This is a guest post by Terry Dean the internet marketing coach.
Traffic…it’s the lifeblood of an internet business.
There are dozens of ways to generate traffic such as Adwords, banner advertising, search engine optimization, social media, and so on. BUT the last thing you want to do is get distracted and try to use a dozen different methods all at once. That just creates confusion for you…and your business.
But what if I told you there was a way to tap into all the free traffic you want…and use every one of those methods at the same time without being an expert at any of them?
There is a way to tap into all of them. It’s from having your own affiliate program.
Instead of YOU learning everything there is to know about social media, you recruit affiliates who are already experts at this. You do the same with each of the other advertising formats. You let them be the experts while you split the profits with them. You never pay a penny until after your product is sold. It’s the best source of risk free traffic for any site.
The one issue is just like all of those others methods…you have a lot of competition offering affiliate programs. There won’t be a mad dash by affiliates to promote yours UNLESS you can make it stand out in the marketplace (just like any other form of marketing).
Step One: Create a high conversion offer
First of all, let’s think about what an affiliate wants. They want to promote a product which will produce a great income for them and will please their customers.
The biggest mistake I see beginners make here is just grabbing a private label rights package and trying to get affiliates to promote that. Why should they promote anything they could offer themselves? Your offer has to stand out…and it has to have a good conversion rate.
The better your site converts, the longer affiliates will stay with you…and keep promoting you. Most of the people I’ve worked with who have done well hire an outside coach or copywriter to review or even write their sales pages. This is your sales point with affiliates – a good product with a great conversion system.
Step Two: Figure out how you will entice your affiliates
How will your affiliate offer stand out from everything else? There are so many competitive affiliate programs in the “internet marketing” industry for example, you have to really push the envelope there. People sometimes offer 100% off the first purchase, big prizes for an affiliate contests, and tons of free content (like videos, PDF reports, etc.).
Why are they willing to offer 100% on the first sale? This gives them a customer. They might not make anything off that sale, but they have a customer to sell all their future products and services to.
Take a look at the market you’re in. What do other affiliate programs offer? How will you make a better offer? Maybe you offer a better conversion, a higher priced product, higher commissions, more content, a longer-term income (membership), etc.
In other words, just like we find a competitive selling point for our products, we need to also find that competitive selling point for our affiliate programs.
Step Three: Find the Potential Affiliates
Here’s several ways to make your potential affiliate list:
– Sites which rank on top of the free search results in Google
– Sites advertising in Adwords on the paid results in Google
– Your keyword phrase in Google plus blog, ezine, or newsletter (“dog training blog”)
– Look for influential people on social media using tools like http://www.mrtweet.com
– Search competitive product in Google to find people selling them
– Search article directories like ezinearticles.com for people publishing in your niche.
There are a LOT of ways to find potential partners. Notice how I’m specifically targeting traffic generation methods like seo, PPC, and others so they CAN do that work…and we tap into all the different traffic sources through them.
Step Four: Contact the Affiliates
This is the next element that destroys many people starting out. When you contact these partners, you’ve got to build relationships, not always go for the “quick sale.”
That means the first part of any contact email is to COMPLIMENT them on something unique to their site, their email newsletter, or their blog posts. What made them stand out so you’d want to contact them? For example, if they have an email newsletter subscribe to it. Then REPLY to their email as your first contact.
And I’m wary of giving you an exact email to follow because it depends on the market you’re in. In a “business conscious” niche you can be more aggressive and quote your conversion rates and things like that. In a non-business niche they are much more concerned about trusting you first.
– Personalized one or two paragraph intro – compliment them or thank them for something
– Mention your product and what it does for customers (conversion rate only if in business niche)
– Offer them CONTENT such as articles, videos, etc. you’ve created for them to use
– Tell them about how you pay the affiliate and how the links in the content are theirs
– Give them a copy of your product for free (digital include the link – physical ask them to mail their address)
– Your contact info if they want to talk
Step Five: Follow-up and Grow Your Program
You’ll find that many people you send the above email to may ignore you OR they respond they’re not interested right now. The key is to follow-up on them.
If you don’t hear anything back, contact them again next week. If they respond they’re not interested right now, then follow whatever they’ve suggested (another good strategy here is to ask them for an interview in a couple of weeks to produce content and build the relationship).
Along with the above, you’ll also need to follow-up on them if they do agree by providing them with the tools they need to promote or the content you promised to provide them with.
Then stay ACTIVE with your affiliates. Most affiliate software builds a database of your registered affiliates. Use this list and follow-up with them as you release new products, run affiliate contests, or put up new promotional materials.
The best affiliate programs are actively pushing forward and growing those relationships with their affiliates…just like every business needs to do with their customers.
Terry Dean is an internet marketing coach who has been helping home based entrepreneurs and small business owners for over 14 years.
If you’d like a free copy of Terry Dean’s ” 10 Key Strategies for Any Business Owner to Earn More, Work Less, and Enjoy Life!” visit
Terry is one of the most respected and successful Internet Marketers around. He went from delivering pizzas for a living to building a million dollar Internet business.
When I first started my own on-line business, Terry helped me considerably. Although I have a long way to go to match Terry, I would not be where I am today without his help and guidance.