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Here’s what most affiliate marketers do: Find an affiliate program, grab their affiliate links, and plaster those links all over the Internet.
Then they wait for their big payday.
Sometimes a little money trickles in. Sometimes the affiliates do really well and make a decent living wage.
And then there are the affiliates who pull in such BIG paychecks that they have their accountant’s eyes bulging out in shock.
What’s the secret?
There is NOT any one secret that turns mediocre marketers into super affiliates.
It’s a combination of little steps and tricks the marketer Uses to get bigger commissions sell more products and virtually spank all his affiliate competition into surrendering.
Okay, maybe nothing that dramatic.
But, the truth remains: it’s the “little things” — often simple changes — that can produce big-time results for affiliates.
What you’re about to discover are the 7 tricks the super affiliates use every day to pull down the big bucks.
And now you can use these tricks too, starting today, to quickly and easily generate more income from affiliate marketing.
Let’s get started…
1. Offer Time-Limited or Number-Limited Incentives
You probably already know that one quick and easy way to beat your competing affiliates is to add value to the products and services you promote.
So while your affiliates are just promoting the offer as-is, you’re giving your customers a valuable freebie if they buy from you.
Let’s suppose you’re selling a diet book. You can offer a free diet recipe book to anyone who buys from your link. And you can bet more people will buy from your link simply because they get more bang for their buck.
But here’s the problem: More affiliates are catching onto this little trick. And consumers are beginning to realize that they can go “bonus shopping” to find the best deal.
Kick your potential customers into immediate action by offering them a time-limited or number-limited bonus.
- A time-limited bonus ends at a certain time – in fifteen minutes, an hour, at midnight, 24 hours from now, etc. The shorter time the consumer has to claim the bonus, the greater the sense or urgency.
- A number-limited bonus means the first X number of people who act now get the bonus. This technique is particularly powerful when you provide constant updates showing how many bonuses are left. For example: “Hurry, just 50 47 33 25 18 bonuses left!”
Usually this is a manual process, meaning that your customers send you a receipt and you send them the bonus. You can automate this process by setting up an autoresponder in your email client that kicks back a download link to the bonus to all customers.
Here’s how it works…
You create a special email address just for sending bonuses. When an email comes into this address, your email client checks that it contains certain words that are usually found on the receipt. If the incoming email matches your pre-set criteria, your autoresponder sends the download link. If it doesn’t match the criteria, nothing happens (perhaps because the email is a question rather than a forwarded receipt).
So what should you offer as a bonus? Here are five ideas:
- An ebook or special report that compliments the main product. You can even use private label rights material to create this bonus.
- Access to a free teleseminar. (Hint: Ask the product owner to be your guest!) You’ll also have the recorded call to offer as a bonus to future customers.
- A video that compliments the main product.
- Software or other tools that compliment the main product. For example, you could offer a calorie counter as a bonus to a diet product.
- If you’re an expert in the subject, offer a free email or telephone consultation.
There are lots of options available at your disposal. The important thing is this: you offer an incentive for those ordering through your link.
- Firstly, it allows you to create some “urgency” by setting either a numerical or time limit.
- Secondly, it allows you to offer something more than your competitors.
Bottom line: it’s gonna increase your affiliate commissions!
And that is, after all, why you’re here.
Want me to give you a GREAT hint on how to really make this strategy work like crazy? Here it is…
Create a special report to give away, register a domain for it, write a salesletter for it and instead of creating an order link, make it exclusively available for those who order through your affiliate link.
In other words, you dramatically increase the “perceived value” of the report. It has it’s own domain. It has a full salesletter that describes it and creates interest in it. Only it’s not available for sale at any price.
You’ve made the reader “want” it, but force them to order a product through your affiliate link in order to get it.
2. Negotiate a Higher Commission Percentage
You’ve found a great product that your subscribers and visitors love. You’re getting a good conversion rate. And you’ve made a lot of money for both you and the vendor.
Here’s a quick and easy way to make even more money:
Ask for a “raise” from the vendor. In other words, negotiate a higher commission percentage.
Now here’s the key to successful negotiations: You need to have a bargaining chip.
If you’re just some affiliate walking in off the virtual street and asking for a higher commission rate, the vendor will probably blow you off.
But you are NOT an average affiliate.
You have a proven track record with this vendor’s product. He can look at your past sales and see how much money he’ll lose if you walk away. And so he may just decide to give you that higher commission rate.
Bam, just like that, you’re making MORE money. Sweet.
