Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Ultimate Headline That Can Make You Rich

What’s Affiliate Marketing - Forming Marketing Partnerships

Affiliate marketing is advertising for someone else in exchange for a cut
of the sales you generate. You’re sharing your traffic for a price. It’s
a great way to capitalize on the traffic your website’s already producing.

Being an Affiliate

If you run a small, home-based eBiz, you can join an affiliate program
and get paid to share your traffic with another merchant. You’ll want to
look for sites that tie in with yours—things your customer base will be
interested in. Choose sites whose products are complementary to yours
without overlapping.

Before you join any affiliate program, look closely at the merchant
you’ll be promoting. Find out if they have an affiliate earnings
history—can they prove their site converts at a specific rate? Do they
have an affiliate manager you can talk to about your marketing efforts
and any problems you have? Is their program well-established? You want to
make sure they’re honest and will pay you for the conversions you bring
them.

Your goal is to make customers want to buy their product, and then pass
the customers along so the merchant can complete the sale. Don’t just
paste a link to a merchant’s webpage and expect it to magically produce
sales—tell your customers what makes their product better than other
similar products. According to Jonathan Miller, of
http://Team-Affiliate.com, “The sites that do better are the ones that
select one or two offers, tell people why they recommend these particular
offers, and then provide them with a link.”

Using Affiliates

You can increase your own traffic by paying a commission to other
merchants to bring you leads. As a merchant, you should scrutinize the
affiliates who advertise for you. You’re attaching your brand to their
website, so look at their reputation—are they someone you want to be
associated with? Also look at their relevance to your target market—are
they someone that will drive the right kind of traffic?

There are software programs that track visitors when they leave an
affiliate’s website and click through to the merchant’s site. If they
convert to a sale, the affiliate that referred them gets paid a
commission. You can track your visitors in two different ways, and each
has its own advantages:

• You can purchase stand alone tracking software, like My Affiliate
Program, and integrate it into your site. You decide what you can afford
to pay marketers to promote you and make offers based on your budget.

• You can join an affiliate network, such as LinkShare or Kolimbo. This
is a more costly route because the network determines the commission
percentage you pay, but they also bring you offers from the inside and
give you access to their pool of affiliates.

Says Miller, “An affiliate program can be very lucrative for both an
affiliate marketer and a merchant… But it takes time and effort to
deliver consistent results.”

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