An affiliate program works like this - other websites or people who own newsletters or ezines, sign up as your affiliates. The affiliate then promotes your products and services and refers people through to your website using their own website, newsletter or ezine. Every time the affiliate delivers a new sale or lead (depending on the model you use) you pay the affiliate a portion of the new income that is generated.
The strength of affiliate marketing is that it is a win-win relationship. You pay for results. If the affiliate produces no results, you don’t pay. With this type of program, your affiliates provide the marketing and promotion for your website and you provide the goods or services.
Amazon.com has one of the most successful examples of an affiliate program, which they call their associate program, allowing people to link their visitors through to Amazon’s site in return for a commission, if a sale is generated.
Now Amazon.com has well over 1,000,000 affiliates! That is 1,000,000 separate websites actively promoting their products! Using this powerful and successful programhas helped Amazon.com become the most successful online retail business in the world.
You’re probably thinking- “Why doesn’t everyone have an affiliate program?” and “We need to set up our own affiliate program right now!”.
Unfortunately, affiliate programs are not guaranteed to succeed. Even though they are simple to understand in principle, they still require a lot of skill, good advice, clever planning, effort and investment to implement successfully. The Internet is littered with poorly planned and executed affiliate programs.
Affiliate programs require a 100% commitment to ‘doing it right’ for them to be successful.
As a general rule, affiliate programs are best for businesses whose products or services have a broad market.
Merchants that have a strong niche market benefit most from search engine advertising and marketing.
Affiliate programs contain a number of absolutely essential components in order to function successfully. The key components of an affiliate program are:
This article will show you all the things you need to know and understand in order to set up a successful affiliates program.
As with any endeavour, the first-step to success is usually to create a ‘plan’.
Make sure that you meticulously plan every single aspect of your affiliates program before you implement it. When planning an affiliate program it is imperative that you understand what your affiliates want out of the program.
The number one thing that every affiliate wants is... to be treated as a genuine ‘partner’. In order to truly implement a great affiliate program you will need to be totally focused on providing a great win-win partnership for your affiliates. Affiliate programs are far more about partnership than they are about cheap advertising.
Most potential affiliates will be looking for the following:
There are a number of different commission models for affiliate programs. The most common commission models are:
There are two common methods for setting the commission levels for an affiliate program:
Some affiliate programs also contain some advanced options that you may wish to consider:
As part of an affiliate’s commission structure, you will also need to make it completely clear how often you will pay out commissions. Common payout intervals are monthly, quarterly or sometimes bi-weekly.
The systems used within your affiliate program are absolutely vital to a successful program and a happy affiliate.
The most important component of your affiliate systems is the ‘tracking and reporting’. Your affiliates should be able to log-in to your special ‘affiliates section’ on your website. These pages should provide your affiliates with up-to-the-minute reporting on their referred traffic and commissions. Your tracking and reporting systems need to be tailored around the parameters of the particular commission model you are running.
The key things that your tracking and reporting system need to track are
Good systems will provide even more tools for helping you manage your affiliates. Some of the key tools that you may want to consider are:
One of the key things that will ensure your affiliates advertise and promote you well is the quality of the sales materials that you provide them with. There are a variety of different types of sales material you can provide, I recommend you provide several different types and allow your affiliates to choose what suits them:
Writing great text advertisements is very similar to writing great classified ads. Think about offering a number of different ads that are targeted at different target markets. An affiliate can then pick an advertisement that suits their target customers, as well as the content on their website.
Let’s take a look at an example of a text advertisement that I currently use within the Zeald affiliates system.
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The same general rules apply to banner advertisements as to text advertisements. However, banner advertisements are usually more graphical and have less text. Your headline is absolutely vital in a banner advertisement.
Let’s take a look at an example of some banner advertisements that are currently available within the Zeald affiliates system.
When providing banner advertisements you need to provide several different advertisements in different sizes. People placing these advertisements on their websites need to be able to fit them into the layout and design of the website. The tall banner above would need to be placed in the right column of a website, however what if your clients would prefer to place the banner across the bottom? Or inline in the text? To get around this provide banner images in a number of different sizes, eg:
Feedback from your affiliates can help you decide what sizes of banners you need to provide.
