HOW TO CHOOSE AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM
There are so many programs to choose from. There is no one best affiliate program or network, it depends on your niche and audience. It is tempting to join lots of programs, place some sidebar ads, make an occasional reference to a product, etc. This generally does not work well. It has a very, very low conversion rate. A better approach is to really get behind a product. Have landing pages, product reviews (money pages), informational articles, email campaigns, bonus offers, etc.
You are much more likely to be successful with an affiliate program that you focus on and make a commitment too.
Another thing to consider, particularly if you are a successful Amazon affiliate is that Amazon is special.
Amazon has enormous trust, conversion capabilities, and familiarity in the marketplace. You can send them hot, warm or cold traffic and they will perform better than you can. This is not the case with other affiliate programs. Rather than just send traffic to other programs you will have better success with warming them up with information articles and success stories.
In addition to the raw numbers there are other factors to consider …
This is the most important and first thing test to pass. Consider …
- Is the offer closely aligned with your target audience
- Will they benefit from the product or service
- Have you written about the details & advantages
Once you have decided that the product or service is a great fit for your visitors there are a number of program details to consider.
Who are your Neighbors?
One of the best ways to evaluate an affiliate network is to see what kind of companies promote them. If you look at ClickBank for instance many of the offers are by low quality, get-rich-quick types of marketers. This is not always a bad thing. If you find a great offer that is a perfect fit for your site/audience it may be a good thing that most of the players are weaker sites. Just like with SERPs and ranking your keywords it will be easier to outperform a lower quality offer.
Well of course this is the biggest factor for many. But always consider how well an offer converts. A product paying 30% commissions that converts at 3% generates less than one that pays 20% and converts at 7%.
Earnings per Click
Earnings per click (EPC)is similar to the conversion rate. It tells you how much is earned per click to the advertiser’s website.
Average Order Value
The Average Order Value (AOV) will tell you how much a customer spends on average when they complete an order. This is particularly important in sales funnels with up-sells like many digital products.
Is there an affiliate manager?
One of the advantages of a smaller program is that you will have an affiliate manager to work with. Find a good paying product from a smaller team very closely aligned with your niche. Create some great content and funnels. Spend a little on ads. Before you know it you will be able to ask for a higher commission rate, special coupon codes that align with your content strategy, etc.
What companies does the affiliate program represent?
A big benefit to an affiliate network is having many programs under one umbrella. Best to deal with an affiliate network that has a good overlap with your niche. Look for both products that overlap and price points.
Most affiliate networks will pay with PayPal or ACH/Wire. If you are from a country with no PayPal the payout method is particularly important. You can usually use Transferwise to receive the ACH/Wire and forward it to your local bank account. A bigger issue is the delay in payments. this can be essentially immediate or as long as 60 days after the month-end of the transaction. If you are running paid ads this is particularly important.
What marketing support do they provide?
Do they provide custom discount codes, ad copy, videos, images and other parts you can use in content or ad campaign. Do they provide deep linking so that you can send your visitor to any content and get affiliate credit?
Is there a Quality Affiliate Dashboard?
It can be extremely frustrating to use some of the networks’ dashboards. Some of them feel like they were made in the 1990s pioneering Internet era. A good dashboard lets you …
- Quickly find products to promote
- Review in detail the program terms
- Find media kits and swipes
- Track your traffic to each offer
- Analyze you performance
- Review your earnings and chargebacks
- Manage your profile and websites you want to make offers