Here’s an email template you can swipe and tweak…
SUBJECT: [Vendor’s Name], quick question about [name of affiliate program]…
Dear Mr. / Ms. ______,
[Your Name] here, thanking you for the most recent commission check I received in the amount of [$XXXX]. I always appreciate your timely payments.
There’s another reason I’m writing to you today. Namely, because I’d like you to consider offering me your “preferred partners” commission rate of XX%.
Here’s why: For the last three months I’ve delivered to you an average of XX new customers and $xxxx in profits – and that number is growing. I think you’ll agree that offering the preferred partners rate is a good investment for you, especially when you consider your backend profits.
Hit reply or call me right now at XXX-XXX-XXXX to discuss this. I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. My affiliate username is [enter name/id number]. Please check the stats for yourself and get back to me at your earliest convenience.
To be sure, some people will not offer you a higher commission, but some will. And let’s say there are 10 “offers” out there in your chosen market that all are worthy of your attention as an affiliate. You ask each of the owners for an increase in commission percentage and you actively focus your efforts on whoever says “yes”.
Some vendors will give you a higher commission rate across the board, especially if you have a proven record of sales. So you may get a special link so every sale you make from now on is worth more money.
If you don’t have a proven track record (yet) you may consider asking for a special commission rate when you reach a certain sales level each month (e.g., after you sell so many products). Some vendors may give you the bonus across all sales, while others may only give you the bonus commission on each sale you make above a pre-set number.
3. Join Two-Tier Affiliate Programs and Recruit Others
With a typical one-tier affiliate program, you get paid a commission for every product you sell.
With a two-tier affiliate program, you get paid a commission for every product you sell PLUS you get paid a smaller commission for every product someone in your downline sells!
Here’s how it works…
You promote your affiliate links as usual to make money selling the product. But you also go out and recruit other affiliates into the program (and they become part of your downline).
It’s a nifty way for you to make a passive income – and you’re essentially making money on the back of your competing affiliates!
To find two-tier affiliate programs, run a search in Google for your niche keywords alongside terms like “two tier affiliate program” or “multi-tier affiliate program.”
Ideally you’ll want to look for affiliate programs that give a generous commission to the top tier and a significantly smaller commission on the second tier. For example, the second tier may only have a commission rate of 5% or 10%.
The reason you’re looking for a smaller second-tier commission is so that you’re not recruiting affiliates who have a primary goal of recruiting other affiliates. No one makes any money if everyone focuses on recruiting people and no one is actually selling the product!
Instead, you want people to focus on selling the product – and the way to do that is choose programs that pay 40%, 50% or more on first-tier sales.
Or, you can join a two-tier affiliate program that is “closed” and only available to customers / members. That way, those you refer to the program MUST join through your affiliate link and get others to likewise BUY (getting you a second tier commission) when THEIR referrals join.
Either way, you’re getting paid on work others are doing!
4. Write eZine Articles That Specifically Promote an Offer
Writing and submitting ezine articles is a great way to drive targeted traffic to your site. And best of all, each of your articles can draw in traffic for weeks, months and even years after it first goes live online.
Most article marketers create informative yet generic articles, which they use to drive traffic to any number of affiliate links or even their own squeeze page.
But here’s the thing:
Sometimes your prospects need to be lead by the hand and shown the exact solution to their problem.
If he spends even five minutes researching, he’ll see an overwhelming number of solutions to his problems.
Sometimes even the same article may recommend multiple solutions. It’s confusing.
That’s where your specific article comes in.
You take the position of a strong leader, take your prospect by the hand, and confidently lead him to the best solution.
He doesn’t even have to think about it because you’re showing him what product to choose.
That’s one possibility.
Sometimes, however, your prospects are also looking for specific information about specific products. They may be on the verge of making the buying decision, but they need confirmation from someone else.
Your product-specific article can serve as that confirmation… which means you pocket a quick commission!
There are plenty of places to submit your articles online. One of the best places is EzineArticles.com. Other directories include IdeaMarketers.com, Buzzle.com, GoArticles.com, and ArticleCity.com. If you have more than one article, then set up a Squidoo.com lens or a HubPages.com hub.
Let me give you three examples to show you what I mean:
You create an article titled “How I Improved My Golf Score In 30 Seconds!” Then the article gives the reader tips and tricks for improving the golfer’s stance and swing. It ends by talking about how the biggest improvements came when you used Brand XYZ golf clubs.
Note: Naturally, DON’T use an example like this if the clubs don’t actually improve your game.
You create a “how to” article that gives people the secrets of growing big, tasty tomatoes. The article takes the reader through all the steps of planting, nurturing and harvesting. The money-maker? Your article explicitly recommends the reader buy “Tomato Tree” plants in order to get good results (and you provide your affiliate link, of course).
