FINDING & JOINING AFFILIATE MARKETING PARTNERSHIPS
Whether you have already built your affiliate website or yet have to build it (You’ll learn how to build your website later when you are ready for it at How to Make Website), you must know how to find and join merchants and how to enter affiliate marketing partnerships. You can find merchants through an affiliate network. In the world of Affiliate Marketing, there are Merchants and Affiliates. Merchants’ only goal is to increase their sales. To achieve this goal they would make their product available to everybody. You having an affiliate website, already have a virtual location. If your website is getting traffic, you are a winner. Merchants love to promote affiliate products on affiliate websites that have high traffic. So, both merchants and affiliates need affiliate marketing partnerships. This is where Affiliate Networks like ClickBank and Commission Junction come in. Affiliate Networks help Merchants and Affiliates find each other at a one convenient place. It also handles all transactions and financials for both Affiliates and Networks. They provide marketing materials, tracks statistics, and generally issue commission checks. Most networks pay affiliates one monthly check regardless of how many merchants you may represent. Affiliate network are free to join for affiliates. You have to submit an online application. Your application may be approved immediately, or it may take days and weeks. Once accepted you can search affiliate network database and choose the merchants you wish to promote. Also visit How & Where to Promote Affiliate Products?
The guidelines provided here will equip you with the knowledge that will make finding and joining affiliate marketing partnerships a painless experience.
As there are millions of affiliate programs available to you as an Internet marketer, how do you decide which company and which products to choose? There are a number of factors to consider before you join any affiliate program. Here are a few ways you can find affiliate programs that suit you:
Make sure your partner’s product is relevant to your site. If you have a site about traveling, you might sell air tickets, but not airplane parts. Your visitors are not coming to your site to buy airplane parts. Find merchants that sell products in the same niche as yours, then join their affiliate programs.
Know your merchant. If you can test the product before you promote it, you should do it by all means. But even if you can’t, you should find out as much as you can about the merchant, since your personal reputation is stake when you represent a product. 99.9% of merchants charge no joining fee to their affiliate marketing partnerships program.
Find the Merchants with Lowest Prices. You should not sell over priced items to your customers. They will simply leave you for ever. If you offer prices that are fair and competitive, your website is likely to be a successful venture. So, make sure you find merchants that offer lowest prices.
Find the merchants with good backup support and customer services. It is imperative that you select a partner with good customer support service. If your customers do not find the product satisfactory, they will complain to you as well as your merchant. That is detrimental to your reputation.
Confirm the Credibility of your merchant. Whether you are working with a small company or a large giant, you must make sure that the merchant is credible. You don’t want to expose your customers to low quality product or service. Most merchants hold good reputation. Still, you should not trust every website that you come across. You must make sure that the business is legitimate and that the person is reliable. You may save hundreds of dollars if you complete your homework. That is where Commission Junction is safe as it provides complete record of merchants including when they joined its affiliate network. If your selected merchants are there for a year or more, they can be trusted and prove worthy of affiliate marketing partnerships
Get detailed Commission Structure. There is a great difference in commission rates, even in the same markets. Avoid merchant who only pays a small commission. You got to do your homework. Check all the programs relevant to you, and join only that merchant who pays a huge commission. You must understand commission structures and payout rates. This will affect to what extent you promote individual products. As a guideline, consider merchants that pay the highest commissions in your niche. Prepare a list, and then start filtering out those merchants that do not qualify. Recurring Commissions are good. Joining merchants that present residual or lifetime commissions is an excellent way to build a steadily increasing income. A merchant that offers residual commissions pays you whenever the customer renews the subscription to a particular item.
Are Cookies important? A cookie is software, stored on a computer, which identifies that computer during the current and subsequent visits to a Web site. Cookies track the web sites visited by a person’s computer. So if your website visitor clicks through to your merchant, the merchant will know the customer is coming from your site. The merchant will identify them through cookies that get planted in the customer’s computer. You may have heard that it takes seven exposures to a product before people feel comfortable enough to buy that product. So what if your visitor clicks through to your merchant site today and leave without buying something until a week later? Will it still be considered your sale? That depends on the life of the cookie. Yes, like us, cookies have a life span. Cookies can live for 30 days, or they can last a year, or they can last eternally. So a very important factor to be considered before you enter affiliate marketing partnerships is how long is the cookie from that customer going to last?
Review Payment Terms carefully. When do they pay you? Payments are made usually by check or direct deposit, although some companies pay in merchandise or service credits. Do they only make payment when you earn $1,000? Do they only make payment every three months? What is the mode of payment? You don’t really want to have to wait for your money. Another advantage of ClickBank is that they pay every two weeks. You may get a check for $5000, you may get a check for $50, but it keeps coming. We all like money coming in and it keeps us motivated. So learn what the payment terms are. You should have access to Sales Statistics Reports in Real Time. You don’t want to wait for ages before you know you made a sale for a particular merchant. Does the Merchant Offer Sales Copy and Other Tools? Be sure to confirm the currency in which the merchant deals.
Read the Agreement Carefully. Almost all affiliate programs have affiliate agreements. You must accept the terms of agreement before entering into affiliate marketing partnerships. Most affiliates don’t read it completely. But it is very important that you read and understand the agreement offered by your merchant before entering any affiliate marketing partnerships. Affiliate agreements are usually lengthy and peppered full of legal jargon. But that is why it is even more essential that you read agreement completely and carefully, or you may face the unexpected. Is their agreement non-exclusive? It should be. Try your best not to get into an exclusive agreement, unless you have a very special deal in hand. An exclusivity clause stops you from partnering with other merchants selling similar products. Keep your options open and refrain from joining programs that require your site to sell one merchant’s products exclusively. If the program does not have an agreement published on the site, find another program to join. Read and understand the affiliate agreement thoroughly. If you do not understand a clause, do not hesitate to ask questions.
Many merchants also have affiliate programs they administer themselves. You can search in Yahoo and Google for these affiliate marketing partnerships. Enter the term “(your niche) affiliate programs” and review the results search engines return. If you find a product you would like to represent, look for a link on the site marked “Affiliates,” “Partners,” or “Make money with us,” If you do not find affiliate program mentioned on the site e-mail them and ask. Examine the reviews and verify affiliate links on the site. The reviews must be positive and passionate! You may get in touch with the webmaster of one of those websites and ask about his or her experience with the program. Join a few affiliate programs, keep track, observe how they work for you, drop those that don’t work, and keep the ones that do. Keep doing this practice until you have a bulky line up of quality products that bring in the income and future growth. Adding affiliate programs helps you get familiar with the market, the possible joint venture partners there are, and how to sell and market efficiently without a hefty investment.