to build in a backend into your ebook as well. Don’t just promote one product in your ebook as you can also introduce similar and complimentary products. Also include a way for people to get your updated ebook and subscribe to your mailing list.
Give your books away to build a targeted list, and participate in the many list- building give-away sites and promotions. You can also sell your ebook on eBay for a few cents or a dollar and build a list of buyers that way.
Secret #7: Use Screen Capture Videos
Engage your readers with a screen capture video, they are more likely to be watching a sort video than to read through your sales pitch.
One program that I use is Camtasia from Techsmith. This nifty program allows you to plug in a microphone and talk while you surf web pages or show off some feature of a software program. The program will record all your screen activity and your voice. This gives your video a very personal flavor.
Camtasia also allows you to edit the audio and video afterwards, and you can even annotate and scribble on the screen as you highlight some important points. You can also specify a web page URL to send the visitor to at the end of the video. This is very helpful to the affiliate marketer as you can code your affiliate link in the video and send your visitor to the sales page, without even having them to have to click through to the affiliate product page.
Many people will prefer to watch a video and be shown something rather than to read all about it in the written form. Also, you can use your voice to add emphasis, tonality and inflexion in your verbal and spoken word which will get the point across to the listener of your excitement and happiness with the product, which you cannot bring out with just text, even if the text is bolded, highlighted or in a bigger font.
In addition, people feel an emotional bonding and an attachment to you when they hear your voice along with the video. If they do like your voice and presentation style, they become more familiar with you and tend to take you, your promotions and your recommendations more seriously. This gives you an almost unfair advantage over other affiliates who do not use audio and video in their promotions.
Camtasia Studio is only one of many screen capture video programs, and it does not come cheap. There are other low cost alternatives, but they do not come with all the features of Camtasia. One such alternative that I have used in the past is Camstudio IM, which you can get by clicking here.
Bonus Secret: Test Multiple Affiliate Products
Do you remember we talked about testing and tracking in Secret #4? Well, you can not only test the promotional channels, but you can also test and track the performance of various different affiliate products.
Lets take the example of a Weight Loss Product. Find about 3 affiliate products that deal with weight loss. Create a generic Weight Loss pre-sell page and a squeeze page. Once the user has opted in to your newsletter, send them to one of the three products that you have chosen (using a split testing tool/script). All other things being equal, you can test which of the affiliate products gives you a better return on your advertising dollar.
What you think will be the best performing product may not be the case. It all depends on the message to market match, and the various variables in the whole equation such as the headline, sales page, the bonuses being offered and many other factors.
Even experienced direct marketers test various aspects of their sales pages as they do not know which the market will accept, and what will convert better. Once you have found your winner in terms of ROI, promote that product and remove the other products from your split test script. It does not end here however. You can still add other products to the test mix, and change/switch your squeeze page, pre-sell and bonuses being offered.
You will often be able to find a product that outperforms the others by as much as a factor of 3 to 10 times. This is the super product that you want to stick with!
You know know 7 + 1 secrets that will help you to boost your earnings and raise you from the under-performing and mediocre affiliates to an above average or super star affiliate.
The best way to apply them would be one at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself with applying all of them at once. That way, you can also test and track the impact these secrets have on your bottom line. As with any technique, if it does not work for you, take it out of your marketing mix. There should be no reason why it should not work, but then everyone is different.
As you test and track your results, you will find newer and better ways of optimizing the sales process and put more dollars in your bank account.
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