Email advertisements are advertisements contained within an email promotion or email newsletter. Make sure you encourage your affiliates to insert email promotions within their email communications with their customers. Don’t forget to offer both HTML and plain text email advertisements.
See the example below of a simple, plain text email advertisement that can be inserted into any email newsletter.
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It is a good idea to provide your affiliates with a number of complete web pages that can be uploaded and linked into their websites. Make sure you create different web pages that will work for many different audiences.
A full web page devoted to promoting your products or services is far more persuasive than a simple banner ad. It can also help improve the search-engine ranking of your website. See our book, ‘Secrets of Website Persuasion’ for a step by step process for how you can create fantastic, compelling web pages that will persuade your affiliate's visitors to take action.
See the example below of a pre-made web page that can be inserted into any website
Is Your Website Delivering Amazing RESULTS?
Many websites are a complete waste of time and money as they don’t deliver results! BUT – as long as you have a good product or service and a market for that product and service then it is possible to produce a website that wins business. A website that sells!
Hi, my name is David Kelly and I lead the team here at Zeald. Websites are amazing things! Whenever I think through the potential that selling over the internet offers any business – I am amazed. This is why we (myself and two business partners) started Zeald when I left University in 1999. We had a burning desire to help businesses get fantastic results using this exciting new sales channel.
Six years on our belief in the internet is greater than ever! Why is that?
Let’s take a look at some real life examples …
Real Life Story! – 'Meat Cuisine'Imagine if you were Terry a year ago. Terry was a butcher that provided high-grade meat to fine restaurants. Terry wanted to start marketing his products directly into the home. The most obvious way to do this was to sell his product through the major supermarkets. The major problem - by the time the supermarkets put their ‘mark-up’ on the product it was no longer competitive against the other lower quality offerings.
With a website Terry has been able to successfully market his products directly into the home – providing a product that is superior to supermarket offerings at a similar price. He has built up a fantastic base of loyal customers that continue to purchase off him week after week. One day Terry will rival the big supermarkets. This is Terry’s real life story!
Terry is one of our clients and Meat Cuisine is his company (click here to visit Meat Cuisine – www.meatcuisine.co.nz)
Real Life Story! – ‘Soul Bubba’Or imagine if you were Frances and Vernon six months back. Frances and Vernon were in the process of creating a new business that designs unique ‘urban-wear’ for babies. Frances and Vernon were looking at how to successfully launch their products and take them to the international market. Setting up a clothing store was extremely expensive and was limited in market reach so instead they decided to channel funds and time into creating an internet based ‘store’.
Through their website they have taken their products directly to the international market – attracting orders from Canada , England and New Zealand . Frances and Vernon have built up a loyal ‘fan-base’ of international customers and have been discovered by a number of major international distributors! This is Frances and Vernon Rameka’s real life story!
Frances and Vernon are another one of our clients and Soul Bubba is their company (click here to visit the Soul Bubba website – www.soul-bubba.com)
Real Life Story! – 'Rad9 Computer Services'Or finally imagine if you were Stuart from Rad9 Computer Services. Rad9 are a computer services company that provides affordable computing services to small and medium sized companies within the Auckland , New Zealand market. Stuart was looking to expand the business and build the computing services brand through effective sales & marketing promotions.
With a website Stuart has managed to generate fantastic business results. Stuart has promoted his website using many low-cost online promotional techniques and has substantially increased the amount of enquiries Rad9 receives – at a substantially lower cost to all his other forms of business generation! This is Stuart Lee’s real life story!
Stuart Lee’s is another one of our clients and Rad9 is the company (click here to visit the Rad9 website – www.rad9.com). Stuart was so impressed with their Zeald website that they now market Zeald’s products and services into their own client base!
If your website is not producing amazing results you need our help!
Click here now to register for FREE one hour consultation with a Zeald E-business Consultant and discover how we can help you to generate MASSIVE results online using a website!
So, with this incredible potential for website results – why do so many business websites fail?
The "Two' Reasons Websites Fail!
Most websites fail because people do not understand what drives a website’s results.
There are two vital, but simple things that determine whether a website succeeds or fails.
