Top 10 Affiliate Marketing Tools

Smart marketers always plan every affiliate program and implement it as astutely as possible. Affiliate Marketing ToolsWe bring you the top 10 affiliate marketing tools that “smart affiliate marketers” use in their campaigns and smile all the way to the bank! Don’t you want to belong in this group of smart Alec’s?

Affiliate Marketing Knowledge Lair

Before I tell you what the essential tools are for successful affiliate marketing, you should also try to avoid the 8 common mistakes that affiliate marketers make and adopt the following tips to build better affiliate program strategies.

Be Professional:

Professionalism in affiliate marketing is essential. You should establish a professional website for your affiliate programs.  Your website is your greatest asset; however, do not mix the affiliate market niches. For instance, trying to sell weight loss products and software on the same website is a very bad idea.

Be A Marketing Pro:

Affiliate program success always depends on your marketing efforts. The website/s associated with affiliate programs should be optimized with requisite marketing tools to generate traffic, track conversions and calculate revenues.

Generate a User Friendly Environment:

In order to retain an audience on your website, you must have a user friendly website which can be accessed easily. Make use of easier navigational features. Customization of a website according to the targeted audience is essential.

Be Mobile Active:

You lose a big opportunity to general affiliate sales if your website is not mobile optimized. If mobile technology is too much for you, hire a mobile SEO expert and transform the website into a mobile format. Make sure a payment gateway system is there too.

These are certain tips to practice affiliate marketing.

Affiliate Marketing Tools

If you want to enter and become a pro affiliate, you should always look towards new developments in affiliate marketing tools. If you are searching for top tools to implement in your affiliate marketing program, here they are…

1. Spyfu:

Spyfu is a popular affiliate marketing tool because of its effectiveness in generating information about the keywords your competitors bought on Google AdWords. This tool also monitors your competitor’s activities for advertisement programs.  Marketers trust this tool highly because it helps in optimizing affiliate advertisement programs according to the targeted audience and thus, enhances affiliate marketing.

2 Wordtracker:

Wordtracker is needed when you want effective keyword research to generate traffic on your web page. This is a helpful tool for creating PPC advertisements and it is free for all!

3. Tracking202:

Tracking202 is a pay per click analysis tool used to auto-monitor and track every step of your affiliate program with detailed analysis reports. It integrates the affiliate program with collected data, which can be collectively accessible on top affiliate networks like Google AdWords and MSN AdCenter.

The best feature of Tracking202 is its keyword level tracking. This helps to know if the keywords will be profitable or not in the affiliate marketing campaigns.

4. Google Keyword Tool:

Google is the top search engine. Rarely there are marketers who do not use the Google Keyword Tool for affiliate marketing and sales generation. It provides a list of top searched keywords on the Google search engine.

This tool provides exact keyword analysis and is considered a highly effective tool to generate substantial affiliate income.

5. Stealth Keyword Digger:

The Stealth Keyword Digger works like any other keyword analyzer but it targets only the top paying keywords. Therefore, if you want to target a niche market and find out the highest paying keywords for that niche, use this tool.

6. Google Analytics:

Although it is not a tool made specifically for affiliate marketers, it is one of the best way to measure the effectiveness of on-site SEO. Google Analytics is the Bible of every newbie and experienced affiliate marketer.

7. SEO Quake:

It is a browser plug-in which works exactly the same way as other affiliate tools. It works on the Firefox and Google Chrome platform. SEO Quake helps in knowing the Alexa rank of websites and maintains your “Follow-up” list.

SEO Quake is the most effective tool browser plug-in affiliate marketing tool. It provides information about back links and helps in displaying your web page higher on Google search results.

8. Ping.fm: 

Social networking integration is the most sought after marketing solution for online businesses. Ping.fm is the preferred tool used to post updates on all social networking platforms from a single point of service. Once you create a Ping account, link all social networks with Ping (there are more than 200 networks) and Ping does the rest every time you publish a new post. And don’t worry, Ping won’t send updates every time you post a new blog because it is considered as spam.

9. Google Optimizer:

Google Optimizer is the website customizing tool, used for optimizing business websites. It helps in customizing layouts; enabling SEO content and templates designs on various web pages. In other words, you use Google Optimizer to create an affiliate blog exactly the way Google wants it.

10. Site Build It:

Site Build It identifies niche products and builds optimized websites to drive traffic. It offers generous affiliate marketing features with its effective services.

These were the 10 useful tools for affiliate marketing. If you are spending time on building affiliate campaigns, make use of at least seven of them from the list.

Points to Remember:

  • If you are new to affiliate marketing, initially you will get affiliate programs offering less than 2% commission. Although this is a small commission, it will build on your experience and enhance niche market research capabilities and soon you will get higher commissions from affiliate programs.
  • Merchant websites never offers traffic. However, traffic leaks can happen if third party affiliate links are from Google AdSense ads and banner ads.
  • You should make sure that the affiliate program is enabled with a phone number tracking system.  This is necessary because in some cases, affiliates lose the commission if the referred client places the order via telephone. Of course, the use of this method depends on the product you are selling.