You create an article that provides useful but incomplete information about how to save a faltering marriage, “Seven Ways to Save a Marriage.” The article gives the reader a good starting point, but she’ll need to purchase the “Save a Marriage” book through your affiliate link to get all the information.
You get the idea.
And this can literally work for any market and niche. In other words, it can work for you.
5. Write Case Studies Showing How You’ve Achieved Results Using the Product
People are looking for social proof.
They want to see that other people have used and enjoyed the product.
But here’s the thing – most of the social proof your prospects see is absolutely lame. They’ll see a review for a diet book that says, “Fast read! I love this stuff!” They’ll excitedly read one affiliate’s opinion on an affiliate marketing book only to find it says, “WOW! This is truly amazing! I know I’ll make a gazillion dollars with these tips!”
Your prospects AREN’T looking for a thriller (otherwise they’d be reading Steven King). They aren’t looking for theory. Instead –
They [your prospects] are looking for real proof that the product/service does what it’s advertised to do.
That’s where your case study comes in.
Instead of just writing a review that reads like an 8th grade book report, you use the product and report your results. And you back up your case study with other forms of proof whenever possible, such as before and after pictures, videos, screenshots, etc.
If you’re creating a case study for a weight loss book, give a week-by-week account of exactly how much weight you lost, the strengths of the product and the product flaws. Be sure to post before and after pictures and measurements.
If you’re creating a case-study for a dog training book, video tape yourself training your dog using the method. Then edit the tape to show how well it works (without giving away the product’s secret).
Remember, the more specific your case study, the more credible it will be – and the more money you’ll make in affiliate commissions!
6. Create an Asset That Promotes Multiple Related Offers
A couple tips back I suggested that you write ezine articles to promote specific products. Now here’s another idea:
Create ezine articles, videos, reports or other assets that promote multiple related products.
Let’s suppose you’re promoting gardening products. You might create a short report all about the best gardening tools and how to use them, along with links to the products. This particular report might include links to gardening gloves, a trowel and a watering can.
Or take the example of an Internet marketing report. You might create a guide for beginning marketers that tells them how to choose a domain name, how to choose a web host, how to change the domain’s nameservers to point to the host, and how to get an autoresponder up and running fast. Naturally, you’d use affiliate links to point to the domain name registrar, web host and autoresponder service.
Remember, you do NOT want to promote multiple similar products in these reports or articles. (You can do that in a product comparison.) Instead, promote multiple related products, all of which the readers needs to follow the “how to” instructions you laid out in your content.
7. Negotiate a Special Deal for Your Contacts
Allow me to let you in a little secret:
Your subscribers want to feel special.
And if you can make them feel special, you’ll pocket more money (and have a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.) Period.
Now you take that little psychological trigger and add it to the fact that people also like to get the most bang for their buck. (Which is why we’ve talked about adding value to offers.)
Feeling special + Adding Value = Big Commissions (and fierce customer loyalty)!
You can accomplish both at once simply be negotiating a special deal through the vendor.
You may get a special discount or bonus package through the vendor that’s only available to your customers. And then you need to be sure your customers know this deal is an exclusive deal just for them (which is when they start feeling special).
The vendor sets this up on his end and gives you a special affiliate link to promote. Just as with negotiating a higher commission rate, it’s best to come to the bargaining table with a bargaining chip. If you’ve proven yourself as a valuable affiliate to this vendor with your other promotions, he’ll likely be eager to work with you.
Here’s an email template you can swipe and tweak:
SUBJECT: [Vendor’s Name], my subscribers want to be your customers…
Dear [Vendor’s Name],
[Your Name] here from [name of your blog/website]. I’m interested in promoting your [product name] offer – and I know how to send at least X# of new customers to you. But I need your help…
You see, my [type of niche] subscribers routinely buy from me because I offer the best discounts and bonus packages in the niche. I’ve already lined up a bonus to give them when they order [name of product]. Now what I’m asking from you is to extend a limited-time discount to my subscribers.
It’s a win-win-win situation. My subscribers become your supremely satisfied customers. And you’ll have one of your biggest sales days since my subscribers will scramble to get their hands on this offer.
Hit reply or call me at [your phone number] right now so we can discuss the easiest way to do this. Thanks in advance!
P.S. The last time I made an offer like this to my subscribers, I ended up getting a 9% conversion rate. Your product and sales page are better, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy an even bigger response rate!
Here’s an added bonus: If you tell your subscribers that this special deal is “just for them,” they often share the link with others. And that means even more sales for you.
Here's to bigger affiliate commissions!
Onwards and Upwards,