If you expect to make a lot of money or even enough to replace your full time income, you need to consider a few things you may not have given much thought to prior to now. There are 5 critical factors that can determine whether or not you’ll succeed as an affiliate marketer. I’ll talk about these and use examples from one of the easiest affiliates to get started with… Clickbank.
1. Who is your target audience?
This is one of those that many of you will say, “duh!” to, but it applies nevertheless. Here’s the thing with your target audience, you may think you know them because you’re in what you consider your target demographic, but more than likely you DON’T represent the “norm”, so it is worth doing some research. I’d suggest some keyword marketing research using free tools to help you get more out of determining who your target audience is and what they’re after.
Forums, blogs and “groups” may also be a great source of getting insight into a target audience. Don’t overlook the community aspect of social media websites and other sources to get details on what people are actually looking for. Yahoo has a feature called “Yahoo Answers” that may also help you see what types of questions people are asking. If you’re looking to develop a new product, search through questions that are specific to the industry you’re considering participating in and see what types of features or benefits existing products are missing.
2. Affiliate Product Quality.
This is an important factor not only because you don’t want to be involve with promoting “junk” but also because of the possible returns and retrieval of commissions that may have already been paid. If the product you’re promoting is junk and it ends up being returned, you’ll be out your commission for the original sale as well.
Try to get some ideas of the product quality through websites that offer reviews and become an owner of the product. If you have no idea about mortgages and try to promote a mortgage offer while you’re still renting, or living in your parents’ basement, you’ll surely fail. There may be a very few exceptions to this rule, but for most of us, we need to promote the kind of products we’d tell a good friend or family member about even if no commissions were involved.
3. Does the Sales Letter Sell?
Some of you will be promoting products from Clickbank. These typically all have a promotion page or “sales letter” or landing page, whatever you want to call it, but the page where the product is being described and the features and benefits are presented. The first thing to do is look at the page yourself as if you were a consumer and ask yourself if you would purchase the product based on the page. With Clickbank, another thing you can look at is the gravity. If the gravity of the product is high, this typically means that many of the would-be affiliates of that product have also purchased it.
After you’ve reviewed the product page as a “consumer” review the page as a savvy marketer and look at the psychological triggers that would indicate that the product is a good one. Does the sales copy speak to the emotions of the potential customer? Is there a strong call to action? Are there testimonials to indicate social proof that the product is good?
You can typically use some of the more popular products on Clickbank as case studies into what makes a good landing page. Not always, but most of the time this is the case.
4. Promotional Materials Availability.
What materials does the merchant provide to assist you with promoting their product? Do they have a dedicated affiliate page. Many of the Clickbank affiliates have their own separate page for affiliates that includes things like banner ads, pay-per-click templates, email autoresponder templates, etc. These are valuable resources so don’t be afraid to use them. If you don’t have any ideas to start with on how to go about promoting these offers, use the available material. The advanced marketer may use these only as a starting point and start the process of testing the offers to see which ones work. There’s no guarantee that the merchants themselves have actually used these promotional material with any degree of success.
5. What is your Promotion’s Profitability Potential?
If you’re promoting a CPA campaign that pays you $.50 per sign-up and you’re doing it through pay-per-click at $.05 per click, you’ll need a conversion percentage at 10% just to break even… and $.05 per click traffic on any of the engines large enough to bring you that kind of traffic are dwindling. Now, imagine if you’re promoting a product that has a $100 payout and you can bid $.50 per click. You’re break even percentage is significantly better, now right around .5% which is much more realistic. Of course, nobody is in this just to “break even”, so keep in mind that many “good” campaigns don’t convert much higher than 5%. Of course there are exceptions, but take these calculations into consideration when you’re going about promoting your products.
These 5 factors are not comprehensive. There are any number of factors that could ultimately affect the profitability of a campaign, but if you overlook these factors, you do so with the possibility of losing a lot of time and money. Affiliate marketing is one of those things that simply takes determination and dedication. Good luck with your efforts!