Keep the above three pointers in mind to fine tune your affiliate marketing campaigns.

Whether you are new to the affiliate world or not, try to experiment with newer strategies. It is easier to go the tried and tested ways, but who knows, what may work for me may not work for you at all. Hence, kick start new affiliate campaigns with these tools and make money.

Good Luck!

4 Reasons Why People Choose One Affiliate Over Another

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!

4 Reasons Why People Choose One Affiliate Over AnotherIf 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.

Brand Positioning

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.

State Facts

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.

Conclusion

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.
What do you say?


Affiliate Marketing with Twitter: A Win-Win Trend for Affiliate and Merchants

In the last three months, Twitter has become a one-stop resource for affiliate marketers. I say this Affiliate Marketing with Twitterbecause I spend more than 2 hours a day on Twitter to watch the trend grow in front of my eyes and secondly, it is obvious that Internet marketers keep on tweeting about affiliate products all the time because they are seeing a good amount of conversion, believe it or not!

Affiliate Benchmarks and The Search Monitor states that social media is used 60%-70% by the affiliates and Twitter is used by 47% of the affiliates. In other words, an average of 120,000 tweets are sent by affiliates per week.

Affiliate Marketing with Twitter

Why is Twitter a preferred choice?

  • It is very easy to get started with Twitter.
  • It is free.
  • Affiliates do not need a large following to get noticed.
  • Affiliates can start tweeting instantly.
  • Tweets can be spread using hash tags, similar to keywords in a search engine.

Unlike other affiliate promotional methods, Twitter is easy to use because even without any following, you can reach a wide consumer base, unlike other social media and networking platforms.

How do you use Twitter for your benefit?

(1) If you are a merchant, you can hire an affiliate network or an affiliate manager to monitor tweets. This will involve monitoring the number of tweets sent daily and their conversion rate.

(2) To recruit affiliates, you need to find active tweeters with a strong content generation facility. To write promotional content effectively in 140 characters, this is no joke! According to The Search Monitor, 1,320 merchants used 7,194 affiliate networks on December 20, 2011 to send affiliate tweets.

(3) If you are an affiliate and want to earn commissions from merchants then you need to watch Twitter trends for a few days to know what kind of merchants are heavily promoted on Twitter and how. To get the competitive advantage, you can look for seldom promoted merchants with good products.

(4) Twitter is very good for both merchants who are interested in 24 hour deals or 1-day promotions. With thousands of tweets sent every minute, this is a great medium to earn instant cash. Of course, you need to make sure that your appointed affiliates are honoring your promotional copy and not tweeting past the expiry date.

Twitter Affiliate Marketing Trends

Twitter is not used by product merchants as it should be; iTunes.Apple.com, Astrology.com and Groupon.com are the most tweeted products, according to The Search Monitor. This proves that there is a lack of merchant diversity. In other words, it is a good opportunity for affiliates to start working on Twitter for affiliate promotions and also a good opportunity for merchants to make some sales through Twitter.

Secondly, one of the main trends, plus an advantage of using Twitter is the ability to create multiple profiles. One affiliate user can create multiple ids to get more merchant sale returns. In a survey released in November 2011, it was found than 75% of the affiliates had more than one Twitter account. There are 4 reasons why Twitter users create multiple accounts:

  • To re-tweet their own tweets
  • To get better conversions as an affiliate
  • To popularize their own tweets
  • To increase followers to the main account

5 Tips to Use Twitter for Affiliate Marketing

(1) It is better not to directly tweet the affiliate link. If you maintain a blog, review the product or service, insert the affiliate link and then tweet the review link rather than the affiliate link. An affiliate product accompanied by a review has better chances of generating sales.

(2) Monitor how people are responding to the tweets. You can do this by setting up a RSS feed on the Twitter search, which will give you results containing both the @username results and those without the @username tag.

(3) Promoting an affiliate product works as a personal recommendation so it is best if you have used the product or service personally before tweeting about it. Your reputation will be on fire if you tweet products and services without using them and they turn out to be garbage.

(4) Don’t annoy your followers by giving irrelevant information and links. The tweet should be conversational in two ways – it should make the reader click on the link and then make the user read the content on the new page. All this begins with the tweet quality. Don’t just copy – paste the link.

(5) Don’t overdo the affiliate tweets. Sending 10 tweets every minute about the same product will cause you a loss of followers. Space out the tweets. Calculate the number of hours you are online, the number of hours you can spend tweeting, prepare the tweets before sending them out and then space out the tweets at every 5-10 minutes interval. Overdoing them will be considered as spamming.

Bonus Tip

(6) The affiliate product should be USEFUL for readers. Don’t become an affiliate of a product or service just because YOU like it. Your choices matters too but think from a third person perspective. Ask yourself – if this same product was offered to me by someone else, would I be interested in buying it?

These are the major 6 tips you need to keep in mind before starting your affiliate tweeting campaign.

Conclusion

Using Twitter for affiliate marketing is a positive trend. It is free to use and it is not time consuming either. Affiliates increase their opportunity to maximize commissions and merchants get an important source for increases in sales. In all, it is a win-win situation for both parties.