Do these two things poorly and you will find yourself the depressed owner of another one of the many poor performing websites … do these two things well and you will find yourself wondering why you didn’t take the plunge a whole lot sooner!
(For an in depth discussion of the following concepts please read our article - “Websites Explained!” (Click here to read now) )
Make sure you completely understand this next bit – because it is extremely important! …
In order to have a *fantastically*, *mind-blowingly* successful website you need to understand:
1. Website Visits – the number of visits that your website receives. The importance of website visitors and how to increase the number of visitors to your website!
2. Conversion Rate – the rate at which your website converts your visits into enquiries or sales (the conversion rate) and how to increase the amount of website visits that are converting to sales orenquiries!
I cannot emphasis this enough! If you do not understand ‘website visits’ and ‘conversion rate’ and how to improve each one – you are going to have a very hard time generating any substantial level of success with your website!
If your website is failing to deliver results it will be because of one of the above reasons. That’s it!!!
Sounds pretty simple doesn’t it!
Very few people understand how to make a website successful!
Very few people understand how a website even works!
Think about it – websites are a new thing – the internet has only been around 10 years … it is not like we have all grown up with it!
Driving Website Results!
So – it is all very well to understand why websites fail.
But, how do we improve the number of visitors that our website is receiving? How do we improve the rate at which our visitors are converting into enquiries or sales?
The answer to this question is not easy. There is no ‘one size fits all’. Every website is different just as every business is different. But, I will give you some examples of strategies that can be used to improve each area.
Click here now to register for FREE one hour consultation with a Zeald E-business Consultant and discover how we can help you to substantially increase the number of visits your website receives and the rate at which those website visits convert to sales or enquiries.
The Problem with most Website Companies!
Most website companies are focused on one thing. …
Building a pretty website that has lot of ‘bells and whistles’!
Makes sense doesn’t it!
Problem is – a pretty website with ‘bells and whistles’ doesn’t necessarily deliver dollars into your bank account!
You need a website that delivers measurable results! A website that delivers sales or enquiries! …
The Zeald Approach!
We have a unique approach for delivering to you a website that drives measurable results!
Instead of just delivering a great website we deliver to you an entire website program! A program that guides you through the end-to-end process of achieving a website that wins business!
Our passionate belief is that in order you to be incredibly successful online we must provide you with five things:
This program is called – ‘Websites that Win Business!’ (WTWB)
In SummarySo once more - you get:
Well the great news is this ….
The ‘Websites that Win Business’ (WTWB) program costs as little as $1997 + GST!! … plus an ongoing fee of $97 + GST.
You can register your interest right now by clicking here!
We will send one of our E-Business Consultants to you for a FREE one hour consultation (currently available in Northland, Auckland & Waikato only - phone based consultation available everywhere else). Discuss your business, its products and services and their potential to be promoted and possibly even sold online using a website!
Here’s What Some Of Our Customers Have to Say!
This is one of the most passionate and dynamic companies that I have ever used as a provider. They consistently strive to deliver substantial and measurable business results through a website. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Zeald to anyone.
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I have been completely amazed by the energy, enthusiasm and dedication that your team has shown towards my website and my business. They are passionate about what they do and highly professional in the way they go about it.
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Website Fundamentals - How to Generate Amazing Results Online!
The success of a website is usually measured by how many sales or enquiries are made through the website. What most people don’t know is that there is four key ‘success metrics’ that determine the success of every website. Learn what the four ‘success metrics’ are and how to improve each of the four metrics to establish a website that is on a fast-track path to success!
FREE One Hour Consultation at your place! – COMPLETELY RISK FREE!
Register today for a FREE one hour consultation – at your place with a Zeald E-business Consultant (available in Northland, Auckland & Waikato, only - phone based consultation available everywhere else). Discuss your business, its products and services and their potential to be promoted and possibly even sold online using a website!
Click here now to register for this completely RISK FREE session!
Thank-you for taking the time to learn about ‘Websites that Win Business!’
We look forward to developing you a website that wins business! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team on 0508 WEBSITE (0508 932 748) or email email@example.com
Remember – we are only limited by our fears!
CEO – Zeald
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Consider writing articles that are closely related to your product or service and that will provide useful information to your potential customers. Provide your affiliates with copies of the article that can be used on their website.
