Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Starting Your Own An Affiliate Marketing Program

Affiliate programs allow businesses to get a lot of extra traffic and sales by having third parties promote their products and services. It is also a cost effective method of advertising that will introduce the products brand to many people.

Starting your own online affiliate marketing program can be overwhelming or rather simple depending on the size of the program you want to start and the payment methods you choose. There are several options from you to choose from in managing your program. These should be examined to determine which would be the best for your business.

Two major options for affiliate programs are to either have the whole system outsourced to another company or run it your self. Each one has advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when making your choice.

If you plan on having a small affiliate program with only small amount of affiliates then you can probably manage it yourself with your own software. However, if you plan to have a large amount of affiliates, then you should consider outsourcing the system Otherwise you may be overwhelmed by tracking large numbers of sign ups, statistics monitoring and tracking payments.

Types of Payments
There are a few types of payment options that should also be considered. You can consider paying the affiliates for each sale that is generated from the affiliates links. Or you can choose to pay the affiliate for each lead that they refer. A lead is simply a click sent from their links.

Affiliate Sign up
Another aspect to consider is whether or not to manually or automatically let people sign up for the program. This partially depends on the payment method that you choose. If you choose the pay per lead or pay per click method, then it may be wise to manually approve people. That way you can check out their sites and reputation before letting them join your program. The reason for doing this is that the quality of traffic they send will greatly effect your sales.
If you do decide to manage the affiliate program yourself, there are many software packages available for you to set it up. They will allow you to track your sales and the commissions.

Affiliate Marketing and Search Engines

Knowledge of search engines is an essential and important aspect of online affiliate marketing. The technology of search engines and the partnerships between them have changed dramatically over the years
Even though Internet users may be using a particular search engine all the time. The search results may be supplied from another search company all together.
Here is a list of the largest and most import se's that supply most of the search sites on the Internet.

Yahoo provides search results for some of the webs largest se's. These include Yahoo
search, AllTheWeb, Alta Vista, and gives pay per click search results from Yahoo search market.

Though Google maybe the most important se today, it is still second to Yahoo. Google provides the se results for AOL Search and also Netscape Search. Google also
supplies Pay Per Click ads to Netscape, Ask, Lycos, and HotBot. It also supplies other results for Hotbot.

Lycos gets it directory results from DMOZ, Ask provides the primary results and Google Adwords provides pay per click paid listings.

Hotbot also gets it directory listings from DMOZ, primary listings from Ask, and Pay Per Click results from Google Adwords.

Ask is another big player in the search engine market. Ask provides search results for Lycos, Hotbot, and Ask. It also gets its directory listings from DMOZ and paid listings from Google Adwords.

In marketing, search engines are incredibly important. Getting your sites listed in these larger se's will bring targeted traffic to your sites in search of the affiliate products you are promoting. A firm understanding of the major se's can mean the difference between success and failure in the business of affiliate marketing.
By having good ranking in the search engines you will be one of the first sites visitors see when they are searching for a specific product. It takes a lot of research to rank well in search engines, but it should be an important part of your advertising campaigns

Survival Tips For Affiliate Marketers

OK, so you've signed up for an online affiliate marketing program that you think you can do well with. You've developed a strategy to sell the products and planned out your marketing materials.

Now what? Well even with your best marketing efforts, sometimes things just don't start happening the way you think they should. Below you will find some of the common problems that affiliate marketers run in to when running their campaigns that can greatly affect their sales and commissions.

Cookie Confusion
Many affiliate merchants use cookies to track your
referrals. Most affiliates know this, but most customers don't. When the customer comes to a site through your referral link a cookie is recorded on their computer that keeps your referral information. This information is used to keep track of your sales.
What most affiliates don't know is those cookies don't always last for the life of the customer. The length that the cookies last varies between different merchants. Some only last for the first time they click from your link others may last for life, but not always. This is something that is almost never advertised by the merchant and it is up to you to find it out. Contact them and ask how long the cookie last. It may change your marketing plan or even make you decide to not use that affiliate program.

Check Out The Program
Before you start to promote any products or services as an affiliate, it is always good practice to research the merchant carefully. If you have any questions or doubt, you should contact the merchant and search for any information on the merchant that may bring any past problems into light.

Watching Your Merchants
Even the best merchants will run into problems with their affiliate software or other issues. Therefore it is a good idea to regularly check up with any news or changes from your affiliate programs. This is especially important for merchants that earn you the most income.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Working With Your Merchants

Contacting your online affiliate marketing merchant is always a good idea. Whether you are just signing up with them or have been promoting your products for a while, you can learn a lot by making a few contacts at the merchant. Let them know how you promote or are going to promote their products.
The merchant will be very familiar with their products and may have valuable tips and suggestions on how to market their program. They know will also know what their successful affiliates are doing to make sales. A contact with your merchant also just makes good business sense
Contacting the merchant tells them that you are dedicated to working for them and advertising their products. Merchant's know that most of there sales come from just a few of their affiliates. Good merchants will recognize your dedication and often offer you special marketing material or even bonuses.
Dealing with merchants
If you try to contact your merchant and they don't respond, try sending them another message. If you still don't get a response you should think twice about promoting them as their lack of communication may mean that the company has problems - like paying their affiliates!
Communication Tips
It sounds pretty simple, but you should always be very professional with you contact a merchant. This communication gives you an opportunity to make any suggestions you may have to their program. Believe it or not affiliate programs want to hear from their affiliates. They want to know what their affiliates need and want to keep them happy.
Keeping on that same them, good merchants will be very respectful and prompt with payments. In fact it there is a problem with a payments, the affiliate program will usual get it resolved as quickly as possible.
The longer your relationship last with a merchant, the more you will understand the way they work and the more important you will become to them. But if you are a beginning online affiliate marketer, a merchant can offer a lot of suggestions for getting you started.