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Affiliate Programs - Get Others Promote Your Online Business

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How To Get Thousands Of People
Actively Promote Your Business

Marketing and sales is the most important part of any business, online or offline. In offline world, you just can't make money without a good sales team. Now take a look at your online business.

You have great products to sell, you have a proven sales copy, you accept credit card orders at your site. But you are the only sales person for the whole business!

Think about what it would be like to have hundreds, if not thousands, people actively selling your products or services for you with a small share of the profits!

On the Internet, you can easily get this sales force through your own affiliate program. It should be an integrated component of your sales process.

Affiliate programs are also called associate, referral, reseller, partner, bounty, revenue sharing, programs.

Basically, your affiliates send visitors to your web site by placing a banner ad, small graphic or ordinary text at their site or in their ezine, which links to your site. If someone clicks on the link and buys a product or service from you or signs up for something, the affiliates get paid a commission.

You are allowing other people to sell your product at their web site, through their newsletter, to their customer base, or any ethical way they want to market it on the Internet.

Affiliate programs level the playing field between the big corporations and the small operations like you and I. Using affiliate programs makes it ridiculously easy to harness the power of other web sites and all of their traffic. And it is possible to set up your own affiliate program without spending a dime!

With the exception of a few products or services, almost every product or service online will be much more successful if you offer an affiliate program for it. Every business I have seen introduce an affiliate program has made more sales, and generated more money.

The best thing about affiliate programs is that You Are Guaranteed To Make Money because you only pay for sales generated.

Think about it. How can you lose money? If you are not paying a dime until a sale is produced, you can do nothing but make money!

You don't have to spend money on advertising. There is no cost in doing this. You only pay affiliates per sale. So if you don't make any sales you don't pay them a dime. But if you make a thousand sales, you pay them a lot of money.

That's why they are motivated to make it work and you are motivated to make it work, as the more you sell, the more money you both make. It is a win-win situation for both of you.

The power behind affiliate programs is that, there is nothing to lose for both of you.

The affiliate joins your program for free. They invest 30-60 minutes to post the banner or links to your site from theirs, or emails their customer base or newsletter base about your product, and if it doesn't produce as many sales as they expected, they simply remove the banners or links.

What did they lose? An hour of their time, at the most! That is not much of a risk considering there was a potential to make thousands of dollars over a few hours of work.

With only a few exceptions, the only products which may not do well in an affiliate program are those that do not have a high margin to work with. If you are only making 10% profit on an item, it is very difficult to give  affiliates a large piece of the selling price to motivate them to sell your product.

Another exception is when you don't have a fixed price structure. Take our web site promotion service as example, it's on a case by case basis and we need to communicate with customers before making the deal.

There are three types of affiliate programs.

The first is pay-per-click program. If someone clicks through a link, you pay your affiliate a small fee, usually between $0.05 to $1.00 depending on your product and your margin.

The second is pay-per-lead program. You ask visitors to do something, sign up for your newsletter, download a trial version of a software, a request for a quote...your affiliates are paid for each lead they send you.

The third method is a pay-per-sale program. This is by far the most popular type of affiliate program. Basically you are offering your affiliate a portion of the profits on everything that is sold.

And this is the way I recommend you do an affiliate program. As you can imagine, with the other two types of affiliate programs, you are not guaranteed any sales even if you get huge traffic. You could be paying out tons of money, if you don't have a good conversion rate you could end up not making any money in sales. So I would rather consider them as paid ads instead of real affiliate programs.

There are two ways you can set up your affiliate program.

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Article by Zac Hewlett at SingaporeWebHosting.com
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