Articles are extremely powerful tools for building your company’s brand and credibility.
Don’t be afraid to give away a few secrets to help out your potential customers.
People often shy away from writing a good article as they want to keep the knowledge all to themselves. Don't fall into the trap of thinking this way - the more information you give away to your potential customers, the more they will grow to trust you and the more value they will see in doing business with you. A good article can do wonders for building your business online.
Make sure you state exactly what the article is about in the article summary and in the first paragraph of the article. Organise the information you are presenting in a logical way and make sure you summarise it at the end. You should structure a good article like this:
Finally – don’t forget to include a link through to the offers on your main website in each of your articles. An amazing number of people overlook this – your article is there to sell your products and services! I recommend you put this at the end rather than doing a hard sell throughout the article, but make sure it is a strong, relevant and compelling offer to attract readers to take the next step and click through to your website.
See the example below of an article from the Zeald affiliates program that can be inserted into any website.
Search Engine Advertising
Optimising your website for the search engines is only one option for generating traffic for your website. Another option is to advertise on a search engine. In this article we are going to look at exactly how search engine advertising works and look at the current major providers of search engine advertising in the market place.
When advertising on a search engine, you pay for an advertisement to appear when a person searches for a particular keyword or phrase, relevant to your website. There are three common models search engines use for charging for advertisements- in fact; these models are common across all forms of online advertising:
There are two common types of search engine advertising:
Fixed Placement Advertising
Fixed placement advertising is exactly how it sounds. It is an advertisement that is locked into a specific position on a search engine’s results page. Generally, the position of the advertisement doesn’t change. Many search engines reserve a portion of space at the top or side of their page for fixed placement ads.
The advantage of fixed place advertising is that you can lock-in your advertising rates and lock out your competitors from the top positions. Unfortunately, this type of advertising with the search engines is often very expensive and is usually in the realm of larger organisations with substantial advertising budgets.
Pay For Placement Advertising (PFP)
Pay for placement (PFP) advertising works like this - people bid for placement in the advertising slots provided by the search engines, on their results page. The highest bid wins the number one slot, second highest bid the second slot, and so on.
PFP advertising can change day-to-day as advertisers change their bid amounts, and as new advertisers start bidding. Almost all PFP advertising utilises a Pay-Per-Click method of charging. The advertiser pays each time a person clicks their advertisement.
PFP advertising is great for small businesses as you can trial it with very little advertising budget. You can often secure visitors to your website for just a few cents. Its only downside is that it can require substantial time and effort to manage it successfully.
The rest of this section focuses on PFP advertising, as this is the form of advertising that will be most applicable to the majority of our readers.
PFP Advertising Providers
In the PFP advertising world there are two main providers:
SummaryIn this article we have explored the topic of search engine advertising. We’ve looked at how search engine advertising works and how it is revolutionizing the traditional methods for charging for advertising. Finally we have looked at the current major providers of search engine advertising and the differences between the different providers.
Related ArticlesFor more articles and information go to www.zeald.com
Is Your Website Producing Amazing RESULTS?
If you answer is anything less than a resounding yes, then you need to click here to learn about Zeald. Because results that are anything less than ‘amazing’ means you are selling yourself short! Click here now!
Copyright © 2004, Zeald Limited – All Rights Reserved
Testimonials, case studies and endorsements are all extremely powerful methods of building credibility. Remember that on the internet it can be hard for people to judge credibility – the internet is full of scammers, con-artists and cowboys, and your customers want to know that you aren't one of them before doing business with you.
Provide your affiliates with as many of these materials as possible. Make sure you don’t leave your testimonials open to attack - don't just make up fake testimonials! People are wary of this on the internet so provide as much informational about the person who has given you the testimonial as possible to prove that it is real. Include their name and the name of the organisation they represent. If possible, try to include a picture or a photograph.
The art of getting good testimonials is an interesting one. Approach customers who you know like you. Their testimonial acts as an advertisement for both you and them (and your paying for it!) so there is a clear benefit for them to provide you with one. And while you should never just make up testimonials yourself, it might be a good idea to give the people recommending you a fairly comprehensive example of what you want.
