By Mark Joyner
Clearly, the people benefiting the most from affiliate programs are the companies running them. My goal here is to help you - the affiliate - earn more money. If you've gotten past the idea that you can simply slap a banner up on your site and start earning money, but you're not sure what to do next, this article is for you.
Allow me to cut right to the chase. Here is a plan of action. This may seem like a lot of work, but don't worry! At the very end, I'll show you how to automate all of these steps. For now, just read through to get a general idea of how you need to proceed:
Step 1- Vow to organize your affiliate efforts. Begin with organizing all contact information, payment information, and vital statistics about your affiliate programs in one central location. This may seem like a silly step, but believe me; you don't want to spend your time digging through emails for contact information and codes. You should also know, with just a few mouse clicks, how much is owed you by the various affiliate programs in which you are participating.
Step 2 - Select one affiliate program on which to focus your efforts for the next 3 weeks. In order to apply some of the various principles I will show you in a few moments, you need to select one area of focus. It's best to select an affiliate program that has several products, instant online tracking of sales, instant notification of sales, and the ability to segment your promotions. Internet Marketing ProShop has all of this and more.
Step 3 - Select three promotion methods and two products to promote.
This is crucial. This will make sense in a few moments. If you can't think of three promotion methods, here are a few ideas:
An ad in someone else's eZine
A mailing to your own subscription list
A text link on your site with some ad copy
A banner on your site
A product review on your site
An FFA submission
Now, some of these methods are more effective than others. But you don't need me to tell you that. I'll show you how to find out for yourself.
Step 4 - For each promotion method and each product, develop two ads. So, since you have three promotion methods, two products, and two ads for each - you will have to write 12 ads total. So, for each ad, let's give it a code. If it's method one, product one, ad one, you can call it:
For method one, product one, ad two, you can call it:
For example, if you plan to promote my marketing course 1,001 Killer Internet Marketing Tactics using ads in someone else's eZine, you will need two ads. One would be M1P1A1, and the other would be M1P1A2. If you also plan to promote it using a review on your site, the first review would be M2P1A1 (method 2, product 1, ad 1) and the second would be M2P1A2 (method 2, product 1, ad 2).
This is just one way to code your ads. You can do this any way you like as long as you can distinguish precisely which campaign these codes refer to.
This sounds like a lot of writing. Don't be daunted by this! Just crank it out. Don’t think too much about each ad. We'll find out in a while which one is good and which one is bad. You won't decide this - your customers will! Don't be afraid to try something wild.
Now, when you promote each product, you'll need to tie each promotion to the code you created. With the Internet Marketing ProShop Partner program, you can segment your campaigns by adding an _code to the end of the URL you use to promote each product.
For example, if you are promoting 1,001 Killer Internet Marketing Tactics, you would use this URL:
To segment your campaigns, you would add your campaign code on the end of that URL for each campaign:
..../kt.cgi?sponsorID_M1P1A1 (for campaign one)
..../kt.cgi?sponsorID_M1P1A2 (for campaign two)
Note: The above method is only valid for our affiliate program, so don't try this with any other affiliate program. We don't know of any other affiliate programs that allow you to segment your campaigns, this way, so please use caution here.
Step 5 - Before you finish for the day, promote the product using your "ad 1" for each product.
You'll need to record:
Impressions. If you're advertising on a web page, this will be the number of times your ad appeared on the page - or the number of times the page was viewed if your ad comes up each time the page is viewed. If you're advertising using some form of email, impressions = number of emails sent.
Clicks. You should be able to get this from the affiliate program you are promoting.
Amount Earned. Again, your affiliate program should provide this information to you in real time.
Now, in order to do a valid test, you'll need to promote to a fairly significant number of people. I would recommend that at least 300 people see each ad. Otherwise, you won't have enough information to make a valid judgment. Ideally, you should hit about 2,000 with each ad, but your resources may not allow for this.
*Learning point: If you're going to send an ad via a newsletter, see if you can run a "split". That is, get one ad sent to 1/2 of the list and another sent to the other 1/2. That is the most accurate way to compare the effectiveness of any pair of ads.
Step 6 - Run your "B" ads. Now that you have run your "A" ads and have given them a bit of time to take effect, run your B ads. Do this first thing this morning!
By the end of the day, you should have some good results from both campaigns to compare and see where you stand.
By comparing and analyzing all of the information you have just compiled, you will be able to start to have a good idea about:
Which product seems to sell more. Which type of campaign is most effective Which type of ad for each campaign is most effective This short bit of testing won't allow you to make clear conclusions, but it will put you on the right track. Immediately, you should start using the ads that sell as much as you can. If ad A is making you 5 cents per impression and ad B is making you 5 dollars per impression - using ad B just increased your affiliate commissions by 9900%! OK, that's a dramatic example, but you get the point, right? If you aren't tracking these things, you'll never know. If you track and continue to refine, before you know it, you'll have an arsenal of ads that you know pull well to use over and over again. Once you do the leg work, it's easy!
As you see, though, this can get quite complex. How does one actually analyze these campaigns? What if you have scores of affiliate programs and quite a few campaigns for each?
Don't worry. As I told you at the beginning, there is an easy, cost effective way to keep track of all of these things with just a few mouse clicks. It's called Affiliate Assistant.
I highly recommend checking this out as it will, among other things, allow you to quickly and easily implement the above plan in one central location. With just a few mouse clicks you can compare and analyze all of your various affiliate ad campaigns so you'll know which are making you money and which are wasting you time.
You could do all of the same things yourself with a good database program and multiple spreadsheets, but Affiliate Assistant will save you quite a bit of time and money without having to go through all that.
Either way, you should implement some type of organizational and tracking plan like this for your affiliate advertising efforts immediately. The amount of time you put into this will pay off exponentially in terms of higher commissions.
Article by Mark Joyner, CEO of Aesop Marketing Corporation and creator of 1001 Killer Internet Marketing Tactics - a *must have* tool for anyone serious about doing business on the Internet. Do yourself a favor and check this one out today!