Judy and Andrew, residing in the US, have been working as affiliate marketers for the last 10 years. In terms of experience and skill, both of them are similar. However, Judy earns about $5000 in affiliate sales per month while Andrew’s effort doesn’t give him more than $3000 per month.
A good $2000 difference is not to be taken with a grain of salt!
If I ask why does Judy earn more than Andrew? Place the same situation in a wider context and the question becomes – Why would a buyer choose to purchase from affiliate ‘A’ rather than affiliate ‘B’? Knowing these differences will make a hell of a difference to your affiliate marketing business.
Here are few important reasons that can either skyrocket your earnings or take you down the broke road.
If you position the affiliate brand correctly, fifty percent of the battle is won. By brand positioning, I mean how you want new and existing consumers to perceive your product. Unlike the past decade, affiliate marketing is not about signing up for hundreds of affiliate products, posting a banner ad on the blog and raking in the moolah.
No, it’s a lot more than that. Any wrong step, you are doomed. Take the example of Nestle. In 2011, they came under social media fire when they asked visitors not to use an alternative version of the Nestle logo as it is “copyright infringement.” People were angry. Here is a snippet of the conversation:
You see, Nestle thought they were right by enforcing rules but the way they handled the whole thing spoiled their brand image and thus, spoiled their brand positioning.
As an affiliate marketer, you have to be conscious about the kind of products you are dealing with, that is, whether it is a product you want people to associate with your image. Position the affiliate brand, be selective!
Moral – Buyers are perceptive of brand positioning. You cannot take them for a ride.
Do NOT cook up stories just because you want a particular product to sell. I know this is hard to follow especially when you know that by tweaking or cooking up a favorable story to appeal to the masses will ultimately give you better sales, try to refrain from it because when people will come to know how you misled them, you can say bye-bye to repeat customers.
This is the age of Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing. You mislead people, 100 people will know. You are honest with them, 500 people are more likely to recommend you. Which one would you prefer?
When you prepare the affiliate sales page, state the facts as it is. As you might have noticed on Income Insiders Free Guides pages, it states exactly what the product is all about – there is no exaggeration and hence, you get a better response.
Moral – Buyers want facts. How will “this” product help ME?
Persuasion vs. Exploitation
Both are tactics used by affiliate marketers to sell online. Which one should you favor – Persuasion or Exploitation? 90% of the affiliate marketers fail because they try to exploit people, that is, they wrongly maneuver them into buying a product.
Often times we have come across sales pages / offers where you are promised a “tell all” goody if you sign up. You sign up and come across another page that asks for money, a heavily discounted offer, to maximize earning potential with the elusive goody promised to you. Such multi-level propositions do not work anymore.
Consumers are clever to see right through it.
On the other hand, any experienced sales copywriter will tell you that you have to be persuasive to make affiliate sales. By persuasion, I do not mean stalking the user with offers or blasting their inbox with emails.
You should use persuasion skills while writing the sales page and related web content. Make the content relative for the readers so that they can associate with it. The user should think – “Let me try this out” or “I think this product will help me in my business” rather than “what nonsense is this page saying?” Getting the point?
Most skilled copywriters say that using words like fast – guaranteed – limited – testimonial – discount – sale – free and new trickles down the reader’s mind and perception, and motivates them to purchase.
Moral – Never exploit, use persuasion tactics.
Timely and Methodical Promotions
Affiliate marketing is a booming multi-million dollar industry where people are looking for honest marketers with solid opinions, and they are willing to subscribe to their list when they come across such marketers. This is the reason why the big shots of the affiliate world have thousands of people on their subscriber list.
Another reason why your affiliate marketing efforts do not show substantial results is because you don’t know when to promote and what strategy to follow. Every marketer has a strategy. While some feel newsletters convert well, others feel accurate reviews on blogs converts better.
This involves a bit of playing around. You cannot zero in on a specific strategy unless you try and test them out yourself. No marketing guru can ever tell you, “Okay, this is the best method for you to use”…no, they can’t. It all depends on your product, the time and the method.
For instance, research shows that people are most likely to open and read newsletters and/or blogs on Tuesdays or Thursday’s around lunchtime when their mind is off of their work. Of course, no marketing report has ever been able to suggest when the best marketing sales happen but for starters, research about sales during festive holidays, national holidays, seasonal sales, day-specific sales and others.
Moral – Develop a method and know when to promote. Don’t just follow others blindly.
Therefore, from the story in the beginning, Judy earns more than Andrew because:
- Her brand / PR is better positioned.
- She is honest about product benefits.
- She does persuasive affiliate marketing.
- She follows a method.
- She knows when to promote.