Consider writing a free e-book or a free report that can be packaged and offered as a free gift. You can offer this as a download, as an ongoing email newsletter, or you might even request their postal address and mail them a paper brochure.
Informational products make for fantastic free gifts. Once they are created they cost very little to distribute while their value to your customer is large. Think about a free report or resource that a potential customer of your company might be interested in.
When offering a free product like this make sure you ask for something in return – at minimum you should ask for the customer's email address and other contact details. You can use this later for Email Marketing (see my other book, “Secrets of Email Marketing Success”).
Make it as easy as possible for your affiliates to promote your products or services. No one knows how to sell your products or services better than you, so provide your affiliates with as many tools and materials as you possibly can. Remember, their success means your success.
A clear, well-written and well-thought-out affiliate agreement is mandatory. It needs to be written in ‘plain English’ and cover all aspects of the relationship. The key components of most affiliate agreements are:
Your affiliate agreement exists both to protect you and your affiliates. It also serves as a way of explaining to your affiliates what their responsibilities are, and what they get out of it in return.
Talk to your solicitor for help with drafting an Affiliate Agreement for your affiliate program. You can purchase standard agreements online to use as a base. The following websites all have standard affiliate agreements available for purchase.
An important part of any affiliate program is the training. Since your affiliates are actively selling your products and services their conduct reflects on you. You need to make sure they know what they are doing, and a training program is the most effective way of ensuring that.
The most basic training you should provide is an affiliates manual. Consider providing two versions of your affiliate’s manual – a full version and a ‘quick start’ version.
So what should a good training manual have in it?
Ideally you will want to cover off the following things in your training manuals:
Your training might simply be your affiliate’s manual. But it is important that you have a ‘formalised’ planned-out process for following up with your affiliates and ensuring they understand everything that they have been given.
Look to formalise your training ‘systems’ so that each new affiliate goes through a standardised training process whenever they sign-up. This process can be significantly automated using autoresponders (See our book – ‘Secrets of Email Marketing Success).
It is important that you have one key person within your organisation that takes responsibility for your affiliate program. The key skills of a great affiliate manager are:
These ‘managers’ will be required to perform the following tasks:
Ensure that your affiliate manager will have the time and motivation to handle these tasks. A common recipe for a mediocre affiliate program is a badly-managed program.
Affiliates are your partners. And the key to any good partnership is good communication.
You should keep in regular contact with your affiliates – one way to do this is with an affiliate newsletter that you send out to all your affiliates on a regular basis (eg once a month).
It can often be a good idea to plan your affiliate newsletter many months in advance. Note when you will send each newsletter and exactly what each communication will contain. How will you motivate your affiliates? How will you persuade them to take action? This sounds familiar - doesn’t it?
The same persuasive skills we use on our potential customers on our websites can also be used to successfully manage our affiliates programs.
Now that you have your affiliate program, you’ll need to promote it in such a way as to attract and sign-up great affiliates.
Just about every single affiliate program follows the 80:20 rule; that 80% of your results will come from just 20% of your total affiliates. Affiliates are usually broken-down into four categories:
The key to any great affiliate program is targeting and attracting as many ‘super affiliates’ as possible and providing the training and support necessary to help ‘Onesies’ and ‘Up & comers’ move to the ‘Super affiliate’ category.
So how do we target ‘Super affiliates’? One of the first keys to targeting ‘Super affiliates’ is to have a well-thought out program. Once you have that program in place, put together a section on your website that promotes your affiliate program. This should include the following:
The affiliates section of your website is like a mini-website. Therefore you need to give it the same sort of attention as you would to your main website. You need to carefully plan every aspect of the conversion pathway that your potential affiliate is going to take.
Once you are ready to promote your new program, put together a list of possible affiliates. Look for prospects that have great websites with strong persuasive copy, high traffic and a solid customer base. There are a number of good places to start when looking for good affiliates:
Now that you have setup your affiliate program, you need to be able to monitor and maintain it. Like with everything on the Web, you should always TMT – test, measure and tune.
The key figures that you will want to know about your affiliates are different, depending on what the overall conversion objective of your website is. Generally it is to generate online sales or enquiries. But whatever the objective of the website you need to be able to measure the success of your affiliates program in delivering it.
Common Affiliate Metrics: